Sweden (Northern Europe)
Wow! This thread is moving by itself even though this topic has been delt with elsewhere and pretty much all sides covered as well, concerning this hot issue.
Even so. A few words should however be uttered in defense of what I believe to be the will of our Lord and God: Jesus Christ.
i. I consider myself to be a Christian in that I take careful heed to all that my Master has taught me.
*He is the way: We shall walk in the same manner and conduct as he did.
*He is the truth: That means that his words has eternal value especially for every Christian and that we should read all other scriptures in the light of the Eternal Truth: Jesus himself.
*He is the life: My life shall reflect his life as he lived it in order for me to finally gain the eternal life (after I by His grace have kept the faith and finnished the course).
So when my Master teach me to kill my enemy; no wait! To love my enemy - well then killing is out of the question.
So when my master tells me to defend the national state with weapon or to prevent an attack by making a preventive war against a presumed enemy (such as Iraq or maybe soon Iran or Putins Russia)well then I see Jesus in my dreams with a machine-gun or riding on a fighter. No wait! I see Jesus asking me: Who is my neighbour and that I should love my neighbour as my self; killing is out of the question.
ii. Jesus has never and will not ever give us the imperative to kill not even in defence. After the incarnation and the teachings of Christ and the life of Christ in which he claims that he has fulfilled the Law, -we are to live by His Law (which is best explained in the Sermon on the Mount) and rather suffer evil than to do evil; rather take the pain then to pay it back in full.
iii. Think about this: How would all the nations of the world react if a Country of considerable size and might just decided not to retaliate any evil done to it??? Confused or what?
iv. "We have to ask ourselves the worn out phrase: What would Jesus do?". "What would Jesus do" in our place. We have a long way to go before we understand what it is to do our Masters will.
v. Is it not enough that God has established an eternal Hell for the ungodly. That makes it urgent for us to bring out the gospel to the nations - Jesus own gospel; not by sword but by the power of the Holy Spirit. If every man is a pontential Christian then we cannot go about killing.
"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" Jn 1:17.
Sincerely Magnus :-D
| 2008/3/2 15:17||Profile|
To which "kingdom" did the Apostle Paul belong? Was he simply a Christian with no ties to an earthly citizenship? Yet Paul invoked his own earthly citizenship to prevent his flogging in Acts 22:22-29. Would it be proper to suggest that Paul had a dual citizenship?
Of course, our great citizenship is in Heaven. But we still have a responsibility here on Earth as well. Jesus instructed us to "[i]Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's[/i]" (Matthew 22:21). This could come through taxes (as Jesus instructed), through taking part in a census (as Joseph and Mary did) or through invoking a citizenship and earthly law in order to take the Gospel to rulers.
I've always found it interesting that we never read of Peter instructing Cornelius (the Roman Centurian) to abandon his post (Acts 10). He was a "devout" man who "feared God" who also knew "devout" soldiers. In fact, the Lord spoke to him through a vision saying, "[i]Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God[/i]" (Acts 10:4). This soldier, onto whom the Holy Spirit fell, was a citizen of Rome. We have no record of Peter telling Cornelius (or any other soldier) to abandon their position -- a position that some suggest could bring them into conflict with the faith.
Is it possible to maintain a citizenship in Heaven while serving God through your citizenship on Earth?
| 2008/3/2 15:23||Profile|
Is it possible to maintain a citizenship in Heaven while serving God through your citizenship on Earth?
with God everything is possible, I know there are accounts in scripture where the Lord also speaks to soldiers and what you mentioned. And he does not say you must do this and that. I guess it is possible.
But i may should have explained some more, but i think if we follow Christ. Should we pick up a gun and start shooting let say communists? from my very limited understanding, its not them who is the enemy. so why if we are truly a follower of Christ should we fight?
Maybe i am just now being impacted by my recent reading of the 1500 anabaptists.... :-(
anyway, I just have some problem with a man with an ak 47 shooting people saying he serves the Lord. Swedish or who ever. It just seem for me not to go well together. But as i said, i have very little knowledge in this subject and have not studied it in depth.... but its just dont sit right with me.
| 2008/3/2 15:30||Profile|
"We have to ask our self the hackneyed: "What would Jesus do" in our place. We have a long way to go before we understand what it is to do our Masters will." Sincerely Magnus
Hackneyed - means - Practiced; accustomed.
Asking oneself, What would Jesus do? Or what would HE do when still in the flesh here, only gets factored in when we "choose" to use that way of reasoning.
Otherwise - I've seen some mocked for using the acronym W.W.J.D.? as if it were a sin to ask oneself.
