I have a question
to ask you. I would then like you to ask it of others, particularly
innocent people would you be willing to kill — purely to defend
let's say you are well armed and an armed robber is shooting at
you — but the robber is holding a hostage directly in front of him.
someone is shooting at you from within a crowd. Maybe some in the
crowd don't like you. Let's push it even further and say that most
of them hate you, and sympathize with the attacker. To shoot back,
you would be aiming at the attacker, but you know you would also
of them would you be willing to kill, even absolutely and purely
I asked this
question of someone fairly high up in military intelligence recently.
I had to press the point as he beat around the bush for a while.
His (eventual) response? "I'm not sure I know the answer to
that question." Well, at least he was thinking about it.
If your own
answer is unclear — or anything greater than zero — you have a moral
problem. Your hope is in murder to save your own life. The choice
is either to face it or to deceive and justify yourself.
I want it to
be absolutely clear what I am saying: If you are knowingly willing
to kill even a single innocent person, for any reason whatsoever,
there is murder in your heart — not faith in God.
I asked him
one more question:
If it would
be wrong to kill even a single innocent person in self-defense,
why would it be OK to support a government that did so?
Leaders and War
The title of
this article refers to one by the now deceased Jerry Falwell, who
is pro-war." The "war on terror" was justified
in that article and by its main proponents as a war of self-defense.
But in justifying self-defense there is always silence or dismissal
on the subject of innocent bystanders. The concept is most often
morally sterilized by using preferred terms like "collateral
ran the article by Falwell. Its founder, Joseph Farah, pushed the
envelope even further in two later articles literally advocating
the mass nuclear bombing of Muslim cities, writing in January 2005,
"…we don’t need to be specific about which major cities
and installations will be vaporized." That same month Farah
wrote an article advocating torture, making up for the complete
absence of any Biblical support by recommending a couple of Hollywood
films. Later in 2008, he presided over the faith-based "Values
Voters" election debate, where US House representative Ron
Paul was jeered
for mentioning Jesus as the "Prince of Peace."
In 2005, Farah
that if “we” did not torture sufficiently or “do everything necessary
to win”, “we might as well sue for peace." So after all the
innocent blood, if his recent reversal on Iraq and Afghanistan,
while welcome, is for anything more than strategic reasons in the
face of military failure and national bankruptcy – until the
next pre-emptive war – I look forward to hearing it publicly.
No mention yet of anything but American soldiers’ blood, but a major
step in the right direction.
it was Hitler who said:
is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder
than a fear of sudden death."
same principle of fear, not faith, was used to drive the people
of the US, the UK and other countries into moral compromise — spearheaded
by US Christian leaders. Once the "fear of sudden death"
had galvanized the people into demanding political action, this
required that the inevitable death of innocents be swept under the
At this stage,
at least one Christian leader, Pat Robertson, was against invading
Iraq and apparently asked George W. Bush about those innocent victims
— and was told there wouldn't be any. Robertson was "overruled"
and evidently chose afterward to be quiet and get aboard the "war
on terror" bandwagon.
Thank God at
least the Pope and the Catholic Church did stand by their clear
culpability is always personal and cannot be extended to the nation,
ethnic group or religion to which the terrorists may belong."
it is easier to speak when a government and its critic are in different
countries and many Catholic leaders disagreed, particularly in the
So, if we will
all have to stand on our own on Judgment Day, then let us beware
following leaders like lemmings. Even the great apostle Peter, having
had a marvelous ministry of miracles recorded in the Book of Acts,
years later had to be publicly rebuked, as recorded in the book
our fellow human beings, even if genuinely called or gifted. It
may sound obvious to say so, but many Christians do not act as if
this were true.
position was and still is the prevailing position amongst many Christian
leaders who, while claiming to be Bible believers, in reality are
also in allegiance to a kingdom/government other than the Kingdom
of God — a subject covered in my earlier article "The
Exclusive Kingdom of God."
where your own allegiance lies. "God and Country" is at
best an ambiguous phrase — the best thing anyone can do for their
fellow countrymen is to have no other allegiance than to God. Those
who choose otherwise will soon see no wrong in murdering for their
As a result
of this "supplementary" allegiance, in any conflict between
the laws of God and of government, Christians are vulnerable to
the deception, spin and false doctrines the State specializes in
— for both Left and Right. Very often, the consolidation of "Christian"
support requires little more than an appeal to patriotism and running
some minor socially conservative legislative distraction up the
political flagpole (for later retraction). "Minor" certainly,
relative to the mass murder of innocents.
