Murder and Misanthropy (Ten Commandments Redux part 6)

"There are all sorts of ways of murdering a person or at least his soul, and that's something no police in the world can spot." Max Frisch

Misanthropy means hatred of people. Misandry is hatred of men. Misogyny is hatred of women. And God hates all of it.

But he loves us.

#6 "Thou shalt not kill."

The ancient world needed this (the modern world still does). Had not a commandment been issued to curtail murder, the world as we know it may have turned out quite differently. This rudimentary morality, if I may, was coded, if you will, onto everyone's heart says Paul to the Romans (see 2:14). Even Gentiles (non-Jews), when they obey this moral law (as given by God to the Jews) are fulfilling this commandment as unto the Lord, however subconsciously. Their conscience is clear.

Society can't function or expand without a standard—religious or non—that condemns and outlaws murder. Yet most members of society have never taken another person's life. How can this commandment be relevant in an "enlightened" and postmodern society?

Jesus, when He came to this earth, took the commandment one step further. He showed us that the law is superseded by His grace, by His example and consequently for us, His ability. He showed us how to love and how to live. As Paul says in his second letter to the Corinthians (3:6): "the letter kills but the (Holy) spirit gives life." Jesus effectively shifted the entire dynamic inward. A "ministry of the interior", as it were (and is).

In referring to the sixth commandment, Jesus says that "whosoever is angry with his brother (or sister) without a cause" is in danger of the same penalty or "judgment" as is a murderer (see Matthew 5:21-22). John continues on when he says that "whosoever hateth his brother (or sister) is a murderer" (1 John 3:15). Murder is hatred—taken to its (il)logical conclusion.

I should like to take this opportunity to say that I have never taken anyone's life. But I am guilty of hatred. Whenever someone wrongs you, it's a double-edged sword. Yes, it hurts when someone slanders you or disrespects you or even cuts you off in traffic. But if you don't respond with love and forgiveness, the seeds of hatred toward that person will begin to grow. The slight is engineered to be a lose/lose situation. Forgive the offense and  let God uproot any seeds of hate that would flower into something to which the commandment points.

"If a man (or woman) say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that Lovett not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother (and sister) also." (1 John 4:20-21, emphasis mine)