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 Re:

Amen.

 2009/12/29 18:39
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

"Both sides should pray and respect and support the other."



If I could, I thought of a story that some other members have posted on the forums recently that we might all want to support.

It is the story of the believer from the US that has entered North Korea to bring awareness to the situation there and to ask the leaders to open their borders and release the prisioners being held there among other things.


Did you all see this story?


[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=31969&forum=48&3]Activist: US missionary crosses border into NKorea[/url]



[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=32013&forum=44&0]Robert Park's Letter to To Mr. Kim Jong Il and North Korea's Leaders[/url]



From what I can tell, this looks like a nobel and beautiful form of resistance that all of us can appreciate and support.

And if I could suggest, doesn't this and the situation as a whole underscore how God may use both the Church on earth, and the governements of this world to restrain evil in this world and to hold back Satan?

Why, who but a believer would offer himself like this and could offer such a nobel form of resistance to evil?

And too, if it were not for the presence of western powers in the world, what would have restrained this dictatorship as much as it has been so far?

Can we see the hand of God in both?



Well, as for our friend that is risking his life, who has appearantly said like Paul, I must appear before ceasar, I'm sure we can all agree that we should pray and pray earnestly for him.

May God get the victory and His name and His ways be praised.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/29 19:00Profile
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 Robert Park - Light of the world.

Quote:
Why, who but a believer would offer himself like this and could offer such a nobel form of resistance to evil?


An incomprehensible act of courage that could only have come after much prayer by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Truly Robert Park is a believer who acts out his faith in his life.

[i]Mt 5:14-16 [color=CC3300]“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."[/color]

Isa 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?[/i]

It is the lives of men like these who stand by faith, like David stood before Goliath, that bring glory to God. We should all pray for him.

 2009/12/29 19:32Profile









 Re:

Chris , you write....

"First I appologise for the tone of my last response to you Frank. I think I could have written much better than that. I'm sorry about that."

I appreciate your humility brother. It is possible that two people can agree to disagree. Love will always shine through between brothers, and I always sense this with you ChrisJD.............God bless you brother

 2009/12/29 19:39
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Frank, thank you so much for what you wrote. I deeply appreciate it and it means alot brother.


God bless you too and all.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/29 20:39Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Concerning the Sword

“Concerning the Sword”: A Hutterian Apologia of 1577
[Article IV of the Great Article Book]

EDITED BY LEONARD GROSS*
TRANSLATED BY ELIZABETH HORSCH BENDER, ET AL.

This translation first appeared in the January 2009 issue of the
Mennonite Quarterly Review.

79.
(9) In their blindness they say: After all, Christ said to his disciples:
“Let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has nothing sell his mantle and buy a sword” (Lk. 22:[36]).

71. Heb. 10:20.
72. Ex. 20:13, 21.

[Answer:] Yes, my friend, but not an outward one, not a bloody sword meant for striking. Otherwise Paul would not have spoken truly when he said:
“We are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly”73 (2 Cor. 10:[3-4]). Christ also says, if your hand or your foot cause you to sin, cut them off (Mt. 5:[30]). But he does not mean that they should be cut off with the sword. Likewise the words “buy a sword” are not to be taken literally but understood spiritually. For if he had referred to the outward bloody sword, it would not have been necessary for Christ to command it, for there is a natural inclination in man to use it. Jews, heathen and Turks have swords; God has no pleasure in them.

Therefore Christ neither meant nor wanted that. Christ is here depicting for them the difficulties to come and the conflict against sin and ungodliness in the world into which he is about to send them, so that they would prepare themselves with the sword of the Spirit, with the Christian sword, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:[17]). That is why Christ adds: “For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’” (Lk. 22:[37]), as if he were telling them: This will also be your lot; therefore equip yourselves with the armor of the Spirit. And it is clearly shown that he really did not mean the bloody sword by his response to the disciples, “It is enough,” 74 when they said, “Lord, here are two swords.” That is to say, from now
on it is not a matter of fighting with the sword, but of suffering for the sake of the Gospel and bearing the cross.

Therefore it is now necessary to grasp the spiritual sword, the Word of God. If Christ had been speaking of buying the outward sword he would not have said that two were enough, for there were twelve of them, and more besides, and their number was increasing daily, and two swords would not have been enough. For each to have had one would have necessitated everyone selling his mantle.

