Posts Tagged ‘Violence’

The claim is that Christianity is the cause of terrible violence throughout the world, throughout its history. I will try to argue against this using perhaps only two points that I think are the strongest to pit against this attack.

1. The foundation of Christianity, so to speak, is that men are unrighteous, fallible, evil…sinners. To see them do evil is no surprise. Likewise, the foundation of a secular humanist (who usually attacks Christianity in this way) is that men do good things, that we are righteous, that we can judge and find what is right in the world.

So where am I going with this point? Here: If church leaders throughout history have sided with evil (numerous cases can be pointed out) it is not the antithesis of Christianity, but the foundation of it. They are trying to point out hypocrisy or a flaw in Christianity, but what they are pointing out is only a flaw in the character of man, which they hold to be so high.

As a theological side note, which need not be included in this argument, the Church, in all its failings, guilt, and tribulations is fulfilling its role on earth as a sign post, pointing not to itself (which is void of goodness in itself) but beyond itself, to God. It is reminding us of our own guilt and tribulations, and pointing us towards reconciliation with God. The secular humanist, meanwhile, points only inwardly and towards himself, to the rotting character of man, and never beyond.

2. Historically the greatest evils in the world have tried to eradicate religion from the face of the earth. These evils were political in nature, and anti-religion. What am I talking about? Try Hitler, Stalin and Mao…see which one supported religion for what religion is. All of them tried to turn the worship of God into the worship of themselves. From this study, you can also see that great violence and evils don’t just errupt from Christian lands, but from Buddhist or Islamic etc lands as well.

So is the problem religion then in general? No, as I said, it is political in nature, and any serious study of these great evils in the world would make that clear.

These two points taken together, I feel, are enough to squash the argument that Christianity is responsible for terrible violence in the world. The crux of the matter is that the great violence in the world is almost always political in nature. Citing the times when the church was complacent with evil, as if these are incidences proving Christianity false or evil, only demonstrates the character of man as such. This point is damaging to the secular humanist world view, not the Christian one.

As a P.S. I would like to add that sometimes the phrase “Violence in the name of Jesus” comes up in these arguments. To that I would simply rebut firstly that anyone can do violence in the name of anything, no matter what. Someone could blow up a building in the name of the easter bunny…that doesn’t make the easter bunny some evil thing that should be eradicated for inciting violence. Secondly, the teachings of Jesus are not violent, and to look at his life and work one can not draw violent conclusions. This is not true of all major world religious founders / figures however…

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