The Russian was right

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by beefy, Jul 14, 2009.

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Can you obey Jesus and show love to your enemies by blowing their head off?

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  1. beefy

    beefy
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    When one is in the military, one may engage in acts which are quite contrary to Jesus' words.

    When Jesus says, "do good to those who hate you," how can one kill someone else and consider it to be doing them any good?

    When Jesus says, "love your enemies," how can one love their enemy as they rip out their guts with a bayonet?

    Some people who kill other people in their military occupation, really need to think about what they are doing.

    These people who kill in the military make thousands of mothers childless, children fatherless, and countless untold numbers of grieving widows. There is nothing honorable about that. That is what these people are trained to do. Trained to kill. They bring pain, grief, and suffering to those caught in their wake, both the guilty and the innocent. And they grieve me as well.

    In short, what I have to say is this. Jesus reached out to the fatherless and widows. The Bible says to defend the cause of the fatherless and the widow. The people in the military do not do that. They only compound the problem, by creating more fatherless children and more widows. These people who kill in the military and claim to follow Christ merely make more work for the following Christians who are out there reaching out to the families of all the insurgents and "terrorists" and innocent bystanders that the other "Christians" have killed.

    To be Christian means to be Christ-like. There is nothing Christ-like about taking another's life just to save your own. Is their life worth less than the life of your family? Are they not just as loved by God as you? Is their life worth less than your country? Is their life worth less than your freedom?

    No. God loves us, all of us. God forgave us when we deserved death. He took away the punishment for our transgressions. If we do not forgive our own transgressors in the same way, how then can we represent God's love to the world?

    The Bible says to imitate the life of Christ here on earth, and Christ never killed those who threatened His safety and the safety of His disciples. They ended up dead too.

    But what did they say? "To live is Christ and to die is gain." Death is gain, my friend.

    In the words of the great Christian Leo Tolstoy, who was a lieutenant in the Russian army at one time...

    "We must say that by whatever name people may call murder - murder always remains murder and a criminal and shameful thing.

    With regard to those who voluntarily choose a military career, I would propose to state clearly and definitely that not withstanding all the pomp, glitter, and general approval with which it is surrounded, it is a criminal and shameful activity; and that the higher the position a man holds in the military profession the more criminal and shameful his occupation."

    And a truly shameful occupation it is. Worthy to be rebuked and admonished.

    Unless you wish to argue that you can show love to an enemy by blowing their head off, then you cannot defend the killing of others. Jesus did not make an exception to the command, "Love your enemy."

    And neither did Paul. Let's look at what he said, immediately after Romans 13:1-7

    "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:8-10

    You see? Love is the fulfilling of the law. Jesus established that we are to love our neighbor, and our enemies are our neighbors too, as evidenced when he said, "Love your enemy, do good to those who hate you."

    If "love worketh no ill to his neighbor," then love certainly cannot kill his neighbor (aka enemy). Hitler's actions worked ill to his neighbors. Killing other people is working ill to them. Therefore it is against God's law, for "love is the fulfilling of the law." You cannot kill somone out of love. Therefore it does not fulfill the law. For "Love is the fulfilling of the law."

    Another thing. Did you know that God is "kind unto the evil and the unthankful?" We are commanded to be just like Him.

    "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." Luke 6:35

    "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Luke 6:36

    We are supposed to forgive the trespasses of others, every time, up to 77 times and beyond.

    "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 14:15

    If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. And we all have sinned. The wages of sin is death. When God forgives us, he takes away our punishment of eternal death. So too are we to forgive others, and take away their punishment that they so justly deserve, so that they will see the mercy of God. For we are to be as merciful as God is merciful.

    "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

    If we bomb and shoot and stab after only one trespass against us, instead of forgiving, how then shall we be able to forgive seventy-seven times? Out transgressor will be dead after the first trespass, and we will not have shown forgiveness at all!

    "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

    I think we can all agree that terrorists, rapists, and murderers are among the "least of these" that Jesus speaks of.

    They are certainly not among "the greatest of these," now are they?

