Hypocrisy

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by MarciontheModerateBaptist, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    How can Christians be involved in violence of any kind (including war) when Jesus commands us to "love our enemies?" You cannot say to person you have just thrust your sword through, "Jesus loves you." If we are going to live out our lives as imitations of Christ, how can we justify violence?

    Daniel Payne
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    You are failing to follow the biblical distinctions between acts of an individual and acts of the God ordained government. The government is the minister of God for good who does not bear the sword in vain. If the government calls on a believer to serve his country and that believer resists, he is sinning against God. We are to be subject to the higher powers. We are, in the words of the same Christ you quoted, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. Individual acts of violence are another story. Don't confuse the two.
     
  3. Helen

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    Daniel, "Love your enemies" is a personal thing if you check the Sermon on the Mount. It is not applicable to protecting other lives from a threat. Jesus defined, as well, what loving one's enemies involved: "pray for those who persecute you." This, then, is a personal response to personal threats.

    It is interesting that we are NEVER told in the Bible to defend ourselves personally, and yet there seems to be many examples of war for righteous reasons.

    Here is the dilemma, actually: A gun is pointed at someone you love. You, in hiding, have a gun as well. Are you going to allow the person you love to be shot or are you going to shoot the person about to kill him or her?

    This is a very real dilemma for Christians, in a way. But I don't think it should be if we understand that we are not given direction to defend ourselves, or are we given any example of that in the godly examples of the Bible. But we are given the example of defending others, even to the point of killing the person or people threatening them.

    It's sort of like the joke you hear about mothers who will destroy any threat to their child "because if someone is going to kill the kid, I WILL!!" It's a point of humor, yes, because it is never meant to say that mother will harm her child, but simply that it is not going to be easy to get past the mother to hurt that child! No matter HOW frustrated the mom gets with the young'un!

    Do you see?
     
  4. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paynedaniel:
    How can Christians be involved in violence of any kind (including war) when Jesus commands us to "love our enemies?" You cannot say to person you have just thrust your sword through, "Jesus loves you." If we are going to live out our lives as imitations of Christ, how can we justify violence?

    Daniel Payne
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The answer is found by seeing Scripture in harmony. We are told not to kill (murder) and to love our enemies. We are also told that God has placed the sword in the hand of the civil government and that this entity is charged with using, among its tools, the capacity to end life to protect life or to punish wrongdoing.

    If we come to Scripture that all of it is God's Word and that is without error, then we must accept it all.
     
  5. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Jonathon,

    You write that the answer is found in "reading the Scriptures in harmony." I would respond that one cannot read the Scripture in harmony since some portions contradict others. You have a mistaken definition of harmony. Harmony occurs in the bringing together of two fundamentally similar things. The Bible, on the other hand, has God ordering the killing of men, women and children in one testament and God (in Jesus) saying, "You have heard that it was said, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but I say unto you ... 'turn the other cheeck'." One cannot harmonize the above without being exegetically schizophrenic.

    Pastor Larry writes,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You are failing to follow the biblical distinctions between acts of an individual and acts of the God ordained government. The government is the minister of God for good who does not bear the sword in vain. If the government calls on a believer to serve his country and that believer resists, he is sinning against God. We are to be subject to the higher powers. We are, in the words of the same Christ you quoted, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. Individual acts of violence are another story. Don't confuse the two. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Larry,

    We must serve God rather than men. I give Ceasar his due in taxes, and he can use it as he sees fit. But I will not fight a war in the name of right when it is inherently evil to even think about killing. You also defend government as a God-given institution - do you see Hitler's Nazi Germany in that light?
    Elie Weisel, a concentration camp survivor, said the following:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Whatever you say about GOd, you should be able to say it standing over a pit of burning babies. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Daniel Payne
     
  6. JAMES2

    JAMES2
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    I really don't understand some of you people and your insistence on quoting the same scriptures to make them fit your preconceived theology.

    For example, Romans 13 is always quoted about obeying the civil authorities and that God put the sword in the hands of the government to enforce justice, blah, blah, blah.

    Are any of you advocating that that passage is saying "Christians" are to blindly OBEY the government, no matter what? It says right there to to render to caesar what is caesar's and to God what is God's.

