Some time ago, I was invited to speak at a July Conference in West Virginia to be hosted by the popular nationwide radio preacher, Pastor Butch Paugh. I have never met Butch personally, but I have had good fellowship with him via the telephone and I believe him to have a great love for God and country. I was especially pleased to be invited to a conference where some of the most eminent patriots of our time would be present, like Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt and Sheriff Richard Mack. I felt privileged to have the chance to meet Dr. David Manning, the famous Black pastor from Harlem, in person. The schedule of speakers can be seen on the Call to Decision web site at http://www.calltodecision.com/2010.htm
However, a few days later my balloon got busted, not “burst,” when I received information that Michael Bray was going to be a guest speaker. Bray was not listed as one of the speakers until after June 1st, however Pastor Butch had announced the fact on his radio broadcast. Wikipedia has a full layout on him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bray
. According to the relatively benign Wikipedia, “Bray is an American anti-abortion activist convicted in 1985 of two counts of conspiracy and one count of possessing unregistered explosive devices in relation to 10 bombings of women's health clinics and offices of liberal advocacy groups in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Initially sentenced to 10 years in prison, he agreed to a plea bargain and served 46 months from 1985 to 1989.” He has also written a book, A Time to Kill,
in which he defends killers of abortion doctors, such as Paul Hill, Scott Roeder and others. To learn about Bray go to: http://terrorism.about.com/od/groupsleader1/p/MichaelBray.htm
When I found out about this, I wrote Pastor Butch a kind email explaining that I did not feel it would be appropriate for me, as Pastor Emeritus of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple and the National Director of the Biblical Law Center, to speak at a conference in which Michael Bray would be one of the speakers. I also told him that I felt it was not right to have left Bray’s name off the roster of speakers on the Call to Decision web site, even though the name had been mentioned on his radio broadcast. My reasoning was that some people, who were making plans to attend the seminar, only visit the website for their information, while others might only listen to the radio broadcast. In a few days, Pastor Butch responded that he was sticking with Bray as a guest speaker and gave the following arguments.
(1) Pastor Butch -“While I could never tell someone that what Brother Michael did several years ago and has already paid for with jail time was the right thing for them to do, I cannot truly blame him for his actions.”
Bray may have “done the time” so to speak, but he hasn’t repented of the evil that he did and Pastor Paugh is upholding him on that. The scripture is clear on this issue. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” [Ephesians 5:11]
(2) Pastor Butch - “No one was hurt with the stand he took, and who knows how many babies he may have saved.” “…if he saved one baby's life it was worth the effort in my personal biblically held convictions. If he saved one baby, how many of their children have they saved over the following generations?” “Whether we feel he was right or wrong in his actions I certainly do not question his sincere desire to serve Christ.”
These are purely pragmatic and emotional arguments, made without any scriptural basis and which are totally unworthy of a minister of the gospel of Christ. In the scripture, we read “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” [1 Samuel 15:22] The Prophet Samuel continued his message to King Saul with these words, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” [1 Samuel 15:23] There have been many men that have been sincere but sincerely wrong. Whether it is evangelism or discipleship, we are not to base our service to Christ on the body count in Sunday school or the number who walk the aisles during the invitation.
Pastor Butch Claims Neutrality While Standing With the Murderers
In the above exchanges, Pastor Butch tries to remain neutral but makes his position clear. In phone conversations with listeners of his broadcast across the nation, he has done the same thing. However, he then gets on the radio and makes his position clear in no uncertain terms that he supports the bombers of clinics and the killers of abortion doctors. He has also fortified his stubbornness on this issue with a newsletter to his supporters in which he defends his position and castigates those who oppose him.
This is total hypocrisy. If it is biblical, then why don’t Pastor Butch and his cohorts lead the way in bombing abortion clinics and killing abortion doctors? His excuse is that God doesn’t call everyone to do this. This is pure hogwash and won’t fly biblically. It is true that God does not call all believers to the same office of service, such as a foreign missionary, but he does call all to support missionaries. King David referred to those who “tarried by the stuff.” In fact he said that they were to be included in the dividing of the spoils. [1 Samuel 25:13; 30:24] On this basis, if God doesn’t call Pastor Butch to bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors, then he should help finance them, which means that he would end up in the same jail cell with them.
Pastor Butch, Bray, Eric Rudolph and others are like the Muslim Imams who influence weak minded people to strap bombs on themselves and walk into market places but never do it themselves.
