In the recent news that startled the nation, we see in a viral video of a Tarlac policeman shooting an elderly mother and her son. The murder happened in broad daylight in front of many witnesses including the policeman’s daughter. This gruesome crime brought up the fiery topic of our nations “kill culture”. This culture has been permeating in recent years as we approve and justify allegedly extra judicial killings. Add to that is the constant word wars over social media by prominent figures or celebrities that spew murderous threats.
When society allows and accept killing as a norm, it won’t take long till we reap what we sow. We conveniently turn our backs to people who are suffering because of apathy. Now in our social media age, it makes it even more easy to turn a blind eye on these crimes. We in this society never think about of such implications until we become victims of this horrible culture ourselves.
So how do we address this issue by providing illumination from God’s Word? Here’s seven of them that Christians should consider.
The Sixth Commandment prohibits it. This is of course an obvious one. We can read it in Exodus 20: 13.
“Do not murder.”
We should not murder (kill in the KJV translation). Let’s clear something here. There is difference between murder and kill. A soldier can kill against the enemy of his country, a father might kill someone just to protect his family from intruders. Murder is, in another hand, according to Merriam-Webster, “the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought”. Hence, the viral video of the mother and son gun down by a police is murder (for more about killing and murdering go here and here).
But there should be a follow up question. Why shouldn’t we murder? Because its bad to commit such crime? Because certain society said it so? We should say yes to those but there is an ultimate reason. Those response are good but are secondary in importance when we view look at God’s view of a human being. We read it in Genesis.
“So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.” (Genesis 1: 27)
That’s the key. We are made in God’s image. God sets the standard on how we view others. So whether in other ethical issues that surrounds the notion of taking ones life, even if society approves it or not, the God of Bible settles it that we should uphold the sanctity of human life because of this reason.
We are by nature swift to shed blood– In our inherit depravity to sin, the Bible declares this horrible reality. This is not just we are imperfect human beings or we do make mistake but our whole being is stained by our sinful nature. Like it or not, we are all incline to this reality.
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;” (Romans 3: 15)
“…because their feet run toward evil and they hurry to shed blood.” (Proverbs 1: 16)
This diagnosis didn’t just came because our genes nor the conditioning of our environment, but by the sinful nature we have. This makes us guilty to God and punishment is inevitable.
“But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars–their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 8)
Knowing this, justice will be served by our Creator. Unless the mercy of God illuminates us through the gospel we can’t escape this justly condemnation.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8: 1)
Repent and believe the gospel. This is the call to every men in history to come to Him.
Murder begins when we hate – In Matthew 5: 21-22, Jesus elevates what it means to murder. It begins not by pulling the trigger or sticking the knife to someone, but by hateful thoughts against a person.
“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (Matt 5:21-22)
Tragedy is the fruit of such hatred that what is brewing inside someone’s heart. Elsewhere, Jesus affirms this truth.
“But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15: 18)
You might not be the one who shot the mother and son on that gruesome video, but spreading hateful messages over social to people who disagrees with you, that contributes to this “kill culture” and will one day held you accountable with God. Being behind the keyboard and spewing murderous threats is a cowardly act. Rest assure if justice here on earth may turn a blind eye to your crimes, then God will held people accountable on judgement day.
As Christians we should sympathize – For a Christian this is not the time for indifference nor resort to victim blaming. We should be the first one to comfort folks who lost their love ones. There will be a time to sort out which is which. We believe that there are other sides of the story. However, someone lost their lives and that’s enough for us to stop to grieve. Another God image bearer died senselessly.
“…weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
We should help victims seek justice – All throughout the Bible we can read that God speaks of justice to those that are helpless. Here’s are sample verses to show that our Creator demands it to us: we should on behalf of those oppressed violently to seek to reach out those people.
Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1: 17)
“Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.” (Psalm 82: 3)
“Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9)
“Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34: 14)
Those verses should not be met with as passive heart but a zeal to do what is pleasing to God. You might say you can’t do nothing to help. You might not be there physically for them. Then use technology to uphold justice. Use social media to pressure people in authority to protect the innocent. Support organizations and ministries that serves the vulnerable by giving cashless donation to their accounts. There are many ways to uphold justice that you don’t even have to go out of your home. What matters is that we are doing something that will counter this “kill culture”.
Time to bridle our tongue– From celebrities, politicians, bloggers and even folks just commenting on the latest post or video, we can see how venomous words are as they express their opinion about the crime. If you want to see total depravity at work, look at what we see on social media as folks approves, justifies and even celebrates evil. James reminds us what the tongue is and what it can do.
“And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3: 6)
Paul states it too as he points out the result of depravity of mankind.
“Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.” (Romans 3: 13)
As much as social media gives a great tool to express what’s on our mind, it has a down time too. It gives us a sense of entitlement to say what we want to say. We sometimes don’t think twice to say it to people. However, as enticing that power is for us, its much better to suspend such “rights.” Instead we are exhorted to be gentle in words.
“A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” (Proverbs 15: 1)
“The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15: 4)
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16: 24)
“There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12: 18)
Think before we should say or post something over social media or better yet not post at all. We should remind ourselves that we are held accountable on what we say. There are laws in our country (through laws of cyber bullying and online libels) that will eventually get us. God can use those earthly laws but in Judgment Day, God that will never let an idle word go unpunished .
“I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12: 36)
A warning from God – Kill culture will give way to more unimaginable evil. It will contribute the already swollen immorality and injustice of this country. A nation that is corrupted should heed the warning from God.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5: 20)
“Acquitting the guilty and condemning the just — both are detestable to the LORD.” (Proverbs 17: 15)
“They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” (Psalms 94: 21)
May these truths lead us believers to pray for each other, for our goverment and for country that is desperately needing God.
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