A good friend of mine who is also a missionary to cults and New Religious Movements once observed that “in this type of ministry conflict is not a possibility it a job description.” He is correct. When we question someone’s worldview and/or beliefs and assumptions they can get very angry and sometimes abusive. At least verbally abusive. Sort of our inside joke on this is that Jehovah’s Witnesses have called Joy the “Whore of Babylon” so often we just call her floozy for short. Somehow name calling and wild accusations are used to replace valid argument and evidence in many of these exchanges. I have another friend, Harry, who spends some time talking with non-Christians over the Internet. If he doesn’t have answers he looks for material on our website Journals and Crux Blog as well as other ministry’s materials to forward to the lists. On occasion he forwards some of them to me to see how to respond. He sent one such email this week:
This crap put out by Veinot is simply laughable. Pontificating, with his holier-than-thou attitude, about socialism, Obama etc, simply demonstrates how he uses his religious bullcrap to cover his fascist political views. And I notice in the other e-publication you think I need, how right-wing lunatics like Phyllis Schlafly make regular contributions. Obviously fundamentalism goes hand in hand with anti-humane, violent, fascistic/totalitarian politics, much like that practiced by Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Fundamentalists like to see people punished or killed, the more the better. Your entire religion is founded on the premise of massive killing of human beings. Fundamentalists delight in knowing that many people are killed, and make up little stories to justify the massive killing. Your church meetings are celebrations of death, destruction, and the triumph of cosmic evil, and fundamentalists just love it! Every publication that you send my way, that you claim I “need,” is another illustration of the violent, hate-filled, destructive, anti-human, vicious, genocidal and repulsive nature of fundamentalism. You can tell this to Veinot and all those vicious, vomit-inducing (expletive deleted) who pontificate about this crap.
I normally don’t respond to second hand communications such as this. I receive enough of them first hand. However, after initially declining Harry’s suggestion that I write to this person uninvited it occurred to me that others may be interested in a possible response. I am not certain but suspect this email was in response to the Crux blog, The Deification of Barack.
I want to say up front that the person may be a nice person. They may be married and a wonderful spouse. They may have children and be a wonderful parent. I have no idea and in many ways this doesn’t enter in since we need to address the issues and I prefer not to make personal attacks.
The first part of a response would take the form of a question. Since I am not certain of what the questioner actually believes due to their vitriol against Christianity I would suspect they hold to Darwinian Evolution as the explaination for how we came to be. If that is the case my question would be “What is the problem?” What I mean by that is that Darwinism provides no basis for morality which includes killing, maiming, etc. Morality is about how one ought to behave regardless of whether they behave that way or not. As the late Stephen J. Gould himself pointed out in the documentary “A Glorious Accident” morals are about oughts. He told the mystified interviewer that there is no mechanism within Darwinism for morals. That doesn’t mean that Gould or others who hold to Darwinism are more immoral than Christians, as far as I know he was very moral. It is to say that there is no basis within Darwinism for morals. Those that survive survive and those who don’t survive don’t survive and that’s it. If one group is able to over power and subjugate or kill another group, that’s just Darwinism at work. So even if it was the case that Fundamentalist Christians are “anti-humane, violent, fascistic/totalitarian” what would be wrong with that from a Darwinian standpoint? In fact, as we look over political history those who held most strongly to Darwinism were the ones to did or advocated killing the most. The writer names Joseph Stalin as though he is an example of Christian fundamentalism. In point of fact, there is no evidence that Stalin ever claimed Christianity as his faith but he was a devoted Darwinist along with Karl Marx. Stalin killed at least 20 million (some put this as high as 100 million. See How many people did Stalin kill?.) Hitler, who was not only a devoted Darwinist but based much of his social policy on Social Darwinism and killed some 11 million. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, held the same Social Darwinist views as Hitler and advocated abortion as a method to weed out and breed out the “useless eaters” in order to not have what in her view were the more highly evolved white Europeans threatened. Her ideas have been so pervasive that the U.S. has killed in excess of 50 million through abortion and infanticide. But again, if Darwinism is true, so what? The stronger, more able to survive, get to make the rules for the weaker, less able to survive and that’s the way it is. So, if these are the writer’s views one wonders why he would think any of the things he accused Christian fundamentalists of is wrong. It is befuddling I must admit.
On the other hand, I would ask for something like actual evidence that fundamentalist Christians are (I am actually an Evangelical who believes in the fundamentals of the faith):
anti-humane, violent, fascistic/totalitarian politics, much like that practiced by Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein.”
What we find are Christians spending large sums of money and investing great amounts of time feeding the poor, providing health care, building hospitals, providing education to many in third world nations as well as here in the U.S. That includes such groups as World Vision, Global Health Ministries, Sharing and Caring Hands (Mary’s Place), Bridging, Inc, Emergency Foodshelf Network, Salvation and Feed My Starving Children. In addition there is the Southern Baptist World Missions, Calvary Chapel, in fact, most evangelical denominations have such missions in place which are funded by local churches. I can’t right off hand think of any atheist, agnostic or Darwinist organizations doing such things but then again, why would they? That would be inconsistent with their claimed beliefs. But perhaps individuals like the above writer or someone who shares these views can provide abundant examples of Christians killing non-Christians wholesale and support the claim that fundamentalists Christians are “anti-humane, violent, fascistic/. totalitarian”
The writer further contends that:
Your entire religion is founded on the premise of massive killing of human beings. Fundamentalists delight in knowing that many people are killed, and make up little stories to justify the massive killing.
My first reaction is, huh? If this is truly what we believe why would I have written on the atrocities of abortion and infanticide? If it is true that our faith is founded on massive killings of human beings and we delight in such killings, why wouldn’t we simply open more death clinics and off even more of the unborn. After all, they can’t fight back and it would be easier to achieve higher quotas and thus increase our delight in knowing how many we have killed. However, it is easy to make such assertions as long as one doesn’t have to actually prove them. I might point out that it could be that Christians act inconsistently with the basics on which the faith was “founded” but that doesn’t prove or disprove the foundation of the faith. For example Christianity is clear that sex outside of marriage is a sin. It doesn’t matter if it is adultery, homosexuality, incest, pedophilia fornication, etc. Any sex outside of marriage is sin. All Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are in agreement with what Scripture teaches on this score. And yet, at least some of them engage in sex outside of marriage as we just saw with Governor Mark Sanford . Far from disproving the foundational claims of Christianity in the area of sex and actually proves that all are sinners including Christians. The essential difference is those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and those who continue to hold their faith in themselves.
What we find as the foundation of the faith is that one innocent (Who is fully man and fully God), Jesus Christ, willingly chose to give His life sacrificially in order to freely provide salvation to all of the guilty who believe. Far from the claim of delighting in or having as a foundation of the faith the killing of massive amounts of humans is simply not provable from Scripture. As pointed out above, although this is not a belief upon which the faith was founded that doesn’t mean that many, most or even all fundamental or evangelical Christian churches don’t teach their folks week in and week out how to best kill non-believers and celebrate each week how many they have individually and corporately added to the nations cemeteries. The fact that I haven’t seen that in any of the churches I have spoken in or attended that doesn’t mean they aren’t engaged in the sort of full out killing spree which the writer claimed. I would simply say, “Please provide the evidence.” Anything less only exposes the bankruptcy of their claims. Of course, if you can’t stand the heat …