February 28, 2009 41 Comments
“Christianity persecuted, tortured and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions. It sanctified…extermination and tyranny…it dreamt of infinite bliss’s and crowns it should be crowned with before an electrified universe and an applauding God.” George Santayana
When Christianity ascended as a legitimate religious power in the Fourth century AD you would think that they would bring order and peace to the strife torn world of their times, after all they preached universal love and forgiveness; to turn the other cheek, love your enemy, and help your neighbor. Their God was one of love, who only wanted all to worship and respect him. A Monotheistic God whom all should welcome as He was a God of peace.
Something went terribly wrong though. As the historian William Lecky wrote in 1877 in his book, A History of European Morals
“If we consider the actual history of the Church since Constantine, we shall find no justification for the popular theory that beneath its influence the narrow spirit of patriotism faded into a wide and cosmopolitan philanthropy. A real though somewhat languid feeling of universal brotherhood had already been created in the world by the universality of the Roman Empire.
In the new faith the range of genuine sympathy was strictly limited by the creed. According to popular belief, all who differed from the teaching of the orthodox lived under the hatred of the Almighty and were destined after death for an eternity of anguish … The eighty or ninety sects into which Christianity speedily divided, hated one another with the intensity that extorted the wonder of Julian and the ridicule of the pagans in Alexandria, and the fierce riots and persecution that hatred produced appeared in every page of ecclesiastical history.
The Donatists, having separated from the orthodox simply on the question of the validity of the consecration of a certain bishop, declared that all who adopted the orthodox view must be damned, refused to perform their rites in orthodox churches which they had seized till they had burnt the altar and scraped the wood, beat multitudes to death with clubs, blinded others by anointing their eyes with lime, filled Africa, during nearly two centuries, with war and desolation, and contributed largely to its final ruin.
The childish almost unintelligible quarrels between the Homoiousians and the Homoousians … filled the world with riot and hatred. The Catholics tell … how three thousand people perished in the riots that convulsed Constantinople when the Arian bishop Macedonius superseded the Athanasian Paul … In Ephesus, during the contest between St. Cyril and the Nestorians, the cathedral itself was the theater of a fierce and bloody conflict … Later, when the monophysite controversy was at its height, the palace of the emperor at Constantinople was blockaded, the churches were besieged, and the streets commanded by furious bands of contending monks.”
The new religion did not bring peace; it brought intolerance and hatred, not only of pagans and heretics, but of other Christians, and this hatred and killing of rival Christians went on for over a thousand years.
So if God exists, and is a God of Love and Peace, where the hell was he, and why didn’t he stop and fix this travesty?
Perhaps Jesus had already answered this question when he said a few hundred years earlier:
“Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34
If one truly and honestly looks at the history of Christianity you will find that it is no more special and peaceful than any other religion we have ever had on earth. The only thing stopping it from doing now, what it did then, is the secular sovereignty of most Christian countries.
You want proof? Go look at Bill Maher’s movie ‘Religulous’ and the scene where he talks to some people visiting a Creationist Museum.