Mother Theresa, probably one of the most famous Christians alive was an agnostic/atheist during most of her life. Below are a few citations from private letters that she wrote:
“So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them … because of the blasphemy … If there be God … please forgive me … When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. I am told God loves me … and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”
“What do I labor for?” she asked in one letter. “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.” (1)
The conquest of the Americas by “Christian” forces from Europe was as grotesque and horrific as these purported killings by ISIS in Iraq.
Bartolomé de las Casas, an eyewitness, documented the treatment of natives by the “Christian” conquistadors as follows:
“They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike.“
“They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!”
(Las Casas, “The Devastation of the Indies”)
Plato was one of the most important Greek philosophers in history. But philosophy aside, his influence on the Christian church was very profound.
It was Platos philosophy of the soul that became the only view in Christian theology (the Hebrew Old testament has no such concept). In fact the early church frequently quoted Plato and considered him their intellectual mentor.
St. Augustine, probably the most important church father said “The utterance of Plato” is the “the most pure and bright in all philosophy, scattering the clouds of error.”
Dean Inge, the famous professor of divinity, said that: “Platonism is part of the vital structure of Christian theology.” (See more about Plato’s influence here: https://blog.logos.com/2013/11/plato-christianity-church-fathers/)
And yet Plato expressed homosexual love towards young men. (1)
It’s very common for contemporary Christian preachers to travel around and ask for money. Yet such a practice was literally considered the sign of a “false prophet” by the early church.
The Didache says: “Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord… and when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet”
(The Didache is an early Christian text from the 2nd century that was frequently quoted by the early church fathers. It was once considered by many to be a canonical book of the New Testament, for example the 4th century Church historian Eusebius in his Historia Ecclesiastica III, mentions this book as being part of an early canon, alongside The Revelation of John. As the canon grew and developed, the didache was later excluded from most “bibles” although the Ethiopian Coptic Church still accepts this book as part of their Bible.)
Adolf Hitler was a great orator and, regardless of his personal religious convictions which are oft debated, he led Nazi Germany under the appearance of a Christian leader.
In many of his public speeches he often referred to God, sometimes by name of Jesus or Lord. Many of these were never recorded on video, however, some of Hitlers speeches indeed remain. This is a clip from a Nazi propaganda film that shows Hitler telling Germans that the Nazi movement came directly from God.
Moral of the story? Be cautious of great speakers who tell you their movement is from God.