Christianity Poisonous?

Chuck Colson has an excellent article in The Christian Post today that refutes the notion that Christianity has only contributed negative things to society throughout history, a notion championed by Christopher Hitchens in his book, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”. Colson points to the issue of slavery and Christianity’s role at the forefront of the abolitionist movements in history.

Sociologist Rodney Stark writes about the Church’s embrace around the third century of what he calls “a universalistic conception of humanity.” This conception “[liberated] social relations between the sexes and within the family” and “greatly modulated class differences . . . ” As Stark put it, “more than rhetoric was involved when slave and noble greeted one another as brothers in Christ.”

Given this liberating ideal, it was only a matter of time before Christians sought to eradicate slavery entirely.

It is true that Christians have not always lived up to the moral teachings of the faith: The record of the Church is not without blemish. But it is also true that when Christians kept and traded slaves, they were going against the teachings of their own religion. The theological question had long been settled.

Read the rest of Colson’s article. And go out and buy the DVD of Amazing Grace.

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