Started a thread about some Muslims who were trying to speak out against religious violence. Entered into discussion with someone, and we agreed more Muslims should speak out against extremist violence. Then we got onto the subject of Christian religious violence.
I said I also condemn Christian religious violence, for example violence committed by a minority of extremist Christians against abortion clinic staff. I asked their view. They refused to answer, saying it is not the same thing, and even suggesting such violence is not religiously motivated (one of the incidents mentioned was the murder of two women because they worked as receptionists at a clinic).
So I'm wondering if there is anything about being a Christian that make the questions I asked impossible to answer, or whether it was just that specific individual who was having difficulty. Can you belong to a faith and still condemn violence committed by those of your own faith? Or is there some sort of conflict there? I'd also be interested in your answers to the three questions that person point blank refused to give a direct answer to. The questions were:
Do you believe it is unacceptable for a Christian to kill someone on the grounds that they work at an abortion clinic?
Do you accept there is no justification for such action?
Do you condemn unreservedly those Christians that take such action?
Totally agree with all three questions.
Ephesians 6 covers it fully, we battle against spiritual forces, not flesh and blood.
I abhor abortion, but it's legal.
It is immoral in many instances, but that is for the individuals to face God over.
That's what I thought. I know lots of Christians who condemn violence even when it's committed by other Christians. Has me really puzzled why this person seems to be on conflict about it.
There is absolutely nothing about being a Christian that precludes one from being able to answer these question. That's a big, fat cop out.
In answer to your questions (as a Christian):
1) Absolutely unacceptable.
2) No justification whatsoever.
3) I condemn the actions, without question.
aguasilver and Motown2Chitown both have great answers, but I'll take it even one step further.
Those who claim to follow Jesus, and yet promote (and even do) violence, are LIARS - They're not really Christian. They never really loved Christ, else they would follow His example. How can you love God, if you can't love your fellow human, be they friend or enemy?
Matthew chapter 7 covers this topic perfectly:
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because of their hypocritical behavior, and their self-righteous attitude. Is today any different? Certainly not, and many "Christian Pharisees" are among us even today. What the Pharisees did with the Law, Christians do without the law! They never cared about what is righteous, they were only trying to justify their own behavior.
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
They were evil before they professed their "Christianity", and were merely seeking a reason to fulfill their evil intentions. The same "Christians" who say that 'the Old Testament laws are done away with' are usually the FIRST ones to exclaim the trite response of 'eye for an eye'...
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Jesus is VERY clear about this: He has always gone after false prophets first and foremost. Even in the Old Testament, God gave Israel time to turn from their sins and repent, up until they violated the first commandment. They turned from God and served idols, and worshiped the sun, and gave human sacrifices to Baal. That is the line that Israel crossed in the OT, and was put into captivity for it on several occasions.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I think that pretty much sums it all up. The false prophets are the first to go into the lake of fire, which is the second death (Revelation 20:14). They glorify death, and serve Satan either willingly or in ignorance of the truth, and their reward is righteous punishment.
They do things which basically make God look bad. You think God is just going to let them get away with it? I don't!
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