The Sixth Commandment: Anger, Murder, Abortion, Sports, Self-Control, & Kindness

By COGwriter

Imagine a world that is safe.

A world that one does not have to worrry about being shot when out a night.

Or murdered, because one is in "the wrong" part of town.

Or intentionally ran over by a motorist who wants to kill.

Or knifed because of your ethnicity.

Or to be shot while at school or attending church services.

Such a world is coming but it is not here yet.

Supposedly to protect their citizenry from outsiders, around $2 trillion dollars per year is spent on militaries worldwide. Massive amounts are also spent on police forces and security services, supposedly to protect the people.

Furthermore, governments around the world are looking to increase spending on their militaries, police, and security services.

Money that goes towards killing or preventing getting killed could go to aid humankind instead of protect against other humans.

The sixth commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:

13 “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)

Yet, most who profess Christianity have reasoned around the truth that command contains.

Here is a link to a related sermon: : Murder, anger, kindness, and love.

Cain and Abel

The first physical murder recorded in the Bible is when Cain killed his brother Abel (which happened after uncontrolled anger:

3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." (Genesis 4:3-7)

Cain was angry. God warned Cain about his anger. But instead of trying to overcome it, Cain acted on his hateful passion:

8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. (Genesis 4:8)

But murder began before there were human beings. Notice what Jesus said:

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Satan’s deceit to Adam and Eve ultimately resulted in their dissent and death (cf. Genesis 2:17; 5:5).

Other dissenters are warned of in scripture. The Apostle Jude wrote:

10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, (Jude 10-11)

Notice that the dissenters Jude referred to corrupted themselves like Cain. Corrupting oneself, as well as having murderous thoughts and actions, are the "way of Cain."

Control Your Anger

Jesus warned against improper anger:

21 You heard that it was said to the ancients: You will not murder, and whoever may murder will be in danger of the judgment; 22 but I say to you that everyone who is angry at his brother without cause will be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Stupid, will be in danger of the Sanhedrin, and whoever may say, Moron, will be in danger of the Gehenna of fire. (Matthew 5:21-22, Literal Standard Version)

Yet some are proud of their tempers. Others blame their anger on their upbringing and/or ethnic origin and are unwilling to change. Although all are affected by their environments, we are not to nurse our anger.

But the Bible says we are to not anger control us in both the Old and New Testaments:

4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. (Psalm 4:4)

32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32)

11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11)

9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

So, one can be angry and not sin. But one needs to be slow to anger and should work to control how to deal with it.

Additionally, notice the following that helps diffuse anger and probably often also hate:

1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (Proverbs 15:1-2)

18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention. (Proverbs 15:18)

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Not only are we not to be improperly angry, it is wise for God’s people to help others who may be angry towards us if we can.

We are also to pray for them and love them. Notice how Jesus expanded the understanding of dealing with others:

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-48)

Jesus set a standard above merely not murdering. We are to love and pray for our enemies and strive for perfection!

This reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote:

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

Thieves are supposed to be givers and, in similar manner, haters are to become kind and give love.

Notice what Paul continues with:

29. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. 30. And do not vex (see explanation) the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. 31. Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice; 32. And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you. ((Ephesians 4:29-32, A Faithful Version)

Notice that we are to be kind, and bitterness, evil speaking, and malice are to be put away from us. And we are to be forgiving and tenderhearted--yes, we are to basically go the opposite direction that murderers go.

Years ago, when I needed a roomate to help split the cost of an apartment, there was someone who approached me that I turned down.


Because of something the Book of Proverbs stated:

24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25)

It looked financially difficult to apply that, but I did -- which is why I turned him down. As it later turned out, I did end up with a roomate who was not an angry or furious man.

Self-control, based on the biblical admonishment, was exercised and that was spiritually beneficial.


Many pyschologists and police officers will tell you that unlike many crimes, murder is often a crime of passion. Lack of self-control.

Christians should not come to the point of becoming violent or even murderous when angry.

Christians are to have self-control.

Satan does not want you to exercise that.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We were all influenced by Satan and were, by nature and his prodding, children of wrath.

We should be going in a different direction once we are converted Christians.

Paul also wrote:

5. give yourselves to fasting and prayer; ... so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5)

While Paul did not write that specifically for murder or uncontrolled anger, the principle is still applicable.

The Apostle John wrote:

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

Hate is an attitude. One can have an attitude of murder without touching someone.

The Apostle James wrote:

1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. (James 4:1-2)

Wars come from covetousness. And, it is interesting that despite early Christians not being warring, James was warning that Christians can have wrong warring attitudes and approaches.

In modern times, the sniping some church members have for other church members comes to mind. And some I have recently come in contact with are convinced their sniping attitude is right because the other one is guilty of one or more wrong statements/judgments. Well, even if the other party is guilty, Christians should forgive. And, instead of harboring the fight, love the other and show that love.

