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Featured New Testament - can someone help please

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Te Reweti Wharepapa, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Your views come from the Bible, mainly NT, and the orthodox ideology, centering in the book Revelations. Christian gnosis doesn't teach this. The Gospel message is one of spirit, and gnosis teaches spirit.


    Jesus is the spiritual son of God that became flesh to teach us how to become sons of the true God that is spirit.

    The JWs are just another organization of Biblical knowledge (flesh) trying to make the books of catholic ideology work with the Gospel through a different perspective. Nothing more. Like the catholics throughout history, they change the wording of the Gospel to meet their beliefs.

    It is not through written words man should follow, but through the Spirit where "all truth" lies.

    2 Corinthians:
    Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

    The Gospel is not a recipe, but a seed, that grows through more books than the Bible can even handle. John 21:25

    Luke:
    Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

    The orthodox believe the seed grows in one place, and the Bible is the only fertile soil. The truth is, it is much bigger than they're willing to accept.
     
  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Could you give examples as to when and how Catholics did this? The only example I can think of is the mistranslation from Isaiah that's quoted in the NT as being "virgin" when it's more proper translation is "young maiden".

    Just a reminder that we have no original manuscripts.
     
  3. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Just the comparison of the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus shows an addition (Like the last 8 lines in the final chapter of Mark) as well as the elimination of books (Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, etc.). Even church father Origen said that the gospels were tainted by the time he read them ( more than a century after written). Jesus told us not to trust the scribes (who copied by hand) but the Spirit.

    Since the Catholics (capital C) is what was created in 381 AD as the RCC, my term of catholic (small c) is the ideology of the church fathers before 381 AD.

    Study shows the removal of the Apocrypha (probably a good thing) and the canon Apocalypse of Peter also.

    You are correct that most all of what is read stems from around 400AD including all the Bible codexes. Eusebius wrote the "history of the church" the way the early church fathers wanted it, then used the power of Rome to confiscate any opposing view of books and destroy them. The reason that many books were overlooked by hiding them, and why the find at Nag Hammadi was so important.

    If you read of William Tyndale and John Wycliffe, you will see that once the Vaticanus was translated to English and German, the translators found issue with the teachings and wordings the Catholic church used to teach by.

    The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of some of the words and phrases introduced by Tyndale, such as "overseer", where it would have been understood as "bishop", "elder" for "priest", and "love" rather than "charity". Tyndale, citing Erasmus, contended that the Greek New Testament did not support the traditional Roman Catholic readings. More controversially, Tyndale translated the Greek ekklesia, (literally "called out ones"[49]) as "congregation" rather than "church".[50] It has been asserted this translation choice "was a direct threat to the Church's ancient—but so Tyndale here made clear, non-scriptural—claim to be the body of Christ on earth. To change these words was to strip the Church hierarchy of its pretensions to be Christ's terrestrial representative, and to award this honour to individual worshippers who made up each congregation."[50]

    Contention from Roman Catholics came not only from real or perceived errors in translation but also a fear of the erosion of their social power if Christians could read the Bible in their own language. "The Pope's dogma is bloody", Tyndale wrote in The Obedience of a Christian Man.[51] Thomas More (since 1935 in the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Thomas More) commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea, and charged Tyndale's translation of The Obedience of a Christian Man with having about a thousand falsely translated errors. Bishop Tunstall of London declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale's Bible, having already in 1523 denied Tyndale the permission required under the Constitutions of Oxford (1409), which were still in force, to translate the Bible into English.

    Both men paid dearly with their lives at the hands of the RCC for translating so common men could understand. The Gospel and Paul never called for a priesthood. Only the OT and the book of Hebrews glorifies "priest". And no one knows who wrote Hebrews.

    Thomas has a better right to be included Gospel than Hebrews.
     
  4. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Those lines are believed by theologians to be what is called a "midrashim" that might have originally been written into the margins, and this was quite commonplace. Nothing in that particular midrash is controversial as compared to conventional Christian beliefs.

    There were roughly 1000 letters ("books") for the church to chose from when selecting the canon, so obviously the vast majority were rejected in a process that took over half a century.

