Cain Didn’t Carry an AK

Cain and Abel, painting by Palma il Giovane, 1576

By Al Perrotta Published on February 26, 2018

Cain didn’t carry an AK.

“No guns in those days,” says Dr. Michael Brown, a scholar of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. “Nothing in the text that tells us how he killed him and that there was blood shed.”

Yet there was Abel dead as a doornob. Murdered. Only one generation in, and a brother had killed his brother. 

Cain didn’t carry an AK. But he did bear a “weapon of war.” It beat in his chest.

The Little Boys Slaughtered

I turned to Matthew and the “Massacre of the Innocents.” The part of the Christmas story they don’t show on Hallmark. The little boys of Bethlehem slaughtered. So I googled King Herod. If he was a member of the NRA, I’m not seeing the link. 

Then I looked up at the Cross and saw spikes and a spear and the crushing weigh of the world’s sins suffocating the Lord. 

Page after page in the Bible, and age after age in history, record endless scenes of murder. Yes, there are bullet holes in the old wooden cross to go with the nail holes, knife slashes, bomb fragments, poison stains and ropes for hanging. But guns are a relatively new prop in the play.

The Fallen will always find new ways to kill. So it was in the beginning, so it is still. 

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This is the whole crux of the matter: We can posture, debate and pontificate until we’re blue in the face. We can circle each other from Facebook to CNN town halls to the halls of Congress. If we don’t wrestle with what compels us to kill our brother and sister, we’re just dancing with shadows. 

Weapons For This Warfare

Yet there is no need to sink in sorrow, or spit at this wide, wicked world. Or throw our hands up in futility.

We can confront the evil and brokenness that compels us to slay one another. We can charge at it like coach Aaron Freis, rather than cower outside like a Broward County Deputy.

God does not give us a spirit of fear. He gives us weapons for this warfare. Through Christ, we have been given the greatest weapon of all: Love. “Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

We’ve also been given the end of the story: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

We pray “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” With God’s help, we can be light. We can strive to start making those “former things” former things today, on earth as it is in heaven.

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  • Larry D

    Nice sentiment, but if coach Freis had an “MK” numerous people, including himself, might very well be alive today. Yes, evil needs to be confronted, but it also must be stopped. Sometimes that requires lethal force and when it does, killing becomes an act of love.

    • Cody

      Yes, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

  • Paul

    Should that be doorknob?

    • Ken Abbott

      For certain. On the other hand, I’ve never seen a live doornob, so the simile remains apt.

      Where there are doornobs there are likely also doornales and doorpoasts that are equally dead.

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