Pastor Butch Doesn’t Stop With Abortion Clinics and Doctors
In an e mail dated June 01, Pastor Butch says “…there is one thing for sure, if a murderer, rapist, kidnapper, sodomite or others who commit capital crimes are put to death as COMMANDED by the Bible they will not commit such acts again.”
So to be consistent Pastor Butch, Bray, and Rudolph’s Army of God and all of others of this mindset should organize vigilante squads to begin the systematic killing of those mentioned above because as Pastor Butch has declared, it is “COMMANDED by the Bible”. Where would the end be? This is no different than the Muslims with their “Honor killings” allowed under Sharia law where fathers and brothers can kill their own daughters and sisters for committing fornication, etc.
Pastor Butch – There is Only One Bible
Pastor Butch says “…the Bible is NOT two books, but ONE!! The laws of God are NEVER going to be changed or negated” “If Christ did NOT follow the law to the letter than we are totally without hope my friend. Matthew 5:17-18 will prove that.” “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Pastor Butch seems to be saying that there is no difference between the Old and New Covenant. If this is true, it would totally wreck the church to try and fit it into the O.T. sacrificial system. The scripture is clear that, “…the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” [John 1:17] The Lord Jesus not only kept the law, but He met every demand of the law. He was totally without sin, so that He could be that perfect sacrifice for sin. However, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 shows that there is a clear distinction between the Old and New Testament.
Pastor Butch – “Even Paul prayed that Satan himself would destroy people in the hopes their souls would be saved.” [Butch Paugh e - mail dated [5/31/10]
This refers to a man in the Corinthian church who was living with his father’s wife and who Paul instructed the church to put out of the assembly. He said to turn him over to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” He didn’t say for the church elders to execute him. Now in the Old Testament they would have, because Israel was a Theocratic state where the civil and religious was joined together. [Deuteronomy 22:21-24]
Pastor Butch – “God Requires Cleansing of Innocent Blood”
Following is an excerpt from Pastor Butch’s May 2010 Newsletter
“By the time you receive this month’s issue, our sixth seminar will be less than two months away. The opposition to this seminar has been horrific! We even lost two radio stations in Buffalo, NY because of one of the speakers and my strong stand against the murder of the unborn. It is amazing and sickening to me that the number of “Christians” that simply will not go beyond their comfort zones to save an innocent babies life! Talk about hypocrites! Pro. 24: 10-12. I realize that a lot of people truly believe that we are wrong in our stand. All I would ask them to do is search the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and show us where a righteous God winks at the shedding of innocent blood. Here are a few scriptures that should be considered. II Kings 24: 3-4, Numbers 35: 31-34, Deut. 19: 10, Ps. 106: 36-40, Pro. 6: 16-17, Is. 59: 1-16, Jer. 19: 1-5, Jer. 22: 3 and Joel 3: 19. Notice the references to “innocent blood” in all of those scriptures. There are many more. Now please look at Gal. 5: 19-21, Rev. 21: 8 and 22: 15. Pretty clear, huh? Look at one more, please. Acts 7: 51-52. You will plainly see that the blood of Christ was required at the hand of those that betrayed him. Have we not betrayed the unborn? Answer honestly.”
Pastor Butch is saying here that only the shedding of blood can cleanse the land of innocent blood. There is much scripture to support this position and history also bears out the evidence of this principle. No doubt the judgment is already starting in our own beloved nation for all of the innocent blood that has been shed, not only the blood of the innocents in abortion, but wars and other atrocities too numerous to mention here. However, individuals acting on their own through the random killing of abortion doctors, could never rectify this problem. However, the scriptures Pastor Butch mentioned in the newsletter above were, at the time they were given, addressed primarily to the leadership of the nation and only indirectly addressed to the people to call them to personal repentance for their sins. The N.T. scriptures quoted by Pastor Paugh are not even worthy for comment, as they have absolutely no bearing on the subject matter.
However, it should be noted that in the O.T. the death penalty was carried out by the proper civil authority, and individuals did not do this on their own. Please note the case of Achan [Joshua 7:25]. In the situation of Phinehas, who slew the Israelite with the Midianitish woman and stayed the plague, it should be noted that he was a priest/judge. [Numbers 25]
Pastor Butch, Bray, Roeder and the Killers have a Biblical Defect
The Lord Jesus said, “…Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” [Mark 12:24] Obviously Pastor Butch, Bray and others have gone into serious doctrinal error because they are not “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15]
In an email dated June 01, he makes the following errors:
(1) Pastor Butch - “The civil government was implemented by God to further His kingdom on earth just as the family and church was.”
