Amanda Knox is once again in the news and once again has been convicted of murder in Italy. Some have suggested that this is double jeopardy (tried for the same crime twice) and that if Italy were to request extradition of Ms. Knox that the request might be denied based upon those grounds.
However, I’ll admit I do not have much of an opinion (or an interest) in Ms. Knox one way or the other. It is simply an interesting tidbit on the news. What I am interested in is murder itself. And by that I mean more of the legal aspect of murder and not so much the act of murder.
You see, as Ms. Knox discovered herself, murder carries a very specific legal definition with it that must be proven in a court of law. Specifically that definition says that it is: the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. It is also rendered this way: the crime of unlawfully killing a person.
And thus it is the legal aspect of murder that interests me. But before I get to that, there is another rather interesting event coming up in a few days. Bill Nye (The Science Guy) will be debating Ken Ham at the Creation Museum on February 4th, 2014. I’ll recommend the debate (if you are free) now, but I am currently more intrigued by this exchange about the coming debate from Ken Ham’s FaceBook page.
If you read the posters accusations carefully (from the above link), you would have discovered this at the end: “God if He existed is a murderer, and stands idly by as his “good” creations rape and murder each other and does nothing because free will. It saddens me that an adult could believe such things as fact. You are robbing your children of their lives and wonder by filling every unknown with an imaginary friend. Indoctrination is abuse.” (Excerpt of post in response to Ken Ham on his FaceBook page).
Ken (rather aptly if I do say so myself) addresses the concerns laid out in this statement. I would like to repeat one though. The accuser claims here that God stands idly by as his “good” creations commit all kinds of crimes. And yet the Bible is the one book that not only defines Good and Evil, but also explicitly states that mankind is NOT good:
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12 KJV
The “good” creation the poster refers to is from the book of Genesis 1:31 where God calls everything he has made “very good”. And indeed, God was pleased with his work. But I note that this was before the fall of man and God was referring to the state of his creation, not whether or not that creation would end up doing good or evil things. God’s creation is good, it is also seeped in sin and thus there is evil in the world.
However I digress. The point I wanted to address is the posters opening few words. Where he pointedly accuses God of being a murderer. This is not a new concept put out by this particular poster either. No, it has been used time and time again by those attempting to show inconsistencies between a loving God and the God described in the Old Testament of the Bible. Some go as far as to even add up all the deaths in the world attributable to God. As if some really large number will make God all the more evil than just a single, solitary, murder.
However this is a completely disingenuous accusation on the part of these people. Firstly and foremost they completely destroy the definition of murder. Remember murder is a legal term and it specifically refers to a human taking another human’s life unlawfully. God is Creator, and is definitely not human (although God did take on the form of a human – but that is a thought for another time). Think of it this way, if a bear kills a person in the woods, do we then arrest the bear and put it on trial for murder? No, of course not. The bear is no more subject to the laws of man than the fish in the sea are. So why then do we attempt to ascribe our laws to God? Because he first gave the law to man? And how is that fair? Perhaps our children should be subject to the exact same set of laws we are subject to. If so, I imagine there would be a lot of parents standing in the corner tonight. We are the creation, he is the creator, it is not we that get to apply the laws to him, but rather he who applies them to us.
These folks that shake their fists in the face of God and call him a murderer are unaware of the great atrocity they have just committed by flipping the roles of God and Man around. Would they put God on trial? Who would be the jury of God’s peers? Who in the world would be judge? And how in the world do these folks expect to prove that the lives God took, he took unlawfully?
However even more disingenuous than the destruction of the terminology for murder, is these folks can’t even ascribe the correct number of deaths to God. If they bothered to understand God for who and what he is, they would soon realize God is the only being responsible for any human death.
There are far too many references for me to look up and link to tonight. So I leave some of these as an exercise to the reader. But God is clearly established as the giver of life, and the deliverer of death in Genesis. God tells Adam and Eve that if they disobey him they will surely die. When Satan challenges God over his servant Job, God clearly tells Satan that he may not take his life. Why? Because only God may take a life. The scriptures also clearly state that it is appointed unto every man once to die. How can it be appointed unto man to die unless it is God who is the arbitrator?
No, God is clearly the holder of life and death and as Creator is that not clearly his prerogative? It is absolutely amusing to me that so many people want to defend abortion as a woman’s right over her own body. Sure! She can do with that fetus anything she wants to! And yet if God takes a life, suddenly he is a murderer? Why? Doesn’t God get to do anything he wants to with HIS creation?
And before you try and throw a “we’ve reached the point of viability” argument on me, go back and re-read your Scriptures. Our very breath of life is sustained by God. He literally holds his Creation together. He sustains it moment by moment. You are no more viable without God than a child in the womb is without its mother.
Abortion rights are apparently OK except when God allows the life to be taken.
So murderer or not? I, unlike the gentleman who addressed Ken Ham over his upcoming debate with Bill Nye, cannot find it within myself to be quite so naïve as to address God as a murderer. That is rather shallow thinking. It also gives me pause to consider whether or not the legality of murder might apply to God’s laws and not just man’s. We might want to consider that when granting the woman’s right to choose.