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ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
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 Re:

Hi ADisciple...

I don't think that anyone was saying that you could spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ via earthly weapons.

However, there are many believers who feel that you can wholeheartedly serve Lord while also serving in the military.

I believe that it is possible to accomplish spiritual and earthly things [i]simultaneously[/i] -- just like you can pray for your physical needs to be met while you still go to work.


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Christopher

 2010/1/25 22:33Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
I don't think that anyone was saying that you could spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ via earthly weapons.



Maybe not, but putting gospel verses on gunsights to kill men with? THAT is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Quote:
However, there are many believers who feel that you can wholeheartedly serve Lord while also serving in the military.



I realize that. The distinction I was making was between two flags, two banners. In the Lamb's war, with His banner before you-- the banner of the Kingdom of God-- you simply cannot use earthly carnal weapons.


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Allan Halton

 2010/1/25 22:50Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Hi ADisciple...

Quote:
Maybe not, but putting gospel verses on gunsights to kill men with? THAT is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


I don't think that anyone was trying to argue that these weapons were meant to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the conviction of the now-deceased owner of the company who professed faith in God. I can't question the validity of the faith (at least, successfully)...so I can't pretend to know the underlying motivation of his heart.
Quote:
I realize that. The distinction I was making was between two flags, two banners. In the Lamb's war, with His banner before you-- the banner of the Kingdom of God-- you simply cannot use earthly carnal weapons.


Yet, it seems like you are saying that we must walk under one banner in an "either/or" fashion. I am a Christian...and, as such, I do the work of an evangelist...while I also hold another "secular job" (if there is such a thing) in order to provide for my house. I believe that it is possible to live, move and have our being under the banner of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while also "[i]rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's[/i]" (if that makes sense). We can provide for our families...support the Lord's works...and still pay our taxes at the same time. Likewise, many of us believe that you can serve in the military of our temporary citizenship while serving God as a citizen of our Eternal country.

No one is advocating the use of earthly weapons to spread the Gospel or for the fighting of spiritual battles. I think that those particular "earthly" weapons are for "earthly" battles that God does ultimately orchestrate. After all, no kingdom will rise or fall without His doing. Sometimes, however, those kingdoms rise and fall by the use of "earthly" weapons.


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Christopher

 2010/1/25 23:22Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
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 Re:

Quote:
Likewise, many of us believe that you can serve in the military of our temporary citizenship while serving God as a citizen of our Eternal country.



Hi Chris.

This is something that has been debated at great length on other threads. I only made one comment on one of them once, quite a while back. But I have wrestled with this quite a bit.

I do recognize that John the Baptist had advice for soldiers. It doesn't appear he told them to quit the military.

Jesus healed a centurion's servant, and the gospel when first opened to the Gentiles went to a centurion named Cornelius. We are not told if these men came to the time when they found it necessary to put the military behind them.

Quote:
it seems like you are saying that we must walk under one banner in an "either/or" fashion.



I am saying, simply, that no man can go forth with carnal weapons and think to do so in the Name of Jesus Christ for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. This is why... to put scripture verses that pertain to the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God on gunsights used to kill men... surely we blush at this. We ought to. We ought to be further along than this.

That war-- concerning the Kingdom of God-- is a spiritual one, and requires spiritual weapons. I'm sure you agree with that. Take Zwingli the reformer, for example. He was killed in battle trying to fight what was a spiritual battle with carnal weapons. Or the Crusades. They went forth with carnal weapons purportedly in the Name of Christ. With the result that there are men in the earth who still spit contemptuosly when they hear the word "Christianity."

Quote:
I think that those particular "earthly" weapons are for "earthly" battles that God does ultimately orchestrate. After all, no kingdom will rise or fall without His doing. Sometimes, however, those kingdoms rise and fall by the use of "earthly" weapons.



Maybe so. But the Kingdom of God never rises by the use of earthly weapons.

