I love the Church. And while I will not deny that much has been done in the name of Christ that was not at all in His Name, it irks me that many professing Christians seem eager to find problems in the Church. The internet has raised this point in my consciousness. Too many of my friends are quick to defend murder at Planned Parenthood and take exception when homosexuality called out as the sin that it is. Yet these same friends seem to post with glee when a pastor fails, read stupid slogans on church signs (without bothering to find out were made on Church Sign Maker), etc... Our just as bad, blaming problems on the Church when those problems are the same or worse outside of the Church.
Do not get me wrong - I'm all for introspection and realizing that we too often fail ... but one doesn't have to be especially astute to see that there is poison in the hearts of far too many of those I speak of. And one doesn't have to be brilliant to see that the world has been positively affected by the Church.
With that said, I appreciate this post by Rob Petrini regarding the myth of religion being the cause of most wars. For those of you tempted to argue, I have no interest in proving each of Petrini's points. The message here is the overall spirit of those that fail to look at the world through redeemed eyes and with integrity.
It irks me that it is so easy to believe a lie or half truth than it is to believe an actual truth. The media, in particular, makes things sound so truthful, yet they can be so far from it. So, I thought I would spend a few blogs busting some myths…
The first one: Religion is the Cause of Most Wars.
I am tired of hearing people continually pull out the “Religion is the cause of most wars” card (just heard this one the other day). Some take it a step further and make the insinuation that more people have died because of religion than any other cause. Nothing could be more further away from the truth (well, maybe there is something more further away from the truth, just can’t think of it right now!).
So let’s do a quick run down of world history:
The Assyrians - One the longest and most brutal empires in world history. Motivated by meglomania!
The Greeks - Motivated by megolmania.
The Romans - Motivated by politics and megolmania.
4th to the 18th Century - Apart from two major religious catastrophies, (the Crusades and the Inquisition), the motivation for most (if not all) conflicts was political (primarily land grabbing and greed).
The 19th Century - Most all that happened in this century which saw the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and the great rape of Africa was motivated by political greed and racial discrimination (fueled by the Victorian, and later Darwinian, ideals that set some humans on a higher evolutionary scale than others, thus giving some nations an excuse to enslave and exploit other “inferior” nations, especially African nations. By the way, many have used the social Victorian ideal and the so-called scientific Darwinian ideal, to commit unspeakable crimes against humanity. I don’t hear anyone speaking out against either ideals).
World War 1 - Politically motivated.
World War 2 - Politically/racially/meglomania motivated.
The Soviet Purge - Politically/racially/meglomania/paranoia motivated. The number of deaths in this purge are staggering. Some say that more people died in this purge than all the people who died in all conflicts from 1950 to 2000.
Korean War - Politcally motivated.
Vietnam War - Politically motivated.
Gulf War #1 - Politcally motivated.
Gulf War #2 - Politically motivated. Not matter what you want to say, the “war on terror” is nothing more than a politically motivated machine used to protect the interests of particular countries that have become addicted to certain economical needs. No one will go to war with Somalia or Zimbabwe or Myanmar or Venezuela. It seems that international sanctions are sufficient for them even though they have caused more damage worldwide than Iraq ever did!
South Africa/Rwanda/Sudan/Zimbabwe/Burma - Racially motivated.
Should I go on? Religion, regardless of it’s origin (whether it is Islam, Hinduism, Christianity etc), is not the cause of most of the world’s wars or problems for that matter. Politics is. People in power who abuse it and use it to minimize, marginalise, and exploit. Some may argue that this is just human nature and that history will go on repeating itself. I believe it is human nature, but I hold a hope in Christ that, through Jesus, humanity can change. Some may call it me being naive, I call it a truth to live by.