Post-Zimmerman Thoughts: How Many Potential Crime Victims of Trayvon Martin Have Been Saved Since Feb. 2012?

Trayvon Martin w: FatherWhile the media and the public continue to play Monday morning quarterback following the jury verdict handed down in the Zimmerman trial last weekend, there is a certain question in my mind that I have not seen asked by anybody.

The question is this:

How many potential crime victims of Trayvon Martin have been saved, and how many of his potential, future crimes and violent acts against others have been avoided and averted since Feb. 2012 when the tragic shooting took place?

Obviously, that’s a question no one can answer.  But the fact is, had this seriously delinquent young man lived, who knows how many more people would have been his unwitting victims as his budding career as a street thug and heartless criminal was just starting to take off.

The highly manipulated image of Trayvon as just a mischievous kid who was innocently walking down a rainy residential street one night with a bag of candies and a soft drink in his hand when he was suddenly accosted by a “white Hispanic” racist-aggressor, skinhead-in-disguise-with-a-gun (and-no-badge) George Zimmerman, was (and still is) just that — an artificially crafted and controlled image and prejudicial narrative that the “mainstream media” and the corrupt political establishment in Washington have worked furiously to maintain throughout the entire unwarranted murder trial.

Nobody is glad to see a 17-year-old, regardless of his race, meet with a violent and untimely death like this.  But there are PLENTY of people who would not only be glad but absolutely elated and overjoyed to see the “antagonist-perpetrator” 28-year-old in this made-up saga meet with as violent and untimely (and brutal) a death as possible!

What Would Jesus Have Done?

Some high-profile “Christians” (Jim Wallis) have vigorously denounced online and in-print both the outcome of the trial and the actions taken by Mr. Zimmerman that night in February 2012.

But the issues of self-defense and the use of lethal force against another person — and the quasi-issue of racism — are not the subjects being dealt with here.  (I’ve addressed the matter of guns and self-defense from a Christian perspective in a previous article.)

The issue I’m bringing up is that, in this particular case — as in so many others that are not obsessively covered (twisted, distorted, co-opted) in the media and by the pro-criminal establishment — the net result of the altercation was the immediate halting (via death) of the violent, injurious and potentially deadly actions of the perpetrator, aggressor and law-breaker, and the protection and preservation of the life of the real victim, the non-aggressor and non-violent law-keeper (volunteer law-“enforcer”).

To throw a bone to the “WWJD” crowd, let it be made perfectly clear that Jesus came to fulfill, satisfy and scrupulously NOT disannul, disavow and deny, but rather “preserve, protect and defend” the continuing force and validity of the unbreakable, immutable and perfectly righteous and holy Law of God.  He himself was judged by it.  So, what would Jesus have done?  Frankly, nothing that would have been in any way contradictory or in violation of His Father’s Law!  And he would want his followers to do likewise.  Biblical law is a system of justice and equity based on restitution and restoration, not revenge.

Stripping away the thin veneer of falsehoods and omissions that were contrived from the beginning to conceal the true facts of this shooting, one is left with a simple case of a young man acting defensively and, yes, desperately in response to a vicious, unrelenting and violent physical assault brought on by another young man, who was clearly acting offensively, hatefully and with undue force and without any restraint.

God’s law, properly applied, would hold the first young man innocent of wrong-doing because he was acting (actually reacting) solely in self-defense of his person to preserve and protect innocent life — his!   That law would also likewise hold the second young man guilty of acting unlawfully and unjustifiably to intentionally cause physical harm and serious injury (and possibly death, we’ll never know) to another.

He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.  And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.  But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. ~ Exodus 21:12-14

If Trayvon had lived, God’s law — biblical law — would require him to compensate George Zimmerman fully for the injuries he caused him: medical bills, lost income, etc.  It would require the guilty party, the perpetrator, the aggressor, NOT the TAXPAYER or the STATE, to make restitution to the victim.

And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:  If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. ~ Exodus 21:18-19

If Trayvon had lived and continued his life of crime and violence and burglary and theft and “substance abuse” and possibly (later on) rape and murder or manslaughter (which he might well have committed and been guilty of in this instance if Zimmerman had not had a gun!), then he would be liable under God’s law to be punished to the fullest extent by relinquishing his life via the civil authorities administering capital punishment — utilizing private citizens to actually carry it out (ex. Numbers 15:36, Joshua 7:25, I Kings 21:13), but that is another non-pietistic, anti-sentimentalist aspect of biblical law for another day! — as this would be the only form of restitution available to him to somehow “compensate” his past and present (and future) victims and their families, for their losses.  And most of all, restitution owed to the holy God whose justice and “legal system” requires man’s blood for the shedding of innocent blood, and for incorrigible, violent repeat-offenders whose presence in the community poses a continual threat to the life and safety of others.

