Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who is oppressing whom?

I don't often do formal apologetic writing. I leave that task to others better informed and equipped for the task. However, every once and a while I see an argument that must be addressed as one person or another attacks faith with often presumptuous, vitriolic, and often uninformed arguments. Often because we don't have the research to prove such a statement is wrong, we end up bending to ridiculous and unfounded statements. One of these often leveled against Christians is that religion has been used to control and kill. It is itself at fault for things like the inquisition and the crusades.We often find ourselves backpedaling and apologizing in grand strokes for historical movements we hardly understand just to retain some semblance of perceived "witness" within a conversation. Certainly we need to admit our faults and sins to the world, but does it help to apologize inordinately for situations that are highly involved, and guilt perhaps incorrectly assigned. I say resoundingly no! The true church must be honestly defended in truth, or our witness is useless. If we do not believe the true church a better state of affairs than the world, then we have no reason to witness at all. Now the highly politically fueled background of the crusades, and shared guilt with the advancing Muslim world aside, I found this quote by former presidential advisor Richard John Neuhaus incredibly helpful in brining some sanity to otherwise diaphanous discussions about historical guilt.

Those who belive the record of the secular enlightenment is spotless compared to that of the church are essentialy in denial. Those who tell the story this way overlook the fact that in three hundred years the inquisition had fewer victims than were killed in any given afternoon durring the years of Stalin's purges and Hitler's concentration camps

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