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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Does the new covenant teach non-resistance and non-participation in government?

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 Re:


Agreeing to disagree is a sign of maturity :)
My post stands for consideration, lest we get lost in the minutia. Now no one has to agree with it, no one has to prove themselves correct.

Down through the centuries, the established church, the majority, have persecuted the minority groups that I mentioned. In almost every case, the majority walked in lock step with the civil authorities, starting from Jesus and on through. It will be that way in the last days as well I believe. I would be interested to hear other thougths on this matter........Frank

 2009/10/10 23:20
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
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 Re:

Hi Frank,

Quote:
Agreeing to disagree is a sign of maturity :)
My post stands for consideration, lest we get lost in the minutia. Now no one has to agree with it, no one has to prove themselves correct.


I don't think that anyone has tried to prove themselves correct here. In fact, many of us have used for years that old mantra "[i]agree to disagree[/i]" many times here on SermonIndex in regard to divisive issues or even mere disagreements.
Quote:
Down through the centuries, the established church, the majority, have persecuted the minority groups that I mentioned. In almost every case, the majority walked in lock step with the civil authorities, starting from Jesus and on through.

Still, I am interested in the evidence that you base this notion upon. I realize that many within the Church have been persecuted for the faith. However, this isn't limited to people who are of a particular "Christian non-resistance" persuasion. Besides, it has seemed quite the opposite in regard to this discussion on this website. It is rare that I have seen someone persecuted for a particular ideological view; however, there has been some unbecoming allegations and insinuations directed at those of us who do not believe every tenant of "non-resistance." That was one of the reasons I initially joined some of the previous discussions -- to caution those from using divisive, judgmental rhetoric at people who merely disagree.

However, I think that it is good to discuss these things. We should not be surprised or alarmed if people disagree with us...and base that disagreement upon prayerful consideration and study. After all, we are all at different stages in our walk with the Lord and, like you said, at different levels of maturity in Christ.


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Christopher

 2009/10/10 23:46Profile
Leo_Grace
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 Re:

Quote:

appolus wrote:

Agreeing to disagree is a sign of maturity :)
My post stands for consideration, lest we get lost in the minutia. Now no one has to agree with it, no one has to prove themselves correct.

Down through the centuries, the established church, the majority, have persecuted the minority groups that I mentioned. [b]In almost every case, the majority walked in lock step with the civil authorities, starting from Jesus and on through[/b]. It will be that way in the last days as well I believe. I would be interested to hear other thougths on this matter........Frank



Maybe so, Frank, but is there a present day Christian group standing shoulder-to-shoulder with government and raising the battle cry for a just war? And if they exist, are they hunting down those who disagree with them? I think not. My experience in the previous thread is that the few who politely begged to disagree with the "non-resistance" majority were the ones insulted and battered verbally without mercy. Individuals who see no scriptural basis for promoting the "turn the other cheek" admonition into a doctrine of the faith that should be followed dogmatically in all situations are not war-mongers. Neither are they heretics or anti-Christs.

In my opening post, I have cited Scripture that lead me to believe that this "turn the other cheek" teaching does not qualify as an essential doctrine of the faith, and that the true teaching, which is central to our faith, is to "Love your neighbor as yourself". I welcome anyone to show me, using Scripture, that I have made a mistake. For my only stake in this is my desire to follow the Lord Jesus without error.

 2009/10/11 0:04Profile









 Re:

HI ChrisJD

I sense the genuinness of your question. As for the Roman question, I would say that obviously Christianity was not an all Jewish faith. IN fact in Rome, for several years, it was an all "Gentile," faith as the Jewish people had been expelled in 49. The question for Jewish converts around the time of 70ad would have been fighting for their own country as it faced destruction by Rome, rather than joinng the Roman army of occuapation. We have no record of any of the Apostles fighting either with the Romans against their countrymen, or fighting with their countrymen as they were destroyed. I would argue, and some would disagree, that if any Christian was ever going to fight, it would be when your country faced complete destruction. Here is the Roman oath that every soldier would have to take prior to Constantine........

