From Constantine in 312 AD to crusades in 11th century AD and even recently the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, all battles were done in the name of our God. Have you ever wondered why so many evil in this world is done using the name of Jesus in spite of Him never teaching such things to His disciples? It’s because you can prove anything with the Bible. This is why we must not be bible-believers but His disciples by obeying His teachings. This post is not about Paul’s contrary teachings which most Christians use to reject the teachings of Jesus but rather about Christians using the Bible to reject the teachings of Jesus.
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”Matt 26:52; John 18:36
When Jesus was arrested, He asked His disciples to put the sword back and not fight. He also gave a reason why we must not fight. It’s because His kingdom is not of this world.
When they persecute you in this city, flee to another.Matt 10:23a
When Christians are persecuted, Jesus taught us not to fight back, but to flee.
If this is what Jesus taught, how did the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, all the battle of the crusades and even the recent US invasion of Iraq was fought using His name? Let’s consider the following verses:
- for the LORD your God [is] He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deut 20:4)
- The horse [is] prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance [is] of the LORD (Prov 21:31)
Did Jesus ask any of His disciples to fight against enemies? On the contrary, He taught to love our enemies and bless those persecute us. Did Jesus ask us to prepare horses or battle tanks for the day of battle so that He can deliver us? Absolutely not. The problem is, most Christians have a habit of taking Bible verses said to someone else and applying it to themselves. This way, Christians can conveniently circumvent the teachings of Jesus.
There are several bibles even today.
- Protestant bible with 66 books.
- Catholic bible with 73 books.
- Greek Orthodox bible with 79 books
If you are a bible-believer, you must first believe in someone who will decide on your behalf regarding what books constitute the Bible.
Apart from the above bibles, there is even a Slave Bible (1808) which is on display at Washington DC’s Museum of the Bible. Parts of the Holy Bible, Selected for the Use of the Negro Slaves (AKA “Slave Bible”) 1808. Though called “Holy,” it is deeply manipulative. Based on the KJV, it omits all entries that express themes of freedom. 2
And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.Exodus 21:20-21
The above is the favourite verse for all slave owners.4 Why am I bringing this up? Bible can be used to justify injustice, oppression, slavery, unrighteousness and even sin. It all depends on which parts of the bible you read and which preacher you frequently listen to. Anyone can be easily manipulated with the Bible by just choosing what they want to hear from the Bible. Are you listening to the voice of Jesus or someone else? Think again. Can teachings of Jesus be used to justify injustice, oppression, slavery, unrighteousness or sin?
If I then, [your] Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.John 13:14-15
Jesus Christ who is God Himself in flesh, the Son of God, washed the feet of some nobody peasant fishermen to teach His disciples how to humble themselves. One way slave owners could combat pressure from abolitionists was to tell them they were good Christians that taught their slaves about God. Will any of so-called ‘good Christian’ slave masters wash the feet of the slaves?
In the vastness of the details and many stories mentioned in the Bible, the teachings of Jesus simply becomes an another verse that can easily be made to ignore. Just as the slave masters used the Bible to justify their slavery, Christians today use the Bible to justify their injustice by sidelining the teachings of Jesus.
Throughout the lifetime of the Third Reich, in tens of thousands of sermons up and down the country, pro-Nazi Protestant pastors quoted from Romans 13:1-25
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.Rom 13:1-2
Many Christians in Germany did support Nazis using the Bible. Many mass murderers including the Poway synagogue shooting 6 and the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue 7 – all quoted the Bible. After all, if Nazis can use the Bible to justify evil, anyone can use it the way they want. What did Jesus really teach? No wonder, Satan quoted the Bible to Jesus Himself as we saw in an earlier post.
And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third [day] I shall be perfected.’Luke 13:32
Did Jesus ask His disciples to support a government like Nazis? Absolutely not. Jesus referred to Herod Antipas who ruled Galilee and Perea as fox. Neither Jesus, nor John the baptist supported any actions of Herod Antipas. John the baptist lost his head for rebuking Herod’s adultery.
So, the real question is, are Christians following the path of Jesus who lost His life for others and the John the Baptist who lost his head? Or, are Christians following someone else in taking someone’s life? E.g., John Calvin, a highly influential leader in the Protestant Reformation burnt Michael Servetus at the stake. 8 Catholic church burnt William Tyndale at the stake. 9 This is just to name a few. All these murderers use Bible as a reason to justify their murders.
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!Matt 26:65
After all, Jesus was murdered for blasphemy according to Scriptures (Dan 11:36; Ezek 28:9). It is true that anyone who is not a Messiah yet claiming to be the Messiah is blasphemy against God. But in case of Jesus, He is indeed the Messiah. Just like the Pharisees, John Calvin, Catholic church and many others like pro-Nazi pastors, will you justify murders using the Bible?
We saw three topics in detail namely battles, slavery and murder, and how many Christians use the Bible to justify them. It is important to understand that anything can be proved from the Bible. This is not to say that Bible cannot be trusted, but rather, all details in the Bible must always be viewed based on what Jesus taught. Jesus never asked us to become bible-believers or make believers of all nations. Hence, we must come to Jesus by denying ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). He not only wants us to be His disciple (Luke 14:33) but also wants us to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20) who obey His commandments.
1 Ewen Macaskill. “George Bush: ‘God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq’.” the Guardian. 7 Oct. 2005. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa>
2 “Slave Bible in the 1800s.” Museumofthebible.org. n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <http://www.museumofthebible.org/book/minutes/701>
3 Washington Post. “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families.” Washington Post. 14 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/>
4 Unfundamentalist Christians. “11 Bible Verses That Turn Christians Into Atheists.” Unfundamentalist Christians. 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2016/04/11-bible-verses-that-turn-christians-into-atheists/>
5 Thomas Weber. “When Romans 13 was invoked to justify evil.” CNN. 22 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/22/opinions/jeff-sessions-bible-verse-nazi-germany-opinion-weber/index.html>
6 Michael Mcgowan. “San Diego shooting suspect posted ‘open letter’ online.” the Guardian. 28 Apr. 2019. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/28/john-earnest-san-diego-shooting-suspect-posted-open-letter-online>
7 “Robert Bowers, Shooter Who Killed 11 at Synagogue, Quoted the Bible, Talked About Jesus Christ.” Christianpost.com. n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.christianpost.com/news/robert-bowers-shooter-killed-11-synagogue-quoted-bible-talked-jesus-christ.html>
8 Encyclopedia Britannica. “Michael Servetus | Spanish theologian.” Encyclopedia Britannica. n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Servetus>
9 Encyclopedia Britannica. “William Tyndale | English scholar.” Encyclopedia Britannica. n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Tyndale>
10 “World War II Liberation Photography.” Ushmm.org. n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2019. <//www.ushmm.org/collections/the-museums-collections/about/photo-archives/world-war-ii-liberation-photography>