GAL 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
MT 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
As opposed to the bad man that does nothing?
AMOS 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
I suppose I'll bring up that oft-repeated quote from Edmund Burke:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Leaving behind the last few pages of distinctly American discussion, there does seem to be a somewhat awkward conflict. That is the conflict between obedience towards God and love of one's neighbour. Well, supposed obedience towards God and supposed love of one's neighbour. Do you, in obedience to God, allow the dictatorship that has ruined a country to continue to treat its citizens as worthless, as a country such as North Korea might? Do you, in obedience to God, allow the dictatorships that have killed tens of millions - Stalin, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Hitler, etc. - to continue to operate? It is, of course, a distinction without a difference to say that it is wrong to rebel by means of violence and demonstration, only to then attempt to subvert a nation through the changing of their hearts. You are rebelling in either instance, and if we're to be consistent then let's stop focusing on the extremes and hone in on the reality that if rebellion is sin, then all forms of rebellion are sin. Preaching Christ in a country that has made Christianity anathema is sinful rebellion just as assassinating the leaders of these countries is sinful rebellion; just as it would be sinful rebellion to feed the disabled in a country which seeks the creation of the Übermensch. Whether I overthrow you with violence or my own martyrdom, I seek to overthrow you regardless. Whether I shoot you through the heart or you accept Christ into your heart and a country is changed, it was changed because someone rebelled against the status quo.
There is only one country that exists wherein a Christian is not a rebel, and it is God's country -- of course I'm not speaking of the U.S.A. or Israel. And it isn't necessarily sin to 'overthrow a dictatorship' should the motivation be pure (Anabaptists, stop before you begin). If it were, then absurd would be the whole of Christian experience and obedience to Christ, lest we forget that it was Christ who rebelled against the order of the world.
A question for the last 3 posters, Colight, Dan, and Athanasius.
Is a christian who is killing in a war being obedient to
'Let your gentleness be evident to all. '
1) seeming, suitable
2) equitable, fair, mild, gentle
It is fair and seeing that when you government calls upon you to help being down those in opposition to your rulers that you answer that call. And answer it with the up most of the strength God gives you.
(of a person) Mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender.
Make or become gentle; calm or pacify.
adjective. soft - mild - tender - bland - kind - meek - noble
And you didn't bother about the word gentle either. It s where the word gentleness comes from.
Is killing in war gentle?
I think its incredibly important and telling to consider the political situation in the Roman Empire at the time of Christ. We can all imagine a half-construed image of an ancient power with an aristocracy and persecution for some. But what is even more interesting is that not only did Christ live in a time with a Roman rule with extreme degrees of centralized power, but it was in a time shortly after Rome took a significant step backwards in terms of individual political freedoms and democracy.
Democracy originally came from Greece, starting in one of the city states. This tradition was loosely adopted by early Rome, which would grow into the Roman republic. They had a ruler, but also a senate and the system was designed so one person would not have too much power. There was slaverly, large-scale classism and plenty of predjudice, but there was also voting for some citizens, public political debate and real balancing of powers. This changed suddenly, when around 40BC Julius Ceasar decided not to disband the army at the Rubicon river according to tradition, and instead used it to march back into Rome to seize power. In a very short period of time, real democracy dissapeared and the age of the Emperors had begun. Julius was killed but absolute power in one individual lived onward. Not more than a generation later, if that, Christ was born and lived. So a society was was used to a degree of potitical freedom was cast into the bonds of rule by dicate by what was essentially a king. In that context, Christ told people that the government had earthly authority, and that Ceasar was to be honored. The example we cite most often is paying of taxes.
This does complicate the issue of a worthwhile struggle against evil. A person or group of people who centralize power and then abuse it seem like a legitimate target when considering Hitler or Stalin, but what about the British empire? What about civil law today. What about when corporate kings use their power to remove rights and opportunites from the middle class and impoverish them for their own gain as is happening today? Does capitalist control and abuse by a powerful few have a different standard than state-enforced control and abuse by a few? I'm not sure what the answer is to this.
Last edited by NHL Fever; May 16th 2012 at 05:09 PM.
Today, look at the U.S.A a new law recently passed, the police are allowed to strip search anyone for any offence, including a faulty tail light on their car.
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