I CAN NO LONGER JUSTIFY
BLOODSHED IN HIS NAME
Had I ever really stopped to think about it in years past? Did I just blindly accept what others told and taught me? When I was born again and ushered into a system already entrenched in itself, was I wise enough to consult the Spirit or did I just acquiesce to the acceptable and the evangelical norm? The answer is obvious. The older and wiser and ordained dictated my thoughts and ways, and very quickly I became one of them, only retaining my own name.
But as I grew in Him I began to hear and see something that became more and more distressing. How could bloodshed be the way of Jesus? Everything He lived and taught seemed at odds with the principles I had come to embrace. I entered into a season of confusion and a fresh introspection where I would hold everything I thought I knew against the specter of Scriptural truth and the gospel narratives. I had played the fool and what was presented as “sound doctrine” was in reality an open mangling of God's Word and the Spirit of Jesus. An American spirit had replaced the Spirit of Jesus and I am ashamed to say that I bought into it.
Col.3: 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Just what in God’s dear name does that verse mean? Does that mean we can drop napalm on people in His name? Does it mean we can blow the heads off lost sinners in His name? Does it mean we can drop bomb filled drones on villages in His name? As I have suggested in many posts, the Bible is no longer relevant and surely not taken literally even by the literalists. Can we throw a hand grenade and see several men become unattached to their appendages and then give thanks to God?
And yet that is EXACTLY what churches do. I remember at the beginning of the Iraq war under George Bush the first, and the church service would open in prayer for the safety of the American soldiers. Of course the unspoken part of that prayer is let others die and let Americans live. I look back on those days and it all seems so fleshy and part of the world’s system, but I could not see it back then. I assumed violence and war had to be part of the kingdom of God sometimes because we could not trust Him to take care of us, and anyway God was always quick to defend the country He created. How foolish I was.
Who will take the time and exhibit the vulnerability to search the New Testament and discover if there are allowances for violence and carnage in certain cases? And why didn’t Jesus encourage His followers to violently overthrow the Roman government, after all they were experiencing taxation without representation? Oh, you think that is absurd? You are correct. Think about it.
Line up the idols. The founding fathers, politicians, democracy, capitalism, voting, and America itself. And out of these spring an acceptable way to think and act. Do you see what has happened? We have taken the Word of God, melted it down, and poured into the Statue of Liberty and called it truth. Wow, I know the Spirit is dealing with many thousands of believers across this land. Just from the e-mails I receive I have heard many testimonies of believers who have reassessed everything they thought they knew. But it is most difficult to extricate our hearts and minds from these issues because they have found such deep places within us.
And without exception, we who are set free from the bondage of nationalism and all its accoutrements, we experience an amazing sense of freedom and a new awakening to the Word and the way of Jesus. Oh dear brothers and sisters, I beseech you in His name to ponder these things. We are no better than anyone else, but there is such living water in this freedom. You shall know the truth and you shall be set free. This is not a 1960’s form of rebellion against the establishment. No, this is a return to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus and a submission to His path of self denial.
I can no longer justify bloodshed in His name because the New Testament calls me to a different lifestyle. Oh how many lives have been lost because men have been misguided and thought they are fighting for God when in fact they are fighting against God? The story of mankind continues to be fraught with all kinds of viciousness and sin. And with all the wars that have been fought and won, has it changed one thing? Will the next war end all wars? Will the lives that are lost be nothing to God? And those who follow Jesus, can they massacre other human beings and claim to be His hands and His feet regardless if they champion an earthly cause?
I know, I know. It seems much too radical and way out the mainstream of evangelical thought. I know. But isn’t it time some of us begin to think out of the mainstream of evangelical thought and begin to think as does Our Wonderful Lord of Life? I know…I know. Perhaps we will find time tomorrow to seek His face and hear His voice. Until then let the blood continue to flow. Only honor Him in this way. Do not use His name as the carnage continues. It does not come from Him.