Has it become the "hacked-up" question instead?
| 2008/3/2 15:35|
Sweden (Northern Europe)
Romans 13:1-7 must be read according to its proper context.
Paul is not saying anywhere that a Christian shall carry a sword. No, not a Christian, but the Roman soldier should!
Guys, You have to understand that the Christian movement in the first century formated a subculture. They had only one goal: preach the gospel, and wait for the Lords return when He shall bring about a new heaven and a new earth. The first Christians thought of themselves
as belonging to a different Kingdom (which Jesus had explained to the twelve) - much different than any former kingdom include the old Israel. The Kingdom of Jesus is not the kingdom of the earthly David.
Further more: in Rom 13. Paul is just stating the obvious fact that his followers should respect authority because God has established it (and acts through it in a strange way - just as he uses anything) for the sake of spreading the gospel (by means of the augustian peace). This authority that Paul is refering to is not Christian, it is authority of the Roman emperor Nero and his local authorities.
In conclusion: Let the heathen (unaware of its divine appointment or imperative) carry out Gods punitive will in the society. In meantime let us who consider us to be followers of Christ show the world the splendour of the Lord Jesus Christ through the message of peace and love; and let us call all people to repentance, all sinners to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby receive eternal life through him.
In christ all men are brothers and sisters.
Sincerely Magnus ;-)
| 2008/3/2 15:47||Profile|
I've never been quite sure on this topic; and have been reluctant to get involved in discussion because of this. Also because I respect dear PastorFrin very much, and hate the thought of disagreeing with him!
To me the answer depends on the question: Does the Lord deal with nations in the same way as Jesus commanded His own disciples, and set us the example?
And, if not, does He deal in the same way with the nations NOW, as He did before Christ came?
His character hasn't changed, but His way of dealing with mankind has.
But in what way and to what extent, and to whom?
We can't argue against warfare from the Ten Commandments, because "thou shalt not kill" uses a word that also means murder. Killing enemies in battle was actually [i]commanded[/i] by the Lord!
As said in the recent thread on justice and judgement, it may be the [i]duty[/i] of a public servant to pronounce judgement against a criminal - even maybe the death penalty.
A soldier is a public servant.
John Baptist didn't tell the soldiers who came to him, to get out of the army:
Luke 3:14[color=990000] 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.[/color]
The word "do violence" here is nothing to do with fighting in a war, or even, as these soldiers, (and those today in Afganistan, Iraq etc), using military means to govern and keep peace. John was speaking of misuse of power, by bullying civilians:
[color=000000]1286 διασείω [diaseio /dee·as·i·o/] v. From 1223 and 4579; GK 1398; AV translates as do violence to once. 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.[/color]
The question is, have the OT principles of righteous warfare changed? Is the Lord really saying that we should not fight in a war? Is He saying that Christians should only serve in the armed forces as medics or chaplains, or in administration, or other work that involves no actual fighting?
And also: What is He saying about a particular war that our own country is engaged in? Is it a just war in which it is right to fight?
For a Christian who is already in in the forces, in combat capacity that is a truly difficult one!
Our government tells us that we are fighting a just war. Perhaps we are? But what does God say?
Very, very difficult. I'm (selfishly) glad this isn't a personal issue for me!
To get things in perspective, even in the just wars that Israel fought in OT times, [i][u]the wars that the Lord told them to fight[/u][/i], HE did not actually take sides!
I'm fascinated by Joshua's encounter with the "Captain of the Lord's host". Joshua approached Him, thinking He was a soldier like himself, maybe even an enemy spy.
"Friend or foe?!" challenged Joshua (as one does in the army). "No" said the Lord!
What sort of answer is that?!!!
Well, actually the Biblical account goes like this:
Joshua 5: [color=990000] And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?[/color]
The Captain of the Lord's host doesn't take sides, but He may command us to deal with an enemy:
Chapter 6: [color=990000]2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour...
...16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
17 ¶ And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.[/color]
There's no easy answer, but these are a few thoughts and Biblical guidelines.
Sorry this is so long.
Love in Him
| 2008/3/2 15:57|
Sweden (Northern Europe)
HE_Reigns, Thanks! According to my swedish-english lexicon (now I realize that it isnt the best one :-P). Thanks for the correction.
I think in my native language and writes in english (which could lead to a lot of grammatical and syntactical errors - just as you discovered. It would be easier for me if you guys understood swedish).
