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



Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply.

I've been thinking some more about the context of the comments recorded in the New Testament, as it is from these which we all must form any teaching, which could formally be called doctrine.

For instance, not for one minute, going on the example of Jesus Christ, the disciples when He was alive, or all the apostles after His Ascension, do we find any justification for the killing of another human being. What we find is, that they would rather die first. That is, the [i][b]leading[/i][/b] [u]Christians[/u], are not willing to kill; full stop. Their commission is according to Christ's command. How could any modern Christian's commission differ in such material substance, that now it is okay for a [b]Christian[/b] to kill? Personally, I don't see it, but from what you have said, you do. That's okay. But, you can't base that claim (that's it's now okay for born again Christians to kill) on scripture.

On the matter of civil authorities wielding the sword as part of dealing with lawbreakers, the thing that struck me, is that the comments of Peter and Paul relate specifically to Christians obeying the laws of their own land, and living peaceably wherever possible. The idea that Christians can rise up and overwhelm a government, using physical force (including killing) to get their religious freedom, is not found in scripture. All the more so, when Paul writes from prison 'the word of God is not bound'.

I guess you do see that being put in prison, or being killed for not denying Christ, or for obeying the Spirit's gift and leading in one's life (eg John Bunyan), is considered by God a more precious sacrifice, than defending oneself against unbelievers. We have this clearly in Christ's, Stephen's and Paul's example.

What John the Baptist said to the soldiers 'be content with your wages', was a way of telling them to stop stealing from the local population amongst whom they served their military commander. It's a way of telling [i]Christians[/i] not to abuse their power, when in 'office'.

Of course I'm aware of being able to turn any topic into 'a discussion'. But scripture [u]never[/u] does that. When God gives commands, He has His reasons, and if we purport to believe Him, then talking about why He may have given a different command to another believer is fruitless. The New Testament is so different from Old in respect of the relationship between the Jews and occuplying forces, that I don't think any [u]Christian[/u] since then, has a reason to hold that killing is a believable expression of godliness.

You know, I wasn't particularly a pacifist (whatever that is) when I joined SI, but I have walked in dangerous situations, and God has kept me, and now, I would rather have goodwill to all men, than die by His sword.

The [u]only[/u] reason there is fighting on earth, is that men [u]will[/u] not to reconcile with God. If they [u]all[/u] [i]would[/i], there would be world peace. I think it is this thought mainly, which is behind all my resistance to joining in the physical demonstrations of ungodliness, which any kind of fighting and killing necessarily reveal.



EDIT: I've just posted in the Praise thread, and realise afresh how much Wesley's hymns have influenced my understanding of scripture.

Here is the second last verse of six, and it really sums up something, but please, do go and read the whole hymn.

[i]Thou saidst 'Where'er I am
There shall my servant be,'
Master, the welcome word we claim
And die to live with Thee.[/i]


 2010/1/27 10:42
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:



Hi ATG

I wanted to ask you something and please do not be offended by my question. I was wondering why is it so important to you that Chris agree with your view point of what you believe the Lord is showing you in this? He has said that he has spent many hours studying and seeking God on this topic, why can't "we" who do not see things in the same way accept his reply and allow for the Holy Spirit to work on each of us to show us Gods heart on the matter? I wonder why it is that we always have to keep coming back endlessly debating these matters. When do we step back and say ok I have shared my heart, you have shared yours now let us move forward in Him and be about His Kingdom today?

Please do not think I am trying to put you on the spot because I am not. I have been thinking about this myself(my own behavior) and just wondering why it is that we do this to one another. This topic and many of the others are not a matter of Salvation so why do we spend so much time and energy discussing and debating?

love in Him
rdg

 2010/1/27 12:00Profile









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

Hello RDG,

Quote:
I was wondering why is it so important to you that Chris agree with your view point of what you believe the Lord is showing you in this?

