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Tough Times

Christianity has been in the news the past few days, and frankly I think most Christians wish it was not. It seems Christianity is best kept a little under the radar, for when it hits the mass media little good can come of it.

First we had Jimmy Swaggart and his comments about homosexuals. On his television show he said “I’m trying to find the correct name for it… this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men… I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.” Most Christians reacted with shock when they realized the Swaggart still has a television show. But recovering from that, most just rolled their eyes and sighed, knowing that the statement of one high-profile man would make us all look bad for a couple of days.

Meanwhile, Paul Crouch’s character and ministry are being dragged through the mud following the allegations about a homosexual affair. He received a fair bit of media attention with some papers, most notably the LA Times, digging deeper into the story and his organization. Of course what they uncovered was sickening, but not surprising. You can read the articles here and here if you so desire. Unfortunately you will have to register to read them. They show a man who is obsessed with obtaining wealth from those who can least afford it under the pretense of helping them obtain blessings from God. 30 houses, a jet, six-digit salaries…it’s all there for the public to read.

I wonder how unbelievers view these things? Do they place as much stock in these men and their words and actions as we do in radicals of other types? No one honestly believed that Timothy McVeigh spoke for or acted on behalf of a large segment of the American population when he committed his atrocious act, but do unbelievers attribute the words of Swaggart to all believers? I suspect that both of these men (Swaggart and Crouch) have so little credibility that their words count for little. Or at least I hope that is the case. It is tragic that those who are worst-qualified to represent Christianity are most often the ones that do. When was the last time we saw R.C. Sproul or John MacArthur on the front pages of the newspaper?

But I refused to be embarrassed by these men. While they may preach a false gospel and may be completely unqualified to represent what I believe, I stand firm and confident on the foolishness that is the gospel.

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