    What if the government, since we are to obey them and God gave them the sword, made a rule like the following: Since 1972 when abortion (child-sacrifice) was made legal, we have a severe shortage of military age people to now draft for our future wars. So, let it now be decreed that from this day forth when a female reaches the age of 16 years old, they must report to the State Reproduction Office of the Fatherland to reproduce and have babies to supply the cannon fodder for are future national defense. It is their duty according to Romans 13 that they obey the government.


    Now, do you think "Christians" would OBEY the government and send their daughters off to do their duty to God and country? Or do you think people would scream to high heaven and say WE MUST OBEY GOD. Now, must we obey the government when they want to send our children off to kill in the name of the fatherland, but we must disobey the government when it comes to sending our daughters off to a baby factory?

    The government was appointed to use the sword. I must be missing something, but I didn't see anywhere in the entire Bible where a born again, regenerated, follower of Jesus Christ is to take up the sword, go marching off over hill and dale, singing When Johnnie Comes Marching Home Again, and slay their fellow man on the command of a superior officer.
    No where, I repeat no where in the entire teachings of Christ or the Apostles can you find justification for a christian killing another fellow human being as normative ethics. Not only that, but you find the exact opposite, Augustine notwithstanding. He came up with a "Just War" theory, but I didn't see him come up with a "Just Adultery" theory or a "Just Stealing" theory.

    I've already answered the passage in Luke where some try to use that really weak argument about Jesus telling his disciples to get a sword to take with them. Once again, a scripture totally twisted to support "self-defense." It can't be done, the bible does not teach, anywhere, that a CHRISTIAN should kill in the name of God, the State, a Superior officer, or anyone else. Period!!
    James2

    [ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: JAMES2 ]
     
  7. JAMES2

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    Helen:
    You use the example that everyone else uses to support the totally foreign concept of self-defense.

    I guess you have to look at it from the point of what do you use as your standard of value. Defending a human life, or obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, who said to pray for your enemies, pray for those who abuse you, pray for those that want to kill you etc.?

    So, in disobedience to Jesus Christ, do you advocate that you are justified in taking the life of someone WHO YOU DETERMINE is guilty, to save the life of someone you determine is innocent? Could you point out where you get biblical justification for slaying that individual. The bible says a man shows no greater love than laying down his life for a friend (paraphrase) not to kill someone for a friend. Besides Jesus was really talking about the atonement, not justifying taking a M-16 and killing people.
    Another point brought out was their is a distinction between the acts of an individual and the acts of the government!! Oh really??? The government is nothing more than the INDIVIDUALS that make it up. That argument was used at Nurenburg (sorry, spelling is terrible today). Listen, when a individual solider looks down the barrell of his gun and fires at the "enemy" and he sees that enemy's head blown off, it is not the "government" that squeezed the trigger and suffers, but that individual who is solely responsible and he is the one who suffers.
    You CANNOT separate the actions of the individual and the government. That's been argued before and has resulted in alot of people being hung. (rightly so, I might add).

    Christian soldier is like saying "hot ice" a gross contradiction in terms.

    By the way, some unthinking politician is actually thinking about making the draft legal again. Now there is a brilliant government idea. I mean we MUST have our young people available for cannon fodder. I mean what if we can't get enough of them to volunteer to go off and kill on command" Well, I know, we will DRAFT them and FORCE them to fight our wars while we stay nice and cozy in the Senate Office Building watching the war on Fox News. Boy, what a concept!!!! Fight for freedom with drafted soldiers, thereby denying freedom to the people fighting for it!! Now, that sounds like the government doesn't it?

    The whole concept of "self-defense" is absolutely foreign to the teachings of Christ, no matter how badly you want to believe otherwise.
    James2

    [ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: JAMES2 ]
     
  8. Helen

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    When God established the law, He established it OVER men, not under them. Our government in the United States is exactly the same way. Although we have people who, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, love to 'interpret' the law, it is still the law which is the basis of our government here. Therefore it is not accurate to say that the government is only made up of individuals.

    Is it inherently evil to think about killing? David was a man after God's own heart, and yet he, of all the kings in the Old Testament, was the Warrior King. And yet, when he had to opportunity to kill Saul, he didn't. Why? Because the injury Saul had done to him was personal and also because Saul was the Lord's anointed.

    David killed Goliath, and credited it to the Lord. Would you who are against war have refused to do what David did?

    In Africa today, Christian segments and tribes are continuously being attacked, the men killed, and the women and children taken as slaves (often in Muslim households in northern Africa). IF YOU WERE THERE, TODAY, would you stand by and allow that? Or would you rise up and fight off that evil, even to the point of killing those who were intent on killing members of your family?

