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Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Does the new covenant teach non-resistance and non-participation in government?

[b]Introduction.[/b]

Various threads exist in other sections of this forum where the above topics have been heavily debated without resolution. I am starting this thread to bring these important topics into focus in the correct section: Scriptures and Doctrine.

I begin by posting my view as shown to me by the Spirit. It is long, but I hope some will spare the time to read it. I pray that this thread will generate edifying discussion and not antagonism. As we post, let us remember that we are all human, and all subject to error. My post is not intended to correct others (for that is the realm of the Holy Spirit), but merely to reveal what I understand.

In quoting verses, I have taken the liberty of underlining the portions that were especially meaningful for me, and I have marked Christ's words in red.


[b]The new covenant is a covenant of the Spirit.[/b]

In both the old and new testaments, God speaks of his new covenant as one where His Law will no longer be external to man, but internal - God will write His Law in our minds and on our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Jer 31:31-34 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ’” declares the LORD. “[u]This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts[/u]. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.

2Co 3:5-6 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. [u]He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit[/u]; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.[/size]


[b]Jesus and his disciples (including Paul) were all led by the Spirit of God.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Ac 10:37-38 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how [u]God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power[/u], and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Ac 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. [u]All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them[/u].

Ac 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “[u]Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit[/u].”[/size]


[b]The new covenant frees us from the letter of the Law but binds us to the Spirit of God.[/b]

We are no longer limited by anything except the will of God as revealed by the Spirit in us. And God's will is for us to act in love at all times - love for God, and love for others. If we can do this, then the whole of God's will (law and prophets) is fulfilled.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Gal 5:18-23 [u]But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law[/u]. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. [u]But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law[/u].

1Co 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “[u]Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others[/u].

Mt 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘[color=CC3300][u]Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind[/u].’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘[u]Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments[/u].[/color]”[/size]


[b]In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that the new covenant calls us to be active and visible participants in the world.[/b] [u](Note: This is my view, others may see this differently).[/u]

Salt is not useful unless it is spread and mixed well with food. Light, to be useful, must be set so it is visible to many and not hidden. We cannot fulfill the will of God as salt and light if we withdraw and refuse to participate in the affairs of the world.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Mt 5:13-16 [color=CC3300]“[u]You are the salt of the earth[/u]. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [u]In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven[/u]."[/color][/size]


[b]In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples to be more righteous than the Pharisees by obeying the Spirit of the Law, not the letter of the Law, in keeping with the new covenant.[/b]

Jesus begins by telling his disciples that the new covenant does not seek to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He then says that God wants them to far exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees - this they will accomplish through the Spirit under the new covenant.

[size=xx-small]Verses:[/size]
[i]The Fulfillment of the Law[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:17-20 [color=CC3300]“[u]Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them[/u]. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [u]For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven[/u]."[/color][/size]

In the succeeding passages, Jesus emphasizes his requirement that the disciples' righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees by citing some key aspects of the old Mosaic Law, and then exaggerating the new requirement under the new covenant to illustrate how much more pleasing to God is the covenant of the Spirit, and how much more the disciples can achieve through the power of the Spirit (this exaggeration for emphasis is called hyperbole). These passages were not meant to be taken literally (as some think). Notice that all these passages compare old standards with highly exaggerated new standards through hyperbole (e.g., "If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out..."). They are all uniformly structured as follows: "You have heard it said..., but I tell you..." to underline the one common message: You can be much more righteous than the Pharisees by obeying the Spirit of God. [u](Note: This is my view and there are others who see it differently).[/u]

[size=xx-small]Verses:[/size]
[i]Murder[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:21-26 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment[/u]. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."[/color][/size]

[i]Adultery[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:27-30 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away[/u]. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, m cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."[/color][/size]

[i]Divorce[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:31-32 [color=CC3300]“[u]It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress[/u], and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."[/color][/size]

[i]Oaths[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:33-37 [color=CC3300]“[u]Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King[/u]. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."[/color][/size]

[i]An Eye for an Eye[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:38-42 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also[/u]. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."[/color][/size]

[i]Love for Enemies[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:43-48 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven[/u]. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."[/color][/size]

[b]All of the above passages underline the new covenant's superior righteousness in the command to "Love your neighbor as yourself". What is being taught here is the correct attitude of the heart (a self-sacrificing love for others) and not an actual rule to be taken as "the letter of the new covenant law". Unless other parts of the Bible consistently echo these teachings, they must be treated as mere hyperbole, not to be taken literally.

