The debate of whether to use violence in stopping child sacrifice (a.k.a. abortion) is confusing – at least to this author. I can readily argue either side of the argument on the spur of the moment. I do not publicly condone violence, but I neither will not condemn it. To get to the meat of this question we must first ask: Should abortion be fought as a war?
The struggle to protect unborn children has often been termed a “War.” If it truly is a war, then it must be determined whether this is a war that should be waged as a real life war. We know the government was ordained to punish evildoers. The question we must ask is, if the government fails to stop punishing evildoers, does this responsibility fall on God’s people? And if so, is there Biblical precedence?
On pondering this question, several examples came to mind. (I have chosen examples where the men went against the evil ruling governments).
RULING NATION: Israel. “Ahab the son of Omri became king of Israel … did evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 16:29-30).
ACTION: Prophesied against the king and queen; challenged 450 prophets of Baal to test; he executed all 450 in Brook Kidron.
RESULT: Persecution; another was anointed as king (Jehu); Jehu kills evil king and queen (Ahab and Jezebel) while still not part of “the government” (though he did have an army).
RULING NATION: Midianites. “So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years” (Judges 6:2).
ACTION: Burned false idol and tore down altar. Went to war with Midianites.
RESULT: Righteousness restored; Israel back in control of her nation again.
RULING NATION: Moab. “So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years” (Judges 3:13-14).
ACTION: Used knife to assassinate King of Moab. People united and killed 10,000 Moabites.
RESULT: Nation set free.
Suffice it to say the entire book of Judges is essentially God raising up leaders (“deliverers”) to overthrow the ruling government – and using war and war tactics to do so. IF Romans 13 is to be interpreted as being against this, then there is an obvious contradiction in the Bible.
Those who would still hold to Romans 13 and make it a maxim that we cannot go against the civil government – as “the LAW has been done away with” or “that is in the Old Testament” must answer the following questions.
If the LAW has been done away with, by what standard will God judge the unrepentant?
Where does the New Testament speak against rape, incest, and bestiality? (There are those who say they are acceptable today based on the N.T. saying nothing about them.)
How do you explain God commanding his servants to do such things in these passages?
Do we have an Old God/New God? Old Book/New Book? How do we decide what parts of the Old Testament to accept and which parts to throw out? Do we have the right to do so? Where do we draw the line?
That is one side of the coin. Now for the other.
We know that the Old Testament covers what to do against a godless government. What did the New Testament apostles do when faced with the same thing?
The New Testament books were written over a period of almost 50 years (Jude, the first book written in 47 AD, and the last, Revelations, being written in 95 AD). Did they live in a godless society? Yes (unless you consider Caesar god). Were the Christians being unjustly persecuted? Absolutely! What was their response? Did they seek to overthrow the government? Did they attempt to kill the Roman soldiers who brutalized the Jewish people and killed Christians by throwing them to the lions (this occurred later under Nero)?
Under Caesar Nero, AD 54 – AD 68, Paul was beheaded and Peter crucified. As things escalated, Christians were fed to the lions, fighting gladiators to the death for sport, wrapped in animal carcasses and hunted by dogs. At one point, Nero had them wrapped in robes soaked in oil and set afire to become human torches for his court yard. He would ride among them dressed as a charioteer. They had a giant griddle type setup where they would fry them alive. They skinned them alive and placed them in dung heaps, in order that they might die from terrible diseases and pain from the incredible infections they contracted. It is said that he fashioned a large slide with cutting knife blades. If one did not renounce Christ, they were pushed down the slide, being cut to pieces before they reached the bottom. One catacomb was found to have 350, 000 skeletal remains in it. It is estimated that that millions died during the reign of Nero.
It was during this time that Paul wrote Romans 13. The saints did not rise up against the ruling government and try to overthrow it. One would think they would have had the right to kill a Roman soldier who was leading their brother and sister to death. Why didn’t they?
I think a major change occurred in the New Testament. In the O.T., the call to the lost was inclusive – “come to Israel where God is.” In the N.T. the call is to go out into all the world and preach the gospel. In the O.T. there had to be a nation of Israel to come to. Thus it was defended to the hilt. It was God’s plan. In the N.T. there is no longer a “one nation to come to” rather a “go out into.” The time of the one kingdom/ nation where God is, is past. Now our Kingdom is in heaven, and we serve that Kingdom. We can live anywhere on the earth and still serve His Kingdom.
Well, there are the two sides. Which is right? I lay it out for you to make up your own minds and I welcome your comments.