    This is not a hypothetical picture. This is reality. Today. In Africa and the Middle East.

    The terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center -- you don't want to wipe them out, right? OK. They have a number of plans to kill again. And again. And again. Wherever they choose. All over the world.

    And if you stand by and allow them to do that, you are partially responsible for those murders of innocent people.

    James2, by the way, I find it extremely offensive when you refer to anything in Scripture as 'blah blah blah.'

    Nor am I talking about self defense. I am talking about defending others. And I am not talking about any judgment on my part. I am talking about responding to a declaration of war that killed thousands of innocent and unsuspecting people last September 11. KNOWING they plan to kill again whenever and wherever they can, I will support those who seek to kill them.

    In the meantime, I do pray for my enemies. And I do good to everyone I can as the Lord shows me and leads me. It does not matter if the person is friend or enemy.

    You who live in these first world countries and can turn on and off the TV and choose to see the news or a sit-com instead -- you are so pampered, so insulated from reality. For you, war is an 'option.' For those who have seen their family members killed or kidnapped, it is not.

    I pray that as you get older, you will learn what 'love your neighbor' really means.

    And by the way, Daniel, I am not aware of anyplace the Bible contradicts itself -- so as far as I am concerned, it is quite proper to use any part of the Bible in context as a guideline for life and source of information concerning the heart of God.
     
  9. MarciontheModerateBaptist

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    Eberhold Arnold, founder of the Bruderhof Communities in Germany and now in America and elsewhere, says of war,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> People speak of dedication and sacrifice of life - devotion unti death for the sake of brothers, friends, comrades, the homeland, freedom or justice. What they mean by all this is killing and plundering all those they look upon as enemies of what is so precious to them. Just this is what makes Jesus give such a strong warning about those who come in sheep's clothing: "Inwardly they are ravening wolves!" Their hearts are set on plunder and destruction because the essence of sin - unbroken self-seeking - rules in them as much as ever in spite of all Christian disguises and all quasi-prophetic banners of justice. The gruesome violence that fills people's inner being exposes the condition of any war-torn nation in an appaling way - also the subsequent opportunities for power politics. Truly, our condition today appears just as in the words of the psalm on which the letter to the Romans throws so serious a light: "Their heart is destruction," destruction that we prepare for ourselves and others. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Daniel Payne
     
  10. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Helen,

    Can you not see that you are implementing postmodern (subjective) ethics very well with your examples? The question is not, "What would you do today....", but "What should you do based on the life of Christ?"

    You write,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> David killed Goliath, and credited it to the Lord. Would you who are against war have refused to do what David did?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    YES

    Answer this, Helen. Would you consider Nazi Germany to have been a government implemented by God? If your answer is no, you have no argument. If it is yes, join the pacifist Christian witness. Love is stronger than hate - in ALL circumstances.

    Daniel Payne
     
  11. JAMES2

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    Helen:
    Have to get to work, but a few comments. I wasn't referring to scripture as blah, blah, but to the same old tired arguments by people who use the same scriptures over and over as their proof-texts. If you have read any of my posts you would see how absurd that charge was. I find that offensive, to say the least, but I'll get over it.

    Sure David was a man after God's own heart, but because he shed so much blood he was not allowed to build the temple. David was punished severely for alot of what he did.
    Helen, I understand everyone's concern about terrorists etc. It seems like people get off the point. The principle is: Does the Bible teach the concept of self-defense or a Christian killing someone, for whatever reason.
    Since I was 10 years old I have argued in Sunday School and elsewhere that it does not. If you are objective about the subject, which I admit it is hard to be, I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion.

    First of all, there is no such thing as an "innocent" human being. We have all been sentenced to death from the time we are born. Those chosen by God for eternal life have a glorious future ahead of them.

    Once again, is your (anyone's) standard of value a depraved, fallen, God-hating, human beings life, or obedience to Jesus Christ who taught to love your enemies?

    I guess the worst that can happen to those people you say are innocent in your various examples, is that if they are regenerated by the grace of God they go from this life into eternity to see God face to face. Not too bad of a future.

