Murder and killing

Due to the degree of disagreement between those who agree and disagree with the not guilty verdict handed down for George Zimmerman, I must ask if people may be using blurred definitions.

If you believe Zimmerman should have been found guilty, do you distinguish between killing and murder?  I’m not asking about this case in particular, but is all taking of human life murder, or are some instances justified?

I get the impression by talking to some that the only relevant detail of the case is that Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.  Is that all that matters?


  1. Yes, it is all that matters. Had Zimmerman not instituted a confrontation after being told to stand down, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed MINOR, would still be alive. We need gun control in this nation yesterday. We need to get rid of ridiculous stand your ground laws that are absurd when one can murder an unarmed teenager and walk free. And yes, we must have a conversation in this nation about racism.

  2. One more thing..the taking of life is indeed murder. Killing is murder. There are simply degrees of intent in the murdering, and of course a variety of excuses or reasons behind the act of murder.

    • Warrioress

      Since you’re a professing Christian, I’d like to ask you a couple questions.

      When God ordered the Israelites to kill their enemies, was he asking them to murder?
      If so, doesnt this mean God asked them to sin?
      Wouldnt disobeying God be a sin?
      Do you see how this doesnt make sense?

  3. John, to be frank, a lot of things don’t “make sense” back in Old Testament times. I’m not God, however. I defer to God’s judgment when I don’t understand what happened in the OT times, but I feel that I definitely understand NT times and we are not being led to kill or murder anymore. We are being led to love our neighbor as ourselves, forgive our enemies, turn the other cheek, and a whole host of uncomfortable things that tell us when we are indeed “born again.” Murder and killing are not fruits of the Holy Spirit.

    • But if all killing is murder in your opinion then God demanded Israel to sin. If your understanding is correct, that all killing is murder, then God demanded sin. You know God would never demand sin and that means your understanding is incorrect. Wouldnt the reasonable thing be to change your understanding?

      • You aren’t a biblical scholar, John, so your understanding of the bible is as flawed as my own. You *don’t* know the mind of God; this I know beyond a shadow of any doubt.

        What you do know is your own guess work at how the bible is to be interpreted.You interpret it according to your political leanings, period.

        Ancient history matters not, at any rate.

        I believe the New Testament is quite clear in what is expected of you and I as Christians; you are indeed falling short in this regard, and I sincerely suggest that you focus upon that.

        I note that many conservative Christians attempt to twist into a pretzel what Jesus Christ expects of them, because of the challenge of it. It is so difficult for them due to a mindset of greed and love of Mammon. This conservatism of yours has to attempt to rationalize its support of the destruction of the earth, wildlife, along with a deep grudge against the impoverished and the sick.

        You resent your own fellows receiving health care, while Jesus was clear about how the poor, sick, fatherless, and widows were to be treated by you.

        Another desire to blow people away with concealed handguns because conservatives claim they have a right to under the US constitution, is so far from what Christ wants from us that it’s mind boggling.

        Jesus was pacifistic. Can you understand that? He would never have been in favor of the Republican party’s take on America and how it should be.

        You apparently choose to live by the sword, based upon your beliefs in the constitution, not the bible, thus you will die by the sword as well; Jesus was very clear about this.

        Based upon most issues that I’ve read through here on your blog, including this one, you’re far more devoted to your conservatism politically than your Christian walk, and it shows in your take on things.

        In fact, I submit that you’re as far from the mind of God/Jesus Christ as any conservative Republican can be. I think this is completely sad — and fairly pointless to attempt to argue with you about.

        I prefer to simply pray for you and leave it at that. I do suggest, however, that you read the following and think deeply about it. You could truly benefit from studying and meditating on this well written essay in your walk with Christ.

        You *are* intelligent enough, John, to grasp the following concepts. I think you are capable of enough insight to succeed in grasping it.

        I suspect if you’ll try to initiate this kind of thinking in your own life and walk with Christ that you’ll become much wiser and closer to God than you are now. Give it a shot! Sincerely, Adrienne.

        • Just because I am not a scholar it doesnt follow that I am as likely wrong about an interpretation as you or anyone. This is a childish attempt to dismiss legitimate questions that expole flaws in your view. You can ignore parts of scripture if you like, but you cant expect me too as well.

