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thethirdtuttle
Feb 2nd 2011, 02:56 PM
Hello, all! I originally posted this on the discussion section of my Facebook ministry website (which is entitled "Christian Peacemakers International" in case anybody wants to go check it out), and wanted to see what everybody here thought about this topic. So, here goes:

"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." (Proverbs 3:17, NASB)
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:17, NASB)

In the first verse I quoted above, the woman denoted as "her," whose ways are pleasant and whose paths are peace, is a personification of wisdom. And then, in the second verse, we see that the wisdom that comes from God the Father has many defining characteristics, the second one listed being that it is peaceable. So, in the mind of God, there is a connection between wisdom and peace. But, what exactly is that connection? Well, for starters, perhaps an analysis of the above two verses would give us some ideas.

In the verse from Proverbs, the word translated as "peace" is the Hebrew word "shalom," which means "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace," and is translated as "peace" 153 times, not to mention the similar words peaceably, peaceful, peacefully, and perfect peace. Then, the word translated as "paths" is the Hebrew word "nethibah" which means "path, pathway," and is translated as paths 12 times. The word translated as "ways" is the Hebrew word "derek" which means "way, road, distance, journey, manner," and is translated as ways 150 times. Finally, the word translated as "pleasant" is the Hebrew word "noam" which means "delightfulness, pleasantness" and is translated as pleasant 3 times.

In an analogous sort of way, the word translated as "peaceable" in the verse from James is the Greek word "eirenikos" which means peaceful, and is translated as peaceable once. Also, the word translated as "wisdom" in James is the Greek word "sophia" which means "skill, wisdom" and is translated as wisdom 49 times. The word translated as "above" is the Greek word "anothen" which means "from above" and is translated as above 5 times.

So, what does all of that tell us? Pretty much what the verses say, that all the roads that wisdom walks are pleasant, and that all of her pathways lead to completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. And, that the wisdom that comes from God is peaceful. But, what does that look like? Well, that's where the discussion part of this comes in. If anybody out there has any ideas as to what this looks like in a Christian's day-to-day life, please feel free to post your insights, comments and suggestions here. God bless, and I look forward to seeing what everybody comes up with. Until then, I remain

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

BroRog
Feb 2nd 2011, 03:39 PM
Hello, all! I originally posted this on the discussion section of my Facebook ministry website (which is entitled "Christian Peacemakers International" in case anybody wants to go check it out), and wanted to see what everybody here thought about this topic. So, here goes:

"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." (Proverbs 3:17, NASB)
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:17, NASB)

In the first verse I quoted above, the woman denoted as "her," whose ways are pleasant and whose paths are peace, is a personification of wisdom. And then, in the second verse, we see that the wisdom that comes from God the Father has many defining characteristics, the second one listed being that it is peaceable. So, in the mind of God, there is a connection between wisdom and peace. But, what exactly is that connection? Well, for starters, perhaps an analysis of the above two verses would give us some ideas.

In the verse from Proverbs, the word translated as "peace" is the Hebrew word "shalom," which means "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace," and is translated as "peace" 153 times, not to mention the similar words peaceably, peaceful, peacefully, and perfect peace. Then, the word translated as "paths" is the Hebrew word "nethibah" which means "path, pathway," and is translated as paths 12 times. The word translated as "ways" is the Hebrew word "derek" which means "way, road, distance, journey, manner," and is translated as ways 150 times. Finally, the word translated as "pleasant" is the Hebrew word "noam" which means "delightfulness, pleasantness" and is translated as pleasant 3 times.

In an analogous sort of way, the word translated as "peaceable" in the verse from James is the Greek word "eirenikos" which means peaceful, and is translated as peaceable once. Also, the word translated as "wisdom" in James is the Greek word "sophia" which means "skill, wisdom" and is translated as wisdom 49 times. The word translated as "above" is the Greek word "anothen" which means "from above" and is translated as above 5 times.

