Vincent Carroll and David Shiflett wrote Christianity On Trial: Arguments Against Anti-Religious Bigotry, where the two co-authors attempt to fend off multiple accusations against Christianity. I will focus on one here, Carroll and Shiflett’s argument that Christianity is not a religion that is genocidal and war-mongering.
I myself have brought forth the theses in previous posts that the Western usage of Christianity since the reign of the Roman Empire’s Constantine in the early 4th Century Common Era (CE or AD) has turned the original faith of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the prophets and apostles of the Sacred Scriptures into an entirely opposite beast – a religion of bloodshed and oppression. There is nothing inherently bloody about Yeshua’s faith. However, it has been transformed by its co-option by the state, namely, the Roman Empire. The pure, original, non-violent faith has been hijacked and bastardised. Now, more often than not, especially in Turtle Island (Canada & the US), Christianity, and particularly its Evangelical brand, is the vehicle by which genocide is both promoted and justified.
“Nonsense!”people say, “Prove it!” This I shall do, by means of responding to the writers of Christianity On Trial.
A breakdown of my thesis:
1. True Biblical faith is based on loving Yahweh the Creator and one’s neighbour, including one’s enemy.
2. Christianity does not do this. Why not? Because it serves the state’s interests, and those of corporations and special groups such as denominations, but not the interests of the Creator Himself.
3. Christianity’s violation of Creator-Love and Neighbour-Love is most obviously seen in Christian worship of money (read: capitalism) and Christian belittling and downright persecution of indigenous peoples, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, atheists, gays, pro-choicers, evolutionists, scientists, , etc. Western Christianity in particular, including the Eastern variant in Russia and Eastern Europe, has worked hand-in-hand in the expansionist projects of imperialistic forces. Imperialism has been detrimental to the well-being of those colonised, and is thus contrary to the principle of Neighbour-Love, and thus the core values of the true Biblical faith.
4. There is no excuse for imperialism, colonisation, worship of capitalism or socialism, and the denial of human rights to non-Westerners and many different groups within Western societies themselves.
So what do Carroll and Shiflett answer to this?
One major strategy they employ is that of Comparison and Deflection:
– the pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe were just as bloody (p. 90). The authors admit that a post-Constantine Christianity became “militarised”, but that the Peacemaker tradition within the faith was also alive and well, and often kept Warrior Christianity in check. No doubt these two factors were at play through the centuries of history. Question: are there two Christianities, one bloody and another peaceful? Or is the bloody one an impostor, a usurper, a fake, and the more pacific brand the Real Deal?
– the Muslims and Mongols were kill-happy too, so Christian soldiers and their own butchery does not look so bad (p. 92).
– Aztecs and a few other indigenous tribes (out of 1000s and 1000s scattered throughout the Americas, remember) were brutal and some cannabalistic (pp. 103 – 107).
Questions to Carroll and Shiflett:
1. Jesus / Yeshua told us to love our neighbours and even our enemies, right? This is the standard. In he Book of Romans chapter 1, the apostle Paul said that people who do not know the true God have an obvious tendency to deny their inner conscience that witnesses to His existence. They thus have an easier time to commit murder and other acts of evil. Other folks, mentioned by Paul in Romans 2, recognise the call to know the Creator and to keep His principles. Thus, against the witness of their own hearts, they kill and commit other atrocities. In other words, for people without the teachings of Yeshua, why would you expect them not to act brutally? Comparing yourselves with them is an exercise in futility, and is absolutely no excuse for you yourself not adhering to the commands of Yeshua to love Yahweh and your neighbour.
2. If you would like to stack all the dead bodies from Muslims, indigenous peoples, etc and compare them to those piled up by European, North American and other Western Christians over the centuries, we Occidentals win out no sweat. Christians happily murdered First Nations all throughout the Americans, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. They enthusiastically sent warriors to kill Muslims from the Crusades of the Middle Ages down to today’s Crusades against Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim-majority countries. Don’t deny your responsibility, Christians, by simply pointing at others. Point one finger at others and four more are pointing back at you!
3. Any wars and other brutal events in the Americas are nothing compared to the mass extinction of 90% of all North, Central and South American indigenous peoples. This was the biggest mass die-out in the entire history of the human race. Europeans brought their diseases and weapons to ensure this. Deliberate or not, it happened. And what was the ultimate goal for the invasion and capture of the Americas? The land and its resources. In the short run, the Europeans won. In the long run, we Europeans will be dying out, in all likelihood, and the indigenous peoples will survive. Revenge of the oppressed.
4. Pointing to those who fought for the rights of indigenous peoples or African-Americans etc is a waste of time. Sure, these people tried to live the Gospel in a more authentic manner. Just like all the Western missionaries who poured into China 100+ years ago, evangelising, setting up schools and hospitals, and trying to do “good”. Wait. Wait. What do I see? Ah yes, all this so-called charity was within the greater context of the European powers bullying China and attempting to take its land and resources. It’s as if you punch me and hug me at the same time: which will I remember more? Will the hug seem more genuine even though you’ve broken my nose?
Let’s face it, folks, there is NO excuse for a religion to be killing people, especially when the “faithful” commit murder in the name of God, to glorify and appease Him. This “God” can be none other than Lucifer, Satan, Ba’al, Beelzebub, the King of Babylon.
You come from your father, the devil, and you desire to do what your father wants you to do. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He has never been truthful. He doesn’t know what the truth is. Whenever he tells a lie, he’s doing what comes naturally to him. He’s a liar and the father of lies. So you don’t believe me because I tell the truth. (John 8:44 GOD’S WORD Translation)
Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. (1 John 3:15 New Living Translation)
But as for cowards and the unfaithful, and the polluted, and murderers, fornicators, and those who practise magic or worship idols, and all liars–the portion allotted to them shall be in the Lake which burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death. (Revelation 21:8 Weymouth Translation)
Outside the city [New Jerusalem, the future city of “the faithful”] are the dogs–the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. (Revelation 22:15 New Living Translation)
Solution: Admit you’re wrong. Change your attitude. And your religion. Follow the real Jesus, the Prince of Peace. And shed the fake religion and its Lord of War.