    And yet Origen strongly felt that the scriptures needed to be taken more seriously. Also, what makes you believe that the letters that weren't selected were any more accurate than those that were?

    Also, anyone who knows more than one language well knows that translating from one to another is often very difficult as many words have multiple meanings or change with the context.

    Either way, your point really doesn't amount to a hill of beans since we don't have the originals and that we don't know that any of the other books were translated better.

    False. The formal name "Catholic" was one of the names that the church called itself starting at the least in the middle of the 2nd century, along with "Christian". In third century writings, it is actually more used than "Christian" is.

    Also, "Roman Catholic Church" was not used until much later in time when what became known as "Uniate" churches began to affiliate with the CC.

    Again, false. The Apocrypha were undecided upon at the end of the selection process for the canon as they couldn't reach agreement as to whether to include them or not. However, the CC began to include them anyway in between the OT and NT, whereas centuries later the Protestants removed them even though Luther in his first German translation included them also between the testaments.

    What makes you believe that Tyndale actually knows any more than other biblical scholars on this?

    Secondly, those words are translations into other languages out of Koine Greek, so what exists in the CC and some other branches simply is what was believed in the early church and cited in the oldest Greek translations even though some aspects and duties of these leaders changed over time.

    False. In Acts we see the appointment of overseers ("episcopos") and elders/priests ("presbyopia") and this also shows up in some of Paul's letters. At no point in time was the church ever considered as being a "do your own thing" type of institution. When the 2nd and 3rd century leaders wrote, they mostly wrote not just to their own congregations but to the church as a whole.
     
    #64 metis, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    BTW, I gotta tell ya a cute story of what happened when my wife, who was born and raised in Italy, and I went to see the movie "Never On Sunday" back almost 50 years ago, which was in Greek with English sub-titles.

    Part way through the movie one of the women is in the water, and she says something that put my wife and several other people in the theater in stitches. I asked my wife what she was laughing at, and she said that she'd have to explain it to me later.

    It turned out that it was a play on words, which makes sense in Greek and Italian but not in English. It relates to their word for codfish, which also stands for a part of a women's body. Guess which.

    Going from Hebrew or Koine Greek into English or some other language presents the same kind of obstacle. For another example, find one word in English that fully covers "shalom" in Hebrew or another that fully covers "ciao" in Italian. If one says it's "peace" and "goodbye" in that order, they've only covered one interpretation for each. "Arrivederci" and "ciao" are often interpreted as "goodbye", but these words have some different interpretations and also some different implications as to when they should be used.
     
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  6. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    So much to debate. One at a time.

    Cite me the passages of priesthood in Gospel or Paul. I may have missed one in Acts, but the Gospel and Paul never uses the "priest" in a spiritual way. It was the priesthood of the Jews who called for Jesus death as well as those who persecuted Paul.

    Spinning Tyndale and Wycliffe to favor the papacy is a matter of perspective. Digging up bones to defile remains with fire shows the Popes ignorance of flesh and spirit. Same with Pope Urban II saying he had authority to predesignate souls.

    The rest I have not the time to debate.

    I have read many books, including the church fathers views (Ignatius, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, Tertullian, etc.) and cannot see it the way they propose. Their words relate so much to fleshly things when Christ says that the flesh profits nothing and blamed the priests for judging the flesh.

    They see fleshly things like Mary being the mother of God. From my understanding through study, Jesus spoke spirit, and used parables to explain such.

    Giving yourself authority over life physical life and death doesn't appear to be any part of the Gospel message or Pauls, as well as the books of gnosis. Yet the priests adopted it, just as the priests of the Pharisee's did.

    It comes down to perspective. Defining heresy then casting death sentences for it does not appear to be the way I see Christ. How others follow it doesn't really matter to me.
     
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    That has already been explained.

    That's not the "priesthood" I was referring to, so the above doesn't apply.

    We were not talking about this.

