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  • Writer's picturePaige Patterson

Innocent Blood

With some frequency I find occasion to object to something that someone says about me or does to me. But to promote myself as a “victim,” thus becoming a participant in the most popular sporting event of the era, is not a pastime my conscience allows. I suppose you could say, “He knows too much about his own heart and its subsequent actions” to believe that God would be impressed with such absurdity. However, the one judgement of God visited upon the godless monarchs of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and not infrequently painted vividly on the kings of Judah, is the shedding of “innocent blood.”

Toward the terminus of the reign of Manasseh in Judah, God pronounced this incriminating verdict: “Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another…” (2 Kgs 21:16). What exactly does this mean? The details of Manasseh’s bloody reign are not revealed, but we do know that “bloodshed” suggests life and death issues. Leviticus 17:11 declares, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood….” Such is both biblically and biologically true! A wound inflicted for which the blood is not staunched soon results in loss of life. The complaint lodged against Manasseh and many other sovereigns is that the loss of life was and, I might add, is unjust.

We may not know exactly what Manasseh did, but may I ask a question or two about our own social order? When was the last time that a little preborn human in his mother’s womb inflicted a wound on you? When did that little wriggling life start a rumor about you that brought harm to your family? Has he somehow ventured out of the “safety” of his female lodging and stolen something that belonged to you? Or, as long as we are engaged in such talk, when was it in his pre-natal counsel that he elected “to become”? How was it that he selected the woman whose womb would be his shelter for nine months gestation? Is he nothing more than the byproduct of the fact that the human family is consumed by sexual proclivities rendering that little baby an unfortuitous accident of Saturday night recreation?

Whatever Manasseh and countless others did to engender that discrimination of God could never surpass the wickedness of our own social order in snuffing out the lives of tens of thousands of “innocent” infants who neither requested fertilization nor sought reprisal against other humans for injustice. If ever there were bloodshed of innocents, our generation carries the guilt of this bloodshed.

In only a few days, Christians in America will have an opportunity that millions of people worldwide live their lives without ever once having such an opportunity. We have the freedom to express our wills and concerns with a personal vote. While millions languish in circumstances when being made in the image of God still does not affect their social status, Americans and a few others rejoice in the mercies of God that grant to them the chance to have a hand in what their social order does. How can a thoughtful Christian treat this mercy of the Creator so cavalierly as to squander the opportunity thus afforded? We will certainly answer to the living God at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we fail to exercise this responsibility. Please plan to vote on November 3, 2020!

For Christians who have watched as “innocent blood” has painted the landscapes of America red, the choice is not among people per se. Fault can be found in all candidates, and there are things to be liked about all. As for political parties, there has never been a perfect party—or anything approximating such. For born-again believers in Christ, there are candidates that oppose the bloodshed of the innocent. For the New Testament Christian, find the candidates and the parties whose stated objectives most nearly capture your understanding of the morality and ethic of the Bible; and then, with conviction and purpose, vote for those!

There will be no perfection until Jesus comes. No justice of the present will avoid prejudice altogether. The eternal search for a better way will not be resolved in the ballot box of 2020. But what we can do is move forward to stop the shedding of innocent blood. Join hands and hearts with believers who no longer want to shed the blood of people as yet too weak to fend for themselves everywhere. These vulnerable lives have done no wrong! They deserve a chance.


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