in nomine iovis optimi maximi martisqve et per maiestatem principis caesaris Avgvsti pontificis maximi

(In the name of Juppiter Optimus Maximus and Mars and by the majesty of Emperor Caesar Augustus Pontifex Maximus)

hoc sacramentvm dico
(I say this oath)

non recedere aut transfugere a militia anteqvam completvm stipendivm et semper aquilis parere
(Not to retreat or desert from the army before the completion of my service and each and everyone, obey orders and follow the standards)

…Or the man could say:
IVRO
(I swear)
Then each man repeats after the first soldier to take the oath:
IDEM IN ME
(the same in my case)

"To perform their transformation from Roman citizens into Roman soldiers, the selected men would then have to swear an oath of allegiance.
This swearing of the sacramentum, changed the status of the man entirely. He was now utterly subject to his general's authority, and had thereby laid down any restraints of his former civilian life. His actions would be by the will of the general. He would bear no responsibility for the actions he would commit for the general. If he was ordered to do so, he would kill anything in sight, be it an animal, a barbarian, or even a Roman.
There was more than mere practicality behind the change from the white toga of the citizen to the blood red tunic of the legionary. The symbolism was such that the blood of the vanquished would not stain him. He was now no longer a citizen whose conscience would not allow for murder. Now he was a soldier. The legionary could only be released from the sacramentum by two things; death or demobilization. Without the sacramentum, however, the Roman could not be a soldier. It was unthinkable."

The sacramnentum acted as a type of indulgence. Whatever the soldier was ordered to do, it would not be held against him personally.

Mars was the most important god to the Romans which is why it was included in their oath. Now, some may think that a Christian could swear allegiance to Mars and fight, kill and die under this oath, I disagree, in fact this is exactly why many Christians were killed because they disturbed the pax deorum(peace of the gods)

The Christians were persecuted for a variety of reasons. First, they denied the basis for the Roman imperium (�command, rule, empire, supreme power') by advocating that their God was the only real God. This denied the existence of the pagan Roman gods. These same Roman gods, in a sense, founded Rome, because according to legend and popular belief, Romulus, the offspring of the Roman god of war, Mars, founded the city of Rome in 753 B.C. This gave the Romans a divine basis for their temporal power. When the Christians denied the existence of Mars, they attacked the foundation of Roman power. Since they were attacking Roman authority and power, the Romans came to view Christians as a threat to the state. This was a view further exacerbated by Roman emperors, such as Nero, blaming fires and plagues on Christians. The Roman persecution of Christians was legal, but immoral. One reason it was legal was that the Christians attacked the pax deorum. The pax deorum (�peace of the gods'), according to popular opinion, protected the Empire from troubles. This peace was preserved "by means of the appropriate ceremonies," such as the correct ritual sacrifices and worship (Ste Croix, p.246). In fact, many Roman histories relate stories of kings dethroned and cities destroyed for not sacrificing correctly. Also, these histories, which most Romans were familiar with, relate stories of people and cities, even Rome, saved for sacrificing and worshiping correctly. Because of these stories, Roman commoners, along with the Roman nobility, believed that this peace was essential to the continued security of Roman power. Since they believed that the keeping of this peace was essential, it was especially offensive to them when Christians refused to sacrifice to those gods. St. Justin the Martyr makes the Christian view of the Roman gods clear when he says, "Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God" (Justin Martyr). Believing this denial of the gods to be an attack upon Rome, many Romans despised Christians. During the reign of Decius, around 250 A.D., persecution for this reason reached its climax. Cary and Scullard, two Roman historians, write:


But in 250 the precarious safeguards of the Christians were swept away by the emperor Decius. In a wild attempt to crush the general insubordination and anarchy of his time and to create a greater unity within the Empire under its ruler, Decius expressly commanded all Christians to abjure their faith and to take part in the pagan worship of the Empire; in order to secure the pax deorum the Empire's loyalty to the old gods of Rome must be demonstrated (Cary and Scullard, p. 546).