So, what does all of that tell us? Pretty much what the verses say, that all the roads that wisdom walks are pleasant, and that all of her pathways lead to completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. And, that the wisdom that comes from God is peaceful. But, what does that look like? Well, that's where the discussion part of this comes in. If anybody out there has any ideas as to what this looks like in a Christian's day-to-day life, please feel free to post your insights, comments and suggestions here. God bless, and I look forward to seeing what everybody comes up with. Until then, I remain

Yours in Christ,

BenjaminAll I can say here is "huh?" and this is a clear example of how someone can use the scriptures to make them say anything they want them to say.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 3rd 2011, 06:38 AM
BroRog:

What, exactly, are you confused about? I was merely asking what the connection is between peacemaking and wisdom, and how that applies to a Christian's day-to-day life. I'm not trying to make the Scriptures say something I want them to say. I posted two Bible verses that showed that there is a connection between the concepts of peace and wisdom in the mind of God, did a quick analysis of the relevant terms in the texts, and then asked for input as far as how that connection might play out in the life of an average Christian. I don't see anything difficult to understand or complicated about that. If you want more clarification, please feel free to ask. I was just curious as to what other Christians thought about this particular issue. Hope that helps. God bless.

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

BroRog
Feb 3rd 2011, 04:12 PM
BroRog:

What, exactly, are you confused about? I was merely asking what the connection is between peacemaking and wisdom, and how that applies to a Christian's day-to-day life. I'm not trying to make the Scriptures say something I want them to say. I posted two Bible verses that showed that there is a connection between the concepts of peace and wisdom in the mind of God, did a quick analysis of the relevant terms in the texts, and then asked for input as far as how that connection might play out in the life of an average Christian. I don't see anything difficult to understand or complicated about that. If you want more clarification, please feel free to ask. I was just curious as to what other Christians thought about this particular issue. Hope that helps. God bless.

Yours in Christ,

BenjaminI'm not asking for clarification. I'm telling you that sticking two Bible verses together, after taking each verse out of context, is NOT a connection the Bible intended to make but a connection you dreamed up out of your head. Thanks for wishing me a blessing, but if you really want to bless me, stop taking verses out of context.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 4th 2011, 12:05 AM
BroRog:

So, you think there isn't a connection between the biblical concepts of wisdom and peace? Please use Bible verses to prove your point, because the connection is pretty obvious to me. And, I'm not taking these verses out of context. I know perfectly well what the contexts of the verses are. I've read the Bible through many, many times. Plus, I've taken Bible classes at a Christian college, so I know how to do things like exegesis properly. If you want, I could go into a detailed explanation as to why I started this thread in the first place. Maybe that would help you to understand that I'm not just making this up in my own head, like you seem to think. Hope that helps.

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

BroRog
Feb 4th 2011, 12:57 AM
BroRog:

So, you think there isn't a connection between the biblical concepts of wisdom and peace? Please use Bible verses to prove your point, because the connection is pretty obvious to me. And, I'm not taking these verses out of context. I know perfectly well what the contexts of the verses are. I've read the Bible through many, many times. Plus, I've taken Bible classes at a Christian college, so I know how to do things like exegesis properly. If you want, I could go into a detailed explanation as to why I started this thread in the first place. Maybe that would help you to understand that I'm not just making this up in my own head, like you seem to think. Hope that helps.

Yours in Christ,

BenjaminSure, give it another shot.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 4th 2011, 01:52 AM
BroRog:

Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to explain my thinking a bit further. For those who don't know, I'm writing a book about how Christians are called to shun every form of violence, including being involved in the military, and work to find peaceful solutions to all of the world's various conflicts, whether they be geopolitical or interpersonal in nature. It is motivated by a deep conviction that many Christians need to more deeply understand the self-sacrificial nature of the Christian life, and that we are called to be peacemakers in every arena of life. I have come to this conclusion not just through my careful study of Scripture over the past several years, but also by reading the writings of such godly men as John Howard Yoder (a Mennonite theologian who wrote such books as "The Politics of Jesus"), Stanley Hauerwas, Jacques Ellul, as well as many others. One of the many subtopics that fall under the umbrella of biblical peacemaking is the connection between godly wisdom and peace, which is what I see when I look at the two verses I quoted in my original post. Do I know that they come from completely different books by two completely different authors writing about different issues? Absolutely, but IMHO, we 21st century Christians tend to get WAY too hung up on context, like it's the only exegetical principle we need to use to understand Scripture. What I was trying to do in my original post, as well as in the book I'm writing, iis, while keeping context firmly in mind, look behind and beyond the surface details and see the underlying scriptural principles that God is propounding in those two verses. If we do that, I think it is quite obvious that both King Solomon and the apostle James are saying pretty much the same thing: namely, that there is a connection between godly wisdom and peace. All I was wondering was if anybody here had any concrete examples of what that might look like in an average Christian's day-to-day life. Hope that helps you understand my thought process a bit better. God bless!

