It is sad and shameful when any human being is slain by the hand of another human being.
Laws written by man's hands justify wickedness and call it justice.
However, no notion from men can Today justify the taking of life by another.
By doing so, one places themselves in the seat of Judgment, and only One resides thereupon.
Though some men may argue that they are that One's representative on earth, whether viceroy, king, prophet, messenger, etc., the One revealed to be King over all and who holds all authority in heaven and earth has declared and established otherwise a better Way.
An example of how a human desires taking God's place is found in capital punishment; the government killing a murderer.
Aside from evidence of a duality on the earth between old world adherents and new covenant followers, the manner one conducts themselves depends on their measure of faith, if any.
Do they believe, follow and imitate the Prince of Peace, or believe, follow and imitate human nature?
Full faith in and complete submission to God allows the believer not to take matters into their own hands, but instead staying at peace while allowing God to bring about His justice either in this world or the life to come.
Yes, it is easy to declare these ideals when the world's governments express both dimensions exemplified in the old and new covenants.
What is paradoxical is how some men, whose faith is weak or unfounded, somehow protect those whose faith is founded on the Rock and who proclaim peace to all.
It is easy to speak of high platitudes when religious men do, say and write rules and allowances that are indifferent to the Word's clarity....even making adjustments and claiming it to be revealed from Above.
These are the matters that seem logical and 'just' to the hearts and minds of men, but God has provided something a new Way.
Yet, if Yeshua / Jesus / Isa is the Word of God (God intellectually expressed), then the Messiah's example shall be the example imitated and held onto, all excuses put aside.
In some confounding way, both the wicked and the weak in faith uphold a structure that provides a semblance of divine providence, albeit fractured and poor.
Fractured and poor meaning; the purposes are siphoned and expressed through mankind, and confounding in the outcome of such brokenness and what seems like 'chaos' and 'intrigue'...yet good and justice seems to eventually prevail, on earth as has always in heaven.
What about places where the new is still working its way into the old; the new wine replacing the old?
The culture that has been heavily influenced by the Gospel is multifaceted.
We see various forms of the faith transmuted through a myriad of human representations, and despite perceived 'differences' in writing or outward perceptions, somehow they are one as He is One.
Since God is One and has not changed, how can the covenant He made previous with mankind be fulfilled and also replaced by a new covenant?
There is written not a single covenant since the beginning, but several (and in this case, a new covenant replacing one called 'old').
Does this constitute 'change', or completion of one manner of living with the entering of a new manner of life?
Similar to how a child eventually grows into an adult and matures (or at least we hope), we are called to put behind us childish ways and manners in order to become wiser, more patient and less petty.
How can men understand an unchanging God when they perceive a changing of the rules?
If the rules have been completed and fulfilled, the empty spaces being filled up completely, why does the heart still beckon for a fleshly manner (eye-for-an-eye retaliation)?
The Spirit calls one higher, to deny the flesh's weakness.
How is someone who knows not the Spirit begin to live according to the Spirit's teaching?
It doesn't seem possible, and such thoughts as mentioned herein are ridiculous to the heart and soul who isn't filled with the Spirit of Holiness.
Many men make judgments when looking at others from the outside, but what has been declared from the mouth of God?
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
- Ezekiel 18: 23This verse from the prior covenant (which again has been fulfilled in and through Christ) is mentioned because it seems that many people still live their lives according to the flesh, and thus the eye-for-an-eye way of life.
Men take matters into their own hands and think they are doing God a service when slaying other men.
In the fulfillment of Christ, where Christ obeyed perfectly the law as no typical human being was able to because all men are typical and thus fallible, we now follow the decree to love one's enemies despite that enemy's hostility and ignorance of love and of the new reality of life.
How was Christ able to fulfill the law in a perfect manner if Christ was a man / human?
By and according to the Spirit which initiated the Messiah in Mary's womb; by and according to the Spirit which spoke through Christ's human body; by and according to the Spirit which gave life to the fleshly body of Christ in the resurrection; by and according to the same Spirit who now animates countless believers who currently reside on earth and continuously fill heaven's pasture.
If the perceived enemy takes our life from the earth, what becomes of our soul now that it has been released from the body?
If we believe our next moment will be with He who is One and who calls us all to be one with one another and with Him, why do men even consider fighting when this is the very passage the Soul of the Righteous One from Above experienced?
He who proclaimed the Word by which all men will be judged was passive when He had every right and authority to condemn, judge and eliminate the enemy in the flesh of others.
Did He not forgive, while hanging on the tree, the very people who were putting His flesh to death?
The man who was innocent of any charge and accusation, who never uttered a malady nor trespassed on another, who never trampled the consciousness of Holiness, responded to violence with love and forgiveness.
Shall not we who profess His Holy Name have the same attitude in heart and mind?
His immediate followers continued such a Way and such continue to do so up to this very Hour.
There was a time a martyr was one who committed no act of aggression towards another, nor was employed in such a vocation where acts of violent or aggression were allowed or justified, but was killed for what they held in sanctity.
That is still the truth-filled definition of that term.
But religious people confuse the laws of men with the law of Christ, and justify themselves to be acting “in defense” when the teaching of righteousness calls them to be at peace and depend on God, as Christ did until His flesh perished.
Some people call their violent men 'martyrs' according to some very logically human reasons, but these are still based on the old manner of things, the eye-for-an-eye manner of life, which sadly for them may ultimately end in eternal death.
Where does one begin to point out the confusion when concept, culture and community promotes violence and killing as somehow being God's allowance in responding to violence or killing of others?
One answer could be the new wine has yet to be tasted in the hearts of many people still living under old covenant hostilities...and such a notion exists the world over, not only in certain regions.
I share this news article to point out what I see as confusion regarding what a martyr is.
That term can be argued to mean what best suits anyone's mind and heart.
I don't point to this article to scapegoat a cultural backdrop that seems to confuse what a martyr is, because every single culture on earth Today portrays contradiction and hypocrisy through their government and most of its leaders, secular and religious alike.
Here are two quotes highlighted:
“This was against all human and Islamic values.”
“Some were searching for the bodies of their martyrs, others didn’t know whether the person they were waiting for was dead or wounded.”
In speaking about martyrs, the speaker is Gen. Dawlat Waziri of the Afghan Ministry of Defense, and the martyrs he speaks of are the Afghan state's soldiers who were praying in a certain place when they were slain.
What is conflicting is that those who carried out the slaying of the Afghan soldiers consider the soldiers as apostates, thus a justification for the soldiers being killed off.
The killers, in this case religious Muslims calling themselves Taliban, most likely did not consider those they killed to be martyrs, but justifying their murderous actions as a path to martyrdom for themselves.
But both groups of men, the murdered and the murderers, are in the business of killing one another.
Weren't the crusades also an example of such contradiction and hypocrisy?
So the example isn't one-sided, or speaking to one religion or culture, but is pointing at each one of us and how we view ourselves in relation to the rest of mankind.
Does your religion or secular view allow you to kill another man for justifiable reasons, or any religious or secular reason?
If so, then your religion / culture has been taught by mere men, not the God who loves, forgives and raises people from the dead.
If Christ fulfilled the prior covenant God made with Moses, and thus that eventual religion was also retired when the law of Moses was fulfilled, then the eye-for-an-eye has also been retired.
Can you hear God speaking to your heart?
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
- Luke 6: 28-36
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
- 2 Corinthians 5: 16-19