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ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
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 Re:

Quote:
“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.”



Ahhh, this is the essence of the Christian's duty to his/her fellowmen.

A couple years ago we visited with a man who developed a similar conviction except he was a Naval officer stationed in the Pentagon. When the Holy Spirit convicted him and he shared it with his fellow officers they did not argue with him....What made this officer's testimony more impressive is that he was scheduled to retire in six months with benefits due a career officer. But the LORD called him to retire now! And he obeyed. Sacrifice? I would think so. Don't you?

Thanks for sharing this report.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/11/19 8:50Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

They That Take The Sword Shall Perish With The Sword

By Gilbert Beebe (1800 – 1881)

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” Matthew 26:52

The perfect security and perpetuity of the Kingdom of Christ upon its own basis, independently of the powers of this world, is a delightful consideration to the enlightened children of God. No carnal weapons are required to repel the foes of God and truth, for no weapon that is formed against Zion can prosper.


“Salvation (not swords nor spears, but the salvation of our God) will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” Not only are they not required or needed, but they are most positively forbidden. All our trust and reliance for protection and safety must be in God. He is himself a wall of fire round about his people, and the glory in their midst. In this particular is the church of God manifestly distinguished from all anti-Christian churches or religious organizations. In all ages, worldly religion has relied on worldly support and worldly protections. At this very day there is a mighty howling among the shepherds of anti-Christ, and those religious denominations who have been the principal promoters of the dreadful scenes of carnage which has just swept over our country, desolating what was the fairest portion of the earth, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of our fellow-men, and both at the North and the South are now appealing to the worst passions of men to aid in procuring from the secular powers a law for the suppression of those religious orders which they deem antagonistic to their interests, pleading that their religious establishments are in danger by reason of the Roman Catholics, and all others who will not pander to them.

They staining the earth with a crimson tide ask, and even demand that the sword of state shall be drawn for the suppression of those whom they proscribe as heterodox, and for their own defense. They take the sword, rely upon the sword, and with sword shall they perish. But it is not so with the church of the living God.

Not only has the cause of God and his church always been sustained without aid or protection of human governments, but in opposition to all the powers of earth and hell, and always in such a manner as to clearly show that God is himself the strength of Israel, and the Savior thereof in the time of trouble.

His name is their strong tower, and in his pavilion where he has hidden them they have perfect safety. We perfectly agree with brother Purington that Christians are forbidden to use carnal weapons for the defense of the kingdom of God, which being “not of this world,” cannot be sustained by the power of this world. But the question arises, and perhaps was intended by “E. H.,“Are Christians allowed, by the laws of Christ, to use the sword, or carnal weapons, in any case, or under any circumstances whatever?”

The more we have reflected upon this subject, the deeper our convictions have become that the precepts, as well as the spirit of Christ in his saints, forbid it. Every essential requisite for a Christian disqualifies him for carnal warfare. To be a disciple of the meek and lowly Lamb of God, we must have his spirit and temper; and except we have it we cannot be his disciple. While to fit men for carnal warfare they must be bold, daring, defiant, aspiring, and unpitying. To be a disciple of Christ we must love our enemies, do good to them who despitefully use and persecute us; but to be a soldier in carnal warfare, we are forbidden to sympathize with our enemies, or to give them aid or comfort, on pain of penalties provided in the laws of human warfare.

The Christian then, to be a soldier in carnal warfare, must abandon the laws of Christ and submit to the military code; must disobey the commands of Christ, and obey the opposite commands of military chieftains. How truly are we told, “No man can serve two masters.” How can we possibly obey both when one commands us to kill, and the other forbids us to kill? When one commands us to love, pray for, and do good to our enemies, and the other commands us to fight, rob, harass and destroy them?

The example of Christ is given as an infallible guide to all this children, and in that example he went about doing good to all classes of men, friends and foes; healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and showing compassion to all who were in distress; in all his walks he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, and he commands his disciples to follow him.

And he says, “Except a man deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.”

The recruiting officers of Caesar would reject such men as really and truly follow Christ as unfit for a space in their army. What do they want of men who love their enemies, or who will not kill, or rob, or spoil their enemies? But while the meek, lowly, loving, sympathizing Christian would be rejected, they would greatly prefer carnal professors and graceless hypocrites, who go in the way of Cain, whose feet are swift to shed blood, and before whose eyes there is no fear of God, and of whom it is said, Misery and destruction are in all their ways. Such are the men for carnal warfare; those who are led by the spirit, temper and example of him who was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth. But those who strictly follow him who came not to destroy mens’ lives, but so save them, would only be in the way in earthly warfare.

But it is urged that Christians are to “be subject to the powers that be, and to obey those who are in authority over them.”

This is very true, but at the same time they are told that there is no power, or authority but that which is of God. Usurpation is not legitimate power, and usurpers have in reality no authority to enjoin on the subjects of Christ’s government anything that Christ has forbidden; for Christ is himself the only blessed potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

In everything wherein God has invested kings, governors, rulers or judges of the earth with power or authority over the citizens of the world, the Christian is, by the laws and commandments of Christ, required to honor and obey them, to that extent, but no further.

Whether it be right for Christians to obey men rather than God, judge ye. If Caesar commands us to kill, and God commands us, saying, “Thou shalt not kill,” which is to be obeyed? Or if rulers of the earth forbid the minsters of Christ, as in the case of Peter and John in Acts 5:29, to preach in the name of Christ, and God has commanded them to preach, is it hard to determine which is the higher power, or which is to be obeyed?

It is said that some Christians have been compelled to take up arms, and to slaughter their fellow men. This may be so; but we do not know of a case in which a Christian, how as conscientiously opposed to carnal warfare, viewing it a violation of the law of Christ, who has made his appeal in solemn prayer to God for deliverance, and has not been delivered. But even if it were so, if the Christians were actuated by the same mind which was evinced by the martyrs of former times, would they not sooner suffer death themselves than yield to violate the law of Christ by killing their fellow men?

