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Cow Poke
04-27-2015, 11:15 AM
I'm wondering how our more pacificst Twebbers reconcile Paul's teachings with the alleged pacivity of Jesus.

Even Paul's initiation into Christianity came about through a somewhat violent intervention from Christ.

Did Paul go off the deep end with his references to "fighting a fight" and "warfare" and the "Armor of God"...

One Bad Pig
04-27-2015, 11:27 AM
:huh: This is sort of ...vague.

Cerebrum123
04-27-2015, 11:33 AM
:huh: This is sort of ...vague.

It has to do with Sam saying that Jesus explicitly taught an extreme form of pacifism that even lethal violence to save someone else's life is wrong.

Cow Poke
04-27-2015, 11:41 AM
It has to do with Sam saying that Jesus explicitly taught an extreme form of pacifism that even lethal violence to save someone else's life is wrong.

Not so much Sam, though that's what triggered it in my thinking, but some of the Pastors at last week's hearing, as well. In fact, moreso, because they, like Sam, opposed the Pastor Protection bill with goofy accusations like "we're slamming the door of the Church in the faces of these beautiful people whom Christ loved".

Christianbookworm
04-27-2015, 12:17 PM
It has to do with Sam saying that Jesus explicitly taught an extreme form of pacifism that even lethal violence to save someone else's life is wrong.

Why does that part remind me of the ending of a certain recent superhero movie and fan reactions to it? Of course one can be annoyed at a film maker putting a fictional character in that situation, and real life is more complicated. Are there really people that think you should allow the bad guy to kill you or others instead of possibly killing him when there is no other option?

Sparko
04-27-2015, 01:11 PM
I have always thought that on a personal level, we should practice non-violence except in the case of defending the lives of ourselves and others.
And on a government level (police, military) that they are allowed to use violence in defense of others and as in Romans 13

3Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

(of course some idiots try to use this to mean Paul meant to submit to any government, even evil like the Nazi's - but that is not what he is saying. When a government uses its authority to keep the peace and protect its citizens, then it might need to use violence to do so, and to punish those who break the law)

Jesse
04-27-2015, 05:55 PM
I'm wondering how our more pacificst Twebbers reconcile Paul's teachings with the alleged pacivity of Jesus.

Even Paul's initiation into Christianity came about through a somewhat violent intervention from Christ.

Did Paul go off the deep end with his references to "fighting a fight" and "warfare" and the "Armor of God"...

I don't know how anyone can interpret Luke 22:36 as anything other than self defense. Or John 18:10, where Jesus tells Peter to put his sword away but not to get rid of it. That seems to go well with Luke 22:36. How about Matthew 8:5-13? Jesus talks about a Roman centurion having a greater faith than anyone else in Israel. This is a person who has probably killed numerous people for the spontaneous will of a pagan emperor. Did Jesus tell this centurion to quit his job? No.

I think people forget that a lot of Christ's commandments were situational. Only applying to the person he was speaking too at the time.

KingsGambit
04-27-2015, 06:49 PM
Not so much Sam, though that's what triggered it in my thinking, but some of the Pastors at last week's hearing, as well. In fact, moreso, because they, like Sam, opposed the Pastor Protection bill with goofy accusations like "we're slamming the door of the Church in the faces of these beautiful people whom Christ loved".

I honestly don't see what that has to do with pacifism... can you help me draw the connection?

seanD
04-28-2015, 03:40 PM
I have always thought that on a personal level, we should practice non-violence except in the case of defending the lives of ourselves and others.
And on a government level (police, military) that they are allowed to use violence in defense of others and as in Romans 13

3Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

(of course some idiots try to use this to mean Paul meant to submit to any government, even evil like the Nazi's - but that is not what he is saying. When a government uses its authority to keep the peace and protect its citizens, then it might need to use violence to do so, and to punish those who break the law)

The problem is that what constitutes evil is often subjective, especially in a fallen world. The nazis truly believed that what they were doing was not evil but for the benefit of German society. That's why Paul's Romans 13 is so goofy (not to mention just historically wrong).



I'm wondering how our more pacificst Twebbers reconcile Paul's teachings with the alleged pacivity of Jesus.

Even Paul's initiation into Christianity came about through a somewhat violent intervention from Christ.

Did Paul go off the deep end with his references to "fighting a fight" and "warfare" and the "Armor of God"...

This has to be a rhetorical question. :huh: Paul was speaking spiritually in those passages (i.e. 2 Cor 10:4).