          • There’s nothing at all childish about what I’ve said. This silly argument you’ve begun on this posting is pointless to your Christian walk. I am attempting to point out why and have suggested the reading I offered because I believe it will cut through this bs you keep focusing upon and educate you in what counts. Good luck. I’m praying for you.

  4. As the actual commandment from God is so often translated as “Thou shalt not murder”, it seems that there is a distinction that should be understood. Killing to prevent one’s own death is never murder. Killing to prevent the death of another is never murder. Killing to defend one’s property or country is never murder. And all of these examples presuppose no other alternative which further mitigates the sinfulness of taking a life

    It’s sad that so many want to accuse Zimmerman of murder when all we know is that he claims to have felt pulling the trigger was necessary and a decision forced upon him by the MINOR straddling his chest and beating him. What we don’t know is how much punishment would have been inflicted upon him before the MINOR decided enough was enough. There was no murder committed on that night based on what is known. There also was no intent by Zimmerman to confront Martin, based on what is known. Can’t say the same about the MINOR.

  5. Warrioress,
    There is nothing in the O.T. which doesn’t make sense. Murder is the unlawful, intentional killing of someone with malice aforethought, or during the commission of another crime. Self-defense is nowhere proscribed in Scripture.

    “Turn the other cheek” is about personal insults – not when someone is trying to kill you.

    The term “minor” is a modern construct. 17 is a young adult, and should be behaving as an adult. Just because our hedonistic culture has decided to treated our offspring as “children” until after college, that doesn’t mean they are not culpable as adults.

  6. paynehollow says:

    To answer John’s question:

    Yes, I distinguish between killing and murder. Certainly this is true as far as the law is concerned, but I think the case can be made beyond just legally.

    There are degrees of killing: Manslaughter, mistake, 1st and 2nd degree murders and, some might argue, “justified” killing. For instance, “pulling the plug” on an ill person who is ready to be released or, some would argue (not me, not generally) capital punishment.


    “Turn the other cheek” is about personal insults – not when someone is trying to kill you.

    Eisegesis. You’re reading into the text something that isn’t there.

    The text in question:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

    Clearly and literally, this is not a simple matter of someone insulting you. This is assault. The OT reference (eye for an eye…) is referencing the law about what to do when someone assaults and harms you. The OT taught a comparable payback (if someone attacks you and puts your eye out, put their eye out…) [And as a side note: We can see that this is a toning down of violence… in those older cultures, if someone put your eye out, you might kill them and maybe their family – this OT rule was to tone DOWN the violence by making it comparable, at least, rather than overblown violence]. Jesus is teaching us that, when confronted with violence AND insults (a slap on the right cheek, in addition to being assault, was a backhanded slap – in that culture, it was an insult, the way you’d treat a dog or a slave… but a VIOLENT insult.)

    This is getting off topic, I’m just correcting Glenn’s mistake. And now, we can be done with it… (except of course that Glenn is likely to defend his obvious mistake… saying that the text does not say what it literally says. Funny how you all accuse me – mistakenly – of that all the time and yet, so gleefully embrace it yourselves…)

    ~Dan Trabue

  7. paynehollow says:

    On the other hand, Glenn is entirely correct here, at least as far as I can think of…

    Self-defense is nowhere proscribed in Scripture.

    Self-defense is NOT banned anywhere in Scripture (not directly… one could argue that it is implied in multiple places, but no direct, literal ban). It just isn’t endorsed anywhere, either.


    • Ah, Trabue the false teacher strikes again with a claim that the Bible doesn’t endorse self-defense. I guess I will have to repeat what I previous said on that other post:

      It was validated by God in the Law (Exod. 21:13; 22:2; Num. 35:22ff), but it was not commanded. Self-defense is when life – not material – is in jeopardy. Contrary to Trabue’s false assertion and Scripture-twisting, Christ implied the disciples were to practice self-defense when he had them buy swords if they didn’t have them already (Luke 22:36-38). Theologians J.P. Moreland and Norman Geisler tell us that “to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.”

      Trabue would watch his family being harmed or killed by bad guys because he can’t find any specific passage in the Bible which says, “YOU CAN DEFEND YOUR SELF.”

