Remember when Christians used to be Christian? Can Christianity ever be great again? Such thoughts have lately troubled many Americans.

Remember when Christians used to be Christian?  Can Christianity ever be great again?  Such thoughts have lately troubled many Americans.

    Of no help was the 80 percent Evangelical vote favoring our current president.

    How do believers get their heads around three living wives, all cheated on with succeeding wives and countless mistresses?  The endless pursuit of money, thought to be the root of all evil?  The obsessive dissing of neighbors, whom we are bidden to love as ourselves?  The bearing of false witness, public instances of which now number 4,000+ in less than two years?

    A common defense has been “Who are we to judge?”

     One former fellow teacher has taken it even further:  This bashing of the president is like Mary Magdalene, who was nearly stoned to death for adultery, a punishment Christ halted by declaring, ”HE THAT IS WITHOUT SIN AMONG YOU, LET HIM CAST THE FIRST STONE.”

    End of argument.  Or is it?

    First off, the writer wrongly conflated the morally pure Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and an unnamed "sinful woman.”

    Second, after the stoners slunk away, Christ turned to the adulterous Mary and commanded, “Go thy way and sin no more.”

    The missing lines reveal moral standards.  Christ might similarly command our president, “Go thy way, sell all thy goods and give the money to the poor.”  Or, again, “Go thy way and bear false witness no more.”

    Without standards and penance, church doctrine is mere mush.

Donald Bruce Beard
Claremont, California

    Beard is a native of Reynolds, North Dakota and a University of North Dakota graduate.