What I meant was:
"We have to ask ourselves the worn out phrase: What would Jesus do".
| 2008/3/2 15:58||Profile|
I agree with the context, but it must also be taken into today. I do not live in the Roman Empire, and I cannot submit to it. Again, I do not see that I cannot become president, or a senetor, or an IRS agent, or mayor, or a King according to the Scriptures. The Bible does not forbid me to carry out such a duty; therefore, It is not wrong, prohibited, or a sin to be in the army, in the senate, or in any place in office. Also to resign myself into thinking that no Christian should ever be in such a position would lead to the fact that all governments are corrupt because they are run by heathens. So yes I believe in context, but I also believe in living application for today because if the Bible is not applicable for today - throw it away we don't need it.
Second Paul is writing after Christ's death and resurrection, and in so doing is setting an ongoing standard until Christ's return whether the government be Roman, American, Canadian or other. I live in the New Covenant, I also live in the world for the time.
The position you put forward would also require the need for the eradication of local police forces as well. in which case, all lawlessness would prevail. The police are sometimes required to kill people.
Next, In Christ all men are brothers and sisters was unclear to me . "All men who are IN CHRIST are brothers" is the true meaning to that statement. If I am outside of Christ I am not a brother, I am an enemy and hater of God. (Romans 8, 1 corithians 3) 2nd Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked with non-believers" So how can someone I am to have no close fellowship with, be my brother? The BOMFOG (Brotherhood of Man, Fatherhood of God) heresy is a lie taught by Jehovah's witnesses and Mormons (Romans 8:14) "For all who are led by the Spirit are sons of God" Is that what you mean?
Jesus is loving and merciful, but he is also wrath and vengeance, and when He returns He will not use the heathen as weapons of wrath, rather His angels, and His elect, and even himself.
Jesus (God) hates as well as loves - preach the whole truth. "Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated" (Romans 9)
Psalm 5:4-5 "You HATE all evildoers."
So much for God hates the sin but loves the sinner, you cannot divorce the sin from the sinner. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.
I take joy in the Love of Christ. I rest in the mercy of God and his grace through the sacrifice made in my place. I also take joy in "vengeance is mine, I shall repay" - says the Lord
To preach the love of Christ is only half the message. God is Holy, Holy, Holy, and God is Just. I am not trying to sound like I hate love and peace, but love and peace came at a cost because justice still had to be served.
The problem with this whole issue is the Sovereignty of God in all things. If God has numbered your days (psalm 139), If God has ordained all things that come to pass, can me joining the army, killing with orders, be against God's will if He ordained who and what I am to become? Is Gods will not good, acceptable, and perfect.
The facts of the matter is: joining the army and killing on orders is not a sin because God has not commanded that I should not do so. Sin is a violation of a command of God. Repent and believe is not a choice to be made (contrary to modern so-called christianity) Repent and Believe is a command from God and that is why it is a sin not to repent and believe.
So once again - print the scripture that prohibits me from joining the army, protecting my country, or that I cannot hold office because I am a Christian and I will not do so! Be careful not to put a law upon a man that is not a law as the pharisees did.
Lastly; If God did not take side with the Israelites, they would not have been guaranteed to win. God fights for His people. The sin of David at the end of His life was numbering the people. He numbered them to know how big his army was, instead of trusting in the Lord to fight his battles, this is why the Lord judged the people because of David's sin. Trusting in self, instead of God. God does take sides, the problem is not is he on our side or theirs, the question is are we on His. God has his side - then there is our sides.
| 2008/3/2 16:29||Profile|
Or What did Jesus Say, so I can do it! ;-)
I really dont like too well WWJD - sorry
I think my wife's family is from Sweden, but I don't think they speak swedish - sorry
GOD BLESS YOU - Praise Him
also by God's grace, when we enter heaven, I would speak with you in the same language!
I also love your greek signature - Yes He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
| 2008/3/2 16:38||Profile|
Sweden (Northern Europe)
Ok. clarification: I meant potential brother and sister. We do not know who is going to respond correctly to the invitation; however the calling to eternal brother- sisterhood is to all men, period.
Regarding the contextual reading, I beg to differ. Why did not the first Christians in the first century care about the national state or tried to bring about freedom for Israel by particpation in the rebellion against Rome? Why didnt Paul or Jesus teach their disciples to make earthly careers or to make it big in this world? Look again closely, what your Master is teaching in his Word.
Secondly: I strongly believe that there are occupations (just as the first Christians believed, such as being a soldier)that Christians should not even consider. Being in the justice department or a president of a capitalistic country is not wrong in itself (just as long you are not violating the law of Jesus Christ as it is explained in Sermon on the Mount).
Thirdly: God is working through the authority to bring about justice - but this authority does not have to be Christian. God is still doing his will. So Christians do not have to participate in killing either it is in war or as a executioner in the service of the state.
| 2008/3/2 16:52||Profile|