  8. paynehollow says:

    [shake head, roll eyes…]

    Yeah, Glenn, that IS my meaning… you’re so wise that you can aptly interpret my mind, even though I’ve never said most of what you “interpret.” It’s a good thing we have you here to read my mind so we can know best what I’m thinking. As opposed to, say, reading my words and what I say I think.

  9. paynehollow says:

    Looking at Glenn’s claims about the Bible, he says that Exodus 21: 13 “validates by God” self defense. And what does the passage say?

    Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate.

    ? Where is the validation of self-defense in this OT rule about accidental killings?

    He also cites Exodus 22:2, which says…

    If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

    Well, the text is actually about whether killing a thief in your home at night should be considered murder (“guilty of bloodshed”) and they’re not. Which is not a validation of self-defense in general, but maybe this could be considered an allowance for self-defense at least in a particular circumstance.

    It does not say that, but one might could interpret it, but ONLY if it happens at night, interestingly. Is that your position, Glenn? That one can self-defend against a thief in their home and KILL the thief and not be guilty of murder, but ONLY at night time?

    Glenn also cites Numbers 35, which says…

    But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally 23 or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended

    Like his first passage, this passage deals with accidental killings and does not touch on self-defense AT ALL, at least not directly. One might guess that there are ramifications that touch on self-defense themes, but his passage is NOT a “validation” of self-defense.

    Glenn, it looks like you’re looking for support and stretching passages to mean something beyond what they literally say. When I do that sort of thing, you complain.

    Again, can you at least admit that, taken literally, these verses do not speak about self-defense, not literally?


    • Exodus 21:13 apparently was a copy error. I have to go back and find the correct passage. Exodus 22:2 points out that the thief at night was considered a danger since he was concealed being seen in his actions by the public, by the darkness of night, and most likely could have been more likely to harm the one who discovered him. Therefore his death was in self-defense and no punishment was to be meted out to the defender.

      The passage is used only to demonstrate that the self-defense was validated, not that laws applying to Israel are to be applied to our society today. In today’s society, thieves are rarely limited in their activities to night-time, and have been known to invade homes and kill or otherwise harm the occupants during the daytime. My contention is that ANY TIME one is in danger of bodily harm, then self-defense is warranted and justified.

      Notice with the Numbers 35 passage I cited “22ff”, meaning to read the context the entire section. 22a itself could be understood in self-defense, because self-defense is not necessarily with hostility, rather it is usually out of fear. 22b ff deals with accidents, which are also not considered murder. The point is that this could very well validate self-defense as not being punishable as murder.

      “A soft answer turns away wrath” will not help when a person is being raped, physically beaten, stabbed, shot at, etc. It has no place in the context of self-defense.

      The turning of the cheek has been proven over and over again to have to do ONLY with personal insults and not physical violence which could lead to injury or death.

      I made no “silly mistakes” other than one reference with a copy error (copied from a previous reference source which I will now have to search for), and I’m sure copy errors are not an uncommon act for Mr. Trabue.

      And I have not borne any false witness, but that is your usual claim when people point out that you are a false teacher. And I will post this link everywhere you show up on blogs I am reading until you are banned from every Christian blog.

  10. paynehollow says:

    As to my views on self-defense (off topic here, but Glenn’s bringing it up and wrongly guessing what my views actually are – so to clarify his mistakes):

    I do not believe that self defense is morally wrong.

    I do not believe that fighting back against an assailant is wrong.

    I do not believe that physically harming an assailant is, of necessity, wrong. I would strive not to do so and have done so in the past, but I don’t think it’s wrong in and of itself.

    I DO believe that the Bible teaches “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

    I DO believe that Jesus teaches us to literally turn the other cheek (we can see this not only in his teachings, but in his actions and the actions of the early church who knew true and unarmed bravery) and I believe that it is a wise and cunning way of dealing with violence.

    I DO believe that the Bible teaches us that by meeting violence with kindness and hatred with compassion and love, that we are “pouring burning coals” upon the hateful assailants heads… ie, that it is a compelling and peaceful and Godly strategy for dealing with the problems of violence and has applications at the micro and macro levels.

    I believe (just because it’s factually accurate) that the Bible no where directly condemns OR supports self-defense, not literally, not directly. Factually, literally speaking, that is just the case.

