PDA

View Full Version : A case against revenge



TheWall
11-06-2016, 04:23 PM
How can I show people that revenge is wrong?

Bill the Cat
11-06-2016, 04:28 PM
How can I show people that revenge is wrong?

By your actions and words. Forgive and speak truth. That's about it.

Meh Gerbil
11-06-2016, 04:34 PM
Often times we try to get people to a conclusion before they've accepted the premises.
Teach a person to live in the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit will follow - revenge is incompatible with those fruits.

Paula
11-06-2016, 06:29 PM
How can I show people that revenge is wrong?

Teach them to love their enemies (which might be the hardest command in the Bible to obey). To learn how to love your enemies properly, you need look no further than Christ--His sacrificial death on the cross demonstrates it clearly.

Besides, all the proper renderings of justice are ultimately the domain of God. Our duty is to strive to be like Christ which means doing what doesn't come naturally--loving our enemies and being kind to those who hate us.

I wish I could say I was better at this, but that doesn't change what the Bible teaches, and besides, that's the great thing about being a Christian--you know God will redeem you.

Rushing Jaws
07-04-2017, 09:22 AM
Teach them to love their enemies (which might be the hardest command in the Bible to obey). To learn how to love your enemies properly, you need look no further than Christ--His sacrificial death on the cross demonstrates it clearly.

Besides, all the proper renderings of justice are ultimately the domain of God. Our duty is to strive to be like Christ which means doing what doesn't come naturally--loving our enemies and being kind to those who hate us.

I wish I could say I was better at this, but that doesn't change what the Bible teaches, and besides, that's the great thing about being a Christian--you know God will redeem you.If Poland had forgiven the Nazis for the Rape of Poland, the Nazis would simply have destroyed the nation entirely. When faced with people like Hitler and Lenin, forgiveness would have been suicidal, irresponsible, and wicked. The proper course of action against Nazi Germany was to bomb it into the Stone Age, which it could not complain of, since that is what the Luftwaffe had done. ISIS cannot be forgiven, because Islam is a supremacist ideology that takes kindness for weakness; the only good course of action is to destroy them, just as they intend to destroy us. It is us or them.

The Sermon on the Mount works only in small communities and undeveloped societies. It is hopelessly unhelpful in a society as complicated as the kind in the West. To keep ourselves secure we need capitalism, banking, armies, spies, prisons, police forces, politicians, political parties, voting, and possibly the death penalty & torture; and much more, that was either scarce or non-existent 1950 years ago. Rapists and paedophiles and traitors and murderers and similar vermin need to be punished, and punished properly - not forgiven. Jesus Himself called people "evil", and forgot all His fine words about love of enemies when He was giving the Pharisees and Scribes a tongue-lashing in St Matthew 23. So how can He have expected the S on the M would be any use to anyone, especially as a guide to a whole nation ?

St Paul adapts the Teaching of Jesus, as though recognising that ideas suitable to a backwater like Judea would be complete non-starters in places like Ephesus, Corinth and Philippi. Out go the Beatitudes and the preaching of social justice - in comes Christian morality.

Adrift
07-04-2017, 09:32 AM
Totally off topic, but Rushing Jaws, do you intentionally look for old threads to resurrect at random or is there a method to the madness? :smile:

Jedidiah
07-04-2017, 12:14 PM
If Poland had forgiven the Nazis for the Rape of Poland, the Nazis would simply have destroyed the nation entirely. When faced with people like Hitler and Lenin, forgiveness would have been suicidal, irresponsible, and wicked. The proper course of action against Nazi Germany was to bomb it into the Stone Age, which it could not complain of, since that is what the Luftwaffe had done. ISIS cannot be forgiven, because Islam is a supremacist ideology that takes kindness for weakness; the only good course of action is to destroy them, just as they intend to destroy us. It is us or them.

The Sermon on the Mount works only in small communities and undeveloped societies. It is hopelessly unhelpful in a society as complicated as the kind in the West. To keep ourselves secure we need capitalism, banking, armies, spies, prisons, police forces, politicians, political parties, voting, and possibly the death penalty & torture; and much more, that was either scarce or non-existent 1950 years ago. Rapists and paedophiles and traitors and murderers and similar vermin need to be punished, and punished properly - not forgiven. Jesus Himself called people "evil", and forgot all His fine words about love of enemies when He was giving the Pharisees and Scribes a tongue-lashing in St Matthew 23. So how can He have expected the S on the M would be any use to anyone, especially as a guide to a whole nation ?

