“My Kingdom is no part of this world. If my Kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be handed over […].”
Throughout history and throughout the world, true Christians have followed Christ’s courageous example of maintaining political neutrality at the cost of their freedom or even their lives.
Like Jesus, we trust that God’s solution to mankind’s problems will be brought about through his own means. (Dan. 2:44)
Prior to the messiah’s coming, servants of Jehovah sometimes held high government rankings, such as King David or the governor Zerubbabel.
But the priests who killed Jesus were hungry for more political power. (John 11:48)
Jesus made it clear that his followers were not to get involved in the political controversies of his time, and the same applies to us. (Mark 8:15; John 17:16)
We can instead participate in the sharing of the kingdom good news- the same “truth” Jesus said he came to bear witness to. (Matt. 6:33; John 18:37)
They asked: “Who among the tribes of Israel did not come up to Jehovah at Mizpah?” It so happened that no one had come from Jabesh-gilead into the camp where the congregation was.
The people of Jabesh-gilead lived east of the Jordan, within the territory belonging to the tribe of Gad.
When all the other people of Israel gathered against the tribe of Benjamin for condoning a mass sex act which resulted in the death of a woman, the people of Jabesh-gilead did not take any action (Jud. 20:3-6, 12-14; 21:8,9).
As a consequence of their grave mistake, many suffered the same fate that most of the tribe of Benjamin had already suffered: annihilation (Jud. 21:10,11).
Among the thousands of people who died during the war against the tribe of Benjamin, there must have been many who considered themselves to be neutral and uninvolved in the conflict.
Sometimes a passive attitude toward social conflict can result in further violence or the injury of innocent people, for as a wise man wrote, there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak; […] A time for war and a time for peace,” (Eccl. 3:7,8).
As Christians, we do not engage in political struggles such as war, for our hope for the future lies wholly in Christ’s kingdom (Isa. 2:2-4; John 18:36).
We do, however, make every possible use of our voice to promote righteousness and condemn blatant acts of hatred and violence- acts that government too often covers up (2 Cor. 10:3,4).
Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. Just as I gave you the green vegetation, I give them all to you. Only flesh with its life—its blood—you must not eat. Besides that, I will demand an accounting for your lifeblood. I will demand an accounting from every living creature; and from each man I will demand an accounting for the life of his brother. Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God’s image He made man.
What I learned:
Here God clearly differentiates between the value of a human life vs. animal life.
That God should ‘demand an accounting from living creatures’ means that an animal who shed human blood should be put to death.
Though it is not immoral to eat bloodless meat as a means to survive, it is immoral to take the life of another person.
The only exception to this is if the person who is being killed is in turn guilty of having killed someone innocent.
In such a case the execution of the person who has blood on their hands serves to vindicate the innocent party and thus some level of justice is attained.
However, though true Christians recognize the authority governments have to exercise their right to execute capital punishment, they do not get involved with the political matters behind these cases, as is instructed by Jesus in John 17:16.