All of this is based on the original principle of the “sanctity of life” (innocent life) set forth by God:

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. ~ Genesis 9:6

That is the hard truth of it.  No sentimentality or emotion or political expediency or practiced prevarication should be allowed to influence prejudicially and corruptly the outcome of a case that is so clearly “open-and-shut” and an obvious one of justifiable self-defense not meriting a trumped-up show trial lasting one and a half years!

A far more desirable outcome — infinitely more desirable — would have been for Trayvon to have lived through the encounter, hopefully learned from it as well as his past “indiscretions” and offenses, and brought to saving faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and experienced forgiveness and emotional healing and full and free redemption, and thus had a very different life after that.  But, tragically, regrettably, that didn’t happen.  Only the mysterious providence of God can explain why.

One More Thing…

Something else that comes brilliantly through in this travesty-turned-vindication-of-justice is this.  Jury trials are probably one of our last, best hopes to defend ourselves against advancing government tyranny and the encroachment of the state and trampling of our rights via power-hungry politicians, self-serving and wicked public figures and state-worshipping “leaders” and an ungodly legal system that is increasingly prone to manipulation and convolution and distortion of truth and the adjudicatory process, and the promulgation of falsehoods and lies in the name of “justice.”

Juries, Justice and God’s Law

Here again, we see the biblical model in Scripture:

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? ~ I Corinthians 6:3

From a covenantal and theonomic standpoint, jury trials are an excellent example of God’s law in action through self-government: private citizens judging matters at law themselves that involve other private citizens, by applying the law themselves to the facts of the case brought before them.  Their decision can go against the judge, the state, even against the law itself — jury nullificationand most especially (and necessarily) against the general public, who almost never has access to all the facts of the case as they do.   And best of all, despite all that opposition and contradiction, when a verdict is handed down, their decision STANDS!

So if I’m ever involved in a life-threatening situation where I am compelled to act radically and forcefully in order to defend myself (or my family), and my actions result in the death of the perpetrator-aggressor, I would certainly hope and pray that, if I had to be tried in a court of law, I would be judged by a jury of my peers — even if they were all women! who understood what was truly at stake and were not influenced by the popular media or a willfully (and woefully) ignorant and easily manipulated and prejudiced public, not kow-towing to external pressure (thank God for sequestration) on them to find the case a certain way, but would, rather, judge righteously all the facts, and even the law itself, and make a decision and reach a verdict that would ultimately preserve law and order and justice and continue the precedent set by our biblical (and some of our political) forefathers, who recognized that “liberty and justice for all” only happens when all are informed and all are equally and equitably applying God’s law and principles to every area of life.

SCOTUS and God’s Law: Not By THAT Standard!

same-sex-marriageDespite the hue and cry this past week over the most recent landmark Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriages, the harsh truth of it is this: the Supreme Court of the United States last week did not do anything differently from what it has been doing for the past 223 years (since its inception in 1790) — ruling and deciding on cases brought before it based on a homogenous, humanistic standard of interpretation that is deliberately and scrupulously compounded from sources NOT based on the biblical laws and precepts of the Old and New Testaments of Holy Scripture.

Were you surprised by the hubris of those five men and women in sober black robes who voted in favor of it?

You shouldn’t be.

Surprised by the fact that, of the nine men and women who sit on the Court, six are Roman Catholic and three are Jewish — even as both of these “traditional” religions ostensibly and officially denounce the practice of homosexuality?

You should be.

But, then again, maybe you shouldn’t be surprised.

It depends on three things: whether or not you believe a person’s religious faith and personal beliefs should influence his decisions and actions as a political, or in this case judicial, figure; whether or not you believe Supreme Court decisions are always legally (constitutionally) binding and therefore to be followed and enforced in any and all cases; and, whether or not you believe the Supreme Court indeed has the last word on deciding so-called constitutional issues such as this one, and is the supreme “law of the land.”

Whose Law Is It Anyway?

If you’re a theonomist, consistent Calvinist or, heaven forbid, a full-on Christian Reconstructionist, you appreciate ethical and moral dilemmas like this one, and you should find this brief, three-part quiz to be a cinch to answer.

