Critics of Christianity are fond of referring to the present...

Kingston (N. Y.) Leader

Critics of Christianity are fond of referring to the present war as a demonstration that Christianity has failed. It is quite possible that Christianity has failed to accomplish all that it might, but to hold it responsible for the European catastrophe is absurd. All wars and strifes from the beginning of time have been due to the ignorance, selfishness, and brutality of mankind, and it is quite possible that these very evils have permeated Christianity and prejudiced its work and operation. It is well known that evil has been wrought under the guise of religion, but in essence and principles Christianity is a civilizing influence in the world. The world has progressed infinitely since the birth of Christianity. Incidents can be cited where men and organizations professing Christianity worked evil; but this was not the fault of Christianity, but of men who utilized its forms to accomplish their own selfish purposes. Yet with all the violence that has been done to Christian principles, they remain today the standards of life and conduct for both individuals and nations.

The Sermon on the Mount and the golden rule are as full of vitality and just as applicable today as when they were uttered. When the nations at war cease their warfare and seek to establish lasting peace, Christian principles remain as a sure foundation upon which to erect the fabric of national life and world harmony. Indeed, there are no other principles upon which to base such beneficent work. Christianity has not been superseded by any modern discovery. It perhaps may be criticized for not having attained to such influence as to make the present war impossible, but the vastness of its task should not be forgotten when making this criticism. Rather, it should be a matter of wonder and a cause for rejoicing that Christianity has been able to accomplish so much.

In Christianity mankind possesses the vital element of human progress and happiness. Wherever this element has been given scope and encouragement, enlightenment, humanity, and virtue have increased. May not the present war be the last great onslaught of the evil of ignorance, selfishness, and false pride, against the humane and benevolent as represented by Christianity? It should be obvious to the world that the motives and teachings which inspire war are a failure, while the doctrines of Christianity remain in the ascendent. There are doubtless false prophets and false disciples of Christianity,—evil men who wear the cloak of religion for their selfish ends,—but the world has no other resort than to Christian principles when it desires to proceed along the paths of peace, progress, and happiness. The teachings of Christ remain the last word for the guidance of men and nations in their relations with each other.

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