Let the church of God take her position as a city set upon a hill, whose light cannot be hidden; and let it be known that come life, or come death, her members cannot be forced to shed the blood, or destroy the property of their fellow men under any circumstances whatever, then we doubt whether the governments of the world would have use for such soldiers as they would make. But should they persist, we might look for a divine interposition, or if brought to the test, God would give us grace to bear all the consequences. it is not strange, as the case now stands, that the governments of the earth should regard the conscientious scruples of Christians as unimportant and trifling.

For while nearly all the anti-Christian orders of religionists not only sanction, but absolutely occupy a leading position in all the wars that agitate the world, the church has been slow, very slow indeed, to declare her position and say to the world that she will, under no circumstance, stain her hands with blood. But instead of holding this position, has not the church been faulty in withholding her light upon this subject; and have not, some at least of the members voluntarily entered the field of carnage, or advocated the shedding of blood; and when the matter has been submitted to the voice or vote of the people, have not some, even of the members of the church of God, the professed disciples and followers of the Prince of Peace, given their voice, their vote, and the full measure of their influence for war, to the bitter end?

How is this to be reconciled with the command of God to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord?”

There are many examples given of Christ and his apostles, and the primitive saints, resisting evil even unto the death, striving against sin, but in all cases refusing the use of carnal weapons. But in what part of the sacred volume have we an account of Paul, applying to Nero for a Major or Brigadier General’s commission, or Peter asking for and army contract, or even of the loving John preaching war sermons, and making war speeches to induce the disciples of the Lamb to enter the army?

Even if we had such examples left on record, we are forbidden to follow them; for we are only to follow even the apostles as far as they followed Christ. And Christ, when he was reviled, reviled not again; and he has commanded his disciples to “Avenge not themselves; to resist not evil with evil.”

If smitten on one cheek, to turn the other cheek also to the smiter, and to remember the word of instruction, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

If God thus claims the sole right of arbitration and retribution, and if he has as positively forbidden us to avenge ourselves, is it not irreverent and presumptuous for us to usurp the ministration of wrath and vengeance in his stead? Let those who know no God and therefore fear him not indulge their cruel passions; but, Christians forbear! Let not the sun go down on your wrath.

Appeal not to the sword, lest by the sword ye perish!

*************************************************


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Lee Chapel

 2009/11/22 13:47Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Quote:
There are many examples given of Christ and his apostles, and the primitive saints, resisting evil even unto the death, striving against sin, but in all cases refusing the use of carnal weapons. But in what part of the sacred volume have we an account of Paul, applying to Nero for a Major or Brigadier General’s commission, or Peter asking for and army contract, or even of the loving John preaching war sermons, and making war speeches to induce the disciples of the Lamb to enter the army?

Even if we had such examples left on record, we are forbidden to follow them; for we are only to follow even the apostles as far as they followed Christ. And Christ, when he was reviled, reviled not again; and he has commanded his disciples to “Avenge not themselves; to resist not evil with evil.”

If smitten on one cheek, to turn the other cheek also to the smiter, and to remember the word of instruction, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

If God thus claims the sole right of arbitration and retribution, and if he has as positively forbidden us to avenge ourselves, is it not irreverent and presumptuous for us to usurp the ministration of wrath and vengeance in his stead? Let those who know no God and therefore fear him not indulge their cruel passions; but, Christians forbear! Let not the sun go down on your wrath.

Appeal not to the sword, lest by the sword ye perish!



Gilbert Beebe


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Lee Chapel

 2009/11/26 10:00Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Were these men conquering and governing in faith and obedience to God?

The Puritans' "Christian" Agenda?

One of the opinions most persistently and widely held among American evangelicals today is that America had essentially Christian origins. They rest heavily on an appeal to the Puritan heritage as the most influential Reformation tradition shaping American culture. If it were shown that the Puritans who settled America did not establish truly Christian cultural principles that were in some important ways perpetuated, then a strong suspicion might be raised that the entire case for a now-lost Christian America rests on rather nebulous foundations. (See: The Search for Christian America, p. 28.)

The fact is, the Puritans were the forerunners of today's Kingdom/Dominion/Reconstructionist teaching. The Puritans believed that they were carrying to America true Christianity as decreed by God, especially as written in the Old Testament. They believed too that they were on a divine mission to America, a place specially appointed by God to be the "New Israel," a theocratic "city upon a hill."

John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay, assumed that he could transfer the principles of nationhood found in ancient Israel to the Massachusetts Bay Company with no need for explanation. This led the Puritans to interpret Scripture in an ultimately pretentious way that gave their own state and society the exalted status of a New Israel. Old Testament law was directly, if not exclusively, incorporated into the legal systems of New England. The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties" of 1641 stated that "if any man after legal conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death." Death was also prescribed for witchcraft, blasphemy, murder, sodomy, homosexuality, adultery, and kidnapping. Old Testament texts were copied directly into the New England law books. The most notorious cases of major miscarriage of justice in New England were the Salem witchcraft executions. (See: The Search for Christian America, pp. 34-35.)

The Puritans viewed themselves as God's special people, replacing national Israel. Nowhere do the dangers of this assumption become more clear than in the Puritans' treatment of the native Americans. Since the Puritans considered themselves God's chosen people, they concluded that they had the right to take the land from the heathen Indians. The American Indians were the "new Canaanites" in America's "Promised Land." The fruit of Puritan theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these "Canaanites" to Christianity; failing that, it was acceptable to slaughter them in the name of Christ.

For example, the Puritan massacres of the Pequot Indian tribe on May 26, 1637, and again on July 14, 1637, were deemed by the Puritans to be directed by God -- Captain John Mason declared, "God laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven ... Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies" (Segal and Stinenback, Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny, pp. 111-112, 134-135).

Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!

Defenders of the Puritans claim that it was the hostility of the Pequots that led to their unfortunate demise. But the Pequots were one of the most tranquil tribes in New England. History reveals that their "hostility" did not manifest itself until they were hunted like animals. For argument sake, let's say that the Pequots were the instigators of hostilities, virtual savages if you will (which they were not). Does this justify hunting them down, slaughtering the men, women, and children in their sleep, and then doing it again six weeks later to finish the job!? (Not exactly "battlefield" victories!) Moreover, the Puritans claimed it was in obedience to God that these pagans were slaughtered!

Here the reasoning of the Puritans defies logic and a sense of common decency, let alone Christian principles. Captain John Underhill also wrote of the Pequot slaughter: "Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents ... We have sufficient light from the Word of God for our proceedings." What an incredible testimony for one claiming to be a Christian!

There is a book titled NEW ENGLAND FRONTIER: Puritans and Indians 1620-1675 by Alden T. Vaughan. It was originally published in 1965 (Little Brown & Company, Boston/Toronto), and revised as recently as 1995. Vaughan, an admitted friend of the Puritan colony, makes a well documented case for the efforts of the Pilgrims (Separatists) and early Puritans to win the Indians to Christ. The book contains three chapters detailing the Puritans successful missionary endeavors during those early years.
For example, the first Bible printed in the Western world was the Indian Algonquin Scripture. Harvard University (1636) was founded not only to train whites to become ministers of the Gospel, but there was also for a time a training program for young Indian men to minister to their people. At least six Boston area communities, thriving today, were started by Christian Indians. The famous island, Martha's Vineyard, once was the site of Indian Christian congregations through the missionary endeavors of the Mayhew family. Dartmouth University had its beginning through the efforts of a Connecticut Puritan to train Indian young men to preach the Gospel.

But Vaughan's book also reveals just how brutal the Puritans were in their dealings with the Indians -- specifically, Chapter V, "The Pequot War, 1637." What is amazing about the account in this chapter is the frankness with which the author recounts the events and the Puritans part in them. The carnage and the Puritan justification for participation therein is quite revealing -- self-defense is one thing, but outright purposeful slaughter is, to say the least, questionable Christian behavior (from 1965 edition):

(1) pp. 127-128 -- The so-called Christian response of "merciless revenge" was carried out "vigorously" by Captain John Endicott --

"Dissatisfied by the paucity of Indian casualties, the English soldiers heartlessly 'destroyed some of their dogs instead of men.'";

(2) pp. 132, 141 -- The Puritans demanded and accepted, as signs of loyalty and sincerity from allied Indian tribes, the body parts of their common enemies (see also p. 142, where the Puritans viewed these indications of loyalty as a sign from God and an answer to prayer);

(3) p. 143 -- When embarking on an expedition of Indian hunting, the Puritans entreated the Lord to direct them in their pillage and slaughter;

(4) p. 136 -- Concerning the Indians, the Puritans viewed themselves as the enforcers of "law and order" due to their view of themselves as God's "New World Zion," a reconstructionist view of history, to say the least (see also p. 138, where the Indians are viewed as "Satan's horde," thus justifying their slaughter);

(5) p. 141 -- The Puritans were not content to merely kill their perceived enemies; they saw fit to murder and savagely mutilate them -- they literally "tore him [a captured Pequot] limb from limb. Captain Underhill ended the victim's agony with a pistol shot. The body was then roasted and eaten by the Mohegans.";

(6) pp. 144-145 -- In one of the Pequot massaquers of 1637, not only was the Indian village set on fire, those men, women, and children not fortunate enough to be burned to death were gunned down as they tried to escape the flames. Captain Mason "gave full credit to God" for the slaughter, while Captain Underhill claimed the Pequots had sinned against God and man, and thus, "We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings"!

(7) p. 148 -- Not content to take prisoners, the Puritans "exterminate[d] the remnant"; those they were unable to capture themselves, they delegated the killing to civilians, requiring the heads of the targeted Indians as evidence of their deaths (see also p. 149);

(8) p. 150 -- Pequots not slaughtered were taken captive and sold into slavery to friendly Indian tribes.

Some teach that one cannot know the motives of the Puritans nor judge their hearts. But the Puritan's own words and actions are devastating to their claims of practicing Biblical Christianity. This we can judge (John 7:24). The Bible is clear that one's actions are an indication of heart condition. It is difficult to imagine what could be going on in the hearts of a professing Christian people that would drive them to murder other human beings, and then claim that God directed them to do it!

The actions of the Puritans toward the Indians are an excellent indication of how reconstructionist eschatology will lead one into ungodly behavior -- one's eschatology will always affect one's worldview.

The Puritans misguided view of God's calling for them led them into a worldview alien to that of the apostle Paul's -- i.e., to be sojourners and peacemakers.

Biblical Discernment Ministries - 6/98


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Lee Chapel

 2009/11/28 22:59Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Were these men conquering and governing in faith and obedience to God?

Quote:
Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!



Obviously not. True Christians, even those who do not subscribe to the concept of non-resistance follow the command to love others as ourselves.

Quote:
The Puritans misguided view of God's calling for them led them into a worldview alien to that of the apostle Paul's



Any misguided view of God's Word will lead to disaster, even the most well-intentioned ideas are wrong when God's Word is bent to fit the idea instead of the idea conforming to God's Word.

 2009/11/29 0:46Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Thank You Brother Leo for your kind response; I do believe we are very close in what we believe.





Quote:

“This was written by Gilbert Beebe ( Autobiography) founder and publisher of the “Sign of the Times”, and was included in the August, 1865 edition. He wrote this at the end of the Civil War.

