Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Religious scandals

The Caner scandal once again raises the general issue of religious scandals. Unbelievers often cite religious scandals to discredit the faith.

But there’s another way to look at these scandals. In the providence of God, religious scandals often have fringe benefits.

Consider the downfall of Jimmy Swaggart or Jim and Tammy Faye. On the one hand, Evangelicalism took a hit in the popular media, even though Evangelicalism in general wasn’t to blame.

However, let’s look at this from another angle. Suppose Swaggart or the Bakkers hadn’t been brought down by personal scandal. Consider the long-term effect if they continued in their position of influence?

They would have done far more lasting damage, absent their downfall, then as a result of their downfall. Same thing with other disgraced preachers like Richard Roberts and Robert Tilton.

Not only do they lose followers, but it makes it makes others more wary of prosperity preachers in general.

And this applies at the institutional level as well. The church of Rome, with its institutional corruption, involving pedophile priests and nuns, as well as bishops who facilitate their crimes, has opened the eyes of many.

Scandal is bad for the wrongdoer, but it can be good for the Christian community at large. It helps to purify the church. The short-term harm is more than offset by the incidental, long-term benefits of pruning the dead branches.


  1. Steve. or anyone

    This is off topic but ive been asking around the blogs and was wondering what you would say.

    Just out of curiousity , if i were to give you a magic wand that had the power to unearth artifacts or lost tomes or anything archaeological from any period of history what would you like to get back? You are allowed to unearth on thing. Ive asked many people this question and i always enjoy the answers. I was remined of it by John Bugay mentioning the possibility of finding hegisippus' works in the Vatican.

  2. I thank God that He is still!

    Irrevocable. Unequivocal. Still!

    The problem facing "them", SBC, TR and LU combined, or anyone of us, if this is not appropriately handled astutely is they will become this Proverb:

    Pro 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;
    Pro 25:5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
    Pro 25:6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great,
    Pro 25:7 for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. What your eyes have seen
    Pro 25:8 do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?
    Pro 25:9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret,
    Pro 25:10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.

    concluding here:

    Pro 29:12 If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.

    For the reasons Dr. Jerry Falwell cannot say, not, Dr. Caner has been put into a high position of trust and with that comes many an open door!

    "You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town"!!!