Anyone who lives in a church for any period of time is going to come up against human wickedness in those who profess the name of Christ. It's an agony. Man, totally wish it wasn't so.
The Crusades, and other terrible things in the history of the church, are but the most vivid examples of the inconsistency and the hypocrisy that is found, let's be honest, in every Christian to some extent.
I would like to turn the question around a little bit, and just ask the questionnaire, have you lived up to your standards? We've all got standards. We've all got some morals, somewhere about something. Have you lived up to that? It's very easy to point to this group, that person say, look at that. They believe this, but they did that.
Okay, you believe what? Okay, you believe that. Have you lived up to that? Now, who honestly can never say, yeah, I've lived up to even my own moral standards. Nevermind God's.
And so the Crusades, and other injustices, and wickedness, and abuses in the church, they're terrible. They're damaging. We grieve over them. But that's life, that's humanity. That's partly the devil's work as well.
And therefore I would say to you, first of all, just start with yourself. And see your own inconsistency, your own hypocrisy, your own double standards, your own need, therefore. Because that's what Christianity is about.
It's about salvation for the needy. It's salvation for hypocrites. It's salvation for the inconsistent. And that's my hope, that there is salvation for people like me, who do not live up even to my own standards.
But I can come to Christ, and I can confess it, and I can seek his forgiveness. And I can ask him to repair, to undo the damage I've done in other people's lives as well. And pray that he would keep me from that in the future, and bringing terrible shame upon this wonderful savior by my not living up to his standards.