NIV 2 Corinthians 4:2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
When you have been deceived, misled, or have someone tell you an out and out lie it is quite natural to have a strong emotional response. We feel violated when this happens. It is a hard thing to get over.
I have met a lot of people who have been hurt by “church people”. I know of individuals who were high leaders in a particular religious organization who would hold “secret meetings” to seek to gain power and money for themselves. I know that putting on a religious mask is something that many religious “professional” are very skilled at doing. I am also aware of the multitude of scandals that have made the news and many that we simply “swept under the rug.”
I also have found many sincere, loving, caring, self sacrificing people who seek with all their hearts to live as they believe Jesus would. People who have made the same commitment as the one stated above by Paul.
If one seeks to follow the journey of Jesus one will come into contact with the dark side of organized religion. A person might even be deceived into slipping into that darkness oneself. It is easy to be deceived. However, one will also find fellow travelers of faith that can help us with accountability and focus on our purpose. This is why Jesus created the church, the called out people.
We are not responsible for the evil of others unless we participate through commission or omission. We can embrace penitence and supervision in order to show that we are different. We can through repentance and renewal demonstrate our understanding that we are sinful human beings who do make mistakes and can be mislead.
Again, as we travel through the season of Lent we need to ask God to help us to be aware of our own darkness and how we can bring light into the darkness of others, not a judges but as a caring co-travelers who are seeking the Kingdom of God.