Thomas Paine is as off base as one can be. His views are sad and reveal a closed heart. In order to legitimize his views, he tries to lead readers into believing that Christianity is horrible, viscous and murderous. Paine speaks of biblical atrocities, but out of context, and without the complete picture. He said the sword founded Christianity. His views are skewed.
Paine states Christians pretend that Christianity was established by the sword. Jesus Christ is Christianity; He established Christianity, and certainly not by the sword or violence. It is true that professors of Christianity waged wars, but they were, after all, merely human. We all know the frailties of humankind. Leading wars in the name of the Lord did, in fact, take place. That is not to say that Christianity compelled such wars.
Paine further uses the history of events to denigrate the Old Testament. The Bible is an accounting of history. History did not use the Bible to plot its course. There is much in the Old Testament from which Paine could draw conclusions, but as I said, he has a closed mind. Paine would have us believe that since Christianity has the Old Testament as its foundation, and because there was violence in those days, that hence violence formed Christianity. Christ formed Christianity, and again I say there was no violence in Christ.
I am unclear as to what Paine is trying to say in the fifth paragraph of his article, but maybe he is inferring that the Bible does not say enough on the subject of morality. If this is his intent, he is mistaken ? case in point, Sodom and Gomorrah. Adultery was also addressed http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/adultery.html
Lastly, Paine criticizes one of God?s most difficult of His two Great Commandments?Love thy neighbor as thyself. http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/mat22.html#35 Love is what Jesus Christ advocates and loving our enemies seems nearly impossible right now. Paine does say something provocative, ?It is incumbent on man, as a moralist, that he does not revenge an injury; and it is equally as good in a political sense, for there is no end to retaliation?? This is especially profound at this particular moment in history, for what we are witness too today is one of the most gut-wrenching, horrific scenes we have ever seen, and will long remember.