Was Anders Breivik a Christian?

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My prayers go out to the people of Norway and all of those affected by the vicious murders of Anders Breivik. My intention is not to make less of what happened in Norway, but to explain that his murderous actions were not of the teachings of Christianity.

I expect to see reactions from other conservative Christians denouncing Breivik’s actions while offering prayer and empathy for those suffering grief and loss from his terrible act. It is a good time to remember Jesus’ words.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30 ESV)

The following commentary and quotes briefly look at some of Breivik’s positions in his own words against the charge that he was a Christian; much less a fundamentalist Christian. Also, keep in mind that those who have claimed Breivik as being a fundamentalist Christian seem to be using the term as an undefined rhetorical talking point against conservative Christianity.

Breivik’s main concern seems to be the spread of Islam. His hatred for Islam can be noted throughout his manifesto. He also did not like the unwillingness of people to assimilate in a multicultural society though he did not limit his desire for assimilation to one religion.

Q: Do you oppose all aspects of multiculturalism?

A: No, I don’t. I support the continued consolidation of non-Muslim Europe and an unconditional support to all Christian countries and societies (Israel included), in addition to continuing our good relationships with all Hindu and Buddhist countries.1

This answer would be in opposition to a fundamentalist Christian who, in a worst case scenario such as Breivik’s, would most likely not pursue the inclusion of other religions. In Autumn of 2009, he and his friends went to Budapest for five days of hard partying to celebrate a friends birthday. About these five days he writes the following.

“I don’t think I’ve consumed this much alcohol for many years, totally awesome.” 2

This admission is hardly one of a Christian fundamentalist. In several places in the manifesto he mentions Christianity. He gives a biography toward the end of the manifesto stating the following under ‘religion’ and ‘religious’.

Religion: Christian, Protestant but I support a reformation of Protestantism leading to it being absorbed by Catholisism. The typical “Protestant Labour Church” has to be deconstructed as its creation was an attempt to abolish the Church
Religious: I went from moderately to agnostic to moderately religious 3

One of the most direct comments against fundamentalist Christianity including some common Christian language to American Christians is found in the following quote by Breivik.

It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. In many ways, our modern societies and European secularism is a result of European Christendom and the enlightenment. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want). (emphasis in original)

So no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).4

Note the language of having a “personal relationship” with Jesus which is the same language often used in conservative Christianity. Breivik denies the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus which, again, is in direct opposition to fundamentalist Christianity.

If Breivik was any kind of Christian he was a cultural, pragmatist Christians which is no Christian at all. He admits as much.

I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie. I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.5

After agreeing that religion is a crutch he even admits that he will probably pray due to pragmatic reasons.

If praying will act as an additional mental boost/soothing it is the pragmatical thing to do. I guess I will find out… If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past.6

What is fascinating about the above quote is the mention of being a martyr which he mentions more than once. The very religion he strongly opposes, Islam, is probably the best known religion today as one that promotes acts of martyrdom. Below is one more quote on Breivik’s pragmatism.

Q: Why did you choose an allegiance to a group with Christian values and pan-European goals instead of a purely national/regional group?

A: Many have asked this question. My choice has nothing to do with the fact that I am not proud of my own traditions and heritage. My choice was based purely pragmatism.

All Europeans are in this boat together so we must choose a more moderate platform that can appeal to a great number of Europeans – preferably up to 50% (realistically up to 35%). Choosing a local/national group would be counterproductive as all the groups I am familiar with are Odinist orientated and not Christian identity groups. It is essential that we choose a banner that has the potential to appeal towards central and southern Europeans as well. I understand that many nationalists oppose Christianity and do not wish to fight under the banner of a cross.7

Based on Breivik’s stated positions he is not a Christian. He admittedly attempted to borrow from the Christian worldview for his self-serving agenda. Finally, the lengthy quote below offers further insight into Breivik’s position on religion where he claims to be 100% Christian in spite of his own words provided above and his position stated below that science should take prominence over biblical teachings.

