I think that the new atheists are a good thing for Christianity.
I have been trying to understand the atheist position for more than 40 years. I have asked questions of atheist friends on Facebook, commented on blogs and listened on Youtube. Sometimes I feel like we are talking past each other. Our world views and philosophy of science and life are quite different.
Discussing world view with atheists can expose weaknesses to my own arguments and perhaps help me dispose of illogical beliefs.
As I search for what is really true and examine the claims of atheists, I find my faith growing for several reasons. As I work through their arguments it becomes more obvious to me that the Christian world view has very good logical support. When we consider scientific evidence, philosophical evidence and theological evidence, I strongly believe it fits the evidence better than any other world view.
I have challenged several atheists to give me good reasons for why I should not be a Christian. To this point they have failed.
I think the debate between Christians and atheists is a very good thing. I want to know what is true. I am willing to consider arguments from everyone. I think this debate has helped many others strengthen their faith as well.
If atheists are making a case for their position, it gives others who do not believe a chance to be honest. I think it is wrong for those who believe to be forced to be taught an unwelcome atheist position. It is also a bad thing when an atheist is forced to pretend he is Christian when he is not.
Atheists Fail to Defend Their Position.
Atheists have failed to support their position in a way I find convincing.
I have asked numerous atheists about the resurrection of Jesus. A very common answer I receive is that no evidence exists for the resurrection. I know from my own research that very good evidence exists for the resurrection of Jesus. I have never received a good factually based argument from an atheist as to why I should not believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
I am looking for truth. Truth does not seem to be a high priority for many atheists. Jerry Coyne an atheist professor has used the illustration that if your grandmother is dying and is looking forward to seeing Jesus, we don’t need to hurt her feelings by telling her that she will not see Jesus. If I am dying, I want to know all the truth I can know. I want to know as much as possible about the afterlife. I do not want the doctor to tell me I am not dying if I am dying. Many parents of fatally ill children do not tell them they are dying. When I was a child if I had been dying, I would have wanted to know.
Some atheists avoid any information that does not conform to their world view. Many archeologists claim that the exodus occurred about 1250 BC. Then they say that because evidence does not exist in Egypt at 1250 BC then the Exodus did not occur. I don’t know why they claim the exodus happened in 1250 B.C. In my limited study of archeology I have found no good evidence for holding the view that the exodus occurred in 1250 B.C.
However, the Bible says that the exodus occurred about 1450 BC and we do find evidence for the exodus in Egypt at that time. I was discussing facts about the Exodus with an atheist, I brought up a piece of evidence. The atheist asked if that evidence came from a Christian. I said yes, he said he would not take the evidence seriously because it came from a Christian. Was this atheist serious about searching for truth?
I am willing to listen to truth even if it does not conform to my world view or if comes from someone that I disagree with in many other areas. Maybe I need to tweak my world view and I welcome a more truthful world view.
Atheism seems to require a materialist world view. I was discussing the scientific evidence for near death experiences and the evidence for a spiritual world with one atheist. She said they are all liars. Really? We also have scientific evidence from deathbed experiences to consider. Avoiding scientific evidence found by studying near death experiences and deathbed experiences seems to be another case of avoiding evidence that does not fit their world view.
We need a philosophy of science to determine how to incorporate science into our lives. We need a philosophical framework to hold a world view such as atheism or Christianity. I was trying to make that point with one atheist and she said she doesn’t need philosophy to know that God does not exist. Really?
Unfortunately, Stephen Hawking’s had many disparaging words about philosophy. It is unfortunate that such a brilliant scientist would have such a confused view about philosophy.
Science must be subservient to philosophy and philosophy must be subservient to theology. I plan to address this issue in a future post.
I have not heard convincing evidence from atheists that miracles do not occur.
Many atheists claim that science proves God is unnecessary. I have asked atheists for any proven scientific theories that bring Christianity into question. The response has always been silence. They seem to worship science but cannot use it to support their positions. Curious.
Far from disproving Christianity, I think the evidence that science provides strengthens the case for Christianity.
I wonder if some atheists are atheist because of the evidence or because they hate Christianity. I have read blogs where an atheist will search for mistakes made by Christians or search for Christians who do not live by the teaching of Jesus. They write blog post after blog post tearing down these Christians. This in no way demonstrates Christianity is false. It would be much like pointing out the evils of Stalin and the Communist Soviet Union and claiming all atheists are evil and that Stalin disproves atheism.
