THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM "#ORGANICJESUS: FINDING YOUR WAY TO AN UNPROCESSED, GMO-FREE CHRISTIANITY"
Millions of Christians have fallen, some harder than others. Below is a list of some you may have never heard of, who gave Christianity a bad name in the process.
Ananias and Sapphira were two very early members of the Christian church. They are remembered more for what they did than who they were. In Acts 5, an account is given of each of them instantly dying after lying to the apostles about money. It was probably the first real scandal of the church following Christ’s resurrection. People to this day continue to argue about why they had to die.
The Baptist church we know today started in a place not often thought of when we think of Baptist: Amsterdam. While it has no one creator, many cite John Smyth as its most prominent figure. Smyth rejected baptism of infants, and a movement was born and quickly began to spread. Smyth first baptized himself and then began baptizing other adults. But not long after the movement began taking off, Smyth had a change of heart. He decided that baptizing did not count, and he left the movement he was largely responsible for starting. He began the process of becoming a member of the Mennonite church, but died before his membership went through. Many of his followers became Mennonites as well.
In the 1920s and 30s, Aimee Semple McPherson, also known as Sister Aimee, was a rock star in the Christian community. For a time, she was one of the most known figures in the country. Married three times, Sister Aimee could never be considered a saint in the love territory, but it was another story that rocked her legacy. In 1926, Sister Aimee went out for a swim at the beach—and disappeared. She was almost immediately presumed dead by drowning.
Soon ransom notes began showing up at Sister Aimee’s church. They were, for the most part, just considered hoaxes. Then over a month after her alleged death, she stumbled out of the Arizona desert and claimed she had been drugged and kidnapped, but had managed to escape and make a thirteen-hour trek through the desert. The trouble was, some considered the condition of her health and her clothing to be too good to t her ordeal. Witnesses soon began popping up claiming they had seen her in various places. Reasons for her disappearance varied widely; abortion, publicity, and plastic surgery were all popular rumors. In the end, whether she had told the truth or a lie remained unknown.
Few Christians would argue that the Nazis were right; unfortunately, “few” means that some in fact believed they were. While there are stories of Christians helping Jewish people hide, others tell of Christians who assisted the Nazi party. Two notable examples:
Robert Alesch: A French priest who worked as an intelligence agent for the Nazi party. Under his actions, dozens of people, if not hundreds, were tortured by the Germans. He was executed by ring squad in 1949.
Jozef Tiso: While anti-Semitism in the Nazi Party is typically linked to Hitler, many in the party helped make it happen. One of the biggest leaders was Jozef Tiso, a Roman Catholic priest who helped with the deportation of thousands of Jews. For his role, he was hanged in 1947.