From Mountain Retreat:

They That Take The Sword Shall Perish With The Sword

By Gilbert Beebe (1800 – 1881)

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” Matthew 26:52

The perfect security and perpetuity of the Kingdom of Christ upon its own basis, independently of the powers of this world, is a delightful consideration to the enlightened children of God. No carnal weapons are required to repel the foes of God and truth, for no weapon that is formed against Zion can prosper.


“Salvation (not swords nor spears, but the salvation of our God) will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” Not only are they not required or needed, but they are most positively forbidden. All our trust and reliance for protection and safety must be in God. He is himself a wall of fire round about his people, and the glory in their midst. In this particular is the church of God manifestly distinguished from all anti-Christian churches or religious organizations. In all ages, worldly religion has relied on worldly support and worldly protections. At this very day there is a mighty howling among the shepherds of anti-Christ, and those religious denominations who have been the principal promoters of the dreadful scenes of carnage which has just swept over our country, desolating what was the fairest portion of the earth, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of our fellow-men, and both at the North and the South are now appealing to the worst passions of men to aid in procuring from the secular powers a law for the suppression of those religious orders which they deem antagonistic to their interests, pleading that their religious establishments are in danger by reason of the Roman Catholics, and all others who will not pander to them.

They staining the earth with a crimson tide ask, and even demand that the sword of state shall be drawn for the suppression of those whom they proscribe as heterodox, and for their own defense. They take the sword, rely upon the sword, and with sword shall they perish. But it is not so with the church of the living God.

Not only has the cause of God and his church always been sustained without aid or protection of human governments, but in opposition to all the powers of earth and hell, and always in such a manner as to clearly show that God is himself the strength of Israel, and the Savior thereof in the time of trouble.

His name is their strong tower, and in his pavilion where he has hidden them they have perfect safety. We perfectly agree with brother Purington that Christians are forbidden to use carnal weapons for the defense of the kingdom of God, which being “not of this world,” cannot be sustained by the power of this world. But the question arises, and perhaps was intended by “E. H.,“Are Christians allowed, by the laws of Christ, to use the sword, or carnal weapons, in any case, or under any circumstances whatever?”

The more we have reflected upon this subject, the deeper our convictions have become that the precepts, as well as the spirit of Christ in his saints, forbid it. Every essential requisite for a Christian disqualifies him for carnal warfare. To be a disciple of the meek and lowly Lamb of God, we must have his spirit and temper; and except we have it we cannot be his disciple. While to fit men for carnal warfare they must be bold, daring, defiant, aspiring, and unpitying. To be a disciple of Christ we must love our enemies, do good to them who despitefully use and persecute us; but to be a soldier in carnal warfare, we are forbidden to sympathize with our enemies, or to give them aid or comfort, on pain of penalties provided in the laws of human warfare.

The Christian then, to be a soldier in carnal warfare, must abandon the laws of Christ and submit to the military code; must disobey the commands of Christ, and obey the opposite commands of military chieftains. How truly are we told, “No man can serve two masters.” How can we possibly obey both when one commands us to kill, and the other forbids us to kill? When one commands us to love, pray for, and do good to our enemies, and the other commands us to fight, rob, harass and destroy them?

The example of Christ is given as an infallible guide to all this children, and in that example he went about doing good to all classes of men, friends and foes; healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and showing compassion to all who were in distress; in all his walks he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, and he commands his disciples to follow him.

And he says, “Except a man deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.”

End of quote.
________________________________



To ease your mind, we do believe in the Spiritual armour of God and do put it to full use.

Ephes. 6:10-20
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; [19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, [20] For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The armour and weapons of God are not carnal but are totally effective to pull down the strongholds of the enemy. Thus we have no use for the carnal weapons of man.

May we simply trust in the strength, power, and love of the Lord and we can direct our energies to loving one another as our Lord has loved us.

Lord Bless

lee


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Lee Chapel

 2009/11/29 8:25Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Were these men conquering and governing in faith and obedience to God?

Quote:
Were these men conquering and governing in faith and obedience to God?




Hi everyone, I think that this is a fair question to ask about what was shared. The things that were described there are unimaginable and so grivous to be associated with Christianity.


And yet, I wonder too, why, we would ask this question, and could it be asked of others, that have also goverened over peoples and claimed to have faith in God?


If anyone would be remembered for having conqoured and governed in faith to God it would be King David, and yet, David also said this:



"The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men [i]must be[/i] just, ruling in the fear of God. And [i]he shall be[/i] as the light of the morning, [i]when[/i] the sun riseth, [i]even[/i] a morning without clouds; [i]as[/i] the tender grass [i]springing[/i] out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house [i]be[/i] not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all [i]things[/i], and sure: for [i]this is[/i] all my salvation, and all [i]my[/i] desire, although he make [i]it[/i] not to grow."


- 2Samuel 23:3-5(KJV)



[i]Although my house be not so with God[/i]


I think that there can be value in retelling the terrible sins and tragedies of the past; doesn't the Bible give us so many examples of how we have failed and gone wrong in the past?

But too, I wonder how it would have gone for the Apostle Paul, if he should have often been reminding his countrymen of their ancestor's part in nearly obliterating his own tribe, the tribe of Benjamin(see Judges 20-21)?



I'm not sure many people beleive that America has had a "Christian foundation" because every one of it's earliest founders always and in every way did what was right before God. In the case of what was posted here before(if it was a fair and accurate history), it was'nt even close!

But then, I think that Dr King was right in saying:


"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."




Why, I suppose that it was the same for someone like the Quaker Abolitionist John Woolman, who, from what I read, had to convince even the peacefull Quakers to abandon the grotesqe practice of slavery.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/11/29 12:20Profile
chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

“This was written by Gilbert Beebe ( Autobiography) founder and publisher of the “Sign of the Times”, and was included in the August, 1865 edition. He wrote this at the end of the Civil War.