There is not one verse of scripture, either in the Old or New Testament, to support such a statement. Both the family and the church have their own sphere of responsibility from God, but it isn’t to bring in or further the Kingdom of God on earth. Christ will set up His Kingdom, after he puts down Gentile world rule, which course will run “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” [Luke 21:24]. After this happens, the Lord Jesus Christ will visibly return in all His Glory and reign on this earth (literally) for 1,000 years [Revelation 19:11 and 20:6]
Local churches were given the great commission, which involved three things only: Evangelizing, baptizing (gathering them into local churches), and discipling (teaching) them. [Matthew 28:18-20] The task of the local churches is to gather a people for Christ’s name to populate the Kingdom of Christ, not to establish the Kingdom. [Acts 15:14, Romans 11:25]
(2) Pastor Butch - “We are accountable to see that they (government) stay on that line. Roms.13 proves that also.”
There is not one verse in Romans Chapter 13 that even remotely supports this statement by Pastor Butch. In fact, it speaks to the contrary. It says, “Thou shalt not kill.” [Romans 13:9] It also says in that same verse, “and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But let us read further, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Romans 13:10]
Once something has become legalized by the State, those State authorities having responsibility for the enactment of those laws will one day be held accountable before God. This applies to our current law makers concerning the abortion issue, as well as those authorities who delivered our Lord up to be crucified. They will be held accountable [Matthew 12:31-32, and Acts 2:23]. However, within the scriptures it is clear that churches or individual believers acting on their own, must obey God rather than man, if an enacted law is in conflict with the law of God [Acts 5:29] Even so, it is unbiblical for the church, whether by the collective body or by a single member, to take up the sword, except in acts of self defense, which The Lord Jesus himself gave the authority, “…and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” [Luke 22:36] To Pilate, “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…,” [John 18:36]
(3) Pastor Butch – “Crime MUST be punished!!! It is the duty of "Godly" civil authority to do so, BUT when they refuse to and promote and do evil themselves it falls back to the people to correct the problem. So says our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence, and what they did in 1776 was "illegal", called treason and much worse. Why are we any less accountable? While I would NOT do as Bray or Roeder did I will not condemn them. That is up to Christ to judge His servants on their sincere efforts to do what they believe is His will. When a lawbreaker of any type is in the process of committing a crime and someone stops him from committing his evil that my friend is a righteous act. Time and eternity will judge who was right in their actions. Please go to our website and watch the video concerning the atrocities that were "allowed" by the Germans in WW11. There is NO difference except that we have the murder of three times as many as they did.”
The Issue is Authority
First we would say to Pastor Butch, “Time and eternity” is not the judge for the churches to follow at this present time, but the Word of God. [2 Timothy 2:15] We don’t have to wait on time or eternity, both the Old and New Testament teaches that retributive acts against evil by those other than proper civil authority are wrong. [Matthew 5:38, Le 19:18, Proverbs 20:22, Romans 12:17-19]
The most important issue here is that of authority and not of righteousness [Philippians 3:4-9]. When someone kills in self defense, or even the defense of another, he has the authority of God [Luke 22:36] and also from the state to do so. When a person kills an abortion doctor, he has no such authority from God or from the state. The only other place that he could get this authority would be from the family or patriarchal authority, and there is no authority for the father usurping the authority of the state in the N.T for preemptive killings. When one performs acts in this manner, he therefore is in rebellion both against God and the state for his actions, and he must pay for his sin (crime) of presumption [Numbers Chapter 15]. When Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the others in Germany tried to assassinate Hitler, which cost them their lives, they were acting under the authority of German Army Officers (lesser magistrates) and therefore they were not acting as vigilantes or terrorists.
Many today are teaching that our founding fathers, when they signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and severed their bonds with Great Britain, were guilty of the sin of rebellion. In my opinion, these charges are wrong. Our founders were not rebels, and they did not act on their own as terrorists. They said in the Declaration of Independence why it was not an act of rebellion to sever ties with England. Also George Washington led his troops under the authority granted to him by the Continental Congress. Everything that happened was done under proper authority.
One of the evidences of God’s judgment on America today is the fact that He has not raised up a lesser magistrate for us to follow, so that we can have a legitimate right to obey our God given right to dispose of ungodly and unlawful government. But to do it on our own, without authority, would be rebellion and anarchy. It would be no different than what they had in the French Revolution, the Watts Riots and other riots that we have seen in America and around the world.
