Violence a definition • Webster: “exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse” – to hurt or harm someone or some living thing.
Violence in society • Sports • War • Spousal & child abuse • Schoolyard fights • Animal kingdom • Animal sacrifice • TV, movies, video games • Fight clubs Royal Law: “Love your neighbor as yourself” Matt 22:39 Rom 13:9 Gal 5:14 Jas 2:8
Violence Bible definition • Vine’s – Chamas (khaw-mawce’); maliciousness: evil intent (synonyms: spite, meanness, malice, viciousness, cruelty, unkindness).
Violence described • A disruption of God’s order for human behavior (Gen 6:11-13). • Violence can refer to taking advantage of someone (Deut 27:19; Jer 22:1-5; Job 20:19).
Violence in ancient society • 260-330 AD Lactantius – “He who finds it pleasurable to watch a man being killed, even though the man has been legally condemned, pollutes his conscience just as much as though he were an accomplice or willing spectator of a murder committed in secret. Yet, they call these ‘sports’ – where human blood is shed!
Violence in ancient society • 260-330 AD Lactantius – “When they see men placed under the stroke of death, begging for mercy, can they be righteous when they not only permit the men to be killed, but demand it? They cast their cruel and inhuman votes for death, not being satisfied by the mere flowing of blood or the presence of gashing wounds.
Violence in ancient society • 260-330 AD Lactantius – “In fact, they order the [gladiators] — although wounded and lying on the ground — to be attacked again and their corpses to be pummeled with blows, to make certain they are not merely feigning death. The crowds are even angry with the gladiators if one of the two isn’t slain quickly. As though they thirsted for human blood, they hate delays.........
Violence in ancient society • 260-330 AD Lactantius – “By steeping themselves in this practice, they have lost their humanity.... Therefore, it is not fitting that we who strive to stay on the path of righteousness should share in this public homicide. When God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits the violence that is condemned by public laws, but he also forbids the violence that is deemed lawful by men.”
Violence and Scripture • Love your enemies (Matt 5:38-47). • Vengeance belongs to God (Rom 12:14, 17-21). • Violence is a lust of the flesh (Gal 5:19-23). • Elders cannot be given to violence (1 Tim 3:3; Titus 1:7-8).
Violence and Scripture • Obey God (1 Pet 1:14-16) • Love as God loves (1 John 4:16-17, 20-21). • Be at peace (Rom 12:18; Heb 12:14). • Spiritual battle (Eph 6:10-17; 2 Cor 10:3-5). • Jesus (1 Pet 2:23) Stephen (Acts 7:57-60), • Paul & Timothy (1 Tim 1:18; 2 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Tim 4:6-8).
Why the violence? • People want the perverted satisfaction of watching others do things they cannot do, whether for lack of opportunity or for religious principles. • Romans 1:28-32
Why the violence? • Prov 22:24-25 – Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul. • Violence is learned behavior! Cf. Prov 23:7; Lk 11:40
What God desires in us • Prov 19:22 – What is desired in a man is kindness [not violence], & a poor man is better than a liar. • Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; & what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy [not violence], & to walk humbly with your God?