Isn’t it okay to judge a religion by its misguided followers?

I’ve read online blogs composed of former customers of a store who were disturbed by its salesmen. Based on one event, they would never shop at that store or buy their services again. How many people have had protracted trouble with a particular car mechanic and decided never to buy cars of that brand again? Is it fair to judge a company based on one bad salesperson? Bad experiences with a representative of a company frequently sour us on the company itself.

Religious followers can leave bad impressions as well. The problem is that people don’t know a religion’s teachings except by seeing the religion’s followers. How many people have read the Bible or the Koran? What are people to think when they hear that Islam is a religion of peace, but then read of Islamists blowing themselves up to kill innocent bystanders? Many people have not read the words of Jesus, but they have heard of the Crusades and Inquisition.

We can’t help it if people think negatively toward Christianity when they see a few acting contrary to its teachings. So I like going onto different Internet forums where I can explain exactly what the Bible teaches and clear up misconceptions. Perhaps a person or two will read what I wrote and get a better understanding of what Jesus came to do and teach.

What Do You Think?

a. Careful researchers, such as detectives and investigative journalists, try not to rely on just one source for all their facts. They try to corroborate their information with well-known authorities. They try to interview as many of the players as possible to get the most accurate picture they can. Is this a better means of getting to the truth of a matter?

b. How much work are you willing to engage in to determine the truth of a matter? Does truth matter to you?

c. Do you immediately forward email warnings to your friends without checking to see if they are true? Have you ever visited snopes.com to verify whether the story is accurate or not?

d. Did you believe the emailed story was true simply because a friend forwarded it to you (and you assumed that the friend had already checked the validity of the message)?

About Steve Husting

Steve Husting lives in Southern California with his wife and son. He enjoys encouraging others through writing, and likes reading, digital photography, the outdoors, calligraphy, making iPhone apps, and chocolate. He has written several books, iPhone apps, and hundreds of Christian devotionals. Steve is also having a great time illustrating God's Word with calligraphy.
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