Saturday, November 21, 2009
Murder in the name of God
It seems inconcievable. But in our day we are seeing it on a scale unprecedented in history.
Murder! In the name of God!
What sort of strange and vile religion is this?
Well it happened a long time ago. And it is still happening today.
7 "The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith."
8 -10 "Stephen, brimming with God's grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.
11 So in secret they bribed men to lie: "We heard him cursing Moses and God."
Simple revenge. As old a motive for murder as there is. The venue to accomplish the murder? Religion...
12 -14 "That stirred up the people, the religious leaders, and religion scholars. They grabbed Stephen and took him before the High Council. They put forward their bribed witnesses to testify: "This man talks nonstop against this Holy Place and God's Law. We even heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would tear this place down and throw out all the customs Moses gave us."
15 As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn't take their eyes off him—his face was like the face of an angel!"
But God, the REAL God was with him...
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