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

BroRog
Feb 4th 2011, 08:02 PM
One thing to investigate, as you study this out, is the fact that the English word "peace" has at least two different connotations: 1) free from worry, anxiety, inner turmoil, and 2) freedom from conflict or war. Shalom covers both at the same time, but "eirenikos" only applies to being free from worry. Which one do you think James had im mind? I believe that when he says that wisdom is peaceable, he means that wisdom is tranquil, unshakable, calm, not prone to worry, or be anxious, etc. not necessarily that it will not find itself going to war. As Solomon says, there is a time for peace and there is a time for war. Wisdom, it seems to me, is able to choose the right path when necessary.



Eccl. 3:8

Firefighter
Feb 4th 2011, 08:04 PM
I think the word peacemaker says it all. Peace is MADE.

chad
Feb 4th 2011, 08:30 PM
It looks like, the fruit of the spirit. Gal 5:22-26 ?



Hello, all! I originally posted this on the discussion section of my Facebook ministry website (which is entitled "Christian Peacemakers International" in case anybody wants to go check it out), and wanted to see what everybody here thought about this topic. So, here goes:

"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." (Proverbs 3:17, NASB)
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:17, NASB)

In the first verse I quoted above, the woman denoted as "her," whose ways are pleasant and whose paths are peace, is a personification of wisdom. And then, in the second verse, we see that the wisdom that comes from God the Father has many defining characteristics, the second one listed being that it is peaceable. So, in the mind of God, there is a connection between wisdom and peace. But, what exactly is that connection? Well, for starters, perhaps an analysis of the above two verses would give us some ideas.

In the verse from Proverbs, the word translated as "peace" is the Hebrew word "shalom," which means "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace," and is translated as "peace" 153 times, not to mention the similar words peaceably, peaceful, peacefully, and perfect peace. Then, the word translated as "paths" is the Hebrew word "nethibah" which means "path, pathway," and is translated as paths 12 times. The word translated as "ways" is the Hebrew word "derek" which means "way, road, distance, journey, manner," and is translated as ways 150 times. Finally, the word translated as "pleasant" is the Hebrew word "noam" which means "delightfulness, pleasantness" and is translated as pleasant 3 times.

In an analogous sort of way, the word translated as "peaceable" in the verse from James is the Greek word "eirenikos" which means peaceful, and is translated as peaceable once. Also, the word translated as "wisdom" in James is the Greek word "sophia" which means "skill, wisdom" and is translated as wisdom 49 times. The word translated as "above" is the Greek word "anothen" which means "from above" and is translated as above 5 times.

So, what does all of that tell us? Pretty much what the verses say, that all the roads that wisdom walks are pleasant, and that all of her pathways lead to completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. And, that the wisdom that comes from God is peaceful. But, what does that look like? Well, that's where the discussion part of this comes in. If anybody out there has any ideas as to what this looks like in a Christian's day-to-day life, please feel free to post your insights, comments and suggestions here. God bless, and I look forward to seeing what everybody comes up with. Until then, I remain

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

thethirdtuttle
Feb 4th 2011, 09:07 PM
I think the word peacemaker says it all. Peace is MADE.

