While it’s the hot topic in politics and the news right now, the current, comparative silence on this subject in the Christian quarter of these United States is disturbing and deafening to me.
So, let me say it loud and clear right here: torture is wrong. It’s always wrong; torture is never right.
- If torture is a tool, it is a tool of Satan, not of God our Father.
- If torture is a law, it is not the law of our Lord.
- If torture is an aid, it is not an aid of the Helper who is the Holy Spirit.
Have we so sanitized the message of the offensiveness of Christ and his cross that we have missed or forgotten this message? Everything about the Christ and his cross says torture is wrong.
- So says the beating of the Christ. Hear the groans of the Suffering Servant as each blow lands.
- So says the whipping of the Christ. Feel the splash of blood and the strike of pieces of flesh from the Incarnate One splattering across your body.
- So says the crown of thorns on the Christ. Taste the endless rivulets of blood as they run down Jesus’ face as your own.
- So says the cross of Christ. See your Sacrifice struggle, agonizing and writhing with every tormented breath.
The Christ himself so says with his measured and costly words while on the cross:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
He would not have prayed for his torturers’ forgiveness if their doings were not sin. And torture that leads to death is doubly sinful.
Since torture is wrong, we who are Christ’s disciples are called by God and expected of God to live out our lives as His Son lived out His own here in the flesh: expressive of the exact opposite of torture.
“… treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets”
Especially if/when you find yourself subjected to torture.
“If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well.”
Our Lord practices what he preaches and so, he teaches us over and over that torture is wrong, as powerfully with his ways as well as with his words. I ask you: just how many times did our Lord intervene on behalf of another whenever he encountered someone experiencing some – any – form of torture, be it verbal, mental, emotional, or physical?
Pause and let the people and his encounters with them come to mind. The list is rather long, isn’t it?
“If all of them were recorded, I imagine the world itself wouldn’t have enough room for the scrolls that would be written.”
- Seek to grow a heart that is no longer numb or callous to torture, but appalled and revolted by it.
- Seek to prioritize your citizenship in the eternal kingdom that is not a part of this world and its ways.
- Seek right justice and not wrong revenge.
- Seek to mature in a mindset that simply will not tolerate justifying the means so as to reach a desired end.
- Seek to live in such a way that you add to the list of those on whose behalf you intervene and defend, not to the list of those who torment and torture others.