A Christian response

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I will assume Mr. Jamison Paul's question to pro-life Christians who support war was sincere.

The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is for me. I should not kill. Jesus clarified the intent of that commandment by saying I should not even be angry or hate. The commandment "turn the other cheek" is for me. It means I should not return evil for evil. The heart Jesus wants me to have is one of love that says better I be hurt than anybody else, even my enemy. That must be my starting point. From there, I must consider who will be hurt if I do turn the other cheek. My turning the other cheek should not result in somebody else's pain, especially those I am responsible for protecting, such as my family, my community or my country.

The commandment "eye for eye" is given as guidance to those charged with dispensing justice. It is to guide rulers in the proper course of action when someone is wronged. The Apostle Paul said rulers "beareth not the sword in vain."

The answer to Mr. Paul's question "What happened to thou shall not kill?" is obvious: It is still valid. We shouldn't do it. "Eye for eye" is not rhetoric. It is the justice that is to be dispensed by rulers when people ignore things like "thou shalt not kill." "Turn the other cheek" is still correct; you should not return evil for evil. That is not to say that God would have us allow evil to proliferate. Using force to protect someone from evil is not evil. Wanting peace so bad that you would negotiate with evil, and allow people to suffer under it, is evil.

Of course, some say Bush is the evil one. All I can say to that is that you better be sure. The Apostle Paul made it a point to tell us that rulers (he was talking about all rulers) are a terror to evil, not to good works. Bush took down an obviously evil dictator, and you all are taking it personally. You should wonder about that.

If Mr. Paul's question was not sincere, then he is beating a dead horse. It is a waste of time to try to convince Christians they are sinners. We already know it. That is why we cling so tightly to our savior. That is why we keep bringing up Jesus.

Kurt Cox

Juneau



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