April 2010

And Jesus said “Many will say to Me on that Day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out demons? And in Your Name done many wonderful works?’ And, then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Last week the FBI raided a home in Clayton, Michigan, after being convinced the residents inside were members of a suspected militia group conspiring to kill police officers. Federal prosecutors said the group, known as the Hutaree Christian militia, were also planning to attack the funerals of any slain officers in hopes of killing more law enforcement officers. A total of nine suspects were taken into custody in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

While it will be interesting to see what happens in this case, it’s fitting that we take a look at the group’s name in light of Scripture. And, in so doing, it becomes readily apparent that their name (and purpose) are in direct opposition to and contradiction of Jesus’ teachings on violence, treatment of one’s enemies, harboring hatred in one’s heart, etc.

The group’s alleged leader, David Brian Stone—also known as “Captain Hutaree”—was preparing the group to do battle with the Antichrist and the U.S. government. Organized in a paramilitary fashion, the members were trained in firearms, explosives, hand-to-hand combat, etc. And, again, on its website visitors are told the word Hutaree means “Christian warrior” and several Bible passages are quoted as the basis for their existence and mission.

But, again, Jesus’ teachings on this subject are very clear and their calling themselves a “Christian militia” is definitely an oxymoron. This same mentality is what caused the Crusades in Europe, Spain and the Holy Land between A.D. 1095-1291 as professing Christians sought to regain “Christian” control in those areas by waging war against the “pagans” (primarily Muslims).

Yet, such violence and wholesale slaughter “in Jesus’ Name” was strongly condemned by the One from Whose title we get the word “Christian.” After Peter cut off the servant’s ear in the Garden after Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, Christ said “Put up your sword—for those that live by the sword shall also die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

Likewise when James and John, the two sons of Zebedee and known as “Sons of Thunder,” wanted to call down fire from Heaven upon the unbelieving Samaritans (Luke 9:51-54), Jesus rebuked them and said “You know not what manner of spirit you are—for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (vv.55-56).

Part of the reasons the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah was because He taught them (and us) to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you” (Mt. 5:44).

And, when you couple His words with those of the Apostle John in I John, you realize it’s impossible to be a true Christian and still be a member of groups like the Hutaree, the Ku Klux Klan, white supremist groups or any other group that hates others and wants to do them bodily harm.

In I John 2:9, 11 John wrote, “He that says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness even until now. . .and knows not where he goes because that darkness has blinded his eyes.” He went on to also write “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer—and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (I Jn. 3:15). And, to that he added, “If a man says, ‘I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar—for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him: That he who loves God loves his brother also” (I Jn. 4:20-21).

Thus, God’s Word is crystal clear on this matter and woe to any who believe and teach otherwise. Although he allows such hatred to flourish for now, it doesn’t mean He’s not taking note of those who willfully disregard His Word and disobey His Will with nary a twinge of conscience.

How sad will that Day be when such professors, who were never “possessors,” will stand before God, the Righteous Judge, and hear Him say “Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity. I never knew you!” (cf. Rev. 20:11-15).

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, LA 71019 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).