From Mountain Retreat:


My Kingdom is Not of This World

By Elder Gilbert Beebe (1800-1881)

Reproduced from Signs of the Times, November 1, 1845

Thus spake the Son of God when mantled in the flesh. He stood arraigned at the bar of Pilate; and when, if there had been anything in the elements of this world which could contribute to the defense or benefit of His kingdom, they must have been called into action. All the interests of the kingdom which He claimed as His own, centered in Him, and the destiny of the kingdom, for weal or woe, was at that important moment hinged upon the result of what was at that time progressing.

None of the princes of this world knew Him; He had not made a revelation of what He was, even to those who sat empowered to deliver Him to death. He had not labored in His ministry to make Himself familiar to the crowned heads of the nations of the earth. He had proposed no treaties or terms of alliance with them; not had He called on them, or any of them, to propose terms for His acceptance; for the nature of His kingdom was so radically different from every kingdom under heaven, that it was not possible that an alliance could be entered into that could subserve the true interests of either party. His kingdom truly was destined to encounter the violence, enmity, wrath, strife, and persecution of kingdoms of men, both in her King and in the subjects of her government.

The powers which should oppose Him in person and in His people were not such as He was compelled to succumb to for what of power to resist, for He reminded Pilate that he would not have had any power, if it had not been given him; and on another occasion He declared that He was able to call on His Father, who would instantly honor His requisition for more than twelve legions of angels--a force sufficient to overwhelm all earthly powers engaged against Him; but how, in that case, could the Scriptures be fulfilled? Not an intimation was made of raising up an earthly force to resist the assaults of the enemies of His kingdom, even if a force had been requisite, He would have called from the heavenly world.

We may well conclude, that if in that most trying hour, when His holy soul was pressed within Him, He had nothing to ask of the rulers of this world, there never could a period arrive when the powers of earthly princes should be required to defend Him or His cause. To those who tempted Him with their questions concerning tribute money, He said, Render unto Caesar the things which belong to Caesar, and unto God the things which belong to God; thus clearly intimating that the governments were not only distinct from each other, but that the distinction should be perpetual; and that the requisitions of Caesar, or of the governments of the nations, had to do with men as citizens of the world, and that their obligation to earthly magistrates and rulers was not relaxed nor abolished by the administration of His laws. And again, that the things of God were not to be rendered to Caesar, but unto God.

Things of a civil nature, relating to the natural rights of men, were to be settled by God's own providential appointment, by human legislation; but the things aside from a respect for and obedience to earthly potentates, in natural matters, belonging to God, such as matters of faith, of conscience, of religion, were not things over which the kings of the earth had any supervision or power, and things in which His subjects were not at liberty under any circumstances, to submit to the dictation or legislation of any other than God Himself.

The kingdom of Jesus is not of this world. In its origin, elements, provisions, policy, protection, government, or destiny. Its origin is heaven-- it is a heavenly kingdom. The King is the Lord from heaven; He said, "I proceeded forth and came out from the Father;" and again, "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before," etc. The subjects of his kingdom are of the same origin, for "Both he sanctifies, and they that are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" and he said, "Thine they were and thou gavest them me." "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world." etc.

The laws for the regulation of this heavenly kingdom are not of earthly enactment. Christ the anointed of the Father, is the sole Legislator, and he, by His Spirit, writes his law upon, and sets it up in the hearts of his children. The elements, or component parts, viewed separately or collectively, are all of God, and every plant that the heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.

The provision on which this kingdom is sustained, were given us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, and being prior to, could not be of the world. Grace, mercy, peace, righteousness, and truth, with all things else necessary for the commandment of the everlasting and unchanging decree of God, were treasured up in the Head of the church before the world began; and all the provisions of his spiritual house on which His poor are fed; were brought down from the abounding and overflowing fountain from which every good and perfect gift comes. And he will abundantly bless her provisions and fill her with bread.

The policy of this kingdom is from above. "For our conversation is in heaven," and it is therefore as becomes the children of God. All earthly religions have to depend on human policy, human wisdom, and humanly devised means; but not so with the kingdom which no man can see except he be born again.

The protection of that kingdom is of him who is a wall of fire round about it, and the glory in its midst. All anti-christian religious establishments desire the arm of human government--regal power, and human means for their protection; but not so with the kingdom of Jesus Christ; the eternal God is the refuge of His people, and underneath them are the everlasting arms.

All provisions on which the subjects of the kingdom of our Lord are fed, comforted, instructed, and secured, are spiritual, and therefore cannot emanate from any but a spiritual fountain. Although the world, the flesh and Satan have volunteered like the aliens about Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah, to furnish God's people with food, the order of the government forbids the traffic with them; and it is impossible that the children of the kingdom should be fed with any other food than that which God has graciously provided, and abundantly blessed.

Should the government of the kingdom of our Redeemer be to any extent divided with angels or men, whatever part or portion these should administer, must necessarily detract so much from the power and glory of Christ. "The government shall be upon his shoulder; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." So stands the record of the Holy One. The subjects of his government are forbidden to call any man, master, or father, as their Master and spiritual Progenitor is in heaven, and nothing can be born of the flesh but flesh; so that without being born again, no man can see the kingdom of God. A legislature of unregenerate men who cannot see the kingdom, would be very poorly qualified to legislate for a kingdom which is to them absolutely invisible; and if there were none but regenerate men seated in legislation, they being by the new birth qualified to see the kingdom of God, would to a man, know by the same illuminating work of the Spirit, that they could do nothing to aid in the legislative or executive departments of the Messiah's kingdom.

