Would Jesus kill a baby?

I was listening to Stand to Reason — my favorite Christian apologist podcast — and the host brought up an interesting moral dilemma. Imagine that a group of French resistance fighters and their families are hiding from a Nazi patrol. With them is a baby that is crying and cannot be consoled. Its crying is sure to bring the Nazis to the hiding place, and if the French are found they will all be killed. Should the baby be killed to save the group?

The show’s host argued that killing the baby was the most moral solution. A caller then said that allowing the whole group to die would be more Christian because murder is a sin, and at least if the Nazis killed the French, it was the Nazi’s sin, not the resistance fighters’. The host responded that, in his opinion, if Jesus himself had been in that situation, he would have killed the baby.

This brings up an interesting point: what would Jesus (not a person trying to emulate Jesus) really do if he were in that situation? In Jesus’ case, there would be a third option that is not open to the French resistance fighters — a miracle. Jesus could miraculously calm the baby, solving the problem. It seems to me that performing this small miracle to save an innocent life is easily the most moral path to follow.

If you’re a Christian, think about what I’ve proposed. Do you agree that Jesus should calm the baby, or should Jesus kill the baby or allow everyone to be killed by the Nazis? Can we agree that calming the baby is the most moral solution?

Now, Christian readers, let’s take this one step further. In the original scenario, would you agree that God is in the room with the French resistance fighters? If God is omnipresent, then he must be. And if we agree that Jesus, if present, would have calmed the baby and that Jesus=God, then why wouldn’t God calm the baby in that situation, preventing the French from having to make a horrible decision? Does it make any moral difference if Jesus is there in the flesh instead of there in spirit only?

I’m honestly interested in a Christian response to this question. Please leave your replies in the comments to this post. Or, even better, call in to the Stand to Reason show next Sunday and get a response from the host (I am unable to do so, unfortunately).

Posted on September 30, 2009 at 9:34 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: Morality

7 Responses

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  1. Written by Yahova
    on September 30, 2009 at 10:56 am
    Reply · Permalink

    The Nazis are acting with free will and God allows us to have free will. It is better to let a 100 die than to take the life of an innocent child. God/Jesus would not interfere but would let humans exercise free will to get out of the situation or face the consequences of their actions.

  2. Written by Christina
    on October 1, 2009 at 9:45 am
    Reply · Permalink


    And yet, if one of those people happened to survive an impossible circumstance, you would say it is a miracle and God was watching over them. Hmm.

  3. Written by King James
    on October 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    True Christians would not be resistance fighters. They would have put their faith in God and accepted the consequences. If you truly believe that you and those you love are going to Heaven when you and they die, there is no reason to resist dying.

  4. Written by Zach
    on October 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    If God did this in this circumstance, then God would need to perform similar miracles every time anything came up in which something bad was going to happen. Imagine what the world would be like if every time someone was going to die prematurely, or every time someone was going to be mugged, or raped, etc. a divine miracle happened in which that innocent person was magically saved. Free will would become much less important then. In fact, you could make a similar argument that every time someone thought about doing evil, God should divinely inspire them to not do the deed, in which free will would cease to exist.

    • Written by ideclare
      on October 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm
      Reply · Permalink

      Fair enough. But is the situation any different if Jesus is there in the flesh?

  5. Written by Zach
    on October 16, 2009 at 8:22 am
    Reply · Permalink

    I suppose one could make the argument that the humanness of Jesus would allow him to respond with a more human sense of compassion. After all, he did heal people when God the Father probably wouldn’t have.

  6. Written by Judas
    on December 29, 2009 at 5:02 am
    Reply · Permalink

    if that were ever to happen I would try to calm the baby of course if that doesn’t work there all dead, at least you can say you tried, who the fuck would kill a baby?! even if it meant that others to die, but at least its not by my hand its the Nazis

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