Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thou Shalt No Kill - Part One - Reprisal

Remnant said...
1Sa 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 1Sa 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Reconcile that to your theory!

Actually there is nothing to reconcile. In the passage you gave above. The Lord God spoke to Samuel about his desire to exact revenge upon Amalek for what was done to Israel. In turn Samuel relayed this message to Saul. Saul was the facilitator of God’s revenge.

The Old Testament is full such instances. You have to bear in mind that in nearly every case God himself or one of his messengers commanded on God’s behalf for it to be so.

Any killing in the Old Testament after Cain killed Abel that is done authoritatively by one of the Patriarchs was done by either being told directly by God or by one of the Messengers of the Lord on behalf of God. Remember these are just stories of biblical historicalness, they are not a teaching. God’s commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” disabuses any notion that all the killings and war campaigns are acceptable in the future.

Only God has the prerogative of revenge as stated in Romans 12:19. I am sure you don’t need me to quote this famous passage? It is almost quoted as much as John 3:16. Pure and simple. Only God has the right to exact Revenge. Man is forbidden to act out an act of Revenge.

God will exact his revenge upon the day when he ushers in the Great tribulation. No where in the Bible does it say that God will exact his revenge upon the sinful man prior to the Great Tribulation. But then again it does not say he won't either.

Yes God commanded a lot of innocents to be killed during the Old Testament, but that is his prerogative, not ours. This is one of those things we hate: “Do as you are told, not as I do”. We can only kill when God orders it directly by appearing to us or by sending one of his servants from heaven to give us the said message.

Let’s fast-forward to the 35th verse of chapter 15 of the book of 1st Samuel: And Samuel came no more to see Saul; and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Did you catch that? “THE LORD REPENTED” This is not the only time he has probably repented after doing something. Back in Genesis after the Great Flood, God looked at what he had done and may have had a repentive heart and so gave us a sign to prove what he would never do again.

God loves us, his creations; he does not really want to kill us. But he is a jealous God and is very protective of his chosen. But also their have been times when God has allowed the enemies of his chosen to defeat his chosen to teach them a lesson.

Yes in his repentive state, he decided to setup the prophecies that would usher in his only begotten son. And then God went quiet for 400 so years waiting for the proper time to bring his son into this world. After he had retrieved his son back into heaven to sit at his right side, God has gone quiet again. No one has had a visitation from God or one of his messengers since. And if any happens to claim he is receiving messages from God, the vast majority will site scripture and proclaim this person a false prophet. After all Jesus did say there will be many false prophets that will come after him. God is waiting again for the proper time to send is Son back to us in his final and everlasting Glory.

No where in the Gospels or the Letters written to the various nations does Jesus command any killing or command any act of revenge. Jesus came to teach us love, forgiveness, the love of neighbor, love of God and to finally sacrifice himself for our sins and transgressions.

Jesus' very actions as described by the Gospels in the New Testament often contradicts some of the natures of God in the Old Testament. Jesus hung out with sinners. He healed the Gentiles. He came for all whereas God was for his Chosen. Hence the names of the two collections. "The Old Testament" and "The New Testament"

Look at the Definitions of the Word Testament:

Something that serves as tangible proof or evidence: The spacious plan of the city is a testament to the foresight of its founders.

A statement of belief; a credo: my political testament.

Law. A written document providing for the disposition of a person's property after death; a will.

Testament Bible. Either of the two main divisions of the Bible.

Archaic. A covenant between humans and God.

No, there is nothing to reconcile.

Go and live the Gospel.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Thou Shalt No Kill - Part One

What Does the Fifth Commandment Teach?

The fifth commandment - "You shall not kill"(Ex 20:13) - teaches respect for the sanctity of human life. All human life is sacred. This is true from the first moment of conception until natural death brings a person to God. Only God is the Lord of life. Humans have utmost dignity because God wills us into being for our own sake, creating us in his image and likeness. Therefore, any direct and intentional killing by anyone is always gravely sinful.

The fifth commandment refers to he deliberate murder of innocent persons. The Old Testament teaches that murder arises out of anger and envy, as in Cain killing Abel, and is the result of original sin. Such killing violates human dignity, God's holiness, and Jesus' teaching to love neighbor as self. Jesus himself condemned anger that leads to revenge and to hatred that deliberately wishes another evil. These sinful atttitudes of heart lead to grave sin, including murder.

When is Killing Morally Justfied?

Killing in self-defense is morally permissible when, as a last resort, a person is protecting his or her own life or another person's life for whom he or she is responsible. Killing is not morally permissible for the protection of property. In legitimate self-defense one only intends the effect of saving one's life against an unjust aggressor; the killing of the assailant is not willed, only permitted.

Analogously, public authorities have both the right and the duty to defend citizens against unjust aggressors, especially in the case of a war defense. HOWEVER, if bloodless means are enough to defend against aggressors, they must be used and killing avoided.

Also, many Christians today, cannot reconcile capital punishment with a consistent "respect-for-life ethic". The purpose of punishing criminals is to redress the disorder caused by the offense, to preserve public order and personal safety, and to correct the offender. The poor and minorities, who cannot afford the costly appeals process of our legal system, have suffered capital punishment the most, a form of punishment that does not reform the criminal. Furthermore, there is little evidence to show that capital punishment deters crime, a key reason people have used to justify it. And although scripture recognizes society's right to use the death penalty in grave cases, it is to the credit of Christian nations to follow Jesus' example of forgiving love and refrain from exercising it. The gospel of Jesus' forgiving love teaches that because of the many means society has to deter crime today, capital punishment should very rarely be used. It should only take place in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

The Christian person should not be hold on to vices such as the need for revenge or the need for retribution and other vices that lead to the "want of murder" toward another.

Good day and go live the Gospel.

P.S. Save all of your abortion comments for Part Three.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Last Seven Commandments: Love of Neighbor

I give you a new commandment:
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you should also love one another."

John 13:34
A story is told of a surburban man driving to work in the city. Each day he had to pass by a shelter for hungry and homeless people. On a particularly cold day he noticed a long line of needy people lined up around the block waiting for the center to open and dispense its morning fare of coffee and doughnuts.
The scene depressed the man. So he cried out to the lord, "Why don't you do something about this miserable scene? Why do you allow this suffering to go on?"
As the man drove into the parking lot at his place of employment, he distinctly heard an iner voice speak to him. It was the Lord. And the Lord said, "I did do something about it. I made you!"
This story reminds us that the Lord has chosen each of us to be his caring hands, his voice of truth, his compassionate eyes. He uses us to accomplish his work, to bring his love into the world. The last seven commandments focus on love of neighbor and self and teach us virtues like fidelity, honesty, integrity, and self control.
John 13:34 is the proverbial "Catch 22". Other scriptures abound concerning your Neighbor:
Mt 5:43-45 "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Mt 19:19: honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mt 22:39: The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mr 12:31: "The second is: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
Lu 10:27: He answered: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 10:25-37: (PARABLE of the GOOD SAMARITAN)
Ro 13:9: The commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment--all are summed up by this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Ro 13:10: Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Ro 15:2: Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up
Eph 4:25: Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.
Jas 2:8: If you really carry out the royal law prescribed in Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
Are you doing well?