A Christian Call to Violence
27 August 2013
Yesterday, blogger and best-selling Christian author Joel Rosenberg posted this article on his blog: First the Jews were gassed, now it's the Muslims. I am a Christian. I say the world must act. He wrote:
I was very disappointed to see this article, but it's not at all surprising. Mr. Rosenberg is merely espousing the 1,700-year-old Militant-Christian worldview which regards violence as a valid and useful method of achieving its goals. And most Christians have been so brainwashed and blinded by this "doctrine of demons" that they don't blink an eye, or realize that there is something horrendously wrong with this mentality. The Apostle Paul warned:
Under Hitler, it was the Jews who were gassed. Now under Assad it is the Muslims.
I am a Christian. My conscience cannot bear the thought of any human being, regardless of their race, or religion, or nationality, suffer such evil. I say the world must act now.
The lesson of Auschwitz: A regime that uses poison gas to murder must suffer the swift sword of justice by a unified world.
If such a regime can be stopped before it uses weapons of mass destruction, the world has a moral obligation to act boldly and decisively. If a regime uses WMD before the world can or does act, the world must move quickly to stop such evil before more can be killed.
If the evidence is conclusive that the government of Syria used chemical weapons, then I now support military action against the Assad regime. Before last week's chemical weapons massacre, I didn't support such intervention. Now I do.
No one wants al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood to rise to power in Syria. I certainly don't. I see the dangers ahead. I see the risks. The world powers will need to act wisely and carefully. But act they must.
If Assad has truly used chemical weapons, then he has crossed the red line. We cannot turn a blind eye. He must be stopped.
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings [doctrines] that come from demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)As I wrote in The New Testament and Violence:
There are nearly 8,000 verses in the entire New Testament. Go ahead and read through the entire thing very carefully — can you find even ONE verse that commands or encourages Christians to act violently towards another human being? If so, please e-mail me and let me know — I would really like to see it.Although Mr. Rosenberg constantly reminds his blog readers to pray for Israel and the Middle East in a general way, when a crisis like this comes, he's ready to add to the already-excessive violence by advocating additional violence. This sounds a lot more like the teachings of Mohammed than the teachings of Yeshua (Isa, Jesus).
I own eight of Mr. Rosenberg's "Christian" novels. Even though they are very interesting, exciting stories, I've always been troubled by the amount of violence in them. The "good guys" in these books, just like the real "good guys" they are modeled after — the U.S. military, the CIA, the Mossad, etc. — are trying to achieve "good things," and often have to use violence to do so.
This is the well-known philosophy of "the end justifies the means." In order to achieve something "good," so the theory goes, it is justifiable to do something "bad." In order to achieve something "righteous" it's OK to act "unrighteously." This kind of twisted logic is thoroughly pagan and nowhere to be found in the teachings of the New Testament. Yet this "doctrine of demons" has been accepted in mainstream Christianity ever since Constantine first introduced it into the Church in the early fourth century.
If you can justify "Christian" violence by saying that it serves a noble and "righteous" end, then there is no way you can condemn Islamic violence, because the Muslims are motivated by the exact same reasoning. Both traditional Christianity and Islam have the concept and practice of "holy war." The only difference between the two is what each side considers to be "holy." Otherwise, they are equally inspired — like Two Peas In a Pod — by doctrines of demons
Unlike Mr. Rosenberg's novels, this time it's not fiction he is writing, but real-life non-fiction — so the stakes are a lot higher. The pagan governments of the West are not followers of Yeshua, so they are under no obligation to follow Yeshua's teachings and life-example of non-violence. They will act like the pagan that they are, and use violence to accomplish their pagan goals. It would be illogical to expect these pagan Western governments to act with New Testament morality.
In stark contrast, those who call themselves Christians are under an obligation to follow Yeshua's teachings and life-example of non-violence. "Christian" calls for military violence are completely unconscionable, anti-Christ and anti-New-Testament. Unfortunately, "Christians" have been misrepresenting Christ [Messiah] for the past 1,700 years, and it does not seem like it's going to stop any time soon.
Isn't it at all possible that God has another way to deal with problematic situations and crises? I touched on a few possibilities when I quoted in Overcome Evil With Good:
The New Testament commands us never to "repay anyone evil for evil," but instead to "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17,21; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9). Jesus said, "Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also" (Matthew 5:39). He also said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you" (Luke 6:27-28). The teaching seems pretty straightforward.If Mr. Rosenberg really wanted to follow the example of Yeshua, he would fly to Syria and die in the place of the people he seems so desperate to save. Instead, he urges Western military forces to use violence in order to dispatch the guilty unbelievers to eternal punishment in hell! That may be the Christian religion which Mr. Rosenberg and most other Christians around the world follow, but as for me, I repudiate such a man-made monstrosity and I refuse to have any part in such "Christianity."
In his appeal quoted above, Mr. Rosenberg states that his Christian conscience cannot bear the thought of the pagan Syrian government doing what pagans do by killing its pagan citizens with poison gas, so in the name of Christ ("I am a Christian.") he calls upon pagan Western governments to come with military violence and blast the evil Syrian pagans to hell for their misdeeds. Well, my Christian conscience cannot bear the thought of someone slandering and misrepresenting Yeshua by calling for anti-Yeshua violence in His name! And it's not just one Christian blogger who is doing this, but the vast majority of Christendom which holds the same views.
Unfortunately, Mr. Rosenberg has a much "louder" voice than I do in the blogosphere, so his erroneous point of view will be widely read and shared, while my feeble protests will go largely unnoticed. Such is the life of "a voice crying in the wilderness."
Instead of calling on pagan governments for an increase in violence, how about if Mr. Rosenberg shifted his attention to the Church, and rallied Christians in every nation to specifically pray and fast for three days, asking God to intervene and bring changes to this situation through non-violent means? God is able, and I believe that He is more than willing. But I think it requires a lot more faith to take this spiritual, New Testament approach — more faith than modern Christendom could manage to scrape up.
Therefore, Christians take the easier path, the human path, the pagan path, the Islamic path, of violence. And then we wonder why the Church has so little influence in the world. Isn't it obvious? When we use the pagan world's methods, then we are the pagan world. Then there's nothing to differentiate Christians from the pagans — Christianity has lost its saltiness. As Yeshua taught:
"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless — not even fit for the manure pile." (Matthew 5:13, Luke 14:35)This is where Christianity is at today, and has been at for a long, long time: "thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless." Why? Because it has "lost its flavor." What is that flavor? YESHUA! When Christians don't follow Yeshua's teaching and life-example, we lose our flavor. By justifying and advocating violence, Christians not only lose their flavor, but they actually become a stench! There IS a better path: the New Testament way of following Yeshua. Will we truly follow Him or not? The world is watching....
UPDATE: After writing this article yesterday, I was encouraged by Mr. Rosenberg's blog post today entitled: Are we praying for our leaders at this time of crisis? Or are we sniping at them? A few thoughts on the importance of prayer. This is an excellent reminder that all Christians need. In relation to what I wrote yesterday, his article is definitely a step in the right direction. It also reminds us that as Christians...
...we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)As followers of Yeshua, let's leave the weapons of this world, like a Western military attack on Syria, in the hands of the world, while we use the weapons of God's choice — love, prayer and self-sacrifice — to battle against the evil spirits in the unseen world who are the real enemies behind the tragedies in Syria.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)