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chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

rainydaygirl wrote:

Quote:
Hey murrcolr
You know what I am going to be praying for you, my prayer is that you never encounter that kind of pain in the future. My prayer for you is that you and your family will always have the covering and protection of the Lord all the days of your life. I mean that with all my heart to.



Hi rainydaygirl,

I agree with you in this prayer for murrcolr and his family and I mean it with all my heart as well.

Peace and love to all my brothers and sisters and thank you all again for your forgiveness.

Thank you rdg for your love and encouragement and your wonderful testimony on the other thread.

Your brother in Christ,
lee


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/10/12 21:24Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote:

rainydaygirl wrote:

What a horrible thing to say to a fellow brother in Christ. To wish something bad happens to them. Is that really how Jesus would want us to share with one another hoping bad things happen to each other? You know what I am going to be praying for you, my prayer is that you never encounter that kind of pain in the future. My prayer for you is that you and your family will always have the covering and protection of the Lord all the days of your life. I mean that with all my heart to.



You have missed the point and focused on the slap on the face.

Quote:
murrcolr said:
just so you can see what pops up from the inside of you



This is what you should have focused on, the eternal issuse of the your heart condition.

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Know if that slap on the face made someone come to there senses and they became aware of the condition of there heart is that a horrible thing or a good thing.

To me it is a good thing a blessing rather than a curse.

Quote:
RaindayGirl said: You know what I am going to be praying for you, my prayer is that you never encounter that kind of pain in the future.



The mind set of the church today is wrong it goes something like this. If you have your faith worked out correctly, you won't suffer. You'll be prosperous and won't have to worry about having troubles."

No -- those words don't appear in the Bible! On the contrary, Paul says we have been assigned to suffer for the sake of Christ.

Moreover, Paul wrote that every day he woke up "...not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Spirit witnesseth [solemnly testifies to me] in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide [await] me" (Acts 20:22- 23)

But our afflictions serve no purpose whatsoever if we do not understand why God permits them. The truth is that every affliction, trial, trouble, difficulty and disappointment in our life is allowed by the Lord. So if you get slaped in the face in the near future don't blame me, know that God has allowed it so a work can be done in you.

Listen to the psalmist's: "For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place" (Psalm 66:10-12).

Where does the psalmist say his affliction came from? It came directly from the hand of God! He's saying, "Lord, you put me in waters that rushed over my head, so I thought I would drown. You put me into the fire, to try me as silver is tried. You brought me into a net, laid affliction on my loins, caused men to trounce on me!"

Why did God allow such afflictions? It was because he was bringing his beloved child into a "wealthy place." In the original Hebrew this phrase means, "a place of abundant fruitfulness." God is saying, "I'm taking you through all these hard places to make you fruitful for my kingdom!"


_________________
Colin Murray

 2009/10/13 7:08Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings murrcolr

I thought I would let you know that rainydaygirl is no longer posting or coming to SI. She and I are good friends and she had decided not to take part here any longer. I did not want you to think she is ignoring your reply to her, when she does not respond.

God Bless
maryjane

 2009/10/13 10:49Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

Jesus and the Sword of Self Defense (Luke 22:35-38)
by Eric Gabourel

Jesus in the Gospel according to Luke 22:36 tells His disciples that if they don't have
a sword to sell their cloaks and buy one. This statement is often abused by Christian just
war theorist to advocate Christian participation in war…a position which is irreconcilable
with the teachings of Jesus. Those who take the position that Jesus was telling His disciples to be prepared for battle or for self defense only emphasize this phrase from the passage.
To have an appropriate assessment of this statement one must treat the entire text (Luke 22:35-38).

Firstly, before Jesus tells His disciples to buy swords He calls them to recollect the
instance when He told them to go out and preach the Gospel without carrying purse, bag, or sandals (22:35; 10:4). He then asks them what they lacked when they were sent out to live by faith. Naturally they said nothing, because of God's sustaining power that responds to human faith in a lifestyle of radical simplicity and abandonment. Jesus in his
teachings on worry and anxiety (Luke 12:24-34) states that we should not be concerned
about human necessities: food, shelter, clothing, because these are the things that pagans
run after. Furthermore, He tells His followers to, “Sell their possessions and give to the
poor” (Luke 12:33). Therefore, Jesus in telling His disciples to now carry a purse and a
bag was not telling them to expunge what He initially told them. Jesus was telling them to do these things as a symbol of the impending crisis that was to ensue.

