WWJD about the Muslim uprisings?

Sometimes when confronted with a difficult moral decision which might require action, people ask themselves “what would Jesus do?”.  I think it’s a good question, but I don’t think it’s answered accurately very often.  Perhaps the confusion lies in what might seem to be conflicting messages.  What do we do then?  For example, the recent violent actions taken at U.S. Embassies in Middle Eastern nations.  What would Jesus do?  Would He ‘turn the other cheek’, and ‘love His enemies’?  Or would He condone the use of force in order to protect innocents and halt the violence?

I am not a pacifist, and I don’t think Jesus was either.  At least not in the sense of sitting idly by while havoc is wrought.  I am thinking back to Jesus upending the tables of the money changers and fashioning Himself a whip.  Or Jesus’ instructing the disciples He sent out to buy a sword for their travels is they didn’t already have one.

It seems as though Jesus’ teachings to love your enemies and turning the other cheek have their limitations.  Would we have the moral right to use physical or deadly force in order to prevent violence or murder of another or ourselves?  I think so.  In fact, I would argue that standing by doing nothing to protect the innocent when you could do something to prevent it is not noble, it’s immoral.  By doing so you allow an innocent to be victimized by evil.  Sure, in many instances, pacifism might be permissible.  But in others I think taking a pacifist approach makes you somewhat complicit in the act.

Ultimately, in the face of violence, pacifism can’t be defended or made to comply with Jesus’ command to love your neighbor.  After all, how could it possibly be considered loving to allow evil to persist?  What could we say?  “Sorry, Jesus wouldn’t want me to help you”?

Not only do I think the United States would be justified in meeting the violence with force, I think we have a moral duty to do so.  What do I think Jesus would have us do?  He would have us intervene if we were in the position to take action.  This is the prime reason America takes on the role as ‘the world’s police’.  We have the means and the moral motive to protect and defend the weak.  It is the American way.

Question: Do you think Jesus would support use of force to halt the violence in the Middle East by Muslims against U.S. targets?  Would He advocate for a pacifist approach? Or something else?

Comments

  1. Just to clarify a point, where you said…

    Or Jesus’ instructing the disciples He sent out to buy a sword for their travels is they didn’t already have one.

    The passage you cite is Jesus specifically acting his followers if, AT THIS TIME (near his arrest and death) you don’t have a sword, go get one. The disciples then say, “We have two swords,” and Jesus said, “That will suffice,” because, Jesus said, “he was to be numbered amongst the transgressors.

    The point is, they didn’t normally have swords, the purpose of the TWO swords was not to have one for traveling but specifically for that specific time and specifically NOT to be used in violence (when, a short time later, Peter actually uses one of the swords, Jesus immediately tells him to put the sword away, for those who live by the sword die by the sword).

    it was the exception and for a specific purpose, not the rule, and certainly not a general “sword for their travels.”

    fyi.

  2. A second point: What you are describing as “pacifism” (ie, standing by and doing nothing) is not pacifism, but passivism – a rarely embraced form of pacifism. I think it can be safely stated that most pacifists are not passivists.

    Thus, where you say…

    After all, how could it possibly be considered loving to allow evil to persist? What could we say? “Sorry, Jesus wouldn’t want me to help you”?

    Most pacifists are specifically NOT talking about standing by and not helping someone in danger. We’re questioning the efficacy or morality of modern warring methods to “help” those in danger.

    We reject the myth of redemptive violence, choosing not to drink that kool aid.

    By all means, we pacifists and peacemakers (in Jesus’ tradition) say, DO something. For God’s sake, do something NOW.

    But embracing unjust or immoral means to fight unjust or immoral actions is not going to be helpful, longterm.

    So, to answer your question…

    Do you think Jesus would support use of force to halt the violence in the Middle East by Muslims against U.S. targets?

    I would say that there is no biblical evidence on record to suggest that he would IF by “force” you mean some sort of vast deadly military response. If you have some biblical support to suggest Jesus would do that, I’d be glad to listen.

    On the other hand, there is a great deal of evidence that Jesus taught (and the early church lived) just what it seems that he literally taught: Turn the other cheek, OVERCOME evil with good, respond to agression with kindness AND IN SO DOING, dumping burning coals on “the enemy’s” heads.

    Do you think that when Paul expounded on Jesus’ teaching saying that we should specifically and literally overcome evil with good, that this is not a literal teaching? Or is it the case that you think that overcoming evil with good would include killing those doing the evil as a moral good? And those around them as well?

    • It would be difficult to show you a biblical example of where God condoned or commanded any such action because you have said you believe all those passages are metaphorical tales. So you’ll always have a reason to dismiss a biblical response.

  3. Perhaps it would help to look at Paul’s teaching about this, from Romans 12…

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

    Live in harmony with one another…

    Do NOT repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    Do NOT take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    Do NOT be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    If nothing else, perhaps you can see how those of us who treat these teachings pretty literally get to a peacemaker/pacifist position. It seems pretty obvious that this early church and Jesus – folk who were well acquainted with violent oppression – meant just what it seems they meant.

    And I will note again that I’m specifically NOT speaking of passivism – doing nothing – but pacifism, doing something… OVERCOMING evil WITH GOOD, feeding the enemy, giving them something to drink. Paul and Jesus apparently believed that these are good and legitimate and workable (if imperfect) ways of dealing with violence. I agree.

    • Revenge is an after reaction, not a defensive one. When the Bible condemns revenge and repay evil for good, I’d have a difficult time believing that God is specifically speaking about the child molestor, rapist, and murderer. Especially since God sanctions capital punishment for such actions and Paul gives implicit consent for the institution when before the Roman court.

      When I speak of U.S. action, it isn’t revenge I’m advocating, its a forceful response to the Muslim mayhem which serves as a preventive measure in the future, and a halting one in the present.

  4. You were asking what Jesus would do. I think it reasonable to ask for biblical support of Jesus’ actual words and actions to support a claim that he’d wage war against a people to stop oppression.

    We could cite OT examples of many things apparently condoned by God – if read literally. Those examples could include mass slaughter of people – including infants and children, forced marriages/rape, slavery, etc.

    But biblically, Jesus had a new way, different from even what we find in the OT. So yes, I think your citing OT events would not support “what would Jesus do…” We, the church, are specifically called to follow in Jesus’ specific example providing specifically by Jesus in his life and teachings while on earth in human form. In those examples, do you have any reasonable support to suggest that Jesus would support bombing our enemies as a way of stopping oppression?

    We agree that stopping the oppression/deadly violence against innocents is a good thing. I just don’t think you can provide any solid biblical evidence that Jesus would embrace the modern warfare approach to standing against that sort of evil. On the other hand, I think it fairly easy to provide pretty solid biblical support for my views.

    But, I’m willing to listen to any words/actions of Jesus you might provide to support your opinion.

    For your position, it might help if, instead of using euphemisms (ie, “I support a ‘forceful response…'”) you say specifically what you mean (“I think Jesus would embrace the use of bombing, torture and other deadly violence against the enemy to stop them, and here is the Scripture I have to support that…”). For clarity’s sake.

    I think most of us on the face of it recognize how hard-to-believe and support it sounds to say, “I think Jesus would support the nuking of Hiroshima to save lives…”

    • I actually think Jesus would condone the Hiroshima bombing, as it was likely the only way to prevent an even greater loss of life. But lets not say I’m implying Jesus condones torture. There you go distorting my position. Jesus, as God, was as responsible for the commands to the nation of Israel to rid the lands of evil via killing tribes of peoples.

      The bible is pretty clear that God hates evil and hates those who do evil. This is why His justice is so prevalent in the OT, evil men were easy to come upon. This is why there was capital punishment instituted.

      Jesus didn’t have a new way, in fact He observed and advocated the Law. What Jesus did was replace the old system of salvation by removing the sacrifice of animals and replaced it with Himself.

  5. Again, if you have any verses that support the notion that JESUS WOULD NUKE TWO CITIES FULL OF MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN, provide them. I think most reasonable readings of the teachings of Christ would find that crazily laughable.

    Re: the torture thing, I wasn’t suggesting you supported torture, I was asking you to not use a euphemism (“Jesus would be strong”) but say specifically what you think Jesus would want us to do (“Jesus would want us to torture,” “Jesus would want us to bomb…” etc), whichever things you think Jesus would want us to do.

    How about looking at it that way? Your question, “What would Jesus want us to do with the violent Muslims? – What would Jesus do?”… what if we asked it this way?

    Which specific actions do you think Jesus would endorse us doing in response to extremist violence by some Muslims? Would Jesus want us to shoot an extremist who was shooting others? Sure, maybe you could make the case. Maybe.

    Would Jesus want us to destroy all Muslims?
    Would Jesus want us to kill all male Muslims and forcibly wed the virgin Muslim women to Christian men?
    Would Jesus want us to drop a bomb on a Muslim city, killing men, women and children, to send a message to the violent Muslim extremists?
    Would Jesus want us to torture Muslims to force them to give up their violent ways?
    Rape them?

    Is there ANY action that you think Jesus would not encourage us to take?

    Which ones would Jesus want us to do and which ones not? On what biblical basis do you draw that line?