We are also to be careful of our thoughts as Jesus said:

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man ... (Matthew 15:18-20)

Notice the tying of evil thoughts with murders and false witness. And be careful that although you may think you have properly condemned a brother or sister in Christ, you may be bearing false witness to yourself, and perhaps others, about him or her.

The Apostle Paul stated that we needed to be:

5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Yes, self-control is to also include your thoughts.

Don't think you cannot change. The Apostle Paul wrote:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Yes, you can improve and not harbor murderous hateful thoughts and actions.

Instead, notice something that Jesus said to love, bless, and be perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).

To be perfect, Christians need to sincerely pray for and forgive other Christians they diminish in their minds.

Should a Christian brother not be treated worse than an enemy?

Think about that.

Now, Paul wrote:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)

Being longsuffering, gentle, with self-control, without provoking, keeps us away from violating the sixth commandment.

In the last days, wrong attitudes will present themselves in a major way:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-6)

Lack of self-control leads to a lot of the other issues in that list.


Abortionists in these last days come to mind as brutal, lovers of themselves, unloving, despisers of good. As do many others who rebel against believing scripture.

Instead of "unloving," the KJV uses the term "without natural affection" (2 Timothy 3:3, KJV). Here is information on the Greek term so translated:

astorgos (as'-tor-gos); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of stergo (to cherish affectionately); hard-hearted towards kindred:

KJV - without natural affection.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

What is interesting here is that the word astorgos seems to mean a lack of love towards those you are related to. Certainly that encompasses abortion. Thus increased abortions is consistent with the biblical prophecy in 2 Timothy.

As far as abortion goes, it is murder.

The Bible makes it clear that human life begins prior to birth (Jeremiah 1:4-5; Psalm 139:13-16). Since all fertilized human eggs are human, human life begins at the time of conception.

“Conception” means to first come into existence, so even its definition supports the idea of when a life starts.

Knowing happens at conception makes this clearer. Normally (unless there is Down syndrome or something that changes the number of chromosomes) 23 unpaired chromosomes from the egg and 23 unpaired chromosomes from the sperm come together and form a new entity with 46 chromosomes. This new entity is a new human life. It did not come into existence before conception and does not change genetically after conception. It is not a dog, a frog, or simply a pile of tissue. The unborn baby is a developing human being.

Although it took until 2017, the US government is now starting to officially admit this. Its Health and Human Services strategic plan for 2018-22 states the agency “accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” Yet, not all like that:

A columnist for the Gawker Media website Jezebel who said the Trump administration “is following the standard, discriminatory conservative orthodoxy on women’s health” and blogger Dr. Jen Gunter were two examples of harsh critics of the new HHS language.

But life does begin at conception.

Consider also the following:

95% of biologists: Life begins at conception

“Despite how much politicians try to use euphemisms to deny it, every human life begins at conception, and thousands of biologists now confirm this truth,” said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “It should go without saying that every unborn and born baby has value, no matter the stage or circumstances.”

He cited a relatively recent scientific assessment that revealed that 95 percent (5212 out of 5502) of biologists who participated affirmed the biological view that a human’s life begins at fertilization.

That any percentage of biologists could possibly conclude that life does NOT begin at conception is absurd, because life obviously begins at conception.

Human life begins at conception. That is the real science on this issue.

The Bible shows, that unlike humans, God does know how babies grow in the womb:

5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything (Ecclesiastes 11:5, NKJV throughout except when otherwise noted).

Elizabeth made a positive comment about her unborn baby John the Baptist leaping (Luke 1:41-44) and the statements that the Angel that appeared to Mary to tell her about her upcoming conception (Luke 1:31-35) also provide additional biblical support to the idea that the unborn are human.

Notice the following from the Book of Exodus:

“Then the king of Egypt spoke ... ‘When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him’ ... But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them” (Exodus 1:15-17)

The midwifes would not perform the murders sometimes called 'partial birth abortions.'

The Bible also makes it clear that David and Jeremiah were human and known before to God while they were in the womb prior to being born:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).

Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:

5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

Notice also:

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb:"I am the Lord, who makes all things ... '(Isaiah 44:24)

Furthermore, notice that even the death penalty could come from an injury to a pregnant woman:

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. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:22-25).

The expression "no harm follows" can be interpreted that both the mother and the baby live, and that the baby and mother are healthy. But, if they are not and somehow permanently harmed, punishment will follow, apparently including the death penalty if either die. God does not condone the killing of unborn infants.

In the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament) a term translated about 26 times as infant(s) or child or little one is the Hebrew word 'owlel. That same word is used for unborn infants in Job 3:16 (and perhaps other verses), hence God considers unborn infants to be living human beings--children. 

