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Would Jesus Bomb Iraq?
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Talking Dog
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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2003 15:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answers to Coolpoete's question is going to vary depending on what framework of understanding and theology we are approaching it from.

I still think that there is confusion occurring about the different roles in the purposes of God of governing authorities and individual christians/the church.

Absolute key to this Romans 12 and 13:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.
On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.


key points:

In response to enemies and persecutors and evil the Christian/Church :

- must bless and not curse persecuters
- must not repay anyone evil for evil
- "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you" live at peace with everyone
- must not take revenge...
- ...but leave room for God's wrath (since it is HIS job to repay wickedness)
... must seek to overcome evil with good

Pretty clear I think that the christian/church is forbidden from exacting "just" retribution against evil.

What about the state? We see that:

- ALL governing authorities that exist have been established by God (including Iraq and other repressive regimes)
- Governing authorities "bear the sword"
- They exist as "God's servant" functioning as "agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."
-The Christian must not rebel against the governing authorities.

Sounds like a good scriptural basis for suporting taking out Sadaam doesn't it?

But we need to think a bit deeper. From the passage and the principles I have outlined it seems to me that although governing authorities are "God's servants" this does NOT mean that when they fulfil His purposes in acting as "agents of wrath" that the Christian is meant to throw support behind the agents of this wrath-venting. There are two levels at which you have to understand "the will of God" in this process.

I cited earlier the example of Nebuchadnezzar, who was raised up by God as an agent of wrath against Israel. Was he fulfilling God's will and purposes? Yes. Was what he was doing in waging warfare "righteous"? NO, and he and his nation were in turn judged for it. You can find other examples of this in scripture, and the same principle applies in the world today.

God raises up one nation to exact His judgement upon the evil of another.
But the raised up instrument of wrath is ALSO to be subject to His righteous judgement. War is a CURSE and a juegement from God.

Now since this all cuts in two directions, how do we feel about the idea that the militant Islamic states and terror networks might well ALSO be viewed as servants of God in the sense that they are "agents of wrath" against the Babylonian countries of the West? It is a chilling thought.

So what is the christian, the church meant to do in the midst of all this?

Firstly, we should be careful not to confuse the distinct functions of state and church in God's purposes. As soon as we identify totally with the state we have lost sight of our Kingdom citizenship. While we might recognise God's hand of judgement in world affairs, it is NOT our job to rejoice in, support or condone the means by which it comes, let alone particpate in it.
these things are excluded for the reaons I've already talked about.

We are meant to remain "neutral" in effect, and pray for everybody - our leaders AND their enemies. We must seek to be active peacemakers who refuse to align along the default political/national lines.

Where the intended actions of the state are questionable in terms of their moral/ethical base then we have to challenge them publicly. We should refuse to fight if drafted (although not combatant humanitarian roles might be acceptable). We should at all times and at all ways point to the Higher rule of the Kingdom and the coming King, as the One and Only One who will bring peace and righteousness to the world.

We have to get our heads out of the too-easy acceptance of the idea that because the state is "combatting evil" at home or abroad that we can support the means by which it does so. It's not on, biblically. Our submission to the authrities is only insofar as this does not compromise teh higher claims of Christ and His Kingdom. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is His.

Am I making any sense here?


Bill, I was too busy to get to answer your post yesterday. I don't think your micro example is really comparable to a national warfare scenario. Reasons being:

- Direct small-scale human intervention could be quite possible in the scenario you suggest - you wouldn't seek to resolve the situation by taking out the man's house (and his neighbours!) with an air strike.

- It may be possible to intervene in your scenario without inflicting injury to anybody, even if force is used against property to gain access. Scale this up to a full-on military assault against an external nation state and this is just not possible. For all the prime-time footage of "surgical strikes" against buildings, warfare kills innocent people.

We have to try and get our heads round the idea that as christians we are just meant to be doing something completely other than the policing/miltary function which rests with the state and for which it will reap judgement, ultimately.
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blaminack
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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2003 20:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Pete you have made HUGE points that I recieve in all humbleness, but I have some questions still.