    After all, they are in jail, and need to be visited. When we show love to these people, we are showing love to Christ. If we condemn these people, we are condemning Christ. If we kill these people, we are killing Christ!

    "Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." matthew 25:45

    If we do not show love to these people, we do not show love to Christ. They are the "least of these," and we must show love to them, out of love for Christ.

    If you or any other Christian does not heed these clear commands that Jesus gave, you will have disobeyed Him. Only those that love Him will obey these commands.

    "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:5
     
  2. sag38

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    Although I don't agree with your diatribe welcome to the Baptist Board.
     
  3. beefy

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    The early church agreed with my diatribe. They followed the commands of Jesus to "love your enemy."

    The early Christian community understood Jesus’ commands to prohibit the bearing of arms. Christians refused to join the military, even though the Roman army of the period was as much a police force as a conquering army. Those who converted to Christianity while in military service were instructed to refrain from killing, to pray for forgiveness for past acts of violence, and to seek release from their military obligations. A striking example of the pervasiveness of pacifism in the early church is the fact that Tertullian and Origen—church fathers who stood at opposite poles regarding the relation of faith to philosophical reasoning—each wrote a tract supporting Christians’ refusal to join the military.

    It wasn't until St. Augustine came around with his "Just War Theory" that many Christians changed their stance. This also happened to be the time when Christians got their first taste of political power, around the time when emperor Constantine converted to Christianity.


    "We who formerly murdered one another now refrain from making war even upon our enemies." Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.176.

    "I do not wish to be a king. I am not anxious to be rich. I decline military command". Tatian (c. 160, E), 2.69.

    "These people [i.e. the Christians] formed their swords and war-lances into plowshares...so now they are unaccustomed to fighting. When they are struck, they offer also the other cheek." Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.512.

    "Let our seals be either a dove, a fish, or a ship....We are not to draw an outline of ... a sword or a bow, since we follow peace." Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.286.

    "The Christian does no harm even to his enemy." Tertullian

    "Is it lawful to make an occupation of the sword when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword will perish by the sword? Will the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law?" Tertullian

    "So the more anyone excels in godliness, the more effective the help is that he renders to kings. This is a greater help than what is given by soldiers who go forth to fight and kill as many of the enemy as they can." Origen

    "Our prayers defeat all demons who stir up war. . . Accordingly, in this way, we are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them." Origen

    "And murder - which is admitted to be a crime in the case of an individual - is called a virtue when it is committed wholesale. Impunity is claimed for the wicked deeds, not because they are guiltless- but because the cruelty is perpetrated on a grand scale!" Cyprian

    "Why would [the just man] carry on war and mix himself with the passions of others when his mind is engaged in perpetual peace with men?" Lactantius

    "A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded, and to refuse to take an oath. If he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected for baptism. A military commander or civic magistrate who wears the purple must resign or be rejected. If an applicant or a believer seeks to become a soldier, he must be rejected." recorded by Hyppolytus.

    Perhaps you will explain to me why you don't agree with my diatribe?
     
  4. rbell

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    I'm sorry...which book of Scripture did Hyppolytus write? I'm drawing a blank.

    BTW...Jesus, and Peter, both dealt with centurions...I don't recall any conversation regarding their enlistment. And that was in a Roman army.

    Now, to the more disturbing...I do not appreciate your calling people who defend my homeland murderers. Nor is it Scripturally justified.

    Perhaps while you're condemning them, you could thank them for giving of themselves, so that you have the freedom to post here.
     
  5. beefy

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    God bless you Rbell.

    Your sarcastic remark is not appreciated. It is an un-Christian thing to do, speaking so sarcastically.

    I am discussing the tenents of the faith of the early church of Christianity, not their participation in the creation of the Scriptures.

    Perhaps you could point out where I called them murderers? I never called them murderers. I called their occupation a shameful and criminal occupation. That is a judgement on an occupation, not a person.

    A judgement on an action, such as murder, does not constitute an attack on a person, such as a soldier. I said that they murder people, I did not call them murderers. I did not judge their character in any way. I merely judged their actions as either right or wrong. And I have every right to judge between right and wrong, especially when it comes to judging the actions of other people. And murder is wrong, regardless of how noble or honorable the intentions are.

