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October 26, 2014

They [who have abandoned their faith in Jesus Christ] are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 1: 12-13).

Ours is an age of apostasy – if not the formal renunciation, then the effective abandonment of Christianity by those who were once believers. We see around us the institutional church being weakened from within, and doctrine corrupted.

Evangelization at a time such as this is a daunting task. While non-believers may not be familiar with Christian beliefs, they can form strong opinions about those beliefs. And there is something more insidious at work.

Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal

Consider, for instance, the subject of forgiveness. There are non-believers adamant that forgiveness fosters child abuse. This stems largely from the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

The Catholic Church hierarchy argued for years that believers had to be protected against the knowledge molestation existed, as if their faith were fragile; that priests were a limited resource, to be conserved at all cost; and that predators were entitled to retain their office, once “forgiven” by the institutional church. It took no action to report predator priests to police, insisting on the right to deal with criminal acts by these priests internally.

Needless to say, this ignored the plight of child victims, and the biblical mandate that the behavior of ministers of the Gospel be above reproach (1 Timothy 3: 2-5; Titus 1: 6-8; 1 Peter 5: 3).

Most Christians understand that the practice by Catholic Church officials of retaining predator priests in the clergy was not a by-product of forgiveness. At best, it was a misguided attempt to shield the institutional church from bad publicity. Non-believers do not see matters that way.

Predators were again and again let loose on unsuspecting populations, wrecking incalculable havoc with the lives of victims. Believers and non-believers can agree that was a perversion on a par with the molestation, itself. Forgiveness requires genuine repentance…not just lip service, and the completion of a rehabilitation program.

Questions still remain as to whether funds which might have gone toward the monetary compensation of abuse victims were deliberately hidden by so called “princes” of the church.

Christianity, Witchcraft Accusations, and Child Abuse

News from England indicates that accusations of witchcraft and spirit possession are widespread among the African fundamentalist Christian communities there [1]. The evidence of child abuse stemming from this is appalling [2], evoking the Salem witch trials of 1692. Exorcism can involve beating, burning or starving a child, and suggests African religious leaders have incorporated tribal practices into what appears on the surface to be a Christian belief system [3].

Charismatics and Demonic Possession

If this seems too distant to matter, there is reason enough for concern about the Charismatic Movement here in the United States. Charismatics incorrectly teach that Christians can be demon-possessed, implying that Salvation by Christ was incomplete [4]. They routinely exorcise children for ailments such as bedwetting, sleep walking, and nightmares.

The Guise of Christianity

Evil is being perpetrated under the guise of Christianity. We must do more than simply disavow such evil, and dissociate ourselves from it, as Pilate did at the condemnation of Christ. We can hardly expect non-believers to draw fine distinctions between one Christian sect or viewpoint and another. Our challenge is to combat lies with truth, and repair the grievous harm done in Christianity’s name.

We must be prepared for rejection, despite our best efforts. But, in an age of apostasy, we cannot let that stand in our way.

[1] NBC News, “Reports of Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse on the Rise in London” by Alexander Smith, 10/11/14,

[2] New Humanist, Articles, Human Rights & Ethics, “Rites and Responsibilities – The Appalling Case of Kristy Bamu” by Sarah Ditum, 5/1/12,

[3] Human Rights Watch, “What Future? Street Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Part VI Factors Pushing Children into the Streets” by Tony Tate,

[4] For a biblical analysis of this issue, see: “Spiritual Warfare – Can a Believer Be Demon-Possessed?” (Adapted from “Demonization of the Believer: An Unbiblical Teaching Exposed” by Gil Rugh),


  1. Very good post. Much for true believers to ponder.

  2. I think the combination of false teachings and biblical ignorance within the Christian church is eroding the Truth. I have often heard that the gospel cloud is slowly leaving our shores to another land. During an era of great prosperity and technological advances, its becoming increasingly harder to share God’s Word. Another thoughtful post. Thanks.

  3. Thought provoking to say the least Anna. The despicable acts of molesting children by those in priestly garb,as well as the grieving of the Holy Spirit by thinking a child of God can be possessed of the devil all happen for one reason.

    Those who commit such atrocities do not know God. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and an abomination to all that is good and right in the eyes of God.

    “Religious”people have long been some of the worst of the worse,and I can think of few people worse than those you have mentioned.

    Given all of that,it still amazes me that the masses who profess Christ as Saviour willingly turn a blind eye to these very things happening right under their noses.

    May God do whatever it takes to get us to run back to Him.

    • Amen, Ron. Thanks for taking the trouble to read one of my “older” posts! It is always good to hear from you.

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