Perhaps I should add that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the abortionists often raised the argument about when human life began, despite the fact that it is clear it began at conception. Finally, in 2014 the pro-abortion group called Planned Parenthood admited that they did not want to use the 'when human life began' argument (see Planned Parenthood: When life begins is not relevant)--they have long tried to suppress the truth to promote unrighteousness (cf. Romans 1:18). Abortion is the killing of unborn human beings and everyone should realize that is what it really is.

Abortion is a violation of the sixth commandment.

More information on this can be found in the article:Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman's Right to Choose.

Military Service

The historically proper Church of God (COG) position is that true Christians refrain from military service whenever possible, and never engage in carnal warfare in this age (John 18:36).

Although the Greco-Roman Catholic and most Protestant churches support the concept of "just war," it is well documented that early Christians would not voluntarily enter the military.

Consider also the following from a source that strangely does not believe early Christians were pacifist:

From the conversion of Cornelius at about AD 39 to AD 173, we have absolutely no sources referencing Christian participation in the army. None. (Jones C. Christians in the Roman Army: Countering the Pacifist Narrative. April 20, 2012.

Now, the above article then cites the later apostates Tertullian and Origen for proof about Christians in the military, but the reality is that any who would have joined voluntarily to kill were not really Christian.

Theological historian Bart Ehrman noted this as a difference between the Jews and the early Christians:

Further indications of a separation of Christians from Jews came soon thereafter in the Jewish uprising against the Romans in Palestine, leading to a three-year war and the ultimate destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70 C.E. Old traditions indicate that the Christian Jews refused to participate in the struggle (Ehrman B. From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity. The Teaching Company, Chantilly (VA), 2004, p. 33).

Notice that the anti-military position of the third century Roman Catholic saint, theologian, and bishop Hippolytus of Rome:

16: 9 A military man in authority must not execute men. If  he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall  be rejected. 10 If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple,  he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 11 The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a  soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God. (Hippolytus. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome. From the work of Bernard Botte (La Tradition Apostolique. Sources Chretiennes, 11 bis. Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1984) and of Gregory Dix (The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, Bishop and Martyr. London: Alban Press, 1992) as translated by Kevin P. Edgecomb viewed 08/06/09)

Hippolytus also wrote:

That it is not meet for Christians to bear arms (Hippolytus. Heads of the Canons of Abulides or Hippolytus, Which Are Used by the Ethiopian Christians. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886)

Furthermore, most Greco-Romans who professed Christ held to that view until the 4th century, when most accepted the decrees and influence of the follower of the sun-god Mithras, named Constantine.

“Mithraism was first and foremost a military cult” (Aiken CF. Mithraism. The Catholic University bulletin, Volume 19, 1913, p. 255).

Emperor Constantine attempted to blend his pagan views with what he considered to be Christianity (Herbermann C, Georg G. Constantine the Great. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908).

Many went along with Emperor Constantine.

It was mainly because of influence of the militaristic sun-god worshiping Emperor Constantine, who was a member of the Mithra religion (which was a military cult, see Do You Practice Mithraism?), that most of those who claimed Christ who affiliated with him became accepting of military service.

A former Roman Catholic priest reported:

Whereas up to the year 175 there was not a single Christian soldier, in 416, by an edict of Theodosius, only Christians were allowed to enlist (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, p. 156).

Yet, this military service is not an area that true Christians compromised on. The only ones who enlisted were those that ended up accepting the type of "Christianity" that nearly all the Greco-Roman Emperors from Constantine onwards endorsed.

In the later centuries, this violent trend worsened.

Notice that hate and violence against others who differed doctrinally was promoted by the Greco-Roman bishop and saint Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century:

I affirm, then, that it is a lawful thing to hate God's enemies, and that this kind of hatred is pleasing to our Lord: and by God's enemies I mean those who deny the glory of our Lord, be they Jews, or downright idolaters, or those who through Arius' teaching idolize the creature, and so adopt the error of the Jews. Now when the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are with orthodox devotion being glorified and adored by those who believe that in a distinct and unconfused Trinity there is One Substance, Glory, Kingship, Power, and Universal Rule, in such a case as this what good excuse for fighting can there be? (Gregory of Nyssa. Letter 17 to Eustathia, Ambrosia, and Basilissa. Translated by William Moore. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 5. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893)

So, before the end of the 4th century there were people teaching that hatred and fighting against those who did not accept a doctrine that was not formally adopted by the Greco-Romans until 381 A.D. was good (more on the trinity can be found in the article Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?).

By the way, it should be noted that Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, took militaristic views of Christianity (cf. Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632).

Yet, Jesus taught His servants would not fight in this age (John 18:36).


