The New York Times was quick to label Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik “a Christian extremist” (July 24, 2011). Other headlines called him “a rightwing fundamentalist Christian,” making it apparent that the leftwing press would use this recent horror to prove that Christians are just another brand of jihadist.
Of course, true Christians knew immediately that Breivik could not be a Christian if he senselessly murdered scores of human beings. Jesus responded to the Jews who wanted to kill Him while claiming God was their Father by saying, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. . . . You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him” (John 8:42–44).
It turns out Breivik is closer to being a pagan, atheistic, secularist Darwinianist whose philosophy and agenda are more compatible with The New York Times than with biblical Christianity. Ann Coulter notes that Breivik favorably quotes The New York Times, but never the Bible!
John G. West of Discovery Institute has read Breivik’s 1,518-page manifesto entitled “A European Declaration of Independence” and discovered the following: a) “[Breivik] may not even believe in God”; b) Machiavelli’s The Prince is one of his favorite books; c) “He is best described as a virulent mixture of scientific fundamentalism and Social Darwinism”; d) “He wants a secular European state”; e) “Biological science is the ultimate savior of society”; f) “Advances in biology will make possible a vigorous new form of Social Darwinism that will save the Nordic race through positive eugenics”; and g) “Eugenics and evolutionary biology” are the solution.
Jerry Newcombe, senior producer and host of The Coral Ridge Hour, not only married a Norwegian, but was married in Norway. In an excellent article entitled “The Norwegian Murderer Was Not a ‘Christian’ — But a ‘Blond Beast of Prey’” he writes, “The mainstream media has called [Breivik] a ‘fundamentalist Christian.’ But his own 1500-page manifesto doesn’t line up with that (nor do his actions line up with any element of Christian teaching). He’s a Darwinist, not a creationist, perhaps an Odin-worshiper, but not a Christ-worshiper. He claims he opposes the spread of Islam in Europe, and to prove his point he shoots a bunch of European children (future, potential leaders of the Norwegian Labor Party).”
Newcombe’s brother-in-law, Dr. Arne Fjeldstad (former editor with Aftenpposten), summarized Breivik’s manifesto by stating, “The 1500+ page manifesto tells of a young man with fantasies of knights and crusades [defending] what he considers the true European culture. Mr. Breivik also belongs to the Free Masons (first grade) and describes himself as a Justiciar Knight in his new movement, which he claims is international — and which borrows from old Norse religion.”
Ann Coulter, after reading Breivik’s manifesto, says “he does not mean ‘Christian’ as most Americans understand the term.” She points out Breivik’s claim that “being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus.” Coulter concludes that in Breivik’s thinking, anyone who is not a Muslim is a Christian by default. Breivik encourages “Christian agnostics” and “Christian atheists” to join him in his new rendition of the Knights Templar.
Rush Limbaugh pegged him immediately — “he’s a neo-Nazi.”
Ideas rule the world, and ideas have consequences. Lord Acton observed that the ideas of Marx, Darwin, Freud, and Nietzsche at the end of the nineteenth century, if put into practice, would have terrible consequences in the twentieth century. And indeed, the twentieth century under Nazism, Fascism, Communism, and Secular Humanism witnessed the slaughter of more men, women, and children than had all previous centuries combined.
Anders Behring Breivik embraced and put into practice these same ideas, and the July 2011 violent massacre of scores of Norwegians was the horrible consequence. Neither his thoughts nor his actions are compatible with biblical Christianity. Jesus clearly teaches that His true followers are recognized not by their claims, but by their fruit (Matthew 7:15–23).