The other side of the equation is that He then goes on to tell them to sell their cloaks
and to buy swords. It is at this point that most Christian just war theorist cut Jesus off. He
goes on to say in the same breath, “so that I can be numbered with the transgressors”
(Luke 22:37). This quote from Isaiah 53:12 is usually remembered to be fulfilled in Mark
15:28 when Jesus was crucified between two criminals...and surely it was. In Luke’s
gospel account the quote is coming strait from the lips of Jesus rather then the authors Spirit inspired recognition. Most importantly Jesus is singling the transgressors out as His own disciples. The act of living by instincts of self preservation are disobedient to Jesus
teachings on worry (Luke 12:24-34), His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), and His
sermon on the plain (Luke 6:17-49). In these teaching Jesus states that His followers
should be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), He puts anger toward another human being on the
same level as murder (Matthew 5:21-22), not to live by an eye for an eye philosophy but
to resist evil people using creative nonviolent tactics (Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:29-31), to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-28), forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15) and reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-24).

After reading Jesus’ statement in this context it can only be concluded that purchasing
a sword or even having one for self-defense or militancy is in itself a transgression. Using a sword for self-defense or militancy is just as pagan as having more then what is necessary to survive as a human being.

Secondly, it is also difficult to argue for an interpretation of this text that insinuates that Jesus was urging his disciples to defend themselves because of His response when one of them does. When told to buy swords the disciples responded that they already had two swords. Jesus hastily responds, “That is enough” (Luke 22:38). After reflecting on this brief dialogue between Jesus and the disciple’s reason would ask, "How can two swords defend twelve men against what John witnessed to be a band of soldiers (John 18:3)?" A reasonable response would have to be that two swords could not defend twelve people against a band of soldiers armed with torches, swords and clubs (Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43; John 18:3). Yet, one of the disciple’s devotion to Christ caused him to defend Jesus and himself from the mob.

In John’s account of Jesus’ arrest we find that Peter was the disciple who drew the
sword to cut off the ear of Malchus the servant of the high priest. The disciples in an
understandably confused state asked “Lord, should we strike with our swords” (Luke 22:
49)? Before they got a response from Jesus, Peter had already aggressively lashed out with his piercing blade. Jesus immediately says, “No more of this!” (Luke 22:51), “Put your sword away!” (John 18:11), “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). If Jesus meant for them to use the swords He wouldn't have stopped them from using the measly two they had. Jesus goes on to assure them that He could, “Call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53). Jesus then embodies His teachings by demonstrating love for His enemies. He accomplishes this by miraculously restoring
Malchus’ severed ear to his head.

Finally, At this point one could argue that in each of these cases Jesus told them to put away the swords, not because He was against the use of arms in all ethical scenarios, but that the Scriptures may be fulfilled concerning Jesus’ death (Matthew 26:54; John 18:11b).
So that Jesus’ rebuke was only in the context of this one scenario and that the use of a
sword by His disciples was permissible in another context of self-defense or some offensive justification. It should first be noted that Jesus’ crucifixion was prophesied to be the redemption of humanity through His shed blood. But it wasn’t like Jesus was randomly picked out of a crowd and killed. He was crucified because He was an agitator. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God…a kingdom of justice, peace, and reconciliation to God and to other human beings.

The reason why the scenario of Peter using the sword was not situational and absolute
is because of Jesus’ statement to Pontus Pilate. While being interrogated by Pilate Jesus
stated that, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36).
Ultimately the disciples of Jesus did not and can not fight with violence because the
Kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom in stark contrast to the principles the present
world order. The kingdom way of resolving conflict and of social change is by using the
weapons of love and transformational nonviolent initiatives. Ones citizenship in this kingdom hinges on more then just confessing Christ as King and Savior; one is a citizen of this kingdom by living out the stipulations of the kingdom. Jesus stated that, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

Furthermore, Jesus made a statement right before He told them to buy a sword in
finalizing the point. The dichotomy between the Kingdom of God and the present world
order was contrasted by Jesus when He told them not to be like the oppressive, racist,
militaristic Roman Empire. He stated that, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves” (Luke 22:25-26). To elaborate, Jesus was saying that He did not call His disciples to command army’s and spread the kingdom through military might; He did not call them to promote imperialism (neoliberalism and unjust free trade agreements that further privilege the rich and oppress the poor). Rather, He calls His disciples to be the servants of all. For His kingdom is a colony of servants concerned only for the well being of humanity through another centered, self sacrificing, and nonviolent love. This is the kingdom that Jesus reigns over and He stated that, “I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me” (Luke 22:29).