18 ... Jesus said, "'You shall not murder..." (Matthew 19:18, NKJV)

Around 250 A.D., COG elder/presbyter Pionius of Smyrna asked:

To whom have we done wrong? Have we perchance murdered someone? Or, do we persecute anyone? Or have we obliged anyone to venerate idols? (Martyrdom of Pionius as translated in Monroy, Mauricio Saavedra. The Church of Smyrna: History and Theology of a Primitive Christian Community. Peter Lang edition, 2015, p. 155)

He asked those questions knowing full well that real Christians had not done any of those things.

Furthermore, the historian Kenneth Scott Latourette noted that even late into the third century:

... most of the early Christians had conscientious scruples against military service (Latourette K.S. A History of Christianity, Volume 1, Beginnings to 1500. Harper, San Francisco, 1975, p. 89).

And while after some time, much of the empire soldiers professed Christ, this empire-wide acceptance of Christianity occurred with a "compromise with the world...a serious peril to the Gospel" (ibid, p.108).

Even after the Greco-Romans gained dominance and became militaristic, those with Church of God views remained pacifists throughout the Middle Ages to present.

Notice also what The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches:

Leo V, though an Iconoclast, tried to refute the accusation that he was a Paulician by persecuting them furiously. A great number of them at this time rebelled and fled to the Saracens. Sergius was killed in 835. Theodora, regent for her son Michael III, continued the persecution...We hear continually of wars against the Saracens, Armenians, and Paulicians ... This eliminated the sect as a military power. Meanwhile other Paulicians, heretics but not rebels, lived in groups throughout the empire (Fortesque A. Transcribed by Richard L. George. Paulicians. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

It should be noted that the reason that some of the Paulicians did not fight back was because some of them were in the true Church of God (please see the article The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3).

The Paulicians, who actually called themselves catholics (but did not consider the Roman Catholics to be catholic) were followed by the Bogomils, Cathars, and Albigenses (more on historay can be found in the free online book: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church).

The pacifist Bogomils were condemned by the Greco-Roman Catholics as heretics. Notice this from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The heresy of the Bogomili was started in the tenth century... followers called themselves Christians and considered their faith the only true one. In Bosnia they were named Paterines. The Paterines, or Bogomili ... forbade intercourse with those of other faiths, disbelieved in war (Klaar K. Transcribed by Joseph E. O'Connor. Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Harvard's Harold Brown also noted that the Bogomils were pacifists (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p.260). So have other scholars:


The Cathari condemned the Greco-Romans because they supported and encouraged warfare:

The Cathari ... One of the charges made against the established Church was that it countenanced war and marshalled armies. (History of the Christian Church By Philip Schaff, David Schley Schaff. Published by C. Scribner's sons, 1907 Item notes: v.5:pt.1 Original from Harvard University Digitized Feb 5, 2008, pp. 474-490).

The Albigenses were pacifists, but they and those who sometimes failed to not turn them in to Greco-Roman Catholic authorities were often killed. Notice what a former Roman Catholic priest reported:

It has been reckoned that in the last and most savage persecution under Emperor Diocletian about two thousand Christians perished, worldwide. In the first incident of Pope Innocent's Crusade ten times that number of people were slaughtered. Not all were Albigensians. It comes as a shock to discover that, at a stroke, a pope killed far more Christians than Diocletian (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, pp. 160-161).

(The entire persecution that Roman Emperor Diocletian unleashed lasted from 303-313 A.D; the inquisition-persecution that Innocent III unleashed lasted hundreds of years.)

Some in the true Church of God were later called Waldenses (though most called that name were not in the Church of God) were pacifists. Notice this description of them :

Their opposition to bearing arms, and to war in all its operations, was unanimous and unequivocal. Whoever commanded them to the field they refused to obey, alleging that they could not conscientiously comply (Quoted from Davis, Tamar. A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches. 1851; Reprinted 1995 by Commonwealth Publishing, Salt Lake City, p. 78).

Church of God leaders maintained the pacifist position.

Notice what G.G. Rupport, a leader once affiliated with part of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), taught in 1917:

I prefer to lose my life than 'killing someone' under a fit of enthusiasm or imaginary loyalty. (Rupport G.G. Remnant of Israel, May 1917. As quoted in The Remnant of Israel. Richard Nickels' Reprint 1993).

Notice what the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught:

We believe that Christian disciples of Christ are forbidden by Him and the commandments of God to kill, or in any manner directly or indirectly to take human life; by whatsoever means; we believe that bearing arms is directly contrary to this fundamental doctrine of our belief; we therefore conscientiously refuse to bear arms or to come under the military authority." (Armstrong, Herbert W. Fundamental Beliefs of the Radio Church of God. As quoted in Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong, Public domain articles written from 1928-1953)

That is also the position of the Continuing Church of God in the 21st century. We are pacifists.

