Daily Proverbs

Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.

The Holy Bible : Today’s New International Version. 2005 (Pr 3:31). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


During Jesus’ arrest, after one of his disciples cut off a man’s ear, Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place…for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52). Violence, war and hatred are not Christian virtues. Nevertheless, Paul writes “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:4). There is a difference between what governments can and should do versus what an individual might do. If the government takes money out of your wallet, that’s a tax and is legitimate morally and scripturally. If I take money out of your wallet, I’m a thief. The pilot who bombs the enemy, the police officer who shoots the rapist, and the hangman who executes a murderer are performing appropriate duties granted to a state, as Paul points out. But if I guillotine my neighbor, I’m a murderer.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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