These ideas are not always attacks upon the faith. Soft-hearted Christians can also be troubled at the thought of sinners suffering so greatly. No Christian should ever take Hell likely. Instead of rejecting the idea it should spur us on all the more to take risks (e.g.: the risk of rejection) in sharing the Gospel.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Part two deals with that attack upon Christianity that says, "Religion is a source of evil." In the sermon, I mention in passing the crusades & inquisition. Martin Luther certainly didn't agree with the crusades because they were considered *holy* conflicts against the Mohammedan and sponsored by the *church*. Luther's disagreement goes back to his distinction between the kingdom of the left hand and the kingdom of the right hand. The left is that of government that wields the sword. The church is of the right hand which works through the Gospel not by force of arms and civil punishments. If war must be waged against the Mohammedans it is government's job to do it in self-defense rather than on the basis of a holy mandate.
As to the the Spanish inquisition, I have heard that only 2,000 people were killed over a 300 year period. The Catholic Church shouldn't have done this at all, but it isn't as terrible as I had assumed. History is filled with much greater injustice -- e.g. the French Revolution.