The Lord Gives and Roeder Takes Away

In my hotel room in Columbus this weekend, I caught a glimpse of the televised trial for the murder of George Tiller, the abortion doctor from Kansas City. At the moment I was watching, Scott Roeder (the defendant who admittedly shot Tiller) was on the witness stand.

Roeder attempted to justify his pulling of the trigger by claiming that he was protecting the lives of the unborn, saying that life starts at conception and that God the Creator was the only one in charge of the beginning and ending of life (not Tiller). He quoted the familiar phrase that “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away” (which is found in the Book of Job, chapter 1, verse 21).

This is a great example of my previous post in how the Bible can be used for evil as it can also be used for good. I believe that Mr. Roeder used a Biblical passage and twisted it to fit his unjust actions. He used the Bible for evil.

The double-standard in Mr. Roeder’s logic cannot be more blatant. He is defending his act of murder by saying that only the Lord is allowed to take life away from someone. Think about that for a second. “I’m going to kill you because you’re a child-killer and I believe that only God can end someone’s life, not you.”

For the record, I happen to believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is taking the life of a child. But there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to those with whom we disagree. I believe that Mr. Roeder chose the un-Christlike way to respond to someone with whom he disagreed. Some right ways to respond include patient prayer, loving compassion for struggling mothers, peaceful engagement and dialogue with people of opposing viewpoints, and voting for legislators who seek to protect the lives of the unborn.

If Mr. Roeder knows his entire Bible, he would come across the sayings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, verses given):

21″You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b]will be subject to judgment.

38″You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you,

Thankfully, justice was served and Mr. Roeder was convicted of murder. Looks like he’ll be in prison for life, with a possibility for parole after 25 years.

Heavenly Father, please protect the lives of the unborn, grant support and wisdom to young mothers who are struggling with tough decisions, and please help us to respond lovingly to those with whom we disagree.

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Jesse

Jesse Joyner travels nationwide performing a comedy juggling act for family and kids events. He is also working towards his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Kezzie.

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