    • I think Jesus would support military action operating on a Just War plan.

      Would Jesus want us to destroy all Muslims?
      Would Jesus want us to kill all male Muslims and forcibly wed the virgin Muslim women to Christian men?
      Would Jesus want us to drop a bomb on a Muslim city, killing men, women and children, to send a message to the violent Muslim extremists?
      Would Jesus want us to torture Muslims to force them to give up their violent ways?
      Rape them?

      I’m pretty sure it’s obvious to onlookers that this BS is offered to either subliminally plant in readers mind that this is my view. Otherwise why would you say something as asinine as this?

  6. ? I asked because I wondered what your answers would be and I honestly didn’t know. That’s usually why I ask questions.

    For those who read the Bible literally-ish, like you, there are examples of God appearing to command the destruction of all the people in a given place, why not all Muslims?

    There are examples of God appearing to command the death of all the men and the forced marriage of the virgin women, so why wouldn’t you think that a possibility for us?

    You’ve said you support the notion of the nuking of Hiroshima, so I’m asking that question.

    Other conservative Christians have said they support the notion of torture “for the greater cause” of saving lives, so I was wondering what you thought.

    I was wondering where specifically you draw the lines as to what you think Jesus would do in the case of some violent extremists, so I asked some specific questions.

    I think it’s a helluva lot easier to use sweet, vague euphemisms (“I think Jesus would support Just War…” “I think Jesus would support a strong response…”) rather than actual descriptions (“I think Jesus would support the nuking of a city filled with children…” “I think Jesus would support the torture of our enemies…”) because it makes it sound like you’re too squeamish to be specific, because the specifics sound ridiculous to say out loud.

    Does Just War include nuking a city of civilians and children and babies, then?

    • I think its fairly obvious that we disagree on whether God would support the use of force to halt murderers and tormentors. So may I ask you for an answer to the question my post asked of readers? What do you think Jesus would have us do about the Muslim terrorism on our embassies?

  7. The problem I’m having, John, aside from what would appear to be an entire lack of a biblical case to support Jesus as a nuke-thy-enemy supporter, is that it seems the case you’re building is not “what would Jesus do, as measured by Jesus in the Bible,” but rather, “wouldn’t Jesus do what saved the most people? And if by slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians we can save MILLIONS, then isn’t that what Jesus would do…?”

    If you make the game into one of “what if we did THIS to save lives?…,” then I can’t see what would be off the table.

    What if there were an Enemy who deeply loved their queen. What if our Christian soldiers kidnapped that queen, took her on public TV that the enemy could see and RAPED her and then said, “We have hundreds of Christian soldiers standing in line to rape your beloved queen, over and over, until you surrender. Here’s our phone number, call, surrender and save her from more rapes…” then, IF the measure is “to save lives,” then wouldn’t that be an even more “just war” than killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, including children? (By the way, “Just War” precludes the targeting of civilians, thus a nuke attack can’t seriously be considered “just” in any way).

    I am just trying to figure out where you would draw the line in the question of “How much death and destruction would Jesus do in order to save lives?” For someone who has just called the nuking of entire cities “just,” I think it’s a legitimate question to ask.

    In order to save lives, Jesus WOULD kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, down to tends of thousands of babes – in a horrifying nuke attack – but he WOULDN’T… what?

  8. Ah, Dan the exegete strikes again with his false teaching. The man dismisses the parts of the Bible he doesn’t like, and re-interprets much more of it to fit his agenda. The man is not a Christian and should not be allowed to identify himself as such on blogs such as this.
    http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

  9. Dan’s what ifs are constructed to make the worst possible scenario seem probable if we take our beliefs to the extreme. This, by comparison to his beliefs, seem psychotically radical and thus anti-Christian. Dan equates violence with evil, so any violent response is something Jesus would not do, regardless of the fact that He not only was violent in casting out the money changers, but predicted will lead a war against non-believers in the end times. This is not to forget that the eternal destination for many is about as violent an end as can be imagined.

    It is not hard for Dan to imagine that Jesus would let millions die, and horribly in some cases, rather than killing others, even at the risk of taking out innocents at the same time. Perhaps Dan believes that God will take care of those millions after they are cruelly treated by the true evil-doers. Yet, somehow, innocents dying as a result of American military action must spend eternity in limbo.

    Dan also continues to speak in terms of prevention, as if all evil can be converted to the hippie type of Christian he advocates, and we’ll just have to deal with all the innocents oppressed and murdered in the meantime. He cares more for the lives of these people than he does those they oppress and murder. Dan stands with those who believe God nuked Sodom for not being hospitable, but somehow chopping off heads and other body parts, pushing walls over upon homosexuals, treating women like cattle and murdering anyone who won’t convert to islam isn’t worthy of harsh consequences.

  10. John,

    Interesting question, not sure how I’d answer at this point. If nothing else Jesus has a few more tools at His disposal than we do. I do believe that Jesus would actively intervene in order to protect innocent life, as well as to punish the guilty. I’m just not sure how that might look.

    What I find more interesting in this most recent example of the wonderful religion of peace that is Islam, is that a significant number of people seem to take it for granted that indiscriminate killing, burning etc is a rational response to being offended by a movie trailer.

    I guess it’s OK to submerge a crucifix in urine, but heaven forbid anyone say anything the tiniest bit offensive about Mohammed.

  11. The man is not a Christian and should not be allowed to identify himself as such

    Should not be allowed? Funny.

    Fortunately, God has not placed Glenn in a position to make that call. Glenn, if God lets me know that God’s put you in charge, I’ll be sure to pass that on to you, my brother.

    And so, I see no verses supporting the notion of where Jesus would support you using nukes on a city full of innocents. I see no answer to the question, “Where DO you draw the line?” If you’re willing to say Jesus would have you kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, men, women, babes, what WOULD be wrong, in your hunch?

    Me, as I have said, I SEE NOTHING IN THE BIBLE to suggest that Jesus, as described IN THE BIBLE would support us slaughtering innocent civilians, I see nothing to suggest that Jesus would support us taking actions that would shed innocent blood, I see nothing to suggest that Jesus would torture, blow up, destroy.

    What I DO see is Jesus (and his disciples) saying pretty clearly…

    “Do not repay evil for evil…

    If your enemy is hungry, FEED HIM;
    if he is thirsty, GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO DRINK.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil WITH GOOD.”

    So, what would that look like? It could look like interfaith efforts to form a human shield, as worked SUCCESSFULLY in Nicaragua and elsewhere in the 1980s against the terrorism back then. It could look like good-faith interfaith outreach to Muslim moderates, inspiring peacemakers to work against violent extremists and those who provoke them. It could like FEEDING AND GIVING DRINK to those Muslims in need, as my church takes part in (and, you know, sort of matches EXACTLY what Jesus/Paul said.)

    It could look like a lot of things, I just don’t think it would look like evil. I don’t think it would include rape, I don’t think it would include killing, I don’t think it would include bombing, I don’t think it would include mass destruction or genocide or forced marriage. I see nothing in the Bible AT ALL to suggest that would be acceptable. You have not offered anything to make me think otherwise.

    • Are you suggesting that Jesus would offer the rioting Muslims a sandwich and a glass of water? Or perhaps he means something else by enemy and evil. Maybe it cannot apply to every kind of “enemy” and not every kind of “evil” can be overcome with good. I think you are being naive and over literalistic here because it suits your pacifist views. Funny how this is to be interpreted literally and universally with no exception, but not the commands in the OT commanding Israel to overcome foreign invaders to their land.

  12. Maybe it would look like trying to engage Muslims in building affordable housing. Oh wait that got tried and they said no.

  13. If there were any reasons (reasons other than fear or prejudice) to think that Jesus didn’t mean what he literally commanded, I’d be open to hearing it.

    So, question asked and answered, John. How about you? (Or you, Craig?)

    What boundaries would Jesus NOT cross – what actions would Jesus NOT do in defense of saving lives? Why would Jesus endorse you killing hundreds of thousands of innocents, but not raping one woman IF it saved lives? Would you kill ALL Muslims (say, 1 billion people, I don’t know) if it SAVED 2 billion people? Why or why not?

    I have no idea where you all would draw the line on what Jesus would do (in your estimation) or why killing millions is okay, but not one rape?

    • Dan
      Perhaps you could help clarify. How do you know that Jesus considers all forms of violence evil? Is there a verse which says ‘you shall not employ the use of force for any reason’? It seems your entire pacifist view is predicated on the presumption that Jesus is opposed to the use of physical force Even to defend yourself or the weak. Can you justify this underlying premise?

  14. Dan,

    Is it possible for you to debate without the extremes that have no relevance? I mean, are you referring to raping a baby, perhaps, or possibly a puppy? Can you name a benevolent entity, particularly in relatively modern times, that engaged in rape as a legitimate military tactic?

    Is it possible for you to be specific about what constitutes evil in wartime as regards how a benevolent entity might defend against a radical and belligerent enemy who is slaughtering people both military and civilian, especially one for whom his own death is likely a goal?

