“Criticisms of Christianity Answered’” is an article from Dr. Gordon H. Clark’s papers. Both the original scan and a transcribed document are here made available.
**Items from the unpublished papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark should not be considered his definitive statement on the particular topic addressed. These papers are being provided for educational value. For Dr. Clark’s official positions consult his published writings.**
Notes: An article of Dr. Gordon H. Clark from the Quarryvillian, Vol. 1, No. 2, February 24, 1946.
CRITICISMS OF CHRISTIANITY ANSWERED
BY GORDON H. CLARK
Before this recent war liberal theologians and irreligious psychologists often attempted to debunk Christianity and to belittle orthodoxy by arguing that orthodox Christians were conditioned in childhood in favor of such ideas; and if those so conditioned would only grow up and become broadminded, they would put away their childish notions.
This psychological argument against Scriptural religion is nothing other than an attempt to browbeat Christian people. We who learned of Christ at our mother’s knee are supposed to admit the fact and be ashamed of it.
There is a very pertinent reply to this type of psychological argument. It should be noted that those who attack Christianity were also conditioned in their childhood. They were conditioned against God and His Word. In their homes there was no family worship. More often than not they read the Sunday paper instead of going to church. God and the Bible were ignored, if not explicity attacked; and the whole course of their parents’ conduct taught them that religion is useless and somewhat foolish. Now grown to maturity these people complain that orthodox Christians have been conditioned in childhood, and they browbeat us and deceive themselves in forgetting that they too have been equally conditioned, though in an opposite direction. Let us no longer accept such sophistry as a refutation of our beliefs or as an explanation of them.
Now later with the coming of World War II another attack was made and continues to be made against orthodox Christianity. During the recent months it has permeated the popular magazines. The atack gains plausibility and a sympathetic hearing by first calling attention to Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jews. From this easily understood atrocity, the argument demands civil and social equality for all creeds and races. The argument then suggests that all creeds like all races are of equal worth and are equally true, or equally meaningless. It implies that civil and social equality depends on the removal of definite religious beliefs. The orthodox churches are disparaged by calling them sects. Note how frequently the popular magazines speak about sects instead of denominations. The cry of sectarianism is the smear technique. And the impression is produced that anyone who believes his religion is better than another’s is a dangerous person. The public is given to understand that those who will not admit that Judaism is satisfactory are therefore anti-semitic and want to murder the Jews. And also any Protestant that has any doubts as to the politics of Romanism is pictured as a menace to America. A religion of definite beliefs, particularly Scriptural Christianity, is called bigotry, and to attack bigotry is a social virtue. The attack on the Bible is thus made a social virtue, but the believer’s attempt to preach the blood of Christ is fascist and deserves the concentration camp.
But is it true, is it even reasonable to suppose that a man must be anti-semitic if he disagrees with the religion of the Jews? If a Christian wants to convert a Jew, if a Christian wants to persuade a Jew – or anyone else – does it follow that he wants to murder him? The argument is utterly absurd; and had it not ben for Hitler’s abominable persecutions, few would have been deceived by it. But the sympathy which Hitler’s victims so greatly deserve has led a none too religious populace to the conclusion that all definite religious ideas are evil. Religious differences violate social equality, they argue; and those who originated this argument hope that a godless government will suppress all religious differences. But the Bible-believing Christian must give forth his witness still, for the issues at stake are those of life and death.