    In this sense, you are correct. There was no discussion concerning their enlistment, however, there was discussion concerning their actions in said enlistment. One of these commands concerning their actions was "Do violence to no man."

    Let's delve deeper into the original meaning of this command when given to the Roman soldiers by John the Baptist.

    "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." Luke 3:14 King James Version

    The word here used for either violence or extort is “diaseiō” and most lexicons define it:
    1. to shake thoroughly
    2. to make to tremble
    3. to terrify
    4. to agitate
    5. to extort from one by intimidation money or other property

    Notice that the entire system of war, and those participating, is about constantly putting others in fear. Terrifying people is something that war is perpetually in the business of doing. If nothing else is agitating to a people, war is most certainly agitating. If anything is gained by war, surely money, and that by intimidation and conquest. If anyone can kill a man in combat, then surely the combatants get shaken thorughly from time to time. If anything makes one tremble, it is war, and the drums and soldiers of war, that do so.

    Everything about war and its participants breaks this command, "Do violence to no man."

    Oh, and about that centurian. . .

    From "A Practical Christian pacifism"
    This involves understanding the context of the words of Jesus, which, in this instance, focused on the great faith of the centurian who believed that his servant (slave) could be healed with a single word from Jesus. And what great faith that is.

    Your argument, as I understand it, is that if soldiery was so bad, then how come he didn't tell the centurian to quit being a soldier?

    "And a centurion's slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. . . "

    The centurion says to Jesus: ". . . I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. . . "

    ". . . Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, "I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith. " When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health. " Matthew 8:5-10

    There is a different issue which this passage could be appealled to by using the same arguement: if slavery was so bad, why didn't Jesus tell the centurion to quit owning slaves?

    Such a point may seem silly beyond the need to consider to modern sensibilities, but such arguements were exactly the kinds used to defend slavery as little as a century ago.

    The New Testament is filled with references to Christian slaves and slavery which doesn't paint it in a particularily negative light (Philippians 4:22, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1). There is even a whole book of the New Testament, Paul's Epistle to Philemon, which is giving advice to a Christian slaveowner and the slave. Paul has advice on fulfilling the duty of slaves, permitting even Christians to have slaves and going on to say that to even debate the slavery issue is pointless quarrelling, as in this quote from the First Epistle to Timothy.

    But Paul later wrote, correcting his error concerning slavery, in Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. "

    Ultimately, the whole situation is less about the centurion than it is a lesson for us. This is the extravagance of God's grace: that even a slave-owning soldier from an oppressive and occupying military superpower (Rome) can know God's grace. How easy would it have been for Jesus and the Hebrews to tell the centurion to shove off because he's their oppressor. Yet they did not. . . God's grace is for all people, even our enemies.

    People saw through this pro-slavery argument in the past. And I see through your pro-soldiery argument today, in the present. You are unknowingly using the same logic that people used to justify slavery. Please, don't do it. It is intellectually dishonest to use that type of logic.
     
    #5 beefy, Jul 15, 2009
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  6. donnA

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    in the wrong forum too

    Funny how all of your posts are right here in a thread meant to enflame.
     
  7. rbell

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    True. But the Bible is also full of references to soldiers/military/warfare...and there isn't anywhere where Paul (or Jesus, or anyone else) "corrects" their error in Scripture.

    I use humor all the time to point out weaknesses in the arguments of others. Perhaps you should develop a sense of humor. You might find it enjoyable.

    Hmmm..."Now, wait a minute. I didn't call them murderers. I called them people who murder. And I didn't attack them...I just called them shameful, criminal, violent, and terroristic."

    Okaaaay...stunning logic, there.

    No, actually, it would be intellectually dishonest to even intimate that I'm justifying slavery. The centurion's occupation was pertinent to the discussion Christ was having with him. The slave ownership was ancillary to that point.