    Is it possible for you to provide the verse that you think must deny us the ability to defend ourselves or our allies because of Jesus? That is, what command of His demands that we sit back and allow the savage murder of civilians, especially those not in any way involved in whatever they believe justifies their savagery?

    Is it possible that you could show how military action against an unrepentant aggressor constitutes “repaying evil for evil” in the eyes of Jesus?

    Let me put it to you this way:

    Dan Trabue decides he likes to slap people because they won’t believe as he does. Others try to tell him it isn’t nice and that it isn’t possible that the source of his beliefs justify or condone slapping people. Dan just continues to slap people as he sees fit, for the slightest transgression in his own mind. Talking and pleading and reason have shown to have no effect. Dan continues to slap. Threats are leveled and sanctions on his ability to trade and barter do nothing to end the slapping. Finally, one person gets tired of seeing people slapped around and he punches the crap out of Dan. For at least the immediate future, at least until Dan no longer must eat through a straw, the people can live their lives without getting slapped without just cause. Punching the crap out of Dan, which would normally be an evil if done just for fun or to take his wallet, is now a good and blessed thing for having put a stop to Dan’s unrepentant behavior and the suffering it caused so many.

    There’s more. While this person punched the crap out of Dan, Dan fell into a hapless passerby who sustained an injury in the fall. This collateral damage is unfortunate, but it does not mitigate what a good thing it was to punch the crap out of Dan so that he would stop slapping people as he chose. Would it have been better had no one else suffered in Dan’s edification? Of course. But the fact that it happened does not make Dan’s correction an evil act.

    The point here is that severe and violent action is not in and of itself evil, even if it results in unintended consequences, if the point is to end a clear and present danger and evil, especially if it is obvious that it will continue unabated with no end in sight.

  15. Marshall…

    Is it possible for you to debate without the extremes that have no relevance? I mean, are you referring to raping a baby, perhaps, or possibly a puppy? Can you name a benevolent entity, particularly in relatively modern times, that engaged in rape as a legitimate military tactic?

    You all are the ones who have endorsed an extreme (horribly decimating hundreds of thousands of innocents in a nuclear attack is pretty damnably extreme – do you not see that?). I am just trying to figure out WHICH extremes you are willing to say “no… THAT’S too much. Jesus wouldn’t go THAT far…” or if there are ANY limits to what you think Jesus would endorse, as long as the ledger sheet showed more lives saved at the end.

    If destroying ~300,000 at Hiroshima/Nagasaki was justified in order to stop the war and save millions of lives, would destroying 1 million lives have been justified? All of Japan? Where is the line that you will draw, or are there any?

    As to the forced marriages/rapes and the destruction of a whole people, you all use the OT (where these actions are endorsed by God, says you) to justify what you can’t justify by Jesus’ actual teachings and so, I wonder are those things off the table?

    What actions are too evil to consider or are there NO actions in themselves too horrible to use, EVEN if they save lives? And if there ARE actions that are too horrible to use (rape appears to be one of them), why are those wrong but not killing hundreds of thousands of civilians?

    It’s a reasonable question. Why not answer it?

    • Dan

      We aren’t talking about Hiroshima, we’re talking about Muslim violence against innocents in the Middle East. They are the ones raping and torturing. You seem to believe Jesus opposes rape and torture, and I agree. Now the question is wouldn’t Jesus condone the use of force in a military capacity to stop their evil? Or would he just have us offer them food and drinks?

  16. Hey, Dan… Read a little further into Romans 13. What is the minister of God’s wrath? It is civil government who bears the sword to punish evildoers in the world. You are applying a scripture meant to regulate interpersonal relationships for situations involving national implications. You do err. Also, Romans 12 says “if it as at all possible…” too. It is not possible to live at peace with Muslims unless Christians have the dominant position of power.

  17. Dan,

    We use OT verses in their proper context. It is people like yourself that it means God is sanctioning, endorsing or approving of behaviors of which we no longer approve. But as Jesus is God, wiping out entire nations is not unGodly if He believes the action is warranted. Whether or not that gives us the authority is another question and I say it does not. However, this is not the same as human beings coming to the conclusion that the only way to end savage oppression is to do the same thing. It isn’t as if we assume God’s authority, but hope that God understands that we could not come up with any other alternative. YOU assume every such action is evil. I say it isn’t evil because of the reason behind it, the fact that it isn’t entered into joyfully and the fact that most people will continue to anguish over whether they could have endured the suffering a little longer in order to find that better alternative. Worse than any of this is your judgement of the motivations and intentions of those who would employ extreme measures to end such suffering as evil for doing so.

  18. John,

    After giving your original question some more thought I’ve come to the following. While I completely agree with your premise that there are no explicit teachings of Jesus that preclude the use of force, either to protect the innocent or to punish evil, I’m not sure that this premise covers the current situation. In the instances where Jesus (who is and always has been God), commands Israel to use force to protect itself or to punish wickedness, or where Jesus supernaturally uses force to protect Israel (the plagues and exodus), the key is that the force is always used to protect and preserve His chosen people. Where it seems your analogy falls short is that there is really no modern counterpart to ancient Israel. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall seeing a situation where Jesus used or commanded force to do anything other than protect/preserve Israel.

    I also agree that Jesus has ordained that the state bears the responsibility to punish those who do evil, I’m not sure that it necessarily equates to the direct command/intervention of Jesus in the OT.

    Obviously if one chooses to dismiss the accounts of Jesus commanding the use of force or intervening by force, then naturally one can ignore this entire line of thought. But if one accepts that Jesus is eternally God, and that the OT is not fiction then it seems worth considering as a possibility.

    • Craig

      You’re right, the Israelites were given permission to defend themselves and to reclaim their land through military means. What I seek to point out is that 1) God isn’t opposed to use of force, 2) God isn’t opposed to military action and 3) there is a persistent theme to protect the innocent from evil doers.

      I wasn’t suggesting that there were clear passages that would give someone the go ahead to thunder into battle, but rather that we could be justified in doing so with a proper motive and ability based on the entirety of Scripture.

  19. John, in theory I don’t disagree with any of your points, I just don’t know if I can get past the only times Jesus has used/commanded force was to protect Israel. I also wasn’t suggesting that you were advocating an unlimited right to attack anyone. I just don’t know how far I’d take this. I look at it like this. I’m pretty confident that Jesus knew what he was doing when He commanded Israel to use force to protect itself. (Off topic, but couldn’t it be argued that since Israel was almost always and underdog that they couldn’t have successfully used force without direct intervention from Jesus) I’m not so sure that our current leaders know quite as much as Jesus about this.

    Please, don’t get me wrong. I agree that nations/individuals are justified in using force under certain conditions, and that there is biblical support for doing so. I just got to thinking about some of the underlying justifications and couldn’t separate Israels safety/security/purity from them.

    On a somewhat related note, I find it interesting how many pacifists love Lord of the Rings. One in particular wrote numerous blog posts about how he derived a significant portion of his theology from it. Apparently the fact that the entire story is essentially that some things are worth fighting for went right over his head.

  20. Interesting discussion. Here’s two additional thoughts:
    1) Jesus did explicitly use “violence” at one point, described in all 4 gospels: When he overturned the money changer’s tables in the temple. Interestingly, this event took place in the “Gentile court” of the temple – the only portion of the temple that was open to gentiles. The money changers and merchants had overtaken this space so much that there was virtually no room left for gentiles to worship God. What can we take from this? Perhaps, violence in order to promote religious freedom (particularly freedom to worship God) is acceptable.
    2) I recently finished reading a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s interesting to me that he was a pacifist for most of his life. However, this began to change when he began to be confronted directly with the atrocities that were being done against the Jewish people, the mentally infirm, etc. He eventually came to the opinion that having the ability to stop these horrific crimes, and not doing so, was just as significant of a sin as the atrocities themselves. Remaining a pacifist, in other words, made HIM complicit with the very crimes that he hated so much. After coming to this realization, he became involved in the German resistance and was eventually executed for the part he played in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
    Remember James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” Pacifism, at some point, can become a sin. Clearly it is a hard line to draw – but it is a line that certainly exists.

  21. tumeyn,

    I would suggest that all of the instances in the OT where the Israelites were saved by divine intervention (10 plagues, Red Sea, etc.) would all be instances where Jesus used force/violence to accomplish His purposes. Too often folk on the pacifist side would like to separate the pre incarnate Jesus from the incarnate or post incarnate Jesus, and I just don’t see how that works. Either Jesus was God from the beginning or He wasn’t. To suggest some difference between pre incarnate and incarnate calls into question the nature of God IMO.

    Interesting take on Bonhoeffer, the concept that pacifism taken too far could be sinful makes way too much sense. It’s an interesting question. At some point a pacifist is faced with the choice to intervene by any means possible or to allow an innocent to be hurt/killed. I’m guessing that it’s a lot easier to be a pacifist in 2012 America than in 194’s Germany.

  22. I believe pacifism to be a man-made religious tradition and not a biblical principle at all. In fact, pacifism is an anti-biblical belief.

    See http://americancreed.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/unpatriotic-man-made-religious-traditions/

    God actually commands the punishment of evil doers and established civil government as his minister of wrath. See Romans 13.

