Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Christianity an evil religion?

It has become something of a common practice for those of the Christian faith to ask whether Islam is an inherently "evil" religion.  I've even heard fundamentalists question whether Muslims worship Satan.  Just type "Is Islam an evil religion" into google and you'll get over 42 million hits. 

Given that the golden rule, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' is a core belief of Christianity...I think its only fitting to apply the same question to the Christian faith. 

Rather than pulling quotes from the Koran let's look at the Bible and see what Christians regard as God's revealed word.  Now, before commencing with this task a basic understanding of the Bible and Christianity is warranted. 

The Bible is of course divided into two principle sections or testaments, the old and new.  The old testament, among other things, prescribed a set a rules and ordinances for observance and service to the God of Abraham...this is often referred to as a covenant or agreement. 

For someone wishing to get into heaven it was necessary to adhere to the laws set forth so as to be 'clean' because nothing 'unclean' would ever be allowed in paradise.  Of course given that pretty much everyone sins and becomes unclean, there were rituals and practices for cleansing oneself, and thus ensuring a place in heaven.

The New Testament is said to be a new covenant, one where God provided his only son as a sacrifice.  Jesus is a kind of like white-out for sin, belief and acknowledgment of Jesus as lord is offered as the ultimate cleansing which ensures salvation and a place with God. 

Of course the old testament is still God's revealed word...but if you look at it in legal terms it might be said that: 

In cases where the old and new testaments are in conflict the new testament shall be taken as law.  In cases where a law of the old testament is not in conflict the old testament shall retain its authority.
That's quite the preamble.  Alrightee then, what does the Bible reveal about the God worshipped by

From the laws written in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 it says:
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.
Holy child abuse Batman!!!  The Christian God actually advocates stoning???  Okay, maybe not now, the courts would toss God in jail.  But this is still pretty harsh, even for a supreme deity. 

Slavery can be a pretty touchy subject, the concept of "owning" another human being rubs most people the wrong way...but not the God worshipped by Christians.  According to the revealed word of the Lord slavery was honky dory.  Here's what it says in Exodus 21:2-6:
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.'  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.
I know slavery still exists in parts of the world.  Perhaps advocates of slavery are just following the teachings of the Bible? 

Now, lest you think Jesus came along and repudiated slavery I'll include a quote from the New Testament.  One that clearly shows that even under the new covenant, slavery is still no long as slaves and slave owners are obedient followers of Christ.  From 1 Timothy 6:1-2:
Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.
I know many regard Islam as a very misogynistic religion, one where women's right are given little if any respect.  Christians though can turn to their own Bible and read God's holy word in Numbers chapter 31:
Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded.  "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord's people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.
There's plenty in the Bible that will give modern, educated and enlightened people cause for concern, and Christians would do well to look at the logs in their own eyes before commenting on the splinters is the eyes of Muslims. 

And as a final point Christians and Muslims actually worship the same entity, the God of Abraham.  Christians make their break with Jesus, Muslims with Mohammad.   

Follow canukgord on Twitter

Click the button below to vote for Canadian Soapbox at CanadianBlogosphere, then click green.

Canadian Blogosphere (You can vote once every day)

No comments: