Friday, July 18, 2014

Murder Is One Of The Most Controversial Words In The Bible -- Exodus 20:13


“You shall not murder.”
 
The Oxford Dictionary defines murder as “The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.”  The Merriam-Webster dictionary adds the following interesting synonyms, related words, phrases, and near antonyms, to give us a better understanding.
Phrases: do away with
With those definitions and explanations in mind, we can easily see that the word ‘murder’ does not just relate to one person’s killing of another person for personal reasons.  It includes being hired to kill someone.  It includes the shooting down of a passenger airplane in the air killing all 298 people on board as happened earlier this week to Malaysian Airline flight MH17 over Ukraine.  It includes eliminating or exterminating an entire nation or peoples as some want to do to the Jews and the State of Israel.  And God says “no murder” in any of these circumstances.
So what does this say about “going to war”?  I am not sure, but I know that many Christians argue over this topic incessantly.  I have searched for the answer high and low.  I have not found a definitive one.  But perhaps when we look at the “near antonyms” that are provided above, we may get a clue.  The opposite of murder is to “raise, restore, resurrect, resuscitate, revive” some one or a group or a nation.
My simple take is as follows.  If another body is busy “murdering” or trying to “murder” others as defined above, it is our job to do what we can to raise them up, restore, resurrect them as a people, resuscitate or save them, and revive them.   And if that means going to war against the oppressor, then we do so, but for that purpose and that purpose alone.  I thus cannot agree with my totally pacifist friends.
Not only am I not to murder, but also I am to prevent others, much stronger than their victims, from murdering.
 
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