I think Chris-- and I'm giving you my own conviction on this-- I think that perhaps many Christians in good conscience have fought for their flag in days past, and perhaps do so even now. But the hour is so late. It's my conviction that we are now entering "the evil day." And in the light of that-- speaking for myself-- I am hearing an increasingly urgent call to put on the whole armour of God and be part of this spiritual army the Lord is conscripting and training. I want very much to be part of that army, one of those who are left standing on the field when it's all over, victorious over all.

There'll be no more wars to fight after that battle.




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Allan Halton

 2010/1/26 1:05Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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 Re:

Hi ADisciple...

I understand your views about this and the wrestling that you (and many of us) have had regarding this. I suppose that my main point is that many of us believe that you can still serve the Lord -- be a part of His "army" -- and also participate in the events of this temporary citizenship into which God has placed us.

I disagree with any war that is waged in the name of Christianity. However, I do believe that there are just causes. It is difficult to explain to some that I do not embrace violence...but that I do agree with defending my family...the weak...or even service in the military or police.

Last week, my wife and I were reading through the Book of Acts. When the apostle Paul was standing before Festus, he presented his defense against the charges that were brought before him.

Quote:

[b]Acts 25:8-11[/b]

8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.

11 [u]For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them[/u]. I appeal unto Caesar.

[b]Acts 25:8-11 NIV[/b]

8 Then Paul made his defense: "I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar."

9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?"

10 Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 [u]If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them[/u]. I appeal to Caesar!"


Of all people, Paul was willing to be a martyr for the cause of Christ Jesus. If he had done something unlawful (according to the Law of Moses, the Temple law or the Law or Rome), he was willing to pay the penalty. Yet, he wasn't willing to be a martyr if it was due to something that he did that was NOT unlawful.

I am mentioning this to demonstrate the understanding and respect that Paul paid for the laws of Moses, the Temple and Caesar. He did not break any of those laws...and was willing to legally defend himself against an accusation that said otherwise. Similarly, there is a difference between a [i]spiritual[/i] war and a [i]physical[/i] war. Like Paul, we are citizens of our Eternal kingdom. However, Paul declared that he was also a citizen of Rome (Acts 22:27). He then used the intricate legal system of the godless Roman Empire as a means to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Caesar (Philippians 4:22).

I completely agree with the notion that "carnal" weapons are not the weapons of our spiritual warfare. However, they are the weapons of earthly warfare. They are the weapons that were used by men that God used to raise up kingdoms, empires and even republics. I think that there is some serious debate about whether or not all physical resistance is a "sin" or indicative of individuals who aren't marching beneath the banner of Christ.

You mentioned, "[i]Jesus healed a centurion's servant, and the gospel when first opened to the Gentiles went to a centurion named Cornelius. We are not told if these men came to the time when they found it necessary to put the military behind them[/i]." However, I think that this is worded somewhat differently than it should be. It wasn't whether or not these men "came to the time when they found it necessary to put the military behind them" -- but whether or not it was necessary at all. The Scriptures are silent on this matter...because we have no record of Jesus, John or Peter EVER telling them as much (at least, plainly or directly).

I definitely agree with the gist of what you are saying. We are strangers and pilgrims on this earth. I do believe that we are living in the last of the last days too. However, I also believe that we are still in the places of our temporary citizenships for "such a time as this." We can have faith that God will provide for us according to His riches and glory...while also working hard with our own hands as a means for God to provide on our behalf. I hope that this makes a little more clear where I am coming from.

For the most part, I know that we agree on our allegiance to Christ Jesus. He is definitely the most important thing to each of us! He is the center of our universe! At the same time, we still have responsibilities to those around us (such as our wives, children, family, neighbors, local congregations, paying taxes, etc...). I personally believe that we can honor God wholeheartedly and with a pure heart while we fulfill those things that we believe to be "earthly" responsibilities as well.

The Lord bless you, dear brother!


_________________
Christopher

 2010/1/26 2:45Profile









 Re: US Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes


Hi Chris,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'Of all people', with regard to Paul. Surely he is one person (after martyring so many Christians) who would see the point of, and understand, martyrdom?

Quote:
He did not break any of those laws...

