Christianity and peace?

By , Yarmouth, ME
A brief look through history will show you there have been a lot of disputes through time. You don’t have to take a second look to see that a lot of these arguments have been over religion, more specifically Christianity. These arguments can lead to total chaos, creating war and even terrorism. Why is that so? The teachings of Christianity preach peace and to “love your enemies” as Jesus says. If Christians strive for peace then why have they caused so much destruction?

War has shown its face since the dawn of time, and is the primary example of a misuse of religion. A lot of bloodshed has been influenced by Christianity, yet this is against their teachings of tranquility. Putting a knife through someone’s ribs most certainly isn’t “loving your enemies.” These Christians find it necessary to kill in the name of God. But what those people don’t understand is that Jesus would want them to avoid violence as much as possible. He would want them to cope with their enemies and make the world more peaceful. Not all Christians are violent, there is actually a good number who are pacifists and commit to making the world non-violent. This is the way we all should be, to avoid unnecessary death. Jesus himself was a pacifist, it is sad to see how war thirsty his followers can be.

As if war isn’t bad enough, there are people who believe the teachings of Christianity justify acts of terrorism. These terrorists believe what they are doing is good for Christianity and is Gods’ bidding, but really, they are just creating massive chaos. Though they may be few in numbers, these people can cause a lot of damage. They say Christianity commands them to do these actions of injustice. It is unfortunate to see that a religion that values peace can be horribly distorted by some of its followers.

Finally, in many cases Christianity has been manipulated for political gain. This most often happened in times of hierarchy, mainly before the renaissance, because most subjects would believe what their leaders had told them. This is Christianity used as a mask in order to gain support for some other purpose. An example of this is The Reconquista, a war in Spain between 1469-1516. The Christians in Northern Spain decided to reclaim the lands that border the Mediterranean from the Jews and Muslims. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand needed support to reclaim the southern lands. By creating a war in the name of Christianity, they could gain the support of Northern Christians enabling them to defeat their opponents in the South. This isn’t the only case of abusing Christianity for political gain. The Crusades, called first by Pope Urban II, were a series of holy wars called in order to reclaim Palestinian land from the Muslims who captured Jerusalem. The Pope argued that Christian Pilgrims couldn’t visit the holy sites in these Muslim controlled cities peacefully. By saying this he gained support of virtually all countries in the Roman Catholic Church to fight in Palestine. Religions are not meant to be used for political gain, so the leaders of Christian cultures should be supporting peace and justice, not promoting their political agendas.

Christians aren’t the only people who contribute to the violence in the world, yet since their lessons go against violence, its hard to comprehend why so much death has been caused in the name of God. Most certainly the bible and Jesus’ teachings don’t justify causing the pain of thousands of people. Christians are also capable of great deeds such as helping places stricken by poverty, and many are pacifists who believe in non-violence. The future would be much brighter if one day all religions would practice their teachings without having to cause destruction.





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

matt7 said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm
They were not practicing Christianity.
 
M.W.M. said...
Jun. 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm
its not a religion problem as much as it is a people problem.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback