The use of military imagery in Scripture and song is nothing new. Nevertheless, it must be asked: Does violence, even in the name of self-defense, have any rightful place within Christianity?
Spurred on by recent headlines regarding the beheading of an ISIS jihadist by a Christian, Inquisitr wrestles with this very question. In an article which asks whether Jesus’ teachings allow for this, no definitive answer is offered.
This conclusion is instead given: It is difficult to say whether the beheading was an act of justice or an act of spite against an enemy who shows little mercy.
Affording this Christian soldier the benefit of the doubt, let’s say that the beheading was “an act of justice.” Since many a Christian has been beheaded by ISIS, justice might call for such retaliation.
However, is justice (which is often interpreted as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”) truly compatible with Jesus’ teachings? Although Martin Luther claimed that soldiering is a “legitimate and godly calling and occupation,” could there have been a more merciful way of soldiering on in this particular instance?
Is mimicking an enemy’s brutality considered rightful? Would more restorative means of justice have been both possible and preferable?
Copyright May 31, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved