Thursday, April 9, 2015

By the Way, Christianity is Not a "Religion of Peace" Either

In my previous post I made the case that we should reject the ignorant, politically correct, and patently false notion that Islam is a religion of peace. In doing so, I did not want to imply that Christianity is a religion of peace. When we look historically at the religion Christianity has become we see much violence. This is to our shame.

Please allow me to take a moment to clarify one key term. When I say "religion," I'm referring to man's attempts to get to God by his own means. This describes any religion in the world that does not have Jesus Christ at its center.

Institutional Christianity poses some problems when it comes to definitions. While it has many aspects of man-made religion, it also focuses to one degree or another upon Jesus Christ. Additionally, many wonderful Christian people attend institutional churches. This makes things a bit murky.

The sad reality, however, is that institutional Christianity has a long history of violence. This all began when Constantine made Christianity the preferred religion of the state. Whenever the church and state come together, the church becomes the whore of the state. This always (no hyperbole) leads to violence and aggression. All through the Middle Ages the church struck out against any they deemed to be heretics. During the crusades, many Muslims were slaughtered in various attempts to retake the holy land.

During the Reformation, both Catholics and Protestants killed in order to defend what they considered to be theirs. Dissenting groups such as the Anabaptists felt the wrath of both sides, finding little shelter anywhere. Even in modern times many within the church support violence. When President George W. Bush, himself at least sort of an evangelical, decided to start two different wars the church in this country largely lauded him.

When we look at the life of Jesus Christ we see one of non-violence. In fact, we see a man of peace. This is the model he left for us to follow. While the man-created institutions that masquerade as Christianity embrace war and violence, those who truly seek to live as Christ did desire lives of peaceful existence with all people. This is not to suggest that Christians cannot endorse or even commit violent acts; rather, I'm saying that those who do so have no biblical basis for their beliefs and actions.

Ultimately, Christianity is not a religion of peace because Christianity is not a religion.

Christianity, at least what we see in the scriptures, is about knowing and living for Jesus Christ. It is not man's attempt to get to God, but rather God's successful reaching down to mankind. He has done so in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ never retaliated even though he would have been completely justified in doing so. This is the type of life we must lead.

Let's follow after Christ, rejecting both the violence and made-created religion that permeates this world.

1 comment:

Tim A said...

Bringing the conflict to Iraq and Afghanistan was not starting the war. How did the war start there and then?