We are to bear with those we cannot amend, and to be content with offering them to God. This is true resignation. And since he has borne our infirmities we may well bear those of each other for his sake.
_________________Robert Wurtz II
RobertW--I have thought along very similar lines (though I think you may be minimizing the extent to which Servetus strayed from orthodoxy...most historians I have read do not credit him with maintaining Trinitarian beliefs...and some seem to imply he wanted to be caught). I truly don't believe we should give these men a "free pass" just because they were men of their age, so to speak. (We can't turn a blind eye to Wesley's treatment of his wife either.) On the other hand, their valuable contributions cannot be simply ignored. In our own day, what do we do with the infidelities of someone like a Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or the often bizarre behavior of a Gandhi? It seems that sometimes with great strength comes great weakness.Unfortunately--and perhaps inexplicably--great ideas often come from fallen men (and insipid concepts sometimes issue forth from moral giants). I wish the two always went hand in hand, but that has not been my experience.In other words, I heartily agree with you (with two slight caveats). 1. Theirs was a time of too little tolerance; ours is a time with too much. We don't treat theological differences with the gravity they deserve. The consequences of poor theology can be devastating to spiritual lives. 2. Make sure you separate the ideas from the man. It's not that there isn't any linkage: good men and good theology do go together. But there is no one-to-one correspondence. Ideas must be evaluated on their own.Thanks for bringing this up!
I've read 80% of the posts on the different threads spawned from Anti-Paradox's original post: Wonderfully done, thoughtful, kind-hearted, while expressing fervently the mind of each poster. I am humbled and awed. What a site.(quote) Mirroring what Robert brought up here one of the most disturbing things about this whole issue is that one word; Hate.Reading back through the history of the Anabaptist's, Amish, Mennonites, Brethren.What is mind boggling is that as Robert alluded to, how is it possible to put people to death and/or harbor such vehement opposition to our own 'kind' over misunderstandings of scripture? (end of quote)I remember reading about the Pilgrims. I believe William Bradford graphically describes the killing of an Indian enemy, whose head was prominently displayed on a stake for 20+ years.While accepting the history of the U.S. as marvelous and special, I cannot align such things with the humble Christ, Who brought us a higher law to live by, a higher calling than revenge, and a higher protection than self-defense. I have chosen to listen to the witness of the pre-Nicene church on these matters and accept their opinion: It is wrong for followers of Christ to kill, it is wrong for them to take up arms against anyone, it is wrong to have our enemies put to death. God desires us to follow HIS ways, whether we understand or not. No matter if they cause us to die or suffer or be misunderstood.This whole discussion makes me ponder many things. But something keeps jumping to the fore --- our whole reason for existence: To know and to love The Most High God, to hear Him and walk with Him. To have a personal, give-and-take relationship with Him. To realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that He desires THAT from ME... Why, I ask, why. Yet there it is, in front of my face on every page of scripture. The Greatest Mystery of All. Mrs. Fred