I have some atheist friends whose friendly company I greatly enjoy. Finding a few Christian bad apples doesn’t fly in disproving Christianity.
In future blog posts I plan to discuss many of the above issues more thoroughly.
I have heard and read several arguments from the new atheists about why it does not make sense to be a Christian. But, based on the evidence, I have found their reasons to be unconvincing.
I think it is always important to keep an open mind and look at the evidence.
Reasons New Atheists give:
Science proves God is unnecessary.
. Genesis creation story contradicts our scientific knowledge, therefor Christianity is invalid.
The archeological evidence does not match the Exodus story in the Bible, therefor the Bible is a fraud.
Moses could not have written the Torah, therefor the Bible is a fraud.
The Resurrection did not happen.
David Hume has shown that Miracles do not occur.
The physical world is all that exists.
Christianity is too violent.
REASON # 1, SCIENCE PROVES GOD IS UNNECESSARY.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. What if as scientists say, the beginning of creation (Big Bang) happened 13.7 billion years ago?
I have read a few books concerning the history of the universe and the history of life, including “Evolution, The Whole Story” by Steve Parker, “Saving Darwin, How to be a Christian and Believe in Darwin,” by Karl W. Giberson, “Darwin’s Doubt,” by Stephen Meyer, “Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism,” Edited by Andrew Petto, “Undeniable,” by Douglas Axe and “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME BY STEPHEN HAWKING
About 25 years ago I read “A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking. As I read, I kept thinking that the universe God created was so amazing. Then Hawking began discussing the theory he had developed to avoid the Big Bang and a beginning of the universe. He claimed his theory proved that there was no need for God, I was amazed. I thought to myself, how could Hawking know what he knows and not be amazed with the universe and see God?
I’ve read other scientists who claim that Hawking’s theory fails to prove that the universe does not have a beginning.
Perhaps Hawking developed his theory to avoid a beginning for the universe because he thought the Kalam Cosmological argument is valid if the universe has a beginning?
“EVOLUTION, THE WHOLE STORY” BY STEVE PARKER
In the book “Evolution,” as I read, I saw the history of God creating life. I had feelings similar feelings as I felt when I read Stephen Hawking. How could someone know all these wonderful things about nature and the history of life on earth and not be amazed by God.
Alice Roberts wrote the forward for “Evolution”. She said, “The concept of humans as a special creation made by an intelligent designer, stands in direct opposition to the idea we are a product of unthinking natural selection.” In this statement Roberts is making untenable claims.
Roberts untenable claims:
“Unthinking natural selection:”
Roberts claims unthinking natural selection. I did not see anywhere in the book where Parker claims to be demonstrating unthinking natural selection. Parker’s book in no way proves unthinking natural selection. God can use natural selection to create animals if he so desires. He could guide each step of evolution and we would not be able to prove scientifically that he did or did not.
“Creation by an intelligent designer is in opposition to natural selection.”
If God is God, he can create however he wants even if he uses natural selection to create. God could use natural selection to create animals if he so desires. If God guided natural selection, then natural selection is not unthinking. Perhaps God planned each step and each step is a miracle. Humans could very easily be very special to God.
What if all animals ever created are special to God?
What if we will find all animals that ever lived in heaven when we get there because God wants to enjoy his wonderful creation forever?
As I read the book, I felt Parker was simply showing the history of life. He was not attempting to make a statement about God. If as Roberts contended, Parker was attempting to prove that God is unnecessary, Parker failed miserably.
SCIENTISTS CONFRONT INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND CREATIONISM, EDITED BY ANDREW PETTO
The authors of the book made many excellent points. They helped me understand better the science behind paleontology. I felt they did demonstrate the great age of the earth, (4.5 billion years) and age of the universe, (13.7 billion years) by using current standards for measuring time. I felt they did demonstrate that young earth creationism is questionable. However, many young earth creationists claim that God created the earth 6,000 years ago but made it appear to be much older. They are not arguing from a scientific point view at that point.
The authors of Petto’s book failed to deliver on their promise to Confront Intelligent Design as a failed theory. These authors failed to prove that life was not created by God and they failed to prove that natural selection is not guided by God.
The authors of Petto’s book try to demonstrate that Meyer and Axe are not defending a valid scientific theory of “Intelligent Design” and they failed.
This book was extremely interesting, and I learned a great amount about paleontology.
