What Does it Really Mean to be “Non-Violent?”

Dr. Bill BaileyThe media today is fond of telling us that Islam is a nice, wholesome, religion that is “non-violent,” while we hear every day that Islamic extremists are killing people, cutting off heads, etc., all in the name of their god, “Allah.” Even governments based on Islamic law talk calmly about executing people that have converted from Islam to Christianity. Non-violent? I don’t think so! Meanwhile, we have “non-violent Christian” ministers and groups coming out against capital punishment, saying that “Thou shalt not kill,” means that ANY execution is against the laws of God. What are we to think about these issues? What HAS God called us to do? Well, first of all, it IS true that Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” And, 1 Thess. 5:13b says, “…be at peace among yourselves.” We are called upon by God to be, by nature, peaceful people and walk peacefully among men. Unlike Islam, Christianity does not say that if you don’t believe, you should be killed! However, notice that it does say… “If it be possible…” The implication is that sometimes it is NOT possible!

I guarantee you, if someone is trying to harm my wife, Belinda, or my son, Ben, I am gonna be putting “a ‘hurtin’ on ’em!” Also, with regard to the phrase “be at peace among yourselves,” sometimes there are times that people “outside” our group, country, or way of life, declares total war on us (as Islamic terrorists have) and we then have no Biblical compunction to “be at peace” with them… if they are sworn to destroy us!

What about “Thou shalt not kill?” (Exodus 20:19) That is certainly scripture. It is certainly the law of God. And, this scripture is used by many “Christian Anti-War Groups” to say that there is NEVER a time to kill under any circumstances. However, the confusion here comes from a reading of the old English translation of this scripture, NOT the meaning of the original text. The original Hebrew text in Exodus 20:19 is better translated, “Do not take innocent life.” That is, do not commit murder. The use of capital punishment is not the taking of “innocent life.” However, the very best example of taking innocent life that I can think of is to murder an innocent child in an abortion. It is amazing to me that the very same people that claim to be so “enlightened” and “peace loving” and quote Exodus 20:19 to say that condemned murders should not be executed, are the SAME people that say that abortion is simply, “… a women’s choice for her own body.” Taking of innocent life is EXACTLY what God was condemning! The government using it’s authority to punish murder by executing the person, or persons, responsible for the taking of an innocent life, is not. In fact, the scripture says that the police officer, or court official, is a “minister of God” that “beareth not the sword in vain.” (Romans 13:4)

People today are confused about what is, and is not, “peaceful” and “Godly.” The scriptures, however, make it plain. We are to live a quiet and peaceable life in all honesty. (1 Timothy 2:2) But we are not to let the evildoers of this world just walk all over us in the process. We need to stand up for what is right, and good, and true!

Dr. Bill


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