The first is you have said that we are to leave the execution of justice to the State. The State is made up of people. We as Christians have the inbuilt drive to have every one be Christian, though that is not likely. What I am getting at is this..... Is it not hypocritical to expect some one else to to do the things that we consider ourselves above? Also you have spoken about combating evil with evil... And I agree. But the princible that you have applied here seems to be directed at the individual and not the state. I would not like to see any one die period, but the fact is, regardless of whether Christians support it or not there seems to be war emminant.
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Talking Dog
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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 11:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to be honest Bill I'm working through these issues myself. I've kind of surprised myself to find that I hold the position I do, because I haven't always thought like this, and remember arguing against it in the past.

The relationship of the individual christian to the state is a difficult one, and I'm still seeking wisdom about how some of these things apply. Paul's comments in Romans create more problems for me than they solve in some cases (nothing new there!) - for instance:


For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
For he is God's servant to do you good.


So what if, as an Iraqi christian, the "ruler" to whom you are meant to submit, is Sadaam??!!! His regime clearly doesn't exist in the kind of benign "rewarding good" authority role that Paul seems to be talking about.
Sadaam says, "gas the Kurds". Do you obey? Sadaam says "defend your country from a US attack". Do you obey?

Another tack: I'm thinking about the time that Israel decided that they wanted to have a king, "like all the nations". This was clearly NOT what they should have wanted, and God said through the prophet that they woudl be burdened and suffer a a consequence of their desire, and they ahd snned greatly by asking for a king.

This suggests to me that Israel (and, by extension, the church) were meant to function in a different kind of relationship than the King/president/State/citizen model we see in the world. Yahweh was meant to be the king of His Kingdom with Israel, and now the church as His citizens, functioning under His righteous rule. Maybe a lot of the problems arise because we have bought into the idea that we are primarily citizens of the "like the nations" countries in which we have been born - rather than those of Yahweh's Kingdom who happen to live where we do?
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blaminack
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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 13:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things that brings even more trouble for the individual Christian in the US is that we have more religious freedom in the civic sense than just about anybody. So that in and of it's self builds a National Pride and Pariotism. Why? It is because it gives the feeling that the Gov. isn't dead set against you in an obvious way... (not to say that we are not losing this freedom daily!) This freedom causes Christians here to say I am thankful for the sacrifices that others have made for this to be. This causes us to on many levels to support the National Pride. I mean really how do you as a Christan not support a system that allows freedom of Religion and speach?
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Mylene
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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 14:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the dilemma we Christians face. My father fought in WW2 to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese. My uncle died fighting in Vietnam. My cousins fought in the Gulf war. They all believed they were doing the right thing, fighting for freedom for the people. We saw what happened after Afganistan. The people felt free enough to forego the birkas and shave the beard. We should live in freedom, but because of the hearts of wo/men that isn't the case. If there was a state that followed all the decrees of God and had God as its leader, as Israel was chosen to do, I would be there. As of now, I'd have to wait for God's time.
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Messian Dread
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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 14:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
For he is God's servant to do you good.


This "obidience" stops, where the rulers contradict the law of JAH. And this law is broken in many, many aspects. The Bible tells us that all the kings have fornicated with Babylon, who is drunken of the blood of the Sufferers. That is the real situation, described in the Scriptures. I can go into this in-depth but I won't. I'll give you one example: just look at the early Christians. Would you say that because they did wrong they were being thrown before the beasts, crucified and all that?

So when Paulus tells us to pray for the rulers in order to have a peaceful life, and as long as it is not against JAH's laws to submit to the government (because it is given to put a limit to the wickedness which would happen when the law of the jungle would apply), Paulus does not say we should support the system. He gives us the way to survive ina babylon.

It remains: We should not fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers committing spiritual wickedness in high places.

In response to CoolPoete, it's all about "beelzebul driving out beelzebul". We are being told that this is about justice and thing, in fact it is not. The gas that Saddam has, he got it from the west to kill people in Iran. That is why "they know" about Saddam's weapons. Because they gave them to him. In Daniel you can read about principalities behind the powers and authorities, and these authorites are playing the game called "mystery of iniquity" which is aimed at putting satan on the throne. The world is being prepared for just that. And within this situation we must see what Jah wants.