In conclusion, it should be noted that this is an interpretation that was more adhered to during the early centuries of Christianity. That Jesus’ teachings were for nonviolence and in opposition to participation in the military were clearly articulated during the patristic era.

This point was so clear and absolute to the early church that the 3rd century Ante-Nicene
church father Tertullian (c. A.D. 155-c. 215) was able to say that, “Christ, in disarming
Peter, unbelted every soldier” (De Idololatria 19).



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Lee Chapel

 2009/10/31 10:41Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

A Soldier's War Experience

By Don Blanding

A Veteran of two wars wrote these Terrifying & Inspiring lines:

What did you see, soldier? What did you see at the war?
I saw such glory and horror as I've never seen before,
I saw men's hearts burned naked in red crucibles of pain;
I saw such Godlike courage as I'll never see again.

What did you hear, soldier? What did you hear at war?
I heard prayers on lips of men who had never prayed before;
I heard the men utter thoughts they will never think again;
I heard the sacred things they will not speak again.

What did you eat soldier? What did you eat at war?
I ate sour bread of fear, the acrid salt of gore, my lips burned with
wine of hate, the scalding drink of Cain. My tongue has known a
bitter taste I would not taste again.

What did you think, soldier? What did you think at war?
I thought, how strange we have not learned from wars that raged
before, except new ways for killing, new multiples of pain.
Is all the blood that men have shed but blood shed in vain?

What did you learn, soldier? What did you learn at war?
I learned we must learn sometime what was not learned before;
that victories won on battlefields are victories won in vain.
Unless in peace we kill the germs that breed new wars again.

What did you pray, soldier? What did you pray at war?
I prayed that we might do the thing we have not done before;
that we might mobilize for peace- nor mobilize in vain lest Christ
and man be forced to climb stark Calvary again.


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/11/5 21:08Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

QUOTE:
A Soldier's War Experience

By Don Blanding

A Veteran of two wars wrote these Terrifying & Inspiring lines:

What did you see, soldier? What did you see at the war?
I saw such glory and horror as I've never seen before,
I saw men's hearts burned naked in red crucibles of pain;
I saw such Godlike courage as I'll never see again.

What did you hear, soldier? What did you hear at war?
I heard prayers on lips of men who had never prayed before;
I heard the men utter thoughts they will never think again;
I heard the sacred things they will not speak again.

What did you eat soldier? What did you eat at war?
I ate sour bread of fear, the acrid salt of gore, my lips burned with
wine of hate, the scalding drink of Cain. My tongue has known a
bitter taste I would not taste again.

What did you think, soldier? What did you think at war?
I thought, how strange we have not learned from wars that raged
before, except new ways for killing, new multiples of pain.
Is all the blood that men have shed but blood shed in vain?

What did you learn, soldier? What did you learn at war?
I learned we must learn sometime what was not learned before;
that victories won on battlefields are victories won in vain.
Unless in peace we kill the germs that breed new wars again.

What did you pray, soldier? What did you pray at war?
I prayed that we might do the thing we have not done before;
that we might mobilize for peace- nor mobilize in vain lest Christ
and man be forced to climb stark Calvary again.


Powerful. Thanks for sharing.

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2009/11/5 21:23Profile









 Re:

By Wilfred Owen.

(c) 1917.

Note: The translation of the latin "Dulce et Decorum Est" is
"Sweet and fitting it is." The translation of "Pro patria mori" is
"To die for one's country."

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped, Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys--An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clusy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime ...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum este
Pro patria mori


 2009/11/6 0:10
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

Nonresistance and Nonparticipation in Civil Government

by Paul Horst

Tract 21E74
published by Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc. Crockett, KY 41413

On this subject we have many Scriptures. "Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also . . ." "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you . . ." (Matthew 5:38-48). "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:19).