The destiny of the kingdom of which we write, differs essentially from that of all other kingdoms. The best systems of human government are destined to crumble to the ground. In the providence of God, empires are founded, kingdoms and republics are raised up, they reach their climax, and then decline, and finally cease to be reckoned among the things that be; but the kingdom of Jesus is an everlasting kingdom, and a dominion that shall never end. It shall never be changed, superseded, or transferred to other hands. The mountains shall depart, the hills shall be moved, the earth and the sea shall pass away, and all the elements of this world shall be dissolved, but the kingdom of our God shall survive them all, and flourish in eternal bloom. How presumptuous then, for monarchs of the earth, whose transient glory is as a withering flower, or human legislatures which God shall obliterate, to prepare the way of the rising empire of his to reach forth the guilt-polluted fingers of their power, to point out the course in which God requires his children to move.

Seeing, then, that we look for such things--seeing that we have received a kingdom which is not of this world, which cannot be moved--let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and Godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.

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_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/11/30 4:58Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Hi everyone,


Would like if I could to share a few thoughts on some things mentioned here. I don't have time to take up as much as has come to mind, but I would like to make some suggestions at least about this following:





Quote:
To those who tempted Him with their questions concerning tribute money, He said, Render unto Caesar the things which belong to Caesar, and unto God the things which belong to God; thus clearly intimating that the governments were not only distinct from each other, but that the distinction should be perpetual;




This isn't exactly true.

The Lord Jesus first asked,

whose [i]is[/i] this image and superscription?


And then, when they answered "Caesar's", then He gave the answer that is qouted here.

It might be right to say again the context that this was set in: as was mentioned it comes over the question of whether it was lawfull(Strong's suggests the word means 'is it right') to give tribute money(taxes) to Caesar, the Jews being at the time an occupied peoples and under Roman rule.

I can't say that I know exactly what was behind their question(that is the Pharisees and Herodians), except we know for sure from the text that they desired to entrap the Lord Jesus in the question: I would not be unwilling to think that the force or their purposed entrapment was to put before the Lord Jesus a question where He would appear to be caught between choosing allegiance to Caesar. Or allegiance to God(something which may be indicated by the presence of [b]both[/b] the Pharisees [b]and[/b] the Herodians).


And this for one, is why I think we should note again His question to them before He gave them an answer, that is:


whose [i]is[/i] this image and superscription?


By pointing this out, that it was Caesar's image and writing on the coin, the Lord Jesus shows plainly that it belonged to Caesar also, and manifestly exposes the wickedness of their question which had so obvious an answer(EDIT that is, for example but not only this, if you do not wish to pay the tribute money, then what are you doing with Caesar's money to begin with).





But then, where did Caesar get his coins from?





John the Baptist said that no man can recieve anything, except he be given it from Heaven(John 3:27) and Paul the Apostle said that there is no power but of God(Romans 13:1) and so he says also,


"Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [i]is due[/i]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

- Romans 13:7(KJV)



And so, if it was the intention of the Pharisees and the Herodians to force the Lord Jesus to choose allegiance between Caesar and God in answering their trap, there was of nescessity no conflict to begin with.


The money belonged to Caesar.

But whatever Caesar has, he's had it, ultimately, from God.


A distinction between the two Kingdoms? Most definitely. And many there are.


But the power? and the Authority? It all belongs to God(Psalm 62:11, Matthew 28:18). And is given to all sorts of men(Dan 4:17).






_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/12/1 21:51Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Resist Not Evil--Jesus Commanded It--How Far Does It
Go

By Jim Bruce

Jesus said in Matt. 5:9, "But I tell you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." In verse 44 he tells us, "But I say unto you, love your enimies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and curse you;"

There is absolutely no way to make this mean anything else other than what Jesus plainly said. We may not like it; it may not be culturally or politically correct; it may not make sense to most people, but Jesus spoke with direct meaning and clarity. He gave us an example by not resisting evil Himself. We must be like Him. That's the way Christians are supposed to be--Christ-like.
In rebuking Peter for slashing off the ear of the servant of the high priest, Jesus said, in Matt. 26:52, "Put up again thy sword to it's place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." The non-resistance Jesus taught was intended for all Christians in all circumstances.

Do you think that Christians killing people in war is acceptable to God? If so, then you must think God has a double standard for Christians, that He makes an exception to the rule for those who kill for a government as soldiers--who now are well paid for their service. Do you think it is acceptable to God for a Christian, or the Church as a whole, to support war? Do you think a Christian or the Church, should be associated with a war that is supposed to be for our freedoms, or for any reason at all? Do you think that the love of the world, the love of country, love of the good life, love of freedom, comes before love for God? Answering yes to any of these questions shows a lack of understanding of the teachings of Jesus or a deliberate defiance of the New Testament teachings on this subject. It shows a love for the world more than that of God. There are no exceptions; there is no double standard to be found in the Bible.

We are told in Hebrews 12:14, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" One cannot resist or defend by inflicting harm or death to another and at the same time possibly be holy. No where in the New Testament of the Holy Bible does Jesus teach fighting for freedom, for one's country, or anything else. The words of Jesus teach against being proud and lusting after the things of the world. We are to be humble and simple, content with what we are given in life, putting nothing before our love for God and pleasing Him by obeying His commands, which come through Jesus.

These next verses of scripture, (Romans 13:1-5), are often used to exempt civil and military duties from Jesus' teachings of non-violence.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake."
This is supposed to prove that Christians are to be part of armies fighting wars, and also policeman and other enforcing agencies of world governments; and because these are instituted by God, Jesus' rules no longer apply. How can anyone think that these five verses of scripture veto all of the strong and clear teachings of Jesus and the apostles that are found throughout the New Testament.

In Luke 3;7-14, John the Baptist was preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Many came forward, including soldiers, to be baptized asking what they must do. "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." How can a soldier continue to kill, cripple and injure people in all kinds of horrific ways, yet be obeying the order of John, "Do violence to no man"? The dictionary definition for violence is, physical or moral force; assault. How can a person be a member of Christ's Church, be a part of his most holy body, and commit such horrid acts of violence?