Q: Are you a religious man, and should science take priority over the teachings of the Bible?

A: My parents, being rather secular wanted to give me the choice in regards to religion. At the age of 15 I chose to be baptised and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church. I consider myself to be 100% Christian. However, I strongly object to the current suicidal path of the Catholic Church but especially the Protestant Church. I support a Church that believes in self defence and who are willing to fight for its principles and values, at least resist the efforts put forth to exterminate it gradually. The Catholic and Protestant Church are both cheering their own annihilation considering the fact that they embrace the ongoing inter-faith dialogue and the appeasement of Islam. The current Church elite has shown its suicidal face, as vividly demonstrated last year by the archbishop of Canterbury’s speech contemplating the legitimacy of Shariah in parts of Britain.

I trust that the future leadership of a European cultural conservative hegemony in Europe will ensure that the current Church leadership are replaced and the systems somewhat reformed. We must have a Church leadership who supports a future Crusade with the intention of liberating the Balkans, Anatolia and creating three Christian states in the Middle East. Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism. The Protestant Church had an important role once but its original goals have been accomplished and have contributed to reform the Catholic Church as well. Europe should have a united Church lead by a just and non-suicidal Pope who is willing to fight for the security of his subjects, especially in regards to Islamic atrocities.

I fully support that the Church gains more or less monopoly on religion in Europe (government policies, school curriculum etc at least) in addition to granting the Church several concessions which have been taken from them the last decades.

As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.8

Whatever Breivik was he was not a Christian, but a very disturbed individual.

__________________________

  1. Andrew Berwick (Anders Behring Breivik), 2083: A European Declaration of Independence (London: Self-published, 2011), 1384.
  2. Ibid., 1415.
  3. Ibid., 1398.
  4. Ibid., 1361-1362.
  5. Ibid., 1344.
  6. Ibid., 1345.
  7. Ibid., 1380-1381.
  8. Ibid., 1403-1404.
Tags: , , , , ; Categories: Culture,morality,politics,theology
The above article was posted on July 24, 2011 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Job July 25, 2011 at 12:01 am

Kind sir, indulge me in my attempt to provoke you on this matter.

“Was Anders Breivik a Christian?”

Of what relevance is the answer? First, there is a difference between being a Christian – and by this I include being a credo-baptized, participating, confessing member of an evangelical or fundamental church – and being regenerate.

Second, it is very true that regenerate Christians do sin, and this does include very bad sins. Consider that John Newton continued to be a slave trader long after his conversion, and let us not be naive concerning the many brutalities inherent in his occupation. And though they lived before the church age, we must recall the adultery and murder concerning David and Uriah, and also the premeditated murder of the Egyptian by Moses. And yes, there was John Calvin’s participation in the execution of Michael Servetus.

So while we can deny the claims of Christianity concerning Breivik and other such criminals like Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, those who commit violence against abortion clinics and doctors, etc. there is absolutely no way to guarantee that no Christian will ever commit a heinous act.

What is our motivation to deny Breivik’s Christianity, anyway? Let me ask it another way: why be any more willing to deny that Breivik is a Christian than we are that George W. Bush is a Christian? George W. Bush rejects a high view of the Bible, claims that Muslims and Christians worship the same God and that there are multiple paths to heaven, yet had so many evangelicals and fundamentalists fully backing his war against Iraq (and his frequent invocations of religious language when doing so). And is Breivik any less Christian than our founding fathers, which included a ton of freemasons, deists, unitarians etc.? What makes the Christianity that America was allegedly founded on any different from that of Breivik’s? Please consider “Native Americans” in your response, and know that there is probably a reason why only 2% of Native Americans identify with the faith that the people who founded this country were supposed to represent. Or is it our position that NONE of the people who killed Native Americans and took their land – or who supported and made excuses for those who did – were Christians?

