Innocent Readings of Evangelical History

This is an interesting article that I found on the internet. Read the full post here.

As Christians, we love to have our heros. We love to search through history to find examples of stalwart followers of Jesus that stood for righteousness and fought for the oppressed in the face of a sinful society. The problem is that we cherrypick the stories we like and ignoring the less flattering ones. When others bring up stories about Christians who behaved badly, we either come up with elaborate excuses to explain away their actions or we disassociate from them by saying that they weren't true Christians. But is it really honest to just ignore large parts of church history just because it is too complicated or shameful?

David Swartz examines how making out Christian history to be purely innocent is harmful. He says:

…reading history innocently ignores the very text that evangelicals hold sacred. Scripture emphasizes lament as much as celebration. Yet evangelicals, notes Soong Chan Rah in Prophetic Lament , pass quickly by the funeral dirges of Lamentations to joyful songs in the Psalms. Justo González writes, “Innocent history is a selective forgetfulness of a more realistic memory. . . . If we read biblical history in an innocent way, we will highlight that King David was a man after God’s heart, but we will never mention anything about his sins of adultery and murder, and thus we will not learn from his mistakes.”