Now in the New Testament, notice something John the Baptist was prophesied to do:

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79)

So, John the Baptist was expected to guide God's followers into the way of peace. So, notice that he addressed the military this way:

14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14).

The word translated as 'intimidate' is the Greek word diaseio which the KJV translates as violence. Strong's translates it to shake thoroughly, to intimidate, to do violence to. It comes from two Greek words 'diagnosis' and 'seio'; diagnosis is translated as examination and seio as to rock, agitate, to throw in a tremor. There is no way a soldier can not 'agitate/intimidate' if they are trying to kill someone.

Thus, John the Baptist's statement here shows that military violence was not for the followers of God. Sadly, most groups who claim Christianity have not understood that.

True Christians, however, remained pacifists.

The Apostle John was inspired to record:

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:9-10).

Notice that even until the end, saints are to be patient and NOT be among those that kill with the sword. No wonder that the Roman Church and Martin Luther have discounted the literal understanding of the Book of Revelation--otherwise they would have to change their positions on warfare

In the Kingdom of God, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3).

In His Sermon on the Mount, He taught to be angry against one without cause risked judgment (Matthew 5:22). Because of these teachings and the teaching to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), early Christians would not only not join the military, they would not even watch violent sports (cf. Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter XV).

More details on this can also be found in the article: Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? 

Violent Sports

You may be thinking, well, although you may have been excessively angry and said things you should not have said, since you do not support abortion, have never killed anyone, and am not part of the military, so other than some self-control issues, you am fine.

Perhaps you are.

But perhaps you are not.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9)

What is your view of sport's violence?

Wanting someone to be injured or to somehow be intentionally struck by someone else for entertainment does not show ‘Philadelphian love’ and should not be encouraged.

Philadelphia means ‘brotherly love.’ Yet, most who profess Christ do not seem to be bothered by encouraging violence against others, when it comes to violent sports.

Early professors of Jesus did NOT think Christans were to watch intentionally violent sports.

Tatian, a professing Christian apologist, wrote around 170 A.D.:

And for these the witnesses take their seats, and the boxers meet in single combat, for no reason whatever, nor does any one come down into the arena to succour. Do such exhibitions as these redound to your credit? He who is chief among you collects a legion of blood-stained murderers, engaging to maintain them; and these ruffians are sent forth by him, and you assemble at the spectacle to be judges, partly of the wickedness of the adjudicator, and partly of that of the men who engage in the combat. And he who misses the murderous exhibition is grieved, because he was not doomed to be a spectator of wicked and impious and abominable deeds (Tatian. Translated by J.E. Ryland. Tatian's Address to the Greeks, Chapter XXIII . Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Athenagoras, a professing Christian apologist, wrote around 170 A.D.:

What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?...

Who does not reckon among the things of greatest interest the contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those which are given by you? But we, deeming that to see a man put to death is much the same as killing him, have abjured such spectacles (Athenagoras. A Plea for the Christians, Chapter XXXV. Translated by B.P. Pratten. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Even today, many Christians realize that watching brutal events intent on causing physical harm, such as real boxing and American football, is inappropriate.

Now, here is something from Theophilus of Antioch (who probably was part of the Church of God) perhaps written about 180 A.D.:

Consider, therefore, whether those who teach such things can possibly live indifferently, and be commingled in unlawful intercourse, or, most impious of all, eat human flesh, especially when we are forbidden so much as to witness shows of gladiators, lest we become partakers and abettors of murders. But neither may we see the other spectacles, lest our eyes and ears be defiled, participating in the utterances there sung. Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter XV. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition)

So, true Christians did not believe that they were to fight nor even watch the violent sports that were popular in the second century.

Notice that this is also the position of the third century Roman Catholic theologian and bishop Hippolytus, who also adds various occupations to those that reject one from being a follower of Christ:

16:6 A charioteer, likewise, or one who takes part in the games, or one who  goes to the games, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 7 If someone is a gladiator, or one  who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast  shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he  shall cease, or he shall be rejected. 8 If someone is a priest of idols, or an attendant of idols,  he shall cease or he shall be rejected. (Hippolytus. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome. From the work of Bernard Botte (La Tradition Apostolique. Sources Chretiennes, 11 bis. Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1984) and of Gregory Dix (The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, Bishop and Martyr. London: Alban Press, 1992) as translated by Kevin P. Edgecomb viewed 08/06/09)

As late as the beginning of the fourth century, the Greco-Roman Catholic apologist Lactanus/Lactanius wrote:

Or why should he carry on war, and mix himself with the passions of others, when his mind is engaged in perpetual peace with men? {The Christian} considers it unlawful not only himself to commit slaughter, but to be present with those who do it, and to behold it (Lactanus. Divine Institutes, Book V (Of True Wisdom and Religion), Chapter 18).

