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Wars, Religion and Jesus

August 22, 2013

I’ve never been scared of a good debate. If you are convinced about something, why shouldn’t you want to discuss it with others? So I debate my faith on the doorsteps of the good citizens of Milford-on-Sea, as well as on Twitter and in the pub (at least occasionally). Obviously people are very different, and so are their arguments. And yet, some statements seem to keep coming back to me – claims that are clearly untrue, but seem to be very firmly rooted in some people’s minds.
One of them is this: all (or most) wars are religious wars; thus, the world would be much more peaceful without religion. This is so patently untrue that it’s hard to see how anybody could believe it; but it still keeps cropping up, so let’s take a look at it – from two different angles, no less!
1) It’s not actually true. Of the major 20th century conflicts, most had purely political causes (including WW1 and WW2, Russian revolution, Spanish civil war, Korean war, Vietnam war, Falklands war etc). The war in Iraq was caused by Islamist terrorism, but the motivation of the western powers wasn’t religious. The on-going civil war in Syria is mainly political, even though politics always have religious overtones in the Middle East. Even the troubles of Northern Ireland aren’t exclusively religious in motivation – there’s also the little issue of national sovereignty – although religious convictions are undeniably part of the equation.
2) I’m not actually propagating “religion”– that term is so broad that it’s basically useless anyway. Mankind’s spiritual search has taken so many diverse routes that you can’t talk about all of them in one breath (they disagree more than they agree, and some don’t even really worry about “God”). I’m talking about Jesus, who helps us connect to the one true God – not another human dead end, but God coming to us to show us the way to know him for real.
Religion is mostly about what humans say and do to gain access to God; that has failed over and over again. Christian faith is about God coming to find us – the best news you’ll ever hear in this life, and something well worth trying to get across to people!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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