One of the main reasons I think atheism has grown in recent years is because of the politically correct cleansing of Christianity from history. I don’t think skeptics realize what motivated many of the greatest men and women in history because the concept of the “separation of church and state” has been so entrenched into our school systems that the prohibition against bringing God into the classroom even reaches down into the content of our social studies and science classes.
For example, when learning about Isaac Newton, I’m sure kids learn about his contributions to the scientific world, but do they learn about what inspired him to accomplish his great body of work? Not at this web site:
Contrast this simple washed-out version of history that a child more than likely receives through a public school with the comprehensive filled-out teaching a homeschooled child could receive:
One version certainly won’t include this motivating factor on why Newton wrote the Principia Mathematica from their bio and one probably will:
“When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity & nothing can rejoyce me more then to find it usefull for that purpose.”
Newton wrote his greatest work with the hope that it would convince men to believe in God. What public school child will hear that? Instead, they will live under the impression that the pursuit of scientific knowledge, rather than the pursuit of God, inspired Newton’s work.
I have a degree in history, but my studies rarely revealed any of the motivations of the men and women who changed the world. The texts were filled with who, what, when, and where, but they neglected the WHY!
So, where did I learn this larger view of history? I’ve been a homeschool mom since 1989, and I began to learn about the “why” of history while reading my kids’ history books–which I obtained from Christian publishers who wanted to share the beautiful impact that Jesus and his Gospel had on the history of the world.
I remember in the 1990’s when I first learned about Martin Luther and how he opposed the Catholic Church and was called before the Inquisition. I was floored. I never really knew about the Reformation and how it impacted so much of history. I was so impressed by Luther that in 2003 when I attended a college which was started by the Reformed Church (those churches who were birthed out of the Reformation), I was so excited about the Junior Studies course on the Reformation that I awkwardly visited the professor’s office and expressed my enthusiasm. (I don’t think Professor Christiansen understood where I was coming from!) Unfortunately this college, like so many others, seems to have wandered further and further away from its roots. I was there for one of the last years they offered Reformation Studies.
Atheists might charge that I received a biased education from these Christian publishers, yet the quotes found in these books are historically documented. They didn’t make them up. The quote found above by Newton was written in a letter to Richard Bentley.
It’s hard to argue that the person who has more of the truth is less informed than the one with less of the truth. I mean, which type of education is more likely to be biased–the one which is missing many parts of the story, or the one which includes more parts of the story? In fact, I would argue the one with less facts is more prone to deception.
Since it’s rare for an atheist to have studied the full historical story, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to historical debate. They love to throw out statements about Christians being ignorant, or being (as I have personally been called) a “wall of stupid,” but when a person has only learned a portion of the story, while their opponent has a larger portion of the story, who is more ignorant? How accurate is a half-truth?
I think it’s sad that we have decided, as a society, to cleanse any knowledge of those things that have inspired so much passion and excitement in the lives of the greatest men and women in history. It makes the things these great thinkers did, seem like an anomaly, something accomplished out of a fluke of extraordinary intelligence or courage, instead of teaching that any child can be heroic and do great things for the world if he would only try to please God with his life.
In the name of constitutional “rights,” the cleansing of Christianity from history has been accomplished by the public school system. Our fear of offending anybody or influencing any kid toward or away from God has led us to just wipe this part of the historical slate clean. In the process we’ve created a generation that thinks the world can do just fine without God, thank you. They’ve never been taught the whole truth, so they don’t understand that so many of the blessings that have come to humanity have come through the hearts, minds, and hands of those who loved and served God.
A SAD result of this is the formation of a divided society. A SCARY result is that a less informed group of people, with their cleansed version of history, wrongly believing they are more informed, is now beginning to rise up in arrogant opposition to those who have a fuller understanding of history. Atheists think they are intellectually superior to those who have learned not only the facts of science, but the thing that motivated the scientists to discover those facts.
And even sadder is the atheists’ inability to see the whole truth of their own history. They’ve also cleansed their own past of all motivation and inspiration, claiming that the brutal atheistic regimes of the last century weren’t caused by their views on God! Yet the tyrannical damage done to millions of people was done by those who clearly despised God and his people (not only by those who believed in and defended Marxist ideology).
It’s as though atheists have applied their scientific view (Darwinism) with its necessity that something comes from nothing, onto their social science views. Good and evil just happen. They don’t have a source.
Christian pastors and teachers have not only a great opportunity, but a great responsibility, to teach the truth of Christianity’s impact on history so our children don’t become prey to the cleansed, dumbed-down version being taught in a vacuum in the public school systems, a history of random facts with no meaning, inspiration, or purpose ever explained, except the current politically correct view that places every historical event into a racist, Darwinist, or sexist pigeonhole.
Unfortunately for the atheist, racism was fought most vehemently by Christians, science’s greatest advances were accomplished by creationists, and sexism has been conquered the most in those societies where Christianity has flourished the most.
Trying to share these truths with those atheists who have essentially been brainwashed is a daunting task. But this is the result of wiping the slate of history clean–we’ve created atheists.
Slavery and racism are prevalent in the bible, the former sanctioned by your god.
