Analysis of “Can Christians Wield the Sword?”
The following is the impression that Mr. Shawn Lazar gives in his article “Can Christians Wield the Sword?” in Grace in Focus, November and December 2014, pages 21-25.
Mr. Lazar presents Jehovah as a god of war. He is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek god Ares and the Roman god Mars. According to Mr. Lazar, war and violence are love: They are the highest form of love that Jehovah can express.
Whether against their subjects or foreigners, rulers show their love through war and violence. War and violence are expressions of God’s will and love. Likewise, oppression expresses God’s will and love. The only time that war and violence are sinful is when oppressed people rebel against their oppressive rulers.
Mr. Lazar argues that Christian pacifism is not only wrong; it is unscriptural. The primary purpose of his argument is to justify Israel warring against and oppressing the Palestinians. However, when the Palestinians resist their overlord, the Israelis, they are committing a great evil and sin.
Like most Zionist Christians, Mr. Lazar quotes Romans 13:1-4, and claims that Christians should do whatever their rulers tell them to do. Civil disobedience is their only option if they disagree with their rulers’ orders.
He states that those who control governments are God’s ministers for good. If his understanding is correct, he must support Stalin’s and Mao’s slaughter of their people. These slaughters were good, for government can do no evil and always act according to God’s will. Everyone whom rulers kill or order killed is an evildoer.
Moreover, if Mr. Lazar is correct, the United States were founded in iniquity. The founding fathers committed a great sin against God and their oppressive rulers when they led a rebellion against their British rulers. Likewise, several Old Testament Judges were guilty of the sin of rebellion as they revolted or led revolts against their overlords.
According to Mr. Lazar reasoning, whenever the ruling tribe in an African country hacks to pieces people of other tribes in their country, that is love — Divine love. However, if the victims resist being slaughtered, that is sin — a great sin.
Israel was born out of the great sin and iniquity of rebellion. Using terrorism, the Jews rebelled against their ruler, the British, and eventually forced the British to leave Palestine. How Mr. Lazar can support such rebellious countries as Israel and the United States, he does not explain. He seems to go as far as to fawn over Israel.
Contrary to Mr. Lazar’s implications, Jews stealing Palestinian land and slaughtering Palestinians when they resisted the thief is hardly comparable with the death penalty for murder or Abraham rescuing his nephew. Abraham’s use of violence to rescue his nephew is much more comparable with Hamas using violence to restore stolen land to the Palestinians.
The Jews’ drive to exterminate the Palestinians is similar to God’s commanding the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites when they entered the promised land. (The Israelites of the Old Testament should not be confused with today’s Israelis, who according to Jewish sources have no claim to being descendants of Jacob.) However, then God spoke through the great prophets Moses and Joshua. Who is the prophet, great or small, who has heard the voice of God and told the Jews to invade Palestine and exterminate the Palestinians?
According to Mr. Lazar, a Christian is obliged to defend his neighbor from violent acts. However, if the ruler is the perpetrator, he is obliged to take no action except perhaps civil disobedience. (Civil disobedience did not do the tens of millions that Stalin and Mao killed much good. At least they were obedient to death.)
Apparently the sixth commandment (Thou shalt not kill) does not apply to people in government when they act in the name of the government or the state. It only applies to those who try to defend themselves from the government.
Perhaps Mr. Lazar has explained why God almost never answers prayers for peace. His warmongering God loves war so much that He ignores the promise that His son made in Matthews 7:7. Moreover, Jesus must have erred when teaching “blessed are the peacemakers.” He should have taught “blessed are the warmongers.” Contrary to what Jesus claims, warmongers, not peacemakers, are the sons of God. At least this is what Mr. Lazar implies.
By following the policy that war and violence are the solutions to all problems, rulers are obeying God’s will. When done by rulers, war and violence solve all problems. When oppressed people resort to war and violence, they solve nothing for themselves other than to commit a great sin and act against the will of God. Such Mr. Lazar implies if not outright claims.
Mr. Lazar is obviously an Israeli-firster, and like most Zionists, he seems ready to defend Israeli imperialism to the last American. Why should anyone who claims to be a Christian want to support the Antichrist? According to John’s definition of the Antichrist (1 John 2: 22), both Jews and Moslems are Antichrist as they deny Jesus is the Christ. If a Christian is to choose sides, should not he support the one whose holy book considers Jesus to be a great prophet and oppose the one whose holy book considers Jesus to be a sorcerer and a bastard? The Koran presents Jesus as a great prophet. The Talmud presents Jesus as a sorcerer and a bastard.
Copyright © 2014 by Thomas Coley Allen.
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