CHRISTIANS WIELDING THE SWORD?
People down through the ages have felt that it was their duty – in many cases, their sacred duty – to force others to follow their beliefs, traditions and customs. Many feel that way today. Often, they rationalize and justify their actions as being for the ultimate good of the one being forced. A person of Jewish descent doesn’t stand a chance of being treated like a first-class citizen in a Moslem society, even if they agree to renounce their Jewish religion and convert to Islam. Still, Moslems feel it is their sacred duty to convert others to Islam – even at the point of the sword. It is Allah’s will, after all. (So they say!)
How do Jews treat others who are not of their race or religion? While much depends today upon the particular “brand” of Judaism one embraces, as a general rule Jews consider all others outside their culture to be goyim – the “great unwashed”! Jews do not usually try to force others to accept their religion, but there was a time when they were not so tolerant. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were directly responsible for his death. Oh, yes, they managed it so the Romans did the deed – but if you remember, Pilate would have let Jesus go – saying he found no fault in him. But these narrow-minded Pharisees incited the crowds to insist that Jesus must be killed.
The Chinese Communists on the mainland are awaiting the right opportunity to “convert” the Chinese of Taiwan to their belief system – and it will be at the point of the sword, just as their “proselytism” has been for years.
It is a known fact – abhorred by many Catholics, I’m sure – that the Roman Catholic Church, under the leadership of different Popes was directly responsible for the inhuman torture and murder of millions of people during the infamous Crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Millions more were slaughtered with direct papal sanction for their “heresies” in the Inquisitions. What was their heresy? They wouldn’t convert to Catholicism and allow the Pope to rule their lives! Many Protestants were tortured and killed during the Reformation for their “heresy”.
The Pilgrims came over to
to escape persecution by Anglican “christians”. Then what did they do? They turned around and persecuted and hung those they considered to be witches! America
The Ku-Klux-Klan, “godly” men of the south, harassed, burned and killed blacks, Jews and anyone not considered W A S P - white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
But surely today, in our modern American society, we would not find Christians engaged in these practices! Really? Is that what you think?
Have you ever been engaged in a discussion with a Christian about his beliefs? Ever seen him get so emotionally bombastic about a pet doctrine that his face was glowing red, his eyes were shooting sparks, and vulgar language poured out of his mouth? Next thing you see is a white-knuckled clenched fist at his side! How far, do you think, is he from striking you? And what comes after that? And this is all, mind you, a result of a disagreement about a Christian belief!
Is this the way Jesus was? When the Pharisees accused him of being a law breaker, derided him for consorting with harlots and tax collectors, and said he was demon-possessed – did Jesus become livid, raise his fists, and scream obscenities at them? You can read the 12th chapter of Matthew to see how he behaved and what he taught. He did on occasion call them “vipers”, “hypocrites”, and an “adulterous” generation. He even became so upset a couple of times he drove the moneychangers and their live merchandise out of the temple. There is no report, however, that anyone was injured in the fracas or that he was angry because they wouldn’t “convert” to his beliefs.
Jesus taught his disciples – his students – to love their enemies. He told them not to even hate someone in their heart and equated hatred with murder. (Matthew 5) He said all that draw the sword would die by the sword. (Matthew 26) After his death, his disciples taught the principles of the Ten Commandments – which included not murdering – and said that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer. (I John 3) They also taught that anyone who claims to know Christ and doesn’t keep his commandments is a liar. (I John 2)
The apostle Paul was guilty of persecuting and murdering Christians before he became a Christian. Afterward, he labored many years and endured a lot of suffering – and there is not one indication that he ever caused anyone else any harm because they didn’t believe as he did. In fact, he told the Corinthians that he and his companions had despaired even for their lives, but said that they had conducted themselves in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. (II Corinthians 1) He urged them to follow his example as [in the same way] he followed the example of Christ. (I Corinthians 11)
Now, it’s fine to be zealous and to want others to believe and live as you do. It’s an entirely different thing to hate someone who doesn’t, and to try to force or coerce him to your beliefs. That attitude and those actions are not Christian! Those things stem from pure, unadulterated, raw human nature.
I wish people who do such things would quit calling themselves Christians! They have given Christ a very bad name!
Posted -- 10/16/2005
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
Email The Painful Truth
The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2005 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.
Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without prior written consent.