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Does The Bible Endorse Suicide Bombing? What Motivates Suicide Bombers?
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Suicide bombing has been a terrorism staple for years. A suicide bomber is one who sacrifices his life and kills many more for the sake of his religion or for the sake of principle.
Can a Christian be a suicide bomber?
If the Bible supports suicide bombing and if a Christian can be a suicide bomber, then Christians cannot condemn any act of terrorism that involves suicide bombing. Some of our Muslim friends believe that the Bible endorses suicide bombing.
A Christian cannot be a suicide bomber. In other words, a Christian cannot kill people.
However, a Christian can be a martyr for his faith as the apostles were. The Bible espouses martyrdom (cf. Stephen’s martyrdom in Acts 6 & 7; Matthew 5:11, 10:39; Revelations 20:4). Therefore, a Christian can die (sacrifice his life) for the sake of his faith.
However, some Muslims inaccurately claim that the Bible endorses suicide bombing.
They cite Samson’s death as a case in point.
Christian apologist and blogger, Andy Wrasman, debunks the notion that Samson was a suicide bomber in his article entitled
Samson is not a Biblical parallel to Suicide Bombers!
Find below an excerpt of his article – the titles of the four distinctive points:
1st – Samson was a judge over Israel, the people of God. The position he had was appointed by God. Justice needed to be served. The false god and the temple of the Philistines should not prevail against the real God of the universe.
2nd – Samson’s strength always came from God.
3rd – Samson’s death was far different from that of a suicide bomber.
4th – From the Biblical worldview, all life comes from God and it is his to give or take. All humans die as punishment for our sin (man, woman, or child). When and how death shall come is a matter left to God.
Therefore, Samson’s death cannot be associated with suicide bombing.
Saul’s death can also not be associated with suicide bombing. Saul committed suicide. Period.
Interpreting Saul’s death as an endorsement of suicide bombing is an exercise in Eisegesis,
Since both the Old Testament (Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Proverbs 6:17) and the New Testament (Matthew 5:21-22, 15:18,19; 1 John 3:11-12) prohibit us from killing people, we could reasonably conclude that a Christian cannot be a suicide bomber.
So the Bible prohibits the despicable act of suicide bombing. But that does not prevent a Christian from sacrificing his life for the sake of Christ, albeit without harming others.
The Bible endorses martyrdom.
The Bible speaks of martyrdom. The Apostles died for the sake of their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. They died because they literally saw the risen Lord. They knew their life on earth was short and fleeting. They believed they would continue to live after their death and they would be in the presence of God forever and ever.
The Bible teaches afterlife. Jesus gave the apostles the assurance that they will continue to live even after they die, ““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26a, NIV). They believed Jesus. Hence, they died for HIS sake.
Therefore, Christians can sacrifice their lives for the sake of Christ, but they cannot be a suicide bomber. The Bible does not condone suicide bombing.
What motivates suicide bombing?
Religions motivate suicide bombing. For instance, Islam endorses suicide bombing.
Islam also teaches afterlife and martyrdom. A Muslim believes he/she will be in paradise if they die for the sake of Allah (Sura 47: 4-6, 15). Sura 3:157,165-167,169-171&195b teaches that Allah will blot out the sins of the martyrs, and they will go to paradise.
Atheism, as a religion or a worldview, cannot prevent suicide bombing. If atheists desire to be a suicide bomber, their worldview tacitly endorses it.
Atheists believe that there is no afterlife. Lack of afterlife is also a motivating factor for martyrdom.
If there is no afterlife, and if this life is all that there is to be, then what prevents a desolate or a deranged atheist to be an agent of death? Nothing!
Afterlife is not the only motivating factor for a suicide bomber. There are other factors too. Chief among them is
BBC cites a study of suicide bombers (because of suicide attacks that failed for a variety of reasons) from Tel Aviv University and reports that ‘national humiliation’ is another motivating factor, “…"national humiliation" ranked higher as a reason for an attack." This was by far the clearest, strongest motivation they expressed. “It is not a matter of personal suffering; they tried to avenge their communities suffering. They mentioned events that they saw on television, not events that happened to them personally.”
Therefore, the belief or unbelief in afterlife and/or national humiliation are indeed motivating factors for suicide bombing.
An interpretation, especially of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text: https://www.dictionary.com.
Critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible: https://www.dictionary.com.
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