CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Liberty Under God
DEPENDS ON OUR OBEDIENCE TO
The Sixth Commandment



The Bible says "Thou shalt not kill." The politician adds, "except by majority vote."

The Bible and the State are moving in diametrically opposite directions.

It is supremely ironic that we have this entity called "the government" to protect our right to life, when it is this entity that claims the right, often exercised, to kill millions of human beings at a time. We have been trained to believe that without the entity called "the government" that there would be more murders (and rapes, and burglaries), yet "the State" either kills or legitimizes the killings of thousands of times more victims:

"Private sector" criminals do not do these things. "The State" kills thousands of times more lives than it saves. It is a criminal enterprise. Do not consent to its immoral atheistic violence.


This page is adapted from our Ten Commandments Checklist, to show the conflict between the Law of God and the State. For each of these Biblical passages, ask if you can be a part of the State and still obey God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill."


The Westminster Larger Catechism (1648) explains our duties under the Sixth Commandment. [Why the Westminster Standards are important for Americans.]

How to use the Catechism for a Moral Inventory

First, you must agree that the Catechism has correctly explained the implications of the Commandment. Assuming it has, you must agree with God that you are obligated to carry out those principles in your life. This page is a checklist for you to discern your agreement.

Second you must ask yourself if you have violated each aspect of the command.

Third, you must take steps to develop the Character of Christ, and eliminate "character defects" from your life.


For each item below, do the following:
 
1. Understand the Scripture proof-text. You will notice that the brilliant Puritan Theologians who compiled the Catechism discerned sins and duties in passages of Scripture which do not begin with the words "Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not."
Every word of God is a command for us.
But even the "thou shalts" and the "thou shalt nots" demand more from us than we might first think:
How to Study the Ten Commandments

If you do not understand the Scripture proof-text after reading the pages above, write to me.

2. If you understand the Scripture text, but do not agree that the duty spelled out is in fact commanded to God, explain to me why not. I'm open-minded. In fact, you will find several places where I have already indicated my disagreement with the Catechism. On the whole, however, I think the Catechism is amazing in its accuracy.

3. If you can think of other duties which might be meaningful in the lives of others, please send them to me so I can include them here as well.


Question 134: Which is the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

Question 135: What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defense thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labor, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behavior; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succoring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.

Question 136: What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge;all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and: Whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.


Q. 134. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill. Exod. 20:13

Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves Eph. 5:28-29

Ephesians 5:28-29 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. {29} For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

There is a trend for governments to encourage suicide.

The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of others 1 Kings 18:4

1 Kings 18:4 For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

Do you agree that God requires you to protect even your enemy from unGodly persecution, giving even your enemy shelter and nourishment?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include resisting all thoughts and purposes, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any, Jer. 26:15-16; Acts 23:12, 16-17, 21, 27

Jeremiah 26:15-16 "But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing." {16} So the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."

Do you agree that God requires you to resist all thoughts which tend to bring condemnation on others?

Do you agree that God requires you to help others (even the State) resist all thoughts of hurting others?

Acts 23:12,16-17,21,27 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. {16} So when Paul's sister's son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. {17} Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, "Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him." {21} "But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you." {27} This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

Do you agree that God requires you to divulge information which would tend to preserve the life of another, even your enemy?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include subduing all passions which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any, Eph. 4:26-27

Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, {27} nor give place to the devil.

Do you agree that God requires you to stop being angry before the sun goes down?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include avoiding all occasions which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any, 2 Sam. 2:22; Deut. 22:8

2 Samuel 2:22 So Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?"

Do you agree that God requires you to tell acquaintances to leave your presence if they make you angry against others?

Deuteronomy 22:8 "When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it.

Do you agree that God requires you to take precautions to ensure the safety of others, even your enemy?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include avoiding all temptations which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any, Matt. 4:6-7; Prov. 1:10, 11, 15-16

Matthew 4:6-7 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" {7} Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'"

Do you agree that you must never assume that God will bail you out while you are doing something that endangers your life or the life of another, even your enemy's?

