Friday, May 13, 2011


"Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst."

Evil done in the name of religion is the worst kind of evil there is.  I believe this is what God meant by taking His name in vain, and I believe there is a special place reserved for people who commit evil in the name of religion.  In our day and age, the most obvious example is Muslim extremism which promotes terrorism, abuse of women, and intolerance to any who disagree with its radical ideology.

Not that we Christians are without blame.  Our memories are fresh with the abuse of children by Catholic priests.  Or the violence in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics.  And our history is scarred by the Crusades, or bombing abortion clinics, or the Salem witch trials, or...where does the list stop.

C.S. Lewis is right that religious bad men are the worst sort of evil there is.  Jesus said it this way, 
It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.  Luke 17:1-2

The reason that religious evil men are the worst is two fold.  First, it allows fodder for those who hate religion.  Detractors of faith are always quick to point out the evils done in the name of religion.  Second, in a similar way, evil done in the name of God is a huge stumbling block to those who are already people of faith.  For example, can you imagine a child abused by a priest and what a hard time he would have with his faith?

The application is twofold.  First, let us condemn any act of evil done in the name of religion. Christianity, since the Reformation, has done a pretty good job of this, but we can always do better.  Muslims have a long way to go in this area.  Second, let us examine our own lives to be certain that we are not a stumbling block to other people of faith.   

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