Creationists such as the ACE (accelerated christian education)schools teach that the world is only 6000 years old and that humans existed with dinosaurs – both of these are outright lies.
Sexism was most prevalent in patriarchal societies, and Christian societies were a large part of this. Are you that blind as to not know when suffrage for women became law?
South Africa for example was ostensibly a Christian country and the vote was only afforded all peoples after 1994.
And your precious Christians, the NGK, used the bible to justify disenfranchising the majority of the population, a pattern that was notable across many Christian colonies in Africa.
Your understanding of all these issues is dangerously flawed. You should try to acquaint yourself with the facts as they are not as you see them through rose tinted glasses, a hallmark of the cherry picking that christians and other religious folk tend to favour.
Remember, you are perfectly entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.
Racism was fought most vehemently by Christians. Frederick Douglass, William Wilberforce, and William Lloyd Garrison were just some of the most passionate abolitionists–and they were committed Christians. Most of the greatest achievements of science–those that blessed the world–were achieved by Christians. And the societies where Jesus and the Bible are prevalent have been the societies that have advanced the rights of women.
Women’s suffrage in America was led by Christian women. One of its greatest leaders, Susan B. Anthony proclaimed, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” She was arrested and mocked, but eventually her scriptural arguments won out. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was a leader at the original “Seneca Falls” meeting was also a Christian. One of the most influential leaders concerning women’s rights was, surprisingly, Elizabeth Booth, wife of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
I think you may be from South Africa. If you are, you must remember the showdown between the Zulus and the Voortrekkers where thousands of Zulus surrounded the covered wagons of the Voortrekkers and they prayed and asked for the help of God to not be defeated. This event informed so much of how the Europeans dealt with the Africans.
The missions movement to Africa led to educational advances. Even Nelson Mandela benefited from missionaries who started the University College of Fort Hare.
And perhaps you have heard of David Bosch, a member of the NGK who rebelled against his church concerning apartheid. He recently received the Order of the Baobab from the President of South Africa “for his selfless struggle for equality … and his dedication to community upliftment. By doing so, he lived the values of non-racialism against the mainstream of his own culture.” David Bosch is now a hero in the Christian world. His books on missions are very influential.
I think it is easy to get the missions movement mixed up with the social Darwinists, such as Cecil Rhodes, who abused Africans and looked at them as the “white man’s burden.” (And a work force.)
If our God sanctioned slavery and racism, why is it that those who fought the most for freedom were Christians who loved the gospel?
The New Testament doesn’t promote slavery. And even the Old Testament references to slavery can be explained–many of the abolitionists wrote extensively about these references.
I think atheists look at history with revisionist glasses. They don’t realize how much of their life has been blessed by Christians . . . especially since much of the influence of Christianity on world history has been covered over by secularists in the educational field.
You have a myopic view of history.
Yes, Christians fought slavery and racism and stood up for women;s suffrage but is was Christians who instituted such practices in the first place. For god’s sake, what history are you reading?
The Civil War in the US. was fought over slavery by opposing factions of Christians.
Really? And you could list all those wonderful advances could you?
There was pretty much nothing like a non-christian movement in those days (or at least non religious) so this is rather a silly statement to make.
Besides, the Christianizing of Africa went hand in hand with the colonialist carving up the continent – Colonial Powers that were by and large Christian who thought the African was sub-human.
And look at the ”wonderful” things that are happening in Kenya and Nigeria. And let’s not forget the wars in Congo, shall we?
South Africa suffered decades of apartheid because of your ”Christian” values, so please don’t preach your goody two shoes Christian/religious bulldust to me. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
You always want to paint Christians with the darkest of brushes and infer that atheist are some how more virtuous. Why can’t you see that the problem is not religion, but our collective fallen human condition?
I have never said the ‘Problem” ( whatever the hell that is) is religion.
I am saying that many of the problems can be traced to religion, and without it, we would all be a jolly site better off.
At least since the beginning of the Neolithic period some 12 to 14 thousand years ago, human beings have organized themselves in ways that lead to exploitation and enslavement of other human beings. If you take religion out of the equation, I seriously doubt that the human condition would be any better.
I don’t know how comments always seem to slip by me. I just saw your October reply today as a result of Marc commenting on it.
I agree with you that religion is evil. Religion means “to reconnect.” Re-lig-ion. “Lig” means to connect–as in lig-ament, a connecting tissue. Religion is the attempt to reconnect to God after the relationship was lost at the Fall. The problem with most religions is that they have a false way of reconnecting to God.
Some religions teach that they must travel on pilgrimages, or wash in a river, or give to the poor, or climb up the steps of a temple until a person’s knees are bloody, or beat themselves, or constantly confess, or light candles, or swing incense, of walk a labyrinth, or fast, or offer sacrifices, or any other number of religious activities, in order to please God and be able to come to him.
Christianity teaches that these are false ways to reconnect to God. And because they’re false they don’t produce love, kindness, faithfulness, and compassion in a person’s heart.
False religion produces ugliness and pain. But there is ONE religion that is connecting to God properly–through the blood of the Lamb–Jesus. And that religion has produced much beauty in history as its followers held fast to grace and truth.
I would love it if you would have an open mind and just look into these evidences of the beauty of Christianity as it’s revealed in history.