Is is possible he has something to learn from my understanding of scripture's purposes, as much as I may have to learn from his? That's part of it.

Really, I'm just participating in a thread, as I am wont to do from time to time - and I have posted back and forth with Chris in other threads. So, this is me, working through a topic, like it or lump it, as best I can. Chris likes to retain his academic distance, but I'm sure if he was put to the test, he'd do God's will as God reveals it to him, and that's all I'd be bothered about.

Many many Christians don't see that the Church is a body, with Christ as the Head, and that if they just keep holding to the Head, they can't get lost, but I don't have that fear for Chris. I more fear the proliferation of unbiblical theology, or of Christians ever thinking it's okay for them to agree with the world while conflicting with Christ's example.

It is a really tough thing to come to an unworldly conclusion, and to live it out in reality, being different from other men or women, especially when it comes to showing our allegiance to 'above' rather than to 'beneath'. I don't think the New Testament teaches that we can do both, but I'm aware that in obeying 'above', separate from, but within the 'beneath', Christians are open to being misunderstood.

This is one reason it's very important for us to get to know each other's hearts, and to keep our hearts right with one another in a healthy way.
Quote:
He has said that he has spent many hours studying and seeking God on this topic, why can't "we" who do not see things in the same way accept his reply and allow for the Holy Spirit to work on each of us to show us Gods heart on the matter?

Probably because I don't think the examples in the New Testament are 'non-essential' doctrine, and, while I realise it takes time for a person to come to terms with some of scripture's claims on our lives, I believe part of the function of the body of Christ, is to draw others along with it. One of our generation's most pernicious philosophies, is that we are individuals whose choices and actions do not affect others, as long as they are not directly and physically touched by them. What I'm doing here, is laying out some of the thoughts which have not been expressed in those terms already in the thread, which are compatible with scripture; because, some of the thoughts which have been expressed in this thread are [u]not[/u] compatible with scripture's exposition to us, of original Christianity.

I don't think I'm debating any more than Paul did, in the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9). It is certainly not 'endlessly' on my part (or Chris' part).
Quote:
why it is that we do this to one another

There are ways, and ways. It is not wrong to discuss, or to debate, as long as we are always hunting down the truth, as it is in Jesus Christ. So, no offence taken.

:-)

 2010/1/27 13:59
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4537


 Re:

Hi Alive-to-God…

Quote:

Thanks for your reply.

I've been thinking some more about the context of the comments recorded in the New Testament, as it is from these which we all must form any teaching, which could formally be called doctrine.


Likewise, thanks for your reply.

I understand the underlying definition of “doctrine” and agree that it can include beliefs and teachings in general. I suppose that the point that I have tried to make is that this is not the definition that people use in many debates. Their doctrinal “teachings” are presented or debated as if they are absolutes and essentials. For instance: Does someone have to absolutely believe in a “pre-trib rapture” in order to be “pure” in doctrine? Some people would argue, “Yes!” Likewise, there are “post-trib” believers who believe the same about their views on the coming of the Lord. In other word, the “doctrine” is usually taught as a fact according to the views of those who are teaching it.

I can’t help but wonder if we should present all possible alternatives and leave it to the hearer to make up their own mind. Perhaps the only indisputable doctrine about such a matter that should be taught as an “absolute” is the fact that our Lord WILL RETURN. We can still teach the possible ways that He will return – and we can even include our own opinion (voiced as such) – but with the disclaimer that there are legitimate variances of opinion about the matter.

I hope this clears up what I was referring to earlier when I spoke about “doctrines.” There are indisputable truths that are universal and held by all believers because they are undeniable from Scripture. Some of them are included in Hebrews 6. Unfortunately and far too often, opinions are presented as doctrinal truths.
Quote:

For instance, not for one minute, going on the example of Jesus Christ, the disciples when He was alive, or all the apostles after His Ascension, do we find any justification for the killing of another human being. What we find is, that they would rather die first. That is, the leading Christians, are not willing to kill; full stop. Their commission is according to Christ's command. How could any modern Christian's commission differ in such material substance, that now it is okay for a Christian to kill? Personally, I don't see it, but from what you have said, you do. That's okay. But, you can't base that claim (that's it's now okay for born again Christians to kill) on scripture.


