Retired Marine preaches, says killing terrorists is an ‘act of love for our nation’

By Laura Followell
The Tribune-Star
May. 07, 2007

TERRE HAUTE — According to retired U.S. Marine Col. J. Tyler Ryberg, the Bible contains messages about war and capital punishment. God is a powerful soldier.

Ryberg, who served in the Marines for more than 27 years, gave a sermon Sunday morning at Good Shepherd Baptist Church’s Armed Forces Day, where some of the 150 people in attendance often erupted with an “Amen!”

The colonel asked churchgoers if the global war on terrorism was a “just war” and a “God-ordained war,” which he later affirmed.

“We’re killing Islamic jihadists, bloodthirsty killers,” he said. “Peace is not an option. You don’t negotiate with bloodthirsty, jihadist killers.”

While he was in the Marines, Ryberg said, he was often asked, “If you’re a Christian, why do you want to go to war to kill people?” Ryberg said he wants Americans to understand that it’s an act of love to kill evil people who seek to kill Americans.

“If we do take their life, they will kill no more. It’s an act of love for our nation,” Ryberg said.

He explained the importance of government and said that without government, chaos would ensue.

“We are all sinful creatures with a sin nature,” he proclaimed. “Sinful mankind left unrestrained will cause chaos.”

Ryberg justified capital punishment and said it’s in the Bible. God ordains the principle of taking life as an instrument of his justice, he added.

“God gaveth long before our nation was born. It’s always been on the books. And [the Bible] is the highest law of the land,” Ryberg said. “And I want to let you know our Supreme Court, they’re not supreme, only God is. And [the Bible] is the supreme law of the land, and the buck stops here.”

The sound of shuffling Bible pages reverberated across the pews as Ryberg asked worshippers to note specific passages. Ryberg often referenced passages that he interpreted as relating to war and its justification.

He said that only God gives life and only God takes life, but said God gave Noah the right to take the life of an evil man who sheds innocent blood.

Ryberg said that Abraham fought the first biblical war in the word of God. He said God told Abraham to go to war with his “well-trained” servants, his army. Ryberg said God won that war by coming down and killing his enemies.

“There’s none other; there’s none higher; there’s none greater than our God,” Ryberg said.

“The only day we will have perfect peace is the day Jesus Christ comes back. … Our Lord’s coming back, folks,” he said.

Jerry Gibbons, who served in the Army for eight years, wanted to hear the colonel speak.

“I’m very impressed to see someone who has served that long on active duty and still have that much faith in God, our country and government,” Gibbons said.

Marcella Weaver said the sermon seemed to the point. To her, it justified war.

“God says that we are to help those being attacked by the bloodthirsty,” she said, “and it’s an act of love.”

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