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In examining the relationship between violence and religion, most people believe that the most significant factors when employing sacred texts in justifying violence against another individual, community or institution is the process of making a person to look different from people of God. Michael Bray was an outspoken member of God's Army. He was jailed for four years in connection with the bombings of ten abortion-clinics. He came up with and supported the view that Christian can take up violence in the name of just a cause (Henslin 2005).
Michael Bray's View and Support.
Michael Bray set out a cautiously argued case for reexamining the Christian pro-life movement's doctrines. The most significant aspect about these doctrines was the use of violence, which he viewed as moral since it could be used for both good and evil purposes. He asserted that just as it is moral to employ violence for good it could be immoral on the other hand to refrain from applying violence on a number of occasions.
In examining the concept of violence, Bray referred his followers to the book of Genesis 14 and Exodus 2:11-14, in which Moses killed an Egyptian, who a bused a Hebrew. He went ahead and illustrated that within the biblical text, there is neither clear approbation nor condemnation of the homicide. He therefore asserted that Moses demonstrated the application of lethal violence allowed by God for anybody who defends the innocent from the probable imminent death's threat (Henslin 2005).
Bray also supports his views by the use of actions and teachings of Jesus, incorporating the Sermon on the Mount. Bray argued that the violence, even lethal one, is not only done and commanded by God on numerous incidents in the older scriptures but also prescribed within the law for participations of citizens. He described the actions of Jesus in the temple. Bray claimed that Jesus cleaned the temple twice. He also examined what he referred to as the error of pacifism. Bray claimed that the error of pacifism is the denial of application of godly violence that was an outcome of misunderstanding the Sermon on the Mount.
Bray believed that the sermon was not supposed to be interpreted literally because that was not Jesus' intention. In the sermon, Jesus informs his listeners about attitude's central issue. However the central issue was always found within ethical prescriptions. Bray therefore argued that Christian pacifists have taken the prescription to imply that Christians were not supposed to use violence in resisting the harm that evil doers might have perpetrated against the innocent. Bray claimed that godly violence is biblically permitted in spite of the most common pacifistic New Testament text.
Christian's communities in the reconstruction movement do not provide similar theological justifications for violence. Reconstruction Christian theology teaches that it is the duty of Christians to transform worldly materialistic culture into a Christian theocracy that will finally be capable to welcome Jesus Christ when he comes back in triumph to establish the God's Kingdom. Reconstruction's follower theory has therefore a postmillennial view of Christian history (Griffith 2004).
From the discussion, Michael Bray supported his view on Christian violence in various ways. He set out a careful argument case of reexamining the Christian pro-life movement's doctrines. He claimed that it is moral to apply violence for good and immoral to refrain from applying violence in some instances. He also used the actions and teachings of Jesus to supports his view on Christian violence. All Christian communities in the reconstruction movement do not offer similar theological justifications for violence.