by Roger Hines The Marietta Daily Journal
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Citizens who know any of the following men should count themselves fortunate: Scotty Davis, Ernest Easley, Perry Fowler, Gerald Harris, Johnny Hunt, Terry Nelson, Nelson Price and Mike Stephens.

These men are Christian ministers from either Cobb or Cherokee County. They are by no means the only good and Godly preachers or pastors around, but they are the ones I know best. Whenever I read what Christianity’s critics have to say, my first thought is they don’t know these men.

I often find myself testing Christianity’s critics by placing their criticisms beside these men, some of whom have been my pastor. I do so because I know these preachers’ lives have consistently borne good fruit. Without a doubt, each of them will finish well. Dare I say that all of them are also quite … hip? OK, I’ll change that to fun-loving and well aware of what’s going on in the world.

Although these men have probably made decisions or statements with which some citizens or even their own church members have disagreed, their lives and work refute the harsh misrepresentation that Christians generally, and Christian ministers particularly, must so often bear.

These ministers could be labeled orthodox, traditionalist or conservative because they believe in certain established, unchanging truths. But they are absolutely liberal and selfless in the expenditure of their time, talents, energy and resources. They don’t hate women. They do hate racism. They love America deeply, but they preach that the Christian gospel is for all tongues and nations. They are the best friends Jews could have, possibly because it’s rumored that their Savior was a Jew.

Incidentally, I don’t speak for these ministers. I’m merely describing what I’ve seen in them and in the good people who have sat under their preaching.

If they are God-fearing, people-loving men of faith, why are they, like Christians generally, increasingly cast as throwbacks and intellectual pygmies?

One reason is they are stereotyped. To those who are not Christians and who have little or no knowledge of the Bible, even local respected ministers are often clumped with the infamous Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK. Christianity and Christians are often judged by the misrepresentation placed on them.

In a way, some of those who so judge know not what they do. Given the media attention that’s granted to groups like Westboro and the cross-carrying Klan, the mis-judgers in their Biblical ignorance and religious disinclination, know only of the ugly people, not people like the men I have named. It also doesn’t help when America’s fourth largest city mayor subpoenas ministers and characterizes them as haters.

Here is one incontrovertible fact about the Christianity these men espouse: wherever it has gone, schools and hospitals have followed. This can’t be said of atheism. Enlightenment and healing have never been atheism’s goal. Its goal is America’s religious lobotomy.

Despite the denial of atheists who are becoming more evangelistic each year with best-selling books and well attended symposia, Christianity has made an incredibly positive mark on America and the world. Examples abound. It was New England preachers who broke the back of slavery. (Yes, Southern preachers erred and erred bad here, but they are not erring today.)

Methodist greats John and Charles Wesley, though Englishmen, influenced America and Georgia immeasurably. Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, motivated entirely by his Christian faith, was imprisoned and hanged by the Nazis for opposing Hitler.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – In defense of Christians Christianity
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