Ah. I believe this is a rather selective view, because there is no doubt, he had stopped bringing [i]sacrifices for sins[/i]. In fact, it's interesting isn't it, that the New Testament doesn't tell us whether the Temple veil was repaired, so that the next day of Atonement could be kept. The rending of the Temple veil from top to bottom, was God Himself saying there was no need of another day of Atonement, but obviously, to Jews who continued to refuse Jesus Christ, this must have been an abomination; just as their sacrifices for sins would have been an abomination to God.
Quote:
there is a difference between a spiritual war and a physical war.

Indeed. And David knew this also. But because of the [u]killing[/u] he had done, he was not allowed to build the first Temple - even though it was, undoubtedly [i]lawful[/i] killing.

The question AD is raising, is whether there is any such thing as 'lawful killing' under the New Covenant?

I, personally, can see that there may be, if one is being attacked. But, I am most unsure whether it is permitted under the New Covenant, to go - being a Christian - into another sovereign state, and start killing their people; yes, even if they are armed conspirators of another religion, against my national state.

Frankly, what do we expect? If they were [i]Christians[/i], they wouldn't [i][b]be[/i][/b] armed conspirators against another [u]Christian[/u] population.

Isn't that the [u]whole point[/u]?

 2010/1/26 6:33









 Re:

Quote:
I, personally, can see that there may be, if one is being attacked. But, I am most unsure whether it is permitted under the New Covenant, to go - being a Christian - into another sovereign state, and start killing their people; yes, even if they are armed conspirators of another religion, against my national state.

If the aggressor's first actions will be lethal to the innocent then it would be necessary to prevent their first actions in order to defend the innocent. The churches' doctrine of Just War is consistent with preemptive strike. This same principle can be applied in individual self-defense scenarios or in the defense of another individual.

Modern technology greatly changes the nature of combat. In the past it could have made sense to stand and wait for your enemy to run at you with spears and swords. Today it is different because of high-speed, long-range transportation and weapons. It doesn't make sense to wait until the nuclear missile is close enough to use Aikido.

Quote:
Frankly, what do we expect? If they were Christians, they wouldn't be armed conspirators against another Christian population.

Isn't that the whole point?

I couldn't tell what you meant here.

 2010/1/26 10:48
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Hi again Chris.

Quote:
It wasn't whether or not these men "came to the time when they found it necessary to put the military behind them" -- but whether or not it was necessary at all. The Scriptures are silent on this matter...because we have no record of Jesus, John or Peter EVER telling them as much (at least, plainly or directly).



No they don't... not in so many words, anyway.

But then again I think of these verses:

"Come behold the works of the LORD, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire" (Ps. 46.8,9).

Throughout history, Christians have fought for the flags of their countries... and prayed for God's protection as they did so. Sometimes that has even meant that men praying to the same God went out to kill one another. But I am not going debate over what any man-- who is trying to be faithful to the measure of light he has in his conscience-- feels he has to do.

But I do pray we will all of us seek to come to greater and still greater Light. There comes an awesome, fearful time when God brings things in the earth to such cataclysmic desolation and upheaval that... He causes all wars to cease "unto the end of the earth." It's difficult for me to reconcile that this being the case, He would at the same time be sanctioning the involvement of "his own" in them.

I had an uncle who was in WW I. And I recall reading as a boy a letter from him I found in my grandmother's attic. He had written (from the trenches somewhere), "Surely this is Armageddon, mother."

In fact they called WW I "the war to end all wars." It appears, sadly, they were wrong.

But there IS a war that ends all wars, and it's called, in fact, Armageddon. It's a spritual war fought with spiritual forces with spiritual weapons.

There comes a time-- and I hope we don't have the outlook that puts this way off in the future somewhere on one of these dispensational time charts-- there comes a time when, walking in the Light of the Lamb, those who are called to involvement in THAT battle must put the earthly ones forever behind them.

Quote:
The Lord bless you, dear brother!



And may he bless you, too, Chris.


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Allan Halton

 2010/1/26 12:05Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Hi Alive-to-God...