Amen! So true.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 4th 2011, 09:57 PM
BroRog:

Where I can see where you are coming from, I would have to respectfully disagree. While I agree that, as Solomon wisely instructs us, that there is a time for war and a time for peace, I would posit, and I think both Jesus and the New Testament writers would agree with me, that the time for war, at least for faithful followers of Jesus, is now at an end, and has been at least since His resurrection and ascension. After all, doesn't Jesus command us in the Sermon on the Mount to do things like turn the other cheek? And, doesn't the apostle Paul command us to, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not." (Romans 12:14) and in verse 18 of the same chapter, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."? What about in Hebrews, where the anonymous author commands us to, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)? Also, the apostle Peter explains, in his first pastoral epistle, "To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, 'Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'" (1 Peter 3:8-12) Sounds to me like the unanimous witness of the New Testament is that Christians are not to go to war, but instead be self-sacrificing suffering servants just like Jesus. After all, He is supposed to be our supreme example and guide for how to live in this dark and dying world. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

Zack702
Feb 4th 2011, 11:19 PM
Those in opposition to peace, desire war.

Those in opposition to war, desire peace.

In there heart the means justifies the end.

By there heart God justifies the man.

Perhaps that peace does not depend on you ?

Can you say, because you seek peace, that you are at peace with war ?

As a advocate of peace you are at war with war.

Stand courageous and remember that by the heart God justifies the man.

keck553
Feb 4th 2011, 11:31 PM
BroRog:

Where I can see where you are coming from, I would have to respectfully disagree. While I agree that, as Solomon wisely instructs us, that there is a time for war and a time for peace, I would posit, and I think both Jesus and the New Testament writers would agree with me, that the time for war, at least for faithful followers of Jesus, is now at an end, and has been at least since His resurrection and ascension. After all, doesn't Jesus command us in the Sermon on the Mount to do things like turn the other cheek? And, doesn't the apostle Paul command us to, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not." (Romans 12:14) and in verse 18 of the same chapter, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."? What about in Hebrews, where the anonymous author commands us to, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)? Also, the apostle Peter explains, in his first pastoral epistle, "To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, 'Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'" (1 Peter 3:8-12) Sounds to me like the unanimous witness of the New Testament is that Christians are not to go to war, but instead be self-sacrificing suffering servants just like Jesus. After all, He is supposed to be our supreme example and guide for how to live in this dark and dying world. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

These are all exhortations for personal interaction. The Law provided for justice through judges and a council. The reality was by the first century, individuals were taking the Law into their own hands, so to speak, and meting out punishment without due process. This is demonstrated several times in the NT, the adulterous woman for one, the mob who stoned Stephen, etc. These were lawless acts. Jesus lived in that culture and He was well aware of the the vigilante tendencies of his culture.

We live under similar criminal justice and civil laws in this country.

Regarding war......not one word from the mouth of our Savior. In fact, John has some interesting things to say in Revelation. Jesus doesn't make peace with with those who continue in unrighteousness - I really do not think being tossed into a lake of fire as being 'peaceful.' But for sure it will 'make peace.'

keck553
Feb 4th 2011, 11:39 PM
Those in opposition to peace, desire war.

Those in opposition to war, desire peace.

In there heart the means justifies the end.

By there heart God justifies the man.

Perhaps that peace does not depend on you ?

Can you say, because you seek peace, that you are at peace with war ?

As a advocate of peace you are at war with war.

Stand courageous and remember that by the heart God justifies the man.

Um....no. Those who desire peace prepare for war.

BroRog
Feb 4th 2011, 11:41 PM
BroRog:

Where I can see where you are coming from, I would have to respectfully disagree. While I agree that, as Solomon wisely instructs us, that there is a time for war and a time for peace, I would posit, and I think both Jesus and the New Testament writers would agree with me, that the time for war, at least for faithful followers of Jesus, is now at an end, and has been at least since His resurrection and ascension. After all, doesn't Jesus command us in the Sermon on the Mount to do things like turn the other cheek? And, doesn't the apostle Paul command us to, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not." (Romans 12:14) and in verse 18 of the same chapter, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."? What about in Hebrews, where the anonymous author commands us to, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)? Also, the apostle Peter explains, in his first pastoral epistle, "To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, 'Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'" (1 Peter 3:8-12) Sounds to me like the unanimous witness of the New Testament is that Christians are not to go to war, but instead be self-sacrificing suffering servants just like Jesus. After all, He is supposed to be our supreme example and guide for how to live in this dark and dying world. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