Proverbs 1:10-11 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. {11} If they say, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; {15} My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; {16} For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.

Do you agree that God requires you to part company with any who entice you to do something which diminishes your life or the life of another, even your enemy's?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include avoiding all practices which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; 1 Sam. 24:12; 1 Sam. 26:9-11; Gen. 37:21-22

1 Samuel 24:12 "Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.

Do you agree that if someone does wrong to you, you must never do wrong back to them?

1 Samuel 26:9-11 And David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?" {10} David said furthermore, "As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish. {11} "The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed. But please, take now the spear and the jug of water that are by his head, and let us go."

Do you agree that you must never threaten the life of a public official, no matter what he does to you?

Even if he is the dictator of a foreign country?

Genesis 37:21-22 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." {22} And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him"; that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.

Do you agree that if you hear about someone planning to harm another person, you must attempt to change their mind?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include just defence of others against violence, Ps. 82:4; Prov. 24:11-12; 1 Sam. 14:45

Psalms 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.

Do you agree that God requires you to come to the aid of the poor and needy, even if they can't pay you back?

Proverbs 24:11-12 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. {12} If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

Do you understand that God is with you every second of the day, and knows your thoughts, and knows when you have the ability to help someone else but think only about yourself?

1 Samuel 14:45 But the people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day." So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die.

Do you agree that God requires you to try to persuade public officials not to harm others, even your enemy?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include patient bearing of the hand of God, James 5:7-11; Heb. 12:9

James 5:7-11 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. {8} You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. {9} Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! {10} My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. {11} Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Do you agree that God requires you to be patient?

Do you agree that God requires you to take control over your heart and your feelings?

Do you agree that you must not grumble and complain about others?

Do you agree that God requires you to be willing to suffer, like the prophets, rather than make your enemy suffer?

Do you understand that God is compassionate and merciful, and that if you are patient God will reward you? (Job 42:10-end)

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

Do you agree that God requires you to show respect to your earthly "fathers," including employers, guards, police, judges, government officials, and all your elders?

Do you understand that even if your earthly "fathers" are unjust, that your Heavenly Father is perfect and loving?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include quietness of mind, 1 Thess. 4:11; 1 Pet. 3:3-4; Ps. 37:8-11

1 Thessalonians 4:11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,

Do you agree that you must not set a goal for yourself of being a star, but have as your goal living a quiet and honest life?

Do you agree that you must work on your own program, not that of others?

Do you agree that God requires you to work, and be of service to others?

1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; {4} rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God

Do you agree that God requires you to make your inward character a higher priority than your clothes and outward appearance?

Do you agree that God requires you to develop a gentle and quiet spirit?

Do you understand that good character is highly valued by God, and that God is All-Powerful?

Psalm 37:8-11 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it only causes harm. {9} For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. {10} For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. {11} But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Do you agree that God requires you to cease from anger?

Do you agree that you must stop worrying?

Do you understand that if you don't, your life is going to come to nothing?

Do you understand that if you do develop Godly character that you will "inherit the earth?"

The duties required in the sixth commandment include cheerfulness of spirit; Prov. 17:22

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Do you agree that God requires you to cultivate a merry heart?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of meat, Prov. 25:16, 27

Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit. {27} It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one's own glory is not glory.

Do you agree that you must not pursue a "king's banquet" but give thanks for an ordinary, nourishing meal?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of drink, 1 Tim. 5:23

1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.

Do you agree that you must always be sober?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of physic, [medicine] Isa. 38:21

Isaiah 38:21 Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover."

Do you agree that you must not abuse medicines?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of sleep, Ps. 127:2

Psalms 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Do you agree that God requires you to get adequate sleep?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of labour, Eccl. 5:12; 2 Thess. 3:10, 12; Prov. 16:20

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.

Do you understand that if you work hard to be of service to others, you will sleep well at night and be contented during the day?

2 Thessalonians 3:10,12 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. {12} Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

Do you agree that you must not attempt to get money other than by earning it in a way that truly benefits others?

