Killing In the Name of God
by Josh Fults
I can still remember the moment completely fresh in my mind. It is as if it happened days ago. It has been replayed several times since in the years past. I was a sophomore in college. It was about 9:30 A.M. and my phone rings jolting me upright. My mom, her voice shaken, instructs me to turn on the television. I fumbled for the remote to the TV, and I am greeted with two buildings, smoldering. I see a smoking number 11, the twin towers, set in the foreground of an otherwise serene blue morning sky. I will never forget the events surrounding that morning. How could I?
We know that the September 11th tragedy was the result of jihad, the Muslim holy war. Islam has often spread its message at the tip of the sword. Those that do not bend the knee to Allah taste death. It is often argued that there is no difference between Islam and Christianity in this fashion. Sure, there have been wars fought in the name of Christianity, but there have been wars fought in the name of every ideology under the sun. Does this mean that espousing Christianity leads to violence? Within Christianity there is absolutely no compulsion of religion. What is interesting is the fact that the wars fought in the name of Christianity (Crusades) are actually the antithesis of what Christianity teaches and believes. People can attach a name to anything, in this case war, but this does not mean that doing so is correct. People often put a black mark on Christianity’s record by claiming to be Christians and then acting in a manner that is not in accord with the teachings of Christ.
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Christianity teaches love and promotes peace. It is Christianity that entreats one to love their enemies. On the contrary, if one assumes a completely naturalistic worldview it is more difficult to condemn the disregard for life. Hitler was greatly influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, who is famous for the coining the phrase “God is dead.” Nazism was an outgrowth of Nietzsche’s work. If Christianity is lived out based on its teachings then selfishness, murder, and harm to others is prohibited. In fact Christianity teaches people to love, give, and help those in need.
So what about in the Old Testament when God commanded the Israelites to conquer Canaan? How is that not compulsion of religion? Isn’t this the exact same thing that Muslims do today? How is the conquest of Canaan any different than the ethnic cleansing done by the Nazi’s or modern day Jihad?
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