Is it just me or do others notice that the orthodox church crowd always seems to be the loudest advocates of military action in our foreign policy and capital punishment in our legal system. Did I miss something in their theology which makes such support appropriate?
A s I understand the orthodox doctrine of eternal torment, many, if not most, of the combatants in our wars, both ours and theirs, would be consigned to Hell if they are killed. The same issue exists for those to whom we generally apply capital punishment. By killing these malefactors we would be sending them to Hell.
How do people who claim to believe in the eternal torment as the destiny of all the "unchurched" possibly justify an unfailing insistence on governmental action which then assigns many to that very state? I thought the divine mission of the church was supposed to be keeping folks out of Hell, not helping send them there.
Trying to justify killing people by invoking God's example from the OT hardly reconciles with Jesus' command to love even our enemies. Lost in that OT reasoning is the fact that eternal torment is not in the OT and that the OT scriptures were written exclusively to the Israelites (Romans 3). Regardless of how one views OT laws and examples, it is an intellectual leap of immense proportions to conclude that deliberately sending people to Hell is appropriate for those who claim evangelism as their God given mission.
The church often tries to convince us that the lost choose to be so and therefore deserve their eternal doom even if that fate is facilitated by human society with the sanction of the church. This is patently untrue for countless millions who were not so fortunate as to be born in the "Christian West". Such claims are nothing more than a desperate evasion of the real issues..
No, the church's cavalier embrace of the killing of the lost is a sacrilege. On the one hand the church insists on injecting itself between God and men, claiming to be the sole source of salvation knowledge. While fulfilling this role they conveniently pick and choose who they will tolerate enough to instruct, thus limiting access to God's approval in accordance with their private prejudices. Then to compound the matter, they support political agendas that sanction righteous killing, thereby insuring, according to their stated beliefs, that many more will be denied the eternal blessings of God.