St Paul adapts the Teaching of Jesus, as though recognising that ideas suitable to a backwater like Judea would be complete non-starters in places like Ephesus, Corinth and Philippi. Out go the Beatitudes and the preaching of social justice - in comes Christian morality.
Forgiveness is for offenses past, not ongoing attacks. It is for people not for abstractions like parties. I may forgive someone who trespassed against me, but if someone is still actively moving against me self defense is not refusal to forgive.

And this is sort of an old thread.

KingsGambit
07-04-2017, 12:41 PM
I don't know if we can not apply it to military action, though. The early church unanimously condemned warfare, largely based on Jesus's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. How that would apply to the Rape of Nanking (in your example), I can't say.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2013/07/02/did-the-early-church-believe-in-violence/

Darth Executor
07-05-2017, 12:19 AM
The early church unanimously condemned warfare

That's a pacifist canard with no resemblance to reality. And that article is rife with dishonesty (most pacifist diatribes are). IE:


Tertullian agreed that God prohibits “every sort of man-killing” (Spec. 2)

But Tertullian is not distinguishing between different types of killing in the sense of murder vs self defense vs warfare, he is literally talking about the tools used to murder (he was also into RPGs apparently, because he covers warriors, rogues and mages alike). Tertullian is arguing that just because God made iron, it doesn't mean that it's ok to use iron to murder someone. He then drives that point in with another example (idols).

http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf03/anf03-09.htm#P900_353744


Why, all sorts of evils, which as indubitably evils even the heathens prohibit, and against which they guard themselves, come from the works of God. [8] Take, for instance, murder, whether committed by iron, by poison, or by magical enchantments. Iron and herbs and demons are all equally creatures of God. Has the Creator, withal, provided these things for man's destruction? Nay, He puts His interdict on every sort of man-killing by that one summary precept, "Thou shalt not kill." [9] Moreover, who but God, the Maker of the world, put in its gold, brass, silver, ivory, wood, and all the other materials used in the manufacture of idols? Yet has He done this that men may set up a worship in opposition to Himself? On the contrary idolatry in His eyes is the crowning sin. What is there offensive to God which is not God's? But in offending Him, it ceases to be His; and in ceasing to be His, it is in His eyes an offending thing. [10] Man himself, guilty as he is of every iniquity, is not only a work of God--he is His image, and yet both in soul and body he has severed himself from his Maker. For we did not get eyes to minister to lust, and the tongue for speaking evil with, and ears to be the receptacle of evil speech, and the throat to serve the vice of gluttony, and the belly to be gluttony's ally, and the genitals for unchaste excesses, and hands for deeds of violence, and the feet for an erring life; or was the soul placed in the body that it might become a thought-manufactory of snares, and fraud, and injustice? I think not; [11] for if God, as the righteous exactor of innocence, hates everything like malignity--if He hates utterly such plotting of evil, it is clear beyond a doubt, that, of all things that have come from His hand, He has made none to lead to works which He condemns, even though these same works may be carried on by things of His making; for, in fact, it is the one ground of condemnation, that the creature misuses the creation.

Tertullian may well be a pacifist, I don't remember. But the case is not made in that citation.

Darth Executor
07-05-2017, 12:33 AM
Teach them to love their enemies (which might be the hardest command in the Bible to obey).

It doesn't seem all that hard, a good chunk, if not the majority of the Western population loves their enemy and hates their friend.

tabibito
07-05-2017, 01:27 AM
Then again

http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/april/forgiveness-muslims-moved-coptic-christians-egypt-isis.html

KingsGambit
07-08-2017, 07:57 AM
That's a pacifist canard with no resemblance to reality.

No resemblance to reality? Can you find any citations from early church writers in the first two centuries who state that Christians can participate in the Roman military?

To demonstrate that there is no resemblance to reality, you need to actually demonstrate that pacifism was widely opposed, not poke holes in one or two passages used to bolster the argument.

Jedidiah
07-08-2017, 01:43 PM
. . . The early church unanimously condemned warfare, largely based on Jesus's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. . . .
The early Church may have condemned warfare. I condemn warfare, but I do not believe that can be extended to pacifism.

Luke 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

Matthew 8:5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, 3 ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel4 have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

Acts 10:1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging dwith one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

John the Baptist did not have anything to say to the soldiers who wanted to do right. This is not clearly a support for military service in and of itself, but it certainly shows that there was no strong condemnation of such service.

Jesus interacted with centurion at Capernaum and not only did not condemn him but praised his faith.

In the Acts account God sent an angel to the centurion, Cornelius. Scripture describes Cornelius as "a devout man who feared God." He was not only not condemned but given a task, to wit, to arrange to have Peter brought to him and ultimately had a significant role in bringing Christianity to the gentiles.