  23. Craig…

    would all be instances where Jesus used force/violence to accomplish His purposes. Too often folk on the pacifist side would like to separate the pre incarnate Jesus from the incarnate or post incarnate Jesus, and I just don’t see how that works. Either Jesus was God from the beginning or He wasn’t.

    We don’t think God changed God’s nature. We do think that God’s rules adapted with different cultures. YOU ALL appear to believe this. At one time (biblically-speaking), polygamy, slavery, the destruction of a whole group of people, marrying your sister, making rape victims marry their assailants, wiping out an enemy but forcing their virgin girls to marry the Israelis… for those who take the OT literally (and the NT clear commands of Jesus less so – which is an amazing thing to me), we have rules in place back then that you no longer think are acceptable or applicable. You appear to think that God had different rules in place for OT people than God does today. Cultures are different and it may not be surprising that different cultures might have different rules.

    Jesus has always been God, but that does not demand that we either take each OT story as a literal history, nor does it demand that the rules don’t change from place to place/time to time, as you all appear to think it does.

    Or do you accept polygamy, slavery, forced marriage, marrying your sister, etc, etc as moral actions today?

    • If there’s one thing dan is really good at, its avoiding the real issue.

      Dan, what would Jesus have us do in response to the Muslim’s violent murderous uprisings at American embassies?

      Will you answer this.

  24. Craig…

    At some point a pacifist is faced with the choice to intervene by any means possible or to allow an innocent to be hurt/killed.

    Look, if a man was holding a detonator that was connected to a school full of 1 million children and I had a rifle and he told me I could shoot him or he’d kill all those children, I’d probably shoot him and ask for forgiveness later, if need be.

    The question isn’t whether pacists will intervene, we DO ALL THE TIME. The question is the efficacy and morality of interventions that include shedding innocent blood. Thus, I was asking WHERE you all draw the line on what Jesus might command us to do and on what basis do you draw that line?

    Mine is fairly straightforward. I draw the line at shedding innocent blood. I think clearly and biblically, God/Jesus would not command us to commit evil. I think clearly, deliberately shedding innocent blood is evil. Whether that is “shedding innocent blood” by way of deliberately killing one child to save 100, or dropping a bomb on innocent people to MAYBE save others, or raping a woman/man/child to save others or torturing enemy prisoners to save others.

    John appears to agree that he wouldn’t rape a woman or torture a prisoner to save others, but he would kill 100,000 innocents.

    Marshall appears to think that he wouldn’t rape a woman, but (I believe he has said) he would torture and kill 100,000 innocents to save others.

    I’m asking on what basis are you drawing the line? IF saving lives is the goal and killing 100,000 innocents is acceptable IF it saves 200,000 lives, then why not raping a woman or a child? Why not torture? Why not the destruction of all “the enemy” – man, woman and child – IF it ultimately saves more lives?

    Your value appears to be saving the most lives (not a bad value, that), but you all DO apparently draw the line on what you would do? Why? On what basis?

    As always, pacifists are NOT passivists (I’ve yet to meet a more courageous and involved warrior that could stand as tall as most pacifists, in terms of bravery and actions), and we are not advocating doing nothing. We’re advocating holding to lines that we will not cross because Jesus’ teachings are quite clear and we take them seriously.

  25. what would Jesus have us do in response to the Muslim’s violent murderous uprisings at American embassies?

    Will you answer this.

    This is funny. I’ve answered this question at least twice now, and yet you have not answered my question at all. And I’m the one avoiding answering questions.

    I’ll re-paste what I’ve already said…

    I would…

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

    Live in harmony with one another…

    Do NOT repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    Do NOT take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

    “If your enemy is hungry, FEED HIM;
    if he is thirsty, GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO DRINK.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    Do NOT be overcome by evil, but OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

    What specifically does that look like? It looks like FEEDING, HELPING, STANDING UP FOR, TAKING CARE OF our Muslim brothers and sisters.

    It would involve, perhaps, a human shield, as we have used successfully (although not always) against terrorists and oppressors in Latin America, Israel and other places.

    It would involve, perhaps, economic sanctions (but effective ones that still allowed the feeding and caring for the needy).

    How many answers and responses and ideas would you like, John?

    When will you answer my reasonable question?

    • So then you’d do nothing.

      You would offer rioters sandwiches and drinks and tell them you care. Then somehow you’d impose economic sanctions on villagers who don’t have money anyway? I wonder how that works.

      If this is how you’d react then you are very naive as to what is going on right now. If this is how you’d react then you would be culpable for the deaths of the innocents murdered by those Muslims.

    • Dan’s big problem is his usual abuse of Scripture. He takes passages meant for interpersonal relationships and attempts to apply it to national/international relationships. And then to justify his system, he brings in every atheist/skeptic complaint about O.T. laws, as well as descriptive passages which were never meant to be prescriptive. SIGH.

      With Dan and his ilk in charge, Hitler would have exterminated all the Jews in Europe – not just 6 million.

  26. Additionally, I should say that I would probably remove any at risk people from locations where violence is occurring and begin immediate dialogs to de-escalate the situation.

    I would appeal to the moderate Muslims in the area for assistance in de-escalation.

    I would denounce both the stupid video that ostensibly began it as destructive AND the violence that is occurring, pointing out how both are not leading to sustainable lives for our peoples.

    The point is, there are actions that can be taken. I doubt the wisdom of bombing the protestors, JUST AS YOU DOUBT the wisdom of capturing some of their women (or men) and publicly raping them, repeatedly, until they quit.

    WHY DO YOU doubt the wisdom of public raping-as-defense, but accept the wisdom of bombing-as-defense?

    Where do you draw the line and on what basis?

  27. Dan writes: “Mine is fairly straightforward. I draw the line at shedding innocent blood. I think clearly and biblically, God/Jesus would not command us to commit evil. I think clearly, deliberately shedding innocent blood is evil. Whether that is “shedding innocent blood” by way of deliberately killing one child to save 100, or dropping a bomb on innocent people to MAYBE save others,”

    This sounds good, except by your philosophy there are a lot of other actions that we would also have to consider to be immoral. Think about mandatory seat belt laws. Every year there are numerous people killed because they were wearing seat belts. (or by air bags, for that matter) But, on the other hand, there are thousands and thousands of lives saved. It’s a risk-reward proposition. By your logic, would you also condemn seat belt and air bag use since they directly lead to some deaths?

    Think about drugs. Drugs kill thousands of people every year from side-effects. But they save perhaps hundreds of thousands.

    The same could be said of mandatory vaccines. The same could be said of all sorts of laws and regulations that are put in place for our safety.

    Over and over again through the New Testament, Jesus condemned “legalism”. You seem to have taken this “nonviolence” described by Jesus to an extreme that is akin to the legalism that Jesus repeatedly condemned in the pharisees and teachers of the law. Remember the time that the disciples at some grain from a field (that wasn’t theirs) on the Sabbath? Did Jesus condemn them for stealing or for violating the Sabbath?

  28. John,
    Maybe giving Hitler some sauerbraten and bier (schnitzel and noodles) would have placated him. Unfortunately Czechoslovakia, and half of Poland didn’t work.

    Dan,

    Just a quick response. You say you’d kill one to save one million, at least your honest that your pacifism has a limit. I guess i’d suggest that I’d kill one to save nine hundred ninty nine thousand, or for that matter nine, or even one. The fact that you appparantly are willing to let quite a few innocents die before you’re willing to use force must be extremly comforting to those close to you.

  29. “Or do you accept polygamy, slavery, forced marriage, marrying your sister, etc, etc as moral actions today?”

    What this has to do with the issue at hand is beyond me. Why bombing the country that produces terrorist organizations, often with the sanctioning of the host gov’t ( or the country that produced the Japanese army of the 1930’s & 40’s), often with the blessings of the general population to one degree or another is necessarily evil is also a problem. It is unfortunate that we must do that which we’d prefer not to in order to attain a desired outcome which is best for all. Our bombing of two Japanese cities has led to a nation that is far more beneficial to the world than it was before we dropped those bombs.

    I am pretty much done with responding to lunatic analogies that do not compare with the issues being discussed. In what parallel universe is rape ever an option for dealing with something like the what is being discussed here? Where would it ever be suggested as a rational tactic to advance American causes in the world? “Well, I guess the only thing left for us is to rape their women and girls.” Sure, Dan.

    I am also done with explaining the difference between God tolerating behaviors in the OT versus sanctioning or endorsing them…a clear distinction Dan pretends is difficult to discern. This from a guy who claims to study Scripture.

    I submit that allowing people to die in order to appear “Christian” is a far worse evil than to nuke a country that has produced, supported and/or done nothing to stop their terrorists and radicals who murder their own as well as ours.

  30. Nice twisting of my position, Craig.

    My point is that I doubt the efficacy of dropping bombs on vast numbers of people to “save lives.” My point is that I doubt the efficacy of using guns to stop violence. Consider the theater shooting of several weeks ago. Let’s assume that there were dozens of people armed and prepped with guns in that theater. It’s dark. Shots ring out. dozens of people draw their weapons. Suddenly, there is a whole room of potential targets that the shooters “must” shoot in order to save lives. One of them shoots someone he thinks might be dangerous. Another person sees that person shoot and he shoots, and so on and so on.