“DARWIN’S DOUBT,” BY STEPHEN MEYER AND “UNDENIABLE,” BY DOUGLAS AXE
In these books Meyer and Axe argue for the theory of Intelligent Design.
Meyer successfully shows some of the problems of current theories in paleontology concerning the Cambrian Explosion.
These certainly made a good case demonstrating problems of evolution creating life without a God. I think they demonstrated that it is quite reasonable to study the history of life and believe in God.
It appears to me that Intelligent Design is a logical and valid, but still unproven theory.
Atheists are incorrect, science has not proven that God is unnecessary.
REASON #2, GENESIS CREATION STORY CONTRADICTS OUR SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, THEREFOR CHRISTIANITY IS INVALID
Genesis was written by Moses in about 1450 BC. Paleo-Hebrew written alphabet was developed at about the time of Joseph 400 years earlier. Any scientific claims made by Moses would align with the scientific knowledge of his time. He was raised and educated in the palace of the Pharaoh of Egypt therefor his scientific knowledge would come from Egyptian science.
Moses may have had written sources from the time of Joseph to include in Genesis.
However, stories before Joseph are word of mouth stories.
Some of these stories are based on fact. The Stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob appear to be based on stories of those who lived the experiences.
We can see in the story of Adam and Eve that man turned to sin and violence. In the story Noah we see that God hates evil. We also see God began revealing himself to man before Abraham.
Genesis is about the history God reaching out to man and is not a scientific text.
If Genesis does not conform to scientific knowledge today, that does not make Christianity invalid.
REASON #3, MOSES AND THE EXODUS
We have archeological evidence in Egypt, the Saini Peninsula, Midian and Israel which show that the exodus, the wandering of the Israelites in the desert, and the conquest of Canaan occurred as recorded in the Bible.
Many archeologists claim that the exodus took place about 1250 BC. In the “Patterns of Evidence, The Exodus” documentary by Tim Mahoney, Mahoney demonstrates that the archeological evidence shows that the exodus place about 1450 BC. When the timeline is corrected, the evidence in Egypt and Palestine line up perfectly with the Bible stories. Mohoney’s Documentary Series includes “The Exodus,” The Moses Controversy’,” “The Red Sea Miracle,” Part 1, and “The Red Sea Miracle,” Part 2.
Archeologist David Rohl studied Egyptian history timeline extensively and has shown how Egyptian archeological evidence relates to the Biblical story. See David Rohl’s book “Exodus, Myth or History.”
Atheist’s such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have used the lack of evidence for the Exodus as part of the foundation for their atheism. We can see from the Mahoney films and Rohl’s book that this is no longer a valid argument supporting their position.
REASON #4, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD
Many authors have demonstrated very convincingly that Jesus has risen from the dead. If he has risen from the dead, then it is reasonable to believe that Jesus is God. Several authors that have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt from the evidence that Jesus is risen from the dead. Books include “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” by Josh MacDowell, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel.
In reading these and other similar books, I conclude that the new atheists have a lot of work to do to defend their position against this evidence.
REASON #5, DAVID HUME AND MIRACLES
Some atheists base their position on the writings of David Hume. Lee Strobel in “A Case for Miracles,” discusses David Hume’s arguments. Mr. Strobel conducted a survey about miracles in the US. About 94,000,000 Americans believe they have experienced miracles. This contradicts the claims of Hume. Strobel demonstrates that Hume’s arguments are based on presuppositions and circular reasoning.
REASON #6, SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF A NON-MATERIAL WORLD.
Probably the argument I have heard the most often in favor of atheism is the lack of scientific evidence for a non-material world. I recently read John Burke’s “Imagine Heaven.”
Many blind people when they have near death experience describe colors they have never seen before.
One girl during a near death experience observed a tennis shoe on the outside windowsill of a hospital window. The girl had no previous knowledge of the tennis shoe. Later the doctor who heard her story, went from window to window around the hospital until he found the tennis shoe.
Many other stories include facts verifiable by a third party, that cannot be explained by physical knowledge of the person experiencing the near-death experience.
Burke’s book does not scientifically prove the existence of heaven or hell described in near death experiences, but it does convincingly demonstrate a spiritual world or parallel spiritual universe to our material world.
Once again, atheists have some explaining to do to defend their position.
REASON #8, CHRISTIANITY IS TOO VIOLENT
Many Atheists claim Christianity is invalid because Christians are too violent.
