If God is Love, does God kill? Ever?
I was reading 1 Nephi 4. I kept putting it off, but I was working on a project and the only way through it was, well, through it.
I had already decided that the “Spirit” did not tell Nephi to murder Laban in cold blood, no matter what his rationalization might have been for telling himself and us so. But, as I was mulling over this chapter, I noted that Nephi specifically calls forth the story of the Egyptians being drowned in the Red Sea.
Stories like the drowning of the Egyptians . . . or the flood of Noah . . . take the question back further and lay it squarely with God. There are quite a few tidy rationalizations here as well. For drowning everyone but Noah and his family: it was saving future generations from being raised in wickedness and thus having their free agency curtailed by never having the opportunity to be taught righteousness. The Egyptians? Well, we are not to judge–judgment belongs to God. And sometimes that godly judgement is a death penalty.
And so all these stories stay in our “scriptures” and our “sacred texts,” if for no other reason than to teach us that prophets were human, that God uses the imperfect to accomplish God’s perfect will . . . and that God is a jealous God–that we shall have no other gods before the great I Am.
But, I wonder if studying the scriptures and sacred texts as they are currently canonized and enshrined teaches us that, on some level, there is an eventual justification for murder, for killing.
If we fully embrace this concept of God, then, either consciously or subconsciously, people (each of us?) have the foundation to take it to its logical conclusion: If snuffing life is good enough for an omnipotent and omniscient God, then will some believe it is good enough for them in extreme circumstances? If “the Spirit” commands it, demands it? Perhaps they tell themselves their cause warrants violence or “revolution” or violent resistance “if necessary” but, you know, without targeted murder. After all, who is to say when Armageddon (God’s very own bloody war) begins?
It is the subconscious foundation that concerns me.
This is what we have sewn. This is what we reap.
I do not think that God, the God that is the manifestation of Love, kills.
I think these are the stories we have told ourselves and turned into the “sacred.”
I think we should stop telling ourselves these stories.
I think what is sacred, what we should study, are the stories that inspire us to be like God, a God that is Love. A God that does not kill.