Why Would a Good God Allow So Much “Christian” Evil?
by J Warner Wallace
Whenever I start writing about morality or the existence of evil, I almost always get an email (or two) from people who point to the historic actions of alleged “Christians”. For many skeptics, Christianity is the source of much evil in the past (i.e. the Crusades and the Inquisition). For this reason, some skeptics point to “Christian” evil as evidence against the existence of a good Christian God. While history may include examples of “Christian” groups committing evil upon those with whom they disagreed, a fair examination will also reveal Christians were not alone in this sort of behavior. Groups holding virtually every worldview, from theists to atheists, have been mutually guilty of evil behavior. Atheists point to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition when making a case against Christians, theists point to the atheistic regimes of Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung when making a case against atheists. Death statistics are often debated in an effort to argue which groups were more violent, but all this seems to miss the point. The common denominator in these violent human groups was not worldview; it was the presence of humans.
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History has demonstrated a human predisposition toward violence. Regardless of worldview, humans will try to find a way to justify their evil actions. The question is not which group is more violent but which worldview most authorizes and accommodates this violence. Christians who commit horrific evil toward other humans actually have to act in opposition to the teaching of their Master, Jesus Christ. The Gospels repeatedly demonstrate that Jesus came to “guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79), and Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44). Christians who have committed atrocities over the ages have had to do so in rebellion; they ignored or were ignorant of the teachings of Jesus.
But in an atheistic worldview (where humans are not specially designed in the image of God), there is little or no reason why any of us should feel compelled to treat other people with the respect that Jesus taught his followers to have for their enemies…
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