Of Mass-Murderers and Murderers

About the Tiller murder. He himself was a mass-murderer, of which there are many in the world. Some of them conduct their grisly business legally, some above the law, and some illegally. Tiller was the first sort.

Yet for all the killing that he did, all the unjust taking of human life, it does not justify a private citizen taking his. Private citizens are not responsible to curb the evil in the world by transgressing the rule of law. On the contrary, it’s the governments that are responsible to curb the evil in the world through the rule of law. In the case of mass-murderers like Tiller, our government is failing miserably, just as King George was failing miserably to provide justice for his subjects in the American colonies. That does not justify vigilantism either.

Murder is murder, and will be answered for. When government fails to demand an answer, the murderer will certainly be required to give an answer to God, when repentance is no longer possible. I regret that such must now be the case for Tiller. His murderer, on the other hand, must also repent, or face everlasting punishment. However, his repentance is still possible, because he is still living. If he does repent, he will still face temporal punishment, but his guilt before God will have been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, who gave His holy life in atonement for every murder — even those committed by the likes of Tiller.

As Christians process the news of Tiller’s murder, we should recognize that each of us carries the same guilt before God as that mass-murderer, for Jesus said (Matthew 5:20–22): “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Tiller’s murder should remind us all that we have a limited, and unknown amount of time to repent of our own damning guilt, but that when we sin, we have a Savior who has paid the highest price to provide forgiveness for everyone who repents.

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