    Just to clarify Glenn’s silly mistakes and false witness.

    ~Dan Trabue

  11. paynehollow says:


    “A soft answer turns away wrath” will not help when a person is being raped, physically beaten, stabbed, shot at, etc. It has no place in the context of self-defense.

    Actually, it does and I can attest to it. I personally have lived out a “soft answer turns away wrath” in violent situations – one where I was being physically assaulted… and other times where the risk was there – and it DID help. Thus, it does have a place in the context of self-defense. Demonstrably so.

    Not only is this a personal opinion – an opinion coming from the place of authority because I have used it in the real world – but researchers have backed this up. As a person schooled in mental health areas, I have undergone “Safe Physical Management” classes that help people prepare for what to do if and when the mentally ill folk you work with turn violent. The VERY FIRST thing I learned in class is the value of a “soft answer.”

    It does work, says research and real world experience.

    Does it work perfectly? No, of course not. But neither does toting around a pistol or your fists to feel safe. Just ask George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin.

    It was not for nothing that Jesus our Lord and Savior said, “Those who live by the sword, DIE by the sword.” and “PUT AWAY that sword!”

    So, now that I’ve demonstrated your mistake, based on research and real world personal evidence, what say you, good brother?

  12. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, why does it trouble you so? I consider you my brother in Christ and, even if you aren’t a Christian (and giving you the benefit of the doubt, I assume you are) you are my brother in humanity. We are ALL brothers and sisters in some respect, even the Bible says as much (Paul refers clearly to the “pagans” in Athens as “brothers…”)

    If one of my actual brothers got mad at me and asked me to stop calling him a brother, it wouldn’t change the reality that we are brothers.

    Peace, dear man (is that better?),


    • It is YOU who are not a true Christian – it is YOU who do not worship the Christ of the Bible and have made up one to fit his own ideology.

      An actual brother will always be a brother. You are not my brother and it is offensive to me to have any intimation of familial association with the likes of a person like you. Don’t call me that at all. And don’t call me “dear man” or anything else. In fact, for you using my first name is too personal. Use my last name if you need to address me, and show respect for your elders and address me as Mr. Chatfield. I want nothing more to do with you here. End of discussion.

  13. paynehollow says:

    Pray forgive me, sir, but by calling you “Dear man” or “brother,” I’m also reinforcing the love found in the family of God and humanity. It is important to me. I pray that you’ll be gracious enough to allow me to call you with these terms of respect and God’s love.

    But if you’d like to know what I prefer, I prefer “Dan” “brother” or “sir.” I don’t care for “Trabue,” (like you most often use) as I find that disrespectful. But tell you what, if you’d like to call me Mr Trabue, I’ll refer to you as Mr Chatfield, as a general rule, and keep the “Dear Mr Chatfields” to a minimum.

    Is that fair enough?

    • No it isn’t “fair enough.” I use “Trabue” because that is informal and I do not want to be personal with you. When I was in the Army, we addressed everyone by their last name unless they were our friends. So that’s how I like to do it. You are no friend.

      And I love how you play your “holier than thou” with how “gracious” and “loving” you are, when anyone who has read you for any length of time will learn how ungracious and how unloving you very, very frequently are.

  14. paynehollow says:

    So, I am hoping that you had the humility to agree actually (and not sarcastically) to my evidence that supports my claim and undermines yours, Mr Chatfield? It seems that you didn’t truly mean it, given your exasperated tone (“You’re right, Trabue, right about everything. Everyone else is wrong.”), but the evidence is there so it really is hard to dismiss.

    That’s the great thing about nonviolent direct action (NVDA) as a systematic plan and way of life: It actually works! Or at least it can. And if we can overcome evil with good (as Paul teaches, summing up Jesus’ teachings), then what a glorious way to live and overcome!

    Can I get an Amen!

    Also, it does seem interesting that you want the “respect” of me NOT calling you “brother” or “Dear,” but don’t seem intent on offering the same respect you wish, in repeatedly calling me “Trabue…”

    Again, one of the teachings of NVDA and Jesus, along with all good moral teachers, is to do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. If you’d like me to call you Mr Chatfield, then lead by example.