My view is that Jesus taught pacifism. There's no way around it. But since we're sinners in a brutal and harsh world, it's virtually impossible for us to follow, hence the reason Jesus died and we need grace. It's also similar with what Jesus taught about finances, which is another difficult aspect of his teaching we struggle with. Did he really command us not to store wealth or worry about our financial future in such a materialistic orientated world? Yes. But it's not practical for us, not because Jesus' teaching is impractical but because we're miserable sinners living to the contrary of what he taught because of our sin. IMO, admitting that we simply fall short of a lot of his commands is much better (though is spiritually painful for us to admit because of our pride) than trying to squirm around what Jesus meant and attempting to find justifications to support an argument of why what it seems like he meant he didn't really mean. However, it's also equally wrong for another Christian to try and throw Jesus' teaching in our face just to support their own view (ESPECIALLY a political one) because they aren't living to the fullest of what Jesus taught either, therefore they're a hypocrite.

Cow Poke
04-28-2015, 04:12 PM
This has to be a rhetorical question. :huh:

Of course.

KingsGambit
04-28-2015, 06:49 PM
I still don't get why Sean feels comfortable discounting Romans 13 as just wrong, but gets on me for my views on Genesis because of how Paul uses them in typology... in Romans.

seanD
04-28-2015, 08:40 PM
I still don't get why Sean feels comfortable discounting Romans 13 as just wrong, but gets on me for my views on Genesis because of how Paul uses them in typology... in Romans.

Paul wasn't using typology; his belief in Genesis is what he understood about the historical origins of mankind and thus applied it to his theology. Hey, if you're willing to admit Paul was wrong about his understanding of the origin of man and death, more power to you. In fact, I can respect that more than trying to weasel out of it and argue Paul didn't mean what he clearly did mean. If you can keep your faith intact with that glaring theological problem staring you in the face, then hey brother, you got faith of steel and I salute you. But I don't think even you could honestly put that problem on par with the problem of Romans 13 with a straight face.

Chrawnus
04-28-2015, 08:43 PM
The problem is that what constitutes evil is often subjective, especially in a fallen world. The nazis truly believed that what they were doing was not evil but for the benefit of German society. That's why Paul's Romans 13 is so goofy (not to mention just historically wrong).


lol

Cow Poke
04-29-2015, 01:43 AM
I honestly don't see what that has to do with pacifism... can you help me draw the connection?

Just want you to know I'm not hiding from this -- it's actually made me think a great deal.

Sparko
04-29-2015, 06:06 AM
So Romans 13 is "historically wrong" because Sean doesn't like it?

Sean, do you do that with the rest of the bible? Just decide what parts you like and accept, and what parts you don't like and reject?

Cow Poke
04-29-2015, 07:52 AM
OK, I'm gonna take a stab at this... let's work through it.

Been thinking on this pretty hard, and thinking about the way I think about it, too.


I think what happens is that I expand the meaning of "pacifist" to include "passive-ist".... and when somebody talks about how pacifist Jesus was, it's like, to me, the "sissification of Jesus".
He was a man - and a man of authority. When he fashioned a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple - that obviously was not pacifist. If he was teaching pacifism, He blew it by being a hypocrite to his own teachings. We know He wasn't a hypocrite. (At least, I hope we know that)

Let's look at the definition (or one of them) of pacifism -- the belief that any violence, including war, is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means.

Now, looking at other definitions of pacifism, it exclusively addresses war or violence, and doesn't mention "all disputes being settled by peaceful means". :shrug:

I think when pacifism is used on Tweb, most people (I'm guessing) intend that first part. I tend to look at that last part and include it in the meaning. In the case of the moneychangers, that wasn't a very peaceful means.

I also think that this attempt to make Jesus such a pacifist is an excuse to be a "do nothing Christian". Just being honest here. Jesus used action verbs - go, make, teach... and He said things like "you suppose I bring peace, but, no... division..."

Paul was obviously more militant than that, causing revivals or riots or both where he went. He was confrontational. He told Titus to be confrontational when he went to Crete. He wasn't just about sitting writing stuff - he got up and did stuff.

So, maybe the disconnect is my extended version of the definition of pacifism. :shrug:

seanD
04-29-2015, 09:42 AM
So Romans 13 is "historically wrong" because Sean doesn't like it?

Sean, do you do that with the rest of the bible? Just decide what parts you like and accept, and what parts you don't like and reject?