First, should a political or judicial figure’s decisions and actions be influenced and informed by his personal beliefs and religious faith?

Of course!  Are they any different from the rest of us who live and work in God’s economy in various capacities of leadership and spheres of influence under the rule and dominion of Christ?  A Christian magistrate should rule first and foremost as a Christian.  A Christian judge should decide cases first and foremost as a Christian.  (We have a nice “church-word” for people who profess one thing and live out (or promote and defend) another: hypocrite!)

The problem is, unless your faith and personal beliefs tell you that, (a), there is no neutrality — it is never a question of law or no law, but rather whose law — and, (b), God’s law has continuing validity and authority in our lives today despite what antinomians, most evangelicals and, frankly, most Christians say to the contrary, then your faith is truncated and based on the shifting sands of an inconsistent, non-covenantal theology.

Two, are ALL Supreme Court decisions to be considered “binding” and thus enforced and obeyed and respected by citizens and presidents (who are also citizens) alike in all cases?

Not by a long shot!

American history is replete with examples of presidents and politicians (and civilians and military) who disregarded and ignored — or threatened to ignore — Supreme Court decisions which they did not agree with.  But there is a difference between disregarding and ignoring for political or expedient reasons and doing so for sound theological, moral and doctrinal reasons.

As theonomically-inclined, historically and biblically-informed Christians (who tend to be somewhat more “liberty-minded” and politically astute than others in the same demographic!), we are empowered and even duty-bound to disregard and ignore, or at least challenge, criticize and (publicly) denounce court decisions — or laws for that matter — that blatantly and explicitly VIOLATE SCRIPTURE and force Christians to do likewise by imposing either unbiblical requirements or unbiblical sanctions and restrictions.

That point should lead us to a lengthy discussion of “Christian resistance” and the proper interpretation of Romans 13… But not right now!

Third, does the Supreme Court have “the last word” on deciding constitutional issues and questions?

No, the Supreme Court does not have the last word on deciding constitutional issues and questions, despite all appearances to the contrary.

Not even the venerable U.S. Constitution says anywhere (including Article III) that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review (let alone the lofty position of “judicial supremacy”).  This is simply a “well-established precedent” (much like the well-established precedent of following and enforcing decisions of denominational assemblies on similar issues!) that we have all come to assume is, by virtue of custom and tradition, “the way things ought to be.”

Who’s In Charge?

So, we are back to the question originally posed by Rushdoony in his 1958 book, “By What Standard?”

We know the answer.  The biblical laws of the Old and New Testaments.

The problem is, most of the country does not believe this, most CHRISTIANS do not believe this.  Hardly anyone in Congress or on Capitol Hill and no one in the Oval Office believes it.  Certainly no one sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court believes it.  (They haven’t believed it for at least 225 years!)

Where does that leave us?

It leaves is with a political system that has been hijacked at the top, manipulated clear down to the bottom, and corrupted everywhere in between.  It leaves us with an executive branch that behaves less and less like the “servant-leadership” that Jesus and the Scriptures exemplify, and more and more like the tyranny, oligarchy and unbridled monarchy that Samuel warned Israel about.  It leaves us with a legislative branch that promotes an intransigent and intractable bureaucracy which exists to satisfy every whim of the electorate and take away all the “uncertainties” and exigencies of life, carefully placing its demands on the rest of us while carefully exempting and enriching the law-makers and their cronies.  It leaves us with a judicial branch that autonomously judges man-made laws by other man-made laws and seemingly acts with “no controlling legal (or moral) authority” other than itself.

Sadly, as long as the money machine of taxpayers (church-going, Bible-reading and otherwise) and their central bank masters keeps churning out financial and electoral support for this unbiblical system of political-messianic programs, unscriptural laws and unchristian policies and practices, we can continue to expect more of the same.

How Shall We Then Reform?

We have an enormous library and burgeoning body of literature, including online and offline resources and media at our disposal, including an “action manual” now that gives us clear direction and concrete, historically and biblically-validated steps to take.

This is good, because correcting more than two centuries of political and judicial apostasy is no short-term project and will not be an easy task.

So, Christians, let’s get busy.  We have a LOT of work to do!

Why Our Ethics Should Be ‘Biblical’ and Not Merely ‘New Testament’: Greg Bahnsen

Greg Bahnsen pointingHere is another Blast from the Past reprint!  Taken from the archived newsletters of the Institute for Christian Economics.  This is the Oct. 1978 issue (vol. 1, no. 2) of BIBLICAL ETHICS.  It is Greg Bahnsen’s article, “The Entire Bible, Our Standard Today.”