Also, in Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 we are plainly told that our warfare is spiritual, not physical, and the weapons, although they are powerful and effective, are not of this world (carnal).

Finally, in Hebrews 11:13-16 we clearly see that the child of God has a heavenly country and therefore a heavenly citizenship which demands his first allegiance. Any nation on earth in which he dwells must realize that he is there as an alien, and that, although he will endeavor to be subject to their will where possible, he cannot be expected to participate in their affairs nor compromise his heavenly citizenship.

As we consider these truths and others, such as the Beatitudes, we come to see that nonresistance is not just a matter of what we will do or not do in certain situations, but rather a very spirit of meekness, humility, and love which possesses the Christian when he is truly born again. The spirit of resentment, revenge, and retaliation is crucified with self, and the new spirit becomes our way of life.

Not Nonviolence or Passive Resistance

This is not nonviolence or passive resistance, which, though not involving physical force, does yet manifest the spirit of resistance and demanding of our rights. Guy F. Hershberger, a Mennonite leader, has stated: "The [black's] leader, Martin Luther King, has successfully trained thousands in something which we have professed to believe for four hundred years - the way of nonviolence." This is clearly false, for the way of nonviolence includes many things foreign to the way of nonresistance, such as lobbying to influence legislation, demanding of our rights and privileges, refusal to obey the law even when obedience does not involve one in wrongdoing. Of course we can have no part in suppression or inequalities, but nonviolence is not the answer, nor is this what we have professed to believe for four hundred years, but rather we believe that which Jesus and the early church professed - nonresistance.

Not Only Abstinence From Vengeance

Neither is it only abstinence from personal vengeance, for the Old Testament already forbade this and made provision for orderly judgment and punishment (Deuteronomy 19). Therefore, we believe that Jesus intended that all vengeance is forbidden to the Christian. How could He have made it more clear? God says (1 Peter 2:21-24) that Jesus is our example and that He, when reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to God. Shall we, then who profess to follow Him, lift our hands or weapons to defend our lands, houses, families, or our own bodies? Shall we not rather leave all vengeance to God and those whom He shall use to execute His wrath? (See Romans 13).

Not An Endeavor to Bring About World Peace

The Bible leaves us no hope that men shall ever be able to bring about world peace through disarmament, political lobbying, and so forth, owing to the very nature of the world and the heart of man. Therefore, nonresistance is no futile attempt or fanciful dream to that end.


Neither is it an effort to "bury our heads" to the evil around us, but rather the result of a firm conviction that evil must be met by spiritual resistance; and must be overcome with good (Romans 12:21). It is true that God used His people in the past, as a nation, to punish sin; and provides for such punishment today through earthly government; and will in the future bring condemnation upon all the ungodly. Yet the people of God in this age are given the ministry of reconciliation rather than the ministry of retribution. "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour" (Romans 13:10).

That this spirit must fill all of life, we see in 1 Peter 3:8, 9, for here it is applied to the home and our closest relationships. Here it is that we are apt to be the most careless in exercising those virtues which rise out of love. Here, too, we see how to apply it to all situations, for if it is good for the home, as all agree, then it is good for neighbors, friends, strangers, and enemies.

Not Opposed to Government

Let it be said, however, that while we cannot participate in earthly governments, we are not opposed to them, but rather accept them as a necessary part of an evil, unregenerate society. We lend them our support in every Scriptural way (by prayer, financial support, and obedience wherever possible without conflict with the Word of God).

Some have supposed that the early church and the Anabaptists opposed participation in the government because of the nature of the governments under which they lived, but we have no reason to think they would have acted differently under any other form of government. The reasons which they gave and the Scriptures set forth in support of nonparticipation apply equally to dictatorships, kingdoms, and democracies. This is true in time of peace as well as during persecution. Jesus refused to be made king or judge (John 6:15; Luke 12:13, 14). Also, we notice that the New Testament never speaks to the government, nor to Christians as a part of the government (except in the case of the soldiers coming to John the Baptist, under the Old Covenant), but always to the Christians about the government. Thus, Romans 13 does not justify participation in government, as many think, but rather says "he" is God's servant "to thee . . . he beareth not the sword in vain . . . he is a revenger." But "ye must needs be subject . . . ye pay tribute . . . they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing" (justice, order, revenge).

