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Does Religion Cause War?

War Hatred Love (Divine)

Source: Encyclopedia of Wars - 3 Volume of Set (Fact on File Library of World History) by Charles Phillips

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-21

Scripture: John 13:35

Author: Illustration Exchange
19

ILLUSTRATION

In the wake of the senseless massacre of human life in Paris, I have heard a familiar refrain. A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that religion is the problem. They tell us that if we just do away with religion, wars would cease. They tout the John Lennon philosophy, made popular in the song "Imagine."

But what those who hold this opinion have failed to take into account is that the 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of mankind, and that the atrocities of that century were committed by anti-religious movements, led by men like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Chiang Kai-shek, Hideki Tojo, and Pol Pot. These men were not religiously motivated, yet they ruthlessly slaughtered millions of people:

Joseph Stalin - 42,672,000
Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) - 37,828,000
Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000
Chiang Kai-shek - 10,214,000
Vladimir Lenin - 4,017,000
Hideki Tojo - 3,990,000
Pol Pot - 2,397,000

This wasn't that long ago. How have we forgotten so quickly?

APPLICATION

Philip and Axelrod's three-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WARS chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been fought in the course of human history. The authors only categorize 123 of these wars as being religiously motivated, with 66 of these 123 being waged in the name of Islam.

That means that ALL RELIGIONS COMBINED – minus Islam – have caused only 3.23% OF ALL WARS!!!!!!

Instead of blaming religion as the common denominator of war, it would make more sense to focus on the common denominator between Islamic Jihadists and men like Mao, Stalin and Hitler, etc., WHICH WOULD BE HATE! Throughout history, hateful men have waged war. Some perpetrated their hateful actions in the name of religion, others did not. Nevertheless, it is hate, not religion, that is the common denominator.

Conversely, let us not forget the countless millions who have been inspired by religion to love and serve humanity. While jihadists are blowing people up, Christians and other religiously motivated people are working in leper colonies in third-world-countries, feeding starving children in the mountains of Peru, providing warm beds to the homeless in countless shelters the world over.

Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another," thus providing us with a common denominator by which to judge true religion (John 13:35).

UNBROKEN Hits Theaters and Stirs Hearts

Brokenness War Salvation

Source: "After 'Unbroken': The remarkable story of Louis Zamperini's faith" By Franklin Graham, Published December 24, 2014 on FoxNews.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:24 ; Luke 22:19

Author: Franklin Graham / Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Movie fans flocked to theaters to watch the highly anticipated release of the movie "Unbroken"--the true story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who enlisted in WWII to fight in the Pacific against the onslaught of the the Japanese. A bombardier, Louie's plane went down in the ocean where he was lost at sea, afloat on a raft for 47 days.

Nearly succumbing to dehydration, hunger, shark attacks, and storms, Louie made a deal with God to serve Him always if only He would spare his life.

Louie's life was indeed spared, but not by rescue by the US forces as he'd anticipated. Rather, he was found and "rescued" by the Imperial Navy of Japan. He was subsequently imprisoned at a string of Japanese labor camps where he suffered unbearable torture at the hands of his captors until the end of the war.

Upon his rescue and release, he was hailed as a hero. Franklin Graham recounts what followed:

For a time he enjoyed the celebrity of heroism and hob-knobbing with Hollywood. He met and married a beautiful woman named Cynthia Applewhite and life was good. But when all the glitz and glamour faded and reality set in, reoccurring nightmares of war and memories of Louie’s torture by his enemies tormented him.

To escape these horrors, Louie turned to alcohol. Pent-up anger overcame him.

His wife who genuinely loved him felt she had no choice but to divorce him. The man who had endured horrific physical and mental abuse, and emerged unbroken from the ravages of war, had succumbed to an enemy that would not let go -- himself.

In September 1949, Billy Graham was running an evangelistic crusade under a giant tent in downtown Los Angeles. Louie's wife, invited by neighbors, attended the crusade and immediately gave her life to Christ.

Her first act as a new believer was to inform Louie that she had changed her mind (and heart!) and would not divorce him.

She began earnestly inviting Louie to attend the crusade with her. Seeing the changes in his wife, he finally agreed.

Billy Graham, unaware of Zamperini's horrific experience lost at sea, and his fateful "deal" with God if He would but save his life, said these convicting words: “There’s a drowning man, a drowning woman, a drowning boy or girl lost in the sea of life.”

In that moment, Louie walked the aisle and gave his life to Christ.

Graham recounts:

When he returned home from the meeting he poured his liquor down the drain, dumped his girlie magazines in the trash, and crumpled up his cigarettes and disposed of them.

He found a Bible that had been issued by the air corps and began reading. For the first time God’s Word began to make sense to him.

This former prisoner of war had discovered the joy of freedom found in Christ and desired to pass it on to others.

Louie Zamperinis would go on to forgive even those who had held him captive, and lived the rest of his days serving the Savior who rescued his soul.

APPLICATION

We are indeed our own worst enemies. As Franklin Graham so eloquently stated, "The man who had endured horrific physical and mental abuse, and emerged unbroken from the ravages of war, had succumbed to an enemy that would not let go -- himself." 

Until we come to that place of brokenness--not just physical, emotional or psychological, but spiritual!--we cannot receive the rescue of our souls from the One Who was "broken" for us.

"Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me" (1 Corthinians 11:24, KJV).

Illustration Exchange

Changing Your Legacy

Legacy Repentance War

Source: Is It Real When It Doesn't Work? (Thomas Nelson, 1990)

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Scripture: Ezekiel 11:19

Author: Doug Murren and Barb Sharin
6

ILLUSTRATION

 In 1867, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel invented a new high explosive, which he named "dynamite." He was convinced that his invention would make war too horrible to ever happen again. However, he quickly discovered there was no shortage of buyers for his new explosive. He made a huge fortune from its sales, yet was horrified with the suffering and misery it caused in wars and conflicts. But what was he to do?

Towards the end of the 19th century he awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local paper: "Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before. He died a very rich man."

Actually, it was Alfred's older brother who had died. A newspaper reporter had confused the epitaph. But the account had a profound effect on Alfred. He decided he wanted to be known for something other than developing a means to kill people efficiently, and for amassing a fortune in the process.

As a result, he initiated the Nobel Prize—an award for scientists and writers who foster peace. Nobel said, "Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one."

APPLICATION

That is exactly what the Gospel of God's grace does for everyone who believes. It affords the receiver the opportunity to correct their epitaph in midstream. To become know as someone whose feet are shod with the Gospel of peace.

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 11:19).

Carving Out Peace

Acceptance Peace War

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Scripture: Ephesians 2:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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Al Qaeda and Our Couch Can Equally Crush Us

Fear War Hatred

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-17

Scripture: Matthew 10:28 ; Luke 12:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
0

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Crushed By the Weight of War

Jesus' Sacrifice War Courage

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-29

Scripture: John 15:13 ; Romans 5:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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Nuclear Winter of the Soul

Science Spiritual Blindness War

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-12

Scripture: Jeremiah 4:22 ; Romans 1:22

Author: Gen. Omar Bradley
1

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War Follows Soldier Home

War Spiritual Warfare Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-26

Scripture: Ephesians 6:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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Legend of the 300

Courage Commitment War

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-25

Scripture: Philippians 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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Panetta Formally Ends Iraq War

War Gospel Freedom

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-16

Scripture: Matthew 13:

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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