(Article first published as If Breivik is a Christian, Then What is a Christian? on Technorati)
Reportedly, Norway bombing and mass murder suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, considers himself to be a Christian. “At the age of 15, I chose to be baptized [sic] and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church,” he wrote in his manifesto, which he posted on the Internet, according to a report by the Huffington Post. “I consider myself to be 100 percent Christian.” But I submit to you that based on Breivik’s actions, he is not a Christian. This is just another case of loosely using the term Christian.
So what is a Christian? First of all, just because someone identifies with certain teachings of the Christian faith does not make him or her a Christian. Just because someone goes through some Christian rites does not make him a Christian. Just because a person attends a Christian church each Sunday does not make him a Christian. So then what makes one a bonafide Christian? The only reliable source we have for answering this question is the Bible. And of course, there are numerous legitimate ways to respond to the question, what is a Christian.
But here is one thing that the Bible says is true about all Christians: “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).
So why I am so sure that Breivik is not a Christian? Because of the senseless mass murders he is accused of having committed and that he has admitted to doing in Norway last week. Now I know that Christians aren’t perfect. In fact, they are far from being so. Yes, I believe there are genuine Christians who do evil things. But no one--absolutely no one-- who has the Spirit of Christ on the inside of himself goes about mass murdering innocent children. The Spirit of Christ is love, and what happened in Oslo and on Utoya Island on that dark day is as far from a spirit of love as one can get.
I suppose there will always be those who take certain teachings, ideals, or precepts from the Christian faith, interpret them through their perverted thinking, and allow the result to be the fuel that drives their extremist life. No one can prevent that from happening within Christendom or any other religion. But that does not place such oddballs on the same level with genuine members of the faith.
Copyright © 2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.