there is, of course, that which is literal;
and there is ‘killing’ which is
to take away a person’s life, figuratively –
by inflicting misery, ruin, or rejection upon them.
In 2012, I met a local man who –
noticing my hat and waistcoat,
struck up a conversation with me.
He mentioned that he was a part of the large,
“Reformed” church in the area –
“I really must send you an invitation”, he said.
“Well”, I replied, “I would be very pleased to receive it.”
And then, I saw it – the look in the eyes:
“Of course’, he said, “we are ‘Reformed’
– we practice infant baptism’.
“So I would expect, and understand”, I replied.
Still, the look of hesitation … that – ‘I shouldn’t have said that’
expression … which told me the future right then and there.
As expected, no invitation to his church was ever received.
There are two types of conscienceless killers
in the world:
the sadistic bully who delights in inflicting
fear, torment, and harm –
upon those who are
weak, timid, or peaceful.
Of these vicious brutes,
no deliberation should be required:
their evil is self evident;
their comments saturate the Internet.
It is the second type of killer –
those who are sanctioned to kill literally;
and those who believe themselves justified
to kill figuratively, ( by animosity or apathy )
– of whom, I would like to consider here.
The selfishness of selfish people
will allow them to inflict inconceivable cruelty,
and then commend themselves
for so doing.
Conscience never once enters into their mind,
or straightens their perverse frame of reference.
They kill. And think that they do God a service.
Human beings who are either of such simple mind,
or brutal nature as to have no over-riding power
of moral conscience, will commit any atrocity
– ANY atrocity –
if they are doing it for “authority”, that is to say,
“under orders” … or … for the good of
“My Community”, “My Country”,
“My Church” or ”My God”.
Note the … “My”.
Let every man be subject to his own Conscience;
but when that ‘conscience’ permits the abuse of others,
then it is a matter that ought to be challenged.
“I was just following orders.”
The true nature of many ( who are often referred to
as “good, Christian men” ) is evident
in those who can find ready excuse for their cruelty
or compromise; apathy, or neglect.
The Roman Catholics tortured, banished,
sadistically brutalised, and burned alive
Protestant Reformers and Anabaptists.
Protestant “Reformers” – tortured, banished,
and sadistically burned and drowned Anabaptists
Not the slightest stirring of regret, remorse,
or moral integrity … in any of them.
How is it that, in 2017, I – an older man
with a grey beard and hair – can walk into one sober-minded,
biblically ‘sound’, evangelical church on a Sunday morning;
sit through the service … and afterwards, not one person there
walks over to say “Welcome to our church.”
I would not presume upon the “Christianity” of anyone
sitting under that roof.
I doubt very much, that I would receive the same treatment
if I were to walk into any “atheistic” meeting
– Gardening Club, Stamp Collecting Club, or such like –
filled with serious-minded “pagans”.
Evangelical Apathy. Indifference. Laziness.
It is the same principle – self adoration –
that excuses the modern evangelical
who watches filth on a television or DVD
on a Saturday night,
yet can show up in “church” on Sunday Morning
to sing ‘My Jesus, I Love Thee’.
The capacity for the lack of conscience
in “righteous” human beings
is beyond my capacity to take in.
WHY … were the Anabaptists of history so despised
by Romanists, Protestants, and Atheists alike ?
The written description, in 1693,
of a Reformed (Protestant) Pastor from Bern,
adequately summarises the astounding reason
for the hatred of Anabaptists,
by Roman Catholics and Protestant Reformers alike:
“Anabaptists … refuse all oaths, desist from litigation,
do not participate in war; accept no governmental offices;
wear no lace collars or ornamentation, which they see as a sign of pride;
speak slowly and sing softly;
shun taverns … go to the market but little;
and do not trade and barter much.”
A REAL Threat to Society – as you can plainly see.
That description, above, of 500 years ago,
is an accurate description of Me today.
And I have had more than ample experience
to know – beyond any shadow of a doubt –
that I am now, like they were then, an “offence”
to more than a few in the religious realm today.
In the words of one pastor, who, in 2005,
confronted my wife and me
at the front door to his Baptist ‘church’ –
“I would be nervous to have you in My church.”
“My” … church.
Michael Satler [ Germany, born c. 1490 ]
who – upon reading the New Testament epistles of Paul,
left his position as a Bendictine Prior
to seek out the company of the Anabaptists.
Touching upon the Reformers’ use of torture and threats,
Satler observed that ‘A man, after refusing instruction once;
is not to be coerced, but is to be avoided.’
He, as I have done frequently here,
maintained that a genuine Christian
will have a visible practice:
an humble conduct and sober-minded conversation
that – ( I have noted throughout life ) –
is RARELY evident in the professing Christian world.
And of course, what is also consistent (in any age),
when any one who espouses a standard
that is foreign to the majority,
that man or woman is despised;
and every effort is sought by hypocrites,
to remove that person’s ‘offending’ presence.
Michael Sattler was taken captive and put on ‘trial’ for –
not submitting to Romanist Mass ( that Christ is actually in the wafer),
not maintaining paedo-baptism ( Sattler held baptism as being
upon repentance and profession of faith in Christ );
and even for the nefarious act … of getting married.
Hearing the charges against him, Satler answered
with a directness that is offensive to those
whose “faith” is defined by hypocrisy;
which defines their Christianity.
Regarding killing in War against the Muslim Turks,
“If warring were right, I would rather
take the field against the so-called Christian
who persecutes, apprehend, and kill Pious Christians …
The Turks are a true Turk,
and knows nothing of the Christian faith …
– but you who would be “Christians”
and who make your boast of Christ,
persecute the pious witness of Christ,
and are Turks after the Spirit.”
( It is an assessment that would not be inapplicable
to the rank and file of “Christians” encountered –
particularly during the last 40 years. )
The reply of the court, on the 18th of May, 1527,
was to condemn Michael Sattler
to, first, having his tongue cut out,
and be tortured by – seven times, whilst secured to a wagon –
having pieces of flesh pulled off with hot tongs,
before being tied to a ladder
and dropped into a fire to be burned alive.
This sadistic barbarity was carried out on
the 21st or 22nd of May, 1527.
Satler’s sister and wife … were drowned
eight days later.
And Michael Satler … was a “threat” to human society.
My question to you, today, is … Who
is the real threat to human decency:
Those who are abused … for their quiet living,
Those who abuse people … for their quiet living ?