A positive role for religion

March 19, 2015 | 18 comments

Here’s a 90 second video with some thought-provoking comments on the benefits of religion made by Clayton Christensen, at the Harvard Business School.

Christensen’s comments remind me that many horrible acts are committed in the name of religion around the world, but we must not let the acts of extremists and evil-minded perverters of religion teaching cover up all the moral and spiritual benefit religion provides for society.

Clayton Christensen on Religious Freedom

18 thoughts on “A positive role for religion”

  1. Love this and thank you for sharing Evan! Just as Elisha’s pure and dedicated thought purified the springs of water, in this week’s Bible Lesson, each one of us is the “salt of the earth” in living the Christ and bringing a true sense of freedom to all mankind.

  2. Having spent 21 years in law enforcement I find this conception finds merit in the many areas I policed in Washington DC.

  3. This is thought provoking.” If you do away with religion, you can’t hire enough police” How true. True religion aligns thought and action with God’s law. Without it, there is no true moral compass to guide man and consequently moral chaos. Thank you, Evan, for sharing this.

  4. Why equate Religion with moral law? Even in Mrs Eddy’s books she equates God with Science, not religion. There is no true religion since religion separates people and creates terrible blood thirst wars which separates and annilalates peoples. ISIS and THE TALIBAN are perfect examples. Read into S&H carefully and you then come to the conclusion that Religion is destructive to put it mildly. Nothing good can come of it. THAT’S WHY CHRISTIAN SCIENCE IS NAMED SCIENCE, NOT CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS,

    1. I believe I have a different understanding of religion than you do. Abuse of religion leads to wars. And evil parading under the guise of “religion” leads to horrible atrocities. But religion has many very good qualities. Billions of people have benefited from it. But there is a distinction to be made between spirituality and religion. Religious practice can often be man-made, and eventually feel constrictive, whereas pure spirituality is God-made. Religion needs to be redeemed from the man-made part so that it becomes pure spirituality lived and practiced.

  5. I am astounded at why there is such an obvious attack on religion. I never dreamed that we would be fighting religious wars my life time. But we are fighting a power of good versus evil. It amazes me how all this savagery has been relatively unopposed by so many people. No one has stepped up for the good of all mankind. By dividing us
    evil claims victory. If we ever needed God now is the time. Too many of us have been asleep. There is much work to do and hopefully we are praying daily to find answers to this crisis.

  6. I think I understand that he is saying that our spiritual life gives us a moral code in which we make our decisions. It is not the written law but the code we get from within, in our spiritual life, that guides us in all decisions. and the innate love of peace, goodness, and harmony that we recognize good, moral laws. Hopefully laws are made from such a code of morals and ethics. If not we soon move to change the law. The word religion stops me. It is one of those words such as God that has many different meanings to people all over the world. And such horror has been done in service of religion and God throughout the centuries. We have people in this country in the name of their version of Christianity or subversion, that would have laws governing people not too much unlike the sharia law we hear about in the Islam faith. But a country that outlaws or has no place for a spiritual life in its people, would not have enough police to force its people.
    My hope is that more people value their spiritual lives, have awakened to finding out about their spirituality and have come to rely on the goodness it has brought into their lives. We don’t need the building or the group. that is not the rock we lean on and love.

  7. Very thought provoking Evan. Thanks for sharing this.

    Although I agree that religion, when practiced correctly, is a positive influence on society, I disagree with the premise made in this video that man must be “taught” to do good. I believe God created man and therefore man is inherently good. It’s part of man’s nature to be good. In animals we call this “instinct”. You can take a squirrel at birth away from its mother and isolate it from all other squirrels and that squirrel will still know how to open a nut to eat it without being taught to do that because it is part of the identity of a squirrel to know how to do that. In like manner, man reflects the goodness of God naturally and goodness is naturally part of man’s identity. And I don’t just mean in an absolute sense this is true…even humanity reflects (albeit, poorly at times) the true nature of man without needing to be taught that. Humanity would have destroyed itself long ago if the premise made in this video were true. Religion is a relatively modern invention, so prior to religion, it was the inherent nature of goodness in man being reflected humanly that prevented humans from destroying each other.

  8. PLease note what Mary Baker Eddy has to say about TRUE RELIGION (and this is what I was referring to in my earlier post) Her statement is very clear, don’t you think?
    “The epoch approaches when the understanding of the truth of being will be the basis of true religion.”
    SH 67:30-2
    Obviously she is differentiating between religious “systems” and true religion (which she states clearly is the “understanding of the truth of being.”)

    1. Thanks for sharing this Grace! It’s so important it is to keep correct concepts of various ideas in thought at all times and this is a clear, concise definition for the idea of “religion”. Thanks again!

  9. What puzzles me about people who speak against religion, be they atheists or people rebelling against a religion they were raised in, is that the very evil they protest, — savagery, hypocrisy, tyranny, intolerance — is the very evil that the religious texts teach as evil, the very evil that religious texts are written to uncover and destroy. In other words, people rebel against evil in what is claimed as religious practice, because “it is written” that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, and we all viscerally know this, forgetting it came from a religious text.

    No one practicing evil is practicing religion. They are practicing evil.
    If I claimed to be practicing music by blowing up pianos, no one would believe me. No one would start a movement saying music is evil and that no one should practice music or teach their children to practice music because then they’d be piano-bombers. No one would push for the closing of all music schools.

    Anyone who works to bring out the beauty of music through piano playing will know that it takes intelligent teaching, focus on rules as well as a loving, soulful spirit to bring the beauty and profound blessing of music into people’s lives.

    So let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. One of the things that evil wants to do is to keep people from reading scripture, where God takes center stage in thought in life decisions and in prayer. Evil wants the limelight and all the thought’s attention and fear. In one of the school shootings the mass murderer saw a little girl who was especially quiet and he asked what she was doing. She said she was praying. He couldn’t shoot her. Think about that.

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