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Christians Only. Peacekeeper or Peacemaker?

Discussion in 'Christianity in General DIR' started by Deeje, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Peace is an elusive thing in the world and it always has been. The balance has always been upset by humans, greedy for power and resources, who have robbed others of their land, their possessions, their dignity, and their peace.

    Attempts at attaining peace have somehow always required a war, with massive carnage, usually on both sides.
    But winning a war does not bring lasting peace and it never has. Why? The answer lies in the difference between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker.....so what is the difference...and does it matter?

    In this day and age when the need for peace has never been greater, we see the world's most powerful nations fronting up for a war in the middle of a pandemic...over what? Territory again. There is a trading of insults and national pride means that no one will back down. As if the world hasn't been through enough already, we are going to see more armed conflict with more sophisticated weapons, and more carnage.

    The UN has had 'peacekeeping' forces in war torn countries for decades, but 'peacekeepers' with weapons and tanks can hardly be a force for true peace. If all a peacekeeper has is a big stick, then a man with a bigger stick is going to either ignore him or take him down.

    What the world needs is "peacemakers"....these are people who have peace in their hearts and who will never harm a soul no matter what is done to them. They actively pursue this inner peace at all costs by not allowing themselves to be robbed of it. 'They do not return evil for evil, and they conquer evil with good.' (Romans 12:17-21)
    Does this describe your brotherhood?

    Christ's followers are recognized by the traits he outlined in his Sermon on the Mount....

    Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

    4 “Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted.


    5 Happy are the mild-tempered, since they will inherit the earth.


    6 “Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.


    7 Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.


    8 “Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.


    9 Happy are the peacemakers, since they will be called sons of God.


    10 Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.


    11 Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. 12 Rejoice and be overjoyed, since your reward is great in the heavens, for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you."
    (Matthew 5:3-12)
    Their "Happiness" comes from within despite external pressures. No one can take it from them.

    What qualities do you see in his words that will make Christ's true followers into "peacemakers"?

    They will not be part of the world's political or religious conflicts, and they will be at peace with all men...even those who hate them and persecute them. (Matthew 5:43-45)

    I believe that the final showdown on this earth is not far away, and soon now we will see Christ step in to hold the peace disrupters to account. The pushing and shoving of the the current world powers may very well lead to God's great final war of Armageddon. Only then can true peace be seen on this earth, because only the true peacemakers will remain.
    (Revelation 21:2-4)

    Time will tell.....
     
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  2. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    No truer words have been spoken. In reality, IMV, only when the Prince of Peace comes and sets up Kingdom will there be true peace and righteousness will be in the government that is on his shoulders.

    Things that also speak of the coming war:

    1) The push to a cashless society
    2) The effort of a one world government
    3) The increase loom of governments trying to gain control
    4) Increase of sin (although grace does more so abound)
    5) Unthankful children
    6) Disregard for authority

    and so many more!
     
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  3. eik

    eik Active Member

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    No and this is frankly ridiculous, because it's just like opening your door and inviting the world to steal everything you have and reducing yourself to serfdom. And the world will steal all that you have: possessions, wife, children, job and motor vehicle. You have no knowledge of what you're talking about.

    Context is everything. Jesus was talking to Jews under Israelite law. Everything he said is to be seen in that context. He wasn't talking to Christians living in an modern atheist society of unbelievers, as to whom he commanded to purchase swords, Luke 22:36-38.

    Despoilation by atheists is not any part of Christ's teaching. If it were Christianity would have been wiped out when the Roman Empire disintegrated from conquest by the Barbarian hordes and by Islam. Christianity has alreadydisappeared from vast areas of the world due to the failure to take the sword in defence.
     
  4. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    But I do know what I am talking about.
    Jesus was giving us the tools to live in the world he knew was coming. He is the one who gave us the events to alert us to "the sign" of "the time of the end" when he was to return. (Matthew 24:3-14) Christians can be part of the problem by being up to their necks in politics and the resulting conflicts, or they can support the solution, which is the coming of God's kingdom....the one Jesus taught us to pray for so that God's will can be "done ON EARTH as it is in heaven."