I understand where you are coming from. However, you can say the same thing about an absolute prohibition about serving in the military or defending your wife from an unlawful attacker or your child from a rapist. Of course, I don’t think that any Christian would be “killing” in a fit of rage while in a defense of a loved one…or even in military service. If someone attacked my wife, I would simply put a stop to it as best as I could (like disarming him) and then I would call the authorities (who are set up by God to dispense justice upon evil doers). But, like you said, you can’t base such a claim (as an absolute and clear prohibition against all forms of killing or defense) on Scripture. Now, you can offer a good scriptural defense for your position (just like I or someone else can).
Quote:

On the matter of civil authorities wielding the sword as part of dealing with lawbreakers, the thing that struck me, is that the comments of Peter and Paul relate specifically to Christians obeying the laws of their own land, and living peaceably wherever possible. The idea that Christians can rise up and overwhelm a government, using physical force (including killing) to get their religious freedom, is not found in scripture. All the more so, when Paul writes from prison 'the word of God is not bound'.


Well, the comments made by Peter and Paul also refer to “evildoers” (I Peter 2:14). During Paul’s defense to Festus, he mentioned that he had done nothing deserving of death (according to the law of the Jews, the law of the Temple and the law of Rome). Further, he stated that if he had, he wouldn’t even have mounted a defense and would have not refused to die (Acts 25:11). He then used his right as a citizen of Rome (Acts 22:27) to make an appeal to Caesar (Acts 25:11). Interestingly, you can see how the authorities are set up to dispense justice upon those who do wrong (Romans 13:3-4). Since Paul had done nothing wrong, he defended himself using a legal means.

As far as the idea of Christians rising up and overwhelming a government (using physical force): I think that you misunderstood what I was saying. I am not talking about Christians who are conspiring together in order to take over their own government or a foreign government. We are talking about nations that rise up against other nations. If a Christian is a member of a nation, he has certain responsibilities to that nation. He must submit to the laws and ordinances that are set up by the authorities (Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-14). He must pay his taxes (Mark 12:17; Romans 13:7). He must honor the king (I Peter 2:17). Now, does he have any other responsibilities? Well, a believer has responsibilities to provide for his own family (I Timothy 5:8). He has responsibilities to his neighbors (Romans 15:2). In other words, it seems that we still have natural responsibilities to the temporary citizenship into which God has placed us “for such a time as this.”

Now, what about a believer who serves in the military? Until the 1970s, the United States had a “draft.” If you were drafted into the military forces, you served in the military. Since then, the US moved to an all volunteer military. It has worked out quite well for the nation – even though this concept is relatively new in world history. Still, the US continues to require all males to register with the Selective Services within thirty days of their 18th birthday. Why? Just in case the need for mandatory conscription arises again. Many other nations have a form of mandatory conscription in the military while other nations (like Israel and Iran) have a forced requirement for military service for every male. In fact, Israel is one of about 23 nations that don’t have an “unarmed option.” During major wars (WWI and WWII), just about every nation had a form of mandatory conscription or military enrollment. During such times of war (and in peacetime for many nations), there are no such things as omitted “conscientious objectors.” The government does not make a distinction between believers and unbelievers in those cases. So, what is the responsibility of the believer in such service?

Cornelius the Roman Centurion was a “devout” and prayerful Italian soldier who “feared God” (Acts 10:1-2). He even had “devout” servants and soldiers beneath him (Acts 10:7). He was even visited by an angel of the Lord who acknowledged him for his prayers to God and service to the poor (Acts 10:3). Now, this was even BEFORE the apostle Peter ever visited the man! So, why was Cornelius serving in the army of the Roman Empire? We don’t know.

