As noted in Fast Food Helping Thirty-One, the Christian’s interpretation of the Ten Commandments must be governed by the Eleventh Commandment, the “new commandment” of Jesus, the Messiah and the Word of God Incarnate. He is the final and infallible authority on the meaning of each and all of the Ten Commandments. Hence, for the Christian the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shall not kill” (Ex 20:13) means no homicide, no killing of human beings, whether the killing be considered by some persons to be legal or illegal, just or unjust, legitimate or illegitimate, noble or sordid. In other words, for the Christian the Fifth Commandment must be read as “Thou shall not kill,” not as, “Thou shall not murder.”
This must be the Christian’s interpretation of the Fifth Commandment because in word and deed Jesus, the Commandment’s definitive interpreter, taught and lived unto His murder on the cross a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. His Eleventh Commandment then is a Commandment of Nonviolent self-sacrificial Love for all under all circumstances: “I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” Therefore the interpretation and the application of the Fifth Commandment for the Christian must conform to the Way of love as Jesus loved, which in every and all instances in the Gospels was a Way of Nonviolent Love (agape) of all—no exceptions. This leaves no possibility for the Fifth Commandment to be interpreted or to be lived in any way other than the total rejection of all homicidal violence, all killing—interpretations of anyone else to the contrary notwithstanding.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy