Are all Wars caused by Religion


Are all Wars caused by Religion

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Questions Answered

Pastor Steven Birnie

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“…As a Christian, I’ve been challenged at times by people saying that religion is the cause of all wars and since I don’t know much about the subject, I don’t know how to answer. I know it can’t be true so what would be a healthy response?…”

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Response – “…There are many causes of war but no, not ALL wars are caused by religion, but some are….”

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This question is an extremely common statement directed toward those with a belief system in their lives and as a Christian, I’ve heard this directed at individuals many times either as a genuine question or just another pop at our faith, so it’s important we know a basic answer so that we can respond confidently and of course in love. As I’ve said throughout our Questions Answered Series of articles, our reason for knowing the truths to these questions is not so we can have an extremely wise answer to prove an individual wrong and walk away victorious, but to use the situation as a means to help the individual think about what they believe and hopefully convince them otherwise.

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There’s usually two ways this question is put to us like I said, either it’s a genuine question or it’s a little attack on our faith and for the latter, the simple advice would be not to get too involved at all. God is very clear on this in the Book of Timothy where Paul encourages Timothy, to avoid foolish and unlearned questions, instructing him that all it does is provoke strife and in the end, it’s hardly worth getting into. However with a genuine question, it’s a real opportunity so since we can’t all be experts in politics and world history, the below would be just a basic overview of the subject for your own faith.

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Some of the reasons wars take place include political beliefs, to defend a weak people, to gain more land and wealth, corruption, independence, tribal differences and of course religion to name but a few. Indeed when we look at some of the most major causes of war in the last century, we find that most of these wars we’re fought over political beliefs, for example East versus West – Communism versus Democracy, in which the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War were fought and those political systems still keep the world fairly divided today. In recent times though, we’ve seen an emerging ‘War on Terror’ as it’s put, which mainly began after events like 9/11 and the Underground Bombing in London and since then, papers and news outlets have had their pages covered in stories relating to the subject, which make the statement ‘all wars are caused by religion’, a far more common belief than ever.

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So hopefully from this basic overview, you can see so far that no, not all wars are caused by religion but some are and it’s a fact which can’t be dismissed however, these individuals who fight these wars or cause terror in the name of religion, tend to be extremists and unfortunately, each religion has own, including Christianity. It’s those individuals who bring their particular faith into disrepute and add weight to the statement that ALL wars are caused by religion however, you can’t tar a whole religion based on the actions of a few, no, you look upon these individuals in their correct light, they are extremists and it’s unlikely they are truly practicing the faith they profess.

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The statement itself then is a very untrue belief to hold and very unlearned, showing an individual doesn’t quite know their history to be making such a statement but hopefully the above, in your own words, will give you a basic view to have a real conversation with someone about this common statement. Hopefully from this, you could have a great conversation to convince and change a person’s mind by giving them the reality that no, not ALL wars are caused by religion but some, regrettably are. People will always respond better when we give them a balanced answer rather than defending ourselves, giving us a real opportunity to talk to those who challenge us in a relaxed manner.

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I hope this has been a good but very basic answer for you to explore for yourself and settle in your own mind and my encouragement would always be, to settle these questions for our own faith first, so we can confidently respond in a balanced way.

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God bless

Pastor Steven Birnie

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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.