    By the way, I'm not sure where you're from...I doubt it's Moscow or Stuttgart...so I'll say this: I just wanted to point out that you are not posting in Russian or German. Perhaps you should thank a soldier for that. Just a thought...:wavey:
     
    #7 rbell, Jul 15, 2009
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  8. Tom Bryant

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    Beefy,
    Welcome to the forum.

    The problem is that God commanded the people of Israel to fight and kill everyone in various cities.

    I have served in the military. I fought in war time and killed soldiers. Taking a human life, even when necessary and even when part of my job as a soldier, makes a mark on a person. It is not something that any sane person takes any joy in. But my country called and I answered. If that makes me a murderer, I am prepared to stand before God and have Him say that.

    And we have this discussion because men and women have died to allow us to talk about it and for you to have your opinions.

    Maybe the early church was pacifist. It doesn't matter. Just because the early church did it doesn't mean that it is normative for us today. What matters is Scripture. It requires some tortuous words smithing to take what Jesus said and turn it into pacifism.
     
  9. rbell

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    Look, I have no beef with beefy.

    (I just had to say it that way. It was fun).

    But this is why the "Priesthood of the Believer" is such an important concept. If God has convicted you against serving...by all means, you shouldn't serve, or you should do so, if necessary, as many have done...along the lines of Consciencious Objectorship...never lifting a gun, but serving others.

    Great. I support you in that. But you take it wayyyy past that. Let the "Priesthood of the Believer" work.
     
  10. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Very good article from InterVarsity regarding war and the "just war" theory. Here is part of the first paragraph and the link to the entire article is listed below.

    "To call war anything less than evil would be self-deception. The Christian conscience has throughout history recognized the tragic character of war. The issue that tears the Christian conscience is not whether war is good, but whether it is in all cases entirely avoidable."


    http://www.intervarsity.org/news/the-just-war
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    Your argument is lacking in that you only tell part of the story. Jesus encountered several soldiers in his life. When asked what is their responsibility, Jesus never said give up the military or end your days as a soldier. He does tell them not to complain about their pay nor to engage in harassement in order to get more money. Certainly, if your argument were to hold Jesus would have told them to stop. But he doesn't. War unfortunately is a state that the earth is in due to sin. When the bible describes all the angels serving God it uses military terms Ie host. One of the reasons God allowed the Israelites not to entirely drive out the Canaanites is to teach them warfare. Sin brings in lots of horrible things to include the necessity of warfare. Early acheological finds from Meggido shows that many Roman soldiers accepted Christianity. But we note they did not give up the practice of soldering. Can you show love to some one you kill? No. But you're showing love to those you protect. Note that the crucifiction was not a passive activity but an agressive one. Jesus didn't allow himself to be crusified because he was a pacifist. But because he was proactive in fulfilling all requirements.
     
  12. DrRandyGrace

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    I believe that Jesus told His disciples that if they did not own a sword, they should go and purchase one. I wonder why Jesus thought we would need a sword?
     
  13. Crabtownboy

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    To defend themselves against wild animals as they traveled from one town to another, or slept out under the stars.
     
  14. beefy

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    No, but John the Baptist did tell them to "Do violence to no man." Didn't you read my previous post?

    Let's delve deeper into the original meaning of this command when given to the Roman soldiers by John the Baptist.

    "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." Luke 3:14 King James Version

    The word here used for either violence or extort is “diaseiō” and most lexicons define it:
    1. to shake thoroughly
    2. to make to tremble
    3. to terrify
    4. to agitate
    5. to extort from one by intimidation money or other property

    Notice that the entire system of war, and those participating, is about constantly putting others in fear. Terrifying people is something that war is perpetually in the business of doing. If nothing else is agitating to a people, war is most certainly agitating. If anything is gained by war, surely money, and that by intimidation and conquest. If anyone can kill a man in combat, then surely the combatants get shaken thorughly from time to time. If anything makes one tremble, it is war, and the drums and soldiers of war, that do so.

    Everything about war and its participants breaks this command, "Do violence to no man."