How can I make this conclusion? Because other parts of the new testament show that Jesus and his disciples did not consider some of these passages as rules to be followed dogmatically:[/b]

[b]1. They did not always turn the other cheek - they rebuked those who hit them.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Jn 18:22-23 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. [color=CC3300][u]“If I said something wrong,”[/color] Jesus replied, [color=CC3300]“testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”[/u][/color]

Ac 23:1-3 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” At this the high priest [u]Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck[/u]!”[/size]

[b]2. They resisted evil men.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Ac 13:9-11 [u]Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun[/u].” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

1Co 5:13 God will judge those outside. “[u]Expel the wicked man[/u] from among you.”

Mt 18:15-17 [color=CC3300]“[u]If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault[/u], just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and [u]if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector[/u].[/color][/size]

[b]3. They taught about righteous anger, and even Jesus was angry at men yet was without sin.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Mk 3:4-5 Then Jesus asked them, [color=CC3300]“Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”[/color] But they remained silent. [u]He looked around at them in anger[/u] and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, [color=CC3300]“Stretch out your hand.”[/color] He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Eph 4:26-27 “[u]In your anger do not sin[/u]”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.[/size]

[b]So, in conclusion, I believe that Christians must actively participate in all aspects of society to bring glory to God and to reach out to fellow men. I also believe that, under the new covenant, there is no such thing as a doctrine of non-resistance - instead, we are called to always act out of love for God and for others to fulfill God's will.[/b]

In Christ,
Leo

 2009/10/3 18:27Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re: Does the new covenant teach non-resistance and non-participation in government?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A wonderful description and a clear example of what a new covenant Christian should be like is this post by ChrisJD from another thread:

Quote:
Many today believe that a martyr is simply someone who dies for his faith. Unfortunately, by this definition we have lost the true significance and depth of martyrdom. St. Augustine once stated, “The cause, not the suffering, makes a genuine mar tyr.” In his play Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Eliot describes a martyr as one “who has become an instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of martyrdom.”

In chapter one of the book, under a section titled Working Undercover, Pastor Wurbrand describes how one Christian Doctor played a part in his release:

When I was kidnapped by police and kept imprisoned for years in strictest secrecy, a Christian doctor actually became a member of the secret police to learn my whereabouts! As a secret police doctor, he had access to the cells of all prisoners and hoped to find me. All of his friends shunned him, thinking he had become a Communist. To go around dressed in the uniform of the torturers is a much greater sacrifice than to wear the uniform of a prisoner. The doctor found me in a deep, dark cell and sent word that I was alive. He was the first friend to discover me during my initial eight-and-a-half years in prison! Due to him, word was spread that I was alive and, when prisoners were released during the Eisenhower-Khrushchev “thaw” in 1956, Christians clamored for my release and I was freed for a short time. If it had not been for this doctor, who joined the secret police specifically to find me, I would never have been released. I would still be in prison—or in a grave—today.

If we may reflect on the significance of the lives and sacrifices of those who have given all at the hands of the governments of this world, we might also reflect on the sacrifices of those who have given all, within them, for the cause of Christ, or for righteousness in general. We might think of someone like William Wilberforce and how he labored to end slavery in Great Britain. We might also wonder too, what effect men and women might still have upon the governments of the free-world, if, in a clear conscience before God, they sacrficed even their political futures, in order to stand for Christ and for righteousness.



[size=xx-small]1Co 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. [b]“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.[/b][/size]

Such is the true freedom of the believer.

[size=xx-small]2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and [b]where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.[/b][/size]

In Christ,
Leo

 2009/10/4 10:21Profile









 Re: Does the new covenant teach non-resistance and non-participation in government?

The opposing view point -

https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=30531&forum=35&163

Truly, I saw no need to post another whole thread when one has been in progress for sometime now. Must we all post our replies twice?


His Love & Peace to all.

 2009/10/4 15:38
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

I understand what you are saying, and I realize that much of the discussion points will cover the same ground, but I think the topic to be discussed on both threads, as indicated in the title, is very different.

The old thread is entitled "Kill or be Killed". It forces participants to take extreme positions, which I believe is the reason why much enmity and finger-pointing has happened without clarifying the issue.

In truth, either of the two extreme positions is wrong - that's why no one can settle that argument. I thought that changing the title, moving it into the section on doctrines, and focusing on the doctrine of non-resistance instead of "Kill or be Killed" would help improve the spirit of the discussion.

The prevailing atmosphere in that older thread is no longer edifying.

In Christ,
Leo

 2009/10/4 16:44Profile
ChrisJD
Member



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

 Re:

Hi everyone, and to Leo.


