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May 31, 2009

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Brad A.

Wichita is my home town, Chuck. I don't know how many, many times I've driven past both Tiller's clinic and his Lutheran church. I've been very upset by this whole thing, and I can't imagine what good will come of this, though I trust God is able to bring something.

I'm really troubled by the rhetoric from both sides, and I don't see this ending well at all.

zero

it's sad, very sad. that it personally affects you, brad, i'm sorry.

Watchman

The following article was written the next day AFTER the George Tiller killing:

First and foremost, before I begin I wish to make very clear that I do not condone, encourage, or promote the vigilante killing of abortion “doctors”. It is not our place, especially as Christians, to kill, even in the act of war but only in self defense. It is left up to God and the legal system we have in place to take care of matters such as these.

With that said, I wholeheartedly believe justice was served in yesterday’s killing of George Tiller. I do not believe what occurred yesterday was an act of murder, but rather an act of justice carried out by God. Justice served in a land in which there is no justice for the unborn. Justice served where there is no voice, no legal representation, and no protection for the unborn. Justice carried out by a just God.

If you view abortion as merely a medical procedure in which a woman can choose to terminate her pregnancy then you will never understand my view on this. If you view life in the womb as a mere fetus comprised of cellulous tissue without thought, feeling, or soul, then you will again not understand my view. However, if you see abortion for what it is, the killing and maiming of an innocent life, a life created in the image of God then you will see it for what it is, murder. Murder legalized by the state. And perhaps my view will be better understood.

As Christians, our allegiance is and always should be to God and His holy Word above all other things. This includes above all laws written by man and above any citizenship and devotion to any place or thing on earth. As Christians, we are to only obey the laws of man just as long as it does not contradict the laws and nature of God. Abortion is murder, and murder is condemned all throughout the scripture. Almost always where a murder occurred in the Bible it is followed by an act of justice, in some cases, including execution of the murderer.

Just before God made his covenant with Noah after the Great Flood, God prescribed several important commands to Noah to be followed by every generation thereafter. One of these commands was this, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” (Genesis 9:6) This verse supports the criminal justice process we call “capital punishment”. Many societies and civilizations throughout history have adopted this form of punishment for thousands of years. This process has been in place in America since the inception of our country.

If we view abortion as murder and since abortion is legal in America, this implies that a form of murder has become legalized (and allowed) in our country. When a form of murder is accepted as a law, then there is no justice for its victims. The murderer is exonerated and the victim continues to remain victimized and oppressed. Since our government, our legislative and judicial system, do not protect the victims of abortion, who will? The answer is quite simply, God. And since murder is contrary to the purpose, law, and nature of God, He will exact judgment upon its perpetrators, namely abortion “doctors”. This can be achieved in any matter that God so ordains, because He is God and He is sovereign.

As we know, God can change the hearts and minds of men, including men who have committed grave acts of evil. God changed the hearts and minds of men all throughout the Old and New Testaments of scripture. He changed Pharaoh’s heart to allow the Jews who were held in captivity to become free. He changed the heart of King Nebuchadnezzar. He changed the heart of Saul, the killer of Christians. He changed the hearts and minds of many men and women throughout world history. I believe God can change the heart and mind of an abortion “doctor”. No work is too great for God.

Nevertheless, there are always consequences for our actions… consequences that will be determined and carried out either by God or man, or by both. The level of these consequences vary dependent upon the level of the crime. A kid caught stealing a piece of candy from the store obviously does not share in the same level of consequence as a mass murderer who killed dozens of innocent people.

When a man murders another man and then is miraculously brought into a relationship with Christ, he is now set free from eternal condemnation only by God’s grace, but must face the consequences on earth for his actions, as outlined by man’s law or by God’s law, even if this should include death. Karla Faye Tucker is one such example of an individual who sought God’s forgiveness but faced a dire consequence for her previous actions. She was convicted of bludgeoning someone to death with a pick axe in 1983. While in prison, she became a born-again Christian and became an outspoken woman of faith. However, she was sentenced to death and received the death penalty in February 1998.

If Mr. Tiller was recently brought into a relationship with Christ then we can only hope that he repented and asked for God’s forgiveness before he peered into the end of the gunman’s barrel. If not, then we can only believe that God brought an end to Mr. Tiller’s life well aware that He would never truly repent of his crimes. And since man’s law currently does not convict an abortion “doctor” for the crime of killing, then God pronounces His final judgment upon the criminal Himself.

How then, as Christians, do we reconcile this with our Christian faith? A faith who’s foundational belief is rested upon the grace and mercy of God?

During WWII and the Nazi holocaust, there was a man who struggled with his duty as a Christian and the rightness to terminate the life of an evil dictator who senselessly killed millions of innocent people including: Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally retarded, and those with physical disabilities. This man is known as Dietrich Bonheoffer. Bonheoffer was a Christian theologian and pastor belonging to the German Resistance Movement who sought the assassination of Adolf Hitler. Bonheoffer took it one step further by placing the responsibility upon himself to eliminate Adolf Hitler rather than allowing God to do the work Himself. He did not justify his action but accepted that he was taking guilt upon himself as he wrote "when a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility, he imputes his guilt to himself and no one else. He answers for it... Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace." (Ethics pg 244)

And that is where grace comes in. We don’t know how many innocent lives Mr. Tiller is responsible for snuffing out. It is believed he has performed over 60,000 abortions by his own account. By normal standards this would equate to the same travesties committed by any evil dictator. If these facts are true then we can only hope that God’s grace will be granted to the man responsible for killing Mr. Tiller yesterday just as it is my hope that Mr. Tiller was brought into a relationship with Jesus Christ. What an amazing testimony of God's grace that would be.

In closing, as Christians, what sets our faith apart from many other religions of the world is that we are to be active in our faith. It’s not a private matter but rather a very public one. A faith who’s aim and goal is to make an impact upon people’s lives so great that it spurs them to change the world.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)

We as Christians are responsible for much of society’s ills today as any other person. In some ways, we are responsible for the George Tillers of society. We have become complacent as we continue to gather at our large mega-churches on Sunday mornings, attend Bible studies, and have potluck dinners but do NOTHING to change the world for the greater good of mankind. We care more about the type of worship music that is played at our churches while millions of people around the world continue to starve, remain oppressed, tortured, and innocently killed. The social injustices in this world are so great that every Christian man and woman should have a ministry apart from their own church home.

Prayer is indeed an important element of exacting change upon our society, never to be discounted. But, prayer is not the only element of change. We must remain active in our faith. We must abandon the elusive American dream and focus our God-given time, talents, gifts, and energy on helping others who are far less weaker and unfortunate than ourselves. This is the charge of Christ Himself not the musings of some fire-branded Christian. We must be a voice for the voiceless. And be a representative for those who have no representation. Stand up, take a stand, fight the good fight, and move ever onward Christian soldier!

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