The scripture says, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness,…” [2 Peter 2:12-13] When Peter writes of Paul, we further read, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now a forever. Amen” [2 Peter 3: 16-18] Are Peter’s words important today and also to this discussion? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Believers Have Always Served in the Military
Through the centuries, believers have always served in the military. Scripture supports this activity. [Exodus 30:12-16] They even served under Caesar, until they were required to worship him as a god. It was then that they refused serving him and suffered untold torture and death. This will no doubt happen again in the future.
In the Civil War in England, Baptists served under Cromwell when they saw it as a religious liberty issue and desired to keep the Catholics from coming back into England. They also fought under Washington in 1776, and on both sides during the American Civil War. But never in the scriptures, nor in history, do we see individual zealotry or vigilantism being justified as Bible Doctrine.
In fact the Zealots were condemned in the N.T. era. Josephus in the Jewish Antiquities
states “The Zealots were a fourth sect, founded by Judas of Galilee in the year 6 against Quirinius' tax reform." He further states, “They agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord." Many in America seem to be in this same mode of thinking today. They have almost made liberty itself “license” if not a god. It has always been known that many were upset with the Lord Jesus because He would not use His powers to over throw the Romans and set up His Kingdom. The crowd even chose the popular zealot leader Barabbas, who had committed murder in the insurrection, over Jesus at the crucifixion. Even one of the twelve disciples will ever through eternity be remembered as Simon Zelotes (the zealot) before our Lord turned him into a gentle “fisher of men.” [Luke 6:15] As much as we love liberty we must never allow it to eclipse the words of Paul to the Corinthians, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” [1Colossians 2:2]
In the New Testament, there are two swords that are applicable to this issue. One is the physical sword, which was given to the government in order to keep man under physical control [Romans 13]. The other, God has given to the church. It is the spiritual sword, which is the Word of God, known as the “Sword of the Spirit” [Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12] Being armed with that sword, we seek to conquer the souls of men. The Lord Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” [Matthew 4:19], not killers of men.
When they came to take the Lord Jesus, Peter tried to use the physical sword, and our Lord said, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword [Matthew 26:52]
James and John, before being corrected by our Lord, would have fit right in with these bombers: “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” [Luke 9:54 –56] When we read the passages of James 3:13-18 and John 3:17, we see how the Lord Jesus transformed these men and their thinking. Our prayer is that the same thing may happen again today!
They Deny the Power of the Gospel
I asked a young man who grew up in our church and graduated from our high school what he thought about this issue. He said that in his opinion those who resort to such tactics represent a fundamental denial of the power of the Gospel because they have demonstrated by their actions that they do not believe that the Holy Spirit is at work making the Resurrection power unleashed at Christ’s raising efficacious in the world, effectively denying that Jesus rose from the dead. Then he went on to tell of an abortion Doctor back east who was invited to attend a Bible study in a home. He was afraid to go for fear that no one would receive him. His friends assured him that that would not be the case. After several weeks of attending, he came under deep conviction for his sin, repented in great contrition, received Christ and is now going to churches giving his testimony. I thought of those words of Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” [Romans 1:16]
Would not someone have been justified in killing Saul of Tarsus? He said “And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.” [Acts 26:11] He would have been the Adolph Eichmann of his day. But what if someone had killed him? Perish the thought. From the human viewpoint there would have never been a Paul the Apostle and the Gentile church, and you and I may have never been saved.
