The Sins of our Fathers: 3 Responses to Arguments from Church History
Weekly Small Group Meeting Notes: by Erica Broadbent
The fact is Christians, even high regarded Christians, killed each other over doctrine. But when someone uses this as an argument that Christianity is false, how should we respond?
1. This fact should not affect the way we view their doctrinal principles.
- If we allowed their wrong-doing to affect if we bought into their ideas then we would not be able to believe/agree with anyone.
- We live in a fallen world and are subject to sin. Are we going to count all our pastor says as false because he has sinned before? Additionally, are we going to count all we say as false because we too are wretched sinners?
- This point does not make any sense. People (any person) may get it wrong at one point or another, but that does not mean that they are never right.
2. “Don’t look at me, look at Jesus.”
- We should refrain from using this argument.
- Surely it can be useful/applicable in certain contexts such as: a situation where an individual is so focused on emulating another because of that person’s appearance of Christ-likeness that they fail to look to Christ all together.
- Making this statement can really rub people the wrong way. It sounds very hypocritical, and can send the false message of grace covering willful disobedience.
- We simply should be careful with this statement.
3. What can we, as Christians, learn from the former Christians found in church history?
- Where religion lies there is division and that division often leads to violence.
- We need not allow the differences we have with other believers to cause division. (1 Corinthians 1:10; Proverbs 6:16-19; John 3:25-30; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4)
- God desires a unified body for His believers. (Psalm 133:1)
- We must remain humble and open-minded – grounded, but aware of our ability to be wrong.
Erica Broadbent is a first-year transfer student at Liberty University. She is pursuing a BSN with a focus in Global Studies. It is her hope to be able to apply the skills she acquires at Liberty in the full-time mission-field. She has been a Christian for close to ten years, and seeks to pursue Christ in every facet of her life; emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. She has a passion for evangelism, and has made it her life's goal to overflow the gates of Heaven.
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