Thanks to my friend Roger who read this post then reminded me about a very obvious source of evil in the world – see end of post. As a result of this I am rephrasing the title of this blog post: “One true cause of the evil on earth”
OK, so I have written a few posts recently specifically targeted at atheists. I hope I have made my point quite emphatically. I have tried to counter the atheist argument that “religion is the cause of all evil in the world” by demonstrating the waste of human life that has happened in atheistic regimes. However, I am not trying to say that atheists are worse than other people or that atheism is a cause of all evil in the world.
I have so many lovely friends who are atheists, and I personally have experienced so much kindness from people who do not believe. I also accept that religious people or religious regimes have countless times exploited or killed other people – and even continue to do this. Sadly, they have often done and continue to do this by falsely claiming the name of Christ to justify their evil deeds. The point of my articles has been simply this: to show that atheism is not necessarily a “magic bullet” to solve the world’s problems. In my recent online experience with militant atheists, while publicising my articles and writing responses etc, it was made so obvious to me, that many of them cling to this philosophy, that atheism is the salvation of the world, even to the extent of twisting the facts to fit. The fact is that Stalin killed millions of people under his atheistic regime. But “No!”, cried the late Christopher Hitchens, in his book “God is not great” (which I have not yet read, as I hope to do; I quote from book summaries and explanations posted online) “Stalin learnt this attitude of behaving like a god from the centuries of religious oppression that preceded him in Russia.” So atheism cannot even take responsibility for atheist crimes. Even these must be pushed off and blamed on religion at all costs. So what then about Mao in China? How about Kim il-Sung in North Korea? From whom did they learn their godlike atheistic attitudes, which proved just as destructive as Stalin’s?
And yet I repeat that atheist people are not worse than other people and atheism is not a cause of all the evil in the world. Actually, I believe that any aberration from the true faith of Christ will eventually prove destructive – whether that aberration occurs within Christianity, or outside it. Relating with the atheists simply demonstrated to me, as if I did not already know, that their branch of atheism is as much a “religion” as any other faith – it is simply a religion of non-belief – and crucially, it lacks a holy book. So yes, I believe that atheism as a religion is an aberration from the true faith, and yes, history can support me that it has proven immensely destructive, at least as expressed through Communism.
And yet, atheism, or any other religion, and certainly the true faith of Christ is not really a cause of all the evil in the world. That is because people, whether religious or not religious, are actually a cause of the evil in the world. The human heart is desperately tied to self-centredness and sin. This includes my heart. And your heart too. We all have a deeply rooted inclination which will cause us to exploit other people if necessary for the sake of promoting our own desires or happiness. Many times, to be well-behaved we try to suppress this. We try to put other people first. Many times, we try to appear to do this, to suppress this innate selfishness. And yet, it rarely takes a deep “scratch beneath the surface” to reveal our true natures. For instance, how many of us, knowing that our clothes are produced in sweatshop conditions, continue to buy these clothes, justifying and rationalising our actions? How about non-fairtrade food? Or sweatshop electronic goods? Despite being very deeply educated about all of these, I personally fail on all three of these counts. By God’s grace I am working on these issues, but sometimes I think to myself that to truly fulfil the demands of Christ about social justice I should abruptly cut off all these things. Deep down, I know that this would be the right thing to do. But I rationalise.
Sometimes someone might be a true hero in these particular areas, but totally fail in other very obvious ways. Perhaps they might be arrogant about their commitment to social justice. Unfortunately for us humans, it is rarely the case that we have “one failing or the other”. This is because most of us come bundled with not just one weakness, but rather a huge range of failings and sinful tendencies.
This is the problem with various theories that we as human beings have constructed to rectify the problems with our world. In theory, they are all amazing. Apart from the atheistic aspect, Communism was actually a brilliant theory, in terms of equality of human beings. I actually think that Socialism fundamentally makes a lot more sense in terms of provision for all people than Capitalism. I believe that our current economic crisis is a failure of Capitalism, which was like a global pyramid scheme waiting to collapse – and which has now ingloriously collapsed on all our heads. And yet, for all its brilliance, Communism has been a dismal and desperate failure, hasn’t it? It failed to allow for the self-centredness of people’s hearts. It could never work. No theory, no matter how brilliant, will ever work to deal with the problems of the world as no theory could ever address the root problem of the world, which is the sin and selfishness that lies in all our human hearts.
This is why we need a Saviour. Jesus Christ is that Saviour. Jesus is the only salvation that could ever work for our world. He and He alone deals with the problem of the sin in our hearts. Accept Him today, immerse yourself in Him while you still can, before someone else thinks up another brilliant but misguided theory that will outlaw faith in Christ and make it illegal to own Bibles…..
A Christian friend on Facebook read this post then reminded me that the Prince of the Power of the Air, also known as the Devil, and Satan, is also responsible for all the evil in the world. This is absolutely true, and in light of this I have amended the thrust of my post this way – human hearts and human natures are one true cause of the evil on earth. The Devil inspires this evil by tempting us, and we then succumb to the temptation and commit evil due to the sinful inclinations of our hearts. Thanks Roger! 😉