Before we seek to correct the justification of the murder of abortion doctors like George Tiller by referencing Deitrick Bonhoeffer’s plot to murder Adolf Hilter, we must remember our responsibilities to God ordained human government.
The first responsibility is to obey government as long as government does not try to force the believer to disobey God.
This principle is laid out by Paul in Romans 13:1-4. To disobey is sin against God who created human government in Genesis 9:6. We also obey because government was created by God to protect the good (13:3-4a). The good are protected by capital punishment (13:4b). The institution of human government is transcultural and transdispensational and must be obeyed to this day.
The second responsibility is to pay taxes (13:5-7).
Jesus lived in a day of over taxation (as illustrated by the conversion of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8) and yet Jesus still commanded “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
The third responsibility is to pray for our governmental officials (1Timothy 2:1-3).
Another responsibility of the believer is to confront the sins of governmental leaders as practiced by John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-18).
The God or King of Heaven says life is sacred (Psalm 139:13-18; Jeremiah 1:5; and Galatians 1:15) and murder is sin and should be punished by death (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:4) yet our human government says abortion or the murder of the pre-born is legal.
Some pro-lifers justify the murder of abortion doctors by appealing to Deitrich Bonhoeffer.
Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during World War II and was part of the Anti-Nazi Confessing Church that conspired to murder Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer came to this conclusion only after great struggle. He opposed Hitler’s murder of millions of innocent people and felt all legal and political resources had been exhausted and the assassination of Hitler was the only remedy. But even then he was not absolutely sure this was the right decision.
Those who would justify the murder of abortion doctors like George Tiller use Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Dr. George Tiller’s murder has been condemned by prominent pro-life leaders around America. For sure, Dr. George Tiller has the blood of 60,000 innocent humans on his hands.
Late-term abortion doctor, George Tiller “aborted fetuses after 21 weeks when they could live outside the mother’s womb… Tiller became a millionaire doing this…only three late-term abortion clinics exist in the entire country…36 states restrict late-term abortions without violating the Constitution” (billoreilly.com).
As Janie B. Cheaney in a Worldmag.com article said, “there’s a reason why so few doctors perform late-term abortions: Few have the stomach for a procedure that involves delivering a viable infant feet-first and then crushing its head.” Nevertheless, the murderer of George Tiller is also guilty of murder.
The comparison between the murderer of Tiller and Bonhoeffer is not accurate. The murderer of Tiller is not a Bonhoeffer. America is not Nazi Germany. According to Albert Mohler, the pro-life movement for the first time since Roe v. Wade has more supporters than opponents. America is not beyond correction like Nazi Germany.
No one can take the law in his own hands or we will become an anarchy instead of a republic. If we use the logic of those who seek to justify the murder of abortion doctors then we can also justify the murder of stem cell researchers who destroy the human embryo whom we consider human life.
Our Founding Fathers, like Bonhoeffer, felt all hope was lost against tyranny. They and Bonhoeffer rebelled not against God but sought self-defense against tyrants who possessed no respect for life or God’s laws.