“The world has far too much morality. If you added up all the homicides committed in pursuit of self-help justice, the casualties of religious and revolutionary wars, the people executed for victimless crimes and misdemeanors, and the targets of ideological genocides, they would surely outnumber the fatalities from amoral predation and conquest. The human moral sense can excuse any atrocity in the minds of those who commit it, and it furnishes them with motives for acts of violence that bring them no tangible benefit.”I recently read this in Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature. The book is a VERY in depth look at why violence has declined throughout history (832 pages in-depth). It is truly a fascinating read but Pinker is certainly not kind to God and religion. Particularly the stereotypical views of God and religion but many people may not be able to discern between the two unless they have experienced a healthy church that contradicts many of these types of stereotypes. The first sentence of that quote stuck with me. “The world has far too much morality.” Certainly not something we traditionally assume yet Pinker shows how humans are capable of horrific things when motivated for religious reasons. Reading this quote reminded me of a few things that we all can own as believers today:
- Morality is not the goal. Submission to Jesus Christ and to the leading of the Spirit should be.
- We can be moral and fail as Christians. Are you aiming to uphold the 10 Commandments? You’re aiming in the wrong direction.
- We must live out our faith in a way that breaks the stereotypes, especially those of us in America.
- Pursuit of religion has the ability to actually send us in the opposite direction from God.
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