Dear Pastor:

        Are God and religion responsible for the wars and violence we have witnessed in the past and are witnessing today?

        Dear Reader,

        When we listen to the words and speeches of many warring  nations we certainly hear the name of God invoked, whether it be Allah, Yahweh, or God.  When we look at the World View of these nations we find that they all profess to worship God. It is true, yes, that most warring nations are religious people. 

        Are we, therefore, right to assume that God and religion are the ones to blame for the wars, violence, and hatred that we see manifested towards one another?  Europe fought many terrible wars against one another.  The two last wars killed over fifty million precious men and women, not to mention the non combatants.  Are we to assume that because each nation in Europe was of a different ethnicity, or were of the same colour, that ethnicity or colour were the culprits to blame for these wars?  Even when racial wars are fought, as many have, are we to indict 'race' as the cause of our racial wars? 

        Just as we cannot blame wars on race or colour, so should we not blame God or religion for wars and violence perpetuated in God's name, or that are conducted by one religious group against another.  If there were not God, if there were no religions, if men were colourless and of the same ethnicity, there would still be wars, violence, mayhem, and murder.  You see, friends, the reason for wars, hatred, and violence, lies not with an transcendent God nor with external characteristics of human beings, but with the mind of man.  Something in the mind of man propels him to hate and war with one another.  History has shown us who live today, that regardless of how efficient and accommodating man has made his environment he has always resorted to hatred, war, and violence-with very few exceptions!  There is something in the mind of man that catapults him to hatred, violence and war.  Admittedly, the values, morality, and ideologies we hold may solidify our desires for hatred and war; but without these we will still hate, murder, and war with one another because the source of these abnormal acts are located in the mind of man and not primarily in the externals.  It is cheap, senseless, simplistic, and futile to blame God, religion, race or colour. 

        Do we know what it is in man's mind that careens him in the path of hatred and war?  The evolutionist may say that it is in man's evolutionary background as he progresses towards the future-although for the present the future looks quite bleak.  The ungodly evolutionist may hope against hope that man will survive his thirst for blood and bring in everlasting peace.  Present actions, however, seem to deny him that solitude or security.  Ancient history of mankind seems to confirm that mankind is not getting better but more brutal and deliberate in his quest to annihilate himself.  For Bible believing Christians, however, the story is different.  For them the factor in man's mind that produces hatred and war is sin.  This sin can be compared to a viral programme that has reformatted man's mind from the way God had originally made it, into a programme that ends in self destruction.  The 'playout' of this programme is total rebellion against God, man's creator.

        Here is what God says of man when he was originally created: (Gen 1:31 KJV) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

(Psa 139:14 KJV) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

        In the beginning God made man and his environment perfect.  Man chose to listen to the voice of the Tempter and to disobey the clear commandment of God.  When he did this his mind was irreparably changed from submissive and obedient to his Creator into one of rebellion and resistance to God's loving guide for man's wellbeing.  It is like AIDS.  When a healthy and clean individual goes out and enters into a sexual relationship with a contaminated individual he comes down with AIDS; and there is nothing that we can do to remove this condition.  The Bible puts it this way: (Jer 13:23 KJV) Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

(Rom 5:12 KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

        As long as man continues to reject the biblical revelation of God he will continue to war and devour himself and his fellowmen.  Rejecting the biblical revelation of God is not the prerogative of the ungodly only.  Those who call themselves Godly and religious just as certainly, and more so, reject the biblical revelation of God as do the ungodly.  As we all continue to reject the biblical revelation of God, both the Godly and ungodly, we will continue to tear each other apart and blame it on God and religion, on external entities and not on our own sinful, broken, and destitute condition.  It is only when we recognize our own hopeless and incurable condition, and when we admit that we are incapable of rectifying this condition ourselves that healing will come through the very God we thought we knew yet knew not; and for the unbelieving, the God we summarily dismissed.  May God open our eyes that we may see.  God bless.

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