What a strange world we live in where one feels compelled to write a blog explaining how premeditated mass murder/maiming is actually wrong. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world with quite a few people around who don’t view the killing of people who do not believe like them as murder. In their sick and demonic realm, killing non-believers is viewed as some type of honor and a tool to spread their religion. It is unfathomable to consider mass murder as an evangelism tool, yet it is in the Islamic world.
I gave the Koran a partial read a few years back and could not finish the book because it disturbed me. Knowing what I do about the pagan religions of the world, when I read about Mohammed’s visions and teachings, it dawned on me that he was mixing false religions from the furthest corners of the world at the same time. I came to the conclusion that his book is indeed inspired, just inspired by the wrong being, if you know what I mean.
Just to be clear, Surah 9 of the Koran does say, or even command, believers of Islam to kill unbelievers. Some translations say pagans, some say idolators, some say unbelievers, etc., but every reading of that chapter says killing SOMEONE in the name of Allah is encouraged. Evangelism at the tip of the sword is just fine with that book.
How does this square with the Bible; the book inspired by Yahweh, the Father of Yeshua? Not at all. One might consider a possible parallel when the Hebrews crossed the Jordan and were commanded to put all the men, women, children, cattle, and all, to the sword. Yes, that is a hard thing for use to contemplate, but it happened and God did order it. The reason was He was using Israel to execute judgment on a people who committed horrid sins. He wanted to cleanse the promised land of anything that came from such a despicable practice and have the Hebrews start clean. He wanted to execute a very visible judgment on the people who had adopted the practices of demons and also show Israel what their fate would be if they adopted the worship of the demons and false gods.
Even if we consider what the Hebrews did when they entered the land, they were only supposed to do it once. They were supposed to clear out the land of their inheritance, set up borders, and be a light to the nations. There is no command or hint to murder foreigners in the bible. In fact, Leviticus 24:22 says there shall be one law for the native and the stranger.
Evangelizing by the sword has had its history in Christianity. However, the Bible does not condone violence in the name of evangelism. A great many Christians read the New Testament and take a pacifist approach to life. In fact, it was the Church of God, Seventh Day that lobbied President Lincoln to allow the conscientious objector exclusion for military service! Granted, I do not share that doctrine, but I respect those who do and understand their point of view.
The chief problem with evangelizing with the sword is that dead people can’t repent. That’s pretty much a given, especially among those of us who believe that dead people are really dead. Christianity, or rather “The Way” is built upon loving one’s neighbor as oneself. That is a fundamental teaching in both old and new testaments. If you love your neighbor, you want them to repent and have the opportunity to enter eternal life. If you love your neighbor, you will lay YOUR life down for them, as Christ laid His life down for us, even before we were born, and yes, while we were yet sinners. Love is illustrated in the giving of one’s very life, not in the taking of other’s lives.
Now the random, public place, bombings have made it to the continental United States. This is a horrid reality we have to face as those living in Israel and other parts of the world have had to face for decades now. This type of attack is senseless and frustrating on so many levels. The best defense I believe we have to combat it is to repent and pray that God removes this judgment from our nation. And, yet again, we must pray for the innocent victims of a senseless attack. May the victims of the Boston attack be consoled. May the survivors heal quickly. May we never forget until Yahweh makes us forget the former things. In Yeshua’s name, we pray.