Leo,


"...actively participate in all aspects of society to bring glory to God and to reach out to fellow men."


I've been thinking about your statement off and on for some time now. Initially I had wanted to share something that I had read about a somewhat famous citizen of the place where I live but I came across something else today and it might be more of a benefit to everyone in general.



I had recalled reading on the forums a long while ago about the number of Methodists involved in civil government at one point. In looking for that I came across an article about a Methodist Circuit Rider named Peter Cartwright.


The article listed some interesting facts, and had a qoutation from an historian about the number of Congressmen and Govenors that were Methodists.


And it also related how the circuit rider Peter Cartwright, had lost a race for Congress to Abraham Lincoln in 1846, but had before won against him in a race for the Illinois legislature in 1832.

As I continued to search around on the topic I came across another article, this one also on this site, that mentioned the race between Cartwright and Lincoln. The article is titled "Lincoln and the Church".


Something in the article might help to underscore some of the feelings on either side(s) of this issue.

For the one, we may see how even men who would be esteemed for their great zeal and labor to publish the Gospel, have also participated in earthly affairs such as in civil governments.

On the other, we may see how doing so can be an occasion for temptations to evil and unjustness as some rightly point out.



To make that illustration it is easist to post a section of the article, but before doing so I would like to point out that this is only one side of the incident and all of the nescessary facts may or may not be presented for either. It may be that Mr Cartwright, for example, is not fairly represented in this history either. SO please keep that in mind.


The qoute appears below in italics:

[i]Part of Lincoln's reluctance to identify entirely with a Christian body, especially in his pre-Washington experience, was his keen sense of intellectual honesty. He was determined not to act a part in which he could not be involved with absolute integrity. Furthermore, in his Illinois days Lincoln had good reason to feel wounded by unfair opposition on the part of church members, including some prominent clergymen. When, in 1846, Lincoln was elected to Congress as the Whig representative of the Seventh District of Illinois, his Democratic opponent was the old-fashioned Methodist circuit rider, Peter Cartwright. It is to Cartwright's discredit that he sought to make political capital out of the fact that Lincoln was not a church member. Lincoln had

Page 98

faced this problem before, especially in 1843, when he reported of himself that there was the strangest combination of church influence against him. It was contended, he said, "that no Christian ought to go for me, because I belonged to no church."4

In our effort to judge the intensity of the conflict between the preacher and the young politician it is not necessary to rely on the folklore which developed and which some biographers have credited. We have Lincoln's own account of the controversy in a letter dated August 11, 1846, addressed to Allen N. Ford, who was editor of the Gazette, published at Lacon, Illinois. "Shortly before starting on my tour through yours, and the other Northern counties of the district," Lincoln wrote, "I was informed by letter from Jacksonville that Mr. Cartwright was whispering the charge of infidelity against me in that quarter . . . I incline to the belief that he has succeeded in deceiving some honest men." Lincoln continued with a discussion of moral philosophy in which the key sentence is, "I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood."5 Lincoln was too astute to condemn a denomination because of the act of one leader, but the lack of ethical sensitivity deeply shocked him. It seemed reasonable to him to expect that a sincere Christian would feel constrained to exhibit great care in guarding the reputations of others. The handbill printed in chapter one was produced as Lincoln's effort to counter what seemed to him to be an unfair attack, but he wisely refrained in the handbill from mentioning Cartwright by name.[/i]


Whether or not this is the best representation of the history of this incident, I do think it helps to underscore how others can feel about this issue, and how entering public life can present a potintial for great harm for a Christian also.


Appearantly, Lincoln was being charged as being an unbeliever.

I found a reproduction of his response(the handbill) and the letter that was mentioned [url=http://books.google.com/books?id=2o561jt4Ct4C&pg=PR11&lpg=PR11&dq=Lincoln+letter]here[/url]. See pages 139-140.


Wish you all well.


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/10/10 13:05Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings Leo

Dear brother I must say that it almost comes across as if you are determined to convince others that your opinion and belief is gospel and therefore must be adhere to.
you wrote:So, in conclusion, I believe that Christians must actively participate in all aspects of society to bring glory to God and to reach out to fellow men.

