Jesus taught His followers that a greater cannot be found than the love of a man who would lay down his life for his friends. Dorwan Stoddard’s love is spoken of this story. He saved the life of his best friend–his wife.
I just read this sobering story about Major Philip Wise of the Salvation Army. It is a sad and sobering reminder of what a sin-sickened world we inhabit. You will want to be in prayer for this family.
Major Wise along with his 3 young children were in front of the Salvation Army headquarters on Christmas Eve, where they had traveled to pick up the Major’s wife to travel home for Christmas. Two gunmen shot and killed Major Wise in front of his wife and children on Christmas Eve so they could have the coinage in his can. What an awful tragedy. Perhaps these men will be captured and face justice in this life before they die and face the justice of God for such an awful crime. If justice prevails, they will be caught and executed for their crime; after which, the real judgment begins.
The best case scenario would be that the men are caught, tried, and executed (after the weight of their guilt drove them to the cross of Christ for mercy).
I can’t help but thinking this Washington Times editorial is doing nothing but stating the obvious. Hasan was a radical muslim who plotted murder against the American infidels at Ft. Hood. No serious person can believe otherwise. Still, this is a good editorial to read just to remind ourselves of what we are up against. I would urge us all to remember, too, what Jesus taught: murder comes from the heart of man.
The only highlight of this week filled with ridiculous obfuscations of the obvious slaughter at Ft. Hood is the fact that we did get to see John Muhammed put to death for the 10 murders he committed. At least justice did prevail in that case.
James Pouillon was murdered, and no one knows why (though many are speculating). Mr. Pouillon was protesting abortion when he was murdered. He was well-known for his protests against abortion. We shall wait to learn more concerning the motive. Here is the statement from the National Right to Life concerning the murder.
One week after she was killed, Pastor Carol Davis’ murder is still a horrible mystery. She served as pastor of a small, pentecostal church in Oklahoma. According to this story, her murder is shrouded with bizarre details, such as her being found in a crucifix position. The details do not make clear the motive. On the surface, it certainly appears that she was the victim of persecution. The crucifix position gives a hint, too, that the murderer understood her connection to Christ. Yet, we must wait for further details and for a motive which might make sense of the crime. For now, we can pray for the church, her family, and for her murderer to come to justice.
According to this story, Scott Roeder–the man who killed abortionists George Tiller–was “very religious” but in an Old Testament “eye-for-an-eye way.”
A number of things could be said about such a statement; I will limit my comments to these two points. First, “very religious” means almost nothing. That phrase could describe anyone from Eckart Tolle to Billy Graham; it is a phrase which bears no weight in the abortion debate or the conversation over Tiller’s killing.
Second, and much more important, this man was not in any way being religious in the Old Testament “eye for an eye” sense of the word. Perhaps the author of the article doesn’t understand how merciful and just the “eye for an eye” passage is in Exodus 21. The eye for an eye passage (known by its Latin term, lex talionis) affirms justice and equality. If one is caught stealing apples from a farmers’ market, he should not be hanged for the crime.
The lex talionis acts as a restraint to squelch revenge in favor of justice. Some in the name of Islam have committed honor killings, such as in this story. According to the FBI, 2 teenage girls were killed by their father to protect Islamic honor in the family. Their crime against honor was that they dated non-muslim boys and acted “too western.” The lex talionis could have been a great corrective in this instance because it would have said, first, that the issue is justice not honor. Second, it would have prevented the penalty from being enacted with no regard for justice. The lex talionis would not have allowed the father to act on privatized justice; it would seek rather an institutional justice at the communal level. And, third, the lex talionis would repay justice at an equitable rate. Dating non-muslim boys might could be met with a restriction of dating privileges, but it must not be met with execution. There is no equity in meeting an infraction of dating rules with the death penalty.
So, we see the lex talionis is merciful; it limits the penalty to that which is equitable for the crime. An eye taken means an eye given; a tooth taken means a tooth given. One must not execute a man because he broke out another man’s tooth. Without the lex talionis, we would pervert justice. Some, such as Scott Roeder, have sought to do just this in relation to abortion. Though it is true that we could debate whether Tiller was guilty of taking a life (and thus needing to give his life), this decision was not ours to make. The justice of lex talionis means there must be a trial and a legitimate action of communal justice. Scott Roeder did not act according to the lex talionis. His action was murder. He took a life: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life.
As a Christian, I condemn what appears to be the murder of George Tiller at the morning services of his Lutheran Church. Obviously, like many Christians, I deplore Tiller’s practice of abortion. He was one of the few doctors left in the country who would still perform late term abortions. I have no doubt but that the partial birth abortions he performed are forms of killing innocent babies. However, he is now apparently the victim of a murder. The person or persons responsible should be tried, condemned, and executed for murder.
As for what this means in the abortion debate, I feel sure that Tiller will become a martyr for the cause of abortion; this is terribly unfortunate. The murderer almost certainly could not have been a Christian. As 1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” I hope the murderer does not even profess to be a Christian because his actions are clearly unacceptable according to Scripture (see Romans 13:1ff and, of course, Ex 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill”).
Update: Excellent response from Dr. Mohler here.