At the time, Rome had both a voluntary and involuntary military. Regardless, Cornelius was a Centurion. He ruled over an army of between 83-100 men. Centurions were not enlisted men. They were ruling officers. Unlike modern armies, officers were not merely educated men who receive a promotion upon the completion of training. A centurion in the Roman army could have been elected or appointed, but they were usually promoted on the basis of their army record. They rose from the ranks of other soldiers because of their valor or because of a proven ability to lead soldiers in fighting. At any rate, Cornelius was a devout and God-fearing trained fighter who led trained fighters for the Roman Empire. Nowhere in Scripture do we find Peter instructing this man to give up his “secular” job. In fact, Cornelius might have very well been required to serve in the armed forces. This might have been seen as some form of indentured servitude or slavery to the Empire for which, servants were instructed to obey their masters (Colossians 3:22; Ephesians 6:5). As part of that requirement, he was likely required to deal with “lawbreakers” or those who might be a part of a “rebellion” against Rome.
Quote:

Of course I'm aware of being able to turn any topic into 'a discussion'. But scripture never does that. When God gives commands, He has His reasons, and if we purport to believe Him, then talking about why He may have given a different command to another believer is fruitless. The New Testament is so different from Old in respect of the relationship between the Jews and occuplying forces, that I don't think any Christian since then, has a reason to hold that killing is a believable expression of godliness.


Actually, Paul even mentioned things in regard to “nature.” For instance, Paul invoked nature in his discussion about the length of a man’s hair (I Corinthians 11:14). Similarly, we can look at nature as a “type and a shadow” in regard to defense. Most animals will protect their mates and children. Lions will protect their pride. While the rationale might not be to “kill” an intruder, you could argue that it is a godly thing – and even a natural thing – to uphold such a cause. This is certainly a truth in the Old Testament. There are numerous verses about defending the weak, a family member, the poor, the widows and even strangers. In fact, there was actually an obligation. The Law of Moses required individuals to defend the weak. Furthermore, if someone were to take advantage of the weak (like widows and orphans), God stated that he would kill such a person by the sword (Exodus 22:22-24). Interestingly…God said that he would use a physical sword (perhaps…authorities?).
Quote:

You know, I wasn't particularly a pacifist (whatever that is) when I joined SI, but I have walked in dangerous situations, and God has kept me, and now, I would rather have goodwill to all men, than die by His sword.

The only reason there is fighting on earth, is that men will not to reconcile with God. If they all would, there would be world peace. I think it is this thought mainly, which is behind all my resistance to joining in the physical demonstrations of ungodliness, which any kind of fighting and killing necessarily reveal.


I agree. Unfortunately, the entire world has had a spiritual problem ever since the fall of man. Yet nations still rise and fall by the charge of God via the swords of men. And, believe it or not, many Christian men who are willing to protect their families from harm or serve in the military are NOT violent men. They don’t long to harm anyone. Rather, we view it as a responsibility. Now, when it comes to personal spiritual persecution, I would definitely be a “pacifist.” I would readily give up my life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Yet, I wouldn’t quickly lay down my life if it was unlawful. Like Paul, I would defend myself with the ultimate goal of continuing to spread the Gospel and to take care of my family. Now, if the law said that my wife must die for her faith, I wouldn’t physically fight on her behalf. I would urge the law to be reconsidered or be rewritten (a legal defense within my rights as a temporary citizen), but I would comfort her in the fact that she was blessed to see God’s face on the other side of Eternity. Yet, if an intruder wanted to harm or kill my wife without legal merit, I would do what I could to make that NOT happen.

