Questions about religion: 5. Haven’t wars been caused by religion?

Haven’t wars been caused by religion?

The cause of war is on all occasions due to the sinfulness, greed and weakness of humanity. Some wars were started to bring about peace, others to gain, keep or regain power and territory. Others are simply a struggle to advance a leader’s ego.

Sadly, there have been religious wars. Some religions even believe it is legitimate and right to fight to spread their cause. This is not the case with Christianity. Jesus told his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’ and later when one of them (Peter) failed to do this and cut off someone’s ear with a sword, Jesus healed the injured person before commanding Peter to put away his sword. One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace.

Therefore, when wars have been fought in the name of Jesus the perpetrators have been wrong and misguided. When someone fights in the name of Jesus it is like someone carrying out a crime in your name when you have specifically commanded him not to do so. It would not be fair to blame you for that crime, nor to blame wars on Jesus, even if they have been fought in His name.

Politics and religion stir strong feelings, but someone trusting in and obeying the instructions of Jesus will find that He calms aggression and gives a genuine concern and compassion to all. Jesus commanded Christians to love the people around us to the same degree that they love themselves. He commands us to love our enemies. These are not impossible instructions, for He assures us that He will give us all the help we need in order to obey.

 

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