Millions of Christians have been killed by other Christians.
After reading the book Dominion by Tom Holland it's hard not recognize that the worst thing about Christians is their willingness to kill other Christians in the name of Christ. The book is whirlwind tour of Christendom which of course is littered with skeletons. I reminded my daughter who is also reading it that books like this (and nearly all historians) are focused on the drama, not the millions of lives who lived quietly and peacefully. That being said..
Soooo many skeletons.
It was better to burn at the stake than to burn in Hell. In many situations they believed they were "saving" people. Perhaps they would recant in the flames.
Not only them, but others..
If you really believe that Hell is a place of eternal suffering, and that heretics are responsible for sending people there through false teaching, don't you have a moral responsibility destroy the false prophet to save the sheep they are leading astray?
Maybe you have to kill one to save the 99?
Thankfully, we Christians don't roast other Christians anymore, at least at the stake. Social media is still fair game. We are more than happy to burn other Christian's online.
What other reasons can Christians justify killing?
Murderers are fair game right? Trump and his Evangelical supporters were all about the death penalty.
If you stick to the Old Testament parts of the Bible.. it's pretty bloody. God himself seems to order executions on a grand scale (those closer readings will show there was a fair bit of hyperbole backed into the language).
An eye for an eye.. a tooth for a tooth. A stoning for stealing. It's pretty murdery.
War is also a great time for Christians to do some justified killing. Who doesn't love a great story about Nazi's getting what's coming to them? After all they deserved it. When asked about completely justified wars kicking the Nazis into Hell is generally the top of the list.
For Christians, it's a confusing message. Do I turn the cheek or storm the beaches? How do I love my enemy and empty the concentration camps? Is it okay to shoot the bad guy coming through the front door or do I offer them a cup of water in Christ's name?
But.. isn't killing someone "unsaved" and actually sending them to Hell the worst possible thing you can do? If a heathen robber comes in to your home with the intent to kill wouldn't it be better to die knowing you are going to Heaven in the hopes that your martyrdom brings about their salvation? This seems like a fatal flaw in the whole self defense plan.
Do you really think you'll be enjoying the eternal feasting while listening to the gentle screams of those you gunned down in self defense? This seems bizarre to me.
If you truly believe you've got Heaven locked up.. your golden ticket safely stored away.. wouldn't it be better to take up your cross and lay your life down for even an unsaved Nazi?
Thankfully, statistically, you were probably pretty safe gunning down Nazis. According to Wikipedia roughly 90% of Germans would have considered themselves Christians. Probably more so than the people storming their captured French beaches.
I thought the goal of Christendom was to create "Christian Nations". Nations run by Christians, for Christians. Are there any examples of this working out?
[Don't say "America" here. You can't say anything really about how "used" to be a Christian nation or I will have to take you on a little history tour. America was never a Christian nation.]
When Christians screw up on such a grand scale (It doesn't get too much worse than the holocaust).. what are we to do? Claim they weren't "real" Christians?
I don't have any real answers here. Just processing.
Next up.. do aborted babies go to Heaven.. if so.. why do they get a free pass?