Tuesday, May 16

Misplaced Blame

As I've said before, I'm a Cub fan. It's been a rough three weeks for Cubs fans. They've lost almost every game during that stretch. It's been really depressing.

When baseball teams struggle like this, particularly in the first part of the season, people start calling for the head of the manager. It doesn't matter whether the manager is to blame. In fact, the manager typically isn't at fault. But you can't fire the players. So, even if he hasn't done anything wrong, the manager takes the blame.

Unfortunately, the same thing happens with God. When followers of Christ do something wrong, it's Jesus who takes the blame. The problem of course is that all of Christ's followers are people, and therefore have all of the imperfections and wrong motives that people have.

This isn't a new thing. I remember a Medieval History textbook I had once that made one of most profound statements about Christianity that I've ever seen in a secular book. It said something to the effect of "corrupt churchmen were prevalent throughout the era, a side effect of the unfortunate necessity of filling the church with human beings."

You can even find examples of this in the Bible. Judas Iscariot, who kept the money for Jesus and the apostles, is described as a thief, who would help himself to the money in their money bag. The sons of the High Priest Eli are another example. These were men who were supposed to be leading the people in the worship of God. They were supposed to be making the sacrifices for the people. But they were evil, to the point that God eventually put them to death. You can find plenty of other examples of people who were supposed to be followers of God, but who did not live like it. Over the centuries a lot of evil has been done in the name of God.

Unfortunately, people who don't know God blame him for the mistakes of his followers, much like a baseball manager takes the blame for the mistakes of his players.

Obviously, this means that as followers of Christ we have to be careful about what we do, because people who don't yet know him are going to attribute our actions and motives to him. It also means that we need to come up with ways to demonstrate Jesus' love in ways that will show non-believers Jesus' true nature. We also need to show them that when people who call themselves Christians do bad things, it's because of their own flawed motives, not because Jesus isn't worth following.

No comments: