I'm a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a follower of Jesus who is learning how to love God and people better. Scroll down to take a look at some of my adventures!



Excerpt from Relevant Magazine's website:

Surprisingly there is no group more divided by the torture debate than the Church. The Pew Forum recently asked a select number of Americans of different religious backgrounds whether or not the use of torture can be justified. According to the survey, 44 percent of white evangelical Protestants said torture could sometimes be justified. Also, the survey shows that people who go to religious services weekly are more likely to support torture in certain cases, rather than those who hardly attend. If the Bible says, “Love your enemy,” why then would so many Christians support torture?

Missionary Aaron Taylor thinks it is closely related to the evangelical church’s overemphasis on man’s sinful nature. “Whether most evangelicals realize it or not,” he writes on Sojourners’ blog, “our underlying assumption is that those who are not born again are only capable of evil. Even if we notice good behavior in nonbelievers, our understanding of the Christian faith demands that we attribute it to selfish motives.” While Taylor does not deny that man is sinful by nature, he also believes that focusing too much on it does more harm than good. “When we take total depravity to mean that every nonbeliever at all times is only capable of sinning,” he writes, “we forget that even fallen human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore capable of reason.”

This makes a lot of sense as to why many Christians support some form of torture. But it also makes me so frustrated. How in the world is torture ever okay? What about Jesus' life gives us permission to torture people by "walking as he walked." And on top of that, most of those torturing others are probably non-christians themselves. So they see the Church supporting them in this de-humanization of others? This is absurdity.


Isaac Johnson said...

I have given a lot of thought and had some good discussions with people about this. It's a very troubling issue. I think that the answer is far more obvious than the reasoning the author gives.

When you look at the evangelical population in America, which political party are they more statistically likely the align themselves with? The Republicans. When you look at the issue of torture, which political party is more likely to be in favor of it? The Republicans.

I think that evangelicals have too closely aligned themselves with right wing politics, to the detriment of all. Because the republicans may largely agree with 1 or 2 issues, evangelicals align themselves with their camp and then adopt their platform and practices, even though that may not be the most Biblical thing to do (after all, we can't actually agree with the democrats on some things and not others, could we?)

I think the author's reasoning is false largely because the teaching he is claiming to be the driving force in this issue has not been the trend of evangelical preaching in America. As someone who has seen a lot of services from varying denominations (disciples of christ, methodists, baptist, non-denominational), and just reading what's out there, preaching that the only good we can do is from God's work in us is the exception and not the rule. People don't like to hear that they're sinful and it doesn't fill the pews or the collection plates.

It's also false to assume that teaching would cause Christians to support torture. If anything, knowing that without Christ I am more of a sinner than I can imagine - that would seem to put us on the same playing field as everyone else. They're no better and no worse than I am, because whatever I have that is good and whatever they have that is good is because of God. Then again, it's not like everyone is above misunderstanding. The most dangerous lies are twisted truths.

Anyway, those are definitely sobering statistics that should shake us up.

Tiffany said...

I think you're right on about evangelicals aligning themselves too closely (somewhat blindly, in some ways) to the republican party. maybe it prevents people from thinking for themselves about stances on issues that are seemingly unbiblical.