Maybe I need a t-shirt that says, “This is what TOXIC MASCULINITY looks like.”
I’ve gotten significant push-back from people who don’t understand the difference between just and unjust killing. I’m convinced it’s a prejudice from our Western heritage. You see, in the ancient mists of Western feudalism, the nobles and kings owned all land, and it includes the people on the land. They are just part of the turf, a resource like trees or wild animals that grow on the land. The nobles and kings were sacred and untouchable to the rabble.
This translates into some poorly understood image of the modern secular government as king, so that officials serving in the machinery of government must be revered, as if they were holy. They, of course, can kill whomever they wish, but you and I are not permitted to even think about it. We can’t question their inherent right to kill and we dare not think about doing any killing ourselves. That’s their prerogative alone. And then everyone reads this weird ethic back into the Bible, as if that’s how God sees things.
That’s a blasphemous lie. It’s an insult to God.
If you take the context of Scripture as a whole, the issue is not whether you dare to kill another human. Everything is under the Covenant — remember? All of Creation, the entire universe, is under the Covenant. The Covenant decides who gets killed and why. The Covenant also decides what is just in killing anything that lives, including trees, grass, birds, etc. All of those natural resources are there for our use, but it’s for the purpose of His glory. That glory is defined by the Covenant.
So what are you going to do with the Covenant warning that you must kill certain people who are a serious threat to shalom? Who decides they die? The Covenant decides, and people are obliged to obey the Covenant. Granted, the sword is placed first in the hands of your chief elder, but it doesn’t always wait for him to get around to it. Jael didn’t wait for the troops to show up when she nailed Sisera to the ground with a tent peg (see Judges 4).
And while a man should have taken the lead, said Judge Deborah, Jael did what had to be done in the moment. Nothing in the Word prevents a woman obeying the Covenant and killing someone whom God says must die. Yes, it was “an act of war,” but the distinction we see from our Western heritage isn’t there in the Bible. Jael wasn’t at war with anyone. She simply did what was justified under the Covenant.
So the issue for us today does require some contextual translation, but the core issue remains a matter of seeking divine justice. We have no covenant nations around, but if you embrace Biblical Law (the conduct and teaching of Jesus) then it includes taking human life under certain circumstances. It doesn’t matter what the secular state calls it. The only question is whether the Lord moves in your heart to do this, and you trust Him to handle the consequences as He sees fit.
And on a lesser level of violence, I can tell you today that my conscience burns me over not at least punching out the lights of a few individuals whom I let slide past divine justice. It also convicts me of roughing up a few guys who didn’t deserve it. And there are a fair few blows I should have endured for my own stupidity. It’s all the same conviction; I’m trying to discern more clearly the pattern of justice the Lord laid out for me when I was spiritually born.
So when I suggest there are certain people out there today that, if I could, I would shoot them dead, I’m saying that from my heart of conviction. You don’t have to agree with it, especially if you are busy trying to hear your own convictions, but you also have no business trying to tell me I’m wrong. When it comes to something like that, I just don’t give a rat’s butt what you think about it. You shouldn’t be worried about what I think about your divine calling, either. I write about it in hopes you’ll understand with your mind how divine justice works and make room for your convictions to rule in your life. I’m determined to do the same for myself.
That doesn’t mean I’m looking to arm up and go on a sniper rampage. It means that I am prepared, should the circumstances present themselves, to take that action without fear or doubt. Right now, it appears to be quite unlikely, but I stand ready should the Lord call. Everyone should hold that same readiness in their hearts for whatever hard missions the Lord may have for us.
There are some folks out there who have so deeply offended God’s Law that they deserve to die. The timing and means are in His hand, and He does appoint His servants, as well as some fools who don’t acknowledge Him, to carry out His will. Sometimes those fools kill a lot of innocent folks, too, but that doesn’t mean we how are heart-led can’t come to the conclusion that divine justice means some humans deserves to die. God doesn’t need anyone’s permission to move in the hearts of humans as He sees fit.