    I have also read the letters since I used to teach Christian theology. Their views, whether you agree with them or not, were important to the 2nd and 3rd century church since it was under assault from different sides. In the gospels, Jesus said he would guide his church until the end of time, and he appointed the Twelve to carry on with the movement after his death, and they in turn appointed others to continue on as well when it became clear that Jesus wasn't coming back soon. In theology, we call this "apostolic succession", and it was the "mark" of the apostolic church, not the Bible.

    The latter part of your paragraph has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

    See above.

    If you'ere going to deviate and sermonize, I have no interest in discussing this any further. If you want to discuss specific aspects that are being covered, then I'm more than happy to discuss, not argue, with you.

    Take care.
     
  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    One small difference between God and humans is that he alone bears the right in deciding between life and death for any human being. Those who were sanctioned by God to take life in the OT were acting as his execution forces. They were protecting a God-given land from their enemies and had God's backing. There are no God-given lands anymore.....most of them were stolen from their rightful owners at the point of a gun or a sword...and with much carnage. God doesn't support thieves and murders...does he? I don't recall him ever giving land to anyone but Abraham's descendants, do you? They don't own it anymore and are still fighting over a piece of dirt because of missing what it symbolized in the big picture. "New Jerusalem" in not an earthly city. (Revelation 21:2-4)

    God has empowered national governments to implement the death penalty for certain crimes. Allowing human governments to exist is a relative protection for his own people who have the work of preaching the gospel in these last days. Though we live under the rule of these governments as law abiding citizens, we are told by Jesus to be "no part" of what they do.....not party to their goals, agendas or bloodshed.

    No Christian has dual citizenship in God's kingdom and the country of their birth. We can opt for only one. If we choose one, it must of necessity be at the expense of the other. The kingdom of God is not on earth, therefore we have no reason to fight over land....or what is under it.

    It is hard to be a real Christian when Jesus said we must 'love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us'. Patriots want to defend their territory with all guns blazing and yet the teachings of Christ do not allow for such a mentality. Churches may have tried to justify their participation in wars but there is none to back them up in NT scripture. Christians cannot take part in bloodshed under any circumstances. Jesus was quick to leave the scene whenever trouble was brewing, yet he could have commanded 12 legions of angels to wipe out his persecutors if he had wanted to, but there was no sanction from him for violence. He never once advocated using deadly force of any kind, nor any resistance to governmental authority except when it commanded them to violate a law of God.

    The apostles, when they were arrested after Jesus' death, did not resist, but went along quietly and patiently waited for God to release them.

    The apostle Paul couldn't have made it any plainer...."For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

    The only weapons we are authorized to use are spiritual. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

    We know that Jesus upheld the law because he was Jewish.

    At Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus said....."Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I came, not to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 Truly I say to you that sooner would heaven and earth pass away than for one smallest letter or one stroke of a letter to pass away from the Law until all things take place. 19 Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these least commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in relation to the Kingdom of the heavens. But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in relation to the Kingdom of the heavens. 20 For I say to you that if your righteousness does not surpass that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will by no means enter into the Kingdom of the heavens."

    What part of the law did he ever say not to obey?

    The only thing I can think of is when he said to the Pharisees after the above...."You heard that it was said...." (then he inserted a Pharisaic teaching, rather than the law) but then added...."However, I say to you...." and he went on to elucidate the principle upon which the law was based, rather than the Pharisees' interpretation of the law (which was ridiculously rigid and not in keeping with what God intended the law to imply) (Matthew 21:21-46)

    On the night of his arrest he told the apostles to go and buy swords, but it was not for them to engage in violence. (Matthew 26:52-53) There were just 2 armed men and an armed mob sent to arrest Jesus. They only had two swords, but when Peter tried to defend Jesus he was rebuked and told to put the sword back in its place, healing the wound of the High Priest's slave. This was to demonstrate that even though they were armed, they would not resort to violence. Jesus had an angelic army behind him, why would he need men to fight his battles?

    Jesus instituted a new covenant with his apostles on Passover night before his arrest. This was a covenant that replaced the old one with its 613 laws. But rather than the "letter of the law" that the Pharisees followed hypocritically, Christ's followers were now to have the principles of the law inscribed on their hearts, motivating them to exercise the law of love. (agape) Love of God, love of their Lord and Master, and love for one another. This was such an expansive, all encompassing kind of love that it even covered their enemies.