    When Jesus told his apostles to buy swords, did you understand why he did that? When Peter used one, cutting off a man's ear, Jesus rebuked him and told him to return the sword to its place. IOW, they were not to be used. So why did he tell them to buy weapons that were not to be used? To illustrate that even though they were armed and could resort to violence, they would not retaliate. Why else would "two swords" be "enough" to combat an armed mob who came to arrest him? There was to be no combat.

    This is where I believe, many who identify as "Christians" fall into the trap of thinking that ignoring Jesus' teaching can ever be justified. His teachings are for all times, not just applying to the first century. This is at the very core of what it means to be a "Christian". How do we justify not obeying the teachings of our master just because it causes us trouble or even harm? That is what it means to be a follower of Christ...to take up his instrument of torture and be prepared for the same kinds of difficulties that he faced....isn't that what he told his disciples...?

    John 15:18-21...
    "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 20 Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will also observe yours. 21 But they will do all these things against you on account of my name, because they do not know the One who sent me."

    Being "no part of the world" means that we do NOT join in when they are using violent means to accomplish their godless agendas. Any Christian who is friends with this world or who wants to prop it up, are not friends with God. (James 4:4) God will not even hear their prayers. (Isaiah 1:15)

    True Christians understand who is the god of this world, and remain distant from its goals and violent conflicts. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:19) Just as Jesus was politically neutral in his role as teacher and savior, we too have to remain separated from the affairs of this world....just going quietly about our business without taking sides. We also have to be separate from the world's immorality, maintaining what many consider to be 'old fashioned' values. They are God's values and they do not change just because the world does.

    The apostle Paul admonished the Hebrew Christians, saying: “However, keep on remembering the former days in which, after you were enlightened, you endured a great contest under sufferings, sometimes while you were being exposed as in a theater both to reproaches and tribulations, and sometimes while you became sharers with those who were having such an experience. For you both expressed sympathy for those in prison and joyfully took the plundering of your belongings, knowing you yourselves have a better and an abiding possession.” (Hebrews 10:32-24)

    Why do you think that the road to life is "cramped and narrow"? (Matthew 7:13-14) It wasn't ever going to be a picnic. There is nothing lost in this world that is not replaceable in the world to come.

    But is it really "Christianity" that has disappeared? Didn't Jesus foretell that "weeds" of false Christianity would spread out in the world, doing what "weeds" do best? This fake form of Christianity does not retain the teachings of Jesus Christ at all...it is a sham. The "wheat" have struggled for existence ever since the devil sowed those weeds......but the "wheat" have never been completely eliminated, instead they were growing in difficult conditions but surviving.

    It wasn't until the time of Christ's return that the "wheat" would be completely separated from the "weeds".....this is the "harvest time" and the first thing Jesus will do when he comes to judge the world will be to collect those "weeds" and destroy them. (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43) These are the ones with blood on their hands, who have ignored Christ's teachings and introduced their own ideas and who are 'in bed' with the world's politicians......a 'friendship' that will cost them everything. (Matthew 7:21-23)

    'Despoilation' is what Christians expect, and like Peter they have been told to put their weapons down and let God do what he says he will.

    James 1:19-21...
    "Know this, my beloved brothers: Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, put away all filthiness and every trace of badness, and accept with mildness the implanting of the word that is able to save you."