Remember that Jesus’ comments in Matthew 5:21-22 demonstrate, He expanded the restrictions against murder. Those expansions generally do not condone carnal warfare nor encourage violence in sports. Many fans of violent sports get inappropriately angry.

I have been asked about where to draw the line about sports' violence, or how can one determine if a sport is appropriate?

The short answer is that Christians should consider that if the INTENT of the sport, if played according to the rules, is to inflict violent physical contact that can reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm, then the sport is evil. It is Satanic to encourage such behavior.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32, NKJV)

Christians are not supposed to be entertained by violence, participate in violence, nor approve violence.

Nor the following:

9 ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:9-10, NKJV)

Regular American tackle football, boxing, and many other sports intentionally inflict bodily harm. That is evil, not love. Can anyone rationally argue that sports like boxing or American tackle football do not harm? Are they not truly violent?

Notice the following warning:

23 'Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled. (Ezekiel 7:23-24)

American cities are full of football-related violence during football season. And those who allow boxing are certainly having crimes of blood being committed (as do though with various other violent fighting sports).

Since American football intentionally inflicts various hurts, the following scripture supports the idea that it will not be allowed in the Millennium:

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9, NKJV)

Because many who profess Christianity have not to that standard, many who do not claim Christianity see problems for those that do.

The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

Have you ever wondered why so many athletes look like ex-boxers? The cauliflower ears, broken noses and facial scars all attest to the reality that violence in sports has become part of the game. The number of crippled players at hospital casualty centers after various games demonstrates how injurious many sports have become. (Marshall G. Plain Truth. July-August 1984)

The late WCG evangelist Lester Leroy Neff wrote: :

Modern Christianity is a puzzle to many people. It does not really make sense.


Here is one outstanding reason.

A person reading the teachings of Jesus cannot reconcile His teachings regarding love and kindness to neighbor with the violent and bloody wars which many millions of "Christians" have participated in. No wonder there is confusion and uncertainty regarding Christianity today!

The pagans and heathens have looked at "Christianity" and have evaluated it as an hypocritical religion. It teaches love and kindness, justice and mercy, but completely fails to practice these virtues in such areas as war, big business, and brutal sports such as boxing and wrestling.

Because of the conflicts between the teaching and the actual practice of Christians, even many of the educated of our day have questioned Christianity and have accused it of failing. (Neff LL. SHOULD A CHRISTIAN FIGHT? A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology, 1982)

Christianity is not to be violent nor promote/encourage violence in sports.

Because many do not practice true Christianity, others have felt it is not right. As Peter warned:

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Advocating war and encouraging violent sports are destructive ways that have had many blaspheme the way of truth.

Regarding sports, here is some of what the late Herbert W. Armstrong (of the old WCG) wrote:

All Sports Not Wrong

Competition and not cooperation, is the attitude which Satan inculcates human minds. But that does not mean that all sports are wrong or to be banned. The law of God is based on the way of righteousness...The basic law is love, out flowing toward God above all else, and secondarily, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

To harm the other fellow and to gain by doing so for self is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin...

At golf the one who wins is not the one gets the most by taking it away from the other...So golf is not a wrong competition--nor is any race at a distance, or hurdle race, or long jump, high jump, pole vault or other field competition in a track and field meet...

Boxing at Ambassador College is definitely banned. God did not create the human brain and head to be pummeled and knocked senseless by an antagonist.

Wherever a game in sports involves antagonists--in hostile attitude to harm the other and/or to "get" from the other--to get the best of the other then a harmful, satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is evil, not good...

Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with with physical injury. Therefore it is not played, but we do play American flag football, at Ambassador College. (Armstrong HW. An Overview from Higher Up. Plain Truth, July-August 1984, pp. 3-4)

Truly , COMPETITION, not cooperation is the attitude Satan innoculates into human minds...To HARM the other fellow, and to gain by so doing for SELF, is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin...

Behind my back when I was away from Pasadena all but about 60 days in a year , others without my knowledge or consent got Ambassador into intercollegiate competition. THE RESULTS WERE BAD! That is OFFICIALLY
BANNED from now on...

Boxing is definitely BANNED. God did not design and create the human brain and head to be pummeled and knocked senseless by an antagonist.

Wherever a game in sports involves ANTAGONISTS--in HOSTILE ATTITUDE to harm the other and/or to "GET" from the other--to get the best of the other--then a harmful, Satanic and evil attitude enters in , and the sport is EVIL, not good...

football , (American football)...because football is such a violent body contact sport , it TOO OFTEN is played in an ATTITUDE OF HOSTILITY, and is too DANGEROUS and fraught with PHYSICAL INJURY . Therefore it must be BANNED so far as participation by God's Church or people is concerned...This is sufficient to illustrate the application of the PRINCIPLE of God's Law to sports. That participated in with an attitude of HOSTILITY toward the opponent is evil. That which HARMS mentally or physically an opponent is evil.