Proverbs 16:26 The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on.

Do you understand that if you put others ahead of yourself, that God will make sure that your needs are met?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include a sober use of recreations; Eccl. 3:4, 11

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; {11} He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Do you agree that you must have some but not too much recreation?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include charitable thoughts toward others, 1 Sam. 19:4-5; 1 Sam. 22:13-14

1 Samuel 19:4-5 Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, "Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you. {5} "For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?"

Do you agree that you must have charitable thoughts toward others?

See 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Samuel 22:13-14 Then Saul said to him, "Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day?" {14} So Ahimelech answered the king and said, "And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house?

Do you agree that God requires you to obey those above you, live an honorable life, and defend those who do the same?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include love, Rom. 13:10

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Do you agree that God requires you to love, even your enemies?

Do you agree that to "love" someone means to obey God's Law with respect to them?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include compassion, Luke 10:33-34

Luke 10:33-34 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. {34} "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Do you agree that God requires you to give aid even to your enemy?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include meekness, gentleness, kindness; Col. 3:12-13

Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; {13} bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Do you agree that God requires you to develop kindness, meekness, and patience?

Do you agree that God requires you to put up with other people, forgive them, and endure their stupidity or their persecution of you, just as Christ endured torture and execution, knowing that your enemy may be converted to Christ someday?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include peaceable speeches and behaviour, James 3:17

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Do you understand that wisdom is a gift from God?

Do you understand that you must actively seek God's gifts?

Do you agree that God requires you to be pure, peaceable, and gentle?

Do you agree that God requires you to yield your rights to others?

Do you agree that God requires you to be full of mercy and good fruits?

Do you understand that you don't have to pretend to be these things, as the hypocrites do, but that God will give these gifts to you if you ask Him?

Study Stephen

The duties required in the sixth commandment include mild and courteous speeches and behaviour; 1 Pet. 3:8-11; Prov. 15:1; Judges 8:1-3

1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; {9} not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. {10} For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. {11} Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

Do you agree that God requires you to love your enemy as a brother?

Do you agree that God requires you to be courteous?

Do you agree that you must not return evil to one who does evil to you?

Do you agree that God requires you to be courteous and respectful even to people who don't treat you right?

Do you agree that God forbids you to speak evil of others?

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Do you agree that God requires you to speak in a courteous and respectful tone of voice even to people who are not courteous and respectful to you?

Judges 8:1-3 Now the men of Ephraim said to him, "Why have you done this to us by not calling us when you went to fight with the Midianites?" And they reprimanded him sharply. {2} So he said to them, "What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} "God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. And what was I able to do in comparison with you?" Then their anger toward him subsided when he said that.

Do you agree that God requires you to have a clear head so that you can give good persuasive reasons why others should not sin?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; Matt. 5:24; Eph. 5:2, 32; Rom. 12:17

Matthew 5:24 "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Do you understand that being reconciled to others is more important than "going to church?"

Ephesians 5:2,32 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. {32} This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Do you agree that God requires you to love others, just as Christ loved us?

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

Do you agree that you must never hurt someone just because they hurt you?

Do you agree that it is wrong for you to be a social outcast, that you must be on the side of good, and earn the respect of your community?

The duties required in the sixth commandment include comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent. 1 Thess. 5:14; Job 31:19-20; Matt. 25:35-36; Prov. 31:8-9

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

Do you agree that God requires you to distance yourself from those who are unruly, and not to join them?

Do you agree that God requires you to develop skills of comforting and supporting others?

Do you agree that God requires you to be patient with others, even your enemy?

Job 31:19-20 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor man without covering; {20} If his heart has not blessed me, And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

Do you agree that God requires you to comfort the distressed?

Matthew 25:35-36 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; {36} 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

Do you agree that God requires you to engage in "works of mercy?"

Study the "works of mercy."

Proverbs 31:8-9 Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. {9} Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Do you agree that God requires you to stand up for the innocent?


Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, Acts 16:28

Acts 16:28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."

