The Christian and Violence – Charles Pogue

Charles Pogue

Right from the beginning chapters of the Bible, we learn God hates violence. When Cain rose up in anger and jealousy and slew his brother, Abel, God demonstrated how much He detests hostility. God told Cain he was cursed from the earth and a vagabond for his wicked deed (Gen. 4:11-12). After the earth was cleansed of evil by the flood, God decreed that if a man shed another man’s blood, then man was to shed his blood (9:6). “Thou shalt not Kill,” do no murder, is one of the ten commandments (Exo. 20:13). Murderers will have their place in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8).

It is not just murder that God has revealed to man that is detestable to Him. We are instructed to put away anger and wrath (Col. 3:8). When the soldiers asked John the baptizer what his instruction to them was, he told them to do violence to no man (Luke 3:14). One of the reasons God destroyed the Earth with the flood was that it was filled with violence (Gen. 6:11). The Psalmist sums it all up with the words, “The Lord trieth the righteous: But the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Psa. 11:5).

The world was filled with violence in the days of Noah, and it is filled with violence today. Every day the newspapers, television, radio, and Internet are filled with stories of murder, rape, child and domestic abuse, and horrible beatings that individuals suffer at the hands of another person or gang of persons. The sports of Ultimate Fighting and ice hockey are extreme in violence, yet both are very popular with many people just for the violent content. Violence is also a part of television, movies, books, computer games, and more. It would likely be impossible to know just how much these evil entertainment venues have had on acts of violence committed by some, but no one in his or her right mind would deny that they do play a role. Nor would anyone thinking correctly attempt to justify their involvement in the same by saying, I would never do those things. It does not matter; enjoying it is still wrong.

All of the foregoing matters concerning violence, leads us to a question that is to say the least confusing as to why it has to be asked at all. Why is it that so many Christians, like the immoral world about them, love these entertainment venues that are filled with violence? How can they relish such rubbish when as the Psalmist wrote, “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth?” (11:5). We fail to understand how there rises a claim from any Christian, that they, like God, hate violence when they watch television and movies or play the games and read stories that are filled with violence. Those who watch and/or participate in those things are akin to the man who claims he believes it is sin to drink, but works in a brewery or drives a beer delivery truck. Though in some cases we know of, it has fallen upon deaf ears, yet we have written in other articles that it is a sin to love to be entertained by that which God has told us He hates. A true Christian does not love violence even when it is consumed via a fictional work. Instead, he hates the depiction of such activity as much as he hates the real-life occurrences of it, and he avoids it. If he does not, why does he not? Some people love violence; some people love the depiction of it. I challenge anyone to convince me (or more importantly, God) that at the end of this life, there will be any less guilt on the part of the latter group than there will be on the former.

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Author: Editor

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