    Jeremiah had foretold that this new covenant was going to be instituted in the future, but when it was, did the Jews accept it?

    “‘Look! There are days coming,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will conclude with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant; not one like the covenant that I concluded with their forefathers in the day of my taking hold of their hand to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt, “which covenant of mine they themselves broke, although I myself had husbandly ownership of them,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’ ‘For this is the covenant that I shall conclude with the house of Israel after those days,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.’” (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

    True to his word, all of the first members taken into that new covenant were Jewish. This law was an internal one. It was based on acceptance of Jesus as their savior and redeemer and a Bible trained conscience. One could not break a single command in the old law without violating the law of love.
     
  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But you are of this world whether you like it or even recognize it as it is virtually impossible to live and not be of this world.

    But defending one's self and other innocents is actually part of the Law as found in Torah that the scriptures say comes from God.

    They had no choice. The same was true why he doesn't appear to go along with the Zealots as the Romans were much more powerful, thus taking military action of any type would only cause major hardship, especially for the innocents.

    Then you've just defeated your own position. Either Jesus upheld the Law or he didn't.

    So, why did he have his apostles do this?

    Again you're avoiding the hard question, namely if God didn't allow for self-defense, then why are there numerous Laws that not only say one can defend themselves and others but also that one must in certain situations?
     
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  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Now you're on the right track, but then one should also realize that defending an innocent person from harm or death is very much "love" as well. To allow an innocent person to die when you could have prevented it simply is not "love".
     
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  11. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    That's fine. No argument from me. I post written accounts of what forms my beliefs, nothing more. And I cite the acts of former historic accounts. To accept them or not is up to the reader, and it's their responsibility to seek out on their own or accept the viewpoints of others.

    That's the glory of the Son (through the Spirit) making you "free".

    Teaching orthodox theology is not teaching Christian theology, IMO. I clearly see a schism in the Christian belief system, as those like Marcion and Valentinus was as large as the emergence of the catholic ideology. For one side to use the power of (physical) Rome to eliminate the other side, is seen by me to follow the god of the flesh.

    Apostolic Succession uses the flesh to pass on the Spirit. I still believe that Jesus words "the flesh profits nothing" is true, while the priests depend on it for succession.

    I see no "freedom" in the belief, as it requires man to seek out flesh to receive Spirit.

    Believe as you like.
     
  12. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But that position really doesn't make sense because that involves working under an assumption that what was passed down by the apostles to their appointees was wrong and that somehow these other groups must be right. And how does that in any way negate what's written in the gospels and numerous letters that date back to the 1st century church? When the canon was chosen, the timing was one of the most important criterion.

    Life was not so nice back then, especially by today's standards. Religious wars were commonplace-- unfortunately.

    But one also must remember that conversion takes time, whether that be personal or societal, so old habits tend to be difficult to shuck.. Constantine was a warrior king in a very violent world, so one really needs to view the church as a "work in progress", and progress they did over decades and centuries. It was the church that made adjustments to help end the Dark Age, for just one example. It was the church that put a high priority on health care. It was the church that fostered education. It was the church that tried to limit warfare through the "Just-War Theory". Etc. Ya, it took some time.
    Not if one believes Jesus saying that he would guide his church until the end of time, nor if they believe in the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance. What other body could this be referring to if it's not the apostolic church itself and their appointees?


    BTW, just in case you're not aware of this, I'm neither Catholic nor Christian.
     
  13. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    The kingdom is here now, and our spirit lives in it now. The spirit is resurrected in us by Christ. The flesh dies but the spirit just continues and does not feel death.

    John:

    24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

    26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

    Jesus corrects Martha who believes resurrection is some time later.

    If Jesus told the thief that "this day" he would be with him in paradise, what gives orthodoxy the right to say the thief must wait until a later day of judgement?

    It comes down to the perspective of what man teaches over the words the Spirit teaches.
     