Do you agree that you must never do anything that harms yourself?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of others, Gen. 9:6

Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.

Do you agree that God requires you to avoid shedding another man's blood, even your enemy's?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life others except in case of public justice, Num. 35:31, 33

Numbers 35:31 'Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. {33} 'So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.

Study the Shedding of Blood in Anglo-American Law

Do you understand why the Bible does not require "capital punishment?"

Hebrews 9:12-14 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. {13} For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, {14} how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of others except in case of lawful war, Jer. 48:10; Deut. 20:1

Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully, And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.

Study the Shedding of Blood in Warfare

Do you understand why killing someone is wrong even if in "the interests of national security?"

Deuteronomy 20:1 "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

Do you understand that you need not fear if you are walking in God's paths?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of others except in case of necessary defence; Exod. 22:2-3

Exodus 22:2-3 "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. {3} "If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Study the Shedding of Blood in personal defense

Do you understand that Christ is the "Dayspring" (Luke 1:78) and that after He completed His work of fulfilling the Old Testament (Luke 21:22), He brought us into the Day (Romans 13:12)?

Do you understand that if you kill someone, even in "self-defence," you are guilty of violating the Sixth Commandment?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; Matt. 25:42-43; James 2:15-16; Eccl. 6:1-2

Matthew 25:42-43 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; {43} 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

Do you understand that if you refuse to help the poor, Jesus views that as a refusal to help Him?

James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, {16} and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

Do you agree that God requires actions, not just words?

Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: {2} A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

Do you agree that God forbids you to destroy the means of life of another, even of your enemy, even in the interests of "national defense?"

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include sinful anger, Matt. 5:22

Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.

Do you agree that God forbids you to indulge sinful anger?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include hatred, 1 John 3:15; Lev. 19:17

1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Do you agree that God forbids you to hate another, even your enemy?

Leviticus 19:17 'You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

Do you understand that instead of hating your brother, you should help him overcome his bad habits?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include envy, Prov. 14:30

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.

Do you agree that God forbids you to hold a grudge against someone because he has more wealth than you?

Do you agree that God forbids you to diminish the wealth of your enemy, just because he has more than you, or more than he "needs"?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include desire of revenge; Rom. 12:19

Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

Do you agree that God forbids you to take vengeance on your enemy, even if he really did something wrong to you?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include all excessive passions, Eph. 4:31

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Do you agree that God forbids you to get so angry at someone that you spit at them or insult them?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include distracting cares; Matt. 6:31, 34

Matthew 6:31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' {34} "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Do you agree that God forbids you to worry about whether you're going to have enough food or clothing?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include immoderate use of meat, drink, Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13

Luke 21:34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

Do you agree that God forbids you to get drunk? (Eph 5:18)

Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

Do you agree that God forbids you to pursue "street life?"

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include immoderate use of labor, Eccl. 12:12; Eccl. 2:22-23

Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

Do you agree that God forbids us to study too much?

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? {23} For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.

Do you agree that God forbids us to work too much?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include immoderate use of recreations; Isa. 5:12

Isaiah 5:12 The harp and the strings, The tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the work of the LORD, Nor consider the operation of His hands.

Do you agree that God forbids you to zone out for long periods through music or drinking?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include provoking words, Prov. 15:1; Prov. 12:18

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Do you agree that God forbids you to escalate an argument?

Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Do you agree that God forbids you to cut someone down with sharp words?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include oppression, Ezek. 18:18; Exod. 1:14

Ezekiel 18:18 "As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

Do you agree that God forbids you to rob others?

Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage; in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.

Do you agree that God forbids you to treat someone like a slave?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include quarreling, Gal. 5:15; Prov. 23:29

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Do you agree that is against God's Law to be so angry that you try to bite and devour someone and end up being consumed yourself?

Proverbs 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

Do you agree that is against God's Law to be so consumed with anger that you see red?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include striking, wounding, Num. 35:16-18, 21

Numbers 35:16-18,21 'But if he strikes him with an iron implement, so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. {17} 'And if he strikes him with a stone in the hand, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. {18} 'Or if he strikes him with a wooden hand weapon, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. {21} 'or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

Do you agree that is against God's Law to strike a human being created in the Image of God?

