AN OPEN LETTER TO SCOTT ROEDER
June 20, 2009
Dear Mr. Roeder,
I am writing as a concerned follower of Jesus Christ, who cares about pre-born babies, and for the souls of the lost. Mr. Roeder, a jury will decide if you are guilty of murder, for that is what you stand accused of. Whether you are a Christian remains to be seen (a Jesus fish was found on your car) and your church affiliation, if any, has not been made public at the time of my writing.
Over a week has passed since George Tiller, late term abortionist was killed at Reformation Lutheran Church in Kansas where he was serving as an usher. Had the Church been doing its job, Mr. Tiller would have been excommunicated from this fellowship and would not have been a covenant member of any church. Mr. Tiller violated God’s law, Thall shalt not Kill. (Exodus 20:13)
Mr. Roeder, my hope is that your church had also excommunicated you if you let your stance supporting violence against abortionists be known. Biblical discipline is virtually nonexistent in the American Church. This gives room for doctrines that allow known killers to serve as ushers, and those who justify their murder to remain unaccountable.
Many in the liberal media will capitalize on Tiller’s murder as a reason to blame Christians and pro-lifers, and to silence speech. This murder reminds me of Paul Hill, who was executed in 2003 for killing abortionist Dr. John Britton in Florida.
Dr. Gary North, in his “Letter to Paul Hill”, (Sept. 29, 1994) explains the meaning of an important passage in Deuteronomy which is relevant to the abortion debate. It refers to the community’s response to a man found slain.
“The text reads: ‘And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD’(Deut. 21:6-9).”
North comments, “The intent of the passage was to show God does not hold a community or a society guilty for the acts of an individual that are immoral, if the community takes appropriate actions to suppress the action. That is, if the community passes laws against the practice, and seeks to enforce these laws against the practice, and bring sanctions against those who violate the law, then that society is not brought under the judgment of God. The state is authorized to bring sanctions against those individuals who commit such acts against the law of God precisely because of the threat of God's corporate sanctions. If the State does not take action in the name of God, then God will take action in the name of God and bring the sanctions against the whole society. This is the teaching of Deuteronomy 28:15-66. This is the teaching of the whole covenant pattern of Old Testament law.”
“Finally, if societies do not acknowledge this by seeking to suppress illegal acts, God does bring judgment against them. God would bring his sanctions against them all, corporately, if their ordained civil and ecclesiastical representatives did not act humbly and confess their ignorance in the face of an unsolved crime, and attempt as best they could to bring sanctions against evil doers.” (A letter to Paul Hill, Dr. Gary North, Sept. 29, 1994)
This is why we peacefully protest outside clinics and work to overturn abortion laws. We seek to withhold the judgement of God, to stay the judgement on our communities, and our nation. This is why we work tirelessly to defend the widow and the orphan and the fatherless, and this is why we condemn your murder.
“The essence of the debate is the status of the pre-born child. If abortion is not the killing of pre-born babies, then there’s nothing to protest.” (Selective Condemnation, Gary DeMar, American Vision).
Perhaps Mr. Roeder, you will make the argument of justifiable homicide to support your vigilantism, but there is no justification for the murder of any abortionist.
“Under biblical and common law, justifiable homicide in defense of others requires: (a) a clearly identifiable victim; (b) an aggressor who is presently engaged in a clear life-threatening act of violence against that specific victim; and (c) a reasonable determination that lethal force is necessary to prevent the specific life threatening act of the willful aggressor against the innocent party.” (Doug Phillips, George Tiller: For Whom shall We Mourn, June 1st, 2009)
Mr. Roeder, there was not a clearly identifiable and imminent victim in this case. There was no murder taking place other than the one you committed. Mr. Tiller was gunned down while getting coffee in church, and not in the act of a crime. You were not rescuing anyone from a specific life threatening crime, and lethal force was not the only means necessary to prevent further murders.
Interestingly Mr. Hill fled from the crime scene, as did you Mr. Roeder.
North observes the ramifications of Hill fleeing the scene:
“The reports say that you ran. If correct, then you did not act as a man of courage would have acted. You did not act as one who believed in some elevated principle. You shot and ran. This indicates to me that you knew in your heart that your act was, biblically speaking, an act of murder rather than the God- authorized defense of a just cause. A man defending a just cause does not run.” (A Letter to Paul Hill, Dr. North)
This vigilantism, when an individual sets himself up as judge, jury and executioner leads to anarchy and lawlessness. People who justify the killing of abortion doctors by saying, “if we really believe that abortion is murder then it is justified,” are mistaken. For if it’s okay to murder abortion doctors, who will stop at them? Why not the escorts, the mother of the unborn baby, the driver of the woman, the clinic workers, the boyfriend or spouse, the legislator, the pharmacist at Walmart who dispenses an abortifacient, or the Supreme Court Justices who ruled in Roe vs. Wade? This is where vigilante acts ultimately lead, to chaos.
You are now in the criminal justice system in America. It is likely that you will serve life in prison, rather than receiving the death penalty for committing a capital crime. This will give you many hours of solitary reflection. Currently, if you are guilty of murder, for only God knows for sure, you are destined to an eternity of torment in the Lake of Fire. During your forthcoming trial, I pray that you are able to have a godly sorrow and repentance and not stand in defiant obstinance, being stiff necked and stubborn. It is likely that your action will further increase persecution of peaceful prolifers.
You have now publically said that more violence is coming according to AP news. Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of pro-lifers condemn what you did and this is part of the reason there have only been 4 abortionists killed, in stark contrast to the 50 million babies killed since 1973.
Now federal marshalls are protecting abortionists, and peaceful pro-lifers are on the homeland security watch list.
It’s hard to tell how many more babies will die from your actions.
I pray that you will heed these warnings from scripture,
"Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:21).
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“Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord’ have we not by thy name prophesied, and by thy name cast out devils? And by thy name done many great works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
A Jesus fish on a car bumper does not make anyone a Christian.
© 2009 Nicholas Jackson - All Rights Reserved