Testament and War
hearing a story about a judge who had his own guilty daughter brought
in front of him. Though he loved her, he could not justly judge
her innocent but he did, upon her plea of guilty, divest his judge's
wig and pay the fine in full.
There is some
similarity there with the New Testament, which unveils the Prince
of Peace. The strict justice of the Old Testament, while remaining
true and just, has been tempered and satisfied with mercy — our
deserved punishment being overwhelmingly paid in full by another,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
With this prevailing
theme, it is quite hard to make a case for pre-emptive war in the
New Testament. The most that could be argued is that when Jesus
commanded Roman soldiers not to brutalize the innocent or steal;
he did not require them to face death by immediately deserting.
the disciples asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven
on their enemies, His answer was, "you do not know what
Spirit you are of."
argue the suggestion was just — they were plotting to kill Jesus
— and something similar did occur once in the Old Testament when
Elijah faced some pagan priests. But at that time, God as Judge
had little choice but to execute justice, as redemption was not
fully available. Then, Jesus came to show us the real nature of
God the Father and said, "If you have seen Me, you have
seen the Father."
Christians are baying for blood and calling for fire in the form
of bombs and missiles on the heads of anyone who could possibly
be an enemy. This is not even based upon proper standards of evidence
but upon whispers, rumor and analysis from mysterious sources in
failed secret police agencies.
do not care — I repeat, they have abandoned any care – about
how many innocent people will die.
I say they
do not know what Spirit they are of.
Testament and War
of a pro-war doctrine in the New Testament forced Jerry Falwell
and others to dig into the Old Testament. There they found all the
blood they were looking for. The Old Testament is still the Word
of God and therefore preemptive war with innocent casualties was
fully justified in the Bible, right?
I am going
to show — using multiple unequivocal scriptures — that killing the
innocent, even just one and even in self-defense or for an otherwise
righteous cause would never and has never been advocated by God,
Old or New Testament.
I am not promoting
pacifism or opposing self-defense.
On the contrary,
I believe in strong defense — even that according
to Jesus, every Christian should be armed and that it is the
most basic duty of every father to defend his family. For all who
choose evil and knowingly spurn the free pardon purchased by the
blood of Jesus, I also believe there is a literal hell (here are
NDE's). So I would hate to send even an armed robber into the
wrong side of eternity. But I would not hesitate to do so if there
were no other choice.
But I am targeting
pre-emptive war — killing people in advance, because you think they
might be a risk.
innocent people because there are others around them that are guilty
and it is too difficult to decide who is who.
I also include
so called "freedom fighters" or actual terrorists bombing
government buildings, where there may be ignorant and/or innocent
individuals among some actual violent criminals of the State.
Case 1 — Abraham
Both the Old
and New Covenants begin with the "father of faith," Abraham.
a well-armed household with several hundred servants under his command.
He knew what a battle was, and when his goods were plundered, took
up arms and recovered the lot plus the booty from his slain foes.
They got what was coming to them, in rich Old Testament style.
in a covenant with God (based on faith, not law — there was none).
20, God chose to visit His friend Abraham when justice could
no longer be put off regarding extreme homosexually related violence
and murder in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. More than just a
few guilty individuals; the whole society had become morally corrupt
and committed to perversion and violence. Any half-decent individuals
would have long since departed, if they had not been raped and murdered.
Why did God
even mention this to Abraham, let alone record it at length in the
Bible? The subsequent dialogue makes clear that although God is
the ultimate Judge, He is always looking for a "legal"
way out. It also serves to demonstrate that His justice is a last
resort and most of all, that He never condemns the innocent along
with the guilty.