    On the contrary, the centurian never tries to kill anyone in front of Jesus. So what did he do in front of Jesus that Jesus would correct him for? But I can think of a time when someone did do violence in front of Jesus. When Peter cuts of the ear of the Roman soldier (in self-defense), Jesus tells him these words:

    "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."

    He says that all people who take up the sword will perish with it. How wise is it then to take up the sword, unless one wishes to perish?

    Another thing. Jesus tells us we are sheep in the midst of wolves. Can sheep defend themselves from wolves? No. The one who defends them is the sheperd, Jesus. And this is why Jesus calls us to be harmless, and wise.

    "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

    Please read my posts more carefully. Killing people is murder. Please make the distinction that I called their occupation shameful and criminal. This is not the same as calling soldiers shameful and criminal. Just their occupation. And the "violent" and "terroristic" part you just added in yourself. Don't put words in my mouth. You can get in a lot of trouble in a conversation when you put words in other's mouths.

    I didn't say you were justifying slavery. I said you are using the same argument. Jesus praised the centurian for his faith that his slave could be healed by one word from Jesus. That's it. Just because Jesus didn't tell him anything about soldiery does not justify soldiery. Why? Because Jesus also didn't tell him anything about slavery, and that does not justify slavery.

    Really? So you agree that you cannot show love to the enemy if you kill the enemy.

    Listen to what Jesus said. Did He say "love those you protect" or "love your enemy"? Did He say "Do good to those who love you," or did He say "Do good to those who hate you"? He said the latter. Do good to those who hate you.

    "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them." Luke 6:32

    He said to love your enemy. You should love your family too, but not at the expense of your enemy.

    You think so? Not normative for us today? You fought and killed because maybe you believe this is a Christian nation, and we are being attacked for our morals, our freedom, and our faith. Because radical Islam hates Christianity. You know what? The Romans hated Christianity too, and they killed Christians for it. There were hundreds of thousands of Christians in the early church being killed by the Roman Army, and they never lifted a finger in self-defense. The early church had their families burned at the stake.

    Doesn't matter? Who made up the early church? It was Jesus' very own disciples, almost all of whom were martyred. If anyone knew how to follow Jesus, they did. And the early church followed suit. Not only did Jesus' disciples embrace religous persecution, but they expected it. Jesus warned them, and rightly so. They were killed all the time. The issue of religious freedom or their "rights" was irrelevant to the followers of Jesus and thier mission to spread the gospel and the love of Jesus.

    "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter" Romans 8:36

    "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Mark 13:13

    But even if someone like a terrorist threatened their lives, the disciples didn't care. They didn't fear. What did they say?

    "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philipians 1:21

    Death is gain, my friend. Why fear death? The early church followers of Jesus were burned at the stake, along with their families, and they never once raised a sword to defend themselves. They looked forward to being with the Father, for that was their hearts desire.

    And this type of fearless Christianity should never have died out.
     
    #14 beefy, Jul 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2009
  15. beefy

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    The "Just War Theory" has no Biblical foundation.

    FriendofSpurgeon, I read your article, and I got to the part about the Israelites. I have something to say about that.

    First off, God physically commanded people to fight wars in the Old Testament. He no longer commands people to fight wars. The words "Old Testament" literally means "Old Covenant." Look it up in the dictionary for proof. "Testament" is synonymous with "Covenant."

    Although God (Jesus) does remain the "same yesterday, today, and forever," Hebrews 13:8, His commands to His people have changed over time.
    What many choose to cite in order to justify war are the Jewish wars of the Old Testament . What is wrong with this approach is that the ancient Israelites were men living under the Old Covenant.

    Under this Old Covenant, the Jews were permitted to own slaves, kill women and children, and all sorts of terrible atrocities to mankind. But God gave them permission to do so, and He physically spoke to them on many occassions.

    Under the New Covenant, however, the rules have changed, and the Old Covenant has been made obsolete.

    "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. " Hebrews 8:6

    The New Covenant is Better Than the Old

    "7For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. 8But God found something wrong with his people when he said,

    “Look! The days are coming, declares the Lord,when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
    9It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors at the timewhen I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not remain loyal to my covenant,I ignored them, declares the Lord.