Does a democratic form of government make every citizen a part of the government as some say? They say this to justify voting, saying "all are a part of the government anyhow, whether they vote or not, so we might as well use our opportunity to help control it." If this is true, then we become responsible for the actions of the government and the killing even though we refuse to fight. This we deny, maintaining, as God's people have done in the past, that we are not a part of the carnal government and want no part. Why then should we, by voting, acknowledge that which we so strenuously deny by our refusal to fight or hold public office?

No, brethren, but let us remember that we are now already living in the heavenly kingdom, our King is the Lord Jesus, and for that King we are willing to die!




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Lee Chapel

 2009/11/13 23:17Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: The Bible Doctrine of Nonresistance

The Bible Doctrine of Nonresistance

By Harold S. Martin

A BIBLE HELPS BOOKLET No. 155

Nonresistance is a principle taught in the Scriptures. The word "nonresistance" is coined from the words of our Lord, when He said, "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil, but whoso­ever smites thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." From the very origin of the Anabaptist Movement, nonresistance was one of the chief pillars of its doctrinal belief. The historian, Robert Proud, says that the Anabaptists "hold it not becoming those who follow Christ, to bear arms or fight, because they say their true Master has forbidden his disciples to resist evil."

Nonresistance is really a result of the doctrine of grace. Certainly those who have become recipients of God's grace In their own lives, should show the same grace toward their fellow­men. God displayed His grace toward us while we were yet sinners. He loved us when we were enemies, and just so we are to love our enemies, and to display grace toward those who per­secute us.

The principle of nonresistance must be practiced in times of peace as well as in times of war. The Christian must be careful not to take revenge. The Scriptures teach against retaliation with the tongue, and against suing at the law. The early Christians were commended because they took joyfully "the spoiling of their goods" Hebrews 10:34. They refused to resist evil; they didn't fight back; they knew that they had a heritage in Heaven that the spoilers couldn't touch.

1. PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE

Every teaching has some basic principles upon which it is built. We want to name three principles that underlie the doctrine of nonresistance.

(1) The kingdom of Christ is not of this world. There are two kingdoms of men in the world; those who have been regenerated by faith in Jesus Christ, and those who are unregenerate. Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight" John 18:36. Christ's kingdom is made up of those who have experienced the saving grace of God in their lives. His kingdom is not supported by armies and maintained by taxes: Rather, it is a kingdom composed of persons who voluntarily believe in Jesus Christ, and seek to be­come like Him in their daily character and conduct. One who is a member of Christ's kingdom is instructed to bless his persecu­tors, and to pray for evildoers, and to love his enemies. And if you love a man, you are not going to put a bullet through him, nor ram a bayonet into his body, nor drop bombs on him. The standards of Christ's kingdom are different from the standards of the kingdoms of this world. One who claims to submit to Christ's kingship, will find that the army, the navy and the air force are not for him.

Because Christ's kingdom is not of this world, the early Christians refused to participate in military service. Tertullian says of the legions of the Roman army, "Not a Christian could be found among them." In the early days of Christianity, the Church said, "If they wish to be baptized in the Lord, let them cease from military service, or not be received." The historian, C. J. Cadoux says that no Christian after his conversion "ever thought of enlisting in the army, until nearly two hundred years after Christ." The early Christians recognized that Christ's kingdom is not of this world, and that His standards are much higher than the standards of the world-kingdoms-and therefore nonresistance was believed and practiced by the entire church.

(2) The spirit of Christ is not of this world. Jesus came into a Samaritan village one day and the Bible says that the folks there didn't receive Him. When James and John saw this, they wanted to call fire down from heaven to consume these people. But this was all contrary to the spirit of Christ, and it must have sorely grieved Him. Luke 9:55 says, "But (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save Them." Taking the lives of human beings is contrary to the spirit of Christ.

General Leslie McNair (in a New York Times article) described the attitudes and the spirit promoted in the armed services. He says, "Our soldiers must have a fighting spirit; if you call that hating enemies, then we must hate with every fiber of our being. We must lust for battle; we must scheme and plan night and day to kill; we must hit harder and harder; we must become tougher and tougher; the avowed purpose of the army is to make killers out of every soldier." Can you reconcile such an attitude with the teachings and the spirit of Jesus?