Note the pleading
you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty
righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the
place for the fifty righteous who are in it? Be it far from you
to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked,
so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far
from you. Shouldn't the Judge of all the earth do right?"
pleading the case of Sodom and Gomorrah all the way down to just
ten innocent people. Far from being angry, God agreed each time.
Finally, all that remained in the city were those in the family
of Abraham's nephew Lot and these innocents were removed before
any judgement took place.
So, the question
I asked at the beginning of this article is directly from the Bible
and was asked of God by the "father of faith" Abraham
himself. It is worth repeating yet again:
was a definite and repeated no. Therefore, any interpretation of
the later wars of Israel to condone the mass murder of innocents
would make God out to be either a liar or a schizophrenic.
He is neither.
suggest, even if you do not understand those later events, that
caution is advisable before either condemning God, or else using
those events to justify mass murder today.
Case 2 — Israel
ever entered into the Promised Land, they had to wait because the
inhabitants, though in moral decline, had not become sufficiently
wicked. When finally they did enter, the Bible says that the land
literally had vomited
the inhabitants out, their level of wickedness being so great.
wickedness, in Joshua
2, the case of Rahab the prostitute in Jericho serves to illustrate
the lengths God will got to in order to preserve just one innocent
person, along with all their family, even when amongst others who
For years it
had been known to the Canaanites that the Israelites were coming.
They knew about Pharaoh's army being destroyed and, according to
Rahab, they knew they were to leave and that the God of Israel was
with the Israelites.
The times were
nomadic or semi-nomadic and the less wicked had left long ago. Note
also that the term "Israelites" included a large "mixed
multitude" — individuals or families from pagan societies that
freely chose to make the God of Israel their own God. The whole
book of Ruth is about this. There were many others, including an
Amalekite mentioned in 2
Those who remained
in Jericho were a hard core that preferred to scorn and defy the
God of Israel (along with any moral restraint) and trust in their
own gods and their king/government.
You may think
this reasonable — until you look at the available historical records
of their culture (see here
Child molestation, mutilation, and sacrifice by fire were pervasive,
with all kinds of vile perversions and occult initiation perpetrated
upon them. Basically, the longer these people remained alive, the
more of their innocent victims there would be.
Yet in Jericho,
an individual — a prostitute — turned to God in faith. Her only
recorded good "work" was to confirm her faith by helping
the spies, in defiance of her governing king — but she was spared,
along with her family. The Bible records God supernaturally preserving
the portion of the wall of Jericho where she lived.
This was right
at the beginning of entering the Promised Land — and a key feature
of the narrative is the preservation of a single innocent life.
practice in a conflict was for women and children to be absorbed
through marriage or domestic service, into Israel — with special
protection for these women in marriage law.
Yet, in some
specific cases, God did order women and children to be killed. This
subject is beloved both by Christian warmongers and conversely,
by Biblical sceptics.
Both are hypocrites:
Sceptics, because many advocate assisted suicide, euthanasia and/or
healthcare rationing — they want their god, the State, or its "experts"
to decide when mercy killings should take place. But equally so
are warmongers of the Christian right, who support pre-emptive war
and the mass murder of innocents, yet claim to oppose abortion and
euthanasia on the basis of being "pro-life."
In the case
of the Canaanites, God the ultimate Judge did rule — in a very public
way, and confirmed visibly by many miraculous signs — that their
wickedness was so great that the land had "vomited them out."
They were served notice of eviction, a fact well known on the "grapevine"
of the Canaanites, according to the testimony of Rahab in Jericho.
In the semi-nomadic
times, Israel was instructed many times that the primary task was
to "drive them out" and "see their backs." Those
who remained were a hard core, committed to their local king, their
local gods and their vile practices.
But what of
To remain with
the Canaanites, they would have to be participants — sacrificing
their own or other's children alive in fire. The longer they lived,
the more innocent children would die or be abused. As adults and
in nomadic times, they were also free to depart in advance of Israel's
arrival and had many years notice to do so. If they were unable
or unwilling to do so, the story of Rahab at Jericho shows that
even then, there was a way out for any individual.
