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Old 02-18-2008, 02:02 PM
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Jerry, you didn't state who you were replying to but I'll assume it's me. If not, I apologize.

"In the OT, the believer were to defend their families and homes, their countries. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that we are no longer to do this."

***This is not exactly true.
In the OT the Jews were used by God as His instrument of justice against all the ungodly idolators in the land. Regarding the NT, I don't see any verse telling us to defend anything, much less our country which is at odds with God's Word in so many respects.

Remember that the Bible says our citizenship is in Heaven...not on Earth.

"You agree that governments have the right to wield the sword. Well, our governments use the armies and navies, etc. to make terrorists and wicked countries pay for their crimes."

***Careful, our country has created some of those terrorists. That would make us just as guilty and hypocritical to boot.

"If you are part of that army, then you are wielding the sword they have given you to fulfill their purpose."

***That's my point, exactly. We shouldn't be a part of that or any other Earthly army because the armies of this world exist to fulfill the dictates of the world's government. Again, all world governments are at odds with God so we can't be fulfilling the will of God by fighting against "our neighbors" who the Bible says we are to care for and demonstarte the love of God to.

Paul says in Philippians 2:15 that we are to be "blameless and harmless, the sons of God..." This is a direct reference to The Sermon On The Mount where Jesus says "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." You cannot be a peacemaker while engaging in acts of war.
War doesn't bring about peace, it may supress violence for a time but it doesn't bring about peace. WW1 and 2 should've taught us that.

I honestly cannot find one reference of Jesus telling His disciples to fight and carry on warfare but I can find dozens of Him saying to "be gentle as doves", "resist not evil", "put away your sword", "love your enemies and bless them that curse you", etc.

What the government does is it's business. What the one who names the Name of Jesus does, is God's.
While God usues earthly government to carry out His will, I don't see Jesus calling us anywhere to assist God and harm the very people that He bled and died for.

I hope none of that sounded brash. I didn't mean for it to.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:42 PM
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How can "the government" carry out its responsibility to wield the sword without people to do it for them. Government is an entity made up of people - not just an abstract concept.

This is spoken to the nation of Israel:

Leviticus 19:17-18 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

The nation that God sent out to war, to conquer those satanic nations that were currently occupying the Promised Land. Are you stating that when they obeyed God and went to war, that they were hating those people? If that is your conclusion, you have God making them break His own laws - and that would also make the God of war (which the OT calls God) a God of hate, rather than love, which the Bible states He is.
Old 02-18-2008, 03:19 PM
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Paladin54 Paladin54 is offline
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Location: San Diego, California, the most vile state in the Union
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If I may, I'd like to type up this devotional. it is also where I first read Luke 22:36 thank you Brandon for explaining that vexing verse.
Here goes:
"Alvin York, a poorly-educated, red-headed, strapping Tennessean whom his friends called 'Big 'Un", became the greatest hero of World War I. On September 26, 1918, he and his men were ambushed by Germans in the Argonne forest. His bunkmate was peppered with so many rounds his uniform was tor off. Others dropped to York's left and right, and the surviving Americans were pinned down. Rising to his feet, York stepped into hail of bullets and started firing. When his rifle ammunition ran out, he drew his pistol. Bullets and bayonets rained down on him, but in the end York didn't suffer a scratch. He killed the nest of 24 machine gunners, captured 132 prisoners, and singlehandedly saved his men. It was the "greatest single exploit" of World War I.
Ironically, York was a dedicated Christian who had originally requested exeptio as a pacifist. The Sixth Commandment seemed clear to him and he had no desire to fire at anything more than rabbits and squirrels. When the request wa denied, York reported for duty deeply troubled.
But in the army, he met Major George Edward Buxton. One evening the two engaged in a gentle debate of Scriptures. When York quoted the Sixth Commandment, Buxton turned to Luke 22;36: "...he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." York quoted the passage about turning the other cheek, and Buxton countered with Christ's driving out the moneychangers. York said, "Blessed are the peacemakers", and Buxton said, rende unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
Finally, Buxton turned to Ezekiel 33 and read how Israel's watchmen were to blow their trumpets and defend their city. Buxton's eye met York's and it was then, York later wrote, that I knowed I would go to war. I knowed I would e protected from all harm, and that so long as I believed in Him he would not allow even a hair on my head to be harmed.

Your thoughts?

Last edited by Paladin54; 02-18-2008 at 03:22 PM.
Old 02-18-2008, 07:10 PM
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"How can "the government" carry out its responsibility to wield the sword without people to do it for them."

***Obviously they can't, but let them do it with the heathen and not the children of God. You absolutely cannot love your neighbor if you have a gun pointed at his head and you're ready to kill him. Can we all agree that we don't need to bend over backwards to have that make sense?
I don't mean any sarcasm. Honestly. It's important to me that I come across as being charitable and not at all hostile like some folks who come here just to raise trouble.

"Are you stating that when they obeyed God and went to war, that they were hating those people?"