    So, I respectfully disagree with you and I'm sorry if you were offended by my passion for my beliefs. I hold scripture to be the actual WORD OF GOD and did not, and never would, belittle it in any way. Like I said, the reference was to the arguments of some, not to the scriptures. If I wasn't clear on that then I should have been.
    James2
     
  12. aiki

    aiki
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    God's method of responding to sin in the O.T. was often to use one nation to punish the wickedness of another. Death and destruction was God's intention, giving us a picture of His attitude toward sin. As has been pointed out, none of us is innocent before God. Certainly people were no less prone to sin in Germany during WW2 than they were in the O.T.. This makes me less quick to view the Holocaust as merely victimization on a grand scale. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-semitic. But, could God not have been rendering judgement upon sin through this time in history? This seems at least possible given that God sets up and brings down governments. Anyway, just some thoughts as I read through this thread.
     
  13. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Aiki,

    I will not dignify your post with an in-depth response. I imagine you would be singing a different tune if you were directly effected.

    Daniel Payne
     
  14. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Mr. Payne -

    You started an almost identical topic in the Theology forum at this link:http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=000532
    Did you feel that your questions had not been sufficientlt addressed there?
    This topic has also been beaten to death (no pun intended) in the America fights back forum at http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=32&t=000223&p=

    I understand that you are quite adamant about your objections to violence but please bear in mind that we are all able to exercise our right of free speech in this communication BECAUSE OF violence, wars and national defense. Your views actually sound a bit more Quaker than Baptist on this subject.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  15. Optional

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by aiki:
    God's method of responding to sin in the O.T. was often to use one nation to punish the wickedness of another. Death and destruction was God's intention, giving us a picture of His attitude toward sin. As has been pointed out, none of us is innocent before God. Certainly people were no less prone to sin in Germany during WW2 than they were in the O.T.. This makes me less quick to view the Holocaust as merely victimization on a grand scale. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-semitic. But, could God not have been rendering judgement upon sin through this time in history? This seems at least possible given that God sets up and brings down governments. Anyway, just some thoughts as I read through this thread.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This argument is past ridiculous. You really think God was using a supposed Christian nation to punish Jews, Gypsies, etc.?
    Then what? He used another Christian nation (us) to go punish the Christians that did his bidding in the first place?

    I have to agree with James2 and paynedaniel on this one. There is no justification for violence in the NT.
     
  16. aiki

    aiki
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    Argument? I'm hardly proposing a coherent point of view. What I said was more along the lines of rambling thoughts. I haven't taken them too seriously and neither should you.

    (By the way, the righteous indignation in your responses was breathtaking!)
     
  17. Pennsylvania Jim

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paynedaniel:

    You write that the answer is found in "reading the Scriptures in harmony." I would respond that one cannot read the Scripture in harmony since some portions contradict others. You have a mistaken definition of harmony. Harmony occurs in the bringing together of two fundamentally similar things. The Bible, on the other hand, has God ordering the killing of men, women and children in one testament and God (in Jesus) saying, "You have heard that it was said, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but I say unto you ... 'turn the other cheeck'." One cannot harmonize the above without being exegetically schizophrenic.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You started the thread with an argument based on what Jesus said. Then you imply that the bible cannot be trusted. So for you, then, doesn't it just boil down to your opinion about what you choose to think the bible says on a particular subject? And, if your view of the scriptutes is correct, then you might as well not worry about your position, because you can have no certainty that Jesus did in fact say what you have chosen to quote. :confused: :confused:
     
  18. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    I am quite certain that Jesus said what he said because it goes against the grain of Jewish thought during his day. Why would later editors allow it to stay if they knew Christ, whom they worshiped, did not actually say it. It certainly did not go along with their understanding of Kingdom.
    Another reason I do not have a problem accepting contradiction in Scripture is because Christ is the final (and only perfect) revelation. Let's keep this topic on point - it is about violence, not our distinct views of Scripture.

    Daniel Payne
     
  19. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Clint,

    You write,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Your views actually sound a bit more Quaker than Baptist on this subject. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, my views are in the tradition of Mennonite belief, which is Anabaptistic, not Quaker. These two historic peace "denominations", do, however, have many things in common, one being their emphasis on non-violence.

    Daniel Payne
     
  20. Optional

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by aiki:
    Argument? I'm hardly proposing a coherent point of view. What I said was more along the lines of rambling thoughts. I haven't taken them too seriously and neither should you.

    (By the way, the righteous indignation in your responses was breathtaking!)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I responded to your rambling thoughts. To read righteous indignation into it is quite a stretch.
    Now, do you want to develop your response further as it relates to the topic of this thread?
     

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