When the Muslims were invading europe and threatening to destory Christianity, wasn't it a good thing that there were Christians who took up arms alongside non-christians to defend their lands and in turn our faith?
This is a good question....however if we answer "yes" then we would have no reason to not use our current military superiority today, including nuclear weapons, to exterminate our current Muslim enemies who also are committed to destroying Christianity. It is easy to imagine that the crusaders and popes would have used the god-like power of nuclear weapons if they had the technology. They probably would have written chivalric poems about it like Rowland.
Rowland, when first I read thy stately rhymes
How in mushroom clouds dids't heaven send us signs,
I then beheld thy 1000 pound hailstones metal frame
Put on the wings of thy immortal style and laser-guided aim .
O how thy fiery spirit mounts up to the sky,
untill God's power rains down, causing all our foes to fry.
Hmmm...considering our present situation I think it's better not to justify the crusades as 'defending our faith." They happened because two worldy civilzations were clashing. (Actually, it was Huns of the East that obliterated Islamic civilation, setting it back for a thousand years...I wonder why they don't hold a grudge against China?)
In any case I don't believe the crusades, especially the second and third ones were Christian endeavors...I think they were worldly. I doubt there were many true Christians calling the shots back then. Now one of the few things to our western credit is that we have restrained from doing the full measure of what we are capable of doing to our enemies. The world, including our own rulers, needs to keep in perspective that the United States is not yet fully mobilized for war. And in the interest of not becoming horribly midievil with modern fearsome technology I hope our government is morally beyond 11th century Europe or 21st century Iran. (With man's sin nature being what it is...maybe that's impossible...)
| 2007/3/6 19:06||Profile|
Compton, I really don't know what school you studied history at... but the aformentioned historical battle was NOT part of the crusades... happened nearly 300 years earlier.
That would be like saying 'George Washington founded America to fight the War on Terror.'
| 2007/3/6 19:13||Profile|
| Re: In what armor do we trust?|
People often quote the "wrestle not with..." verse as meaning that we should never fight physically... such as in a war. This is not what this verse is talking about at all. It is not a condemnation of all physical fighting (i.e. war). It is exhorting us to use spiritual discernment and realize that our true enemy is Satan. It is telling us to not lose sight of what is really going on. But it should not, nor do I believe it was meant to be, a condemnation of physical warfare.
Consider this Old Testament application of the Ephesians 6 portion of scripture that is under question:
The nation of Israel was being ruthlessly taunted by the Philistine enemies. Every day that mighty Philistine giant, Goliath would strut about in front of the Israelite army and dare someone to kill him. The Israelites were terrified. Many of the soldiers ran away and hid in caves.
Those Philistines were proud, aggressive, and ungodly. Therefore they were eager accomplices for the prowling lion, the devil who wanted to destroy Gods nation - Israel.
The Israelites themselves were easy prey for their enemy, that is, the invisible enemy: they had turned against God and did not trust him to help them. They relied on their own might. But their might was no match for the might of the Philistines. No wonder Israel was paralyzed with fear.
Israel was in danger of being wiped out not because of the strength of the Philistines, but because of their own dark hearts. Their weapons were useless.
From 1 Sam. 16
There is a good reason why Jesus said, He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword He is warning us not to rely on the flesh. Whatever we rely on for power and protection will not work In fact, it will ultimately destroy us. We can never overpower all the evil forces pitted against us.
Resist the devil: James 4:7
Resist him, stand firm in the faith 1 Pet. 5:8
Thats how David conquered Goliath by standing firm in his faith. He did not look at the size of the giant, but at the size of his God. He said: The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.
David, filled with confidence in his God, approached the giant, calling out, You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me.
You know the story. With a mere slingshot and a stone, Goliath was struck dead. Then the entire Philistine army, seeing that their hero was killed, turned and ran away.
What was the weapon that worked for David? Was it the stone? The power of the slingshot? Of course not! Was it the words that David spoke? Was it his faith? No, His faith did not kill Goliath, but his faith enabled him to move into the place where God could use him.
It was God, himself who killed the giant. David had simply put on the spiritual armor of God. That was his life practice, and we can clearly see when we read his psalms: God is my shield, he wrote.
Question: What IS the spiritual armor of God, and how does it protect us from our enemies?
| 2007/3/6 19:32||Profile|
I have a question: How did the Allies win WW2? Was it a divine miracle, or was it by man's strength?
I suppose our answer to that makes all the difference in the world.
| 2007/3/6 19:38||Profile|
| Re: roadsign|
Great post about David Diane.
| 2007/3/6 19:44||Profile|
| Re: Murder|
The commandment is "thou shalt not murder", not "thou shalt not kill".
To murder is to lie and wait and kill and refers to criminal acts of killing and has nothing to do with fighting wars, or working as a policeman and having to kill someone in the line of duty.
However,when we pick up our Bible and read the sixth commandment we see "Thou shalt not kill." In this form, pacifists, animal rights groups, and those opposed to capital punishment have chosen this commandment as their rallying cry.