And if Christ hereby meant that they should carry and use a sword, they did not carry out his wishes very well. For one finds nowhere that they used the sword to defend themselves or the Gospel against their enemies, and when Peter used it, the Lord rebuked him, saying that he was not to fight with the sword but should sheath it (Mt. 26:[52]).
Otherwise Christ would have contradicted himself, for he always said, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt. 5:[39]), and “Do not resist one who is evil.”

73. Eph. 6:12.
74. Lk. 22:38.

The apostles must then also have been against Christ when they forbade taking revenge,75 or repaying evil for evil, or reviling for reviling,76 not to mention blow for
blow. The prophets would also have had to be against Christ when they prophesied how in the last times the peoples of the church of Christ would melt their swords into hoes and their lances into pruning hooks, scythes and saws, and would not use weapons against one another (Isa. 2:[4]; Mic. 4:[3]).

All of this and much more would be wrong and in vain if Christ had ordered them to buy outward swords. That is not the case and he is referring to no other sword than the one he himself had, namely, the two-edged sword that proceeds from his mouth (Rev. 1:[16]; 19:[15]; Heb. 4:[12]). With this sword he now wants his disciples to arm themselves because he is about to be taken from them through suffering. For it would indeed be needed by every one of them.

Therefore we should be satisfied with two swords—the sword of government, which is and must be in the world, and the sword of the Spirit and Word of God, which is the only one in the church of Christ.
For when there is enough and more is added, that is too much and therefore comes from evil (Mt. 5:[37]). Or the two swords can be understood to mean the Word of God—the divine teaching—as it is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, which can also be interpreted as two swords. Since they come from one Spirit, we are to be armed with both of them.

80
(10) Then, if they raise the objection: the government is ordained by God77 to explore zealously what is right and good according to God’s word, and by means of their office as rulers to eradicate false worship and compel and hold their subjects and churches to true worship.

Answer: There is not a single word from the apostles or Christ saying that Christians and God’s children are to be held and driven to church services with the sword. For they have not received a slavish spirit,78

75. Rom. 12:19.but the Holy Spirit testifies through David about Christ’s people, saying, “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your might” (Ps. 110:[3]).

75. Rom. 12:19.
76. 1 Pet. 3:9.
77. Rom. 13:1.
78. Rom. 8:15.

Therefore those who use the sword to assist their churches forsake God and are not servants of Christ; they rob God of what is his and give it over to human might. Yes, those who dare to force and compel people into their churches, forcing them with the citizen’s sword, compulsion, oppression, prison, tower confinement, fire and water, are swine herders who need to have clubs and are not shepherds of Christ’s sheep who know their Shepherd’s voice and follow of their own accord (Jn. 10:[16]).
Yes, they are a slavish church, bound to the letter, and not of the Spirit of God and Christ (Rom. 7:[6]).

For “cursed are they who trust in man and make flesh their arm,” says the Prophet, “whose heart turns away from God and who put their trust in princes and in the children of men, in whom there is no help” (Jer. 17:[5]; Ps. 146:[3]; 117:[8]). Let them hear what God says about this through the Prophet: “Woe to those who dare to rule my people with
violence and force (Ezek. 34:[4]). Therefore let those who snatch the ark of the Lord with violence and want to have it for themselves see to it that they do not fare like the Philistines who had to return it in disgrace (1 Sam. 4).

81
(11) They say: In the parable of the feast Christ told them to “compel people to come in” (Lk. 14:[23]).79 Answer: But this in no way means with the sword, force, war and captivity, but by the Word of God they must be compelled in heart and conscience to enter his church and be called forth from the highways and the hedges of their wrong path of life, teaching and hope behind which they are hiding—as the Samaritan woman was also compelled to believe when Christ told her what she had done (Jn. 4:[29]). Likewise Apollos constantly confuted the Jews, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:[28]).

Christ desires no other compulsion. It is the devil who compels and forces people into his realm with executioners and police, prison, suffering and torture, with sword and club. But Christ wants a voluntary heart (2 Cor. 6:[1-12]; 80 Phil. 1:[28]), for when the disciples of John came to him, he did not command them to seize people and force them to believe but to bring them to faith through preaching and miracles (Mt. 11).81 He did not demand that they seize the rich young man, who watched sadly and then went away (Mt. 19:22), and compel him to become a disciple.



