The fact that evil deeds have been done by those who claim allegiance to Christ is a criticism that is sometimes raised against Christianity. In thinking about a response to this critique, it dawned on me that anything of value is likely to be counterfeited. The presence of the counterfeit is a backhanded compliment and speaks to the value of the original.
How does one spot a counterfeit? Set the counterfeit next to the original and the differences will then become obvious. I have been told that when federal agents are trained to spot counterfeit money, they spend a lot of time looking at and getting to know the real thing. Their intimate knowledge of what a real dollar bill looks like makes the fake stand out like a clown at a funeral.
If we look at the evil done in the name of Christ and compare it with how Christ interacted with people, we immediately see the contrast. Compare the Crusades with Jesus’ admonition to Peter to put away his sword. Compare the Inquisition with Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem and his willingness to die for his disciples.
The Jesus that we see in the Gospels looks nothing like the perpetrators of these atrocities. I ask you to not dismiss the value of the original because of the inferiority of the counterfeit.