    My point is NOT that I would do nothing. My point is that I don’t trust your guns, bombs or aims to be efficacious. It sounds more like compensation rather than a rational plan.

    Additionally, I just don’t see your solution working with Jesus’ teaching.

    IF we construct a neat situation where I could safely stop a determined killer ONLY by shooting, maybe I would. I wouldn’t prescribe my actions to Jesus’ teachings, though. Jesus taught us specifically, literally otherwise. I would probably do that and say, “It was the best I knew to do in that situation at that time…” IF we construct such a neat fantasy scenario.

    MY still unanswered question is: What limits do you all have? Why would you shoot to save lives but not rape? Why would you drop a bomb on a bunch of innocents but not torture?

    Your line seems to be entirely whimsical and not based on much of anything other than, well, it’s what we’ve always done…

  31. I want to clarify a distinction Dan likely won’t see or acknowledge. My last sentence…

    “I submit that allowing people to die in order to appear “Christian” is a far worse evil than to nuke a country that has produced, supported and/or done nothing to stop their
    terrorists and radicals who murder their own as well as ours.”

    To allow people to die in order to appear Christian is selfish and not a true concern for others. To nuke a country of the type I mention is to serve those who suffer.

    I’ll once more answer these really nonsensical questions “Why would you shoot to save lives but not rape? Why would you drop a bomb on a bunch of innocents but not
    torture?”

    What scenario has ever played out where rape might save lives? It would seem more likely that to rape the woman of a terrorist would incite more violence without ever having any hope of preventing more terrorism. Killing the terrorist, even if it took out that same woman, would prevent more terror from that particular terrorist.

    The same goes for torturing innocents. In what way could this ever be seen as a means to end terrorist behavior? Can we really expect that terrorist give a rat’s ass about who we might torture when they are likely oppressing the very same people? Are these innocents in possession of any valuable intel that they wouldn’t give up voluntarily? If so, they aren’t innocent, are they? The very suggestion is stupid.

  32. I had said…

    “Or do you accept polygamy, slavery, forced marriage, marrying your sister, etc, etc as moral actions today?”

    To which Marshall responded…

    What this has to do with the issue at hand is beyond me.

    You all are discounting Jesus DIRECT commands (Overcome evil with good. Don’t respond in the way the world responds. Respond with loving actions, etc) because there are some OT passages that suggest God sometimes wants us to NOT respond with loving actions but respond with war, death and destruction.

    IF your reasoning is that, “I think Jesus would respond to violence with violence because that is what we see in the OT…,” then it is a rational question to look at the specifics and say, “Okay, in the OT, THESE are what actions God allows/commands… are THESE actions what you are willing to do and if not, why not?”

    It’s like you want to take the GENERAL idea that “god likes war, we can see that because in the OT, god commands war…” but NOT accept the specific commands of that literal god (“wipe out ALL the enemy, right down to the children. LEAVE NONE BEHIND…” or, “wipe out all the enemy, but spare the virgin girls, take them home and make them your wives…”)

    IF the OT rules are the rules you want to live by, why not LIVE by them? If you reject those specific rules, then on what basis do you do so, while still holding on to the general rule.

    Are you saying, “I think god likes war sometimes, but NOT like he did it back then. Now we have these different rules. These different rules are used because… well, because what god did back then was wrong…”? Or what? You seem to have no consistent reasoning as to what rules you hold to.

    Beyond that, let me suggest this: In the OT, we have God specifically TELLING Israel to do that which OTHERWISE WOULD BE IMMORAL, agreed? That is, if Israel decided on its own to wipe out a people, you would condemn that as immoral, right? It is (in YOUR opinion) only God’s command telling them to commit these otherwise atrocities that makes them “good,” right?

    If THAT is your measurement, I’m entirely behind it. The next time God TELLS YOU to drop a bomb and kill thousands of people, you can do so. In the meantime, we have specific commands from Jesus as to how Jesus’ followers are to fight evil: “Overcome evil with good.”

    Shedding innocent blood is not good, or is that the argument you are making?

    ON. WHAT. BASIS?

  33. I keep hearing you offer that opinion, Glenn. If it’s your opinion, by all means, hold it, whether or not the text supports such a hunch.

    • It isn’t an opinion, Dan. It’s the context of the passage. It isn’t a “hunch” either.

      Every time someone points out the context of a passage to you, it’s always sluffed off by you as “opinion” or “hunch” – because you just can’t stand to accept what the Bible teaches when it is against your pro-homosexual, unbiblical pacifist, social gospel. And yet you get upset when people have proven you cannot be a Christian because you worship a God of your own making.

  34. Marshall! At last, someone has offered an answer to the question I’ve asked! Let’s look at your answer…

    What scenario has ever played out where rape might save lives? It would seem more likely that to rape the woman of a terrorist would incite more violence without ever having any hope of preventing more terrorism.

    So, it seems your response is entirely tied to perceived efficacy. IF this WORKS to save lives, THEN Jesus would think it’s good.

    Or perhaps more accurately, IF I think it will work, then Jesus would think it’s good.

    So, given your measure (“If it works to ultimately save more lives, then it is a moral good which Jesus would approve of…”) then BY that measure, wouldn’t destroying ALL Muslims be the safest answer? That, or maybe destroying ALL Muslims except for the virgin girls, which Christians could then bed down and Christianize, as a slightly more “moral” and yet, still OT-biblical option?

    What is the answer to that question, my friend?

  35. Okay, brother Glenn, I’ll bite: Show me the TEXT that demonstrates Jesus was speaking ONLY of interpersonal relationships.

    Interestingly, if you all think that deadly armed responses are the “right” and “moral” choice Jesus would want us to do, he must have failed pretty miserably with the disciples and early church, since they did no armed rebellion against their Roman oppressors.

    Whaddabunch of cowards and creeps, right? Too bad they didn’t have you there to set them straight on what Jesus taught them…

    • Look at the bloody context!!!! Oh, you don’t understand context, do you!

      This is why I don’t bother with you on my blogs, and why I’m done with your foolishness here. You do everything you can to marginalize context to suit your heresy and apostasy.

  36. Brother Glenn, I’m looking at the text. I’m looking at the context (an oppressed minority religious with limited rights who have to submit to Roman authority and who experienced waves of persecution). They had the opportunity to step up and kill, kill, kill in the name of Christ and, IN CONTEXT, they didn’t. Rather, they appeared to take these teachings fairly literally – “Don’t kill your enemy. Do good to them.”

    Textually and contextually, it seems to be about “the enemy” and I see nothing that limits who that enemy is or says, “Oh, and when I say ‘enemy,’ I only mean those people who get upset with you in your social circles… love THOSE people and do good to them. BUT, your oppressing overseer enemies, it’s cool to overcome them with military response…”

    Where do you see it, because I just don’t see it there.

    I’ll help you… Here’s some of the text, show me where it says “only intrapersonal…”

    They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
    but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

    “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

    But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil…

    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction [what afflictions were they facing? Oh, there was the ARMED ROMAN OCCUPATION -dt], faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn…

    Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” [WHOSE is it to avenge? -dt] says the Lord. [Oh, it is GOD’s to avenge, according to the text…] On the contrary:

    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good…

    not seeing “only intrapersonal” in the text or context thus far in the epistles… What does Jesus say…?

    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    “Blessed are you when people [when people intrapersonally?? Doesn’t say that, doesn’t suggest that… -dt] insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you…

    I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. [WHO had the right to impress someone into service carrying their stuff for one mile? Oh, the Roman soldiers. But maybe Jesus meant them only interpersonally…? -dt]

    You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

    I’m looking and looking and seeing no suggestion that these texts mean ONLY intrapersonally. Do you have some magic insight you’d like to share or would you prefer to torture me to MAKE me accept your opinion? Oh, that’s right, only SOME of you all accept torture as a way of dealing with enemies. Well, maybe you could bomb me into submitting to your will, Glenn…

    Or you could, you know, just dialog and offer some text or context to support your thus far hunch.

  37. Glenn…

    You do everything you can to marginalize context to suit your heresy and apostasy.

    Taking Jesus, the Christ’s teachings TOO literally is evidence of heresy and apostasy, for you, Glenn? Actually thinking to follow the teachings of the Christ as a Christ-ian isn’t a good idea for Christ-ians, you think?

    I politely disagree.

  38. “Nice twisting of my position, Craig.”

    Actually I didn’t twist your position in the least. You made a clear declarative statement about your personal threshold, and I responded to your statement. Your threshold is “1 million children”, before you’d use force. My threshold is significantly lower. I’m not sure why you feel that using your words and drawing conclusions from your very clear statement is twisting your position.

    The good news is that your response eliminates the need for me to address any of the rest of your comments as the likelihood of getting any kind of substantial response seems tiny. Thanks for saving me the time.

    I will answer your kind of pointless question.

    1. If I was directly commanded by Jesus to take a certain action I would like to think that I would obey His command. In much the same way Jesus commanded the Israelites to take actions that you disagree with. I would hope that I would trust Jesus enough to follow His commands, whether I agreed with them or not.

