Apologist and blogger Joel Furches, in an article entitled "If Christianity Is True, Why Do Christians Behave So Badly?" seeks to correct the illogic of such questions. At the root, he suggests, is the anti-Christian bias which tries to inexorably tie the behavior of the Christian with the validity of the faith.
"If it could be shown, then, that Christian behavior is overwhelmingly reprehensible, and that Christians get away with acting this way while claiming to be followers of God, it is only reasonable that people see this as evidence against the truth of Christianity, and of the Christian God."
He goes on to cite the anti-Christians' favorite examples used to disprove the "truth" of the Christian faith: the Crusades, the Inquisition, the cruelty of John Calvin, and the bigotry of Martin Luther.
The truth of Christianity does not stand or fall on who believes it, their motivations for believing it, or their personal behaviors. Either Christianity is true or it isn’t. That certain people embrace Christianity and then behave in a despicable manor does not somehow prove that Christianity is untrue. This same person doubtlessly holds a number of other beliefs that are in fact true. They probably believe that the earth is round, that exercise is good for the body, that rain comes from clouds, and that when they strike another person, it will hurt that person. These things do not somehow become untrue if the person believing them behaves badly.
"Christianity," he concludes, "stands or falls on its own merits. If Christianity is true, those who believe it will be held accountable for how they have represented those beliefs to others. If it is untrue, their behaviors have not made it untrue."
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the TRUTH, and the life ..." (John 14:6).
Elizabeth Greenwood writes:
Faking your death—both as a concept and as an act people attempt with surprising frequency — first occurred to me over dinner with a friend at a cheap Vietnamese restaurant. I had just enrolled in a graduate program, and had taken out a brand new batch of student loans to heap upon a hefty debt from college.
As I bitched about the financial mess I’d gotten myself into, and how I feared I might never get out of it, I fantasized about finding a sun-bleached country with a rickety government and no extradition policy and just slipping through the cracks, disappearing without a trace.
“Or you could fake your own death,” my friend offered.
That conversation sent me on a years-long quest tracking down people who have faked their own deaths and interviewing experts in the art of disappearance. Along the way, I picked up a few Dos and Don’ts.
Don’t subscribe to conventional wisdom: The biggest challenge of faking your death is that teensy problem of your body. So fake a drowning, right? Wrong ... In most drownings, the body is recovered. According to Rambam, hiking is the way to go. “People disappear hiking all the time, legitimately. That’s a great way to disappear.”
Don’t Google yourself: Bad enough he tried it by water, but the temptation was too much for Patrick McDermott, Australian singer Olivia Newton-John’s longtime boyfriend, who faked his death on a fishing trip in 2005 shortly after the couple had broken up. Having recently filed for bankruptcy, he chartered a boat and allegedly fell overboard at night. A group of private investigators hired by Dateline NBC located McDermott when they noticed a centralized cluster of IP addresses originating near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, all clicking onto a site dedicated to tracing his whereabouts.
Don’t assume a fake identity: There’s no law on the books called “faking your own death.” If you don’t file a police report or death certificate, making it look like you are deceased violates no law except perhaps that of good taste. Promoting the idea that you have met an untimely end when in fact you are lazing beachside, paying for your daiquiris with a suitcase full of cash, is perfectly legal.
Do ask yourself: Can you bear to hold your own death certificate in your hands?: ...Most successful death fraud is carried out with high quality authentic documents ... But actually handling a piece of paper declaring me dead and a police report detailing my fatal car accident proved to be a more somber affair.
Do you have problems you would like to escape? Rather than fake your own death, the Bible suggest that you go ahead and die ... to self! The call of Christian discipleship came when Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
Have you died in Christ, or are you putting on an elaborate ruse? Consider the following diagnostic questions:
The conventional wisdom is that church is a place where we pretend everything is great in our life. In order to appear to be spiritual, we hide our problems and struggles from other believers. Rather than, "confess our faults to one another," as James exhorted us to do, we hide behind masks, afraid of what others would think of us if they knew the truth. Instead of dying to pride and pretense, we fake our death!
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).
Brian Hickey, with PhillyVoice, reports on the strange case of a Mr. Black, who required two obituaries.
In the first obit, his “loving wife, Bearetta Harrison Black” gets top survivor billing. In the second, however, Bearetta is nowhere to be found, but “his long-tome (sic) girlfriend, Princess Hall” appears in her place.
A man answering the phone at Greenidge Funeral Homes told PhillyVoice that the obituaries were placed separately because "the wife wanted it one way, and the girlfriend wanted it another way." But he did not anticipate any problems because everybody knew it was happening.
Mr. Black had lived two separate lives, acknowledged in two separate obituaries. How about you? How many lives do you live? Do you present one persona to one group of friends and something quite different to another? If an honest report were given, would you require one obit or two?
“... Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).