Yours in Christ,

BenjaminAnd yet, this same Jesus is going to return and fight against the man of lawlessness. In Revelation, for instance, we see him riding on a white horse along with thousands of his troops. A book on pacifism must take this into account. I think you should investigate the difference between what an individual does, representing himself, and what a person does representing the government. After all, a single individual doesn't go to war alone. Typically, a soldier fights in an army, sanctioned and authorized by a lawful government. And as Paul says in Romans,

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Romans 13:3-4

Paul sees a legitimate role for government authority, bearing the sword to reward good and punish evil. He says that the authority that bears the sword "is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil." Given that being a minister of God is a good thing, and that God authorizes the use of force in the prosecution of justice, and given that Jesus himself will wage war when he returns, the picture begins to grow more complex. I've got to ask myself, who do I want holding that sword, somebody who is unjust and is committed to personal gain, or someone who is commited to righteousness and justice? To be honest, I want someone commited to goodness and righteousness, and not subject to corruption to hold that sword. Given this is how I feel about it, I can't say to my brother that he is not allowed to become a policeman or a soldier. You may see it differently, even so, you should at least address this position in your book, even if to argue against it.

Firefighter
Feb 4th 2011, 11:43 PM
Um....no. Those who desire peace prepare for war.

Those that fight in wars pray that their children will have peace because of their sacrifice today. ;)

dan
Feb 15th 2011, 10:04 PM
Those that fight in wars pray that their children will have peace because of their sacrifice today. ;)

Indeed. But, the willingness to make war, or, to prepare for war while at peace, by a particular country, has long been thought to be grounds for the lovers of war to pick a visibly weaker target.

Much like criminals pick targets in the streets.

I think the connection is in the Bible, somewhere, we just have to look.

EX 15:3 Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name.

NUM 32:20 And Moses said to them: If you do what you promise, go on well appointed for war before the Lord:
NUM 32:21 And let every fighting man pass over the Jordan, until the Lord overthrow his enemies :
NUM 32:22 And all the land be brought under him, then shall you be blameless before the Lord and before Israel, and you shall obtain the countries that you desire, before the Lord.
NUM 32:23 But if you do not what you say, no man can doubt but you sin against God: and know ye, that your sin shall overtake you.

NUM 35:31 You shall not take money of him that is guilty of blood, but he shall die forthwith.
NUM 35:32 The banished and fugitives before the death of the high priest may by no means return into their own cities.
NUM 35:33 Defile not the land of your habitation, which is stained with the blood of the innocent: neither can it otherwise be expiated, but by his blood that hath shed the blood of another.
NUM 35:34 And thus shall your possession he cleansed, myself abiding with you. For I am the Lord that dwell among the children of Israel.

ECCLES 3:1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
ECCLES 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
ECCLES 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
ECCLES 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
ECCLES 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
ECCLES 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
ECCLES 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
ECCLES 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

IS 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

IS 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

DAN 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

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.

LK 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.

LK 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
LK 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
LK 22:37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
LK 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here [are] two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

REV 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear:
REV 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 15th 2011, 11:42 PM
Those that fight in wars pray that their children will have peace because of their sacrifice today. ;)

Firefighter:

While I respect, appreciate, and understand the sentiment being expressed here, I would have to respectfully disagree as far as the content goes. That is because, IMHO, physical violence perpetrated against other human beings is not and cannot be redemptive. I just recently reread (for the third or fourth time, I forget which) the second edition of Dale W. Brown's marvelous little book entitled "Biblical Pacifism". In it, he quotes from Walter Wink, who talks about how we here in the United States have bought into the lie that violence, through force of military arms, can bring us peace, security and comfort. That lie is based on the Babylonian creation myth that says that the universe was created through an act of physical violence. But, the good news is that it wasn't! Instead, we have a good creation that we as Christians are called to be stewards of. How is it good stewardship, either of the good creation that God has entrusted to us or the finances he has blessed us with, to spend an insane amount of money every second on high-tech weaponry that pollutes the earth in its creation through nuclear, chemical, and other kinds of waste, and that is specifically designed to cause chaos, death, bloodshed and destruction through its use and deployment? National security is an idol that needs to be recognized and renounced as such. After all, as the Lord says in Psalm 127, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep." (Psalm 127:1,2, NASB)

