I got a magazine in the mail titled “The voice of the Martyrs” with it contents leading me to their website www.persecution.com. And here is an excerpt of the mission statement of this organization:
” The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nation..”
The magazine contained stories of people who have been tortured, died or presently in some horrible situation in an effort to defend the Christian faith. You might be interested in reading about that here. The question I ask is, why does God need this much defending; that question was too narrow. The more appropriate question is, why is religion the root of all evil?
While I seek to answer that question, I would read the bible and get some good moral lesson, or is there? In my reading of the “word of God”, I came across this strange story, let’s share (Amplified Bible, bold emphasis are mine):
Judges 19: 14-30
14So they passed on and went their way, and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin,
15And they turned aside there to go in and lodge at Gibeah. And the Levite went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no man took them into his house to spend the night.
16And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. He was from the hill country of Ephraim but was living temporarily in Gibeah, but the men of the place were Benjamites.
17And when he looked up, he saw the wayfarer in the city square, and the old man said, Where are you going? And from where did you come?
18The Levite replied, We are passing from Bethlehem of Judah to the rear side of the hill country of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem of Judah, but I am [now] going [home] to the house of the Lord [where I serve], and there is no man who receives me into his house.
19Yet we have both straw and provender for our donkeys and bread and wine also for me, your handmaid, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything.
20And the old man said, Peace be to you, but leave all your wants to me; only do not lodge in the street.
21So he brought him into his house and gave provender to the donkeys. And the guests washed their feet and ate and drank.
22Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, beset the house round about, beat on the door, and said to the master of the house, the old man, Bring forth the man who came to your house, that we may have intercourse with him.
23And the man, the master of the house, went out and said to them, No, my kinsmen, I pray you, do not act so wickedly; seeing that this man is my guest, do not do this [wicked] folly.
24Behold, here are my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine; them I will bring out now; debase them and do with them what seems good to you, but to this man do not so vile a thing.
25But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and forced her forth to them, and they had intercourse with her and abused her all the night until morning. And when the dawn began to break, they let her go.
26At daybreak the woman came and fell down and lay at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till it was light.
27And her master rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way; and behold, his concubine had fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
28And he said to her, Up, and let us be going. But there was no answer [for she was dead]. Then he put her [body] upon the donkey, and the man rose up and went home.
29And when he came into his house, he took a knife, and took hold of his dead concubine and divided her [body] limb by limb into twelve pieces and sent her [body] throughout all the territory of Israel.
30And all who saw it said, There was no such deed done or seen from the day that the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt to this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak [your minds].
No, this is not from a horror novel, you are reading a book, believed by millions to be a guide for good morals — and this morals should be taken verbatim. I keep wondering, have Christians really read the bible enough or they are just been selective? Or maybe its just the block religion creates against questioning.