Indeed, "kill" in English is an all-encompassing verb that covers the taking of life in all forms and for all classes of victims. That kind of generalization is expressed in Hebrew through the verb "harag." However, the verb that appears in the Torah's prohibition is a completely different one, " ratsah" which, it would seem, should be rendered "murder." This root refers only to criminal acts of killing.
If we look at Romans, chaper 13 we see that God is in control of history and in setting up world governments. He also authorizes Governments (the Sovereign) to carry the sword and to punish those that do evil with the sword (the gun, the sword, the rocket launcher, etc.) with wrath ---"a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil"
1. 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. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3. 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: 4. For he is the 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. 5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
| 2007/3/6 20:21|
but the aformentioned historical battle was NOT part of the crusades
I wasn't combining the two wars brother...I apologize if that seemed unclear in my comments. I was making an incidental observation that the Crusaders of Christendom weren't the only threats to Islamic people in the middle ages. But you are right...my history was a bit rusty. It was actually the Khans, (Not the Huns) that sacked Bagdad in the 13th century, killing their Caliph.
| 2007/3/6 23:15||Profile|
| I got a confession Ian|
First of all, God bless your grandfathers and your daddy, I served too, as well as my bro Krispy Steve. I loved the military, still do, and continue to love our guys and gals in uniform, they are heroes to me, as are missionaries, whose stirring biographies I love to read.
I was the first in my family, thru the centuries to have served in a military, the Navy specifically. (thats wrong, I did have an uncle Harold who served in the Army during WW2, got a photo of him next to my maternal families surname of a town in Germany, Scharwzenberg)
anyway, here's my confession, I have an odd tension in my soul of late, its King David versus Jesus, I'm just being real. The King David side sees the looming danger that Iran and its nuclear program presents to Israel, and if I was an Israeli policy maker I wouldnt even bat an eye to give the green light to a pre-emptive massive strike to terminate this programme, that the Iranians have stated would be used to "blot the Zionist entity from the map".
Now remember King David was a "man after God's own heart", but man did he stumble and sin, murder, adultery, etc. It was so bad, God didnt even allow him to build the Temple.
But Jesus said, love your enemy, turn the other cheek, pray for your enemy, and there's where my inner tension lays.
Y'know, I always thought this war in Iraq was ill-concieved, I dont say that to get into agrument, but I always knew the pre-war intelligence was cooked up, we had no coherent terms of what victory looked like, we didnt follow the "Powell Doctrine", ie overwhelming force, meaning 500,000 troops, like the first Gulf War, etc etc.
but then I began to think, maybe Iraq was done to give us a staging ground for the real enemy, Iran, I dont know.
I'm 47 now, and I can tell you this in all sincerity, if I was 27, I'd already been re-enlisted in the Navy and studying Farsi, as I did Korean some 30 years ago, because I believe in that if a young man is so led, he should serve his country. We need guys on the wall.
I know we are to "have no country" and thats where the King David/Jesus tension arises in my soul and in my heart, and in these days, I dont have the answer, except to say I love Jesus, Prince of Peace, Savior of the World. Marantha. I'm just trying to be real transparent and honest with myself, with you and others and the Lord. These are dark days, and they promise to get even darker.
May the Lord have mercy on us all, neil
| 2007/3/7 1:27|
by PreachParsly on 2007/3/6 15:54:52
Here is a part of George Fox's journal.
The time of my commitment to the house of correction being very nearly ended, and there being many new soldiers raised, the commissioners would have made me captain over them; and the soldiers cried out that they would have none but me. So the keeper of the house of correction was commanded to bring me before the commissioners and soldiers in the market-place, where they offered me that preferment, as they called it, asking me if I would not take up arms for the Commonwealth against Charles Stuart. I told them I knew whence all wars arose, even from the lusts, according to James doctrine; and that I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.
Yet they courted me to accept of their offer, and thought I did but compliment them. But I told them I was come into the covenant of peace, which was before wars and strifes were.
They said they offered it in love and kindness to me because of my virtue; and such-like flattering words they used. But I told them, if that was their love and kindness, I trampled it under my feet. Then their rage got up, and they said, Take him away, jailer, and put him into the prison amongst the rogues and felons. So I was put into a lousy, stinking place, without any bed, amongst thirty felons, where I was kept almost half a year; yet at times they would let me walk to the garden, believing I would not go away.
| 2007/3/7 1:51|
In any case I don't believe the crusades, especially the second and third ones were Christian endeavors...I think they were worldly.
The issue, almost always, is territory. The early church was pretty indifferent to territory. The New Testament is pretty indifferent to territory but when religions have integral territorial claims there will always be war.
Some, but not all, forms of Judaism namely Zionism, have integral territorial claims as part of their understanding. (Although Zionism was originally completely secular) Islam also has territorial claims as part of its understanding. When two religious groups both regard the possession of Jerusalem as 'none negotiable' there is not much space for diplomacy. New Testament Christianity had no territorial claims. When Christianity degenerated into Christendom it quickly acquired a territorial aspect to its theology and hence the Crusades.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.
(John 18:36 NKJV)
| 2007/3/7 4:13||Profile|