No matter where you look today, seemingly honorable organizations are getting their names smeared with dirt due to the conduct of some individuals. These people’s actions are so vile, so despicable, so disgusting that most people are appalled it happened at all. Indeed some actions are absolutely wrong and show a lack of moral fiber in an individual. But is it always true that people that do evil things are completely void of morality, worthy of death, unrecoverable? I’ve heard some cite statistics as a reason to pigeon-hole anyone found guilty of certain crimes. While not excusing or minimizing wrongdoing, consider the following:
How should the following case be handled? A political and military leader who claims to be a devote person commits adultery with the wife of one of his own enlisted men and then conspires to kill that man so he can have his wife? How would you view that man? How would you view his religion? Got your answer? Now read the following.
There are two well-known and extremely bad situations (sins) that King David got himself into. The first was committing adultery with the wife of another man then, when he discovers the woman is pregnant, calls the man back from action and tries to get him to have sex with his own wife so it would look like the man, and not David, is the father. But that fails so then David conspires to kill the woman’s husband so he could marry her. That is recounted here: 2 Samuel 11:1-27; 2 Samuel 12:1-13. The other incident is when David insisted on getting a census of the people even though he was advised not to. As a result of that act, thousands lost their life—but David continued living. (2 Samuel 24:10-15)
In both instances, there is no record of people concluding that God didn’t really exist or that (at the time) the faith of the descendants of Jacob (Israel) was wrong or that the worship instituted by God through Moses was not the true religion. In fact, going a step further, if anyone back then had make that conclusion, they would have been flatly and sadly wrong—to their own determent. People knew Jehovah, the God of Israel, was real and his nation and worship was the only one sanctioned by God.
The fact is, everyone is imperfect and every religion has nothing but imperfect people in it. So should we be surprised when we become personally aware of some shocking wrongdoing? Should we start wondering if “this is really the true faith”? It depends on how that matter is handled by those in authority. If the wrongdoing is covered up and brushed under the rug and the perpetrator is allowed to continue in their position (such as the notoriety Catholic priest pedophiles have gotten), then that is definite cause for concern. However, if the person is disciplined and removed from their position, that is what one would expect from a people, a religion, truly serving God. (Although some may lose privileges for a very long period of time, true repentance, demonstrated over a period of time, is blessed by God. In time, some of those may be restored to privileges. Yet, even if the privileges are restored, it is absolutely advisable that whatever the situation was—that person avoid even the appearance of being in that situation.)