Quote:
Ah. I believe this is a rather selective view, because there is no doubt, he had stopped bringing sacrifices for sins. In fact, it's interesting isn't it, that the New Testament doesn't tell us whether the Temple veil was repaired, so that the next day of Atonement could be kept. The rending of the Temple veil from top to bottom, was God Himself saying there was no need of another day of Atonement, but obviously, to Jews who continued to refuse Jesus Christ, this must have been an abomination; just as their sacrifices for sins would have been an abomination to God.


I was actually using Paul's own testimony before Festus in regard to this matter:
Quote:

[b]Acts 25:8-11[/b]

8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.

11 [u]For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them[/u]. I appeal unto Caesar.

[b]Acts 25:8-11 NIV[/b]

8 Then Paul made his defense: "I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar."

9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?"

10 Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 [u]If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them[/u]. I appeal to Caesar!"


Notice that Paul proclaimed that he was not guilty of breaking any "law of the Jews, the Temple or Caesar" (Acts 25:8). In fact, Paul said that would have not defended himself (via his legal rights) and would readily lay down his life if he had been guilty of such a thing (Acts 25:11). However, since he was NOT guilty of the things for which he was accused, Paul used his rights as a Roman citizenship to defend himself and "appeal unto Caesar" (also in Acts 25:11).

This matter has less to do with the role of a Christian in terms of legal rights within the temporary citizenship to which he or she has been placed...but whether or not that Christian can have the ability to serve in the military forces of that same nation. It is definitely an issue to pray about, study and contemplate. Like I said here and in some of the non-resistance threads, I don't see anything in the Scriptures that decrees such an absolute prohibition. Jesus, John and Peter had the opportunity to clearly state something like that...but did not. In addition, I have known many believers who served in the military (including my own father). I also find it interesting that God has chosen nations and authorities to dispense justice against evil doers. Likewise, Paul stated that had he done something legally deserving of death, he would not refuse to die (verse 11).

Nations rise and fall by the hand of God. The authorities of those nations are established by God. The Word of God even calls them "minister of God for good" (Romans 13:4). That passage includes further instructions about honoring earthly authorities with tribute, customs, and respect. This is also reflected throughout other passages in the New Testament, including I Peter 2:13-21. In fact, this passage states that the various civil authorities are "sent by God for the punishment of evildoers" (I Peter 2:14). Interestingly, Peter instructed slaves (a civic and legal definition) to honor their masters -- including the harsh ones (I Peter 2:18). While they are under the banner of liberty that is in Christ Jesus, they still had an obligation and responsibility to their "temporary" and earthly stewardship.

Like you, I have prayed about and studied this matter in depth. I have even considered all of the advise and opinions of others here on SermonIndex -- including angry and accusatory "lectures" that I have received via Private Messages because I disagreed. Rest assured, if I was convinced that the Word of God said something, I would do my best to walk in that way. I just worry that speaking about this matter with absolutes as if it were clearly dictated in the Word of God might not be the best thing. My dad was a teenager when he was drafted at the end of the Vietnam War. I don't know what my reaction would be if I was drafted. I know that many people "conscientiously objected" due to their views (while some did so dishonestly). However, I haven't been placed in such a position. Thus, I am not in the place to proclaim that such Christian men were fighting for any other reason than a responsibility that they may have felt to the country of their temporary citizenship.


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Christopher

 2010/1/26 12:30Profile
rainydaygirl
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Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

Quote:
Like you, I have prayed about and studied this matter in depth.


_______________________________________________________

This I think is what causes such a huge question in my mind? I can say the same thing, that I have studied and prayed and yet I have come to a completely different understanding then you have. I have noticed this on other topics as well. Its confusing to me because I know God wants us to be one body that makes up His bride the church and yet we are not one body in agreement. We fight and argue back and forth all the time. I wonder why there is not more clarity on these things in the Bible or if in our flesh and stubbornness we just don't want to be wrong when it comes to our opinions? I know its not the Bible that is the problem so it has to be that men are the problem. Maybe that is why the we are told 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

love in Him
rdg

 2010/1/26 13:23Profile





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