One young man who had been in the army during World War II, tells how one of his buddies in training was kind of softhearted. When they were training, they were to drive their bayonets into the stomachs of a dummy victim. This fellow was kind of slow and timid about the whole thing, and finally the officer lost his patience, swore at the young fellow, and ordered him to get up in front of that dummy and "cut out his guts." He reminded him that this was war, and not a Sunday School picnic, and that every man in the camp was there to learn how to kill Germans.

It's impossible to have the spirit of Christ within, and at the same time bear arms. The carnal sword and the spirit of Jesus do not point in the same direction.

(3) The methods of Christ are not of this world. Paul says in 2 Cor. 10:3, 4, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Jesus endured much reviling and persecution when He was here on earth, and yet never once did He use carnal weapons for defense. And the same thing can be said for true Christians down through the centuries. They have won their battles by using the breastplate of righteousness, and the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

The Christian doesn't use carnal weapons, but this does not mean that he is helpless in the face of evil and unrighteousness. Take the weapon of prayer for example. When (during the perse­cutions of the early church) Peter was cast into prison, the Bible says, "Prayer was made without ceasing, of the Church, unto God for him." The people prayed. Here the power of prayer was pitted against the power of the armed might of the Roman Empire-and those who prayed won the battle! The iron gate opened, and Peter was set free. More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

Another powerful weapon used by the believer, is the practice of deeds of kindness. Jesus says, "Do good unto them that hate you." Paul puts it this way: "If your enemy hunger, feed him." We have a beautiful illustration of the victory of kindness over evil in 2 Kings 6. The Syrian army had been delivered into the hands of Israel through the intervention of the prophet Elisha. And when the king of Israel saw that the enemy had been delivered into his hand, he said to Elisha, "Shall I smite them?" And he said again, a second time, "Shall I smite them?" This may have been the most natural course of action, but Elisha said, "Thou shalt not smite them, (but) set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink, and go to their master." Elisha said, "Feed them and let them go." Show them kindness, he said. And that's what the king of Israel did. And you know, there's an interesting postscript to this story: 2 Kings 6:23 says, "So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel."

The Christian's weapons are spiritual. He conquers with the power of the Cross. Menno Simons used to say, "Our fortress is Christ, our sword is the Word of God, our victory is faith in the Almighty. We let swords of iron and steel to those who consider human blood equal to swine's blood." The Christian has spiritual weapons.

These have been principles upon which the doctrine of non­resistance is based. The kingdom of Christ, the spirit of Christ and the methods of Christ are not of this world.

2. PROBLEMS OF THE DOCTRINE

Most every doctrine carries with it some related Matters that seem to be problems. We want to look primarily at the problem of Israel's practice in Old Testament days. The Old Testament fre­quently tells about the wars of Israel, and many of these wars were authorized and commanded by God. It's hard for the Christ­ian to reconcile this with the command to "resist not evil" in the New Testament. Jesus said the Scriptures cannot be broken, and they do not contradict themselves, and so the problem seems to be very real.

There are at least three things we must remember here:

(1) Israel was a nation of this world, while the Church is a spiritual nation not of this world. Israel was a nation just like any other nation, except that God had chosen her for a special purpose. The Israelites lived in a particular location on earth; they had boundaries to their possessions; they maintained a gov­ernment, with a capital city, a throne, a king, and a royal family. And to maintain this nation in the land, God permitted the use of force. But the Church is not such a nation. The Church is a people called out of darkness into the light of the Gospel, from every land and every nation. There's no particular geographical location; there are no boundaries to maintain; there's no capital city; there's no regal throne. Israel was a nation; the Church is not such a nation.

(2) Israel was not a regenerated people, while the Church is composed of those who are regenerate. Romans 8:3,4 says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Israel could not perform the righteousness of the law, for she walked after the flesh. But Christians have been re­generated, and thus are equipped for a new kind of life, and they are called upon to follow a much higher standard than the Old Testament law.