    You see....God has it all under control and we do not have to do a thing to stop the 'despoilers'.
    God will bring them all to account in his due time......in the meantime we Christians have been given an important job......that is to tell everyone about God's incoming Kingdom, which will eradicate all corrupt human rulership and replace it as man's only governance. (Daniel 2:44)

    When it "comes", it will do away with all the things that cause human suffering and death....
    Revelation 21:2-4...
    "I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

    That is what I believe true Christians can look forward to.....it is good news indeed. :)
     
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  5. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    It is written....somewhere

    BEWARE THE SONS OF GOD
    They are peacemakers
     
  6. eik

    eik Active Member

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    I never said that Christians should seek to create conflict. But they should not shrink from being involved in politics if that is their calling, as they can do much good in that field. How can they act as peacemakers if not involved in politics?


    Jesus was not referring to the Gethsemane incident when he instructed his disciples to take swords. He was referring to his followers being deemed to be amongst the "transgressors" after his death. That is to say human rulers would confer a license to persecute his followers. They would be persecuted; and swords and cloaks and possessions would be needed in self defence.

    It wasn't only swords. "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." Luke 22:36.

    This was by way of contrast to the situation under the law, where they needed none of these.

    The idea of no rights of self defence for Christians is completely foreign to the gospel and deeply disturbing.

    As Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything. The idea that Christians must lie down before evil doers is absurd. May be you live in an environment where there are no evil doers? Well you should not suppose that is the norm. There are many people, conmen, fraudsters, tricksters, gypsies, adulterers etc who would steal everything you had if allowed to.

    The main idea is that Christians should be peace makers and not fomenters of strife. Yet in respect of strife consider this:

    Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    That's not to say Christians should get involved in every conflict, or get involved in politics. It is not to say that they don't have the right to be pacfists. It is to say that there is no law requring them to surrender to evil.

    Fake Christianity exists by Christians adopting the standards of the world. WWI was one such issue, where they should have rebelled en-masse against the very idea of waging war against fellow European Christians. They were fed propaganda by the rulers and launched themselves into an unholy war.

    I agree that worldly Christianity is a sham, but the biblical principle of self-defence stands.

    I simply don't agree. You don't know what you're saying. Think of Mexico, a land overrun by armed criminal cartels where violence is endemic. This is what happens when Christians fail to exercise legitimate rights of self-government.

    The gospel and kingdom of God can't wait for God to call the wicked to account on the day of judgement.

    The ideal is fine, but no-one respects anyone who will not resist evil. Such brings the gospel into contempt, unless evil is inevitable, which for the most part it isn't.

    But what we can look forward to is not to be confused with how we should live on earth. Earth and heaven are different places. We do not live in heaven.
     
    #6 eik, Jul 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    1 John 5:2-4.....
    "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and carry out his commandments. 3 For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome, 4 because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith."

    If we find that God's commandments are burdensome, then we are not children of God. We are to "conquer the world".....we do not join in with it.....so it is our faith that leads to this conquest.....faith that God is in control of everything, and whatever he allows, is what he allows. We do not need to fight....because the fight is not ours. Let the world squabble over land and resources.....we will not join them, or share in their bloodguilt.

    If 1 John 5:19 is true...."We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one."...then how much of the world is not under satan's power? If we support the world, we support its god and ruler....who has blinded people to the truth. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

    There is no mention of self defense on the part of the Christians....if you see the accounts of when they were arrested and imprisoned, you can see that there was no resistance.

    Acts 16:16-34 is the account of Paul and Silas who gained the anger of a servant girl's masters when they expelled a demon of divination from her. She earned them money by her fortune telling and now she was no use to them....so they had Paul and Silas thrown into prison after a good flogging. What did Paul and Silas do....plot an escape?......seek revenge? Read it for yourself. They sang songs of praise to God....and waited for him to act.....which he did.

    Do you remember Gamaliel's intersession on behalf of the apostles who had been arrested for preaching. (Acts 5:27-32) Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin to back off because if this was the work of men, it would come to nothing...but if it was from God, then it could not be overthrown. So their response was to flog the apostles and release them. What did the apostles do?
    "...they went out from before the Sanʹhe·drin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name. 42 And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus." (41-42)
    That is how you conquer the world....

