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"Paul Hill: Martyr or Criminal?"

Today (Dec 6,94) Paul Hill was sentenced to die for his crime of killing two other human beings in cold blood. In the court room his supporters pled with the judge passionately, while in front of national TV another supporter grumbled that he was being "CRUCIFIED" in the electric chair.

What does God's Word say about this whole thing? What is the func- tion of a Christian in this world? Is it our job to right all the world's wrongs? What about the Christian and the laws of the land? Spiritual warfare: offensive, or defensive?

Some will argue that the issue is "Pro-Life" vs. "Pro-Choice." That thousands of babies are being murdered each year; that just as one goes to war to fight for certain rights and liberties as a society, so must one stand up for the defenseless babies.

First of all, we must come to an understanding of the TWO NATURES involved. The Natural Man vs. the Spiritual Man. "The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1Cor 2:14)

The person of the world does the things of the world and flesh. Anger, wrath, malice, lying, murder, immorality. That is his NATURE to do these things. Does the passing of righteous laws change his nature? No! Did it work for Israel? No! "The law entered that the offense might abound." (Rom 5:20) And as the three branches of government become more corrupt (the recent Republican victories notwithstanding), the Laws of the Land reflect the depraved Natural Man.

As "Citizens of Heaven" (Phil 3:20), what are Christians' duties while sojourning this earth as aliens? We are TEMPLES. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Cor 3:16)

We are WITNESSES to Jesus Christ and what He has done in redeeming a lost and degenerate human being. "Therefore you are My witness- es...that I am God." (Isa 43:12) "And you shall be witnesses to Me.."(Acts 1:8)

We are LIGHTS in a dark world. "You are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (~Mt 5:14,16)

We are SALT. "You are the salt of the earth.." (Mt 5:13) "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.."(Col 4:6) "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." (Rom 12:18)

"CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.." (Col 1:27) It is said of Christ "He will not cry out, nor raise His voice...a bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench." (Is 42:2-3) "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ." (2Cor 2:15) When Peter pulled out his sword to start fighting, Jesus told him to put it away; and actually healed the ear of one of those coming to arrest him.

But, a person objects..."We are in SPIRITUAL WARFARE!" True. But, WHO is attacking? "..Your adversary the devil..seeking whom he may devour." (1Pet 5:8) Yes, that same verse challenges us to be sober and vigilant. And in Ephesians 6 are listed all the elements of our armor.

ARMOR IS FOR DEFENSE. The further encouragements are to "stand against," to "withstand," and to "stand." These are all terms of "holding the ground," to "resist." There are no terms indicating "at- tack." For those who think the sword is an attack weapon, consider this... that if we were to be on the attack, spears, battering rams, and tools for building siege mounds would also have been listed. How did Jesus use the "Sword of the Spirit?" (Matthew chapter 4) In defense.

Notice that the weapons of our warfare are SPIRITUAL. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds." (2Cor 10:3-4) It is not warfare with guns and bombs.

A "temple" sits there and is occupied by The One Who indwells. A "light" just *glows* Jesus did not say we are "lightning." "Salt" *permeates* A "witness" (typically) *answers questions* of an interrogator who is seeking truth. None of these are elements of aggression.

On the other hand, Paul exhorts, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God...Do what is good.." (Rom 13:1~) How can an administration that militantly supports homosexuality and abortion be "from God?" God is working out His will. We need to patiently watch and see how He is going to work out all things for His Glory.

Peter exhorts us to be submissive in doing good...following Christ's example, "Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth...but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously" (~1Pet 2:18-25)

Are abortion doctors guilty of "murder?" Yes! Do they deserve to die for their crimes? Yes! Are we to take the law into our own hands? No!

What Paul Hill most certainly has done is to effectively begin a systematic and militant campaign by the leftist liberals in this country to curtail constitutional liberties that Christians have enjoyed for many decades. His execution is going to give them a taste of blood, and they are going to want more. Many "christians" are going to call it "persecution." And they are certainly going to label Mr. Hill a modern day "martyr."

When Stephen stood before the council in Acts 6:15, his face was as "the face of an angel." He was full of "wisdom" and the "Spirit." He was a martyr FOR CHRIST, who when he was ready to die said "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

Mr. Hill's face has been a smirk. More the attitude of a "smart aleck." Out to GET the Pro-Choicers. A martyr for the "Pro-Life" movement? Possibly. A martyr for Christ? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

"But if you do evil, be afraid; for he (the ruler) does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." (Rom 13:4)

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

"Not everyone who says to Me,' Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day,' Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them,' I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." (Mt 7:15-23)

When 'Saul' (literally,"self-centered") was in control, Christians were persecuted. (Acts 8:1,3) When 'Paul' ("little") was filled with the Holy Spirit, he began to be used by God. (Acts 13:9)...and wrote a major portion of the New Testament.

2COR 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new crea- tion; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

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