    10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord:
    I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    11Never again will everyone teach his neighbor
    or his brother by saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because all of them will know me,
    from the least important to the most important.
    12For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds,
    and I will never again remember their sins. ”

    13In speaking of a “new” covenant, he has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. "Hebrews 8:7-13

    In the King James version,it says the Old Covenant has aged and "vanished away. "

    The Old Testament doctrine has been made obsolete,including the "eye for an eye” doctrine..

    You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say to you, that ye resist not evil.” Matthew 5:38-39

    Don't confuse the ancient Jews with Christians.The Jews were not Christians, thus they followed the Old Covenant. Jesus was not even born yet, therefore the Jews could not possibly be Christians.

    That is what the "Old Testament" means, "Old Covenant. "

    Christians follow the "New Testament", which means "New Covenant. " You follow the New Covenant.

    Don't get me wrong though. In the New Covenant, Jesus still upheld the Ten Commandments, on numerous occassions. But He said the greatest commandment was to love God, and to love your neighbor. The terrorists are our neighbors too, as evidenced when Jesus said "Love your enemy. "

    Because they needed to fulfill prophecy.

    You misunderstand the context of Jesus' disciples buying swords.

    From "A Practical Christian Pacifism:"

    What About Jesus' Command to Buy a Sword?

    Some would argue that Luke 22:36-38 justifies joining an organization of the world whose purpose it is to "defend" a nation by killing those which it views as politically opposing it. The verse says the following, "Then He [jesus] said to them [His disciples], 'But now he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors. ' For the things concerning Me have an end. ' So they said, 'Lord, look, here are two swords. ' And He said to them; 'It is enough. '"

    Let us agree upon what these verses do plainly teach. First, clearly Jesus does say that his disciples could have swords, and in fact He does command them to buy a sword. However Jesus gives us the reason he gave that command. He says, "For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors. '" So, what Jesus is saying is that he must be numbered with the transgressors, so he says in effect, 'go ahead and buy swords so that you will be considered rebels-insurrectionists-transgressors when the religious leaders come toarrest me'.
    In this way, Jesus will fulfill the prophesy about Messiah being numbered with the transgressors. It is that simple and this fits the context of that passage the best. The most important principle in properly interpreting the scripture is context and cross reference with other scripture. The context of this passage is NOT some political statement, nor some statement about defending a nation. Rather, it is a statement about Jesus fulfilling Messianic prophesy about being numbered with transgressors.

    Saying that the twelve disciples were commanded to defend themselves with only two swords that they found is wrong. They could not possibly do much defending with only two swords for twelve men.

    "Then He [jesus] said to them [His disciples], 'But now he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors. '" Luke 22:36-38

    Don't ignore the reason Jesus gave the command in the first place. For what other reason could Jesus have referenced prophecy right after saying this? Is the second verse to be disregarded?

    Do you think that nonviolence is ineffecient when it comes to the defense of others?

    Did you forget the message of Martin Luther King Jr. "Violence begets violence"?

    And Gandhi's challenge to Christians? "I love your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ."


    Have you not heard of the Orthodox pastor who saved lives of hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust?

    They had the Jews down at the train station, and they had them in a barbed-wire enclosure. It was a rainy, misty night. Out of the darkness, at 11:00, the leader of the Orthodox church of Bulgaria, this seven foot four figure, with a long flowing white beard hanging over his black robe, emerges out of the fog. Can you imagine the drama of this? And then from behind him come about 300 of the members of his congregation. They say his gait, his walk was so fast, that the other men had to run just to keep up with him.

    He came to the entrance of the barbed-wire enclosure, and the S.S. guard pointed their machine guns at him and said, "you can't go in there, father." He laughed at them. That's guts. Brushed the machine guns aside, and marched in among the Jews. They gathered around him, seeing what the Christian leader of Bulgaria had to say in their moment of distress, in their moment of need. They were crying, some of them were hysterical, they knew they were heading for Auschwitz, unless something miraculous happened. And something miraculous did.

