by Jon Kauffman
Recently I received a letter from a Christian radio station requesting money. I consider the radio station and it’s hosts to be rather hyper-patriotic. Because they are so strongly pro-military, I seldom listen to them. I have never heard them defend their position using the teaching of Jesus. I have never heard a mention that there are other views on this subject.
Dear Mr. ….
I am sorry I cannot in good conscience contribute. I like some of the programs on your radio station, but your radio station holds a pro-military position.
1) Jesus changed the Law of Moses when he said “Love your enemy” and “Turn the other check.” Matthew 5:38-45.
‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ is a quote from Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20.
Note from the NET Bible: The phrase “hate your enemy” does not occur explicitly in the OT, but was commonly inferred from passages like Deuteronomy 7:2; 30:7; Psalm 26:5; Psalm 139:21-22.
2) Moses and the prophets did not fully understand God therefore we cannot use Old Testament examples of violence to justify our own violence.
3) Only Jesus fully understands God. Only Jesus has the authority to change the teaching of Moses.
4) There is not one word in the NT or written by the early church fathers prior to the 4th century that says it is acceptable for Christians to participate in killing their enemies.
5) Jesus demonstrated how love for enemies looks in his Kingdom in this present age. As his enemies killed him, Jesus said,”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34. Jesus had the power to destroy Rome.
6) St. Augustine and other church leaders such as Martin Luther do not have the authority to change the teaching of Jesus.
7) As followers of Jesus we must follow his teaching and not the teaching of a government-oriented church. Jesus is the final authority.
8) See why Romans 13, Ephesians 6, Matthew 8 and many other NT passage cannot be used to justify violence by Christians: Reasons Some Christians say they can kill their enemies.
Copyright © 2020 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.