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Thread: Building God's Kingdom

  1. #16

    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    The "goodness" that men accomplish, Christian and nonChristian, is the very matter of creating a better society. What good is it if Christians and nonChristians can do good, but are absolutely unable to create a good society outside of the Christian Church? In that case, our environment if fixed, and no improvement can be made.

    But I think you will find that even nonChristian societies are able to build a degree of goodness for the public, particularly when those societies have been influenced by the Christian testimony. For example, Western intellectuals have appeared to model their own ideal societies after Christianity, to some degree, despite their hostility towards Christianity itself. The Christian impact is there, enabling them to build good institutions that preserve lives and enhance their ability to be happy and prosperous.

    We can all see the defects and bad side of such nonChristian secular institutions. But neither can we deny that they do some good for society. It is not wrong to work in them, in for example the United Nations. Good can be done by Christians within these institutions. And even nonChristians can do some good in them, assuming they have received positive influence somewhere.
    Now we have to figure out what "good" is according to a Christian and a non Christian. Non Christians think that abortions are good, homosexuality is good, so they fight for these rights. According to whom is this "good"?

    This is the problem I see, man's goodness is nothing like God's goodness, but we want to try to create a "heaven on earth". It's not heaven.

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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Now we have to figure out what "good" is according to a Christian and a non Christian. Non Christians think that abortions are good, homosexuality is good, so they fight for these rights. According to whom is this "good"?

    This is the problem I see, man's goodness is nothing like God's goodness, but we want to try to create a "heaven on earth". It's not heaven.
    Maybe the word should be "moral" instead of "good?"
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


  3. #18

    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Maybe the word should be "moral" instead of "good?"
    Moral by whose standards? People on the left think it's moral to allow homosexuals to be married, this is equality they say, it's immoral to prevent them from their happiness. Abortionist will tell you abortions are moral because it relieves the women of something they don't want and lessen's the burden on society.

    Societies are also different across the world, we could ask a Muslim what he views as moral.

    God's morals are not the same as man's, there are countless examples in the Bible, Jesus is one, a caring, loving father did not take his child from physical danger or death, this would be immoral by man's standards. Parents wouldn't want their child to be ill, but God might allow it to bring about good.

    So why do we spend so much time promoting man's society, and not God's Kingdom?

  4. #19
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Now we have to figure out what "good" is according to a Christian and a non Christian. Non Christians think that abortions are good, homosexuality is good, so they fight for these rights. According to whom is this "good"?

    This is the problem I see, man's goodness is nothing like God's goodness, but we want to try to create a "heaven on earth". It's not heaven.
    We're of course defining "good" as Christians. There is no goodness outside of the goodness that comes from God. The assumption has to be made that if God made man "good," and He did, then Man would be able to do good. That hasn't changed since the Fall, because even though Man sinned, he can still do good. Despite the tendency to rebel against God's word, people still want to do good.

    We are not here arguing whether Man's goodness is sufficient for salvation. We already know it is not. We need to do a specific kind of "good" to be saved, which has to do with believing in Christ's redemption, and choosing to live in it. All other good is insufficient for salvation. This still means that men who reject Christ's redemption can do good. They allow a measure of God's word to be activated in their life, even though they don't want to live under Christ's lordship.

  5. #20
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Moral by whose standards?


    Good... by whose standards?

    Do you get what I'm getting at?

    Good = walking/helping an elderly person across a busy street.

    Better = walking/helping a blind elderly person across a busy street. The person who helped a seeing elderly person across the street, isn't reaching the standard of good anymore.

    Good = offering $5 to that homeless man you walked by.

    Better = offering $10 to that same homeless man, now the person who offered $5, isn't reaching the standard of good anymore.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


  6. #21
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    The "goodness" that men accomplish, Christian and nonChristian, is the very matter of creating a better society. What good is it if Christians and nonChristians can do good, but are absolutely unable to create a good society outside of the Christian Church? In that case, our environment if fixed, and no improvement can be made.

