January 02, 2009

Are "Religious" People Morally Superior?

Columnist and activist Wayne Besen takes a crack at that question in his latest column:

If 2008 taught the world one lesson, it is that religious people are not morally superior to those who are non-religious. Indeed, faith often shelters the shameless and provides cover for the most corrupt among us.

This is not to say that religious people are necessarily more corrupt. But, the myth that faith makes one less fallible and more pure must be punctured. This fable comes at a great cost to the holy who keep getting hosed. Charlatans are acutely aware that when religious institutions confer credibility, it is easier to con the credulous. Needless to say, churches, temples and mosques are often a refuge for reprobates. As escaped slave turned abolitionist Frederick Douglas noted in his tome “Autobiography,” the most devout Christians made the most brutal slave owners.

I'd love to send Wayne an e-mail ripping him a new one for such a negative view.

I would too if I didn't think his observations correctly reflected what's going on in today's soecity.

Much of Wayne's essay was about the Jewish faith, but his points are just as applicable to those who portray themselves as Christian. I put it that way because the only exception I take with this essay is replacing the phrase "faith" with "those portraying faith." People with true faith ARE different.

Those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and receive the Holy Spirit go through a process of "sanctification," defined in this excerpt from the website Bible-Knowledge.com.

The different Bible dictionaries and commentaries define the word "sanctification" as follows:

  • The state of growing in divine grace
  • To set apart for holy purposes
  • The process of being made holy resulting in a changed lifestyle for the believer

Noted Bible scholar Jack Hayford, in his excellent book titled: " Hayford's Bible Handbook," defines sanctification as follows:

"The work of God's grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God's righteousness. Accomplished by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, sanctification results in holiness, or purification from the guilt and power of sin. Sanctification is instantaneous before God through Christ and progressive before man through obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word."
If you can't sort out Christians from non-Christians, then those professing faith with their mouth are NOT walking it out with their life. Unfortunately, this type of failure makes it much more difficult for those who ARE sanctified to make a difference in the world since people can understandably be very skeptical of good intentions these days.

If Christianity looks a lot like not being a Christian, why should someone bother?

Sadly, a lot of people don't these days.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly there are Christians who do not profess the Love of Christ to all people, but making sweeping generalizations of people who have faith, is a bad tactic and unfair to those who support gay rights.