    2. If I was faced with a situation where I was confronted with an act of evil being perpetrated on someone else I would take whatever steps are necessary in order to remove the threat to that party.

    3. If I was confronted with the threat of an act of evil directed at myself, I would use whatever means at my disposal to extricate myself from the situation, up to and including deadly force if I had no other alternative.

    I know it’s a bit much to point out, but nice dodge of the Bonhoeffer situation.

    Glen,

    Amen. This attempt to project things that are clearly directed at interpersonal relationships, onto nation states interaction with other nation states or terrorist organizations is quite a bit to swallow. It kind of sounds like someone wants to impose his personal beliefs/interpretations of scripture on others. Almost like a theocracy or something.

  39. This attempt to project things that are clearly directed at interpersonal relationships

    And that is known, HOW? Where is your evidence? Are you conflating “it seems this way to me” with “therefore, it must be the way it is and anyone who says otherwise is disagreeing with God…”?

    And you still misrepresent my position. I’ll pass on explaining why again.

  40. “If I could go back in time, I wouldnt kill hitler, I’d offer him a sandwich and a glass of water. I don’t know why no one thought of that.”

    HAHAHA

  41. DAN!!! Hello?!! Read Romans 13. It spells out how God administers wrath on evil doers. It is called civil government. God uses the State to end the lives of evil doers. That is what America has to do with those who killed the ambassador and the other Americans: kill them. Killing them is doing the wrath of God.

    Jesus would have said “Civil authorities, find the evil doers and hang them.”

  42. Dan’s inane question “Why would you shoot to save lives but not rape? Why would you drop a bomb on a bunch of innocents but not torture?” demonstrates he cannot see distinctions clearly.

    Shooting and killing an evil doer to save lives is about just consequences for his actions. Killing evil doers is not only justified, but is commanded by God. Raping an innocent person to save lives, first of all is a ridiculous scenario that never happens, but if it did happen would be immoral because rape is an intentional evil directed at a specific innocent victim.

  43. John, someone did think about offering Hitler a sandwich and a glass of water. It was Neville Chamberlain. Only it wasn’t a sandwich and a glass of water. It was Austria and the Sudetenland. HEY DAN, guess how that worked out for the world? I assume you do not know since you still insist on holding to your unbiblical pacifism and misapplied “turn the other cheek” principle.

    Dan lives in a fantasy world where any application of scriptural principles works in any situation where context doesn’t matter. I suppose he’ll be there waving the “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” mantra in front of Jesus’ face when Jesus returns with his armies and draws a sword to slay the wicked men on earth.

  44. DAN! READ ROMANS 13!!!

  45. Dan,
    Since you haven’t actually explained how my responding based on your actual words misrepresents your position, I can see why you wouldn’t want to do that again.

  46. Dan,
    Instead of making snarky comments about a legitimate question regarding your interpretation, perhaps you could provide some sort of explanation of why you believe that Jesus was referring to governmental entities rather than individuals.

  47. Dan,

    “You all are discounting Jesus DIRECT commands (Overcome evil with good….”

    You fail to explain how killing murderers in order to save lives is not a “good”. It is, to say the least, disingenuous to speak as if waging war is a first step. It is far more often preceded by years and years of diplomatic and other non-violent steps. This is your first and routine deceit in these types of discussions. It is, to use your own term, “ugly-ass” to presume any of us would not prefer to be able to resolve things without violence, as if we are just geeked for the opportunity. What a sorry attitude to have toward anyone you’d dare refer to as “brother”. We are dealing with an unrepentant and seriously savage enemy who is not keen to sit down and play nice. They despise non-islamic cultures enough to use any excuse to perpetrate the type of behaviors that provoked this post. You don’t seem to care how many people are abused, tortured and murdered while your insistence on “Christian” tactics fail over and over again. But hey, as long as Dan feels like he is being a Christian, all is well, regardless of the suffering that continues unimpeded by your efforts. You might as well be hacking off those heads yourself.

    “IF your reasoning is that, “I think Jesus would respond to violence with violence because that is what we see in the OT…,”’

    Nothing in anything we’ve said, certainly nothing I’ve said provides any justification for this idiocy. If I was to think that Jesus might respond to the ongoing savagery of a certain segment of the muslim world with violence, I would be more likely to believe it was because #1, being God, He would have no trouble seeing the subjects in question for what they are, #2, He has acted with violence in Scripture as has been said above, and #3, we are taught by Scripture that He will lead the fight against evil in the End Times. Thus, a violent response is not the least bit out of the question.

    “It’s like you want to take the GENERAL idea that “god likes war…”

    It’s not like that at all since at no time has anyone ever suggested that “God likes war” or that we even think He does because He commanded His Chosen to go to war. Our opinion is that war is a necessary option that must never be off the table, especially when dealing with an unrepentant enemy whose mind is fixed on murder. We don’t have to wipe out the entire muslim world, but we are prepared to do so if the situation demands that we do in order to save innocent lives, even if it means some among those wiped out are themselves innocent. This is, again, not something anyone is eager to do and would do so with great reluctance and remorse, saddened and not a little pissed off that our hand was forced. This is a far greater “good” than allowing ongoing oppression and murder continue unabated so that we can feel all “Christiany”. It’s a mockery of Christian teaching.

  48. more for Dan,

    “IF the OT rules are the rules you want to live by…”

    Who has ever said this? I live by Christian teaching which means many OT “rules” are still in effect. It is you who pretends one cannot clearly understand which those are.

    “You seem to have no consistent reasoning as to what rules you hold to.”

    This is not true. You simply have no rational understanding of Scripture when it speaks of what is evil, what is good, what is “lovely” and a host of other things. I’ve often said that intention determines the evil or goodness of any given act. But you then try to imagine the most heinous act, like raping someone to save lives, and pretend I’m supposed to honor such a scenario as an honest inquiry. It is you who insists that violence is evil. Since you insist Glenn offers a verse to support his opinion, remember that I’ve been waiting for a verse to support that notion for some time.

    We are left with two scenarios:

    1. Dan’s way. Talk nice to savages who will likely kill you when you try and in the meantime, people will continue to be murdered and oppressed by these savages. To Dan, this is a good thing. This is repaying evil with good, which results in evil continuing to harm others.

    2. Art’s way (commonly known as “common sense”, “logic” “saving lives”) After having talked nice to the savages, kill them until they stop murdering and oppressing people. When enough of them have been killed so that no more wish to follow the pattern, insist that you are willing to kill more of them if they decide at some point to begin murdering and oppressing people again. While engaged in this strategy, some innocent people may also die. While unfortunate and not desired, the killing of the savages is a good thing. It is not repaying evil with evil, since our intention is to change their behavior, if not their hearts and minds. In fact, they can remain savages as long as they don’t act like savages.

    If Dan can find a verse, I would appreciate some teaching that states we must put up with constant savagery from those who have no desire to change, no concern for the harm they inflict, and no love for God. The real God.

    But the real point is that in both scenarios, innocent blood will be shed. Whether or not you want to accept it as the truth it is, Dan, your strategy costs innocent lives. Self defense is not revenge. Killing to stop murder is not evil.

    “So, it seems your response is entirely tied to perceived efficacy. IF this WORKS to save lives, THEN Jesus would think it’s good.”

    No. My response was tied to the stupidity of suggesting that there is any way rape would or could be used to save lives and then imagining that I would give it serious consideration. But on the whole, I would agree that Jesus would consider our hearts when we perpetrate some radical plan to save lives. He would know when we did it just to kick ass, and when we did it because we honestly felt there was no other alternative, short of allowing the enemy’s oppression and murder to continue. You obviously believe that there are no number of lives too many to risk as long as you adhere to your desire to appear Christian.

    “What is the answer to that question, my friend?”

    My answer is that it is another stupid question that does not follow even your strained misunderstanding of my position. I have no reason to believe that killing all muslims is necessary to end the behaviors of radical savages within their ranks. Indeed, history has shown that merely inflicting whatever amount of suffering is necessary will put an end to it and many lives will be saved. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are recent examples. Sherman’s March was based on the theory and it worked. Even the psychotic islamists who claim to love death have their limitations, and I’d guess that would be those truly enamored with martyrdom getting their wish. The rest would realize we’re more than happy to accommodate them and desist.

  49. I’ve spent all the time on this one I can afford right now. In summation…

    I am opposed to actions where we will kill or harm innocents.

    I take Jesus’ teachings to love the enemy and overcome evil with good pretty literally. You all think I’m taking Jesus’ teachings TOO literally and OT teachings not literally enough.

    When I point out that I’m fine with you all intervening with military action that wipes out entire peoples or forced marriage AS SOON AS God authoritatively tells you to do so. I just don’t think God has told you to do so. That is the difference between OT actions that otherwise would be atrocities and your wishes to go in and stop the bad guys, even if it means taking actions that are atrocities (and wiping out entire cities IS an atrocity).

    I do not think actions that involve the mass destruction of innocents “good,” nor “loving.”

    I am not saying “Do Nothing.”

    I am okay with police interventions. Police, by design, do not take actions that put innocent people at risk. Military action may not WANT to put innocent people at risk, but it is the nature of the sport that innocent people ARE killed in modern warfare – some actions more likely than others.