(3) Israel operated under the dispensation of law, while the Church is living during the dispensation of grace. Jesus says, "Ye have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil, but if any man shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." This is an extension that Christ Himself made. He participated in giving the Old Testament law, and certainly He has the right to broaden it. Someone says, "But God never changes, and if God doesn't change, then He can't approve war in the Old Testament, and condemn it in the New Testament." But this is a faulty argu­ment. It's true that God's character never changes, but His methods do change from time to time, from age to age, from dispensa­tion to dispensation. The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is a study that requires more space than we will take here, but remember that the truths of the Old Testa­ment receive a new and deeper significance in the New Tes­tament, in light of Calvary and Pentecost. The New Testament is the Christian's final authority for faith and conduct. If we are to have a true understanding of the will of God, we must always accept the New Testament interpretation of the Old Testament.

Some folks have a problem accepting the doctrine of non­resistance, however, because of a few statements Jesus made, as recorded in the New Testament.

Jesus said, for example, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword." But here the context clearly shows that the word "sword" is a figurative word, which indicates the division and persecution and misunderstand­ing that will arise in families and communities when there are those members of the family or community who follow Jesus. The parallel reference in Luke 12:51 says, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you nay, but rather division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided; three against two, and two against three." Sometimes Christians will find even members of their own families turning against them.

In another place, Jesus says "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." Luke 22:36. Jesus spoke these words just before He went into the Garden to pray. And just a little later, when the crowd had gathered to take Jesus, Peter used the sword. He smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his ear. But Jesus rebuked him for using the sword, and then He said to him, "All that take the sword shall perish by it." And then Jesus graciously restored the servant's ear. Whatever else Jesus meant by the words, "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one," He certainly did not mean that the dis­ciples were free to injure others with the sword. A dagger such as the disciples carried, was often used to cut wood and to slay animals for food.

There are other problems associated with the doctrine of non­resistance, but the basic principles upon which the doctrine is built, are clear. Each one of the problems that sometimes is asso­ciated with the doctrine, is really only a seeming contradiction.

3. PROTECTIONS FOR THE DOCTRINE

There are always some who try and make a teaching mean something that it was never intended to mean. For the purpose of safeguarding the doctrine of nonresistance, several things should be pointed out.

(1) War is permitted for civil government. Jesus said, "If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight." Jesus recognized that the very nature of the kingdoms of this world, de­mands that they be defended with armed might. The hardness and greed of unconverted human hearts, sometimes seem to under­stand nothing but the language of force. The sons of God can live a life of love for their enemies, but the sons of men are liv­ing under the rule of Satan, and are governed by the law of force. Paul says of the state official (in Romans 13), "He beareth not the sword in vain; for he is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." The masses of this world will not allow God's Word to control their lives, and therefore they must be held in control by the sword. The state has the authority to punish; it has the right to carry the sword; if there had been no civil auth­ority, only anarchy and chaos would exist, because of the wick­edness of human hearts. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament recognize the authority of the state to maintain order by the use of force. And because we recognize this permission in the Scriptures (for governments to use the sword), we cannot (according to modern use of the term) be called "pacifists." Pacifism covers many types of opposition to warfare. It is Satan's counterfeit for the doctrine of nonresistance. True Christians have never advocated the doctrines of present day pacifism. The pacifist aims to establish a better world by eliminating war; he attempts to bring peace and harmony among the unregenerate nations of earth, by working through political influence; his primary mistake lay in the fact that he believes in the innate goodness of man. One paci­fist group told John F. Kennedy, "We believe there is a divine power in man, that can save the world from war and destruc­tion." But this contradicts the teaching of our Lord when he says, "For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed murders and wickedness" Mark 7:20.

The peace-emphasis promoted by most leaders within the churches of America today, is not the doctrine of nonresistance taught in the Bible. Nonresistance describes the faith and life of those who accept the Scriptures as the revealed will of God, and who cannot participate in warfare because their Lord forbids it. He teaches the law of love. Pacifism, on the other hand, is something different. Roland Bainton says that modern pacifism (as promoted by most civil and religious leaders today), is not based so much on Christian principles, as it is on a mere desire for survival. Many of our leaders object to war, not because of loyalty to Christ and the Scriptures, but because they have a fear of death and destruction in this awful atomic age.

