I am saddened and troubled by the actions of the Hutaree militia, a group that identifies themselves as “Christian soldiers”. According to reports, members of this group have planned to attack and kill police officers, by shooting one and then detonating a bomb at the officer’s funeral to kill many more grieving officers.
I do not know whether any of these people started out with a genuine passion to uphold the Bible and the teaching of Christ. However, they chose to ignore it at some point, and continued to pursue their own path. This is what happens when a person – Christian or otherwise – refuses to listen to authority. Authority in the church, authority in the family, authority in local and federal government, and authority of the Word of God.
The Bible teaches clearly that all authority is given by God, even the authority of dictators like Hitler, who slaughtered Jews; Stalin, who slaughtered Christians; Pharoah, who enslaved the Israelites; and Nero, who burned Christians on stakes and fed them to lions for his entertainment. This does not mean that every authority is right, or that we should always obey every authority. But protests against the existing authorities do not require handguns.
In the Bible, Daniel defied the king’s order against praying to his God. But he submitted to the king’s authority to punish him for breaking that law, and therefore was thrown into a den of lions. He did not take up a sword and kill the king, or attempt to kill any of the king’s soldiers. He honored and obeyed God, and honored and submitted to the king’s authority. That is not what the Hutaree are doing, and their actions are not supported by the Bible, nor by certain family members and associates who could have influenced them, if only they had listened. Gang violence, terrorism, and attempts to overthrow a government by killing those in power are not biblical principles or mandates. They are irrational self-directed agendas that are based on a mindset of fear, not faith.
As for the End Times and the coming of Armageddon, this is a biblical teaching, but nowhere in the Bible does it ever suggest that Christians should take up arms to “protect” themselves against persecution. Armageddon is God’s final judgment on humanity, not humanity’s final judgment against humanity on God’s behalf. The Bible teaches that God will build his church, and God will bring all necessary judgment.
- if you believe we are living in the final days of Earth’s existence and we should speed up Christ’s return by starting a war with our neighbors and local authorities -
- if you believe that the only way to respond to the un-Christian doctrines of the world is by packing heat and taking out those who oppose you, or who just make you uncomfortable -
then I encourage you, and the Hutaree, to take a step backward and re-read the commands of the Bible, and the God you claim to serve. Read about submission to authority, forgiveness of enemies, and praying for those who persecute you. It is true that Jesus instructed his disciples, at the Last Supper, to keep two swords among them, since he was about to leave them and the disciples would likely be attacked. I don’t know exactly what Jesus’ instructions meant in this instance, but I do know that he corrected his disciple, Peter, that same night for striking a soldier’s servant with a sword. He also criticized the Pharisees and Roman soldiers arresting him for bringing clubs and weapons, as if he was leading a violent revolt.
As if he was trying to harm anyone.
Jesus brought a revolution, but he didn’t bring any man-made weapons to the party.
Neither should we.
Click here for an online search of Bible verses about how Christian should respond to authority: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bible+verses+authority&aq=0&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=bible+verses+authorit&gs_rfai=
Click here for Hutaree militia news: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=hutaree+news&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010