Furthermore, since "...the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete" (2 Corinthians 10:4-6, NASB) and since "...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12, NASB), how does a physical war waged against other human beings ever achieve true and lasting peace? In short, it can't, because we are waging war against the wrong enemy with the wrong kind of weapons. It is somewhat akin to someone coming to a chess match with a bunch of Tonka toys and expecting to win. They won't, because they are using the wrong tools for the job. Similarly, as long as we see our enemy as the human being coming against us, instead the spiritual forces that are motivating their attack in the first place, we will continue to miss the boat on this issue. After all, Satan cannot be stabbed with a knife, shot with a gun, or blown up with an ICBM, no matter how hard we try. And, the more we do try, the more we play right into his hands by continuing and perpetuating the downward spiral of violence, revenge, hatred, vengeance and retribution. The only way to break that cycle is through acts of reconciliation, restoration, and unconditional, self-sacrificial love. Does that mean we might end up getting killed in the process by those that hate us? Possibly, but let me put it this way: I'd rather die loving, forgiving and attempting reconciliation rather than live as a result of enacting vengeace and retribution on those who try to hurt me or the ones I love. Will I do it perfectly? Probably not, but God's grace is sufficient for me, and He knows my heart.

That's my two cents, for what it's worth. Hope that helps explain my position a bit better. God bless, and have a great night in the Lord!

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin

thethirdtuttle
Feb 16th 2011, 12:00 AM
These are all exhortations for personal interaction. The Law provided for justice through judges and a council. The reality was by the first century, individuals were taking the Law into their own hands, so to speak, and meting out punishment without due process. This is demonstrated several times in the NT, the adulterous woman for one, the mob who stoned Stephen, etc. These were lawless acts. Jesus lived in that culture and He was well aware of the the vigilante tendencies of his culture.

We live under similar criminal justice and civil laws in this country.

Regarding war......not one word from the mouth of our Savior. In fact, John has some interesting things to say in Revelation. Jesus doesn't make peace with with those who continue in unrighteousness - I really do not think being tossed into a lake of fire as being 'peaceful.' But for sure it will 'make peace.'

keck553:

While I understand and appreciate where you are coming from here, I will have to respectfully disagree. While I agree that the exhortations that I quoted are for personal interaction as you so succintly stated it, something we also have to keep in mind is that our primary citizenship is not in the political country or nation-state that we happen to reside in, but in the kingdom of God. As primarily citizens of the kigdom of God, and only secondarily as citizens of the various nation-states we happen to live in, we are called to live according to kingdom principles, even and especially when they are in conflict with the laws of the nations we happen to call our temporary home. That means that we are called to a higher standard than most, and we are not to worry about what the consequences of that faithfulness might cost us, even though we might be tempted to do so. Furthermore, when it comes to war, I think you are confusing the issue a bit. You are right that Jesus does not make peace with those who continue in unrighteousness, but Him tossing them into the lake of fire is His unique prerogative as God. We are called to love those who hate us, even if it means allowing them to kill us. After all, even if we do die at the hand of those who have decided to be our enemies, what more can they do to us? It's not like they can follow us into heaven and continue to make our lives miserable in the afterlife. Besides, since we are Christians, we get to go to heaven when we die. So, in a sense, we win if we allow those to hate us to kill us. Once they kill our bodies, there's nothing more they can do to us. Instead of being afraid of what other people might do to us if we were truly faithful to God, we should instead fear Him, because He is the only One worth fearing.

That's about it for now. God bless, and have a great night in the Lord!