It has been said, "As long as the world stands, there will be need for good people often going into battle as representatives of their country in order to eradicate evil." As representatives of their country--that's patriotism not Christianity. That way of thinking puts the Church into the arena of politics and law--permitting Christians to kill, murder and maime, destroy houses, schools, hospitals, and do all kinds of evil if they are part of a government operation.

We can't always rightly judge which war is for a good cause and which is for a bad cause, but it makes no difference. War is the result of worldly desires. Christians must adhere to Christ. The right way to requite evil, according to Jesus, is not to resist it. This teaching of Jesus removes the Church from the arena of politics and law. Christians must live in the world, yet maintain a barrier between the Church and the world. Fighting and killing in a war removes that barrier and breaks the adherence to Christ. This makes evil the winner.

In a Church service, a worship service to God by God's children, should a prayer be made for "Our troops in combat"? The Church of Christ--according to Jesus--is not supposed to have any troops in combat. Any prayer supporting combat and the terrible violence involved is out of place in the Church of Christ. Combat is a direct violation of the teaching of Jesus Christ and must not be connected to the Church in any way. The lack of opposition to this is letting heresy creep into the Church.

In the beatitudes Jesus tells us that we should be meek, merciful, pure in heart, that we should mourn for the world; we should be pure in spirit; we should be willing to be persecuted for righteousness sake, and it is extremely important that we be peacemakers; "for they shall be called the children of God." This is found in Matt. 5:3-12. So, how can we be all of these ways and support war or violence of any kind? How can we possibly be peacemakers? We can't and be obedient to God.

Jesus demands undivided allegiance. He calls His disciples men who have left all to follow Him, and the teachings of non-violence applies equally to private life and official duty. Christian love has been diliuted into patriotism, loyalty to country, political parties; social clubs, religious denominations, and other forms of Idolatry. Proud and arrogant attitudes associated with nationality are not consistant with the teachings of Jesus.

The Pharisees tried to trick Jesus and get Him to speak against Ceasar. They asked Him, "Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Ceasar, or not?" Jesus replied, "--Render therefore unto Ceasar the things which are Ceasar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:17-21.) Paying taxes was the issue in question, but it represents obedience to authorities. This example clearly tells us how to submit to authorities. We cannot violate the laws of God, which are the teachings of Jesus Christ, in the process of submitting to authorities. For example, the apostles continued to preach and teach when they were told not to by the authorities. There have been thousands of Christian martyrs. They were killed because they placed their love for Jesus above loyalty to State.

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29.) They said this after being told by the High Priest and Council to stop preaching the doctrine of Jesus. This verse of scripture calls for defiance of the demand from the higher powers because it was against the command of God. The things which are Ceasar's, are the things that are required to support the government that do not violate the laws of God. The things which are God's, pertain to all righteousness; for all righteousness comes from God. The New Testament of the Holy Bible tells us, through the teachings of Jesus Christ, how we are to conduct our lives. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus give any exceptions to His commands. Making exceptions for civil duties, makes God subordinate to governments. It is an enormous error to exploit the doctrine of Christ so as to justify direct relationship with things of this world. Jesus Christ must always stand between the Christian and the world.

Christianity makes a deep intrusion into worldly living. There is a big difference between the two, and it must become even clearer to Christians. Christians have to choose, and the chose is determined by obedience to the word: "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2.) Christians should be spiritually free and able to function in the world without withdrawing from it altogether, yet remove themselves from the world when it becomes an obstruction or hindrance to discipleship. When we look at what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:2-4, it can only mean one thing: Christians are not to live by this world's standards, and that means not going to war as the world does. This pertains to more than spreading the gospel. Paul makes a clear distinction between Christians and the world. The difference between Christian standards and world standards is the theme throughout the New Testament. Being "unusual," "peculiar," "extraordinary," that's what makes the Christian different from other people. A Christian must not be ordinary, as that which is a matter of course. The extraordinary never merges with the natural or ordinary ways of the world. The extraordinary is the life described in the "Beatitudes," the life of followers of Jesus. One of them says, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Peacemakers and warriors can never be synonymous. They are completely opposite.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians instructing them with the same clarity and direct meaning that Jesus spoke--having no doubt as to what Jesus meant. "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men." (Thessalonians 5:15.) The Church of Jesus must be lifted above the world to keep it pure and holy. We must never lower it to the level of the world, and therefore desecrate and pollute it with the cruelty of war and other unholy things associated with politics and law.

Romans 13:1-7, does not permit Christians to go to war and kill other human beings-- some of them being Christians also. As Christians we are the Temple of God. "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1Corinthians 3:16.) If we defile our bodies, we defile the Temple of God. The Temple of God is holy. God will destroy those who defile it. "If any man defile the Temple of God, him will I destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are." (1 Corinthians 3:17.)

Question: How can a Christian participate in acts of war without defiling the Temple of God; using their bodies to kill and mutilate human beings, and also putting their own bodies in jeopardy of severe injury or death, therefore defiling the Temple of God? How can it be even imaginable that the holy Temple of God be involved in acts of war? How can it be permissible for a child of God to fight in a war? Wars are fought to protect or secure a nation or country because of worldly desires or lusts. Whether it be the good life, accumulation of material goods, the love of freedom, or the pursuit of happiness; whatever it may be, it is not spiritual but fleshly desires. Regardless of the motive, it pertains to loving the world. 1 John 2:15-16, tells us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." This being true, how can we justify fighting and killing in a war of the world over the things that are in the world? Jesus would not let His disciples fight for His cause; what else can be of more importance?
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36.)