    I am okay with you, if you want to, choosing to take your big guns and shoot at other guys with big guns. I understand that your goal is to save innocent lives and that is a noble one. I just object to actions where innocent blood is shed and don’t think you can claim “Jesus wants me to” take actions where innocent blood is shed.

    You all, on the other hand, seem to think that SOMETIMES it is acceptable to shed innocent blood to save lives. You seem to have no discernible criteria that you are willing to draw lines with, beyond “IF I think it will work, I’m okay with doing what otherwise would be an atrocity…”

    Therefore, you would object to raping one woman (or multiple women or children) NOT because you think it is wrong IF it worked, but because you think it wouldn’t work.

    I, on the other hand, would say it is always wrong, just like the targeting of civilian areas is always wrong.

    In short, I am unwilling to say that actions where innocents will be harmed is something that Jesus would endorse and you all (most of you all) seem to be fine with that and the line is not based on immorality but on efficacy, alone. IF child rape, IF total destruction of an enemy, IF forced marriages, IF targeting civilians WORKED to save lives, you would be okay with it – that’s what I’m hearing from you, or at least Marshall with no one else really stepping up and trying to answer the criteria question.

    I would disagree and say that there are lines we ought not cross even in an effort to save lives. I would say that claiming that “Jesus wants me to take this action that shed innocent blood” is stepping beyond anything you can prove.

    • Here’s what I don’t get Dan, the Muslim rioters aren’t innocent. They have maimed, murdered, plundered, vandalized, and more at our embassies. Do you think they are innocent? Because you keep going on this like they are. The question is what should we do about these rioters and I guess you’ve been answering as though the question was : should we kill innocent bystanders?

      Why are you being so difficult?

  50. Perhaps the problem is that for some reason (maybe we’ve poorly expressed ourselves, maybe he chooses to “misunderstand”, maybe it’s easier to ignore what is actually said and keep propping up straw men), Dan just doesn’t understand that no on is suggesting that millions of innocent babies be raped and wiped out in order to punish the evildoers. Nor is anyone suggesting that Jesus has spoken directly to us. Nor is anyone suggesting that force be used indiscriminately.

    What is being suggested is that at some point force is justified in controlling evil. What is being suggested is that the folks (adherents to the religion of peace) who feel compelled to burn, kill, and destroy at will to assuage their “offense” at some video that essentially no one has actually seen, are somehow “innocent”

    Dan has clearly stated the for him the line is 1,000,000 innocent children at direct risk before he would surrender his passionately held beliefs. Dan has also clearly stated that it’s not worth his time to provide support for his hunch that the teachings of Jesus under discussion here are to be forced upon secular governments in dealing with these barbarians. I can see why he feels that way, I would too with nothing to support my hunch.

  51. Also, although Dan has kept whining that no one will answer his question, while ignoring the fact that his question has been answered by at least two of the participants in the discussion. It’s a great tactic, complain that no one will answer me then ignore the answers.

  52. John, read my words more closely, I have NOT defended those who have broken laws and caused harm. They should be arrested. Is THAT where the confusion is on all of this?? Of course, those who riot or murder should be arrested.

    My point has been consistently this: We can not reasonably say that Jesus would endorse us in taking actions that causes harm to INNOCENTS. Innocent bystanders. Children, babies, women, men who are not a threat or are not engaging in dangerous behavior.

    Thus, that is why I am clearly saying it is ridiculous to say that Jesus would endorse bombing a city of civilians. THAT is not targeting those who have “maimed, murdered or plundered…” It is targeting civilians.

    Does that clarify it for you?

    And so, I return to the summary: I am opposed to actions that would cause harm to innocents, that would shed innocent blood. Period.

    You all appear to be okay with actions that causes harm to poor AS LONG AS you think it will ultimately save lives. Thus your measure does not appear to be OT models (where a literal reading has God commanding women are kidnapped and forcibly wed and who peoples are destroyed, men women and children) NOR Jesus’ NT teachings that speaks more directly of our specific and direct actions towards the “enemy” as being overcoming evil with good, but rather, just what you think will ultimately save lives, and AS LONG AS it saves lives (mass destruction, rape, torture, whatever), THAT is the measure.

    Or is it? You seem to also say that, No, you would oppose rape for saving lives, but the reasoning appears to be NOT because it is immoral to do so, but because it would be ineffective.

    So tell me: Are you saying, John, that you would stand opposed to rape or torture, EVEN IF it ultimately saved lives? If so, why are you opposed to rape and torture IF it saved lives, but not opposed to mass destruction of innocent bystanders, a la Hiroshima?

    That is one of the questions I have been trying to figure out from you. Feel free to clarify.

  53. Dan’s last comment brings up an interesting point.
    IF one accepts the OT as reasonably historical, one must either conclude that the 10th plague on Egypt either only killed the innocent firstborn, or that Jesus is willing to accept some collateral damage to achieve His ends.

    I guess another possibility is that Jesus has a much better grasp of who is “innocent” and who is not, and that we really have very little standing to make pronouncements regarding innocence or guilt.

    Obviously, if one relegates the OT to some sort of mythical revenge fantasy it is possible to draw any random conclusion you want from it.

    Dan,
    Regarding your question, I’ve already answered it. You can keep asking if you like, but it won’t change.

  54. I am not sure of Dan’s position.

    Does he think that any killing, including evil doers, is wrong because we are supposed to “bless those who persecute us”? Or that it is wrong to act to kill evil doers if innocent people get killed in the process?

    Either way he misapplies the “don’t repay evil with evil” principle. God has commanded that evil doers be put to death. Killing evil doers is “good.” So, when the proper authority (READ ROMANS 13 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) kills evil doers it is administering GOD’s wrath. God has chosen to use civil authorities to enact his vengeance. As humans, we do not do it perfectly. In a fallen world there are no perfect solutions and the innocent die. Today’s technologies and techniques demand a different response to evil.

    Doing nothing has its own moral culpability with it.

  55. Does he think that any killing, including evil doers, is wrong because we are supposed to “bless those who persecute us”?

    I think stopping someone in the act of hurting others is reasonable. I have done so before myself. I have done so without taking a life, but still, I have done so. IF there were some strange set of circumstances and the ONLY option were to kill a deadly person to save an innocent person, then that would be something I would think is acceptable, if not ideal and less than Jesus’ direction to us. I am just trying to be clear that we ought not justify OUR embrace of deadly violence – particularly against innocents – and claim it in Jesus’ name, that is the direction the Muslim extremists go in and it is a dangerous path to tread.

    In my estimation, most times we can stop those causing harm without taking lives. Unlike Marshall’s assumption, I don’t believe that some people are people and some people are savages. We’re all fallible human beings, most often acting in ways we THINK are going to be good. One problem with human beings, though, is that we easily confuse “good” and “evil,” and this is why it’s good to have lines that we won’t cross.

    Myself, I think harming the innocent is an obvious line not to cross. You all are okay with it, at least to some degree and in some cases.

    Thus, we have Muslims who no doubt THINK they are acting to protect the good and righteous and, in their confusion, have embraced evil methods to do this (killing innocent people). In that, they are mistaken and should be stopped and held accountable. In my estimation, we have many Americans who think they are acting to stop the evil and, in the process and in their confusion, have embraced evil methods to accomplish this.

    When we embrace what would otherwise be evil and defend it as a good because the cause is just, I think we run a risk of justifying evil. Even if our hearts are in the right place. We see this with the Muslim extremists and I think we see this in our own policies sometimes.

    This is why I have the line that I won’t cross and think it comes closer to the Biblical and Christian model set forth by Jesus.

    Stop deadly violence and oppression? Yes, of course, that’s what I’ve been saying all along.

    Embrace evil to do stop evil? No, and, in MY estimation, harming innocents IS evil. You all believe it is okay.

    That seems to be the difference between us.

  56. Craig…

    I guess another possibility is that Jesus has a much better grasp of who is “innocent” and who is not, and that we really have very little standing to make pronouncements regarding innocence or guilt.

    This would be an immoral and ill-thought path to tread, it seems to me. IF someone is harming a child then OF COURSE that person is harming an innocent and someone should step in and stop them. The Bible speaks of not shedding innocent blood and that is a constant thing warned against throughout the Bible. If we can make no assumptions about who is innocent and who is not in specific instances, then we may as well just live lawless lives of might makes right and ignore all morality except our own, seems to me.

    I don’t think that is a biblical, moral or wise direction to go in.

  57. Dan,

    First, of everything I’ve written, this is what you choose to respond to.
    Second, are you really suggesting that it is immoral to presume that Jesus has a better grasp of who is innocent and who is guilty than, for example, you?
    Third, I never suggested that we can make no assumptions about who is innocent or not. I suggested that Jesus has a much better perspective than you do. Further, the word I used is not assumptions, it was pronouncements. FYI those words mean different things, so it really works better if you respond to what I actually said, not what you think I should have said, or what works better to advance your hunch.

  58. Yeah, that whole Jesus being omniscient, what an unbiblical concept.

  59. “You all, on the other hand, seem to think that SOMETIMES it is acceptable to shed innocent blood to save lives.”

