| A thread about violence|
Christ said that he had come to bring division. (Luke 12:51)He would divide the wheat from the chaff. (Matthew 3:12)
I think a major problem with preaching today is that we may tend to preach "unity." ("We are all one...") In the Bible, at least the one I read, this is not what Christ wanted. He wanted to make a distinction- His people and then the world.
In the King James Bible, I love the phrase "Peculiar People," it denotes a difference, as if the world would say "Those people are strange..."
Even in the Old Testament, Joshua says "Choose for yourselves THIS DAY whom you will serve...
... But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
On MT. Carmel, Elijah says this: "How long will yo waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, then follow Him, but if Baal is God, follow him." (1 Kings 18:20)
These statements were standoffish, and powerful.
Christ wanted a distinction, a division. The Body of Christ should work together as one, of course, Christ prayed that His Disciples and He be made one. (John 17:6-25)
When someone comes under the blood of Christ, they are ingrafted, by grace, into the Body.
We are not one with the world, we are strangers passing thru. (1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 2:11)
We are called to be gracious under persecution, and to go the extra mile, to love our enemies. (Matthew 5)
We are to stand up and standoff. There is God's way, and there is the wrong way. We cannot be at peace with the world when the world is run by Satan and Satan wars with Christ, who runs our body. We are to storm the gates of Hell with the Power of God.
War against the devil with the Gospel of Christ. (It is a sword...)
take captive for Christ those whothe devil has stolen from him.
Like 1 Samuel 30,let's infiltrate the enemy's camp and take back what it has stolen.
This is war, an eternal war, and in war, there can be no peace. :-D :-D :-)
The devil fights with hate and arrogance; we fight with unconditional love and absolute humility and servanthood.
| 2004/3/1 10:11||Profile|
| Re: Pacifist VS. Standoff-ish|
There is no way to peace, peace is the way.
| 2004/3/1 11:11|
The Lord Jesus Christ came to bring peace with God, not peace with the world.
| 2004/3/1 11:32||Profile|
So "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is about our finding peace with God and not our neighbor?
This notion that Jesus was not interested in peace on earth goes against much of His teachings. If you ignore these teachings you end up being part of the cause of violence.
| 2004/3/2 9:29|
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
What do you think of this, Jake?
| 2004/3/2 9:58||Profile|
This passsage refers to passive acceptance of a sinful world. Jesus preached reconciliation with our enemies and being a peaceful servant of God. This included helping others overcome their sin in a sometimes confrontational manner. But the underlying motive was love for fellow humans.
Christians are on very shaky (dangerous) ground when they claim salvation from Jesus and reject His teachings of nonviolence.
| 2004/3/2 11:27|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I think we should clarify what we mean when we use the word "world". There are several shades of meaning to it; I think it will be helpful to keep in mind the distinctions between them.
For instance, the word takes on different meaning depending on the context, for instance, "Do not love the [i]world[/i]" and "For God so love the [i]world[/i]."
The former refers to the worldly system which has fallen in the hands of Satan. The latter refers to the people who live on earth. "World" can also mean the earth, the habitat of human beings and other creatures.
We are in an impasse here because we fail to make these distinctions.
| 2004/3/2 12:17||Profile|
| Re:Allow me to clarify...|
I do not promote violence or discord. I promote taking a solid stand for the truth. Christ was not violent, but when he had to, he got serious. He showed those who defiled the Gentile area of the Temple that He meant business.
I know now that it would have been good for me to elaborate on the statement I made about our weapons. Our weapons are meekness, gentleness, lovingkindness, forgiveness, giving, and they do well to destroy the work of the enemy.
When I said "the world" I did not mean the population, I meant the devil's handiwork.
I believe the best way to be standoff-ish is to live in absolute love. Absolute love for everyone is as radical as it gets. I am not violent. As a self-aware Christian, I know that his love flows into my actions, thoughts, and words, permeating everything I am and do.
That is how I combat this enemy.
Please know that I DESPISE violence. I grew up in violence, it tormented my spirit until Christ set me free, with... guess what... a gentle love.
Please forgive the vagueness and obvious brashness of my first post and see this as a token of what I really mean.
| 2004/3/2 13:11||Profile|
As usual, Agent 001 puts the hammer on the nail in detailing the various meanings of the word "world" in scriptures.
CHad, we are in agreement about violence.
Nevertheless, there are many "Christians" in this world who, reading Revelations and other biblical prophesy of the end of the world (time?), anticipate an Armagedon where much of the world is destroyed and Christians are "Raptured" just before this tribulation happens. Moreover, many of these "christians" are preparing for the end and actually facilitating their vision of it in the Mideast by supporting Israel in their domination of the Holy land. They support the violent acquisition of all of the Holy Land, so as to prepare the way for the return of Christ. See http://www.humanistsofutah.org/1998/FundamentalistWarAgainstHumanism_DiscGrp_2-98.html
This goes against everything Jesus stood for. It is a trap set by Beelzebub. Christians should hold any and all end of times prophesies in serious question as "no one can know the time" of Christ's return. It could be thousands of years from now. (People have been predicting and expecting the second coming since just after the crucifixion.)
We Quakers have an historical "peace testimony" which I think expresses well the values of Christ:
"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world."
| 2004/3/2 15:42|
And then some soldiers came and they were questioning him saying, 'And what about us, what do we do?'" And some would like to have Jesus say...Get out of the military, it's wrong. He said, "Don't take money from anyone by force, don't accuse anyone falsely and be content with your wages." That is without question an implicit affirmation of being a soldier...just be honest, don't rob people because you have the power to do it, because you carry a weapon, don't accuse people falsely because you're on the inside of law enforcement, be content with your pay. I mean, there's an affirmation of the validity of being a soldier, just be a noble one who does what is right to do.
You have the same thing in the tenth chapter of Acts where Cornelius was a Roman soldier. He was a centurion which meant he was the leader of a hundred men. It's..it's an Italian battalion which was from Rome. Cornelius was a formidable soldier. He was a devout man, verse 2. He feared God with all his household. He gave many alms to the Jewish people, prayed to God continually. And in verse 22, "Cornelius was a centurion, a righteous and God fearing man, well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, divinely directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you," that's referring to Peter. Down in verse 48 he came to be baptized. Here is another implicit, really a commendation of a man who was a righteous Roman soldier.
And then if you were to go through the teaching of Jesus you would find similar kind of implicit affirmations. Remember in Matthew 21 Jesus approved about a king who waged war against wicked people, remember that story? Do you remember Jesus said, "Nobody goes to war without counting the cost," do you remember when Peter took out his sword in the garden when they came to arrest Jesus, started to cut his way through the crowd, he cut the ear off the first guy in line who ducked and lost an ear? Peter was going for his throat, you can be sure. Jesus said, "Put your sword back in its sheath." He didn't say, "What are you doing with that thing?" He said, "Just put it back where it belongs." The implicit idea is you have a right to carry it for your self-protection, don't use it like this. In fact, in John 18:36 Jesus actually said, "That it would have been proper for his disciples to defend His Kingdom with swords if it was an earthly kingdom," John 18:36.
This article is long, but very good. Please at least skim it!
War can be a good thing today. Self-defense can be very reasonable. Christian cops are right to shoot when the time calls for it and Christian soldiers are respectable and should obey their government and work hard for their masters. We are not a bunch of hippies on dope in this world. There are evil people who are to be punished by God through the world's governments.
| 2004/3/2 20:12||Profile|