***No, because when they went out, they went out because He said so and to accomplish His purpose which was the vengeance of God against the idolators. The vengeance of God is not at all like the vengeance of man as we all know. God even tells them that the Canaanites would not be destroyed earlier on because the fullness of their sin was not yet complete, demonstarting God's longsufferingness.
Therefore there is no contradiction between God doing something that seems wrathful and Him maintaining His love.
God spoke either audibly to their leaders (i.e. Moses, Joshua, etc.) or else through the prophets when He called His children to war. That doesn't happen today and it's important to note that because if it doesn't happen that way, we shouldn't assume the role of thinking for God when God has not spoken.

Thanks for the story. However I think the verses quoted are out of context.
Example: Luke 22:36 comes before Peter cuts off someone's ear and Jesus rebukes him. While I confessed earlier that I don't completely understand that verse I do know that we can't base a doctrine off of just one verse. There's something else going on there that needs to be thought out a bit more clearer.

"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar" - I do not belong to Caesar but to Christ so I have no compulsion to disobey our Lord simply because Caesar said so. If the Lord said "love your enemies and pray for those that curse you" I have no right or authority to disobey and add "and blow their heads off" to the simple command.

Regarding Ezekiel 33- please remember that Israel was God's chosen people and they existed to show off His glory, righteousness, holiness, etc. He even stated that it wasn't because they had merited it but rather because they were nobodies through whom He wanted to work.
There has been no other nation in all of history that can claim that, so appeals to Israel and God's relationship with them need to be examined a bit closer.
Example: God told the Israelites to destroy the Cannanites. God has not told any one else in the whole world to do anything like that ever again.
As such, the Christian must be IN the world but certainly not OF it in matters where God has not clearly spoken.

"Gentle as doves", "They will know we are Christians by the love we have one to another", "Peacemakers"...these are the characteristics of the child of God.

By the way...I am not some liberal, tree hugging, hippie, socialist, yadda-yadda-yadda. My remarks are IN NO WAY politically minded but rather they are motivated by a love for the Word of God and a desire to have the world recognize us by the love we display for it.
These are the things Jesus taught and I feel we have somehow gotten away from this basic Christian doctrine.
Old 02-18-2008, 08:33 PM
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I believe the whole Bible, not just the New Testament. I also believe that the Old Testament applies to us - whether directly or by principle - unless the NT specifically states that portion of it is done away with or fulfilled, etc. Therefore I still believe we are to defend our families, our homes, and our nations.

I see from Scripture that as a Christian I am not to take personal vengeance against my enemies - but I do not see where I am not to fight my countries enemies (and there is no such thing as a Christian nation, so we can't assume that God doesn't want our nation to go to war because we are a "Christian nation").

What about the passage where John the Baptist was speaking to the soldiers? He did not tell them to stop being soldiers or never fight.

Luke 3:12-14 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

In this context, I believe the reference to not doing violence is to not extorting others, not controlling others by force.
Old 02-18-2008, 09:46 PM
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With all due respect, you have stated something and negated it at once.

"I see from Scripture that as a Christian I am not to take personal vengeance against my enemies - but I do not see where I am not to fight my countries enemies..."

How can you agree not to take vengeance (personal or otherwise) and yet hold to the view that it is ok as long as your country deems it so.
Obviously, our country is not the final authority in matters relating to our faith so how can we justify killing our neighbors after we're told to love them and bless them and even provide for them as in the case of the Good Samaritain.

We are to give them a glass of cold water, give them our cloaks and tunics, walk the extra mile(s) with/for them and ultimately love them as Jesus would because it's Him we represet on this planet.
How then can you say "Yeah, but if my country told me to kill them, it would be ok and God would understand and aprove"?
Can we agree that this arguement is self defeating?

Look, I didn't come here to be argumentative. Actually, this post wasn't originally mine, it's just that the originator has not written again and the topic fell on me because of my views. I also don't want to be controversial for it's own sake.
I honestly believe the Church of our Lord has dropped the ball on this one and we'll be held accountable for calling fire down on our "enemies" when we should've been a light to them showing them the way to the Cross.

"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live..."
Ezekiel 33:11
Old 02-19-2008, 06:49 AM
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You keep trying to set the Bible against itself - that is Ezekiel you are quoting - Old Testament - yet you keep trying to tell us that we are to do something different in the NT. The NT does not contradict the OT. In the OT, when the Israelites fought against the Canaanites, they were to obey Ezekiel 33 just as much as the NT Christian is to today.

Fighting a war for my country is not personal vengeance.

We are to give them a glass of cold water, give them our cloaks and tunics, walk the extra mile(s) with/for them and ultimately love them as Jesus would because it's Him we represet on this planet.
Let's remember the context of this passage: when taken to court, give them your cloak if and walk the extra mile. We can make application to our everyday life to do the same - but that is not what the passage is dealing with. When the Roman soldiers commanded the early Christians to carry their baggage for one mile, they were to go beyond the forced march and carry it two miles - willingly, not reluctantly. When sued for your coat, give them your cloak also. Pay what is owed legally, then go beyond that.
Old 02-19-2008, 10:17 AM
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"You keep trying to set the Bible against itself..."

