Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Christianity and violence: Terror, killing, extortion in name of faith

By EMN Updated: Sep 22, 2013 9:58 pm

Dr. Wungreiso Valui


[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ccording to the Bible, there are “Six” things no “Seven” that God hates (Proverbs 16:16-19). He not only hates but it is an abomination. Shedding innocent blood is detestable, vile and shameful to God.
The faith that Jesus lived, taught and professed is against violence. According to the teaching of Jesus, faith and violence are incompatible. God hates the hands that shed innocent blood. When Cain killed Abel, God acted swiftly against Cain. Long before the Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites, “Thou shall not kill,” God had judged people who shed innocent blood. God gave one universal law to all humankind after the great flood in Noah’s time—no shedding of man’s blood.Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man (NKJ Genesis 9:6).
Death is the wages of sin. Whoever kills and murders innocent people are slaves of Satan. The Bible says Satan came to kill, rob and destroy. One cannot claim to be disciples of Jesus by shedding innocent blood. It is an abomination to kill and destroy in the name of Jesus. Whoever teaches killing, robbing and destruction in the name of Jesus is an antichrist. These are people who have the form of godliness but deny the power of God.
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2: 18-22).
The Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) is against shedding blood. Humankind is created in the image of God and He forbids anyone to shed man’s blood. Whosoever teaches, preaches and promotes killing in the name of Jesus is a liar and he or she is not of God. Every follower of Jesus must know this truth- anyone who teaches against the truth is antichrist. Remember God is the creator and the judge.
He alone will or can take life and give life.
God is passionate about people. He is invested and interested in people created in His image. God sending His son to save people from eternal death and condemnation is a testament of His commitment to human being. God did not send Jesus to establish or conquer a kingdom, He sent Jesus as messiah of the world. Jesus said to a roman governor Pilate, one of the most powerful empires of the time:
My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here (NKJ John 18:36).
Jesus did not come to establish another kingdom. He has a kingdom not of this world. It is ironic that human beings attempt to establish a kingdom of God on earth. In the name of religion a nation has gone to war against another nation. In the name of religion churches had sanctioned to wage war against people. In the name of religion rulers have tried to establish kingdoms. Jesus did not commission His disciples to establish a kingdom. Jesus commanded his disciples to go make disciples.
For the sake of argument let us say a ruler or president wanted to establish Africa for Christ. According to Jesus, that will be a man-made mandate. God is more interested in Africans than geography. In the same way, God is more interested in Americans than America for Christ. Likewise, Asia for Christ would be a man-made agenda. God is more interested in Asians. God placed Europeans over Europe. Lands are possessions of the people, a means and not an end itself.
There is mandate from God—the great commission and the great commandment: Go make disciples, love God and your neighbors. Jesus did not commission his followers to establish kingdom by the barrel of a gun.
He sent them with a gospel of peace. Jesus commissioned them with the message of hope, forgiveness and love.
Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen (Matthew 28:19-20).
Remember a Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven. If Jesus was interested, He would have come with His army to fight.
Beware when a ruler come preaching to establish a kingdom for Christ, he is building his own kingdom.
God is not going to trade His kingdom for a man-made kingdom built with hand.
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (NKJ 2 Corinthians 5:1).
God promised us a mansion built not with hands.
God is the righteous judge. Before He Judges God wants to call people out of darkness. People who obtained the mercy of God are now His people. Idol worshippers were not His people but having obtained His mercy are now people of God. Animists were without God’s mercy, were not His people but having obtained His mercy are now His people.
Transformation is evident by the changes inwardly and outwardly. People stopped sacrificing to their gods including their own children. Head-hunting tribes abandoned the inhuman practices. As the Bible says,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”(NKJ 2 Corinthians 5:17).
New and old are opposites. Become and passed away are incompatible. One cannot claim to be in the light and carry on the work of darkness. You cannot continue to cut-off heads, sacrifice human lives and claim to walk in the light. Light has no fellowshipping with darkness.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (NKJ 1 John 1:6).
Violence, killing, robbing and forcible extortions are works of darkness. Jesus said every tree is known by its fruit. A good tree does not bear bad fruits or bad trees good fruits. A ruler or person that endorses killing, robbing and destruction of human lives walks in darkness. The Bible calls such people liars and God hates lying tongues (Proverbs 6:17)
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (NKJ 1 John 4:20.
God warns us to stay away from such people, “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (NKJ 2 Timothy 3:5). Christians cannot commit the sin of silence by tolerating and fellowship with darkness.
Church of Jesus Christ cannot condone darkness. The body of Christ must separate from darkness. Remember evil will fail and God will prevail.
Jesus told His disciples they are the light and salt of the earth. What good is it if Christians don’t shine their light in darkness? What good is it if Christians do not walk among the stench of the earth? God did not give His people spirit of fear and timidity but boldness and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). There was Samuel to tell King Saul he had been rejected by God. There was Nathan to tell King David he had sinned against God. There were twelve ordinary men that changed the history of the world. Let every man and woman lift up their holy hands and pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven—Amen.
Let us be on God’s side. If God is for us no one can be against us.

The writer is Senior Pastor, Fort Wayne Baptist Church, 2323 Fairfield Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN,46807 USA. He can be contacted at www.fortwaynebaptist.com and www.wonderkidsministry.org

By EMN Updated: Sep 22, 2013 9:58:16 pm