Mylene:
Quote:
Quote from Messian Dread:
Can someone tell me what is so "christian" in xeno-slavery, massive deportation of a certain people from one place in the world to another. Can someone tell me what is so christian in killing native people and put them in "reservations", like they are animals? Can someone tell me what is so christian in conquering some countries, stealing it from it's natural resources and sovereignity? Can someone tell me how this can be seen as "fruit of the Spirit"?

Reply by Mylene: I hope you're referring to the Khartoum government of Northern Sudan, to the Rwanda war, to Iraq, China, etc., because that is still happening in that part of the world. If you are referring to the US that is in the past, the people who helped put a stop to those practices were CHRISTIANS! It was their convictions that had them out there decrying the practices. The US is not the only country guilty of such practices, but the only one that everyone wants to villify. I am not condoning what happened in the US past but would like your outrage to be directed in the present situations in other countries. There are people literally dying, being tortured, enslaved, imprisoned because they do not hold to the same principles of the leaders of their country. And this includes brothers and sisters in Christ.


Now what is it? The past of the Usa was wrong but now not anymore? Avid supporters of the amerikan governments such as you also say that amerika was built by christian "founding fathers". Now what is it? Christians put an end to these things? Yes, good thing if so, they should have, but if they were following what some here suggest, there would still be slavery. Christians should speak out against injustice.

And there is more thing going on as to why my outrage is directed at the usa (and also u-ropean governments): namely, these countries all come in the Name of the Savior. Your president claims to be on a "crusade". He claims to be a "born again christian". And this brings him in a different situation as far as I am concerned. The Name of our Lord and Savior is at stake here. What do you think that Islamic people all over the world will think about Yesus Kristos? They think, ah that is the god of george bush. They will not likely be very interested into checking the Saviour and His Gospel. Already you see missionairies in Islamic countries are getting into trouble because of christians in the west saying all kinds of things about islam and islamic people in the context of the "war on terrorism". That was on the news recently. Many Afrikans who were enslaved got confronted with the Name of our Lord and Savior the first time when they found out the name of the slave-ship where they were put in. Why do you think there is so much effort behind the scenes to portray christianity as the religion that keeps the western leaders in power?

Voice our opinnions, yes! Because when the Name of my Saviour is used, we should keep eyes and ears wide open. And unless you would approve of the crusades, you should know that you can never start a war in the Name of the Saviour. And please do not come up with old testament stories of war because those were not wars against human beings. Added to that there is a big difference between Israel and the Body of Christ.
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Mylene
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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Messian Dread, I don't see any further need to discuss these points with you. I have had conversations with another who is an unbeliever and gave the same arguments as you do without scripture references. He went so far as to call me a white supremist, ignorant conservative and bitter racist. These arguments between Christians do nothing to further the work of the Kingdom. Our fight is not with flesh and blood, but Satan uses flesh and blood to do his evil. Let's you and I not play into his hands. Let's continue to pray for peace and freedom in Christ.
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For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. [1 Cor 1:18]

Oh, cease to glorify man, Who has only a breath in his nostrils! For by what does he merit esteem? [Isaiah 2:22]
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Elect



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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2003 18:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings and love to one and all in the Most High name of H.I.M, Haile Selassie I. I haven't read the whole post just the first page and a half...but i'll still share my thoughts...first, the U.S. does not have any right to attack Iraq...if you want to talk about human rights violations why don't you look up which country has the most human rights violations according to the u.n....u.s. leaders are hypocrites...they say Sadaam is expansionist yet what country streches it's power farthest over the world?...they say he is developing weapons of mass destruction...what country has the most weapons of mass destruction on earth?...they say he is an aggressor but who is threatening to start war?...what kind of country goes to the world PEACE-KEEPING organization and tells them that they will be irrelevant unless they authorize a war on Iraq?...H.I.M. did say that destruction would cover the earth until mankind realizes that war is not an option...Jah is a great and terrible Jah, He is the only authorized to make war, and the world leaders and all their armies and weapons of mass destruction are the Lord's footstool and will be crushed under His feet...also, just because the president is categorized as a christian doesn't mean he is...john pope says he is a christian too...but he is still pagan...revelations says that the evil that will come to rule the world in the end times will come in the name of Christ and deceive the people...too much in me head to really know where i want to go from here in this discussion so i'll just stop here and let y'all respond...Love and Inity
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