Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Opus 2011-69, Christian Cliches: “Thou shall not kill”

This past weekend I was with family and one of the topics of discussion was about history and how various religions justify and sometimes encourage war.  This morning I was discussing with an acquaintance the proper response to the pirates working off the east coast of Africa.  In both cases the phrase, “Thou shall not kill” came up.

Many people feel that the Christian believer must be opposed to any action that takes human life.  Strangely enough these same people often have no trouble with abortion or euthanasia, but that is a discussion for another day.  They are against war for any reason, capital punishment, and self defense.  They are against guns because “guns kill people.”  Many non-believers have the same position and also quote “Thou shall not kill,” even though they don’t believe the Bible is anything but a book of fairy tales. 

A proper translation of Exodus 20:13 does not say “Thou shall not kill.”  It says, “Thou shall not murder.”  Even the KJV translates the word in forms of  “murder” more than forms of “kill.”  The older the translation the more likely to translate it “kill.”  The NASB only translates it as “kill” once.  

Much of the reason for the misunderstanding is ignorance.  When the KJV was written people had a much better understanding of what the Bible had to say.  They knew that this verse could not be a universal ban on killing because they knew that the law had provision for capital punishment.  They knew that the law clearly stated that there was a difference between, manslaughter, justifiable homicide and premeditated murder.  They knew that John the Baptist did not condemn soldiers for being soldiers but for being greedy.  They knew that Jesus healed the servant of the centurion and never told the Roman oppressor that He had a problem with him being a soldier.  They know that Peter was sent to share the gospel with another centurion.  They know that Paul declared that the government wielded the sword to deal with evil.  If you read your Bible you understand that this cannot mean what warm and fuzzy people want it to mean.

In many cases the reason is not ignorance but deliberate misunderstanding.  Many people do not like what the Bible teaches so they interpret and modify ideas to fit what they want.  We all have a tendency in this way but some are more self centered than others.

The basic truth of the Bible is understandable by anyone wanting to understand.  It is also full of complex ideas that can please any scholar.  It meets you where you are.

homo unius libri

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.