Satan is the author of COMPETITION based on hostility, harm to the opponent, GETTING by taking FROM an opponent--to his harm or loss. God's way is LOVE TOWARD neighbor equal to love of self. (Armstrong HW. Not all sports are banned. Pastor General's Report, Volume 2, Issue 36, September 5, 1980)

Sometimes there is a fine line between what is within and what is outside God's law.

Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It too often is played in an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and fraught with physical injury. Therefore it is not played, but we do play American flag football at Ambassador.

Soccer does not embody the same evils. Baseball, softball, volleyball, while competitive, do not necessarily involve hostility, harm to others or trying to prevent the opponent from doing his best. When played in God's attitude toward others these are acceptable and not prohibited. (Armstrong HW. An Overview from Higher Up. Plain Truth, July-August 1984)

Violent sports are played with a hostile attitude.

In the late 1980s, I once gave a speech at the old WCG Spokesman's Club opposing football and watching the then upcoming Super Bowl game. Sadly, it was not well received.

While some who claim to be Philadelphia Christians try to justify watching American football, they should realize that the comments by Herbert Armstrong were made mainly in response to how he saw supposed Christians playing and viewing sports that, of themselve, he did not oppose. He then took his criticisms of competitive sports to the next level, and did not just condemn the improper competitive attitudes of sports participants/fans, but the violent sports themselves.

The COG in the 21st century that has come out with perhaps the clearest statements condemning American tackle football is the Continuing Church of God. Most others, with a USA presence, either directly or indirectly endorse it or will not condemn it (could cost them supporters and donors). Since 'Philadelphia' means 'love of one's brother,' should not real Philadelphian Christians condemn truly violent acts against others?

Jesus also said:

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:20-21, NKJV).

Is watching American football or boxing something that would be pleasing to God?

Violent sports causes great harm. They also harm, spiritually, those that watch them for entertainment. No one has excuses anymore to pretend otherwise.

Tackle football fans WANT one team to repeatedly knock down players of the opposing team. They get a thrill and satisfaction from their team winning.

But for many tackles to happen, one or more players often gets at least slightly injured, and sometimes permanently so.

Similarly, the same happens with boxing and various fighting sports.

To encourage this as a fan and to be pleased when it happens simply is not good for Christians and is harmful for character development--including developing more of the love of God.

The Apostle John was inspired to write, "he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21).

Encouraging and celebrating violent physical contact (tackling) is not showing love towards players.

Tackle football is violent and often unmerciful. The same about boxing and many other violent sports.

So, if participating in them is evil, should Christians approve of it?

Additionally, twice the New Testament refers to the good news message as "the gospel of peace":

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:14-15)

Is not taking a stand against encouraging sports violence consistent with the gospel of peace and love? Or should ministers tell people that violent sports like American tackle football are not "inherently evil" as at least one 'COG' minister has done?

Christians are to Love, Not Murder, Not Hate

Peter wrote about Christian behavior in this life:

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..." (1 Peter 3:10-11).

Notice the following about Jesus:

18 "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust. (Matthew 12:18-21)

Jesus was not violent.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

The Apostle Paul was non-violent. The Apostle Paul was not militaristic.

Neither was Jesus.

Neither, should be, His true followers.

To understand the difference between the truly faithful and the others, notice what Jesus taught:

2 ... yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you (John 16:2-4).

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of (2 Timothy 3:12-14).

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor (Romans 13:10a)

Of course, violence does harm to neighbors.

Jesus taught love:

27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)

Christians are to be merciful, not murderous, in thoughts and deeds/

Remember, Jesus said:

52 ..."Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:51-53).

Jesus clearly was telling His followers to NOT take up arms--even to defend Him. Sadly, many who claim to be His followers o not agree with Him about that.

Notice also what the Apostle John wrote:

10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:10-11)

14 He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:14-15).

Those that hate do not abide in the light nor have eternal life!

Some have asked what members of the Church are supposed to do if they are subject to attack. Jesus made that clear,

23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes (Matthew 10:23).

Jesus did not advise becoming part of the military.

Paul wrote:

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

We are to pray for our governmental leaders so we can lead a quiet and peaceable life, we cannot possibly lead a peaceable life if we are engaged in military warfare. Paul also wrote:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

Notice the type of weapons and armour Christians are supposed to have--and that they are all for "spiritual" not carnal warfare:

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (Ephesians 6:11-17).

15 How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:15)

8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).

Those who advocate carnal warfare or violent sports for Christians do not understand the GOSPEL OF PEACE!

Notice also:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Does anyone feel that God Himself would condone encouraging violent sports as the type of 'good works' Christians should be involved in?

