Many excuse outrageous actions by saying, “The devil made him do it.”
However, equally frightening is when someone believes violence is acceptable because God told them to do it.
Many “holy” wars were fought in God’s Name. Some today try to liberally mix religious fervor with their desire to create the world as they want it to be. They call their own words, words from God.
When scripture is added to the mix, it becomes easier for even the most faithful to be deceived. And when the words are coming from someone who is a trusted leader, how much more will those words lead to actions.
I read today of yet another religious leader who was calling on God in prayer to curse those who had a different view from his.
We must not forget that satan used scripture in his temptation of Jesus. But Jesus knew The Truth. He knew that words lined up to sound like God’s Word were in fact not The Word from God.
Jesus warned of the times in which we are living in this chilling revelation.
“The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.”
Why would anyone kill in God’s Name? Because they did not know Him.
Who is God? God is Love.
John put it well when he said,
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:7-8
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
And this commandment we have from Him; whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
1 John 4:20-21
Do we need to fight for God? No!
Jesus was not welcomed by some. James and John were incensed.
When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.
When Jesus was confronted by soldiers who came to arrest Him, Peter lost it.
“With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?’”
The same hot-headed Peter was later to write true words that speak to us today.
“Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
2 Peter 3:17-18