The accused is an innocent man.

The accused is an innocent man.  These words in the song, “An innocent man” by Billy Joel sum up three separate incidents which have happened in the last week and a half.

Incident 1,

Right now, I’m reading the novel East of Eden with someone who has been wanting to read this book in English for over 20 years. Every day, we read 20 pages with vocab questions, discussion etc. East of Eden is full of parallels to the original Eden story found in the Bible in the book of Genesis.

One day, we started talking about these parallels again, and the conversation went something like this:

R: I just can’t figure out the part about the apple. What was so bad about eating an apple? I want to know what the real symbolic meaning of the apple is.

C: Well, it’s not really an apple. It’s just any fruit.  The important part was the disobedience, and the sin it brought into the world.

R: But I want to know what it means because it did say an apple.

C: Are you sure it said an apple? Where did it say an apple? After this, we checked three different versions of the Bible and found that nowhere in any Bible does it say Adam and Eve ate an apple.

Yet, my friend has believed that Adam and Eve ate an apple for years.

Question 1:

What if you thought both God and the creation story were kind of stupid your whole life because you were working with faulty information that’s not even in the Bible?

  1. There is a tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  2. Touching that tree has consequences.
  3. It bears fruit.
  4. It does not say what kind of fruit and there is no mention of an apple.

Incident 2:

Shortly after that “Apple” conversation, I went on the INTERNET and listened to a powerful sermon by an Evangelist I will not name who listed herself in her bio as Dr._____________.

Her sermon provided some amazing insight into a situation I’ve been dealing with and I was eager to hear more from this evangelist and her husband who is also a minister.

Then, a day or so later, A thought popped into my head. “Where did this “Doctor” get her Ph.D.?” This thought popped into my head for 2 important reasons:

Reason 1,

Way back when I was in University, this is how you got a Ph.D: You first do a B.A or B.Sc. which takes 3 or 4 years. Then, you got a masters that took 1 or 2 years.

Then you get a 4-year Ph.D. When I was coming up, a Ph.D was a person who had gone through these steps and had 10 or almost 10 years of education.

Reason 2,

Now there is a very famous and successful pastor working in Toronto who introduces herself as Dr.____.

She got that Ph.D through a diploma mill; the kind of place that will give you a diploma if you give life experience and enough money.

More about Fake Pastors and Diploma Mills can be found here.

After this question popped into my head about her “Ph.D”, I spent a little while digging around for her credentials but not too much because my woman’s intuition had already answered the question.

Question 2:

What if the person who introduced you to Jesus Christ turned out to be a dishonest fraud?

Incident 3,

Then, I read an article on CNN, a few days later entitled, “Child abuse scandal shatters Irish faith in Catholic Church” In it, a man described the abuse and rape he had suffered at the hands of Catholic priests.

This man, whose story grieves my heart, ended up in the care of a denomination with a long history of sexual abuse.

Question 3,

What if the person who was supposed to teach you about God and introduce you to the love of God abused you until you lost the will to live?

Final Question.

What if one by one, little by little, the people in your world wore you down until you found it impossible to believe in a loving God, the Bible, or the church?

By now, you may have figured out that the accused man I am talking about is God.

Human error, human behaviour and even Satan’s lies have a way of painting him and Christian faith in a very guilty, unworthy light. There are even people walking around today who believe that Satan’s been given a raw deal, that God is the real enemy and that hell is going to be one big party.

The reasons people think God is a jerk or a myth, which I’ve touched on include:

  • Being given erroneous information about the Bible
  • Christians who don’t behave like Christ
  • Church abuse

For these reasons, a lot of people have put God, who is innocent on trial and found him guilty.

Is there a solution?

Is there a way to heal the hurt, pain and disillusionment that results from this? Clearly, someone who is recovering from years of sexual abuse has much more to overcome than someone who got involved with a lying pastor but there is one thing that all three people have in common—the middleman.

The middleman is the person standing between you and God who is causing most of the trouble and alienating you from God.

I too have been burned by the middleman and I just want to end this by saying what I said to the last person who asked me a lot of questions about God:

Whatever you do, whatever Pastor you end up with, no matter what church you go to or whatever Christian friend you’re looking up to: Promise me, just let this thing be between you and God.

In the end, it has to be between you and God.

This article was originally published on March 22nd, 2010.

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