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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Look Away! | Main | How Do You Know if You are One of the Chosen? »

    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 “right-wing fundamentalist Christian,” 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.

    Related Article
    Terrorist proclaimed himself 'Darwinian,' not 'Christian'
    Norwegian's manifesto shows Breivik not religious, having no personal faith

    Posted by John on July 24, 2011 03:09 PM

    Comments

    "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."

    The new york times has already put up a web article headlined "christian extremist" and than changed the title... however, the article still has all the references:

    "The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

    “We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference. “What we know is that he is right wing and a Christian fundamentalist.”

    And at the bottom of the page:

    "A version of this article appeared in print on July 24, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: As Horrors Emerge, Norway Charges Christian Extremist."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.html

    Apparently the fellow was somewhat active on a forum where neo-nazis freqent ... "nordisk," supposedly with many posts.

    I'd say we're going to be having the mindless mob treatment for this one while the world tries madly to pin the tail on the "what group" donkey.

    Also, could you maybe comment about what you think about "christian self defense" and pacifism? The waters, I suspect, are going to very muddied on those topics due to knee-jerk unbiblical reactions as well meaning but uninformed Christians try to defend themselves against attacks.

    “A man may as truly say, the sea burns, or fire cools, as that free grace and mercy should make a soul truly gracious do wickedly”. Thomas Brooks

    Great article. Thank you for writing it. It is a shame to see how Christ's name is being slandered so much because some are claiming this guy was an extremist or fundamentalist.

    I love what you had to say about non-violence. And, as @Pht said above, I would really appreciate seeing some articles about non-violence. It seems to be something the American church really doesn't get.

    As correct as all this is, you can answer this question quite directly by looking at what Anders Behring Breivik himself has written.

    This might be helpful:

    http://davidjohnstone.net/blog/2011/07/is-anders-behring-breivik-a-christian

    @David

    Thanks for the link, but I already provided one at the end of my article which provides pretty much the same data and more. There were other purposes in writing the article than seeing this question at such a micro-scale. I was trying to answer a much larger question...

    I posted this article-link on the rise of the secular right-wing movement in Europe on my blog (www.thereformedmind.wordpress.com) in early June. He may in fact turn out to be this kind of right-wing extremists (not Christian but secular).

    http://thereformedmind.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/the-secular-right-wing-movement-in-europe/

    @John H

    Yeah, the theological response is important too. As for the manifesto, I just like the shorter form of my own post :-)

    For an even longer post, I wrote another article which is mostly just quotes from the manifesto, with the odd bit of commentary (the top response to the WND article annoys me):

    http://davidjohnstone.net/blog/2011/07/a-deeper-look-at-anders-behring-breiviks-beliefs

    I think he was the totally of antithesis manifestation, when there is no common-ground, and interesting for theocratic/thenomist order, when he felt representing that.

    I was living in moslem country, the beautiful country was name Indonesia with "sexy" fact as largest moslem people with synchretic-nominee, modernist, even fundamentalist and more to far become extermist and moreover terrorist for very limited and very small interesting but Indonesia still not to be moslem government with sharia law and order, i really hope that, till now.

    islamophobi its like the antithesis for epistemology and resources to appreciate the ontology nature in society.

    reject the multiculturalism, when there is the real fact that happen. sorry for these, but we can't deny the reconstruction the antithesis (bahnsen, van til, etc I think timothy mc veight too-oklahoma center bombing). we aware with fundamentalism islam in taliban goverment and terrorist network like al-qaida, there are resources for that but what resource for "christian" terrorist ? the "white Klan" supremacy or antithesis think ? I firm that antithesis think, even anders brevik (norway terorist) not graduate from "antithesis" seminary.

    So the Indo police especially terorist anti force, should to aware not only the al-qaida network with jihadist remnants from afghanistan but also for "christian" terorist that proud cite and tag the orthodoxy with antithesis view.

    Don't worry My view is evangelical and living as minority with mostly my neighborhood is moslem and hopefully the work of holy spirit with gospel witnessing that defend and living in "multicultural" as well as happen plural Indonesia ethnicgroups.


    jann
    komunitas Injili Cibinong
    west java - Indonesia

    John, I am a little confused. Are you saying that there is no just cause to take another human's life. You probably know what I'm going to ask. such as the taking of an enemy life in war or capital punishment. If I understood you correctly there is "no" reason for one human to take the life of another human. Can you help me to understand how this can be.

    Terry

    In context of what the post is talking about ... no there is never a reason to take another person's life. In the name of furthering the gospel we do not mow people down with bullets. Christians are to accept the providence of God in unjust suffering just a Christ did.

    Martin Luther once said, "I will not have recourse to arms and bloodshed in defense of the Gospel. By the Word the earth has been subdued; by the Word the Church has been saved; and by the Word also it shall be reestablished."

    If you want to talk about just war or capital punishment that is another topic entirely unrelated to the issue at hand. If a thief breaks into my house and threatens my family or if some other country invades mine we certainly have a right to recourse ... But such questions are not related to personal political power or for the sake of the advance of the gospel but are common sense questions of self-defense, keeping the peace and civil government in the secular sphere, which God is sovereign over.

    Christians sometimes are fooled into thinking otherwise because they are wrapped up in politics to the degree that they think they are powerless or the world is going to end if we lose the battle for some law. My point is that the gospel is not hindered by whatever government or persecution that we may suffer. Unjust/unholy laws enacted by pagans/secularists do make a dent against God eternal plan. In fact God often in the midst of harsh realities reveals his power and advances the gospel more than he would under prosperity. ... This is not to say we should not work for a just government and God-honoring laws within our legal limits but the world does not end if they come into existence. God laughs at such trifles because he will prevail.

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