Do understand that striking at another human being is the same as striking out at God Himself?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment include whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any. Exod. 21:18 to the end

Exodus 21 {18} "If men contend with each other, and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but is confined to his bed, {19} "if he rises again and walks about outside with his staff, then he who struck him shall be acquitted. He shall only pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for him to be thoroughly healed.

Do you understand that you are required to undo the damage you do to others?

{20} "And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. {21} "Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.

Do you understand that Jesus declared a perpetual jubilee and freed all chattel slaves? (Lev. 25:10; Isa. 61:2; Luke 4:18)

Do you understand that if it is wrong to beat a slave to death, it is even worse to strike at someone in our day (the age of Christ's jubilee)?

{22} "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. {23} "But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, {24} "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, {25} "burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Do you understand that you can be angry with someone and unintentionally harm others who are not even involved in your fight?

{26} "If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye. {27} "And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.

Do you understand that Israel was a juvenile and sinful people, and Jesus has shown that the requirements of God's law are much stricter than Israel imagined?

{28} "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. {29} "But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. {30} "If there is imposed on him a sum of money, then he shall pay to redeem his life, whatever is imposed on him. {31} "Whether it has gored a son or gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him. {32} "If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Do you understand that if your pets or children have known tendencies toward violence, that you are responsible for their actions?

{33} "And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, {34} "the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his.

Do you agree that is against God's Law to create situations which can harm others?

{35} "If one man's ox hurts another's, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the money from it; and the dead ox they shall also divide. {36} "Or if it was known that the ox tended to thrust in time past, and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall be his own.

Do you understand that if your pets or children or machinery have the known potential of harming others, that you are responsible for their actions?


With the exception of the three highlighted items, this is a fairly clear and Biblically buttressed statement of pacifism. If you take these commandments seriously -- really seriously -- you will become a pacifist. You will renounce your support for institutionalized vengeance and violence ("the State.").

The three exceptions to the mandate of pacifism are:

"Publick justice"
This refers to "Capital Punishment." The jump takes you to our page on the Death Penalty. It is not Biblically justifiable.

 "War"
Once those verses which have been used to justify "Capital Punishment" are properly understood, then those verses in the Old Testament which speak of "Holy War" are also more understandable. But the Bible cannot be used to justify war in our day.

 "Necessary defence"
There is really only one verse which is used to justify "self-defense." That verse is examined here.

Granted, while the principles summarized by the Sixth Commandment should make you a pacifist, you may need to click on those jumps and study further before you will become one! I believe that if you study the whole matter, you will find two things: First, those three exceptions are not Biblically justified. Second, those three exceptions have, throughout history, completely swallowed up the rule. Christians for the last two thousand years have generally concluded that it is not wise to become spontaneously, habitually peaceful and non-violent because they must be "responsible," "practical," and "prepared." This means that instead of imagining and practicing non-violent responses to evil-doers, they anticipate responses of violence and "self-defense." They imagine in a moment of danger that their protection will not come from God, but from a Smith & Wesson (or, more likely, a cheaper, less reliable weapon).

In addition, because the State is allowed (if not mandated) to ignore completely all these commands, and to prepare and wage war, not peace, and because we are such a statist people, a climate exists in which it is considered "irresponsible" and "impractical" to train for peacemaking. This trend has culminated in the 20th century, the most statist, and therefore the most violent and lethal century in recorded history. Between 200 and 300 million people have been deliberately killed in this century. The overwhelming majority of these deaths have been inflicted by those who were "defending" themselves, or who have claimed a public duty (i.e., the State). And the overwhelming majority of these deaths have not been aggressors, but have been innocent victims.

We need a serious reconstruction of our view of peace and violence.

[return to "publick justice" and other exceptions]


next: Campaign Finance, Corruption and the Oath of Office