    The Christian leader raised his arms, quoted one verse of scripture, and changed the destiny of the nation. Here's the verse. Quoting from the book of Ruth, he said to the Jews, who were hysterical, knowing they were about to be carted off to Auschwitz to die. "Whither so ever thou goest, I will go. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God." Ruth 1:16

    The Jews cheered. The Christians were outside the barbed-wire enclosure. They cheered. The noise was so great, that people came out of their houses, and started coming down in increasing numbers to the train station. The hundreds grew to thousands.

    The S.S. troopers knew there was no way they were going to get away with rounding up these Jews and carrying them off to Auschwitz. The train left without the Jews, and never returned again. And not a single Jew ever died in the concentration camp, if he was a Bulgarian. Because the Church of Jesus Christ boldly stood up and said, "We're not going to kill enemy, we are going to identify with the suffering, and we will suffer with them." This is Jesus' way.

    This pastor obeyed Jesus' commands to "love your enemy," "do good to those that hate you," and to be "as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

    Will you imitate Jesus and follow His example?

    You misunderstand the idea of pacifism and nonviolence. These ideals are about rejecting the use of violence to stop oppression. However, it is not about standing by on the sidelines, letting other poeple get massacred. It is about gaining the independence of nations, and making people free from segregation and institutionalized racism. Just look at Gandhi who freed India, and Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did for African Americas. And look at the life of Jesus and His disciples. Neither He nor His disciples ever killed anybody. They loved people and stood up to evil, even unto death. They never once defended themselves or others with violence,exept for Peter, and look how strongly Jesus rebuked him when he did!
     
    #15 beefy, Jul 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2009
  16. beefy

    beefy
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    Whoops. Sorry.
     
    #16 beefy, Jul 15, 2009
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  17. Tom Bryant

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    Thanks, Beefy, for settling this issue for us... can we bring every other issue to you as well?:smilewinkgrin:
     
  18. beefy

    beefy
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    C'mon Tom. I am trying to show you that Christians should not fear death. Jesus said, "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

    What problem is death for a Christian? That it will send him to heaven? How is that a problem at all?
     
  19. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
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    Beefy, The problem with your Byzantine text or TR from which the KJB is translated from is it doesn't get the proper sence of what John the Baptist is talking about. The NIV properly gets the sense in modern english. Ie do not extort. Or use violence to illegaly obtain money which coincides with complaining or not being satisfied with pay. They go hand in hand thus a better translation. Or terrify people into obtaining more money. Like the mafia.

    the first paragraph here is irrelevant to the discussion. You're talking about two different senarios. 1) The centurian has no reason to kill anyone in front of Jesus. 2) Jesus tell Peter a principle. Jesus is going through with his plan to suffer and die. Peter wants to start a rebellion. The principle is that people who live to kill people often die in that manner. Look at the Godfather movies to get the meaning of this. Jesus is also intent as he told Pontius Pilate that though he could command multitudes of angels to battle for him its not his purpose. Peter was attempting to pull Jesus from that purpose. Which is why earlier Jesus says to Peter "satan get thee hense".
    I'm sorry you don't see the distinction. Moses calls on the levites to kill the idol worshipers in Israel. Joshua commanded to kill Men, Women, and children. Ad infinitum in scriptures. Sin necessitates war just like sin necessitates the medical profession. It would be nice to have niether however its not the world we live in. Christophonies show Jesus (like with Joshua) holding a sword in his hand.
    here you miss an important ingredient. I hate drug addicts. They are my enemy. But to love them may be that I have to help the get through cold turkey which hurts them but in the end makes them better. Societies like the Russians which are cruel and war like must be defended agains. Remember the cold war. Violence and strength caused a colapse of the Soviet Union. Financially Russian is much improved and in the end has benefited from our military dominance. Not that I believe we should promote war. But neither should we shrink from defense. We don't have that purpose to go to die for mankind that was already accomplished.
     
  20. sag38

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    By all means beefy practice your pacifism and the rest of us will kill and die defending your right not to fight. I take it that you believe the United States was formed against God's will because we forcibly rebelled against the King of England.
     
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