    It really works. Give it a try.

    In Christ,


  15. paynehollow says:

    Yeah, that “do unto others” stuff really is crap, ain’t it?

    Peace to you, Mr Chatfield. Seriously.

  16. paynehollow says:

    If nothing else, Glenn, I thank you for being an object lesson with me. I think our conversation together serves a very good purpose in helping demonstrate why Jesus’ teachings are right… WHY is it better to turn the other cheek, to disagree with respect, to love our enemies and those who are abusive towards us, to overcome evil with good… WHY do NVDA approaches work?

    Well, one reason can be seen in this conversation. To a casual observer, Glenn (sorry), you have come across as abusive, disrespectful, hateful, bullying and dodgy. I have repeatedly called you titles of respect and love (sir, brother, dear), treated you as a dear brother, and strived to be polite with you (although admittedly, sometimes a bit snarky, matching towards your tone, but hopefully with a more fun attitude).

    I have answered your questions while you have dodged mine (at least not directly answering direct questions). I have offered my biblical and rational reasons why I believe what I believe. I’ve asked you if you could even just admit that the verse does not literally say what you say it says and you can’t even admit what’s really there.

    If a casual observer sees this, I have to believe that, while I certainly have not behaved perfectly (apologies for that, but I’m just doing the best I can), of the two of us, I have been the most polite and rational and loving. (You can’t even say “I love you, Dan” or abide by the Golden Rule – do unto others as you’d have them do unto you!) All of that undermines your points and turns people away from you.

    Now, perhaps this is true for my words, as well. Perhaps I’ve come across as arrogant and impatient and elitist, but I will at least apologize for any appearance of impropriety on my part. I will at least admit to striving to love you, to respect you, to abide by the Golden Rule that Jesus taught.

    Perhaps this is a good example of the “pouring burning coals upon their heads…” by overcoming evil with good, obtuse-ness with kindness? I don’t know, maybe not, but it’s something to consider…

    In Christ,


  17. TerranceH says:


    You’re nothing but a bloviating hypocrite. You’re the same “Christian” who supports legalized abortion in cases of rape & incest. Since abortion, no matter the excuse, is killing, you must support murder, since killing, according to you, is murder. So you admit to supporting murder. Nice. Real nice.

  18. Readers who think I’M being abusive, etc, as Trabue claims, would have to know that there are a few years between us where I have had to deal with his false teachings, foul language directed against me and everyone else he disagrees with, and victimhood claims on every blog he visits. That if they would read the information on the link I provided they would see he is the sort of person who is abusive to the point that he wrote someone’s pastor to complain about being blocked from a blog!

    He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. BEWARE!

  19. Thank you, Glenn – reading your posts on this blog has been very entertaining for quite a while now. I’ve actually laughed out loud while reading some of your posts.

    I see Dan extending an olive branch and patiently trying to hold a civil discussion, only to have you spit and call him names.

    That’s rather un-Christ-like, but I’m sure you have a way to rationalize through it.

    Keep up the fine work, sir – you represent your faith well.

    • zqtx
      You have no clue what has transpired over the past few years, and Trabue is as hypocritical as it gets. The only names I call him are heretic and false teacher, which describe him and his teachings.

      You have just been sucked in by his big show of “holier than thou”. You should question yourself as to why he has been banned by numerous Christian blogs.

    • Z

      Yes, it comes across as siblings fighting and more than a bit childish at times. Not to defend Glenn’s manner, but there is a long history of Dan condescending and manipulating his and many times my position then attacking it or suggesting we agree. Dan has a habit of seeing what one really means by reading between the lines, and it pisses people off after years of doing it.

      But you arent wrong.

  20. paynehollow says:


    Dan has a habit of seeing what one really means by reading between the lines

    ? DAN has a habit of doing this?

    John, Glenn, can either one of you say, “Dan, while I disagree with you and think you are a stinker, I DO love you as a fellow human being in need of a savior…”? or words to that effect? Can you honestly say you love me and my kind?

    For what it’s worth, as much as a stranger can love a stranger that one has only conversed with on the internets, I love you guys. You’re crazy, silly and obtuse, at times, but I don’t doubt your sincerity or desire to do right. God bless you for your motives, if not your methods…

    In Christ,


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