Furthermore, Paul wrote:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

Those who practice murdeous behaviors in this life WILL NOT BE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Notice that what the New Testament admonishes Christians:

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

You cannot observe the above if you are engaged in carnal warfare. A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.

Paul also wrote:

15 But God has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15).

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11).

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 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. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:18-21)

Vengeance is God's. Christians are to live peaceably.

While it is true that the resurrected saints will help Christ crush His enemies (Jude 14-15), the saints are changed and not physical humans at that time (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Roman Church and Martin Luther have discounted the literal understanding of the Book of Revelation as it condmens violence (cf. 13:9-10, 21:8, 22:15)--otherwise they would have to change their positions on warfare (more on Martin Luther and Revelation can be found in the article Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

Jesus Christ cannot live in you if you are going to kill, hate, or participate in human warfare.

In the 21st century, the Continuing Church of God has taken the following position in its Statement of Beliefs:


Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). John the Baptist taught, “Do violence to no man” (Luke 3:14, KJV). Historically, those of the Church of God have considered military service as wrong for its members. From Revolutionary War times to the Civil War and to present, countries like the United States have tended to have had provisions to exempt Church of God members and congregants from military participation because of conscientious objections. Early Christians did not participate in military warfare nor watch violent sports.

The Apostle Paul taught “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20). The Apostle Peter taught that God’s people were “a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out” (1 Peter 2:9). The Bible also teaches that this world has been deceived by Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9) and that God’s people need to be separate from the world (John 15:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Revelation 18:4). Thus, historically, the Church of God has taught that its members not participate in secular juries and secular politics. However, Christians are expected to listen to (and pray for, 1 Timothy 2:1-3) governmental authorities (1 Peter 2:13-17) and pay their taxes (Matthew 22:17-21), yet if there is a conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29, NLT). (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God)

This is historically consistent with the COG throughout history as well as the New Testament.

Notice that the Bible prophecies about Jesus:

4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Thus, we in the Continuing Church of God see no reason to encourage behaviour that Christ will eliminate--Jesus is the Prince of Peace! And that is part of why we teach against Christians participating in carnal warfare.

Furthermore, notice the following:

8 But ...murderers...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8).

And, here is something about those not let into God's kingdom:

15 But outside are...murderers ... and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15)

Do not cling to the lie that you can be bitter, hateful, or unforgiving.

All of us need to be kind.


We are to obey the sixth commandment, which Jesus expanded the understanding to include violent thoughts and even improper words.

Yes, most of us also need to work on self-control and anger.

Furthermore, encouraging violence is evil--which is why being a fan of violent sports-- is wrong (see also Is American Football Evil?). Christians who feel that since they do not participate in the military they are not violent, but excuse themselves for being fans of violent sports are deceiving themselves.

Harming ones neighbor is wrong--it is not love.

Paul wrote:

9 ... if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:9-10).

Participating in military fighting harms one's neighbor. Encouraging violent sports harms one's neighbor--violent sports hurt people, this is a documented and proven facts. Many in the COGs seem to somewhat understand that military fighting does harm, but many have trouble understanding about violent sports. But Philadelphia Christians need to understand what love is all about and what the Bible really teaches. Remember that Philadelphia basically means to love the brethren--Philadelphia Christians truly do love their neighbor.

Jesus taught that even certain thoughts of anger were murder (Matthew 5:21-22).

Killing is evil. Vengeance is God's (Romans 12:19).

If Christians are not supposed to be soldiers, what should be done about peace?

Seek it and pray for it! Notice from the Psalms:

14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14).

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

We are also to pray for worldly leaders and those that have authority over us so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Paul wrote:

23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23).

Becoming part of the military makes one a 'slave of men,' and do so intentionally violates this admonition. Remember, in cases of conflict between Church and State, Peter taught:

29 We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

Military participation became part of mainstream "Christianity" after one who embraced the sun-god insisted that those who disagreed with him should be persecuted. Should Christians follow the Bible or non-biblical "traditions of men"?

Obviously, members of the real Church of God are to rely on God. That is what we in the Continuing Church of God teach.

Furthermore, notice something from the Old and New Testaments

22 What is desired in a man is kindness, (Proverbs 19:22)

12 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. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-16)

We are just not to kill those who upset us. We are to put on tender mercies, be kind, and forgive others.

We are to love our enemies, pray for them, and trust God. Christ's kingdom is not now of this world, thus we His servants do not fight. It is sad that not all who claim to be Christians still believe and teach this.

Do you have the patience and faith of the saints (Revelation 13:10)?

Control your anger, be kind, and give love. That is how Christians should also understand the sixth commandment.

Here is a link to a related sermon: : Murder, anger, kindness, and love.

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Thiel B. Ph.D. The Sixth Commandment: Anger, Murder, Abortion, Sports, Self-Control, & Kindness. (c) 2022 COGwriter. 2022 0630