79. This passage from Luke was unfortunately cited, again and again, in order to justify coercive conversion into the established church (especially through the Inquisition). This interpretation dates back to Augustine.
80. Text reads: 2 Cor. 8.
81. Text reads: Jn. 11.


Also, when Jesus came into his home country and the people refused to believe him, he did not compel them to believe, nor did he perform many signs because of their unbelief (Mt. 13:[54-58]). When many of his disciples left him he did not force them to stay but said to the others, “Will you also go away?” (Jn. 6:[66]). He did not want to hold them through force, for if they had stayed reluctantly it would have amounted to the same as if they had gone away. Likewise, when his disciples said, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by you?” he answered, “Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind” (Mt. 15:[12, 14]).

Christ says, “No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (not the sword) (Jn. 6:[44]). For the sword can neither give nor take away faith; it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:[8]). It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do (Phil. 2:[13]). Those whom the Spirit of God impels are his children (Rom. 8:[14]); not those who are impelled by prison, tower confinement, suffering and torture. Therefore the Prophet says: O Lord, you know that I am leading the flock in your ways; I have not forced them, for I have never desired the death of any man (Jer. 17:[16]).82


82
(12) Now they say: Paul always writes clearly that rulers are ordained by God and are the servants of God (Rom. 13:[1]). Why then can they not be Christians in that office?

Answer: If having the name of ruler made one a Christian, then the Roman tyrants, the emperors Claudius and Nero, must also have been Christians, because Paul calls them, scepters and all, servants of God.83 For it is certain that Paul wrote this from Corinth to the brethren in Rome, where these heathen tyrants reigned, and Paul is speaking of powers that exist everywhere and calls them God’s servants.

Thus the Turk is also such a servant of God and would have to be a Christian if the name made the Christian. But that is not at all the meaning. For the Lord calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant (Jer. 43:[10]), and he calls King Cyrus and the king of Assyria a rod of his anger (Isa. 10:[5]). Likewise Christ in his prophecy against the Jews calls the Roman emperors Titus and Vespasian, with their hosts, God’s army, his instrument, his servants, even though they were mere heathen (Mt. 22:[21]).

82. Taken from the Froschauer Bible. RSV reads: “I have not pressed thee to send evil, nor have I desired the day of disaster, thou knowest.” See also Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11.
83. Rom. 13:6.

Therefore, just as there are two kinds of angels, good and bad, as one finds in the Scriptures,84 which calls both kinds angels, so God also has two kinds of servants on earth. For in the great house of this world there are not only gold and silver vessels [but also wood and clay], some for honorable and some for ignoble use (2 Tim. 2:20), namely, the vessels of wrath, that is, servants of vengeance who punish with death and the sword, who are prepared for damnation; and vessels of mercy (that is, servants who discipline with the ban for correction in order to acquire grace again) (Rom. 9:[21-23]): those he has prepared for glory, whom he has called, namely us, out of all nations (1 Thess. 5:[9]).

83
(13) Then they say: Since the wicked man who sits in the place of authority is God’s servant, then the believer who trusts in God can govern better than the godless heathen; for we have an explicit word, they say, that a Christian can be a ruler: Even in the time of Paul, Christians were in places of authority, for he wrote to his own people and their masters how they should relate to one another (Col. 3:[22]; 1 Pet. 2:[13-14]). Similarly he wrote to Timothy that believers who had masters should not despise them, for they were brethren (1 Tim. 6:[1-2]).
And since the apostles permitted (they say) a man to be a master—indeed, even to have slaves, which is harsh and unfitting, whether there are one, two or many—and yet remain a Christian, Christians can be rulers among us today.

Answer: Paul’s writing about slaves can only mean that they were house servants—slaves bought with money (Ex. 21). Peter and Paul do not call them anything else. They admonish them not to resist serfdom,85 but to obey their owners. For it would not be proper, since they were purchased, not to perform that for which they were purchased. From all this it can be concluded, from both the Old and the New Testaments, that the apostles were speaking only of purchased slaves, admonishing them to do their work. It does not say that they were speaking of government, as the false ones claim.

