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Last week I wrote a post arguing that it is good to pray for God to end terrorism by justly taking the lives of those that seek to harm the innocent. That post raised a number of questions that illustrate tensions in the Christian world-view.
For example, does the model of Christ’s suffering and love mean that Christians should never use force or engage in war? Does Christ’s death on the Cross for our sins and our salvation mean that Christians are forbidden from taking human life, since Christ’s sacrifice proves His love for humanity? And how do we reconcile God commanding war and actively destroying people in the Old Testament with what we see in the life of Christ in the New Testament?
Today - Cheek - Face - Evil
Today, let me take on two of those: 1). Isn’t all killing wrong? And 2). Shouldn’t Christians turn the other cheek in the face of evil?
Isn’t all killing is wrong?
Nations - Terrorists—or - Christians - Pursuit - War
Some say that it is wrong for nations to pursue and execute terrorists—or simply that Christians shouldn’t pray for that pursuit to be successful—because war and killing are forbidden by the sixth commandment: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
The problem with this reasoning is that the Hebrew word here is never used in military contexts or for punishing crimes or criminals (except for Numbers 35:30—click here for a pdf download on that exception). The Hebrew language has eight different words for killing, and the word used in Exodus 20 is never used in relation to war, the penal system, or to hunting or killing animals. It typically refers to the unlawful killing of a person made in the image of God. It is a specific word which refers to the “private killing of personal enemies” (usually premeditated, with malice, or in some cases it’s used of an accidental...
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