First, we must never forget why we need a Savior. I did not say why we needed a Savior, as in past tense. I said why we need a Savior, which is past, present and future tense. We are saved from all our sins, past present and future, including from some very grievous sins. Now I am not denying the doctrines of Christians being indwelled and guided by the Holy Spirit, or of sanctification. But we cannot pretend as if the New Testament scriptures warning against and commanding us against evils – great evils indeed, including idolatry and murder – were speaking to sinners. No, Galatians, Ephesians, Corinthians, Revelation, Timothy and similar were addressing the church. Why would the Holy Spirit inspire such warnings – and make them such a prominent part of the New Testament – if there was no possibility of such heinous sins being committed, or even if the possibility was remote? An example: the man referenced in Corinthians who was involved in an incestuous relationship with his mother. At what point did Paul declare the man to not be a Christian? Quite the contrary, concerning this one who was practicing incest it was said “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. ”

It appears that many Christians are motivated to speak this way concerning Breivik in order to improve the way the church is perceived and treated in the west. My opinion is that such efforts are folly. When are American Christians going to acknowledge that John 15:18-23 applies to us every bit as it does Christians living in China or Iran? Or that 1 John 3:13 and similar passages are in the Bible? Or that it would also become our lot to join the ranks of persecuted Christians such as those in Smyrna, Pergamos and Philadelphia as mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3? I suppose that so many of us simply do not want our comfortable existence in Laodicea to end so badly that we are willing to labor and strive to hold onto it!

It would be one thing if by rebutting being associated with Anders Breivik, that we are defending Jesus Christ. But if defense and promotion of Jesus Christ is our motive, why do we only do this regarding those who are infamous and reviled? And if our motivation is to deny the reviled because we do not want to be associated with them, what is going to happen when Christianity itself is reviled just as it was in the times of the early church, just as it was during the Protestant Reformation, and just as it was and is in any number of communist and Muslim countries?

Now, to answer your question: No, Anders Breivik is not a Christian. But he is not the only such person. Not by a long shot. So why all the focus on this one non-Christian and not a host of others, including not a few of our friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers and family members? Also, suppose Breivik were to become a Christian. Would that be a good thing? When he is released from jail 21 years from now (the maximum penalty in Norway), how many of us would invite him into one of our churches to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ? If we do so, do you believe that the many posts being produced in the Christian blogosphere and media like these – which are doing their best to distance us from him because of our own interests and not out of a concern for his soul, i.e. not motivated by a desire to see him repent of his sins and become a Christian, but out of a rather selfish desire to avoid persecution because of what he did – are worthy, helpful and positive towards this cause? After all, who are we to say that this man cannot and will not be saved? (And I am speaking to you as as 5 point Calvinist.) Did the apostle Paul have any less blood on his hands, and was he not headed to Syria to deliver still more Christians to be slaughtered at the time of his conversion?

So, in conclusion to my comment (which was much more lengthy and quite possibly much more self-indulgent than I intended it to be, and for that I sincerely apologize) I must state that especially in times such as these, we are never to forget who we are, what it is that we are supposed to be doing, and why it is that we are to do these things.

Thank you.

2 Brent Hobbs July 25, 2011 at 7:49 am

Kind sir, thanks for your work on this. I’m not sure it’ll change the way the media is portraying the whole scenario, but it is good to read these quotes and have a better idea of the truth of the matter. I’m also sorry beyond words for those who lost loved ones in this horrific act of evil.

3 PeaceByJesus July 25, 2011 at 7:51 am

In addition, he was more Catholic in basic faith, but born in thee wrong century:

If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past…

I highly recommend that you, prior to the [killing] operation, visit a Church and perform the Eucharist (Holy Communion/The Lord’s Supper ). As we know, this ritual represents the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his arrest and eventual crucifixion. You should also solve any issues you might have with God and ask for forgiveness for past sins. Finally, ask him to prepare for the arrival of a martyr for the Church.