Bottom line to me, the early Church fathers are not the ultimate authority. It is the Bible that wields that authority, and it has nothing against military service. God supported military action through out the OT, and He is the same God in the NT.

RumTumTugger
07-15-2017, 09:13 AM
No resemblance to reality? Can you find any citations from early church writers in the first two centuries who state that Christians can participate in the Roman military?

To demonstrate that there is no resemblance to reality, you need to actually demonstrate that pacifism was widely opposed, not poke holes in one or two passages used to bolster the argument.

Not opposed but not actually prescribed. I've heard that in those times Roman soldiers had to swear and worship the Ceaser(emperor) could that have been why Christians were not supposed to join the military?

Darth Executor
07-16-2017, 09:21 AM
No resemblance to reality? Can you find any citations from early church writers in the first two centuries who state that Christians can participate in the Roman military?

No, but that is not the same thing as support for pacifism. Pacifists routinely try to deceive people by showing quotes of early Christians opposing military memebership on account of its pagan reqirements as evidence of pacifism.

I should also note that early church writers are not the final authority on whether Christians actually DID participate in the military.


To demonstrate that there is no resemblance to reality, you need to actually demonstrate that pacifism was widely opposed, not poke holes in one or two passages used to bolster the argument.

The subject barely even comes up as evidenced by the drought of honest quotes coming from pacifists. It's not so much that it was widely opposed that it was largely never brought up in the first place.

Bill the Cat
07-17-2017, 05:19 AM
https://earlychurchhistory.org/military/christian-soldiers-in-the-ancient-roman-army/

The Roman military was a fruitful mission field for the Christian message. A Christian soldier did not, however, have divided loyalties between church and state. An inscription in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus memorializes a Christian soldier:

https://earlychurchhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Soldiers-Epitaph.jpg

“His friends’ memories keep the record of Theodulus who died with military honors. His loyalty was outstanding among non-commissioned officers. He was faithful to all fellow-soldiers and friends. His reputation declares him a servant of God rather than of money and an upright official of the city prefecture. If I were able, I would sing his praise forever so that he may be granted the promised gifts of light.”

The Christian man Theodulus’ loyalty as a soldier was to Rome and to his “fellow-soldiers.” He was known as a “servant of God rather than of money (Mammon)” and was buried with “military honors.”

Apparently Roman Christian soldiers in some remote outposts were allowed to worship freely. A Christian church inside a Roman army fortress in Megiddo, Israel was discovered in the 1990’s.

23331

The small church was created from a back room in the fortress by Christian soldiers stationed there. The fortress served as the military headquarters of the Legio II Traiana (“Trajan’s legion”) and Legio VI Ferrata (“Ironclad Legion”). A mosaic on the floor shows two large fish, the Ichthus symbol.

https://earlychurchhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Fish-Mosaic.jpg

Adrift
07-17-2017, 10:39 AM
https://earlychurchhistory.org/military/christian-soldiers-in-the-ancient-roman-army/

The Roman military was a fruitful mission field for the Christian message. A Christian soldier did not, however, have divided loyalties between church and state. An inscription in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus memorializes a Christian soldier:

https://earlychurchhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Soldiers-Epitaph.jpg

“His friends’ memories keep the record of Theodulus who died with military honors. His loyalty was outstanding among non-commissioned officers. He was faithful to all fellow-soldiers and friends. His reputation declares him a servant of God rather than of money and an upright official of the city prefecture. If I were able, I would sing his praise forever so that he may be granted the promised gifts of light.”

The Christian man Theodulus’ loyalty as a soldier was to Rome and to his “fellow-soldiers.” He was known as a “servant of God rather than of money (Mammon)” and was buried with “military honors.”

I don't know where that website got the idea that that very long quote comes from the inscription on that funerary stele, but that's not what the stele says. Rather it refers to someone named Licinia Amias, and it reads "fish of the living", then below the fish and anchor it reads, "Licinia Amias well-deserving lived ...", and it wasn't found in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus, it was found near the Vatican necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica.


The quote about the soldier named Theodulus is copied from a book called "Footprints in Parchment", which was written by a professor of parapsychology (I didn't know one could actually be such a thing) at Allegheny Community College, named Sandra Sweeny Silver. As far as I can tell, she doesn't give a source for the inscription, nor a date for when it was written. In my little bit of online research I couldn't seem to find anyone named Theodulus who was a soldier in the Callixtus/Callistus Catacombs. There was a soldier named Theodulus who was named among the 40 martyrs of Sebaste (modern day Turkey) who were martyred in 320 AD for openly confessing themselves Christian. You can read about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_Martyrs_of_Sebaste



Apparently Roman Christian soldiers in some remote outposts were allowed to worship freely. A Christian church inside a Roman army fortress in Megiddo, Israel was discovered in the 1990’s.