Not at all. I quoted Ezekiel to show that this was God's plan all along and not some thing "new" that He thought up.
Maybe I'm not being clear. My point is that in the OT God had a specific covenant with a specific group of people. While we can draw parallels with them we are children of the New Covenant. That means that while nothing gets erased, it finds its fulfillment in Christ which is why Jesus could say...

"You have heard it said [i.e. The words the Father spoke to the children of Israel for their time - again, we believe that the Father and Son are One] BUT I SAY [same God talking here, but now He's showing us "the more excellent way" Paul discusses, which is love]. This is no contradiction but clarity.

In the issue of adultery: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time: THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY" Matthew 5:27,28

Obviously this is the law that God gave the Israelites; the 10 commandments...

"...BUT I SAY [emphasis mine] unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in His heart"

When they asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was He responded with two. They were "LOVE GOD" and also "LOVE MAN". In the example above the Law was good and served as a schoolmaster to expose sin but now that we are children of the NT we don't need 2 tablets because the Holy Spirit is living in us to convict us of sin. Those same 10 commandments apply, it's just that now my motive is not to avoid getting into trouble with God, it's trying to please my Master so that I can commune with Him in a way that is pure and righteous and holy; the way He calls us to live before Him.

In the same way, when He says (Matthew 5: 38,39):

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR TOOTH:..."

It's still the same God quoting the same Law He gave the children of Israel. This time it's in Exodus 21:24 as well as Leviticus 24:20 and Deuteronomy 19:21. Granted, this wasn't part of the "Big 10" but it's still the Law of God given to the children of Israel.
However, He continues...

"But I say unto you, that you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also".

The same rules apply here. The Law was given to expose sin by serving as a schoolmaster. However, now the Holy Spirit lives in us and convicts us of sin.
In this way, if my retaliation on a personal level is wrong, how can it then be made right simply because we've included masses and armed them with weapons and ammunition.

In other words, if I am supposed to love my enemies and bless them that curse me on a personal level, how is it that the rules change when this or any other country says that we are to go to war and kill these same folks?

Please also keep in mind that Paul expounds on this topic by reminding us that our REAL enemies aren't even our fellow man, made in the image and likeness our our Savior (vile though they may be, like us pre-Christ).
He says our REAL enemies are the powers and principalities that exist beyond our natural sight and we have the Armour of God to do combat with these enemies and EVEN THEN the ONLY offensive weapon we get to use against them is the Sword of The Spirit which is the Word of God (i.e the Bible).

I know this smacks against the common culture but the common culture is not the Counsellor; the Holy Spirit is and I think He's been clear.
It's us that have muddied things up.

Love your enemies.
Give them water.
Give them food.
Be as gentle as a dove.
Resist not evil.
Turn the other cheek.
And on, and on, and on...

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this COMMANDMENT we have FROM HIM,, THAT HE WHO LOVETH GOD LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO" 1 John 4:20,21 (emphasis mine)

The Lord bless you all!
Old 02-19-2008, 12:16 PM
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Wow, glad you weren't in Europe when Hitler was conquering it - he would have succeeded if no one rose up against him to fight!
Old 02-19-2008, 12:59 PM
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That's a line I hear often but as per my belief, God is sovereign no matter what so Hitler would not have thwarted God's plan for me individually and mankind collectively.

We are a society that places a heavy emphasis on our personal freedoms and quite a few of those freedoms have been gained by a certain amount of warring. However, I'm asking you to think if this nation is any better as a result of these wars.


Don't just answer with a predetermined "Yes, because we're sitting here chatting in English as opposed to German".
Our freedom is found in Christ as Daniel, Joseph, Jeremiah, Paul, John and a slew of other Bible personalities would attest. However, has any of that freedom brought this nation closer to God?

Most Christian and Secular Sociologists are describing this as a Post-Christian generation. The average youth today has NO experience going to church on Sundays and listening to the Gospel being preached. On the contrary, they are predisposed to mentally shut down anything that smacks of religion to them. As a former middle school teacher, I can verify that bit of research.

We are arguably, one of the freeist nations on the Earth yet our witness here is either marred by extremists orabsent from the culture at large. A famous preacher once said "The majority of churches today are either morgues or insane asylums".

All this at the heels of so many wars fought and won.

Conversely, the Church in China has very little freedom yet it is the fastest growing Church on the planet by some estimations.

No wars, no fighting. Just living out the gospel daily...even at the cost of their lives.

So what's my point?

Just that I thnk we place an undue amount of concern over individualism in this country where my rights come first and that is reflected in this nation's attitude towards war.
Jesus said if we wanted to find our lives we needed to lose them.
He said that the first would be last.
He also said that if we wanted to truly live, we had to die to self.

All those examples speak of putting others first...something gravely lacking in our culture (including our culture of war).

So what would have really happened if Hitler has risen and conquered?
I'm not sure but I do know that God is sovereign and that just like Daniel was able to prosper under the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians and the rest, God would make a way for us too.

Our personal comfort level is never an excuse to go to war and destroy our neighbors, made in the image and likeness of our God.

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