Pope Urban II and Pope Innocent III granted indulgence to all future Crusaders The PCCTS, Knights Templars are Destroyers of Marxism and Defenders of Christendom. We are Crusaders, martyrs of the Church, selfless defenders of the weak and the blind. We our not only automatically granted access to heaven in light of our selfless acts; our good deeds and final sacrifice will be added to the divine storehouse of merit and will therefore help other less virtuos individuals…

I usually refer to Protestantism as the Marxism of Christianity. As long as you ask forgiveness before you die you can literally live a life as the most despicable character imaginable.

When a Justiciar Knight martyrs himself for the cause he walks down a path well knowing what is likely to await him. He chooses this path of sacrifice, not for his own self serving needs, but for his family, friends, his people, his culture, his nation and for the preservation of Christendom. As such, he is sacrificing the most divine gift, life itself, in service of others and in service of God.

A Justiciar Knight who martyrs himself for the cause, and/or self terminates during or after an operation for tactical reasons, should be celebrated as martyrs for the Church. It is expected that the Catholic Church and other denominations of Church authorities in Europe (and independent canon law experts) acknowledges our sacrifices and defines our deeds as acts of martyrdom for the Church, according to canon law. The Church should not have second thoughts on the matter as they are fully aware of the fact that European Christendom is gradually being deconstructed.

It is time that the Pope and his cardinals begin to resist the deliberate deconstruction of European Christendom. pp. 1345,46,48

4 CoronaBunny July 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Why all this yakking? Anders is an agnostic, simple. ‘Pragmatism’ had him playing around with labels – an exercise devoid of reality.

‘Marxism of Christianity’: no, just the proper biblical way of doing things. The Lord is not, was not, and never will be concerned with crafting a moral society or somesuch: rather the ‘personal relationship’ thing was, is, and always will be the crux. And no, you don’t have to like it: the Living God neither needs nor wants your approval.

As for the Catholic Church resisting the Rise of Liberalism: why should they, given that they gave birth to it, and targeted it at Protestantism. The effluvia of the Jesuits is what is drowning the world, dragging down the souls of multitudes into the eternal burning darkness. If not for the demand that vengeance belongs to the Lord alone, I would be… vexed, with the Catholic Church.

5 Anthony Platt July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Here’s my article on the matter, entitled, “Understanding Anders”.
http://adplattypus.blogspot.com/2011/07/understanding-anders.html

6 walterbyrd July 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

On page 1403 of his manifesto, Breivik flatly states: “At the age of 15 I chose to be baptised and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church. I consider myself to be 100% Christian.” That is a direct quote. People who say they are 100% Christian are usually not agnostic.

7 Mark July 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

walterbyrd,

It depends on what he means by claiming to be 100% Christian. First, that was at the age of 15 and he is now 32. Along the journey he changed as he admits on page 1398 that he “went from moderately to agnostic to moderately religious.” He also admits on 1404 that he is not “excessively religious” and is “first and foremost a man of logic.” Not to mention the quotes I provided showing he embraced a form of cultural Christianity for pragmatic reasons.

8 Mark July 28, 2011 at 9:39 am

For another look debunking the charge that Breivik was a Christian check out Oslo Terrorist – Was He a Christian Conservative? by SooperMexican.

9 chris August 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Ask your average muslim if they consider a muslim extremist that commits violent acts in the name of islam to be muslim and they will say the same . They will say that person is not a “real” muslim in their view . just the same as you are doing here . Which is fair enough if and only if you accept that argument . I personally do . True muslims, christians, and jews do not commit violence like this and the ones that do are simply identified as such but that doesn’t simply make it so . That would be imho the better argument . So in the discussion it would be more fair to describe him as a “self identified cultural christian” as opposed to simply a “christian terrorist” . but then you must also abandon the term “muslim terrorist” and replace it with “terrorists that identify themselves as muslims” and i doubt that will happen anytime soon in these discussions .

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