No Example in Scripture or History of Retaliation by True Believers
Believers have suffered untold torture and suffering throughout the 2,000 year church age. Our promise is very clear-The Lord’s disciple is called to a life of suffering:
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Romans 8:17]
“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:” [2 Thessalonians 1:5]
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” [2 Titus 2:12]
When Stephen was stoned to death the church did not fight the authorities. In fact he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” [Acts 7:60] He could have prayed for the believers to avenge his blood, but he did not. When Peter was in prison, the church did not send out commandos to try to break him out; rather they were praying. [Acts 12:12]
Can anyone recount a sadder scene than what our Vaudois believing ancestors experienced? They suffered, knowing that as Paul said, “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” [Romans 8:18]
The Earl Shilton Baptist Church in England knew the turmoil of persecution as early as 1626 AD. This church connected its existence back to the Waldenses. This terrible event that we relate took place on January 25, 1655 when the wicked Gastaldo drove them from their homes; and their persecution culminated in their horrible massacre on April 24 of the same year. Their slaughter is indescribable. “Little children were torn from the arms of their mothers, clasped by their tiny feet, and their heads were dashed against rocks or were held between two soldiers and their quivering limbs torn up by force. Their mangled bodies were thrown on the highways or fields, to be devoured by beasts. The sick and aged were burned alive in their dwellings. Some had their hands, arms, and legs lopped off and fire applied to the severed parts to staunch the bleeding and prolong their suffering…fathers were marched to death with the heads of their sons suspended round their necks.” [This Day in Baptist History II - BJU Press Pg. 310]
This repression was not from the Catholics, but from the Presbyterian Parliament ruling at that time. Did a people ever have reason to retaliate? Obviously yes! However, they did not and suffered, while waiting in faith. The day came, some forty-five suffering years later, and the Toleration Act was passed in England. Out of their suffering, this act gave a large measure of Religious Freedom. Later, it gave full Religious Freedom, which resulted in great churches being built in the 18th Century, churches like Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle and many others. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12]
In this country, there are many areas void of abortion clinics. These were once areas that held many. God still answers prayer; maybe we should try it and see. Pastor Ernie Sanders in Cleveland, Ohio goes out every week, rain or shine, cold or hot, and ministers at the abortion clinics along with pastors and laymen in his area. They have saved untold thousands of babies’ lives not counting those that have been reached for Christ. Of course we could name many more because their names are legion that are involved in the ministry to the unborn and also in the Crisis Pregnancy Centers, etc.
Pastor Butch Claims Attacks Are Hurting His Conference
In his May Newsletter, Pastor Butch writes, “The opposition to this seminar has been horrific! We even lost two radio stations in Buffalo, NY because of one of the speakers and my strong stand against the murder of the unborn.” He continues, “orders have dropped by at least 80%. Phone calls are down to three to four a day…”This so far it seems, will be the smallest turnout we have ever had for a seminar because of the controversy over most of our speakers.”
I don’t know about “most,” but I do know that there is controversy over one speaker and he is Michael Bray: the bomber of abortion clinics and author of the book A Time to Kill. It is so tragic to see a good man, such as Pastor Butch Paugh, totally lose all perspective just because he has bowed his neck in stubbornness over this issue.
Pastor Butch announced recently on his broadcast that Sheriff Richard Mack has withdrawn as a speaker. He has said grievous things over his broadcasts about those of us who have opposed him on this issue. He has said that we are trying to sabotage his meeting. He has called us cowards, panty waists, that we have lace on our drawers and a number of other descriptive adjectives that are more fit for a back alley than from a preacher of the gospel. In subsequent broadcasts, he has said that if we are Christians then we are immature, still on milk and not meat. However, none of this is true, and in a letter to Pastor Butch, we told him that we were writing this paper and would be releasing it soon on the internet.
Paul the Apostle said, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” [Hebrews 12:4] Pastor Butch uses this passage and says that this is his justification for the killing of abortion doctors, sodomites, rapists, adulterers, etc. This Biblical passage means just the opposite. It is referring to the blood of the Christian believer who is willing to shed martyrs blood in resisting sin and evil. We believe in non-violent resistance just as the disciples did in the N.T. when the authorities demanded that they take a license to preach the gospel “…Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” [Acts 5:29] Then the scripture says, “And when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” [Acts 5:40-41] I will assure you that God received far more Glory through their actions than if they had taken weapons and fought against the Council. Abortion fighters that have been beaten and hauled off to jail have accomplished far more than the Paul Hills, Scott Roeders, and Michael Brays have or ever will accomplish.
I have been arrested four times for standing against state tyranny. I spent 10 days in the Key Road facility in a hot Atlanta August without A/C. I’ve been in the Federal Penitentiary in Chicago for not giving up the records of our church to a Federal judge. I was one of those who was hauled off to jail in Montgomery, AL when they took the Ten Commandments Monument away. I was with the 100 that were hauled out of Faith Baptist Church of Louisville, Nebraska on Oct. 18, 1982 over the school licensure issue. Of course, this is nothing compared to what others have suffered for Christ, or their country.