    We have to remember that this was Jews preaching to other Jews. It was a deeply ingrained Jewish custom to offer hospitality to strangers, so initially they did not need to take provisions, but when the tide began to turn against them, hospitality was withdrawn and the disciples needed to take their own provisions. But because they were non-violent (never having had swords before) there was no reason to arm themselves except at Jesus' request on the night of his arrest.
    There is not a single occasion where they raised a hand or a weapon to anyone....except Peter on that night.
     
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  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I never said there could be no self-defense....but this pertains to personal attacks, not military interventions. No Christian would stand by and watch anyone being attacked and not try to help them. The one thing that they would try to avoid however would be inflicting grievous bodily harm to anyone. The aim would be to stop the attack. You would not pull a gun and shoot the perpetrator.

    I live in Australia and we have our fair share of conmen, fraudsters and scammers but that doesn't mean that we would take the law into our own hands. We would leave those people to the Police to deal with.

    On a national level we would not resist an invader with weapons, but would do what Jesus did when he was under threat....he simply left the scene. If we were arrested, then we would not resist, and like the apostles, we would see it as part of being a Christian, and exercise our faith. (John 15:18-21)
    This is nothing new for Jehovah's Witnesses BTW....

    The sword in this case is figurative.....the next verse tells us why...
    "Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.+ 35 For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 Indeed, a man’s enemies will be those of his own household." These are not enemies fought with literal weapons, but used to put pressure on family members who wanted to become Christians.

    There are different ways not to surrender to evil.....as Paul said...
    "Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good." (Romans 12:17-21)

    This is what makes a true Christian IMO.

    Yes, and still my brothers faithfully carry out their ministry there, in spite of the problems. We have no involvement with those people...we don't interfere with them and they don't interfere with us.

    On the contrary...it was the experience of our brothers in the Nazi concentration camps where some of the guards were so impressed with their conduct and their courage in the face of death, that after the war was over they sought out Jehovah's Witnesses and became part of our spiritual family.

    That scripture is not describing heaven....it is describing life on earth under the rulership of God's Kingdom.....the life we were meant to have was taken away from us in the garden of Eden.....Jesus gave his life to get it back for us.....the future is going to be amazing!
     
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  9. eik

    eik Active Member

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    Why not military interventions? If a ruler is commiting genocide, intervention would be mandated. If someone is being attacked, depends on the nature of the attack. If it was by a madman armed with a machete (quite common with ISIS attackers), you'd shoot him dead.

    The police was an institution created by a largely Christian state.

    False dichotomy, because the apostles were arrested under the law of the state, but an invader cannot claim the authority of any law, and certainly warrants a defence (unless against an overwhemingly superior force).

    So you're a JW?

    I agree it is figurative, but it is also illustrative that the Pax Romana would not be allowed to prevail. As indeed it didn't. God brought judgement to the world by means of the sword of atheists.

    What makes a Christian is faith. But I'll agree that everything has it's place. You wouldn't offer a cup of tea to a burglar intent on stealing your possessions (it would invalidate your insurance and you could be arrested for insurance fraud if seen to be complicit with the burglar).

    They're lucky then. Many innocent bystanders have been shot.
    2014 Iguala mass kidnapping - Wikipedia

    That evil was inevitable, once impisoned in the camps. Don't distort what I say.

    Complete nonsense.


    2 Pet 3:7 "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly."
     
  10. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The world can take care of itself.....I said nothing about what nations in conflict might, or might not do. Regardless of how they respond to an attack, we will be no part of it. Its none of our business. Who is ruling the world, blinding people to the truth about God and his son? (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) Let him use his own to sort out their political squabbles.
    There are no good guys in a war. God does not sanction military actions by those who call themselves "Christians" because that is not what Christ taught. (Matthew 5:43-45) You can't love your enemy with a weapon.

