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“Do you see what Christianity does?!”

Christians have some very serious allegations against them.  The Crusades, where tens of thousands of “heathens” were killed?  The slave trade, where Christians bought and sold Africans and African-Americans as property to be beaten and used??  The multiple Native-American massacres committed by American Christians?!

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELVES?!?”

You’re right.  You’re absolutely right. In the name of God, people have committed horrible atrocities, using the Bible to back up what they did.  Christians have raped, they’ve murdered, they’ve beaten, and enslaved.

         “That’s why I don’t believe in God.  Religion just leads to atrocities.”

Well, let’s not jump to conclusions too quickly here, Speedy Gonzales.  It CAN…but so can the belief that no God exists, and that there is nothing after this life to which you will answer.   Pol Pot, who did not believe in God, has between 1-3 million deaths on his hands from his vicious reign in Cambodia.   Adolf Hitler, who needs no introduction, is responsible for over 46 million deaths in Europe during WWII; although anti-Christian groups will claim that he was a Catholic, the book “Hitler’s Secret Conversations” contains multiple quotes about his real views of Christendom, that it was “the heaviest blow that ever struck humanity” and is “a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.”  Also, Jesus was a Jew…so…yeah.  How about Joseph Stalin?  He had around 20 million people killed, not to mention the 14 million people he allowed to starve to death.  Although he went to seminary, he left it and became a staunch atheist.  The government was the only thing he believed people had to answer to.

Do I need to go on?  Because in terms of numbers, those 3 men alone pretty much take the cake.  But if you insist, I guess I’ll keep going.  Just for you.

What does the world look like with no God?  Now there’s no one view that every atheist holds, and I’m quick to admit most atheists I know are nice enough people who care about causes like word hunger, but the view that is dangerous is this:  There is no one I have to answer to, I create my own path, I make my own rules, and the only fear that I should have is that someone/thing on Earth that is more powerful than I might be against me.  The problem with this mentality, as we have seen with dictators, is that when they do not fear anything on Earth, then their power corrupts them, and they are able to do whatever it is that they wish.   They have no one that can appeal to them on any level of morality, and there is no universal basis for such a primitive thing as morals; morality is socially constructed.  To be short: You can be your own god.  Just because an atheist is a good person does not mean they’re entirely rational for doing so: there is not justification for morality apart from objective truth.  Objectivity does not exist for the atheist.

What about a true Christian worldview?  What does that look like?

It looks good.  Christians have been at the forefront for human and civil rights issues throughout history.  Take Martin Luther King Jr., for example.  He was a devout Christian, and his speeches were practically sermons.  He was using the Scripture to speak to the people and the government, calling them out on their crimes against the Bible.  There’s Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish Christian, helped (with some help) save as many as 120,000 Jews during WWII!  Archbishop Desmond Tutu fought to end apartheid in South Africa.  The list can go on and on!

Am I saying all atheists would evil dictators if given the chance?  No.  Am I saying all true Christians leads a cause for justice and human rights?  No (although we should…).  The point is, Christianity doesn’t make the world worse.

“Ok some Christians have been good, but that still ignores all the others who are commanded to check their brains at the door and uncritically worship and follow a vicious, evil God that makes them do vicious, evil things! “

Do some Christians check their brains at the door?  Yes.  Do some Christians, in their ignorance, carry out evil things?  Yes.  Is that what God wants?  Absolutely NOT!  We are to love our enemies (Mat 5:44), be peacemakers (Mat 5:9), and turn the other cheek when evil is done to us (Mat 5:39).  Can you square up these verses with the Crusades?  Native-American murders?  -No way José (what is with the Hispanic references?!).  Also, how do you determine what is vicious or evil?  Because in order to do that, you have to admit that you have an inherent, innate ability to determine right from wrong.  Now where could you have gotten that ability?  Does your understanding of the world account for that?  The Bible does.

But the Bible condones slavery!

Does it?  Well that depends on what you mean by “slavery.”  If you’re thinking of New World slavery (African-American slaves), you’re certainly wrong.  But slavery before that would have meant something very different.  It wasn’t race based, it was not always involuntary, slavery could mean having a better life, and in fact, you couldn’t tell a slave from a free person.  The institution of slavery that you think of is race based, oppressive, and dehumanizing.  What does the Bible say about that kind of slavery?  Well it says we’re supposed to end it and despise it in Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 33:15 and that God works for justice for all who are oppressed Psalm 103:6.  Treating slaves like cattle, as if they have no worth, and are beneath any other human, is an injustice and abomination in the eyes of God.  So there is no way you can say that the Bible actually condones slavery, you silly goose! =)  It’s the silliest, goosiest thing I’ve heard all day!  That’s why we had the American Anti-Slavery Society formed in 1833 by Christians, and the paper The Liberator was printed, which infuriated slave-owners across the South.  There was a full on revival in America to wake up “Christians” into realizing how wrong they were.

What you should recognize is that the Bible, like anything else in this world, can be corrupted and abused to do wicked things, but that when used properly, when read honestly and carefully, can only leave people with the conclusion that we are to help people, love people, care for people, and our faith is worthless if it does not inspire us to serve out of gratitude and love.  Because of the verses about loving your neighbor, taking care of the poor, feeding the hungry, freeing the oppressed, and inherently valuing humans as children of God, the Bible has within it a self-correcting apparatus.  Even when people abuse Scripture, distort the Gospel, and cause harm in the world, those who have the truth in them can always contend right back with the same book to show them their error.  In what way can you appeal to someone with who rejects God?  With what “truth” can you speak?  You can only speak of “your” truth” and never “THE truth.”

The Bible gives us a meeting ground where TRUTH can be fought for, which is why the world is infinitely better off with it.

Armor meets in the CCV Shift offices at 6:30 on Tuesdays
Check out the Facebook at facebook.com/ccvarmor

Disagree with anything said here?  Let me know.

For more info on the Heroes/Villains of history, check out this
For more info on Slavery and the Bible check out this and this or American slavery, this
For more info on Hitler and his beliefs check out this or (from different opinion) this
To play an online Speedy Gonzales game check out this

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