My response to you is this: these are your opinions as you state yourself, they are not doctrine. I do not believe as you do, I have studied the scriptures just as you have, I have prayed about this for a long time and humbly searched through a number of different articles and teachings wanting to walk in what Father would have for me and yet my conclusions are not the same as yours. I do not feel as if I am walking out a fellowship with the Lord by not taking part in the running of this government, nor do I feel that I must be involved in order to faithful seek to share the good news or further His Kingdom. I do agree that we need to be out there sharing the truth with those that the Lord leads us to, but that does not mean that I have to vote, write letters, hold up picket signs, or be in the military. I will however pray diligently for those in position's of power to see their need for Jesus and to repent as each of us must do. I know that you and Chris(from the other thread) feel differently and that is ok, I have no problem with you walking out what Father is leading you to... I trust that the Lord is big enough to show us in His timing what His will is on this matter. I hope you can do the same and we will not have to have another 25 pages of heated and angry arguing:-(

Let me close this by saying that I value some of the posts that you have made here and I value Chris participation as well. He is always faithful to step up and offer prayer for others when asked and I am grateful for that, but I do not think that having another thread on this topic is going to be helpful.

God Bless you brother
maryjane

edit: I was sharing this topic with my darling hubby and he reminded me rightly that Jesus did not call us to be debaters either:-) So on that note I will adhere to my hubby's very good advice and bow out of this discussion. I just want to say that I love you(and everyone) in Christ even though we may not agree on this particular issue:-) Have a great weekend and be bless in Him!!

 2009/10/10 13:37Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526


 Re:

Hi Sister MaryJane…

I’m not sure if you are speaking in regard to me or ChrisJD. However, please permit me to convey another opinion about this too. This same concern that you expressed in regard to the fact that this is Leo’s opinion is also true of those who would create multiple “non-resistance” threads. It is an opinion. Yes, like Leo’s, it is an opinion about what some might call a doctrine…but it is an opinion nonetheless.

Personally, I have no problem with individuals sharing their opinion. There is a concern, however, when someone shares a personal opinion as if it as the only one that mattered because of some belief that such opinion is the indisputable thought of God on the matter.

When I reacted as you just did, saying that I have studied the issue, prayed about it for a long time, and have drawn a somewhat different conclusion about this topic, I was publicly dismissed with words that ranged from an accusation of being a part of “false Christianity” and believing “damnable heresy” to even been the target of a suggestion that I would be in a foxhole “fighting for the antichrist.” Others also dismissed the opinion – which they are well within their right to do. However, it is often in the manner of which they disagree that causes the contention. It is as if some want to replace one brother’s prayerful view with their own prayerful opinions. Unfortunately, this sort of [i]opinion[/i] is often not expressed as such. It is often presented as if it were an undeniable truth where any other opinion of the matter is heresy.

In reality, I often reconsider replying to many of these sorts of threads because I know that any difference of opinion will often be met with rhetorical disdain. I know what I believe and why I believe as I do. Thus, involvement in these types of discussions often does little to help me in terms of reassessing particular doctrinal views (even though I reassess any such things daily and with much prayer and study). Yet I often feel compelled to present a different perspective on this issue. You see, there are quite a few others who hold an opinion that is different than what might be presented as a “doctrinal truth” here in the forums of SermonIndex. Yet many such brethren do not respond.

At times, I feel the need to show that there is a variance of opinion on the matter. I do not for once believe that anyone’s particular view of what they think is “Biblical non-resistance” or complete and utter “non-involvement” is the exclusive view of all believers. There is plenty of variance regarding these concepts amongst those who embrace the various aspects of such a philosophy. There are also plenty of views out there that go unpublished or unspoken.

I suppose that the thing that concerns me the most is the lack of grace that is often shown when presenting a view. Far too often, we present things that we hold to be truths as if they are undeniable. We often leave no room for disagreement or even prayerful consideration. In fact, such things are often presented in a manner as if they are truths to be immediately embraced rather than something to consider or discuss. A presentation of this sort rejects the notion that we are individuals who are working out our “own salvation with fear and trembling.” It leaves no room for walking before God with a “clear conscience” because we are often presented a view as if it were the inarguable thoughts of God on a matter. Where does that leave those with whom the initial poster might disagree?

Anyway, I think that I have made my views at least partially clear on this matter in the many, many threads that have been started by “non-resistant” brethren. I hope that I haven’t come across in a manner that seems as though I thought that my view was the only one that matters. I also hope that it is clear that there are legitimate Scriptural questions in regard to various persuasions of this topic.

