Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kill All Sinners

I write today about a different anxiety than I have in the past. Today in the world there is much anxiety; people are in the streets, protesting. Although that causes anxiety in some, --- this change being called for, this unknown future, I think that people standing up for what they believe in their hearts is a most wonderful thing. For far too long, most people have been content to let others lead them and form their minds. They have let others tell them what is right and what is wrong, and now their hearts tell them that their earthly teachers are in error; they have begun to listen to a higher Teacher. For many, it has been a long time, and His voice may seem strange to them, but they hear it and feel compelled to act. This is a good thing. I write today because I know that some still harbor fears over those who would act from their hearts --- will they deny one earthly teacher, only to choose another? Will they stop one wrong, only to start another?

I think the answer to that question, and what might calm our anxieties lies in part in how people in the world are going about making the changes they know must be made. If they resort to violence to reject those who did violence, has anything changed? If they change one government which punished those who disagreed with it with another which does the same, has anything changed? If they think that they, and they alone know the truth and right, and must punish all who disagree, has anything changed? If they seek to stop one murder, and then they commit another, has anything changed? And if nothing changes for all their efforts, are they really listening to a higher Teacher who stirred their hearts, or an earthly teacher who says: “Do what I say, or take power so you can force others to do what you say.”

I believe all men have a right “to say,” for all men were created by this higher Teacher, who even now calls to many men. I pray they listen.

I would ask that you who have been taught that God calls you to kill all sinners to open your eyes and your hearts, and to see and hear what He calls today, and not what you have been taught or come to believe. God still acts in this world today, and He still calls and teaches His children, even you. All I ask is that you look at His actions --- surely you can see His actions in the world, and then really listen, TRY to listen, to what He calls you to do. For all you have been taught thus far, for all you think you know, this is not all there is to learn in this world. God still teaches you, all your life. He does not forget you, ever. He is the image of a loving Father, one who always loves His child, you.

I believe the God of all creation, the Master of the Universe, is a good God. If He were not so, I would want nothing to do with Him, and I certainly would not choose to serve Him. In His goodness I believe He is just, and rewards those who please Him and punishes those who don’t, and His punishment is an eternal death away from Him. While a man lives on this earth, however, is a time when he learns to please God, or not, and no other man has a right to say of another man’s child: “That one is too stupid --- he will never learn; I can’t wait for God to punish; I must punish him now.” No man has a right to kill another man’s child, who is trying to learn right from wrong. And for all of a man’s life, whether he knows it or not, he is trying to learn what is right. No man ever stops learning, or is beyond hope of learning.

I believe this good God created man for good, but man, in his ignorance, sometimes chooses bad. At that point God does not punish man, but like a loving Father to His child, He teaches him. That’s why God sent the prophets, to teach us. If God were to punish any man who sins, then all men would be dead now, for all men at some time or another sin. Is that not so? Did you not at some point do or desire some evil? God knew that ---- why did He not kill you? I believe He did not kill you --- or me --- so that we could live and He could teach us to be good, and we could teach others. Why would He want a bunch of dead men? He wants live men, who choose to love and praise Him. They then teach others by their words and example.

So why then do some men say they must kill others who sin? Some call these sinners infidels for not believing the truth, but did not every man or child at some point not believe, until he was taught the truth? And if the child did not understand the truth, did not the father teach him over and over again? Do you not do that with your own children? If your child disobeyed you once, would you want another man to come into your home and kill him? If this were true, I would not think you were a good parent, nor do I think a God who would will this to be a good God. So I do not believe that is how He would act, nor wish us to act.

So why would any man who loves and serves this good God choose to kill sinners? I confess, I don’t understand, and I have read many holy books, of saints and prophets, and even of sinners. If God allowed man, through his parents, his ministers, or through his friends, to be taught over and over again about God, so that man could come to believe the truth, why would a man ever say that: “That man has been taught enough; he will never learn. He still sins; I must kill him.” How can a man say that? How dare a man say: “God may still wish to teach him, but I say: no! Enough!” How dare a man kill a sinner who may come to praise God in the future? How dare any man stop another who may come to praise God? How dare any man say he knows more than God, and is more just than God?

How dare any man?

I don’t understand.

I myself will not presume to punish for God any man who God Himself does not punish. Perhaps some day that man may be God’s best friend, perhaps even closer to Him than I am.

Only God knows.

Meanwhile I pray for all those people whose hearts are stirred to action in these days. May they indeed be following the thoughts instilled in their souls at their creation, thoughts of the goodness of their Creator. May they act as He would. May they act with goodness and love of their neighbor, and not just out of concern for themselves. If they create a new order, may it be a just one, as God would have it, not as some other man would have it. May they treat their neighbor as their children, as fairly as they would treat their own, even as God treats us. And if my prayers are answered, we will have nothing to worry about for all this change and chaos in the world today.

And my prayers are always answered. This I believe.

God, our Creator, how wonderfully you made man. You transformed dust into your own image, and gave it a share in your own nature; yet you are more wonderful in pardoning the man who had rebelled against you. Grant that where sin has abounded, grace may more abound, so that we can become holier through forgiveness and be more grateful to you.


  1. Just wonderful Tom! Thank you so much for writing this deeply stirring essay of hope!

  2. Yes, I agree with Ann, an essay of hope. These uprisings, these changes that are occurring in the Arab world, can be seen in many different lights, but to what end? In my heart of hearts though, I believe that this change will bring a darkness before the Arab world sees any real light.

  3. Hope? I don't know; much about all this still troubles my soul. I have faith, but I still harbor fears of dark times. Yes kam, I fear a darkness also, but perhaps not just for Arab worlds. As I write today, perhaps many souls need a purification in this world today.