    Not at all. Never claimed it in the least. We say that sometimes innocent blood is shed in the act of saving lives. I’m saying that the act of saving lives is still a good thing even when innocent lives are lost in the process. The fact that innocents died isn’t a good thing, but that lives were saved is a good thing.

    But here’s the real problem. Your way or ours, innocent lives are lost. Why is yours the noble road and ours not? At least with our way, the guilty are punished and justice is served. With your way, the guilty live on to murder again, no justice is served and innocents continue to die. Innocent lives are lost due to your unwillingness to do what’s necessary to put a stop once and for all to the behaviors that is the cause of all the suffering. Save time, strap on a vest and just blow yourself up on a bus full of kids. You are already complicit in their deaths. You’ve already crossed the line you claim you will not cross.

    You support police action? That would be fine for common crime. But against savages who have declared war on all non-muslim westerners, this is as good as doing nothing. You’re not serious about saving lives with this idiotic suggestion.

    I do not separate people into groups. Some define themselves by their actions. “Savages” is a completely appropriate word that describes the reality of the situation. These are people involved in true atrocities on an almost daily basis. Have you seen the images of the ambassador?

    “Therefore, you would object to raping one woman (or multiple women or children) NOT because you think it is wrong IF it worked, but because you think it wouldn’t work.”

    I object to the stupid suggestion on the face of it. It is a deceitful question intended to equate necessary action with that which is a nonsensical hypothetical not worthy of response.

    “We can not reasonably say that Jesus would endorse us in taking actions that causes harm to INNOCENTS.”

    As has been suggested, this is untrue. Biblical stories suggest quite the opposite. But “endorse” is not a word I would use to characterize Christ’s approval to do what must be done to end the type of behavior that is causing so much suffering.

    Let me cut to the chase. What would Jesus do?

    This is impossible to know, as we don’t have the advantage of His presence. If He were to show up in the flesh and offer His assistance, I have no doubt that He would have the perfect solution to end the behavior of our enemies once and for all. It would entail punishment for their evil and justice for those who have suffered and peace for the rest of us. It might indeed entail the deaths of innocents. (This is provided that His solution was not merely using His power to convert them, which makes this all moot.)

    If Jesus were to simply green light our ideas, I have no doubt that He would do so based on our intentions being honorable, and our feelings for the innocent regretful. I believe He would say, “Do what needs to be done to end this once and for all. Do not fear for the innocent for I have made a place for them in Paradise. The evildoers have condemned themselves.”

    I’m sure that you believe that those innocents who now die at the hands of the savages are in God’s hands, but there’s no way to know if that is true, and much reason to suspect that without being Christian themselves, it isn’t. There’s no way I could be sure of their eternal destination, either. But as I said, either way, innocents will die. That aspect is a wash.

    • I’m starting to see that Dan isn’t actually concerned with the killing of innocents. Or at least he’s a walking contradiction. On the one hand he decries the death of innocents if it happens as collateral damage while stopping evil doers from killing innocents. His opinion seems to be that it’s better for innocents to die at the hands of terrorists than by accident trying to stop terrorists.

  60. You nailed it John. “His opinion seems to be that it’s better for innocents to die at the hands of terrorists than by accident trying to stop terrorists.”

    He errs also when he thinks that God only allows the killing of evil doers if they are caught in the act. It is prudent, righteous and just to kill evil doers before they have a chance to strike again.

    Dan may be sincere in his beliefs, but his misguided, unbiblical beliefs make him nothing more than an unwitting accomplice to the death of innocents.

  61. …says the guys who think it’s acceptable to deliberately kill innocents.

    Irony, eh?

  62. There you go again, Dan. Who here says it is acceptable to deliberately kill innocents? Show us where it has been said.

    Or

    Show us the distinction between the consequences of the two points of view. A review:

    1. Dan believes killing murderers who are not the least bit interested in changing their ways is paying evil with evil. So, he won’t do it. In the meantime, the murderers continue to torture, murder and oppress. Innocents die as a result of whatever alternatives Dan wants to put forth, none of which has any guarantee of changing the hearts and minds of the murderers, but even assuming that it might at some point down the road, innocents will die until that happens.

    2. In general, most of us feel there is a time when the only remaining hope for ending the torture, murder and/or oppression of innocent people is to kill those who are intent on torturing, murdering and oppressing innocent people. In some cases, innocent people may die as we kill off those who torture, murder and oppress.

    In both scenarios, innocent people die as a result of actions taken to halt the torture, murder and oppression. What Dan cannot honestly say is that in scenario 2, innocents aren’t deliberately being killed by those who decide to kill the murders, any more than they are by Dan’s worthless alternative plan of action. But scenario 2 intends to stop the murders immediately, sending a message to others who suppose they might step in to fill the void left by the killed murderers. In scenario 1, even if there should be a change of heart by some of the murderers, the fact that no show of strength, resolve and deadly seriousness would invite others to fill the void without fear, as no message of consequence is delivered by Dan’s sweet talk. The likelihood that no change will be experienced by those who are victims of murderous people is assured.

    The truth of what I say has been proven in every case where coalition troops have maintained not only a force to hold a taken area, but other troops to take more areas. When there are no troops available to do both, murderers move in to continue their oppression where troops have vacated.

  63. Interesting thoughts on a related theme here.

    Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.

    The film shows how the “hell” of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell…

  64. Dan,

    I haven’t checked out your link just yet, but I am curious as whether or not you equate “revenge” with “justice”.

    Based on your italicized portions of your last comment, I will assume they come from the link. Already I am unimpressed with the direction. Are you suggesting our comments regarding responses to situations such as the events that provoked this post imply a lack of empathy on our part for anyone at all?

  65. MA, I too am assuming that the italics in Dan’s comment are from his link. What I have trouble with, and what will probably keep me from reading the link, is the bizarre statement that anyone who believes in hell, believes in revenge. This is a completely unsupported generalization which has no basis in Orthodox Christian belief. But we know Dan doesn’t need actual Biblical support for his hunches.

  66. OK, I looked at the link and was struck by the fact that Scheaffer cited no biblical texts to support his hunch, while the second guy based his entire position on biblical citations. Does it shock anyone where Dan falls on this?

  67. Um, you all were the ones looking for the “savages” to get what is coming from them.

    Those are the words of someone seeking vengeance, seems to me.

    Craig, I got more biblical citations for my positions than you have fingers on your hands or biblical or rational arguments for much of those points on which we disagree…

  68. No Dan. You have bad interpretations of Biblical citations.

    But to the point, you again suggest something not expressed by any words of mine, nor likely any words from anyone here but yourself. And the question still stands: do you equate justice with revenge?

    You seem to forget that attacking an embassy, even without murdering an ambassador, is an act of war. All civilized nations regard each embassy as an extension of the nation represented by that embassy. To breach their gates is the same as invading that country the embassy represents. As the embassy represents a nation, an ambassador represents the people who sent him. Thus, this attack was an attack on our nation and its people. An act of war. This attack was not by the armies of the host nations, but by their citizens. The “innocent” people of these nations have not yet brought to justice the perpetrators of these SAVAGE attacks. The best response to such attacks are those that are swift and decisive, leaving no doubt as to the consequences for such attacks, so that the people of these nations decide it is in their best interests to dissuade others of their people who might want to perpetrate such attacks in the future. THEN diplomacy and sweet talk will have an effect because we will have their attention. This is how peace is had, unfortunately. History has shown this to be the case.

  69. Dan,
    If you have such a plethora of Biblical citations, why haven’t you actually used them. At one time I asked you if you could provide any citation that was from the Bible, from Jewish scripture, or even from any of the early church fathers that referred to homosexuality in a neutral or positive light, and haven’t seen one yet. So, I know I’ve asked before, bring them on.

    I will say that you’ve done a masterful job of ignoring my actual point. Which was that the second pastor used actual Biblical citations to make his point regarding the existence of hell, while Scheaffer used NONE to make his. Further, the excerpt you used in your comment (which I can only presume you found compelling), does not in any way represent Orthodox Christian thought, nor is there any sort of support for that strange and bizarre hunch. So, the fact that you found the view based on unsupported hunches without biblical foundation worthy and compelling speaks volumes about beliefs.

    I am surprised that you would define “vengeance” as “get whats coning to them”. If someone commits a crime, and is caught, convicted, and sentenced, they have gotten “whats coming to them”. Or to put it another way, the fact that they commuted a crime means that they deserved the sentence. That, to me, sounds much more like justice than vengeance.

    If one looks at the acts the the adherents of the religion of peace are currently engaging in, it could be argued that they are seeking revenge for what they perceive as an offense to their religious beliefs. In no way can these acts be construed as appropriate, reasonable or deserved. Yet, you seem to be arguing that to punish “savages” (I’m not sure that it’s inaccurate to refer to those who commit savage acts as savages) , is somehow vengeance and not justice. You may have heard somewhere that God (the God revealed in the Judeo/Christian scriptures) is among other things a God of justice. I am perfectly willing to accept Him as He is and trust that His justice is truly just. Maybe you have a problem with that, I don’t.

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