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Old 02-18-2008, 12:44 PM
Posts: n/a

Sorry, I'm using this format for quoting but I haven't figured out how to quote properly.
I'm responding to DILIGENT's response.

"Sure they are, but individuals and nations are different entities in Scripture."

***I agree with you completely.
The goal of government is to keep peace and sway evil (Romans 13:4). However, nowhere in the Bible is the Christian told to assist government in any way in this endeavor.
Why? Because our current worldly governments are just that, worldly. No government on Earth reflects the heart of God to seek and save that which is lost. So government's purpose is to supress evil (and they seem to be doing a lousy job at it...collectively speaking)

"It's clear that Matthew 5 is talking about personal revenge, because Christ did not come to deny the law (eye for an eye)."

***"You have heard it said...BUT I SAY..." Christ is showing us a more excellent way here and the language is evident.

" Therefor, we must understand that lawful retribution (justice) is a function of the government, not a personal one."

***Again we agree.
However, I go a step further than you by declaring that this implies that Christians should not concern themselves with the affairs of men on this subject (i.e. enlistment in the Armed Forces, fighting this world's wars, etc.) because Christ stated plainly that His Kingdom was NOT of this world.

"Clearly, Christ was not a pacifist nor does he demand his followers be pacifists, since he told them to be armed in Luke 22:36 for travel on perilous roads."

***SPOT ON!!! Jesus was not a pacifist, as you said. Pacifism requires activism and Jesus did not come to Earth to be an activist. However, he did preach non retribution and I don't think it would be fair to build an arguement for carrying swords (or whatever your weapon of choice) based on one verse. Especially since several verses later he corrects Peter for using the very sword He told them to carry. Another Gospel says He told him to put away his sword because the one who lives by it, dies by it.

I admit I don't know exactly what Luke 22:36 is saying in regards to Christians and weapons but I know that He spoke so much against violence, retribution, and vengeance that one verse cannot erase it all away.

"God very clearly is a "man of war" (Exodus 15:3)" and war is a function of nations (Joel 3:9)."

Yes, GOD is a man of war not us.
We, Christians are called to love our enemies and bless them that persecute us.
War, indeed, is function of nations but again, nowhere are we Christians either commanded or encouraged to engage in war except the clear statement of scripture to engage in spiritual warfare.

We wrestle NOT against flesh and blood.
If that's true, what business do I have carrying a rifle around trying to destroy flesh and blood?

I honestly don't mean to come across as condescending, I just really believe the Bible is clear on this subject.