    Someone has to keep the peace, so until the powers that be work out a better arrangement, who ya gonna call? :rolleyes:

    You think an invader cares about law? As I said, Christ's disciples are to be NO part of this world because it is ruled by the devil. (1 John 5:19) We leave the world to take care of itself. If there is bloodshed and one of your own is killed, I can assure you that their life will not be snuffed out by any of Jehovah's Witnesses. In fact if all the world was like us, there would be no wars or violence or crime.

    Plainly stated....:D

    I am not sure what you mean by this....care to elaborate? What did pressure brought to bear on family member who wanted to become Christians reflect anything to do with the Pax Romana?

    As far as Rome was concerned, they gave the Christians a very hard time. Whole families of Christians were brought into the arenas and parents with their frightened children clinging to them were given the option to walk free and all they had to do was place a pinch of incense on the alter as an act of worship to the Emperor.....but they refused. Thereafter the wild animals were released to rip them to pieces for public entertainment. That is what faith is all about. Jesus died for his faith and we may also be called upon to surrender our lives to support the worship of our God.

    Loving your enemy doesn't mean offering him tea and scones.....it means actually not hating them. It means that you love them in the sense that you will not return evil for evil, no matter what the provocation.

    So you believe that God is going to burn up the earth because of what humans are doing down here? The fire here is figurative, picturing God's blazing anger expressed towards his enemies. He has no need to destroy the planet because he will simply eliminate all peace disrupters and unbelievers from existence. Why destroy the earth when there is nothing wrong with it? :shrug:

    God cleansed the world once before in Noah's day....he did not need to destroy the earth to do that. Jesus said that his return would be just like the days of Noah. (Matthew 24:37-39)

    If you notice in Revelation 21:2-4, God's dwelling is with "men" right here on earth. This is where he put us, and this earth is where he designed us to live as material creatures, forever. Being mortal didn't mean that we had to die....it only meant that we could. The only cause of death in Eden was disobedience.
     
  11. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Peter, here, had just written about the Flood. Why did he say “the present heavens and earth”? Because the heavens and earth before the Flood, were different. Peter was not referring to literal heavens and earth, here.

    Earth can refer to people, not necessarily the planet. Genesis 11:1.

    And note how Paul refers to “governments and authorities” as residing “in the heavenly places,” at Ephesians 3:10.

    Just as the literal heavens are over the literal Earth, so governments (symbolic “heavens”) are over societies of people (symbolic “earth”)

    This planet is beautiful, no need for it to be destroyed. But there is a need to get rid of wicked people!.
     
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  12. eik

    eik Active Member

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    An ingenious theory but deceitful, as you're trying to argue black is white and white is black.
     
  13. eik

    eik Active Member

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    The OT is full of just wars. Were it not for the Jewish wars of the Maccabees, Judaism would have disappeared in the 2nd century BC.

    Some JWs turn out to be murderers.

    What I mean is that Christ came to bring faith to the world. Peace itself was only a secondly issue. Faith causes strife, but also grounds for wrath against those who refuse to believe. Hence the book of Revelations: God's wrath against unbelievers. What Christ demands is the promotion of faith in himself, which may be problematic for you to grasp, being a JW who doesn't believe in Christ so much as in Jehova.

    In other words, you're inviting them to steal from you on the basis you would not report their crime. Would you be happy to pay punitive insurance? Is anyone actually willing to insure you against theft?

    Pure fancy from your leader.

    And when he returned there would be the final judgement, and then the New Heavens and Earth.

    No the cause of death was God limiting men's lifespans Gen 6:3, of which Jesus said "No one tittle will depart from the law until everything is fulfilled." Matt 5;18.

    So men had to die and will continue to die until the end.
     