(2) Wars will continue until the end. The Bible does not teach that a time will come during this age, when wars will cease. Daniel 9:26 says literally, "Even unto the time of the end, wars and Desolations are determined." Jesus, when describing the closing days of this age, says there shall be "wars and rumors of wars". In the closing days of this age, the armies of the world, under the lead­ership of the Antichrist, will march against Jerusalem for one final burst of rage against God and His people, and there they shall utterly perish (Joel 3:9-12). The Bible teaches that the nations of the world will be universally armed (not disarmed), as we approach the close of this age.

Our early Anabaptist forefathers were not optimistic about the prospects of peace for this age. Harold S. Bender says that they "saw the whole of history (from the fall of the first Adam, down to the Second Coming of Christ), as a great battle between God and His enemies. There was no humanistic vision of getting rid of war in history." The Christian does not expect that economic justice and political cooperation are going to be ushered in by efforts of unrighteous men. Our hope for changing the world, lies in the coming of Christ, who will "judge among the nations," and usher in a kingdom of peace. In the meantime, the Christian obeys his government, pays his taxes, and respects governmental leaders. And only if the government expressly commands us to do that which God has forbidden, only then do we follow the example of Peter and John, when they said, "We ought to obey God rather than men."

War is a terrible thing. One of the survivors of the atomic blast at Hiroshima describes what she saw. She says, "All the houses were demolished; the crumbled walls stretched for many, many miles; people rushed out from the center of impact; their bodies were burned; their skin was hanging down like rags; their faces were swollen to twice their normal size; people were cry­ing aloud with pain." She says, "I saw someone walking, dragging something along. To my surprise it was his own intestines. His stomach was ripped open, and he was dragging it along as he walked without knowing what he was doing." She continues, "My oldest daughter had only two slight wounds, but a month after the bombing, she died from radiation." A soldier who witnessed the air raids in Germany says he saw people coming out of their shelters-insane, wandering about, running away, not knowing where to go. Thousands were killed. Still others died of disease and cold and starvation." No one can ever measure the suffering and misery and heartaches that have resulted from war. And on the Judg­ment Day, God will hardly look down upon the soldier's bloody hands, and say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

To serve as a conscientious objector to war may bring ridicule from friends, but one who practices nonresistance in life, can stand before God with clean hands, unstained by human blood. And always remember that "a conscience void of offense before God and man," is a greater reward than any human decor­ation ever offered for bravery on the battlefield. Be grateful to God if your government has provided for alternative service of a constructive nature.

Additional copies of this article sent free on request. Ask for our sample packet of Bible Helps,

BIBLE HELPS

Robert Lehigh, Editor

P. O. Box 391
Hanover, Pa. 17331 U.S.A.


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 Re:

MilitaryTimes.com Community Editor

Richardson pfc. ruled conscientious objector

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge has ordered that a Fort Richardson soldier be granted conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge.

The decision by U.S. District Judge John Sedwick supersedes the Army’s decision last year to deny Pfc. Michael Barnes’ request. Barnes had told the Army that he experienced a religious awakening in Iraq two years ago that left him opposed to war in any form.

Sedwick said military investigators failed to provide “a basis in fact” to support their contention that Barnes’ religious objections to war were insincere.

Sedwick considered testimony from Barnes, as well as a chaplain, a psychiatrist and fellow soldiers in overturning the Army’s decision.

Barnes, a 26-year-old Portland, Ore., native, said Monday in a statement released by his lawyer that he was thankful to the federal courts in Anchorage for finding that his request was based on “my sincere belief as a Christian.”

Barnes enlisted in the Army for five years in March 2005 with the stated goal of “defending freedom and helping other people in countries no one else would help.”

In a 16-page ruling, the judge noted evidence of how Barnes’ faith grew stronger after he arrived in Iraq in September 2006. Soldiers in his unit testified that he became increasingly withdrawn, devoting much of his spare time to reading the Bible.

“I have been trying to justify being a soldier and finding a way to do so while still being a Christian, because that is what I wanted to do since I was a kid,” Barnes wrote in his request for conscientious objector status in December 2006.

“But I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war. ... I must try to save souls, not help take them. I fear not for my life, but for my soul.”

Barnes remained in Iraq with the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team through the duration of the unit’s 15-month deployment. The brigade returned to Anchorage last November. He is now stationed in the Lower 48.


Article: http://www.militarytimes.com/news/20...jector_092308/


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