    But I think you will find that even nonChristian societies are able to build a degree of goodness for the public, particularly when those societies have been influenced by the Christian testimony. For example, Western intellectuals have appeared to model their own ideal societies after Christianity, to some degree, despite their hostility towards Christianity itself. The Christian impact is there, enabling them to build good institutions that preserve lives and enhance their ability to be happy and prosperous.

    We can all see the defects and bad side of such nonChristian secular institutions. But neither can we deny that they do some good for society. It is not wrong to work in them, in for example the United Nations. Good can be done by Christians within these institutions. And even nonChristians can do some good in them, assuming they have received positive influence somewhere.
    Oh so you mean you want an "OT society" ???
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

  7. #22
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme View Post
    Oh so you mean you want an "OT society" ???
    I believe God did not "sin" when He advised Israel to remain under the leadership of prophets, rather than under the leadership of kings. The greater the emphasis on Man, the more bureaucratic things would become, inefficient and abusive. By the way, I'm a Republican in the US.

    Theocracy is a nasty word in the modern world only because the concept has been abused and stolen. Islam often makes use of a theocracy, and yet is not God's idea of a theocracy.

    The true Kingdom of God is, in today's world, a Christian country--the less bureaucracy the better. I'm not an Independent in the US political system because that advocates for a plurality of systems. That is a contradiction, and that is chaos. I'm for *Christian laws,* and not laws based on the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

    At the same time I'm a realist. A society, to be orderly, must be based on the agreement of a strong majority. Without a strong Christian majority Christian laws will never work. They will always oppress minorities. Once we have a strong majority, however, it is *not* oppressive to discipline or to remove minorities at odds with the Christian ideal.

    I don't believe in an "OT" theocracy because we are no longer in the OT era. That system was designed for only one specific nation. Israel was to be the model for a plurality of nations.

  8. #23
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I believe God did not "sin" when He advised Israel to remain under the leadership of prophets, rather than under the leadership of kings. The greater the emphasis on Man, the more bureaucratic things would become, inefficient and abusive. By the way, I'm a Republican in the US.

    Theocracy is a nasty word in the modern world only because the concept has been abused and stolen. Islam often makes use of a theocracy, and yet is not God's idea of a theocracy.

    The true Kingdom of God is, in today's world, a Christian country--the less bureaucracy the better. I'm not an Independent in the US political system because that advocates for a plurality of systems. That is a contradiction, and that is chaos. I'm for *Christian laws,* and not laws based on the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

    At the same time I'm a realist. A society, to be orderly, must be based on the agreement of a strong majority. Without a strong Christian majority Christian laws will never work. They will always oppress minorities. Once we have a strong majority, however, it is *not* oppressive to discipline or to remove minorities at odds with the Christian ideal.

    I don't believe in an "OT" theocracy because we are no longer in the OT era. That system was designed for only one specific nation. Israel was to be the model for a plurality of nations.
    I'm still confused ... ought we be more concerned with what Christians are actually doing then what nonChristians are doing ... as far as "Christian laws" ??? Ought we more be an example ... with our own behavior ... isn't that what we are called to do ... not to try to get the Government to enact "Christian laws" ... by focussing so much on trying to get the Government to enact "Christian laws" (which not sure exactly what you mean by this other than OT type law) wouldn't we be doing what Israel did, looking for a human King/Government to "fix things" instead of us obeying God and us doing what He has told us to do ??? ???
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

  9. #24
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme View Post
    I'm still confused ... ought we be more concerned with what Christians are actually doing then what nonChristians are doing ... as far as "Christian laws" ???
    Are you asking if we, as Christians, should be our brother's keeper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme
    Ought we more be an example ... with our own behavior ... isn't that what we are called to do ... not to try to get the Government to enact "Christian laws" ... by focussing so much on trying to get the Government to enact "Christian laws" (which not sure exactly what you mean by this other than OT type law) wouldn't we be doing what Israel did, looking for a human King/Government to "fix things" instead of us obeying God and us doing what He has told us to do ??? ???
    I don't think Israel's "sin" was to try to get godly kings in place, to stir up the pagan populace. God absolutely required Israel, under the Law, to establish godly leaders, and to "have no other gods" among the population.