84. Ps. 78:49.
85. German: “der lieb aigenschafft”; this is most likely a transcribing error, for “der leib
aigenschafft.”


Continued:


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Lee Chapel

 2009/12/30 4:54Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
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 Re:

Quote:
Therefore, just as there are two kinds of angels, good and bad, as one finds in the Scriptures,84 which calls both kinds angels, so God also has two kinds of servants on earth. For in the great house of this world there are not only gold and silver vessels [but also wood and clay], some for honorable and some for ignoble use (2 Tim. 2:20), namely, the vessels of wrath, that is, servants of vengeance who punish with death and the sword, who are prepared for damnation; and vessels of mercy (that is, servants who discipline with the ban for correction in order to acquire grace again) (Rom. 9:[21-23]): those he has prepared for glory, whom he has called, namely us, out of all nations (1 Thess. 5:[9]).






It would appear that the author suggests also that God would have them to be in either state perpetually also and that, even if a ruler should desire to do good, and to serve Christ, he could not, unless he abandon his office or position or throne.

But is that the same call in the scriptures?

Did God ever speak that way to anyone who had authority?

I don't know the entire Bible by memory or even close and I cannot say yes or no for sure, but in the Psalms it is written:


"Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [i]from[/i] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [i]are[/i] all they that put their trust in him."


And so then the king may trust in Christ, but must then renounce his throne in order for a wicked and unbelieving man to take his place?



[i]...those he has prepared for glory, whom he has called, namely us, out of all nations[/i]


And so it says in Isaiah,


"And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."

But then if these kings come to that light, then they must immediately relinquish their seat, and they must never sit in that light upon their thrones, but must relinquish it so that someone sitting in darkness may sit there instead?


I don't know that God has commanded that. It does some like something the devil would take joy in though.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/30 9:27Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
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 Re:

Quote:
namely, the vessels of wrath, that is, servants of vengeance who punish with death and the sword, who are prepared for damnation




And so it would appear that the author says that God simultaneously commends and condemns the rules of this world.

That he commends them, by calling them His servants and revenger(carrying our justice), and that He also condemns them for the same, who the author says are "prepared for damnation", that is if I understood that correctly.


And so then he says that God will punish the rulers, not for subverting justice, or for being greedy of gain or for suppresing others as God has always rebuked both the heathen and His own people, and as John gave witness of that soldiers should repent of, but not that God would punish them for doing those things, but, for administering justice and being agents of God's wrath.

And so does the author suggests that God has forordained certain men to be rulers, and also ordained their destruction for it?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/30 9:37Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
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 Re:

Quote:
(10) Then, if they raise the objection: the government is ordained by God77 to explore zealously what is right and good according to God’s word, and by means of their office as rulers to eradicate false worship and compel and hold their subjects and churches to true worship.

Answer: There is not a single word from the apostles or Christ saying that Christians and God’s children are to be held and driven to church services with the sword. For they have not received a slavish spirit,78

75. Rom. 12:19.but the Holy Spirit testifies through David about Christ’s people, saying, “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your might” (Ps. 110:[3]).

75. Rom. 12:19.
76. 1 Pet. 3:9.
77. Rom. 13:1.
78. Rom. 8:15.

Therefore those who use the sword to assist their churches forsake God and are not servants of Christ; they rob God of what is his and give it over to human might. Yes, those who dare to force and compel people into their churches, forcing them with the citizen’s sword, compulsion, oppression, prison, tower confinement, fire and water, are swine herders who need to have clubs and are not shepherds of Christ’s sheep who know their Shepherd’s voice and follow of their own accord (Jn. 10:[16]).




I think this is an excellent statement.

In no way is the State ever to be seen as an extension of the Church's authority on earth. While the state should serve and protect it's citizens, in no way should it be regarded as an extension or an enforcer of [b]ecclesiastical laws[/b].



Edit:

"Then, if they raise the objection: the government is ordained by God77 to explore zealously what is right and good according to God’s word, and by means of their office as rulers to eradicate false worship and compel and hold their subjects and churches to true worship."



