Are We Better Than Our Fathers? – By Daniel Sheridan
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, so wherever Christianity goes, these blessings go with it. Many, confusing the history of human institutions with the history of Christianity, say that Christianity is a curse. Seeing the intrigues, the wars, and the persecutions done in the name of Christ, they attribute these evils to Christianity, make general and sweeping judgments of the whole and either abandon the faith or separate themselves claiming a pure faith.
Christianity is from God and therefore pure. But when it descends from God to man it from time to time suffers corruption, not in the source, but the recipient. Christianity in man, even the best of them, is not Christianity in God, in Jesus Christ. So let us never make the mistake of imputing to God that of which man alone is guilty.
The water of life is pure in its source. Yet how often do those drinking at this perfect fount allow its refreshing waters to penetrate their entire being? So often Christians drive certain Christian truths from their heart, but unwilling to cast off Christianity completely, they design a new form of it and wear it as a cloak to cover their sins. And then these dignify, in the name of Christianity, all that this outer garment displays to gazing eyes. History, however, will rend this hypocritical mantle and expose the hidden passions which the Christian hid underneath his stylish garb. That goes for you and me, too.
Evil acts done in the name of Christ do not come from Christ or the Bible but from the harmful sources which Christ came to destroy and contrary to which the Bible commands the believer to live. There has never been a time since the days of our Lord where truth has not gone forth liberating all it reaches.
Get out a map. Where in the world is there light? Where is there darkness? Where is liberty? Where is slavery? Wherever Christianity goes throughout the world, even if its message is somewhat dimmed by Christians, freedom, love, and learning follow.
Look at your own life. Have you ever acted contrary to Christ? If so, why do you condemn others for doing the same? Have you ever lacked light and understanding? Why do you condemn others for lacking the same? Maybe a look at our own life will soften our stance regarding our brethren. What would you have been like in Medieval France? How about in second century North Africa? Colonial Plymouth Rock?
Let us look at the past with a Christian heart and with Christian tolerance. “The present,” after all, ” is the fruit of the past, and the germ of the future. No work can stand unless it grows out of the real wants of the age and strikes firm root in the soil of history. No one who tramples on the rights of a past generation can claim regard of its posterity.”
Men may fail, but God never fails. The Bible, which is the source of truth, has “called forth so much reverence and gratitude, inspired so many noble thoughts and deeds, administered so much comfort and peace from the cradle to the grave to all classes and conditions of men. It is more than a book; it is an institution, an all-pervading omnipresent force, a converting, sanctifying, transforming agency; it rules from the pulpit and the chair; it presides at the family altar; it is the sacred ark of every household, the written conscience of every Christian man, the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of light by night in the pilgrimage of life. Mankind is bad enough, and human life dark enough with it; but how much worse and how much darker would they be without it? There it shines on the horizon, the king of day, obscured at times by clouds great or small, but breaking through again and again, and shedding light and life from east to west, until the darkest corners of the globe shall be illuminated. The past is secure; God will take care of the future.”
Magna est veritas et praevalebit.