Black Lives Matter protester calls for killing
During a Seattle protest against Trump that had been organized by Black Lives Matter, one purported “preschool teacher” called for killing of white people (among her many other demands).
Considering the level of rage exhibited by this female’s use of expletives, it seems that her world has fallen apart. With her calls for reparations and then for killing, this person seems to have escaped the realms of sanity. Hearing the complaints that she must get reparations because she has to work “40 hours per week” seems also to suggest that she has separated from the reality most of us know. Maybe she should try working 40+ hours and then studying for a Master of Science overnight. Maybe she then might try working 40+ hours and then teaching at night.
Perhaps, since these people seem to have lost all sense and because they clearly are on the losing side of the election, maybe all of this comes from people who have lost all hope. Therefore, as Christians, we might approach them with the promise of Christ.
Hat tip to Alt-ReWrite
When it comes to organized violence like the kind advocated by this Black Lives Matter representative, Christians must separate themselves from that evil and provide an alternative by exhibiting truth in a reasoned and gentle way. Although those who have decided to organize (and therefore, to thoughtfully pursue violence and other sin) will likely not be persuaded to abandon their ways, other observers who might be more open to persuasion might consider the truth.
As we deal with individuals, a Christian response will not include any similar calls for violence. Our response must be one of prayer, love, and protection. While this protection may center on other people than the aggressor (such as children), it may also include protective steps we can take in support of that aggressor. At the same time, we must stand for truth and know enough of the Bible to persuasively and gently present our cases.
Having said this, Christian conservatives must work on several fronts. On the personal front, we must present ourselves as friends. We must be willing to listen and dialog, to walk with and help, and to share and commiserate. On the local level, we must join with the Christian ministries (such as the Spring-Woodlands Assistance Ministries). That way, jobs become available and assistance can be accessed while we maintain dignity. On the national level, we must insist that our President and representatives stand for justice (not retribution).
Words of Truth
The importance of life
All of us, even raging liberals, are important because we are made in the image of God.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 NASB)
What constitutes murder
One thing that transforms killing to murder is intent where the individual kills for personal gain.
“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die. (Exodus 21:12-14 NASB)
Although God values life and so should we, one human’s taking of another life tries to put the murderer in the place of God; therefore, this must be punished.
‘If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life. If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has [d]injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him. Thus the one who kills an animal shall make it good, but the one who kills a man shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:17-21 NASB)
Naturally, an accidental killing does not reach the level of murder.
‘But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. If he struck him down with a stone in the hand, by which he will die, and as a result he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he struck him with a wooden object in the hand, by which he might die, and as a result he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him. If he pushed him of hatred, or threw something at him lying in wait and as a result he died, or if he struck him down with his hand in enmity, and as a result he died, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death, he is a murderer; the blood avenger shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
‘But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw something at him without lying in wait, or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury, then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the blood avenger according to these ordinances. The congregation shall deliver the manslayer from the hand of the blood avenger, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he fled; and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. But if the manslayer at any time goes beyond the border of his city of refuge to which he may flee, and the blood avenger finds him outside the border of his city of refuge, and the blood avenger kills the manslayer, he will not be guilty of blood because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return to the land of his possession.
‘These things shall be for a statutory ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
‘If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the [h]evidence of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover, you shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. (Numbers 35:16-31 NASB)
Even though God values life, He has protections for the one who kills by accident.
“Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he kills his friend unintentionally, not hating him previously— as when a man goes into the forest with his friend to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron head slips off the handle and strikes his friend so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live; otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in the heat of his anger, and overtake him, because the way is long, and take his life, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously. Therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall set aside three cities for yourself.’
“If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He promised to give your fathers— if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways always—then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and bloodguiltiness be on you.
“But if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him and strikes him so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. You shall not pity him, but you shall purge the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with you. (Deuteronomy 19:4-13 NASB)
Using the courts as a tool for murder will bring God’s punishment.
“Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty. (Exodus 23:7 NASB)
Killing by using your political position will also result in punishment
Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord. (2 Kings 21:16 NASB)
Sacrificing children to false Gods will likewise result in punishment
They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. (Psalms 106:37-38 NASB)
Christ’s standards for right living
Since the sin of murder starts with a thought, Jesus points out the trajectory wrong thoughts put us on.
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matthew 5:21-22 NASB)
The apostle Paul points out that there must be consistency between Christ’s life and that of the Christian.
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:6 NASB)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB)
To live up to Christ’s standard, Christians must learn to live an example of love.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NASB)
How the Christian should resolve conflict
A Christian should go to the friend and work it out.
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 NASB)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NASB)
The Cause of Conflict
Acting on envy and greed prompts us to fight
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:1-6 NASB)
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Ephesians 4:26 NASB)
How to respond
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:19-21 NASB)
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (Luke 6:27 NASB)
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 NASB)
Looking out for the other
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 NASB)
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19 NASB)
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24 NASB)
Reasons for Christians to abandon fear of the world
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. .” (Luke 12:32 NASB)
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; (Luke 2:10 NASB)
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NASB)