In my opinion, the laws of the state will more safely contain those laws of morality that are common to mankind(Rom 2:14-15), and not regarding the worship of God in Christ(Mat 11:27)


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/30 10:34Profile









 Re:

Some intersting quotes from down through the ages for your consideration. I am sure none of these quotes will change anybody's mind, but they should at least be of interest.......Frank


1. Justin Martyr (c. 100-165)
“And that (the prophecy of Isaiah 2:1-4) did come to pass, we can convince you. For twelve men, illiterate and without speaking ability, went out from Jerusalem into the world, and by the power of God they proclaimed to every nation that they were sent by Christ to teach the word of God to everyone. And we, who formerly murdered one another, not only refuse to make war against our enemies, but in order not to lie nor deceive our judges, meet death willingly, confessing Christ.”
Apology I, 39

Martin of Tours (c. 315-397)
Around 356 A.D., at a ceremony in which soldiers were given a donative or monetary gift, Martin explained to his commanding officer why he could no longer serve as a Roman soldier. “Up to the present I have served you as a soldier. Allow me now to become a soldier of God. Let the man who is to serve you receive your donative. I am a soldier of Christ. It is not lawful for me to fight.”
Sulpicius Severus, Life of St. Martin, 4

Paulinus of Nola (355-431)
Paulinus was a friend of Martin of Tours and Victricius of Rouen, both of whom left the military in order to follow Jesus. In this letter to Crispinianus, a Roman soldier who had shown interest in becoming a Christian, Paulinus urged Crispinianus to similarly abandon the military and become a Christian. “Therefore, no longer love this world or its military service, for Scripture’s authority declares that ‘whoever is a friend of this world is an enemy of God.’ Whoever serves as a soldier with the sword is the servant of death, and whenever he sheds his own blood or that of another, this will be his reward: he will be regarded as guilty either because he caused his own death or because of his sin (of killing his enemy in war.)”
Letter 25, To Crispinianus

Menno Simons (1494-1561)
“The Scriptures teach that there are two opposing princes and two opposing kingdoms: the one is the Prince of peace; the other is the prince of strife. Each of these princes has his particular kingdom, and as the prince is, so also is the kingdom. The Prince of peace is Christ Jesus. His kingdom is the kingdom of peace, which is his church. His messengers are the messengers of peace. His word is the word of Peace. His body is the body of peace.”
Reply to False Accusations, III

Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)
Five months after the Second World War commenced in Europe, Evelyn Underhill wrote to a friend: “I am sorry that we do not agree about Peace. Although I quite agree about the stern element in Our Lord’s teachings, the denunciations of Pharisees, etc., etc., still the numerous texts enjoining love of enemies , non-resistance, etc., do seem to qualify this strain in a sense that precludes war. And in fact the early Christians held that they were debarred from war, didn’t they? Of course Christendom has never had the nerve to apply this teaching without qualification, right up to the point of national martyrdom. When it does, perhaps the Kingdom of God will come.”
Letter of January 13, 1940, The Letters of Evelyn Underhill, pp. 284-285

Maximilian of Tebessa.(274 - 295)
Because his father Fabius Victor was a soldier in the Roman army, Maximilianus was obliged to join at the age of 21. Brought before the proconsul of Numidia Cassius Dion, he refused, stating that as a Christian he could not serve in the military. This led to his martyrdom by beheading on 12 March, A.D. 295, at the City of Thavaste (now Tébessa, Algeria), North Africa. He is noted as an early conscientious objector.

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)
When the Civil War began, Moody felt pressured by his friends to enlist in the armed forces on the side of the Union. “In spite of all this he could not conscientiously enlist: ‘There has never been a time in my life when I felt that I could take a gun and shoot down a fellow-being. In this respect I am a Quaker,’ was his explanation.”
William R. Moody, The Life of Dwight L. Moody, p. 82

Tertullian states that “the Lord, in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.”[5] Hippolytus believed that Christians could not enter military service: “The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God.”[6] Perhaps most definitively, Lactantius, a Christian who lived in the early fourth century, writes:

For when God forbids us to kill, He not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but He warns us against the commission of those things which are esteemed lawful among men. Thus it will be neither lawful for a just man to engage in warfare, since his warfare is justice itself, nor to accuse any one of a capital charge, because it makes no difference whether you put a man to death by word, or rather by the sword, since it is the act of putting to death itself which is prohibited. Therefore, with regard to this precept of God, there ought to be no exception at all; but that it is always unlawful to put to death a man, whom God willed to be a sacred animal.[7]



 2009/12/30 13:48





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