His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Religion – the Root of all Evil?

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“The time has come for people of reason to say: enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, it’s divisive, and it’s dangerous.” Richard Dawkins made this statement in his 2-part documentary entitled, “The Root of All Evil?”

Apply the power of Google if you want to find out more about Dawkins and his documentary. My intent here is to look further into the question about what is the root of all evil. Is it religion, as Dawkins professes, or something else?

It’s actually quit simple to disprove Dawkins. Just look at the amount of evil conducted NOT in the name of religion. The murderer who knows nothing of God or religion – just one such example breaks down Dawkins’ assertions.

Yet history is indeed full of evil conducted in the name of some religion. It’s happening all around us, everyday. So what does all evil have in common; both religiously motivated evil, and evil of other motivations?

Are you ready? The root of evil is not religion, or secularism, or even money. The root of all evil is pride.

What motivates the parent to abuse their child? A need to exert power, to exercise authority, to appear in control, ego, selfishness… pride. What motivates the dictator to murder his own people? The answer’s the same.

Why does the religious extremist set off a car bomb in a crowded marketplace? Because they are not willing to allow others to be different from them – agree with them or die. I’ve greatly simplified the issue here, for the sake of brevity. But it all boils down to selfish pride; if you don’t agree with me, you must be WRONG. The only difference between the extremists and most of the rest of us is that they assign a much more severe punishment for being “wrong”.

I could go through an exhaustive list of more examples, but I would rather invite you to come up with your own examples of evil acts. Look at each act and find the motivation. If you dig deep enough, in the bottom of that pit of evil you will find pride.

But to give Dawkins another chance, maybe religion is the root of pride? That could be possible. Using my religion of choice, let’s see what God and Jesus have to say about pride:

“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Proverbs 8:13)

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10)

“The Lord detests all the proud of heart.” (Proverbs 16:5)

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)

Dawkins believes getting rid of religion will get rid of evil. What do you believe? Be careful not to let pride, selfishness, or arrogance motivate your answer.

Author: CJ Penn

First, my writing isn't about me. Don’t want the attention, don’t want to feed my ravenous ego (yep, I’m just a typical pride-plagued human). But I love writing - it gets me out of bed when it's way too dark, just so I can do some writing before heading off to work. I write because I’m passionate about God, Jesus, His Spirit, and His truth. And, I feel the Holy Spirit gets shortchanged in the world we call Christianity. The truth is sometimes lacking too.

4 thoughts on “Religion – the Root of all Evil?

  1. the truth will set you free.! how very true this statement is from our lord.
    if in all honesty we with live the truth, and live a moralistic life, then we have no need to fear the truth to a good consciance.

    people who do evil deed’s are not christian,they are far from the truth.
    yet look at the apostle paul (saul of tarsus ) WHO PERSECUTED THE CHURCH, yet by the holy spirit was changed for ever.

    so would alot of men & women who come to know the lord change their way’s,and be lead in the holy spirit.

    root of all evil is man kind

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  2. you cant blame the parents of a child if their child steals/ kills.
    for it is the childs disobediants. God does not tell us to kill each other, he tells us to love each other. people disobey God ; its our wrong doing. if you pay attention God always tells us to NOT do wrong eg you can eat everything else but Do not eat the apple, Adam and Eve are attracted to the apple emidiatley, here you see that people are naturally attracted to evil. the word of God gives us a contiance which sustains our evil desire. do not steal was a commandment people go ahead and kill, do not kill was another, yet people do kill. its not God who leads us to kill but people do, i think to test him, but know GOD will never give up on them he just wants us to live in harmony.

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  3. Again, 1st Kings 13 is the gem God planted in the OT that is about religion vs. a personal relationship with Him (and probably why I’ve never heard a sermon based on it). When we want other “religious” people to second our holiness, we’ve lost our way. Pride has taken root. Religion, I have told my music/fashion-worshipping teenage son, is worshipping anything even a slightly bit more than God, including your own “church” or sect. It can be worship of a hobby, or a ritual or a husband or wife or health or whole foods. It can be worship of the “self” and one’s own talents (that was a hard one to put down until I applied to God for help in the matter, and then the “talent” became purified because I realized it is not “my own” but a gift). In narrowing the definition of religion, Satan has scored a temporary victory.

    Please God first and the rest will fall into place. Jesus made that clear.

    Interesting note, btw, but Mormons were visiting me all summer and I asked God if they were the “true religion” (I run everything by Him). God once again pointed to 1st Kings 13 and I discovered (when God lead me to a Mormon website) that Joseph Smith changed that story in the Bible from the false prophet having lied to him having NOT lied. Hmmmmm. Not bashing Mormons, but that is a pretty egregious and self-serving change. Then again, all religions suffer from pride as do all people, including me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ink Pastries,
      I read your comments and it seems to me that your words could have come out of my head, they are so close to my own heart and feelings. And they are such well said words.
      Plus, I now know I need to go back and re-read 1 Kings 13… it’s been too long. Thanks again.

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