Letter misses point about religious beliefs

Although the view expressed by Matthew Harris in his letter (Sept. 3) is understandable in light of current events, he is mistaken on several points.

First, Harris wrongly suggests “religion was designed to conform society into right.” Religion was not invented to achieve any particular end. Rather, the very nature of religion is that believers begin with what they honestly believe about God, generally on the basis of some kind of evidence (such as the physical resurrection of someone who was crucified because he claimed to be the unique son of God), and then behave according to those beliefs.

Second, Harris suggests a good God would not want to deny a heavenly inheritance to anyone. But the problem is everyone has rebelled against God. 1 Timothy 2:4 reads God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. The question is not about whether God wants all people to inherit the kingdom but whether people are willing to accept the terms of that inheritance. We believe that these terms are simply that we acknowledge we fall short of God’s holiness, that He alone has the ability to restore our broken our broken relationship, and that He has done so by sending Jesus to die in our place.

Third, Harris blames religion for the “devastation of war for past and present,” and concludes, “religion is the worst thing to happen to mankind.” One needs only to remember the violence of events like the Communist revolutions of the last century to see the absence of genuine religion and religious ideals is what has allowed the worst tendencies of mankind to flourish. Harris seems averse to the presence of religious ideals in our society. Is he thinking about love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Gentle-ness? Faithfulness? Self-control? Man has done horrible things in the name of religion, but to say religion is “the worst thing to happen to mankind,” is preposterous. The real problem is mankind is one of the worst things to happen to mankind. True religious ideals actually serve to keep the inherent violence of mankind in check.

Phil GloyerDirectorBaptist Student Union

Austin MayfieldFreshmanBusiness Management Major