| Re: Scriptures, Hitler|
RE: "I know this has been touched on before, but if there is anything out of whack in God's revelation to us in scripture, how could we trust any of it?"
I've heard this line of reasoning before, here and elsewhere, but it doesn't make much sense to me. History books have lots of errors, but if they say that the Civil War was fought in 1865, would you distrust it? No, because there are many other sources that corroborate it. The Gospels corraborate the teachings of Jesus among each other. Moreover, other historical sources confirm He lived. When you read or hear Truth, it rings clear in your soul. We are given the ability to discern for a reason. I'm not saying that the Scriptures are not important, because they are important. This said, I do hold Jesus' words as the test for the rest. (And I'm not all that fond of the way Paul intepreted Jesus. But this is a matter for another discussion.)
Regarding Hitler. He was allowed to come to power to show the folly of war, in particular, world war one, which was fought for no discernable reason I can find. Armies lined up and threatened each other and it just happened. The sanctions put on Germany brought about the conditions necessary for Hitler to rise to power. This is the lesson of Hitler, if you put your faith in military might, that is what you will get.
I'm glad that I didn't have to make the choice to fight or not in WWII. Not a small number of Quakers joined the armed forces during that time, and those who chose to fight, instead of serve as ambulance drivers and medics etc. were summarily kicked out of their Meetings. It was a very divisive time. That said, I think even if Hitler had won the war in Europe, the Third Riech would by now have gone the way of the Soviet Union, and crumbled of its own weight. Fascism could never serve mankind well because it doesn't allow for the freedom required by a productive world economy. (Also, another argument I often make is that there are really no countries that can threaten the U.S. Canada and Mexico are the only countries on contiguous land, and they would never invade. Who else is there that could conquer the U.S.?)
| 2004/1/2 15:07|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: blessed are the peacemakers|
I have some questions for everyone to consider.
Is it possible that not going to war in certain situations is an evil act?
Can inaction in the face of evil actually be the morally culpable position thereby making the anti-war position the wrong one?
Do you believe Jesus would approve if you stood by and did nothing when you saw innocent people being massacred when you had the power to stop it?
Does God have anything to say in the Bible about protecting the innocent?
| 2004/1/2 15:12||Profile|
This is a great point and again needs to be considered.
I am reading a book from voice of the martyrs called Hearts of Fire about women suffering for Christ. In it are several true stories told of Christian suffering. In one of the accounts muslims came to take over a Christian village and the women and children fled while the men and husbands stayed behind to fight off the muslims. They lost the battle and many were killed but many of the women and children were spared because of their actions.
This is just another example that we should all consider. One thing I am learning is to not think we know when we really can't say for certain that we do. We need to be slower to speak and quicker to hear, listen and think asking God to reveal truth not man just like Chanin said in her post.
| 2004/1/2 15:22||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Just friendly discussion here. :)
I agree the answers are not all that clear cut.
But I also think that a lot of times we may forget that while Jesus is gentle towards the humble, being God, His righteousness still burns with indignation against all sin and it's resulting evil.
No one spoke more about hell and weeping and nashing of teeth than Jesus. He didn't have much patience with the willfully arrogant and He didn't paint a very pretty picture of the time's preceeding His return (Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famine, etc.) of tribulation and persecution.
"Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, [b]I[/b] send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogoues and persecute from city to city, [b] that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth[/b], from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, [b] I say to you[/b], all these things will come upon this generation."
"Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the [b]wrath of the lamb![/b] For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
I also think of His response to those whom he had contact with in the military, I don't find Him rebuking them and we have to remember that it is God who appoint's leaders of nations according to His Soverign will.
I don't like war, and I don't think the vast majority of those who are called to defend our country are anxious to go off to war either. These brave souls have answered a very difficult call, to lay down there lives for others, something that our Lord said showed no greater love, and where would that be more likely to happen? If it wasn't for them we very well may not be having these conversations.
There is the way things are and the way things should be as our Lord taught us. I don't think we can simply apply all thing's to "love your enemies" in a simple manner. If we were all living under the precepts of the sermon on the mount, if all the hatred of the human heart was stipped away there would be no more war, there would be no more enemies. But we are not there yet.
I don't have a problem with our Lord destroying His enemies, "until they are made His footstool".
And I don't see Jesus as being particularlly pacifist as God clocked in human flesh and as risen Lord. He who could have called down legions of angels to destroy His persecutors, yet witheld.
He who wiped out the earth by flood in His igdignation and will judge again with fire is still the same God, who changes not. We are at present in His mercy and grace but we must not forget that He is Holy, fearsome and righteous.
It should inspire an awe of reverence that the Judge of all creation has yet to unleash the fullness of His wrath on all ungodliness.
| 2004/1/2 15:25||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
I'm not saying that the Scriptures are not important, because they are important. This said, I do hold Jesus' words as the test for the rest. (And I'm not all that fond of the way Paul intepreted Jesus. But this is a matter for another discussion.)
