Evil in the Church

bad_apple.jpgThere are bad apples in any kind of work or social organisation and most of the time we understand that while those bad apples can tend to cast a shadow over others, they are not indicative of the wider group.

Paedophiles, bullies, thieves, fraudsters and others like them can be found at all levels of society but should we be able to expect a higher standard of conduct from those within the church? Many of us know that people of faith often struggle with the same issues that those outside the church are facing but surely of God is real, faith in him should make a difference.

Many people claim that they can’t accept God or faith because they see so much evil within churches. Does their claim hold water?

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Last week we looked at the problem of evil within the church and whether people are right to avoid a church that seems to preach one thing then do another.

We looked at the record of the Christian church and found that overall the story is certainly not all about people failing to live up to their beliefs but one of many great triumphs. However, the point remains that there are people who have done some terrible things in the name of God or while claiming to follow him. What can we do about it?

Listen to what Ross has to say by clicking the play button on the Audio Player at the bottom of this post.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • The church isn’t full of hypocrites, there’s room for more!

    As an an atheist, I used to think Christians were all hypocrites, and I still do! However, I realise now that it was my pride that prevented me from seeing my own hypocrisy. It was easy to dismiss Christians by holding them to a standard that I didn’t hold myself and non-Christians to — the pot called the kettle black. Christianity isn’t about piety, it’s about one man, Jesus Christ, who wishes to gracefully enter the lives of all broken people.

    I’m looking forward to next week, Rodney. I reckon we utterly dependent as Christians. We don’t live, but for every word that comes from the mouth of God.

  • Jesus warned that He was sending His disciples out as sheep who are among wolves, but for us to be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16) Clearly, over the course of church history, there have been many who have come in the name of the Lord but have done great harm. As followers of Jesus Christ it is up to us to examine the tree and the fruit produced.

  • Thanks for the post, it brings to mind the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Jesus told us pretty plainly in that story that there are going to be bad seeds among the people of the church, people that aren’t true Christians that will try to bring the church down with false teaching, etc. We just need to make sure that we follow his teaching, and what is written in the bible, not the words of these “false prophets”.

  • As an atheist, I agree, a lot of Christians are Hypocrites. That’s tough to deal with sometimes, but ultimately not a reason to decide to quit a faith.

    However I do have my own separate reasons why I did decide to no longer be christian, but that’s irrelevant to my support of your basic message in this post.

  • Thanks, Pete. There are certainly bad seeds in any kind of group and we do need to be on our guard. I suppose one of the failings of the church over the years is not bringing people to account quickly enough when they do start to preach something other than the Gospel of Christ.

  • Thanks for your comments, Joe. It’s always helpful to get different points of view so I appreciate you dropping in. I hope you’ll drop in again and discuss some of the reasons you left the faith if you feel comfortable doing so.

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