We are often presented with statements about the destructive nature of religion (implicating Christianity as well). There is no question that many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion however a deeper look may cast a different shadow on a bigger EVIL.
As a Christian we are hear the accusations that many Jews and Muslims were killed during the Crusades, innocent people tortured throughout the Inquisitions, blown up in abortion clinics and persecuted by racist, anti-Semitic, immigrant hating groups. All of this is true, but is this truly representative of Jesus?
Hank Hanagraaff at the Christian Research Institute is a rich source of information that equips us to defend our faith. Please read his excerpts below on: Is Religion the Root of All Evil?
(You can sign up for his daily emails at http://www.equip.org)
A common refrain sung in the twenty-first century is that religion is the root cause of the great atrocities of human history. In reality, more people died as a result of secularist ideologies in the last century alone than have died in all the religiously motivated conflicts of Western history.
First, the Nazi philosophy that Jews were subhuman and that Aryans were Supermen led to the extermination of six million Jews. In the words of Sir Arthur Keith, a militant anti–Christian physical anthropologist: “The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.” Far from religiously motivated, Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish problem” was grounded in the naturalistic philosophy of survival of the fittest. In fact, Hitler overtly distanced himself from Christianity, proclaiming, “I shall never come to terms with the Christian lie” and “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.”
The inherently atheistic utopian philosophy of communism eclipsed even the carnage of Hitler’s Germany. Karl Marx saw in philosophical naturalism the scientific and sociological support for an economic experiment that led to the mass murder of multiplied millions worldwide. Mao Tse–tung’s communist dictatorship of China accounted for the deaths of an estimated sixty–five million people, while the U.S.S.R. under Stalin saw between twenty and thirty million murdered as a result of agrarian collectivization and the Great Purge. Add to that two million Cambodians––nearly a quarter of that nation’s population—massacred by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, and the death toll resulting from the secular ideology of communism becomes a horror beyond comprehension.
Beyond the twentieth century’s atheistic wars of extermination, another ideology of modern secularism has led to even more ghastly consequences. Though not formally organized under a deranged dictator, this invisible holocaust continues to claim the lives of untold millions around the globe. Four thousand helpless victims––more than the total casualties of 9/11––die each day in the United States alone. The secularist ideology to which I refer, of course, is abortionism. Indeed, the modern bioethical holocaust has eclipsed the carnage of Nazism and communism combined.
Even apart from the ongoing genocide of the unborn, over one hundred million people died at the hands of secularist regimes during the twentieth century. Coupled with recognition of the innumerable humanitarian aid efforts motivated by religious commitments, these statistics should motivate secularists toward humble introspection, rather than haughty inculpation of religion.
If we are to truly change the world for Jesus, we must:
- Take time to study God’s Word and be prepared to give a defense for our faith 1 Peter 3:15
- Live our lives before others in such a way that they see Jesus in us. The time to walk our talk is now! Romans 12:2
- Operate in the Holy Spirit to defeat the battle in the flesh. Ephesians 6:12
We must commit to becoming Unstoppable Christians. Pray, Study and Meditate on His Word, and Get Connected to The Body of Christ (The Church)
Dr. Ron Eccles