Was Christianity Originally Intended To Perpetuate Violence?
The New Testament does not support the notion that Christians ought to be coercive and violent to those who will not obey Christ (compare Acts 18:4; 26:28; 28:24). Past violent acts in the name of Christianity (such as, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, etc.) were not acts of Christianity but were unauthorized acts of sinful persons who claimed to be Christians. In reality, neither were they true, New Testament Christians nor were they representing the doctrine of Christ. The New Testament does not authorize Christians to promote violence and coercion.
Love is one of the cardinal virtues of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3). The Bible teaches us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus rebuked John and James for their fit of rage against the Samaritans (Luke 9:51-56). When Jesus sent the disciples on the limited commission, He told them to be “harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Jesus rebuked Peter for his violent outrage against Malchus, the high priest's servant (John 18:10,11; Luke 22:50,51). Jesus revealed that His kingdom was a spiritual kingdom that was unlike the kingdoms of the world that expanded by conquest (John 18:36). Jesus obeyed what He had taught when He prayed for His enemies on the cross (Luke 23:34).
The Holy Spirit continued to guide the apostles into all truth. They taught the same Christian law and doctrine, namely, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10; 12:18-21; 1 Peter 3:10-11; Hebrews 12:14).
Christianity was never originally intended to be promoted by violence and coercion. It is a teaching- religion that reaches out to others by persuasion, reason, and evidence (Isaiah 1:18; 1 Peter 3:15). You must never try to “machine-gun” Christianity into someone.
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