The main question
for many is regarding the children. I believe this was the last
of a last resort for God in dealing with the free and sovereign
will of their parents. Here are some points:
children was not an accepted or universal military practice. It
applied only to specific tribes and required the unique and specific
instruction of God, the giver of all life. God, not an army, was
the decider in this matter.
- It was not
a punishment or judgement. Due to the extreme wickedness of their
parents, young children would be in a physically, sexually and
emotionally abused condition — and offered, from birth, to occult
spirits. Deliverance from this was not freely available until
demonic forces were completely routed at the cross and resurrection
of Christ. Successful adoption of such disturbed children would
be an impossible task, and instead cause mayhem within Israel
as they grew up.
- To leave
them alive would mean they would starve or be eaten by wild beasts.
reasons, one certain conclusion is that no one but God can judge
such conditions and that absent a specific command of God; any killing
of women and children was not permitted.
This is underlined
in the case of Abigail the wise wife of the wicked and foolish Nabal,
Samuel 25. This man set himself against the militia of David
despite their protecting and saving his flocks. His wife entreated
an enraged David, who had resolved to destroy Nabal's household.
David listened and was thankful at being saved from "blood
to all this, in the Old Testament there were of course no weapons
of mass destruction, or means of indiscriminate killing. Note also
that there is not a single example of torture by Israel's army,
let alone its acceptance.
would do well to consider the actions of Israel when their militia
army was not victorious, or their soldiers were killed: They immediately
got on their face before God to find out what they were doing wrong.
today dying by the thousands. Yet, in the name of "God and
country," the bloody slaughter and horrendous maiming of innocent
men, women and children by the hundreds of thousands, is still supported
by a large portion of the Christian church and its leaders.
In order to
get into this morally blind condition Christians had to be rooted
not in faith, but in the "fear of sudden death" and in
a lifelong confession of allegiance to their State rather than to
God alone. They were therefore open to being told, "Our man
in the Whitehouse" George W. Bush and in the UK Tony Blair,
had heard from God on the Iraq war. "End-times" prophecy
teachers perpetuated the delusion, by distracting away from the
simple ABC's of loving our neighbor to the complicated XYZ's of
to the New Testament, a Christian should
not even go to lunch with someone like George
W. Bush — a man called a Christian, but who worshipped
at a Shinto temple in Japan; promoted
Muslim holy days; and holds membership
in the occult "Skull
and Bones" (Thule Society/Order of Death) and Bohemian
Grove organizations. Tony Blair and his wife are also apparently
with the occult,
even while claiming to be Christians.
So, if there
were no miraculous signs — where was the clear evidence that God
had really spoken on Iraq? In particular, that it was okay — contrary
to scripture — for innocents to be indiscriminately slaughtered?
How can Christians
have been so dumb?
portions of the New Testament are written to Christians in error…
What else is new? In their anger and fear; and in their love for
and allegiance to the State as protector, they have believed what
they chose to believe. One thing God will not violate is our free
You may be
a Christian who has advocated killing innocents, or may even be
a soldier. If so, there are only two ways forward: One is self-deception,
the other is forgiveness. The second option requires the acknowledging
of wrongdoing and then doing no more.
The past cannot
be undone, but there is hope. Even after killing many people, the
apostle Paul went on to write much of the New Testament. Abraham
also had many shortcomings, but "believed God, and it was
credited to him as righteousness." The least we can do
is believe God who loved us and gave Jesus for us, in order to receive
the same gift.
Most of all,
I hope all readers will see through the blinding evil of false allegiance,
and renounce any dedication to a power other than God. For some,
that may mean renouncing a verbal pledge, for others it may just
mean renouncing blind support for the State's constant violations
of God-given life, liberty and property.
much more in depth analysis of the many issues surrounding this
subject, I recommend the Laurence M. Vance archives
at LewRockwell.com, with classic articles like "Should
a Christian Join the Military"
and also the book, Christianity
Green [send him mail] was
born in the UK and currently works from home there as an independent
emergency callout specialist for home and small business computer
users. He is married with five children – all at home –
and the three of school age are homeschooled. Over the years he
has also traded the financial futures markets and worked as a one-stop
advertising copywriter/ voice-over artist/ music and jingle producer.