By Pastor Timothy Johnson
It would be impossible to cover every social issue in 700 to 900 words, so we will start with the hot Supreme Court topic, abortion, and see where that leads us.
God is the creator of all life (Genesis 1; John 1:3; Acts 14:15, 17:24). So, we must ask, does life begin at birth, conception, or someplace in between?
Look at what God tells Jeremiah about the womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Before being formed, God knows you. He knows your likes and dislikes; if you have a quick temper or are a patient individual. God knows before you are born if you are a salad or Big Mac person. God knows this because you are a life He created, and you are someone the moment you hit the womb.
We also read of John the Baptist, still inside the womb leaping for joy when hearing Mary tell his mother, Elisabeth, the news that Mary would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:41).
The Bible speaks of the womb in several other passages, but this is enough to show there is life inside the womb.
On a personal note, when my daughter was expecting twins, she said they moved around the most during the singing at church. Maybe they were dancing, but every mother knows that certain stimuli will bring a response from the child in the womb. This response can only happen with life; it does not happen with a blob of matter.
It is murder to purposely kill innocent life – abortion, therefore, is murder.
So this brings me to ask – when is it okay to kill?
War, the Death Penalty, Self-Defense
Ecclesiastes 3:3 tells us there is “a time to kill,” so if abortion is murder, when does God allow a time to kill?
There are three specific times.
On several occasions, God sent Israel into war and told them to kill the enemy; therefore, a soldier on the battlefield is not committing murder.
God has the death penalty in the law of Moses, but He established it long before Moses came around. When Noah walked off the ark, God established the death penalty. Genesis 9:5-6 says, “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
In the matter of self-defense, we read of the story of Lamech, who killed “a young man to my hurt,” in other words, in self-defense. If anyone were to punish Lamech for his act of self-defense, whoever punished him would receive far greater punishment (Genesis 4:23-24).
Speaking of self-defense brings us to another hot social issue.
The invention of gunpowder came a thousand years after Jesus’ time on earth, so guns were not around in Bible days. However, weapons were common in Jesus’ day.
The gospel of Luke tells us the last thing done at the last supper was to inventory the number of swords the group had (Luke 22:38). They only had two, and Jesus said, “It is enough.”
Several things we can ascertain from the passage.
First, Jesus did not tell them to leave the swords behind. Christ knew what awaited Him in the garden. He knew He was about to be arrested. He knew a revolt against Rome would not start that night, but He allowed them to take the swords anyway. Jesus evidently was not against someone carrying a weapon.
Second, and this kind of plays into the first, the apostles do not react as if it was uncommon for weapons to be within the group. We know Peter has one of the two swords; he used it in the garden (John 18:10). The Bible does not tell us who had the second one, but Simon the Zealot was a Zealot before becoming an Apostle. A man trained in military tactics and well trained in using all kinds of weaponry. Matthew probably was accustomed to carrying a weapon in his previous employment as a tax collector. In other words, brandishing a sword would be normal for several of the Apostles.
Third, it was common practice among the public to carry swords while traveling in Jesus’ day. People would travel by foot or by beast. Anything over 20 miles or so would require more than a day. Often people would spend the night under the stars. With many towns miles apart, people often find themselves in the middle of nowhere during the day. These circumstances made it easy for thieves to prey on people. When people traveled, swords were lightweight and effective, making them the most practical thing at the time for protection.
The Bible does not speak specifically about guns. Still, it appears clear that Jesus and the Apostles had no issue with carrying a weapon.
There are other social issues I would like to discuss, but I am near that 900-word mark, so until next time – God bless.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872. All Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints nor the independent activities of the author.