Like you, I am disappointed when I see such discussions turn into long, heated and angry arguments. There are so many believers from diverse backgrounds and levels of maturity on this website! We do not always agree on some issues. I am also disappointed when individuals of an opposite persuasion or viewpoint are singled out in public (or even in private) and scolded due to incorrect and erroneous “spiritual” judgments. This sort of loose speech should, at best, have a limited place in the Body of Christ.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/10/10 14:38Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings Chris

I was referring to you actually:-) Brother I appreciate your heart in what you have shared here. Thank you. I hope I did not come across as doubting your sincerity in what you believe, your words reveal your heart to be one that desires to walk in what the Lord is showing him. I know that we do not agree on this matter and that is ok really it is because in the end God is going to walk with us both and show us His heart on this(as long as we don't let or hearts be hardened, including me in that) in His good and perfect timing. We can walk together, pray for one another and just trust Him to do the rest. At least this is my heart. When I wrote the above post I was hesitant to include your name and I should have gone with that leading from the Lord. I ask you to forgive me. I addressed that post to Leo and I should and left it at that. I am sorry brother.
As you said we are all in different places in our walk and Father is working these things out in our hearts daily, I hope we can give each other enough room to grow and learn in Him in His timing. Honestly I have no clue what I would do if I was in a situation that some have been placed in, I only pray I would have the courage and faith to trust in the Lord to walk out what He has placed on my heart. I read about the testimony of a father in china who was told he would never see his young son again if he did not reject the name of Christ. This man was thrown into prison, where he is treated terrible and has had no contact with his family in many months and yet Jesus sustains him. That is the kind of faith I long to have and I know from what you share that is your heart as well. I am sorry that words have been written that have given you pain, that is why it is vital that we chose what we say with great care because our words can cut just like a sword.

On another note, just so I do not give the wrong impression I did seek the guidance of my hubby before I posted again and he to agreed that it would be good for me to come and share my heart with you Chris in light of what you shared:-)

God Bless you
maryjane

edited to fix a typing mistake:-)

 2009/10/10 15:32Profile









 Re:

I think if we stick to solely what Jesus taught, including the Sermon on the Mount, then it remains simple. If a child was to read what Jesus taught about our enemies, I wonder what conclusion he would come to? We look to the early church, prior to Constantine, and we see a pacifist church. We look to post Constantine and we see the "just war, war emerge. Obviously the Catholic church had no problem with killing, as they killed men down through the centuries in the name of God. Calvin seemed to have little problem with this either, as witnessed by what happened to the Anbaptists and others. The modern church seems to have no problem either with this as they have sanctioned, prayed for and blessed soldiers as they go into battle. So, it seems that for the majority of church history, the church has not been a pacifist church. This speaks volumes to many. Thoughts and opinions formed over 1700 years are the prevailing thoughts of today within what is called the church.

There seems to be two broad categories of thought. There is the prevailing thought of the majority that war is neccecary at various times for Christians to fight, and there is a small minority who do not hold to this. Both sides claim careful thought and prayer. Lincoln was once asked whose side was God on in the Civil war and I believe that he replied that the question was wrong and that "let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side."

The majority and minority views on this subject will never find common ground, they are fundamentally and diametrically opposed. Like David and Saul or the prodigal son and his brother, there is definately a spiritual element to the two opposing sides. So, whose side is God on? "let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.".........Frank

 2009/10/10 15:35
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear maryjane,

Forgive me if this reply comes late. I had given up this thread for lost since the moderator moved the old thread "Kill or be Killed" into the Scriptures and Doctrine section.

When I said that my intention was merely to present my view of this "non-resistance doctrine", I meant it. If my presentation came across as being too passionate, it was probably because I wanted to show some people that my view had solid Scripture behind it, and that I was neither an anti-Christ nor a heretic. You know from the other thread that we had been called these names by others because we could not accept their view.

You said you disagree. I can accept that and still embrace you as a sister in Christ for I know that this issue is not an essential element of the gospel. Differences here are not worth debating, as your wise husband pointed out. You may have noticed that my posts in the old thread grew sparse, for even then I felt that it was not worth the enmity being generated. But when another person with a different view keeps hurling insults (not just insults but spiritual insults) at a few of us who dared disagree, I, like Chris and rbanks, could not just let that slip by.

In the old thread, I already stated that I had no problem with turning the other cheek as a response to a personal attack. In fact, I have done this often in my life, even at great personal cost. My "sin", for which I was called a heretic and an anti-Christ, is I didn't see any Scriptural basis for it to be considered a doctrine of the faith to be applied under all circumstances. I pointed towards "Love your neighbor" as the true unchanging doctrine of the faith.

After responding to you, I will probably remain quiet regarding this topic, for it has indeed run its course as a subject for debate. Let's hope that no one starts posting insults again. I am grateful that you were interested enough to post in this thread. Thank you also for reminding everyone that the opening post is just my opinion - it is nothing more.

 2009/10/10 16:51Profile





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