Yours in Him,

Benjamin

keck553
Feb 16th 2011, 12:04 AM
Unfortunately, God has placed us in a physical world, with real physical properties. Both the spiritual realm and the physical realm are realities, and he who is against one is against the other. While the "world system" is passing away, we still have to interact with it, and in this age, sometimes violently. While you may think war is 'conforming to the world,' I suggest the Bible would disagree with you. There is much Biblical precedent (and prophecy) for military force, sometimes with God in the midst of the action - other times His angels are involved. Since it was God who provoked these actions, they ARE kingdom principles.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon defines what is of the "world system" (under the sun) and what is of the spiritual (under the heavens). These definitions are "kingdom principles." And until this age passes, Solomon places war in the "under the heavens" column, which is a "kingdom principle" according to Solomon's writings - this Solomon, to whom God gave more wisdom than any other man. Sorry, this is God's Word, and God's word is final. We may not like it, but in the final analysis our ways and our wisdom and our desires if they contrast with God's Word are vanity.

If someone wants to be a martyr and watch their children go to the gas chamber for thier faith and believe this is obedience to God's will, that's their right and privaledge, and may God protect and keep them. Otherwise I'll be happy to work out my own salvation, and if that means defending my brothers and sisters and my fellow neighbors by force, then it will be me who will answer to God for those actions. God knows my heart and my secret places. The truth is I'd choose God as my Judge over any human, no matter how 'nice' or 'peaceful' they appear to be.

In the time to come, perhaps war will be obsolete, but until God institutes that age, what remains "under the heavens" still applies.

Sorry, that's what the Bible teaches us.

thethirdtuttle
Feb 16th 2011, 12:17 AM
And yet, this same Jesus is going to return and fight against the man of lawlessness. In Revelation, for instance, we see him riding on a white horse along with thousands of his troops. A book on pacifism must take this into account. I think you should investigate the difference between what an individual does, representing himself, and what a person does representing the government. After all, a single individual doesn't go to war alone. Typically, a soldier fights in an army, sanctioned and authorized by a lawful government. And as Paul says in Romans,

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Romans 13:3-4

Paul sees a legitimate role for government authority, bearing the sword to reward good and punish evil. He says that the authority that bears the sword "is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil." Given that being a minister of God is a good thing, and that God authorizes the use of force in the prosecution of justice, and given that Jesus himself will wage war when he returns, the picture begins to grow more complex. I've got to ask myself, who do I want holding that sword, somebody who is unjust and is committed to personal gain, or someone who is commited to righteousness and justice? To be honest, I want someone commited to goodness and righteousness, and not subject to corruption to hold that sword. Given this is how I feel about it, I can't say to my brother that he is not allowed to become a policeman or a soldier. You may see it differently, even so, you should at least address this position in your book, even if to argue against it.

BroRog:

Yet again, while I see where you are coming from with this, I would have to respectfully disagree. Yes, when Jesus returns, He will fight against the man of lawlessness. But, as I said to keck553, that is Jesus' unique divine sovereign prerogative. And, as I said to Firefighter, we are called to fight spiritual wars with spiritual weapons, not physical wars with physical weapons. After all, Satan can't be defeated by soldiers coming at him with the wrong kinds of weapons and attempting to fight the wrong kind of war. And, the more we do, the more we play into his hands by perpetuating the downward spiral of violence, vengenace and retribution. As far as the Romans passage you quoted, I see that as more of a description of what governments are supposed to do within their own borders and among their own citizens, not to other nations or countries. For instance, no one ever asked the United States to play the role of "policeman to the world," and yet that's the role our government has unilaterally decided to take on at least as far back as World War One, if not earlier. I, too, see governments having a legitimate authority to reward good behavior and punishing bad behavior, but again, I would see that as among its own citizens and within its own borders, not between themselves and other nations or countries. After all, if country A decides to go to war against country B because country B has decided to invade country C, and country A uses the rationale that they are demonstrating love for their neighbor by protecting country C from invasion by country B, how is country A showing country B that same love by being willing to kill and maim their citizens and destroy their land with munitions, bombs and gunfire? I mean, how can you be truly loving to someone while all the while trying to kill them? I would contend that you can't.

Just my two cents for what it's worth. God bless, and have a great night in the Lord!

Yours in Christ,

Benjamin