THE worst wounds ever inflicted on the world’s Redeemer, are those that he receives in the house his friends; that is, of his professed followers. And when his professed followers justify militarism and war, and command the armed battalions going forth to slaughter and be slaughtered as being divine agents going out to fight the battles of the Lord, they deny the Prince of Peace and give great occasion of glory to those who are his open enemies. This is illustrated in what a well-known atheist has to say of Christianity as exemplified in the practises of the armed “Christian nations” of to-day. The prevalent militarism, in which these armed nations of the earth, with their vast millions of hosts ready to fly at each other’s throats, their horrid engines of destruction, and there gospel of force, immensely outdo in display of brutal might all that paganism, ancient or modern, ever accomplished or dreamed of, is, says the spokesman of atheism, the shortest and most effective arraignment of Christianity that the despise pagan of to-day can desire.
“The world has been devastated with sanguinary encounters, and the followers of Jesus have neither prevented those horrors nor done much to mitigate their evil effects upon mankind. Indeed, Christians on both sides of the contending forces have implored God to aid them in killing each other. This was the case in the Crimean War, the Franco-German war, and the Civil War in America. In all these conflicts each side prayed to God that it might win all the battles. One would think that the disastrous consequences of those dreadful struggles between Christian nations would have been sufficient to destroy all belief in the efficacy of the prayer of supplication, for every Sunday during all these events the clergy repeated the request: ‘Give us peace in our time, O Lord.’ Still, the tragic slaughters went on, and got ignored all such appeals. Surely, if anything could show the impotency of the Christian faith as a promoter of peace, it would be the present expenditure of millions of people’s money, and the loss of millions of human lives in reckless warfare. Even to-day the prayers of the churches are offered up for the peace conference, which does not even propose to adopt Christianity as a cure for the evils of war. What a satire on Christian prayer for peace are the busy state of the warship building trade and the extra military preparations now going on, absorbing as they do a vast proportion of the earnings of the laborers of all the great nations of the world!”
In view of such statements by the champions of atheism, why can not Christian people understand that they are deeply wounding the Christian cause when they encourage the spirit of war?