Recently on Facebook Sam Logan, formerly of Westminster Theological Seminary and currently president of the World Reformed Fellowship, argued that the president’s remarks with regard to the alleged sins of Christians in the crusades and the segregated pre-civil rights south were justified, using the verses in the heading above. Now, I have great respect for my former professor but in this case he is simply wrong. Here was my response:
Neither passage applies to this situation. In the case of John 8:47, the woman’s accusers were themselves acting illegally, both from a Jewish and a Roman perspective. In fact, what the woman’s accusers wanted to do is closer to what the worse-than criminal thugs did to the Jordanian pilot (and the kind of things they have done to literally thousands of others in their death march through the Middle East). In Luke 6:41ff, Jesus is talking about relationships within the church (the word “brother” figures prominently in the text), so that that passage also hardly applies here. Better application would be Romans 13, in which the lawfully constituted government holds the sword in swift retaliation against such ungodly, inhumane and reprehensible actions.
And let me add this. Yes, Christians and people claiming to be Christians have acted horribly in the name of Christ historically. The key word here is “historically.” Such people also have to fight the Bible to get to where they want to go, unlike Islamic extremists who have not only historical precedent for their actions but can cite several passages from the Qur’an to support their actions (and they are NOT quoting out of context). Christians are not currently calling for genocide or making terroristic attacks on people they don’t like. In fact, the vast majority of Christians of all traditions and communions regularly denounce such things. Surely Eze 18:19-20 applies here?