  14. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Jewish wars were fought to protect Israel’s God-given territory. By the time of Christ’s baptism, Israel was under Roman domination and Jews were dispersed from their homeland and no longer had territory to protect. They no longer had a military force either. God has not sanctioned a war for thousands of years. There is no “just war” unless it has God’s sanction. Since we are to be “no part of the world”, none of their wars are "just" only "justified" (a whole other ballgame) ...why would we break God’s law by joining in the bloodshed? (Isaiah 1:15)

    Christ taught us NOT to be violent. How do you love your enemies if you have the desire to kill them? Do you tell them you love love them before or after you have shot them or dropped a bomb on their family? o_O

    There are no unrepentant sinners in our ranks. Any who 'became' murderers would be in jail. We have a scripturally based policy where those found guilty of breaking God’s laws without remorse are removed from our congregations. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

    Who was the God that Jesus served? Faith in the shed blood of Christ is what will save faithful disciples of God’s son, but credit for the whole arrangement must of necessity go of the one who “sent” him....the one whom Jesus called “the only true God”. (John 17:3)

    Christendom’s worship of Jesus has made the most important person in the Universe, redundant. How disgraceful! Jesus would be appalled! He directed all worship and praise to his God and Father....as we should, if he was our model. (1 Peter 2:21)

    Is that what I said? Any crime committed would be reported to the authorities....we would not take the law into our own hands because we are told not to. Incurring bloodguilt would not be rewarded with anything but a jail sentence for ourselves. Vengeance belongs to God...remember?

    Who might that be?
    Matthew 23:
    "But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among you must be your minister. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

    We don't have hierarchy......all are "brothers" in equal standing before God......we have humble ministers (servants) who are our shepherds. We are told to follow their direction. (Hebrews 13:17)

    My brother has explained that these are figurative, not literal.....think about it...does God need to manufacture a whole new universe for the misdemeanors of a few humans on one tiny planet? Why would he? There is nothing defective about any of it.....its just the wicked humans he needs to be rid of....like he did in Noah's day.

    2 Peter 2:5-6....
    "And he did not refrain from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a flood upon a world of ungodly people. 6 And by reducing the cities of Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah to ashes, he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly people of things to come."

    These are what set the pattern for the "ungodly".....not getting rid of the earth, but only the wicked......complete annihilation. That's it...no hell of torment...just eternal death, which is the opposite of eternal life. That is true justice.

    This is true....humans will keep dying until God's purpose is fulfilled......but go back to Eden and show me a natural cause of death....?

    Genesis indicates that humans having access to "the tree of life" could "live forever"....why do you think that God barred the way to that tree when they disobeyed him and ate from the other one?
    At no time did the humans have access to both.

    After their sin, God said.....
    Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad. Now in order that he may not put his hand out and take fruit also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,—” 23 With that Jehovah God expelled him from the garden of Eʹden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. 24 So he drove the man out, and he posted at the east of the garden of Eʹden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning continuously to guard the way to the tree of life."

    You see, when you use scripture instead of just relying on the church to furnish your information you get to understand what the whole Bible actually teaches rather than how the church interprets bits of it.

    This is why I absolutely love Bible study....you have to study the whole Bible to discover all its teachings, not just a few scriptures that 'seem' to back up what you have been taught.
     
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  15. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    It’s not a good idea to call someone’s post, someone of whom you know nothing about, deceitful.

    I was merely showing how insightful Peter’s letters can be in explaining other Scripture & vice versa, when we grasp his meaning.
     
  16. eik

    eik Active Member

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    Insightful is not when you contrive to change "heavens and earth" into governments. Of course there is symbolism in the bible, such as in the classic passage of Matt 24:29, used in respect of the overthrow of the old temple worship, and in other allusions in Revelation to the woman clothed with the sun and the moon, and to the dream of Joseph about the sun and the moon bowing down to him. Gen 35:1–20.

    But in the specific context of 2 Pet, the context is unambiguous that it is the literal earth and heavens that are being spoken of. I know something about JWs and I don't agree with their theology which I find ... just deceitful, a plain misrepresentation of what scripture says. Sorry.
     
