How Christians Kill Others

How Christians kill othersIn years past, Christians often killed those whom they disagreed theologically.

Today, while we rarely cut off their heads, we may cut them off from their friends by telling people to stay away from them. We may not burn people at the stake, but we might do what we can to get them fired from their job. We may not arrest and imprison them, but we might bind them in chains of guilt and fear when we slander their name around town, preach against them from the pulpit, and tear them down in Bible studies.

When the people get kicked out of our fellowships, or finally leave because they are so frustrated, we quote a verse like 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us,” so that all of us can feel better about treating someone so wickedly, for their departure simply proved that they were “false teachers,” of the “spirit of the antichrist.”

This is how we treat people who disagree with us. We may not actually kill people, but we do kill friendships, families, marriages, careers, and sometimes even people’s future relationship with God. When people get treated so poorly by those who claim to be acting in God’s best interests, some people end up wanting nothing to do with God, and often live much of the lives apart from Him. God alone is the judge of other people, but I sometimes wonder where He will lay the blame when people reject Him because “God’s people” rejected them.

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  1. David Hoopingarner on Facebook says

    It has been said, many times before, ‘that Christians are the only ones to kill their wounded.’

  2. says

    “God alone is the judge of other people, but I sometimes wonder where He will lay the blame when people reject Him because “God’s people” rejected them.”

    Hmm….Matthew 18 comes to mind…millstones….

  3. says

    After fifty years plus of observing this kind of thing taking place in churches, I think that in most cases the real issue is not the theology, but who is right and who is wrong, who is in charge and who is in control.

    “How dare you disagree with me! Don’t you know I’m the pastor (or elder or whatever)? If you disagree with me, you’re disagreeing with the Bible and God.” (Implied: I’m God’s mouthpiece and He has shown me exactly what this stuff means.)

    In almost every instance I have observed, these people who must be right, who must be in control, have a personal life that is out of control. Therefore they try to control the lives of others, using what they present as irrefutable theology, Bible interpretations, and things that God has supposedly revealed to them.

    People who behave this way are telling me a lot more about themselves than they are telling me about theology, the Bible or God.

      • says

        Pulling them aside rarely works. They have convinced themselves they are right and usually have surrounded themselves with several like-minded people.

        Their trying to control me doesn’t work. That usually makes these types very angry, especially when they discover that I know theology, Bible (including original languages) and church history as well as (and usually better than) they do. In their eyes, that makes me the enemy.

        So I mostly try to avoid them and the places where they hang out. We are many, but there are those who think it is somehow their Christian duty to suffer at the hands of such folks. More and more people, however, are deciding not to. Sadly though, as you point out, some turn away not only from the control freaks/spiritual abusers, but also from God.

        • Ant Writes says

          This is excellent. I have learned to say nothing unless I’m asked (and for some odd reason, I’m never asked ;)). However, if I happen to be somewhere (say a dinner party), and someone is speaking with authority and tells a group of people complete falsehoods or even heresy, I MAY say something, depending on my mood.

  4. Ant Writes says

    I had a good response ready, then I read Sam’s comment, and we are on the same page (except the 50 years part :))

  5. Brenda says

    Sad and true…too true. This is something of late that has been greatly burdening me. I suppose it’s a natural outcome of what Paul told us to expect (II Timothy 3), but it saddens and angers me. I recently resigned from a ministry position and our family has found a new place of worship. Imagine my surprise when I ran into a member our former congregation who told me how sad they were to hear that we had decided not to fellowship with God’s people. Apparently that congregation holds the market on “God’s people.” As I’ve been writing about church hurt, I am astounded at how many brothers and sisters who are out there carrying a lot of pain from leaders they trusted. Some may never go back to ‘church.’ Scripture has some pretty strong indictments for negligent and abusive shepherds. I’m glad you’re writing about this.

  6. says

    When someone claims to have a corner on the truth, God or the Bible they have relinquished any authority that would have come from the truth, God or the Bible. These must be held with an open hand and not a clenched fist.

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