If you remember Dr. Bahnsen, he was a talented and articulate speaker, and a skilled and devastating (to the atheists and antinomians!) debater.  His works were among those which laid the intellectual and rhetorical foundations for all future Reconstructionists and theonomists.

This article has been carefully and scrupulously extracted and restored to its original integrity from primitively scanned (1990s OCR technology!) images of the paper newsletter.  Believe me when I say, this was no simple matter of copy-and-paste!  But it was a rewarding endeavor to have to read very closely this well-expressed and intelligently written essay.

Read and savor the wisdom of Dr. Bahnsen, as he talks about why our Christian ethics should be ‘biblical’ and not just ‘New Testament’…

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BIBLICAL ETHICS

2 Timothy 3:16-17

 Vol. 1, No. 2                    © Institute for Christian Economics                    October 1978

The Entire Bible, Our Standard Today

By Greg L. Bahnsen, Th.M., Ph.D. 

All of life is ethical, and all of the Bible is permeated with a concern for ethics. Unlike the organization of an encyclopedia, our Bible was not written in such a way that it devotes separate sections exclusively to various topics of interest. Hence the Bible does not contain one separate, self-contained book or chapter that completely treats the subject of ethics or moral conduct. To be sure, many chapters of the Bible (like Exodus 20 or Romans 13) and even some books of the Bible (like Proverbs or James) have a great deal to say about ethical matters and contain vary specific guidance for the believer’s life. Nevertheless, there will not be found a division of the Bible entitled something like ‘The Complete List of Duties and Obligations in the Christian Life.” lnstead, we find a concern for ethics carrying through the whole word of God, from cover to cover — from creation to consummation.

This is not really surprising. The entire Bible speaks of God, and we read that the living and true God is holy, just, good, and perfect. These are attributes of an ethical character and have moral implications for us.  The entire Bible speaks of the works of God, and we read that all of His works are performed in wisdom and righteousness — again, ethical qualities. The world which God has created, we read, reveals God’s moral requirements clearly and continuously. History, which God governs by His sovereign decrees will manifest His glory, wisdom and justice. The apex of creation and the key figure in earthly history, man, has been made the image of this holy God and has God’s law imbedded in his heart. Man’s life and purpose take their direction from God, and every one of man’s actions and attitudes is called into the service of the Creator — motivated by love and faith, aimed at advancing God’s glory and kingdom. Accordingly the entire Bible has a kind of ethical focus.

Moreover the very narrative and theological plot of the Bible is governed by ethical concerns. From the outset we read that man has fallen into sin — by disobeying the moral standard of God; as a consequence man has come under the wrath and curse of God — His just response to rebellion against His commands. Sin and curse are prevailing characteristics, then, of fallen man’s environment, history, and relationships. To redeem man, restore him to favor, and rectify his wayward life in all areas, God promised and provided His own Son as a Messiah or Savior. Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to qualify as our substitute, and then died on the cross to satisfy the justice of God regarding our sin. As resurrected and ascended on high, Christ rules as Lord over all, bringing all opposition into submission to His kingly reign. He has sent the Spirit characterized by holiness into His followers, and among other things the Holy Spirit brings about the practice of righteousness in their lives. The church of Christ has been mandated to proclaim God’s good news, to advance His kingdom throughout the world, to teach Christ’s disciples to observe everything He has commanded, and to worship the Triune God in spirit and in truth. When Christ returns at the consummation of human history He will come as universal Judge, dispensing punishment and reward according to the revealed standard of God’s word. On that day all men will be divided into the basic categories of covenant-keepers and covenant-breakers; then it will be clear that all of one’s life in every realm and relationship has reflected his response to God’s revealed standards. Those who have lived in alienation from God, not recognizing their disobedience and need of the Savior, will be eternally separated from His presence and blessing; those who have embraced the Savior in faith and submitted to Him as Lord will eternally enjoy His presence in the new heavens and earth wherein righteousness dwells.