Frank

 2009/10/11 0:05









 Re:

HI Leo,

I have no desire to go down the same path as the other thread. I appreciate your opinion and it seems we differ :) I am reasonably sure that is not going to change any time soon. Let us all earnsetly contend for what the Holy Spirit has illuminated in our hearts in regard to the Scriptures, give our opinions based on that and then let that stand. IN that we we can have a frank discussion :) and an airing of our views. Here is something I know everyone will agree on, there is no infallibility here on the forum :) ........Frank

 2009/10/11 0:18
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Frank, that was very informative. Thank you!


About the Apostles and Jerusalem, I know that we have discussed this in the other thread and I think that it is worth remembering again that they were warned by God that God was going to destroy the nation(Mat 22:7, Luke 21:24).

That said, I don't think [b]the Apostles[/b] would have had anything to do with any armed conflict, no matter where it was, for various reasons.


Thanks again.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/10/11 0:22Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear Frank,

Quote:
Here is something I know everyone will agree on, there is no infallibility here on the forum :)


Agreed. Thank you, Frank.

 2009/10/11 0:28Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

As I mentioned earlier, I find no basis in Scripture for concluding that all Christians should practice nonresistance or non-participation in government. There is only the supreme command by God: To love God completely, and to love others as ourselves. In most situations, this means a true believer must exercise patience, perseverance, forgiveness, and hope. This is not nonresistance, it is love.

Jesus himself practiced and preached resistance against falsehood, hypocrisy, faithlessness, idolatry, and all forms of evil. We are to resist evil with good, or to be more specific, our resistance must be motivated by love for others.

[i]Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. [b]Resist the devil[/b], and he will flee from you

Ro 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but [b]overcome evil with good[/b].[/i]

Paul, who was called by the Lord Jesus himself to be an apostle, who was filled with the Holy Spirit to preach the word correctly, whose very words are forever preserved as part of Holy Scripture, taught the gospel of grace and the requirements of the new covenant in Jesus to men.

Paul courageously and soundly rebuked those who still preached the practice of circumcision, avoiding unclean food, and seeking righteousness through the law, since these had all been recast by Christ under the new covenant. Would he not have preached against physical resistance or government involvement if these were likewise proscribed under the new covenant?

Instead, Paul preaches this to the Hebrews:

[i]Heb 11:32-34 "And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, [b]who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice[/b], and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and [b]who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies[/b]."[/i]

He commends these men, as a preacher of the the new covenant, not just for resisting but for conquering and governing in faith and obedience to God. Why would he commend their actions if these were already forbidden as some think?

Though I sincerely appreciate the loving hearts of those who promote the concept of non-resistance, the truth is resistance or nonresistance means nothing under both the old and new covenants. Either course may be correct, depending upon the circumstance. What matters only, in a universal sense, is acting out of love in obedience to God through our faith in Jesus Christ.

 2009/11/26 22:05Profile
ChrisJD
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
We are to resist evil with good, or to be more specific, our resistance must be motivated by love for others.




Leo, I had left the passage from the book that I qouted(that you pasted from earlier on in this thread), it was the section about the Doctor that joined the secret police, I had left this open in e-sword since that time.


I just happened to notice this qoute following from the beginning of that section, and I thought of what you wrote here:



"The secret police greatly persecuted the Underground Church, because they recognized in it the only effective resistance left. It was just the kind of resistance (a spiritual resistance) that, if left unhindered, would undermine their atheistic power."




[i]edited to correct spelling[/i]


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/11/27 18:24Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:
"The secret police greatly persecuted the Underground Church, because they recognized in it the only effective resistance left. It was just the kind of resistance (a spiritual resistance) that, if left unhindered, would undermine their atheistic power."



Thank you for the above quote, Chris. It shows how the rulers of this world fear the power of godly spiritual resistance. What I have been trying to convey in this thread is that we are called to be conquerors for Christ, not weak-kneed men who fall away and flee at the threat of the enemy. As ginnyrose said in another thread, our most powerful weapons are spiritual, and if wielded faithfully, they will smite the enemy more than conventional weapons.

[i]Eph 6:10-20 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

2Ti 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Ro 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Rev 17:14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings —and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”[/i]

 2009/11/28 14:43Profile





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