Queensland Police have said the December shooting that resulted in the deaths of two officers and an innocent neighbour was a Christian “terrorist attack” influenced by “Premillennialism.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Tracy Linford said killers, Gareth, Nathaniel, and Stacy Train were motivated by “Christian extremist ideology” when they ambushed Constable Rachel McCrow, Constable Matthew Arnold, and neighbour Alan Dare on December 12, 2022.
“What we’ve been able to glean from that information is that the Train family members subscribed to what we would call a broad Christian fundamentalist belief system, known as premillennialism,” she said.
“Whilst the behaviour was similar in some respect to sovereign citizens, we don’t believe this was connected to a sovereign citizen ideology.
“We believe it’s connected to the Christian extremist ideology,” the Deputy Police Commissioner said.
“There was a belief that Christ will return to the earth for 1,000 years, and provide peace and prosperity. But it will be preceded by an era, or a period of tribulation, widespread destruction and suffering.”
Responding to the supposed findings, Martyn Iles, director of the Australian Christian Lobby, took to Facebook to challenge the Deputy Commissioner to highlight the connection between premillennialism and premeditated violence.
“She can’t, because there isn’t,” Iles said.
“Submission to the state is taught in three places in the New Testament letters. Jesus Himself submitted to Pilate’s judgement, acknowledging the man’s authority. He also said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world, or else my servants would fight.’
“Premillennialism affirms the absolute authority of these scriptures.
Iles went on to say, “We’re living in clown world. In Ancient Rome, the authorities blamed Christianity for the evils of their day because they either hated it, or were totally ignorant concerning it.
“I guess history can repeat.”
What the Deputy Police Commissioner fails to understand is that Christianity (and Premillennialism) is not responsible for any injustice orchestrated by professing Christians, because every injustice is carried out contrary to Christianity.
When an injustice is carried out in the name of Jesus, that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses that injustice any more than a criminal committing a crime in your name somehow incriminates you. The same is true of Premillennialism.
If a professing Christian, or a professing Premillennial, is out-of-step with the Bible, they’re no longer acting consistent with their professed faith, because they’re no longer acting as though they acknowledge the most fundamental basis of Christianity: Jesus as Lord.
When an injustice is committed in the name of Christianity, or in this instance, Premillennialism, this is the question that we must ask: Is the injustice consistent with the teaching and instruction of the Bible?
The answer is a resounding no. An injustice is only ever committed when a person ventures beyond the bounds of Christianity. In other words, the injustice is not an indication that the perpetrator was too Christian, but rather, not Christian enough.
That is to say, injustices carried out by professing Christians have more in common with those who reject the Bible as the supreme moral standard, than Christianity itself which is confined to the bounds of Scripture.
So, let’s be absolutely clear: All horrors and injustices bear witness, not to the cruelty of Christianity, but to the cruelty of humanity when they deviate from Jesus’ command to love even your enemies and do good to those who hate you.
Every abuse and injustice, even those carried out by professed Christians (or Premillennialists), is preceded by an explicit rejection of the authority of the Bible.
“Christian ideology” can’t lead to terrorism until it deviates from Christianity. If anyone is to give an account for violent extremism, it’s not Christianity which demands strict observance of Christian instruction, but those who dismissed the Bible and attempt to operate outside the bounds and authority of God’s inspired Word.