Jake, I am very glad that the Lord has led you to come to this site and participate and also to take away knoweldge and hopefully and experience of God through the forums and sermons. With that said, I would also like to make it clear that 95%+ of the people using this website believe that the Bible (scriptures), Old and New Testaments are inspired by God. That is the foundation of all the discussions on these forums.
I am saying this in love but alot of your statements are in error because I am holding them against the light and truth of the Bible. If you disagree with me it probably isn't me you are disagreeing with but the Scriptures themselves. I this is helpful for you to keep in mind. Please take this in the kindest way possible, I am not trying to hurt or malign but to clarify. ;-)
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/1/2 15:48||Profile|
No Offense taken.
On this subject we differ, but not to the extent you think. I do believe that the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God. But man is flawed and his cultures have impinged upon those translating and intepreting the Scriptures. I take a big picture point of view.
Old Testament, tells the story of Gods people and prophesy of the coming Saviour.
New Testament, tells the story of Jesus' life, love for mankind, teachings, death on the cross (for the Forgivess of Sin) and resurrection. It continues with the development of the Christian Church as brought about by Paul (largely.)
Under this big picture there are details that we can take or leave because (and here is the important part) they cannot change the big picture!! Parts of the Bible, literally interpreted, have been completely proven false. A young earth is a false teaching that is leading people astray from the big picture! Check out www.netscape.co.uk/news/cnn/space/1.html
Nobody qualified as a scientist questions these kinds of findings.
Test all things with knowledge, and those that fall away, so be it. Those that remain will be your treasure.
| 2004/1/2 16:45|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I came across this quote recently: [i]"If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Ghandi and non-violence. But if your enemy has no conscience like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer." (Martin Luther King Jr.)[/i]
First of all, I do believe that in light of Jesus' sermon on the mount, Christians should become an important force in committing themselves to peace-making, to reconciliation, and to holding the principle of non-retaliation. This is a high ethical ideal that the Lord has set for the citizens of his kingdom.
However, we live in a corrupted and imperfect world in which evil and suffering often prevails. As a result, Christians are often placed in a difficult position where difficult ethical choices were presented to them.
A well known example was that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's. Living in Germany before and during the rule of the Nazis, he faced a tough moral decision. At first, his conviction was of pacifism; he was preparing to visit Ghandi in India to study pacificism. However, he eventually opted to return to Germany to participate in the resistance.
He [i]"concluded in the depths of his soul that to withdraw from those who were participating in the politcal and military resistance would be irresponsible cowardice and flight from reality." "Not," as his friend Bethge says, "that he believed that everybody must act as he did, but from where he was standing, he could see no possibility of retreat into any sinless, righteous, pious refuge. The sin of respectable people reveals itself in flight from responsibility. He saw that sin falling upon him and he took his stand."[/i] He eventually was martyred in the hands of the Gestapo.
I believe that Christians living in an imperfect and complex world are sometimes forced to make a choice between imperfect options. They can only rely on the guidance of the Spirit to choose the lesser evil. Some might argue that Rahab did just that by lying in order protect the Israelite spies in light of the greater purpose of God.
Other scriptural texts worth pondering upon:
[i]Then some soldiers asked him [John the Baptist], "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay." (Luke 3:14) [/i]
Curiously, John the Baptist made no mention of leaving the military profession -- one that pacifists strongly refuse to participate in.
Also: [i]1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for [b]he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.[/b] (Romans 13:1-4)[/i]
I think it is of significance to note that even in this world, the civil government, in its role of maintaining justice and order, is considered an agent of God. When rightly and justly administered, even violent punishments ("the sword") are considered to be derived from God's authority. Some might extend its application to make a case for "just wars".
My position is to embrace the principle of non-violence and non-retaliation as a general rule, but also at the same time, acknowledge that there are exceptions when circumstance forces us to choose the lesser evil. This also means accepting that different individuals might take different stands based on their unique circumstances and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Just my two pennies. :)
| 2004/1/6 11:36||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| 2004/1/6 11:47||Profile|
Mike, Hey- I was gonna say that!:) Yes, very good points, Agent001. I think it probably would be up to the believer being led by the Spirit. I cannot say what i would do in all situations because I know i must always obey God. If He wants me to fight- I'll fight- if He wants me to lay down my life- then so be it.
I'm really good at Tae Bo- so I COULD fight if I had too. :-D Just kidding (but I am good at tae bo :-D )
| 2004/1/6 11:51||Profile|
| Re: Agent 001|
Agent 001, Thanks for your excellent input on this difficult question. Question regarding Romans 13:1-4. Was Hitler God's agent? Wasn't Bonhoeffer rebelling against an established authority?
| 2004/1/6 13:10|