Rainydaygirl makes a good point. So do you. My participation in this thread (or in other threads) is NOT to try and convert you or anyone else to my view or understanding. Rather, I simply want to explain what my perspective is for this issue and the reasons behind it. I trust that ANY other believer that is honest and sincere in their faith before God will seek the Lord for direction about such matters just as you and I have. I simply want to show that there is a difference in opinion regarding certain matters that is both prayerful and studiously contemplative. I am all for the unity of the Body of Christ and for the unity of the Doctrine of Christ. However, I’m not sure that believers will ever agree on every matter under the sun as we sit on this side of that “glass darkly.”

That is why I question just which doctrinal views should be presented as absolute requirements for doctrinal purity or which ones cause us to question the maturity and sincerity of other believers. Many denominations and congregations hold such doctrinal prerequisites that must be agreed upon if a person wants to be fully involved in that congregation or organization. Is this really what God wants? I understand that the essentials of the faith need to be presented and agreed upon. But do we really need to make someone’s view about the coming of the Lord or their position about Calvinism a requirement for extending the hand of fellowship to other believers?


_________________
Christopher

 2010/1/27 14:19Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

Hi ATG

Thanks for your response. I appreciate what you have shared and I agree that there is much we can learn from one another and what the Lord shows us. At the same time I am also learning that at some point to continue on and on debating and discussing a matter when both sides sincerely believe God is showing them His heart becomes pointless. At some point I think there is room to step back for a time, knowing each person is seeking to live for the Lord to trust that God will in His time open the eyes of the one who is not seeing things as they should. No matter how much I try to persuade another of what I believe the Lord is showing me to be true that person is not going to see until the Lord changes their heart. and the same goes for me when mine understanding needs to be corrected.

I did not mean to imply that you or Chris have been debating this topic endlessly nor was I trying in any way to criticize you or him. I should have been more specific that this topic as well as a few others have been discussed over and over again here on the forum. Sadly as Chris mentioned most of the time they end up with one or more persons being attacked and offended. I just do not see how this draws those who are not saved and maybe reading this to the Lord. I realize though that this is just my thoughts and some things that I am seeing:)

Anyway thank you for taking the time to respond to me. I think I should probably take my own advice and back out of this thread. I do not want to make a debate of whether we should debate:)

love in Him
rdg


Edit: Chris wrote:But do we really need to make someone’s view about the coming of the Lord or their position about Calvinism a requirement for extending the hand of fellowship to other believers?
_____________________________________________

I saw this after I posted and just wanted to add that has been on my heart as well:)



 2010/1/27 14:49Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Quote:
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.

Where does the Bible say this?

Personally I think it says this all over the place, but I didn't mean to make a case against pacifism by saying that. It's just the nature of defensive action to sometimes require the first shot. Police officers, for example, are trained to shoot before a possible attacker actually fires their gun at them. It would defeat the purpose of defense if they waited until the aggressors bullet had left the barrel.

Quote:
[churches' doctrine of Just War] came from the Roman Catholic Church, and for political purposes, was adopted by certain non-Roman Catholics. This has nothing to do with furthering the kingdom of God, though; nor, of behaving like the early Christians.

Do you mean "just war" doctrine has nothing to do with God's kingdom? The purpose of just war doctrine is to prevent selfish and unnecessary destruction of human life. I think the disagreement between pacifists and non-pacifists is often over the means of loving God, neighbor, and self - not whether we should do everything out of love or not.

Quote:
Quote:
is consistent with preemptive strike. This same principle can be applied in individual self-defense scenarios or in the defense of another individual.


And this pleases God?

One thing about the official summaries of just war doctrine that I've heard which... well... I question whether it honors God - is the requirement that there be a reasonable or good chance of success in using force to protect the innocent.