23331

The small church was created from a back room in the fortress by Christian soldiers stationed there. The fortress served as the military headquarters of the Legio II Traiana (“Trajan’s legion”) and Legio VI Ferrata (“Ironclad Legion”). A mosaic on the floor shows two large fish, the Ichthus symbol.

https://earlychurchhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Fish-Mosaic.jpg

The current view is that this wasn't a church proper, but likely a personal residence connected with the military. It could have been an early home fellowship dating to the 3rd century, but some archaeologists are not convinced that it's possible for it to date so early. There are a number of archaeological indications that it dates to a period post-Constantine, but one of the biggest tells may be that it is associated with the Roman military.

1.3. The Date of the Building and the Christian Meeting Room

The field archaeologists have dated most of the potsherds discovered on top of the mosaic floor to the third century ce, and few to the fourth century. Finds in the northern wing of the building were mainly dated to the third century ce, with a few dating to the early fourth century ce.

Coins recovered from Area Q mostly range from the second to the fourth centuries ce, with the bulk dating to the fourth century. All of the (twenty-eight) coins collected specifically from the building with the Christian meeting room date to the second and third centuries ce. The latest coin dates to the reign of Diocletian (284–305 ce). Tepper believes that the building was abandoned in the late third century ce, coinciding with the presumed relocation of the Sixth Legion Ferrata. There is no evidence of violent destruction. Tepper thinks that the building was deliberately dismantled, and the floor covered over, when the army left.

Di Segni dates the Greek inscriptions in the mosaic to the third century ce, on the basis of the style of lettering and the language used. Tepper provisionally dates the construction of the building, including the Christian meeting room, to the first third of the third century ce, specifically ‘about 230 ce’, in an alleged brief period of peace for the Church broken by the accession of Maximinus in 235 ce.

Other experts, however, have contested the proposed dating. Reacting to the initial announcement, Joe Zias, a former curator of the Israel Antiquities Authorities, doubted whether the mosaic could be pre-Constantinian. In his view, the building is most likely a Roman building adapted for Christian use at a later date. In a recent article, Vassilios Tzaferis argues for a date in the second half of the third century, during a period of peace that continued until the Great Persecution (303–313). During this time, he points out, there was an increase in the number of Christians serving in the Roman army.

Gaianus’ benefaction is felt to be problematic for a pre-Constantinian dating of the church. Zias doubts that a Roman army officer of the third century ce would have been so foolish as to advertise his Christian faith in this way. One must not imagine that Christians in the Roman army (and Christians generally) were continually persecuted throughout the second and third centuries. Many Christians served in the army before the early fourth century and apparently met little trouble, except during the Great Persecution. Yet, ‘the Christian in the army was caught in a religious net of exceedingly fine mesh’. Roman military religion was so pervasive, it would have been impossible for Christian soldiers to avoid it completely. Most seem to have got along by performing their army religious obligations (whenever such duties could not be eluded), while keeping their Christianity a private matter, so as to prevent any outright clash between the two. By making (what amounts to) a public declaration of his allegiance to Christ on army or state owned property (as Tepper has it), Gaianus would be inviting the kind of religious conflict, with potentially fatal consequences, that others took care to avoid. Gaianus’ profession of faith would thus be unusually daring for a military officer of this period, which seems to make it a difficulty for a third-century dating of the church.

One Bad Pig
07-17-2017, 11:30 AM
I don't know where that website got the idea that that very long quote comes from the inscription on that funerary stele, but that's not what the stele says. Rather it refers to someone named Licinia Amias, and it reads "fish of the living", then below the fish and anchor it reads, "Licinia Amias well-deserving lived ...", and it wasn't found in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus, it was found near the Vatican necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica.
The stele has a fair amount of symbolism that could be taken as Christian, which makes it plausible that he was one (it was, after all, about the limit of what could safely be done), but it's not definitive. There were a number of soldier-martyrs pre-Constantine; some of them were converted while participating in the martyrdom of another Christian, but many were not.

Adrift
07-17-2017, 03:26 PM
The stele has a fair amount of symbolism that could be taken as Christian, which makes it plausible that he was one (it was, after all, about the limit of what could safely be done), but it's not definitive.

Oh, I think there's little doubt that it's Christian. I just don't think it has much to do with soldiering.


There were a number of soldier-martyrs pre-Constantine; some of them were converted while participating in the martyrdom of another Christian, but many were not.

Yeah, I think we discussed this a bit in this thread: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?9629-Pacifism-and-the-early-church