THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
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Minister - Pete Stone
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IS CHRISTIANITY A VIOLENT RELIGION?
Is Christianity a violent religion? Do the inquisitions, crusades, or anything else prove that it is?
First, as we noted earlier, the crusades were conducted to take back lands that were violently taken by the Muslims. While it is true that the crusaders were often brutal in their methods, it is highly hypocritical for Islam to charge Christianity with violence. Second, the inquisitions were designed to seek out and punish the protestant "heretics." It must be noted that the Catholic church came about in the 600's, centuries too late to be considered "Christian," anyway. The Catholic and the "Protestant" churches came about too late to be considered Christian. The church had its origin on the day of Pentecost, a.d. 33, as described in Acts 2.
Most importantly, Biblical teaching shows that, though many who considered/consider themselves "Christian" committed violent acts in the name of "Christianity," faithful Christians are not violent people. Those who commit violence are erring Christians, at best.
Paul writes in Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." The kingdom is the church (Matt. 16:16-18). We serve a God of love and peace, so Paul urges us in 2 Corinthians 13:11 (See also 2 Thes. 3:16), "Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
Only peaceful people can see the Lord, so we are urged to "follow peace with all men, and holiness" (Heb. 12:14).
Paul tells us that it is the responsibility of civil, not religious, government to punish evil-doers. Paul writes in Romans 13:1-4:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God...For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
The ultimate punishment for evil-doers will be administered by God. Paul writes in Hebrews 10:30-31:
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Vengeance belongs to God! Christians who take it upon themselves to get vengeance on others do so without the blessings of God!
The Christian religion is spread by teaching, not violence (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Error is combated by teaching, not violence (Gal. 6:1; James 5:19-20; Jude 1:22-23).
Christianity is not a violent religion. Many throughout history have undertaken acts of violence in the name of Christianity, but they have not done so with God's blessings. Many religions, including Islam, are extremely violent. The numerous acts of terrorism, and "holy wars," indicate their violent nature. Christianity is not among them!
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14).
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