    But if you're talking about another nation, beyond Israel under the Law, I can see where you're coming from. We most often do not have a Christian majority. And as I said, we cannot, without a strong majority, impose Christian laws on the populace. We would in effect force Christianity down the throat of people who have not yet come to a conviction that Christianity is true. That's a bad witness, for sure.

    In my own society, the U.S., we are kind of a hybrid, part Christian and part not--definitely heading in the pagan direction. In this case, very few Christian laws can be passed. I would still like to impose anti-homosexuality laws. I would still like to legislate against immoral acts and against various kinds of political sedition, however that may be described. I would encourage the involvement of Christian organizations in situations where government money is involved. It really depends on the political/social climate.

    If you're not for the right things, then what are you for? As Christians we not only want to create a climate where people can honestly hear the Gospel, but we also want to build a society that treats people fairly. If we don't care about society, even pagan society, what kind of Christians are we?

  10. #25
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Are you asking if we, as Christians, should be our brother's keeper?
    No I am not ... not sure how you got that out of that ... I am talking about how we as Christians ought to be concerned about our own behavior ...



    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I don't think Israel's "sin" was to try to get godly kings in place, to stir up the pagan populace. God absolutely required Israel, under the Law, to establish godly leaders, and to "have no other gods" among the population.

    But if you're talking about another nation, beyond Israel under the Law, I can see where you're coming from. We most often do not have a Christian majority. And as I said, we cannot, without a strong majority, impose Christian laws on the populace. We would in effect force Christianity down the throat of people who have not yet come to a conviction that Christianity is true. That's a bad witness, for sure.

    In my own society, the U.S., we are kind of a hybrid, part Christian and part not--definitely heading in the pagan direction. In this case, very few Christian laws can be passed. I would still like to impose anti-homosexuality laws. I would still like to legislate against immoral acts and against various kinds of political sedition, however that may be described. I would encourage the involvement of Christian organizations in situations where government money is involved. It really depends on the political/social climate.

    If you're not for the right things, then what are you for? As Christians we not only want to create a climate where people can honestly hear the Gospel, but we also want to build a society that treats people fairly. If we don't care about society, even pagan society, what kind of Christians are we?
    I grew up in the US and lived there for 40 years ... now 20 years in Europe ... again ... I think we ought to be concerned about our own behavior ... we should be concerned about what those who claim the name of Christianity do ... there is plenty of problems in the Church that needs to be addressed before we are actually "prepared" to deal with society as a whole ... if our own house is divided how are we going to fix the neighborhood???

    Oh and would you like to impose anti-adultery laws, and how about anti-divorce laws except for cause.
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

  11. #26
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme View Post
    No I am not ... not sure how you got that out of that ... I am talking about how we as Christians ought to be concerned about our own behavior ...



    I grew up in the US and lived there for 40 years ... now 20 years in Europe ... again ... I think we ought to be concerned about our own behavior ... we should be concerned about what those who claim the name of Christianity do ... there is plenty of problems in the Church that needs to be addressed before we are actually "prepared" to deal with society as a whole ... if our own house is divided how are we going to fix the neighborhood???

    Oh and would you like to impose anti-adultery laws, and how about anti-divorce laws except for cause.
    It really depends on if we can find a country that has a large Christian majority--otherwise, it's doomed to fail. Israel was able to do it because they began with faith. And the nation was defined by faith in their exodus.

    We have had Christian nations in history, and they passed Christian laws. But now, at the end of the age, paganism has returned, and I'm not confident we can turn back the clock.

    Does that mean I've changed my position? Not at all. It's the same position. If a nation with a large Christian majority wants to be a Christian nation and pass Christian laws, that's the best thing of all. But when we live in nations where Christians are fast becoming a minority, we cannot expect to get laws passed that are specifically Christian.

