You shall not kill

no-killing_designA question has nagged me all during Lent, and now sits front and center on Good Friday. That question is: why do we kill one another?

Well, why do we kill one another? The Fifth Commandment states: “You shall not kill.” This seems very clear, but as human beings we seem to find numerous ways to rationalize a great deal of killing, and even more ways of denial when it comes to deaths we might be able to prevent. Consider how poverty, hunger, drugs, lack of medical care, human trafficking, the death penalty, torture, and war are the tip of the iceberg.

thou-shall-not-kill-2People die every day and not all of them are killed, but we will focus on those who are killed. I’m going to back up for a moment and pose my original question again: why do we kill one another?

We kill one another all the time, and seemingly with great ease. A few things that come to mind are the great bargains on the clothes we like to wear, getting good prices on flights, putting out-of-season produce on our tables, shaking our heads – whether with pity or with disdain, because people in other socio-economic groups behave in ways different from our own, and along with that same link, we don’t fund social services. Then there is the list of people who we might believe deserve what they get, in any number of ways.

Jesus on the CrossOn this day when we who are Christian commemorate the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, we all need to consider the question, “why do we kill one another?” Many of us who are Christian do not believe we would have had a hand in Jesus’ death, but who was closer to him than Peter and we see how he acted!

This post is short, but with one very specific point… If there is one day of the year to look inward to examine just how we might have had a hand in Jesus’ crucifixion today is it. And when we consider that crucifixion, the demand to widen our moral lens to the many aforementioned ways in which we kill one another, showing no regard for any human dignity or life should be obvious.

nl-20120417-nokill-01Should this be obvious? We remember that Fifth Commandment, right? Yes, but most of the time, we are oblivious. Today is Good Friday, can we make some attempt at connecting our everyday lives, with what we celebrate today? That is our challenge, indeed. Even if we are not perpetrating the acts of killing, if we stand by without action, we become the killers we ignore.

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2 thoughts on “You shall not kill

  1. A very convicting post. Most of us would emphatically claim “Thou shalt not kill” as one commandment we would never, ever violate, but the links you provide make one wonder: “Just how free of guilt am I?” And now that our eyes have been opened, what – yes, WHAT – will we do with the knowledge?

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  2. We kill each other because of the curse of sin in this world. There are two different Hebrew words for kill….one means “murder” & the other means “Justifiable killing” (in a just war, or to protect self/others from those who would kill you).

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