The trouble caused by Christianity
It is perfectly true that conflicts between different factions of Christianity have caused much trouble, war and suffering.
You may think Christianity reflects what the Bible says, and that therefore the Bible is to be blamed for all this suffering.
You may be surprised to learn that the driving force behind the church gradually changed from Bible teaching to political expediency.
We will show you how in the first few centuries of Christianity:
- politicians replaced the Bible as the authority
- belief and practice were guided by politicians and not the Bible
We will also see that the suffering caused by Christianity is a result of politics and not the Bible message.
To be certain that we have unbiased information, we shall use several independent sources of information to see how Christianity developed. These are:
- World History, published by Geddes & Grosset, which is subtitled “An overview of political, religious and cultural trends”
- Chronicle of the World, published Longman
- The Medieval Church – a brief history, by Joseph H Lynch published by Longman
- The Times Atlas of World History
- Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
The teaching of Jesus on conflict
Before we consider the trouble that Christianity has caused, it may be useful to remind ourselves what Jesus Christ said about dealing with problems. The following are a few verses that reflect his teaching and that of his early followers:
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Matthew 5 v 38 and 39
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Matthew 5 v 43 and 44
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath;
Romans 12 v 17 to 19