    We still need to be concerned about the nonChristian society we live in. We can't just be concerned about our own Christian people. Otherwise we wouldn't evangelize.

    But we need to both evangelize and to share our Christian wisdom, hoping to hold up society the best we can with what we have. Sometimes that is only partly Christian truth.

    But letting the whole society go down the toilet when we know the truth is irresponsible. We need to be light and salt, and let those who rule decide how much they're willing to implement.

  12. #27
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It really depends on if we can find a country that has a large Christian majority--otherwise, it's doomed to fail. Israel was able to do it because they began with faith. And the nation was defined by faith in their exodus.

    We have had Christian nations in history, and they passed Christian laws. But now, at the end of the age, paganism has returned, and I'm not confident we can turn back the clock.

    Does that mean I've changed my position? Not at all. It's the same position. If a nation with a large Christian majority wants to be a Christian nation and pass Christian laws, that's the best thing of all. But when we live in nations where Christians are fast becoming a minority, we cannot expect to get laws passed that are specifically Christian.

    We still need to be concerned about the nonChristian society we live in. We can't just be concerned about our own Christian people. Otherwise we wouldn't evangelize.

    But we need to both evangelize and to share our Christian wisdom, hoping to hold up society the best we can with what we have. Sometimes that is only partly Christian truth.

    But letting the whole society go down the toilet when we know the truth is irresponsible. We need to be light and salt, and let those who rule decide how much they're willing to implement.
    You seem to keep not getting what I am saying ... why should we require non Christians to live up to our morality expectations ... especially when we have so many of "us" that don't live up to it ... caring about society is not imposing things on them that we don't live up to ourselves ... and I don't know what you mean by Israel was able to do it ... haven't you read the NT and how miserably Israel failed ... I mean check out Matthew 23 ... and you seem to think that the USA was what a Christian nation to start ... ???

    And I notice you don't address my questions about anti-adultery laws or anti-divorce laws except for cause ... so what it's pick and chose what "Christian morality" we want to enforce?
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

  13. #28
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme View Post
    You seem to keep not getting what I am saying ... why should we require non Christians to live up to our morality expectations ... especially when we have so many of "us" that don't live up to it ... caring about society is not imposing things on them that we don't live up to ourselves ... and I don't know what you mean by Israel was able to do it ... haven't you read the NT and how miserably Israel failed ... I mean check out Matthew 23 ... and you seem to think that the USA was what a Christian nation to start ... ???

    And I notice you don't address my questions about anti-adultery laws or anti-divorce laws except for cause ... so what it's pick and chose what "Christian morality" we want to enforce?
    One question at a time, brother. I will answer all your questions the best I can. I'm not "picking and choosing."

    1) Why should we be concerned about our pagan society acting in a "Christian" way? It's because many of us live in semi-Christian societies with social norms that are somewhat Christian to begin with. Sometimes you can simply say that a certain immoral behavior is wrong, and the society, half-pagan and half-Christian, will acknowledge that. Encouraging that kind of morality is good for the families in our society, and helps to keep our society together, reducing problems that affect all of us.

    2) Your view of Israel is the product of repeated formulations of something that bypasses some important facets of the Law. The Law of God is eternal, and only focused on the Law of Moses temporarily in the history of Israel. The Law of God is always in effect, requiring Man to live in God's image and after His likeness.

    Israel was never given the Law of Moses in order to fail to keep it. Rather, it was given them precisely because they *could* keep the Law. They could not obtain Salvation by it, and that's what Paul meant by saying that the Law pointed out Israel's inadequacies. But rest assured, God gave Israel the Law in order for them to obey it. If they, as a nation, continued to obey the Law, they could, as a nation, be blessed. Of course, sin grew within the nation, and corrupted the whole society. The end was destruction of the nation.

