Was Norway Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik a Christian?
In connection with the youth camp massacre on Friday that left 85 people dead, Norwegian police have arrested a man Saturday, whom they describe as a â€œright-wing fundamentalist Christian,â€ Hmm Fundamentalist? I think perhaps they are using the wrong word. If anyone murders in the name of Christ it is not because they are taking the Bible too seriously, but because they are not taking the Bible seriously enough. Many people in Norway think they are Christian simply because they are Norwegian. Don't get me wrong, I believe as fallen human beings any of us are capable of the most heinous atrocities. So, I would argue, that human nature is the cause rather than the teachings of the Bible.
I predict the media may be too quick to jump on this one. This is because the teachings of Christ are primary to the Christian faith, especially of the "fundamentalist kind, but it does not include or condone the taking of human life for any reason. If, by the grace of God, you live by Jesus' teachings, you do not murder another human being, period, regardless of their ideology. Killing may be fundamental in other religions and ideologies, but certainly not in the Christian faith! In many ideologies, the greater the degree of fundamentalism the greater danger of violence it poses on society. In Christianity, the more conservative the theology the less likelihood there is of violence.
Next, it is a simple fact that followers of Christ are not threatened by Islam, Secularism or Paganism. God is sovereign over all things, including the unfolding of the minutest details of history. It is ours merely to proclaim Christ and what He has done for sinners - and God causes the growth or not. The small political gains we might make in this world do not help sinners know Christ and find salvation, only the gospel or grace does that. Christianity does not flourish by taking over the reigns of power, or by beating down opposing ones. On the contrary, it has been shown over and over in history that Christ advances his kingdom in the least likely of places. China for example, has been closed to Christianity almost through their entire history. But when Mao decided to persecute and make it extremely difficult for indigenous Christians, God saw to it that this oppression would create the greatest revival the world has ever seen - from 1 million Christians in 1949 to well over 100 Million today, in just 60 years. From this we can only conclude that the gospel is not chained. We advance our cause through proclaiming good news to every creature, not by wielding physical weapons or political power. That is not to say we do not vote or get involved in politics. As long as it is legal we will vote our conscience based on God's law, but the success of the gospel does not depend on it and again there is no place for violence to accomplish these goals. Christ forbade his followers from stopping him from being killed in Jerusalem at the hands of evil men. Likewise, when people want to stamp Christians out, the faith has historically grown because the message of the cross in their lives has been the most powerful witness against falsehood, and its all done without picking up a sword. Lastly, as Christians we recognize that we are no better than other people in the world. We are not Christians because we are more moral than others or better in any way, but only because God was merciful to hell deserving sinners like us. Apart from the grace of God, we have nothing.
So the answer to the question of whether or not he was a Christian should be clear. He is not. But, whatever he called himself, he certainly was not of the conservative gospel kind of Christian. His statements rejecting Protestantism and embracing the strange beliefs of the Free Masons might also give us a clue. Police have speculated that the attack may have been politically motivated. Behring's political comments appearing on some political blogs seem to suggest that "fundamentalist Christian" is a very misleading description. There his views appear to be more ideological rather than religious with his overall focus being his opposition to multiculturalism.
Lets hope the press does not botch this as they did with Jared Laughner, who was well-known for this atheism yet strangely enough, people not associated with him or his insane ideology at all, were thought to be to blame.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Breivik is a Darwinist who sees Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform, who supports a monocultural Christian Europe. An agnostic/atheist who claims to want to preserve the basics of the European "Christian" cultural legacy.
Terrorist proclaimed himself 'Darwinian,' not 'Christian'
Norwegian's manifesto shows Breivik not religious, having no personal faith