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Killing in the Name of God?

posted Dec 1, 2015, 12:34 PM by First Baptist   [ updated Dec 1, 2015, 12:35 PM ]

Killing in the Name of God?


Last weeks’ shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was a double tragedy. First, three people were killed, including a police officer. Second, such a murderous act undermines the pro-life movement in America.


Regarding the effect on the pro-life movement, I didn’t always feel this way. I became a Christian in my mid-20s and almost immediately became passionately pro-life. In fact, I had a major falling-out with my dad, who was pro-choice at the time. (I believe he changed positions before he died.)


As time went on, I became increasingly militant, reasoning that it would be morally permissible to kill an abortionist in order to stop the imminent abortion (killing) of an unborn infant.


I used Dietrich Bonhoeffer as an example. Bonhoeffer was an outspoken critic of Nazism and participated in a plot to assassinate Hitler.


What I didn’t understand was that Bonhoeffer was never convinced that killing Hitler was ethically justified. His Christian conscience was conflicted, but he went ahead (participating in the plot) on the basis that there was no other way to stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. At the time, the German government was under the complete control of the Nazi Party. In Bonhoeffer’s mind, there are no other recourse but to take out Hitler.


While I consider abortion in American a type of Holocaust, the situation we face is much different. Unlike Bonhoeffer, there is much we can do to stop the killing of innocents. One, we can do a lot more to help women who are considering an abortion to “choose life.” Two, we can elect pro-life officials at all levels of government. And three, between elections, we can put pressure on our government officials to enact pro-life policies. Bonhoeffer had none of these options.


Dr. George Tiller was a late term abortionist in Wichita KS. Over the years, many in our church participated in peaceful protests outside his clinic. Some of our deacons had even been arrested. This was part of our church’s heritage.


When Tiller was shot & killed in 2009, I expressed some satisfaction in that. I’ll always appreciate the deacon who wisely admonished me for doing so. He reminded that when Peter took up the sword, Jesus told him to put it away. The world may kill & maim; the people of God do not.


Pastor Dan