    But the destruction of the nation was not the failure of Israel. It only showed that they needed Christ to succeed. The theocracy was not doomed--it was only put off until the nation can be reconstituted at the Coming of Christ. Presently, non-Jewish nations can go through the same process Israel went through, adopting the Kingdom of God as their standard, and eventually capitulating to sin and destruction. But theocracy is the preferred blueprint for a society, as indicated by God's dealings with Israel.

    3) Anti-adultery laws, etc. depend on how closely aligned a society is to the Christian revelation. Islam has some Christian/Jewish laws that enable them to adopt these kinds of laws, and they may be perfectly legitimate. We just have to understand that true Christian revelation also retains a place for God's mercy. In a Western country, there is so much mixture with paganism that we cannot judge the society as if it is living by those standards. There may be very good grounds for regular departure from marriage, in bad marriages, which others may misconstrue as "adultery." We have to be careful.

  14. #29
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    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    One question at a time, brother. I will answer all your questions the best I can. I'm not "picking and choosing."

    1) Why should we be concerned about our pagan society acting in a "Christian" way? It's because many of us live in semi-Christian societies with social norms that are somewhat Christian to begin with. Sometimes you can simply say that a certain immoral behavior is wrong, and the society, half-pagan and half-Christian, will acknowledge that. Encouraging that kind of morality is good for the families in our society, and helps to keep our society together, reducing problems that affect all of us.

    2) Your view of Israel is the product of repeated formulations of something that bypasses some important facets of the Law. The Law of God is eternal, and only focused on the Law of Moses temporarily in the history of Israel. The Law of God is always in effect, requiring Man to live in God's image and after His likeness.

    Israel was never given the Law of Moses in order to fail to keep it. Rather, it was given them precisely because they *could* keep the Law. They could not obtain Salvation by it, and that's what Paul meant by saying that the Law pointed out Israel's inadequacies. But rest assured, God gave Israel the Law in order for them to obey it. If they, as a nation, continued to obey the Law, they could, as a nation, be blessed. Of course, sin grew within the nation, and corrupted the whole society. The end was destruction of the nation.

    But the destruction of the nation was not the failure of Israel. It only showed that they needed Christ to succeed. The theocracy was not doomed--it was only put off until the nation can be reconstituted at the Coming of Christ. Presently, non-Jewish nations can go through the same process Israel went through, adopting the Kingdom of God as their standard, and eventually capitulating to sin and destruction. But theocracy is the preferred blueprint for a society, as indicated by God's dealings with Israel.

    3) Anti-adultery laws, etc. depend on how closely aligned a society is to the Christian revelation. Islam has some Christian/Jewish laws that enable them to adopt these kinds of laws, and they may be perfectly legitimate. We just have to understand that true Christian revelation also retains a place for God's mercy. In a Western country, there is so much mixture with paganism that we cannot judge the society as if it is living by those standards. There may be very good grounds for regular departure from marriage, in bad marriages, which others may misconstrue as "adultery." We have to be careful.
    First I am a sister ... and the "picking and choosing" was not about what questions you answered but what "Christian morality" you wanted to put into legislation ... and yes seems you want to "pick and choose" what to legislate ... even secular society realizes that you can't legislate morality ... I would think a Christian could do the same ... morality can not be legislated ... a society can though legislate to protect the weakest among us ...

    Again ... when Christians themselves "align with the Christian revelation" then after that we should think about having the rest of "society" "align with the Christian revelation" ...
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

  15. #30

    Re: Building God's Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post


    Good... by whose standards?

    Do you get what I'm getting at?

    Good = walking/helping an elderly person across a busy street.

    Better = walking/helping a blind elderly person across a busy street. The person who helped a seeing elderly person across the street, isn't reaching the standard of good anymore.

    Good = offering $5 to that homeless man you walked by.

    Better = offering $10 to that same homeless man, now the person who offered $5, isn't reaching the standard of good anymore.
    This is what I'm getting at: It's not always God's will for us to give someone $10, for THEIR good.

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