  14. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Catholic and Christian are just words. And even their definitions are not sound to one thing. My use of catholic is just the ideology that one god is seen in the Bible. I see two different gods at work. This makes me a heretic (to those who follow catholic ideology). But they are just words used to group people into group think and beliefs.

    But truth brought names into existence in the world for our sakes, because it is not possible to learn it (truth) without these names. Truth is one single thing; it is many things and for our sakes to teach about this one thing in love through many things. The rulers (archons) wanted to deceive man, since they saw that he had a kinship with those that are truly good. They took the name of those that are good and gave it to those that are not good, so that through the names they might deceive him and bind them to those that are not good. And afterward, what a favor they do for them! They make them be removed from those that are not good and place them among those that are good. These things they knew, for they wanted to take the free man and make him a slave to them forever.- Philip

    Names can confuse but also teach. Jesus glorified the name of the Father. But it wasn't a single name (like Jehovah), but the content of what makes up a name we apply to a belief.

    Philip goes on to say:
    Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word "God" does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with "the Father" and "the Son" and "the Holy Spirit" and "life" and "light" and "resurrection" and "the Church (Ekklesia)" and all the rest - people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, unless they have come to know what is correct. The names which are heard are in the world [...] deceive. If they were in the Aeon (eternal realm), they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in the Aeon.

    It is through knowledge we understand, but to understand spirit, we seek spiritual knowledge. IMO, the OT didn't have it because Jesus said he spoke it and they didn't understand. John 6:63

    Paul:
    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    So what does the Holy Ghost teach? Since is is not mentioned in the OT, and it wasn't given to man until Jesus died, who speaks for it? Moses? Jesus said Moses didn't get his knowledge from heaven? Abraham? Jesus said the same of him.

    From my study into many areas of the early Christian practices, men spoke by the Holy Ghost after Jesus gave it to them. And the same spirit that caused the Jews to not see Jesus, is used within the Bible to not see the Gospel.

    I believe Marcion and Valentinus and the gnostic books were on the correct spiritual path. This is why they succumbed to death rather than to physically fight (catholics/Jews/Romans who were killing them). Their kingdom wasn't of this world.

    It's just my belief through much study.

    I have nothing against you at all, metis. Nor against anyone choosing to find or debate spiritual paths. I only offeer a perspective. I back it up with study from seeking, and what I found. If I am wrong, I pray the Spirit shows me. Not an ideologist brought up in a following of men.
     
  15. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Church is just another name misunderstood.(as a Philip explains in my post above). The orthodox took one verse and turned it into a physical abomination. If church (as they take it) was so important, why is it only spoke of in Matthew? And only two times?

    The church Paul created were Ekklesia, Groups of believers that were identified as saints. A church isn't an organization of buildings and people of flesh. It is spiritual. No actions of flesh required. Including drinking wine and eating wafers. If there was a shortage of wine and wafers, the church prevails because it isn't reliant on flesh, or this world.

    Just my view.
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    The word "church" is an English translation of "ecclesia", and as used in the scriptures it does not refer to a building but to "congregation(s)". It is used 109 times in the NT, and one can see the list here: Bible, Revised Standard Version

    I think anyone who has ever studied even elementary Christian theology well knows this.

    Since the rest of your post was just sermonizing, which I told you I have no interest in since I used to teach Christian theology, then I regretfully have to say I've lost interest in continuing this discussion.

    Anyhow, take care.
     
  17. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if your Christian theology teaching was all theology of the time, or the orthodox path exclusively. If the latter, then I understand the loss of interest. I was a youth minister and music minister for the orthodox (Nazarene) church for 2 decades. Doesn't mean things cannot reveal themselves to open ones eyes.

    You take care as well.
     
  18. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It was both as I also taught a comparative religions course.

    My area of specialization was on the early church (first three centuries), and I can't even tell you how many theology books and magazine articles (especially from BAR, which has no affiliated with any religion or denomination) that I've read on the subject. However, an expert I'm not.

    Take care.
     
  19. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Then I end with:

    Mark:
    38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
    39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

    I hope you agree that we rise above the differences as long as Christ is the truth we both seek.