  17. eik

    eik Active Member

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    I don't agree we are to be "no part of this world." As long as we live in the world, we are part of it. Bloodshed is justified where self-defence is made out.


    You just kill them. cf. Amalekites. Those who war against or murder Christians are to be killed cf. Amalekites, unless there is a reasonable chance of saving them. Such would apply to Islamic terrorists.

    I accept it.

    What's the point if people have no immortal souls?

    I agree with your objections to those who call Christ "God." I am not one of them myself. There are many who engage in idolatry and flesh worship of Christ but two wrongs don't make a right. To ignore Christ is as much a wrong as to idolize him.

    So are the authorities allowed to be Christian? Can JWs be authorities?

    Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses - Wikipedia

    A few humans? Matt 7:13-14.
    Matt 18:7 "Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?

    I am surprised you can twist scripture like that. Sodom and Gomorrah are uninhabited to this day. They are a pattern of things to come. Yes, the earth will be got rid of, just like S & G.

    Sodom & Gomorrah

    The earth is not Eden. Mankind was barred from returning to Eden. That is your big mistake.

    As I said above, Eden is past. The redemption is in a New Heavens and a New Earth (although I have no idea how anyone can expect eternal life if they have no eternal soul: another absurd JW teaching contrary to Christ).

    I am glad you like to study the bible. However it does you good to not exclude 99% of the world's bible teachers who are not JWs. That is the advantage I have over you.
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    There is so much that you have misconstrued but in the interests of peace I will withdraw from responding.
    We do not believe that Christians can be violent or participate in politically motivated bloodshed.
    We believe in the resurrection, not in the pagan concept of an immortal soul.

    Your comments tell me that you have your mind made up, and that is of course, your choice.

    I wish you well.....
     
  19. eik

    eik Active Member

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    Matt 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

    Luke 20: 38 "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

    Luke 16:22 "Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom;"

    I completely fail to see how you can claim the concept of an immortal soul is "pagen" when it is vouched for by Christ. Do not expect me to believe in what JWs assert.
     
  20. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    It would help if you knew what is being spoken about here...
    Firstly, the word "soul" is used in the Bible only of a living, breathing creature....never for a disembodied spirit. It is synonymous with life. And you will notice that body and soul are "destroyed" in "Gehenna" which is poorly translated as "hell". It simply means that life is withdrawn from those who are sentenced to Gehenna. It means everlasting death not everlasting torment. "Destroyed" means what....?

    Yes, you notice it doesn't say "living" but "to him all are alive"....IOW its as if they are still alive because the resurrection is so sure. They are just asleep, waiting for Christ to awaken them. (John 5:28-29)

    No pre-Christian servant of God ever entertained the notion of going to heaven. To the ancient Jews, death was a state of unconsciousness in the grave (sheol) (Ecclesiastes 9:5; 10) and there was an expectation that the dead would be resurrected once Messiah's Kingdom was established on earth. The resurrection was believed to be entirely physical.
    Go to any Jewish cemetery and see how elaborate some of their vaults are. A proper burial is very important, which is why "gehenna" was dreaded, It was a death with no resurrection.

    This is actually a parable...not meant to be taken literally. Look at all the surrounding verses and chapters in Luke...they are all parables.

    This one was making a distinction between the Pharisees (pictured by the rich man) and the lost sheep (pictured by the beggar) whom they ignored and refused to give attention to. They would sit by the rich man's table waiting for a few crumbs.They changed places when Jesus came.

    This parable is ridiculous if taken literally.

    The Bible does not teach that we have an immortal soul....it teaches that the soul (person) dies just like the animals do. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20; Ezekiel 18:4) All return to the dust....like Adam. (Genesis 3:19) Death is the opposite of life. Resurrection is a restoration of life.

    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'.....if you don't want to know or understand what the Bible really teaches, then you never will. :( There is so much more to the Bible than what the churches teach....I know that first hand.
     
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