I was also carried out of our church in Indianapolis when it was raided by 100 Federal Marshals after a 93 day siege on Feb. 13, 2001, because we believed that Christ was the head over His church and not the IRS. We were criticized severely because we didn’t invite the militia to come to our aid with weapons. We were castigated in some quarters for not having a shootout with the Marshals. Those who talk like that don’t understand the nature of the Beast. That’s what the authorities wanted us to do. They can win a battle like that all day long, but they can’t win a battle against people whose weapons are spiritual and not carnal. We chose and still choose the “spiritual sword.” If we had succumbed to our fleshly desires, it would have cost the lives of untold numbers of our people. But more importantly, it would have cast a black eye on the cause of Christ for which it may have taken years to recover.
My Thinking Has Become More Clear on This Subject
I must confess that my thinking has not always been as clear on this subject. Not until I was driven to my knees with my Bible in hand and sought the mind of God has it all come into focus. I basically used to take the position Pastor Butch is taking. I could have never killed an abortion doctor, but I was influenced by the “justified defense” argument. It also helped when I reread Paul Hill’s article, Why Shoot an Abortionist,
giving his rationale before killing Dr. John Britton and his associate: http://www.armyofgod.com/Paulhillindex.html
. It is one of the saddest pieces of literature ever written from the pen of man, in my opinion. There are many problems with it. The main one being that it won’t hold up to the light of scripture.
“Why is it OK to use force, even deadly force, to protect a classroom of kindergarten children, but it is forbidden to use force to protect pre-born children slated for abortion? Are pre-born children worth less than post-born children? If so, we have tacitly admitted that a mother DOES have a right to kill her unborn child! Her unborn child is somehow sub-human and NOT entitled to an inalienable Right of Life.”
There is only one simple answer to this question: AUTHORITY! God will hold those parents, the participants and the state responsible for the killing that goes on in the abortion clinics. We are responsible to do what we can do, but that does not include adding blood to blood. Until God is pleased to raise up a lesser magistrate for us to follow, who will put down this reign of terror, we have no choice but to use whatever means God has given to us to stop this carnage. This includes a wide range of things far too lengthy to discuss here. People may not like this answer but, in my humble opinion, there is none other from our divine Rule Book, The Word of God.
Thankfully, we have a clear example in the scriptures of another man that faced the same dilemma. His name is Moses. He saw far more atrocities at the heavy hand of Pharaoh’s wicked government than we have seen. Among his people Israel, he witnessed the slaughter of all the girl babies over a long period of time. How long we don’t know. Moses thought the problem of his people’s slavery and suffering could be solved by Force and not through Faith, so he slew an Egyptian who he saw “smiting” a Hebrew. If you examine the text closely, Moses used the same logic that the killers and bombers use today. Never the less it was murder, and Moses had to flee as a fugitive into the wilderness. The only reason God could allow him to return was because the statute of limitations had run out, after he had been in the desert those forty years, and there had been a regime change in Egypt. God delivered the Hebrews by force, but it was His Force and their Faith. “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” [Exodus 2:24]
I am now convinced that those who take the “justifiable defense” position are no different than the Moslems who support Jihad, but would never resort to participate in strapping bombs on their own body and walking into the midst of a crowded mall. They too believe in the “justifiable defense” and “collateral damage” theory and believe it necessary to save more lives in the long run. But in the end, they will have to at some point be taking the place of God and making decisions as to who lives and who dies. On this issue, neutral you cannot be.
We need to go back and reread the great Hall of Faith, not Hall of Force, in Hebrews Chapter 11. It says, “By Faith” fifteen times. Paul said “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” [2 Corinthians 10:4] Maybe God’s people should remember what we possess and try these powerful and effective weapons of spiritual warfare, before we resort to these carnal weapons that have been proven not to work. It would be better to use David’s five smooth stones of faith instead of Saul’s big sword and armor of flesh, which scripture has told us does not work?
Before ending this article perhaps we should remember two men who thought they should practice the “eye for an eye” principle by taking the law into their own hands, and by doing so did irreparable wrong. They were Simeon and Levi, the rebel sons of Jacob, who by treachery, to avenge the rape of their sister Dinah committed by Prince Shechem, slaughtered not only Hamor, King of the Hivites, but also all of the males of his nation. When Jacob knew what his sons had done, he rebuked them and said, “Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land.” [Genesis 34:30] What a difference in those words and the instructions that our Lord Jesus gave the disciples at Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
How many more children are there like Paul Hill’s, who will grow up without a father, because someone thinks they are doing the will of God by taking the law into their own hands? Hopefully, this article will be helpful in putting this issue in proper perspective.