As investigations into Norway’s “terror attack” continue, disturbing details have emerged. The shooting of children camping on Utoya Island and the car bomb outside government offices in Oslo, the capital of Norway, killed around 76 people.
After initial claims that the attacks were the work of Al-Qaeda, reports now reveal the suspect, Anders Breivik, as a right-wing Christian Zionist of Norwegian descent.
The question is, how could any Christian, Zionist or not, see an act like this as being consistent with the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Here are five reasons why God’s word says his actions are wrong:
- Jesus told us to love our enemies – not shoot them.
No matter who Breivik perceived as his “enemies”, whether Norwegian Prime Minister or the rallying students, his only Christian option was to love them.
- Jesus said the days for militarism were over.
When Peter and the other disciples tried to protect Jesus from arrest before his trial and struck out with their weapons, Jesus said “Put away your swords.” That was, in fact his final word on “Zionism” too. The Old Testament fight for real estate was over. And while Jesus was now looking to establish a Kingdom that spanned all the nations, it wasn’t going to be by force.
- Paul says our only weapons are love and persuasion.
In 2 Corinthians 10, he says “for though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. Paul says that “the sword of the Spirit is the word of God”, and that we should “speak the truth in love”.
- Paul says we should submit to our leaders, not bomb them.
In Romans 13, he says “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established”. He tells Timothy to “pray for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”.
- Jesus said that the only necessary blood to be shed would be his blood on the cross.
He said things like “I have come to give my life as a ransom for many” and “this is going to be a new contract written in my blood”. As he died, he made amends, or atonement, between mankind and God in a way that left nothing more to be done, and no more blood to be shed. At the end of the day, he said “it is finished”. And it was.
It should also be noted that Anders denied many other central truths of Christianity. For example he writes on page 1307 of his manifesto:
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.
So whatever motivated Anders Breivik on that day, it certainly wasn’t the spirit of Christ or his kingdom. Whatever he imagined he was achieving for the Cause of Christ, he was dreadfully wrong and not directed by any teaching from God’s word.
However true, biblically guided Christians everywhere will now need to be on the front foot demonstrating gentleness, love and the art of gospel persuasion as we work to make that clear to our world.
Adapted from another article