Charity… Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:6
This past Sunday, the notorious abortionist George Tiller was gunned down as he ushered outside of his church. “Tiller the killer” is most likely in hell, suffering the full penalty for his heinous crimes. Christians, however, should not boast in Tiller’s murder. I am not excusing Tiller, he made his living by shedding innocent blood, which the Lord hates. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (Proverbs 6:16,17). We do not rejoice in Tiller’s sin, indeed we are appalled by it. But some are glad for Tiller’s death. We despise the butchery of one man, but accept that of another. These things ought not to be.
It is not right for use to seek vengeance. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19). God has extended the authority for vengeance to government. It is the government’s responsibility to convict and punish criminals. (This is in no way excusing abuse of this authority, however. A God-honoring government punishes those that do evil and rewards those that do good.) Due process must be given to the accused. Tiller did not get his due process. The killer of Tiller needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and, when found guilty, given the proper punishment. True Christians, Bible-believing Christians do not kill their enemies. Self defense is the only exception. Hatred is the Biblical equivalent to murder. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15). Christians are not to rejoice in iniquity, whether it be some ungodly TV show, or the murder of George Tiller. We know that the whole world lies in wickedness. We know that Satan was a murder from the beginning. We abhor the murder of the unborn, yet we take pleasure in the murder of an abortionist. He had it coming, yes, but all who have rejected Christ’s forgiveness have it coming. We should rather mourn because another soul has plunged into eternity in hell. He deserved it, yes, but we all deserve to spend eternity in hell.
The Lord does not take delight in the death of the wicked. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;” (Ezekiel 33:11). Neither should we. We are against the crimes of the abortionists. The cries of 50 million have reached the ears of the Lord, and if the government refuses to avenge their deaths, the Lord surely will. But we are also against those who would attack abortionists. The crimes of these are making Christians appear to be the villains. Our adversaries will become emboldened against us if we support such crimes, yet alone engage in them. Where is our witness for Christ, if we commit murder in His name? “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matt 5:44). The historic crimes of Roman Catholicism and other pseudo-Christian groups have been used to paint Bible-believers as hateful and intolerant (while Roman Catholicism has gotten off scott-free). (Christian tolerance means reaching out to sinners, while recognizing that they are sinners. It does NOT mean acceptance of their sin.) However, the Bible clearly says that we are to go good to even those who despitefully use us, who beat and torture us, that they may be ashamed. We ruin our witness for Christ when we endorse the sins of others. Yet, we prove our enemies correct, when we endorse a murderer. We show the world correct in thinking that we are hateful and cruel, not loving, like Christ.
Therefore, we must repent of our double-mindedness. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8). We cannot abhor one murderer, and tolerate another. We must not rejoice in the death of our adversary. (On the other side, Tiller’s church must be reproved for allowing him into membership and service. Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for accepting a lesser sin in a church member.) We are not called to physically attack our enemies, but to love and pray for them, that they may come to repentance and saving faith in Jesus Christ. This is the whole of the Great Commission, that we go forth into all the world, making disciples, loving the sinner, but hating the sin. “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23). Unfortunately, Tiller can no longer make that choice. The murderer of Tiller needs to repent. If he claims to be a Christian, he should know that finalizing Tiller’s place in hell is the WORST thing that he could have done. This also shows that we can never know the time of our deaths. If you don’t know Christ, I beg you to consider that your time is running out. Be saved today, while you still can.