The governments of the world are "ordained" by God, but ordained simply means appointed; that doesn't mean they are holy and righteous. Christians are to obey the laws and pay taxes, they are to be good citizens; going about their lives in simplicity and meekness. Christians are to be of low estate, they are not to seek high positions; Paul made that clear in Romans 12:16. "Be of the same mind one toward another, mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." This being true, Christians should not be in the position to be, "an executer of wrath." Romans 13:4, speaking of rulers, says, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good---he is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Verse 6 says, "For they are God's ministers---." Verse 7, "Render therefore to all their dues;" Paul with the use of he, they, and their, while refering to the higher powers, is setting them apart from the Christian. He is the minister of God for thee. Paul places the Christians in the position of low estate. Christians are not to be the executers of wrath.

In verse 8-10, Paul lays out how the Christian must live; how to fulfill the law. "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Verse 9: "For this, thou shalt not commit adultry, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thou neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Paul clearly tells the Christians how to live their lives while being subject to the higher powers. The Christians are spoken of one way, while the higher powers are spoken of another way. This clearly separates the two groups. Christians cannot possibly be executers of wrath while holding a civil position, killing in a war, or even being violent in any way; and at the same time be obedient to Paul's commands.

Using the interpretation of Romans 13:1-7, as an exception to the rules for a Christian life, is a misinterpretation of an enormous magnitude. Following that interpretation and ignoring many other scriptures that are to the contrary, is reading into the Bible that which allows a Christian society to serve two masters. It allows Christians to blend in with the ungodly; having fleshly desires and lusts of worldly nature, fighting and killing in the name of patriotism: Baptized belivers attempting to serve two masters--Jesus said it is impossible.
Using Romans 13:1-7, to clear the way for killing is wrong. "Render therefore unto Ceasar the things which are Ceasar's; and unto God the things that are God's." In this saying Jesus makes it clear how Christians are to be subject to the higher powers. The things that are God's consist of obedience to his word--holiness. We are to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul and all our mind. How can anyone even imagine that the things that are Ceasar's consist of the service of a child of God executing wrath by killing for him (Ceasar) in a war. The service of allegiance to the doctrine of Christ belongs to God. If we do anything for Ceasar that violates the doctrine of Jesus Christ, then we are rendering to Ceasar that which is God's.

There is no debate to whether those in ruling power of civil governments are ministers of God, put in place to enforce laws and direct civil obedience; but they are ministers of God to the Christians, not of the Christians. It is the system, or plan that has been put in place, not each individual. Those that make up the civil governments may be evil; they are just part of the system which is of the world-- not spiritual. Paul states in Romans 13:4-5, "For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for concience sake." This is the way governments are supposed to function, but we all know, that is not the way it is in all cases.

At this early period, the Christians were usually associated by the heathens with the Jews, and the Jews were noted for disturbances and turbulence. The fires that broke out a few years later in the Jewish uprising that led to the destruction of Jerusalem, were already smoldering wherever there were those of Jewish blood. Many Christians were Jews by birth. There was a danger that Christians, especialy under persecution, would be inclined to make disturbance. Paul was not giving an order for Christians to be subject to the ruling powers by going out and fighting in wars or doing any kind of violence. He was ordering them to be subject by being peaceable, and not to revolt against an order of discipline by the magistrates. The magistrates that governed at that time had the right to use the sword against those that were unruly. In Processions, a sword would go before the magistrates to show that he had that power.

Things must be taken into account and put into proper prospective in this order by Paul in Romans 13. Instead of authorizing Christians to perform acts of violence and killing while in a civil position, he was actually ordering them to be peaceful and not to make disturbance, in other words to be passive especially under persecution. That's what he meant by being subject to the higher authorities. A few verses of Romans 13, are used by many to justify fighting and killing as a civil duty, although it doesn't mean that at all. Christian are told not to be any part of the higher powers. We go back to Romans 12:16, where Paul says, "Be of the same mind one toward another, mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." Christians are not to be bothered with "high things" such as positions of authority; but to lower themselves to men of low estate, men who are content with necessities of life, men who are under the authorities.

Something to consider now, and at that time: Soldiers were hired by the government, they were, and are now, performing a job for pay. At times they become "hired killers." There is no draft now; no one has to enlist in the armed forces. Everyone knows they may be ordered to go into combat to kill and mutilate other humans; that's what the armed forces are for. True men and women of God should defy unto death any draft or order that requires killing or committing acts of violence for any reason. No Christian should ever volunteer.

To sum up what Paul wrote in Romans 12 and 13: He starts off by telling Christians how to live: presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. He tells us not to be conformed to this world. He tells us if possible to live peaceable with all men. We are told to avenge not ourselves but rather give place unto wrath: "for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord,"-- We are told to overcome evil with good. Paul tells us to be under the higher powers, rendering all their dues. He goes on to say that we are to love one another, for that fulfills all the law. He then states part of the law and says they are all summed up by the saying, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and that love worketh no ill to his neighbor. One of the laws he quotes is, "Thou shalt not kill." Be mindful that this comes after admonishing Christians to be subject to the higher powers. This clearly emphasizes the Christians accountably to the laws of God while serving those in authority.

Jesus never said, not to resist evil except in a civil position or job. He never said, thou shalt not kill, except for a government as a soldier. He never gave an exception for committing any sin. Jesus never preached a double standard. It couldn't be much clearer: How can soldier fight, cripple, and kill in a war, and at the same time do violence to no man? War is loyalty to state and Christianity is loyalty to God. The Bible is clear on this subject. People just don't want to accept it, because war provides the good life in America. People are putting that good life and all the luxuries that come along with it, before love for God and obedience to Him.

Which side had you rather be on if you were wrong? Would you feel safer to be a pacifist, or a non-pacifist, as you stand before Jesus on the day of judgment? Forget about the world--think spiritual--which side clearly represents Jesus?


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/12/4 12:47Profile





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