    Fathers blessings to you, metis.
     
  20. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Oh, but it is. What parts of this world were Christians told not to be a part of? First of all, they were never told to be part of its government. Governments serve a purpose and God permits them because some sort of order is better than total anarchy. Christ's disciples were commissioned to preach about his incoming Kingdom, and so the means to do that, even though difficult at times, had to be facilitated. He told us to obey the authorities, except when their laws violated God's. (Acts 5:29)

    The Bible clearly identifies the ruler of this world as satan the devil. (1 John 5:19)
    When Jesus was being tempted by him, he admitted that "all the kingdoms of the world" were his 'to give to whomever he wished'. (Luke 4:5-7) Jesus did not dispute his claim and it would not have been a temptation had it not been true. So no political meddling for Christ's disciples. They were to be completely neutral as Jesus was...he had more important things to do and so did they.

    We could not be part of our nation's military either, because we are to be "at peace with all men". We cannot even train to kill other human beings. Our weapons are not fleshly, but spiritual. We cannot shed innocent blood. No wars today spare the innocent. The weapons used are indiscriminate. If we have blood on our hands, we cannot even pray and be heard by God. (Isaiah 1:15) We cannot condone the bloodshed even if we never engage in it ourselves. (Romans 1:32)
    Would this answer the question as to why so many prayers seemingly go unanswered?

    Secondly, we would not be part of this world's materialistic lifestyle, sacrificing the important things in life (spiritual pursuits and family time) for material gain and what money can buy. Slaving for riches is an opposite course to slaving for God. (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10) 'The love of money is the root of all evil', as this world demonstrates so clearly. People will sacrifice so much for money.

    We need to earn a living, not furnish a lifestyle. Providing for our families does not require that we live in luxury. (1 Timothy 6:8; Proverbs 30:8)
    Whatever is a modest standard of living in our country, that is what we should aim for.

    Thirdly, we would not be part of the world's immoral standards. Be that sexual immorality (gay or straight) or in matters of honesty, integrity and trustworthiness in our employment, our marriage and in our everyday activities. Christian is as Christian does. It's about what we do, not just what we say. (James 2:26)

    I think you have misunderstood me. We were talking about involving ourselves in the defense of our country, not in personally defending loved ones in our home or on the street. We would most certainly do that but without the use of deadly force, i.e. deliberately trying to kill an assailant. As I mentioned, when Jesus was confronted with violence, he fled the scene rather than confront the offenders. If we can do that to avoid a violent confrontation, then that is the best option. But if any person was being attacked, we would of course act to save that person if at all possible....at the same time trying to dodge the morons filming the event to post it on YouTube. :rolleyes:

    In the case of Peter taking off the ear of the High Priest's slave, Jesus rebuked Peter for using the sword....but he also said that his attendants 'would have fought' if they were defending something earthly with God's sanction. (John 18:36) This is what ancient Israel did. So to correlate that with what Jesus taught regarding 'loving our enemies' we have to balance what he said with what he did and imitate his actions.

    They were told to buy swords so that Jesus could demonstrate that, although they were armed, they would not retaliate with violence. If Jesus had meant the sword to be used in his defense, why would he rebuke Peter for doing so? Why would he say that two swords were enough to confront an armed mob? If the apostles had to go and procure those swords, it means that they were unarmed up until that point.

    Please provide the actual law and we can investigate what it says. AFAIK the intention would be to neutralize the aggression or stop the attack. This being the case, if the aggressor was seriously harmed or killed in such a situation, his death would be accidental and not deliberate.

    In Israel an person found guilty of manslaughter still had to pay a penalty. An unlawful death was still to be accounted for. (Genesis 9:5; Numbers 35:13-16)

    I agree. A Christian will take a bullet for someone, but he would not fire one. (wasn't that Jesus' example?) Being unarmed, means that we would not be in a situation to make a rash decision to blow someone away if they were merely trying to steal a woman's handbag for drug money for example.

    Trying to stop a criminal, if it meant more harm than good in the outcome, would accomplish nothing if it made you a murderer.

    That would be my take on the situation.
     
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