Genesis 6:11 explains the reason for the flood! “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.” Corruption relates to the perversion of true religion. I’ve often argued that Jesus did not come into the world to establish another religion to compete with Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, or any other so-called “religion.” He came to destroy them and open a way to the father through a personal connection with himself. God desired friendship with man. He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden. Enoch walked with God. Noah, like Abraham, might be considered a friend of God. David was a man after God’s own heart despite his sinfulness. God wanted a connection with his people. But like Cain, mankind turned that into “religion.” That’s the specific practices of routines, rituals, and regulations that made one “righteous” before God if obeyed. God never wanted “religion.” He wanted us to love him, his relationship, and love each other. Instead, the corruption of religion led to violence, as it always does. When men cast off a personal walk with God, they naturally turn to some form of perverted religion. They all waved their own flags expecting others to follow, and when they didn’t, violence ensued.

The worst part about this is that “Christendom” has been the greatest offender! You would think that a body of believers who had experienced the horrific persecution from Rome and following empires would be sensitive to religious violence. But no! Once the religion “Christianity” was recognized as a legal religion and then made the official religion of the Roman Empire, religious murder would be over. Throughout the dark ages when Christianity ruled, many more people were murdered for the sake of dogma than in any war before them or after them. Reformation had to be made after the inquisition, and the crusades made war on those of different thought. Martin Luther is accredited with bringing it, but it existed in earlier forms. My point is, as one web blogger put it, “While the reformation did lead to greater diversity of thought in Christian faith, it also sparked numerous wars lasting from 1523 to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Estimates of the death toll from these European religious wars between Protestants and Catholics exceed 5,000,000.”

In Genesis 6, we see that people were killing each other because of the corruption of religion. God stepped in and destroyed the lot! Then at the end of the flood story, God promised he would never do that again and placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his promise. Then he entrusted the care of the innocent to mankind. Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” We do not go to “religious” war! But we stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves against aggressors and tyrants waging their own wars of greed, ideology, or power.