The Lord is my strength. My chance of success is not my strength. "Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army; by my God’s power I can jump over a wall." (Ps 18:29)

Let us always do our best to please God. Let us always love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. I personally think God's pleasure level would plummet if I neglected to protect someone who he had placed in my care. But if I learned that he would be more pleased with me letting them be harmed, then I would do my best to trust and obey. I admit I don't even like to think about neglecting to protect a helpless person but that doesn't determine what is right or wrong. Similarly, not liking to think about using force to defend someone who needs your protection does not decide the issue either. "For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'" (Rom 15:3) - So it doesn't matter whether men would call me 'too violent' or 'too passive'. Only following righteousness, "perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Quote:
Quote:
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.

Sorry. I just don't buy this argument. But that's okay with me.

Sorry if it wasn't helpful. I just meant to show that 'preemptive' strike is not a radical departure from the traditional principles of defensive combat but can (and ought to) be based on the same principles (love for neighbor and enemy).

Quote:
I said: 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?

You replied: I couldn't tell what you meant here.

I mean, that people who don't have the peace of God in their hearts, who think that their religious aims can be furthered by physical violence (carnal thinking), cannot be expected to live peaceably with others who desire peace because they do have the peace of God in their hearts. I would not expect Christians to make war against Christians, and so, to make war against non-Christians makes even less sense.

I'm still not sure I follow your reasoning here. It sounds like you are saying there are only two options: Christian pacifism and carnal warmongering. Have you considered that there is third option between all violence and no violence?

Quote:
Look at Paul the apostle, killing Christians. He really believed he was justified in so doing, until the Lord stepped in. Now, after that, unbelieving Jews were trying to kill him, and he was even left for dead once, but his response was not to try and rustle up a band of Christians to help him hunt down and kill the heathen. Rather, he carried on evangelizing them.

So.... what had changed in Paul?

Why did he now no longer think it was appropriate to kill those who didn't agree with his (new) religion?

Was it because the Lord had told him he would suffer for His sake? Was it because he couldn't get any other Christians to join him in stamping out the unbelieving Jews (as once he had tried to stamp out believing Christians)? Or was it because Jesus clearly stated that His kingdom is not of this world else His servants would fight for Him, and now, Paul was serving the interests of that kingdom?

I think what I'm trying to say is, that Paul thought he was justified in killing people, until his conversion, and after his conversion he didn't think he was justified in so doing. I ask again: what had changed?

Secondarily, do we demonstrate that we have not 'changed', when we justify killing unbelievers?

It sounds like you think Paul was completely pacifist in his beliefs based on his response to persecution. Do you think his response to persecution would be totally incompatible with non-pacifist beliefs?

 2010/1/27 23:39
reptarz
Member



Joined: 2010/1/28
Posts: 1


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

what about if you're a jew, muslim or other religion & you're in the service, would you fell comfortable using "jesus guns or [url=http://www.weapons-universe.com/Knives/Special_Ops_Knives.shtml]special ops knife[/url] "? & whats next? "jesus bombs" falling from the sky?

 2010/1/28 10:14Profile









 a different ministry

i was just re-reading Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" and near the end, he outlined several sorts of ministries, and one i thought made great sense, contained great wisdom in Christ, and that is the "ministry of holding one's tongue".

(along with the ministry of meekness, of listening, of helpfulness, of hearing, of proclaiming, of authority)

it's a most graceful ministry, and i urge all to give it a try.

in Jesus' love, neil

 2010/1/28 11:45









 Re: a different ministry


Quote:
the "ministry of holding one's tongue".... it's a most graceful ministry, and i urge all to give it a try.

Does this mean you'd like the forums to cease?

Or, you just don't want to think about whether Jesus would like His name on weapons of destruction?

 2010/1/28 12:17









 beloved

Quote:
Does this mean you'd like the forums to cease?



NO! not at all. i praise God in ANY way followers of Jesus can redeem this internet, by loving discourse, or sharing the Word, a prayer in Christ, a word of encouragement.

Love IN Messiah, thats what my heart longs for, among us, among others, to all the world. What is for the secular is for the secular, and what is God belongs to God, and never shall the twain meet. thats all i gotta say.

i love you, neil

 2010/1/28 12:54





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