In a discussion with one atheist, I mentioned that Lenin, and Mao as atheists killed more people than any two Christians ever killed. He rightly pointed out it is against his own personal standards to kill people.
Many of the people killed by these regimes died of unnecessary starvation, caused by Socialist central planners following the guidelines of atheist Karl Marx. “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism.” By Kevin D. Williamson.
Today atheist leaders still impoverish and use violence against their own people in such places as North Korea, China and Cuba.
My friend’s claim that Christians are the most violent and pro-war people in the USA may be true. However, Jesus taught and demonstrated non-violence as the best way to live as a Christian. It is impossible for my atheist friend to claim that because many Christians are violent, then Christianity is invalid.
Many Christians fail to follow the teachings of Jesus concerning violence. That does not prove that God does not exist.
My friend’s case that Lenin and Mao do not represent atheist philosophy is very weak. The violence of Lenin and Mao certainly show one valid possible outcome for following atheism where it logically leads.
Atheists also appear to be more prone to violent suicide than people with a religious affiliation.
Recently a study of “Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt “was undertaken. The study was published December 1, 2004 in “The American Journal of Psychiatry.” RESULT: “Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation.”CONCLUSION:“Religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients.”
Based on the facts, with violence as a criterion for a valid belief system, atheism fails.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHEIST
Faith is belief that something is true based on the best evidence we have. With that definition of faith, then I would say in agreement with Frank Turek, “I don’t have enough Faith to be an Atheist.”
JESUS CAME TO SAVE
One atheist asked sarcastically, “What did Jesus save us from?” He does have an excellent question. Who did Jesus come to save?
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
Who are these healthy people who do not need the healing of Jesus?
Anyone who is righteous and is not a sinner.
Anyone who can avoid illness and death.
Anyone who can feed all the hungry.
Anyone who can prevent all homelessness.
Anyone who can cause human flourishing without damaging the environment.
Anyone who can prevent all alcoholism and drug addiction.
Anyone who can change the heart of a human so that he no longer kills and steals but loves his neighbor and turns the other check.
Anyone who does not need to experience the rebirth as explained in John 3.
Anyone who can prevent all child abuse.
Anyone who can prevent all spousal abuse.
Anyone who can prevent all child slavery.
Anyone who can prevent all child sexual abuse.
Anyone who can take away the fear of death.
Anyone who can prevent all wars and conflicts.
Anyone who can bring friendship between God and man.
Anyone who can heal the death and violence in the environment so that Lions eat grass and wolves lie down with the lambs.
Anyone who can heal the universe, so it never dies.
Jesus has promised to heal people and the earth. If he can raise himself from the dead, I think he can fulfill his other promises also.
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. Romans 8:19-21
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
To us humans, this healing that Jesus is giving us seems to be taking a long time. But if the universe is 13.7 billion years old and God is eternal, then the healing Jesus is giving us is taking only the blink of an eye.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
There was war in heaven and Satan was thrown from heaven.
Many scientists tell us the universe is 13.7 billion years old. What if Satan was thrown from heaven 13.7 billion years ago? Did Satan’s fall from heaven cause the universe to begin dying, as the universe expands it grows colder. The beginning of violence?
Scientists tell us that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. What if as God created animal life at each step of what scientist call evolution. Satan interfered and introduced death and violence each step of the way. Dinosaurs killed dinosaurs.
THE FALL OF MAN
Then God created Adam and Eve. They lived in the Garden of Eden as equals. They sinned and because of man’s stronger physic, man protected woman from the dangerous animals and evil men and used his greater strength to provide food and shelter. Man abused his strength and power over women.
Cain killed Abel. God protected Cain from revenge, but Cain and his descendants created cities and government and used the power of violence to protect thenselves. The sin of men brought about great violence.
God repented of creating man because of their violence. He started over with Noah and promised never to wipe out mankind again. God would find a way to overcome the sinfulness and violence of man without using a flood.
Man built violent and evil empires such as Sumer, Egypt and the Akkadian Empire. These empires used war and violence to control and enslave people.
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF
God began revealing himself to man and bringing about the salvation of man by becoming a friend to Abraham.
God sent Joseph to Egypt to save his family and Egypt. Joseph became vizier of Egypt during the reign of Amenemhat III. 1,2 Pharoah gave Joseph and his family a home in city of Avaris in the land of Goshen.
God blessed the Israelites, they had many children and there was a great multiplication of their numbers.
