In response to “Bloody testament (July 1 letters):
As a pastor of a small but growing congregation of Christ’s followers, I was taken aback to read that someone believes “It’s a known fact that Christianity is losing members.”
While it is true two other religions are growing at a faster rate, it is not true that all of Christianity is losing members.
Statistics show Christianity is growing at about 1.36 percent per year across the world. The number of Christian adherents is about 30 percent of the world’s population — more than any other single religion. (Source: Wikipedia)
While it is true the Old Testament has many examples of bloodshed and violence, it is also full of God’s redemption. Many passages point out the goodness of God and his power to save.
Instructing people to ignore the Old Testament is like telling them to ignore the truth because it contains things too ugly to look upon. One only needs to glance at recent world history to learn that the previous century has been one of the bloodiest of all. Would the writer instruct schools to stop teaching world history too?
Jesus quoted from 24 different Old Testament books throughout his ministry. To say that “A true Christian will read only the New Testament and not the Old Testament” is to say that Christ’s followers should avoid what he did not. It is like telling people to ignore the things Christ studied. By extension, it is analogous to telling people to not read his teachings. That would be a grave mistake, to say the least.
The Christ of the Bible did not teach anyone to ignore any Scripture. He taught all to embrace it. In so doing, He became the one most memorable man to ever walk on the face of this planet.
If Christian churches are experiencing a decline in attendance, it might be because Christian pastors have lost sight of the truth. It might also be a result of the people who warm pews each week, not reading the teachings of Christ and the Scriptures that he read and taught from.