Jan 02

Thou Shalt Not Kill ?

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If I was to ask  you the question: should we as  Christians support or participate in the use of deadly force; What would your  response be?

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A common topic of discussion that I have been apart of has been killing and the taking of life. What should our perspective be on  such topics? Does it make me hypocritical to support the right to bear arms, self-defense and capital punishment; all while believing that God does not want us to murder. Often times this topic spins off into to sub conversations about abortion, capital punishment, gun laws, and etc.


Ex20:13 you shall not commit murder

Deut 20 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword

Rom 13 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.


In this first article we are going to look at the difference between  murdering  and killing.  In Exodus 20 The word translated as kill literally means to dash into pieces, and is much like our English word kill.   It  covers a  broad range  from accident deaths, self defense, capital punishment, wartime duties. Only the context determines which is God is talking about. However I believe that in this context  Murder is a more accurate translation.In our English langage kill means : to cause the death ,or to end the life of something. However, murder is defined as the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.  Look no  further than the book of numbers 35 to see the word kill used in two different instances yet God having different consequences for case.

         Numbers 35:9  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to                                them, yWhen you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 zthen you shall select cities to be cities of                     refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there

          35:20And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, flying in wait, so that he died21 or in            enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He            is a murderer. .

In this one passage God is making a distinction between the accidental taking of life and the intentional,   death of another. One  is condemned and punished the other is actually protected from punishment.


God has always view murder as wrong. Murder is  not just a sin against the individual but an act of defiance against the creator himself. When Cain murdered his brother it was because he was angry and out of fellowship with God. God has made man in his own image. Life is a precious gift  and  only God has the right dictate the terms on which to give and take  it away. Jesus takes it a step further and attacks the root of murder which is the malice  and hatred that we sometimes feed in our heart.

Psalms 10 paints a composite sketch of a murderer: “He sits in ambush in the villages; in chiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes  stealthily watch for the helpless”.


Think about this If  we as Christians  view that life is a precious gift from God then we should do what we can to protect and defend it.  If Christ gave his life so that we can  live, then we should   honor and protect the lives of other. For it is the wicked and disobedient who cheapen the value of life and spill innocent  blood effortlessly.

-If they would have understood what these words meant-

Dewayne Clardy

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