A pharaoh (Sobekhotep III)1. who did not know Joseph, enslaved the Israelites.
Then Dedumose II1,2 is confronted by Moses. God through many miracles convinces pharaoh to let his people go. 600,000 men, their wives and children leave Egypt. The pharaoh changes his mind and pursues the Children of Israel to the Red Sea. God fights for Israel and defeats Egypt, casting the pharaoh’s army into the sea.
God is leading his people to a way of nonviolence and love of enemy as he protects his people in weakness and they win a great victory.
God fights for Israel and they defeat Jericho and many other fortified cities. God is the protection of Israel.
THE TIME OF THE JUDGES
Often the Children of Israel refuse to depend on God and take their defense into their own hands. Sometimes they depend on God and win great victories in weakness, such as in the time of Gideon.
Through the law of Moses and the prophets, God teaches his people that he wants them to care for the widow and orphan, the poor and the helpless and to show compassion to the foreigner. God wants his people to trust him for protection.
FALLING INTO VIOLENCE LIKE THE NATIONS
In Deuteronomy 17: 14-20 Moses gives guidelines for a King.
Often the people take detours and do not depend on God for protection.3.
The people take a major detour and against the advice of Samuel crown Saul King.
The Kings do not follow the guidelines set by Moses.
Saul begins to depend on his own strength like the nations and loses his Kingdom to David.
David, a man after God’s own heart, defeats Goliath.
For hundreds of years during the time of the Judges, Israel did not maintain a standing army. The Israelites did not know war.
David, as King becomes a man of great violence. He depends on his own strength. Instead of depending on God, David hired foreign mercenaries to fight for Israel and to train soldiers for Israel.
David displays the sword of Goliath. Was he displaying his own great military prowess?
Because of his great violence, God does not allow David to build the Temple.
Solomon builds the temple. He also does not follow the guidelines set by Moses for a King. Solomon worships idols and has many wives. Solomon accumulates great wealth.
The Kingdom divides after the death of Solomon, some Kings allow God to fight for them and they are successful. Some Kings depend on themselves and end in defeat.
GOD PUNISHES ISRAEL
With the Babylonian capture of Judah, the King experiment ends.
God is showing his people that they will live in the nations and be a blessing to the nations.
With Ezra and Nehemiah, the people return to Israel so that the messiah can be born in Bethlehem and die and raise from the dead in Jerusalem in fulfillment of prophecy.
Alexander the Great conquers Jerusalem in 332 BC.
The Jews rebel in violence.
In 63 BC Pompey conquers Jerusalem for Rome.
The Jews rebel in violence.
God does not allow the Jews to win against their oppressors. God is leading them to be a blessing to all the nations and to live out among the nations, he does not allow the return to the rule of earthly kings of Israel.
JESUS, KING OF PEACE
Jesus is born.
He is tempted in the desert by the devil to take political power. The Kingdom of God on earth is not an earthly kingdom, but a Kingdom with members living in every nation.
Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God. He teaches us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the prisoner to love our brother and sister and to love our enemy so that they can become our brother and sister.
Jesus sent out his 72 disciples representing the 72 nations of the earth as mentioned in Genesis. Jesus sees Satan fall like lightening from heaven. See Luke 10.
The zealots wanted to fight violently for freedom. Simon the zealot is Jesus disciple. But Jesus teaches peace.
Jesus died without resistance to conquer his enemies when he had 12 legions of angels at his disposal.
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend. Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:50-54
After the resurrection Jesus sends his people to preach to every nation. His Kingdom is a part of every nation. Jesus allows persecution in Jerusalem to push the Christians into all the world.
Even when Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples were asking when he would restore the earthly kingdom of Israel:
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1 6-8.
Jesus said we must be willing to die in the same way:
Jesus said: 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
Paul continues the idea of a Kingdom of God that does not include a earthly kingdom. Paul tells us Christians do not fight with weapons of the world such as guns and knives and swords, but put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 11,12
The Ephesians passage is reminiscent of Luke 10. Demons rule the nations.
The Jews rebel violently against Rome and suffer great defeat in 70 AD, just as Jesus predicts.
The church depends on God for protection.
Prostitutes, tax collectors and soldiers become followers of Jesus.
CHRISTIANS TURN TO VIOLENCE
Most Christians were pacifist but as time passed soldiers began to remain in the military. In 170 AD, the first soldiers to become Christian and to remain in the military are confirmed historically.