It is easy to see, then, that everything the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation has an ethical quality about it and carries ethical implications with it. There is no word from God which fails to tell us in some way what we are to believe about Him and what duty He requires of us. Paul put it in this way: “Every scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, in order that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). If we disregard any portion of the Bible we will — to that extent — fail to be thoroughly furnished for every good work. If we ignore certain requirements laid down by the Lord in the Bible our instruction in righteousness will be incomplete. Paul says that every single scripture is profitable for ethical living; every verse gives us direction for how we should live. The entire Bible is our ethical yardstick, for every bit of it is the word of the eternal, unchanging God; none of the Bible offers fallible or mistaken direction to us today. Not one of God’s stipulations is unjust, being too lenient or too harsh. And God does not unjustly have a double-standard of morality, one standard of justice for some and another standard of justice for others. Every single dictate of God’s word, then, is intended as moral instruction for us today if we would demonstrate justice, holiness, and truth in our lives.

It is important to note here that when Paul said that “every scripture is inspired by God and profitable” for holy living, the New Testament was not as yet completed, gathered together, and existing as a published collection of books. Paul’s direct reference was to the well known Old Testament Scripture, and indirectly to the soon-to- be-completed New Testament. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul taught New Testament believers that every single Old Testament writing was profitable for their present instruction in righteousness, if they were to be completely furnished for every good work required of them by God. Not one bit of the Old Testament has become ethically irrelevant according to Paul. That is why we, as Christians, should speak of our moral viewpoint, not merely as “New Testament Ethics,” but as “Biblical Ethics.”  The New Testament (2 Tim. 3:16-17) requires that we take the Old Testament as ethically normative for us today. Not just selected portions of the Old Testament, mind you, but “every scripture.” Failure to honor the whole duty of man as revealed in the Old Testament is nothing short of a failure to be completely equipped for righteous living. It is to measure one’s ethical duty by a broken and incomplete yardstick.

God expects us to submit to His every word, and not pick and choose the ones which are agreeable to our preconceived opinions.  The Lord requires that we obey everything He has stipulated in the Old and New Testaments — that we “live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Our Lord responded to the temptation of Satan with those words, quoting the Old Testament passage in Deuteronomy 8:3 which began “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do” (8:1). Many believers in Christ fail to imitate His attitude here, and they are quite careless about observing every word of God’s command in the Bible. James tells us that if a person lives by and keeps every precept or teaching of God’s law, and yet he or she disregards or violates it in one single point, that person is actually guilty of disobeying the whole (James 2:10). Therefore, we must take the whole Bible as our standard of ethics, including every point of God’s Old Testament law. Not one word which proceeds from God’s mouth can be invalidated and made inoperative, even as the Lord declared with the giving of His law: “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it” ( Deut. 12:32). The entire Bible is our ethical standard today, from cover to cover.

But doesn’t the coming of Jesus Christ change all that? Hasn’t the Old Testament law been either cancelled or at least reduced in its requirements? Many professing believers are misled in the direction of these questions, despite God’s clear requirement that nothing be subtracted from His law, despite the straightforward teaching of Paul and James that every Old Testament scripture – even every point of the law –has a binding ethical authority in the life of the New Testament Christian. Perhaps the best place to go in Scripture to be rid of the theological inconsistency underlying a negative attitude toward the Old Testament law is to the very words of Jesus himself on this subject, Matthew 5:17-19. Nothing could be clearer than that Christ here denies twice (for the sake of emphasis) that His coming has abrogated the Old Testament law “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish.”  Again, nothing could be clearer than that not even the least significant aspect of the Old Testament law will lose its validity until the end of the worfd: “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the slightest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law.” And if there could remain any doubt in our minds as to the meaning of the Lord’s teaching here, He immediately removes it by applying His attitude toward the law to our behavior: “Therefore whoever annuls one of the least of these commandments and teaches others so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”  Christ’s coming did not abrogate anything in the Old Testament law, for every single stroke of the law will abide until the passing away of this world; consequently, the follower of Christ is not to teach that even the least Old Testament requirement has been invalidated by Christ and His work. As the Psalmist declared, “Every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Ps. 119:l60).

So then, all of life is ethical, and ethics requires a standard of right and wrong. For the Christian that yardstick is found in the Bible — the entire Bible, from beginning to end. The New Testament believer repudiates the teaching of the law itself, of the Psalms, of James, Paul and Jesus himself when the Old Testament commandments of God are ignored or treated as a mere antiquated standard of justice and righteousness. “The word of our God shall stand forever” (Isa. 40:8), and the Old Testament law is part of every word from God’s mouth by which we must live (Matt. 4:4).

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Here endeth Dr. Bahnsen’s article.

If you enjoyed reading this, please feel free to like it, share it, tweet it (and comment on it)!