Then St. Ambrose, a master politician, was made bishop by popular demand. Ambrose called for the killing of pagans by Christians. The preaching of the gospel was put on hold and earthly power was grasped by Christians. Romans and Christians discriminated against pagans.
Soon only Christians could become soldiers in the Roman Army.
The military was used to force people to become “Christian.” Instead of preaching the gospel and teaching people to choose Kingdom of God through love, Christians turn to the violence of the world.
St. Augustine wrote about just war. Even his watered-down teachings concerning violence were twisted and ignored.
Christians fought for land and power and safety and did not trust God for protection.
Christians fought the Crusades to conquer Jerusalem and kill the Muslims. Christians are not loving their enemies and preaching the gospel to Muslims, they are killing their enemies like the nations of the earth.
Christian governments prove they are no better at peace than were the Empires of Rome and Egypt. The Holy Roman Empire, France and England fought constantly, Christian slaughtering Christian.
Thomas Aquinas refines the Just War theory.
Nations continue to ignore the teachings of Jesus. Nations and Christians alike refuse to follow Aquinas’ Just War theory.
Protestants and Catholics fought and killed each other. In the 30-year war 1/3 of the population of Europe died as this religious and political conflict raged. Were Christians becoming more violent than the world?
VIOLENTLY CONQUERING THE WORLD
Pope Alexander VI issued the Papal Bull ‘Inter Caetera,” on May 4, 1493. This came to be called the “Doctrine of Discovery” used by “Christian” European Empires such as Spain, England and France to conquer foreign lands in North and South America, Africa, Australia and India for profit. The Doctrine of Discovery allowed the United States to legally and with the blessing of the church steal land from the Native Americans.
The Unites States has fought many wars with Christian nations. Fighting for land, resources and power.
The United States became a nation as a result of the Revolutionary War in direct disobedience to Paul:
2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bringjudgment on themselves. Romans 13:2
Today many of the most vocal war mongers in America call themselves Christian.
In 1918 after Germany signed the peace treaty, Germans were starving. The US Congress voted not to send wheat to Germany. Nearly 1,000,000 Germans starved to death as a result. Because to the starvation Germans elected Hitler. If we had feed the hungry as instructed by Jesus could we have prevented World War II? And with that one act perhaps we could have prevented the Cold War? And the Korean and Vietnam Wars? See What about Hitler.
Jimmy Carter submerged the US in endless war in the Middle East to ensure large quantities of cheap oil for America. Military contractors make huge profits from the war in the Middle East. Soldiers protect oil wells to ensure profits of oil companies and the war continues. See “America’s War for the Greater Middle East.”
Can we in America be saved from God’s judgment for our violence?
Europe and America brought slaves from Africa. America fought the Civil War in direct disobedience to the teachings of Jesus. Christian brother killing Christian brother. This war was about power and greed. The south rebelling against unfair taxes and refusing to free their slaves. The North demanding taxes and politicians using the end of slavery as a means to gain political support. Great Britain ended slavery without war. Why not America?
We can see through history how true are the words of Jesus: Live by the sword die by the sword. America’s war and death continues in the Middle East as Christians fail to follow Jesus’ words of peace.
HAS SATAN WON?
Today Satan still seems to rule the Christian nations, as Christians fail to resist the temptation to rule through worldly politics. The same temptation Jesus overcame in Matthew 4: 8-10.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Matthew 4: 8-10. NIV
Jesus and Paul gave us a way to defeat Satan if we only take it. See Luke 10 and Ephesians 6.
Today Jesus still calls us to love our enemies and preach the gospel to all creation. Our brothers and sisters, our fellow members of the Kingdom of God live in every nation.
How can we feed the hungry, house the homeless and give water to the thirsty when we join the military and kill the hungry and thirsty? Or join the military make more people hungry and thirsty? How can we love our brothers and sisters in Christ if we join the military and kill them? How can we love our enemies when we join the military and kill them?
Jesus will continue to build his Kingdom even when Christians do not follow his gospel of peace.
Remember that Jesus saw Satan falling when he sent out the 72. Jesus defeated evil on the cross and has won the victory even if Christians do not follow his teaching. Whatever our sin, we can all expect Jesus to work in our lives as he teaches each of us to become more like him.
Jesus will have the victory.
Coming soon: A new heavens and a new earth without death and violence.
Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest by David Rohl.
Patterns of Evidence, The Exodus, Documentary by Tim Mahoney