I'll address this just this one time since it's getting off topic. In post #6, you agreed that the nazis made up the government of Germany. However, your solution for that problem was that the nazis were an evil regime. So you unwittingly admitted that Paul's statement can't be taken as literal face value for all governments by making the nazi government an exception to what Paul said. IOW, sometimes there are in fact evil governments that do wrong, contrary to what Paul said, and you clearly recognize that problem. Also, what constitutes a "good" government is often subjective. Look at the stark differences between right and left politics in western society as just one example. Moreover, unless you want to admit the origins of America is a spiritually illegitimate nation for violating what Paul said, then history shows that Paul's statement is not applicable to reality just based on how America was formed.

Sparko
04-29-2015, 10:04 AM
I'll address this just this one time since it's getting off topic. In post #6, you agreed that the nazis made up the government of Germany. However, your solution for that problem was that the nazis were an evil regime. So you unwittingly admitted that Paul's statement can't be taken as literal face value for all governments by making the nazi government an exception to what Paul said. IOW, sometimes there are in fact evil governments that do wrong, contrary to what Paul said, and you clearly recognize that problem. Also, what constitutes a "good" government is often subjective. Look at the stark differences between right and left politics in western society as just one example. Moreover, unless you want to admit the origins of America is a spiritually illegitimate nation for violating what Paul said, then history shows that Paul's statement is not applicable to reality just based on how America was formed.

Paul never said all authorities put into place by God were good. If the authorities are evil, they are abusing the powers God gave them. Like the Nazi's. Going around murdering its own citizens and trying to take over the world is an abuse of the authority given to them by God. They certainly are not God's servants, are they?

seanD
04-29-2015, 10:11 AM
Paul never said all authorities put into place by God were good. If the authorities are evil, they are abusing the powers God gave them. Like the Nazi's. Going around murdering its own citizens and trying to take over the world is an abuse of the authority given to them by God. They certainly are not God's servants, are they?

At the time Paul wrote that, the Roman empire was the empire of the world and Nero was emperor lol. Seriously, sparko, give it up dude.

Sparko
04-29-2015, 10:14 AM
At the time Paul wrote that, the Roman empire was the empire of the world and Nero was emperor lol. Seriously, sparko, give it up dude.



so again, you decide what parts of scripture to accept and what parts to reject? Is that it?

seanD
04-29-2015, 10:17 AM
so again, you decide what parts of scripture to accept and what parts to reject? Is that it?

As you did as well.

Sparko
04-29-2015, 10:23 AM
As you did in also.

No. You did. You are saying that either Paul didn't write Romans 13, or that he was wrong when he wrote it.

The Roman Empire at the time was actually one of the most civilized and fair empires around, despite Nero. Nero was a evil and insane emperor who the Empire itself revolted against. Nero was evil and was not one of God's servants. He abused the authority he had and paid the price.

Christianbookworm
04-29-2015, 10:25 AM
:argh: Do some research and figure out that at the time Romans was written, the Roman Empire wasn't trying to kill Christians and was still fairly okay as ancient governments went. God's standard trumps the government. If the government commands something that goes against God's standards, we should obey God rather than man.

Sam
04-29-2015, 01:16 PM
OK, I'm gonna take a stab at this... let's work through it.

Been thinking on this pretty hard, and thinking about the way I think about it, too.


I think what happens is that I expand the meaning of "pacifist" to include "passive-ist".... and when somebody talks about how pacifist Jesus was, it's like, to me, the "sissification of Jesus".
He was a man - and a man of authority. When he fashioned a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple - that obviously was not pacifist. If he was teaching pacifism, He blew it by being a hypocrite to his own teachings. We know He wasn't a hypocrite. (At least, I hope we know that)

Let's look at the definition (or one of them) of pacifism -- the belief that any violence, including war, is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means.

Now, looking at other definitions of pacifism, it exclusively addresses war or violence, and doesn't mention "all disputes being settled by peaceful means". :shrug:

I think when pacifism is used on Tweb, most people (I'm guessing) intend that first part. I tend to look at that last part and include it in the meaning. In the case of the moneychangers, that wasn't a very peaceful means.

I also think that this attempt to make Jesus such a pacifist is an excuse to be a "do nothing Christian". Just being honest here. Jesus used action verbs - go, make, teach... and He said things like "you suppose I bring peace, but, no... division..."

Paul was obviously more militant than that, causing revivals or riots or both where he went. He was confrontational. He told Titus to be confrontational when he went to Crete. He wasn't just about sitting writing stuff - he got up and did stuff.

So, maybe the disconnect is my extended version of the definition of pacifism. :shrug:

This is not the definition of pacifism frequently used by theologians who advocate a pacifist approach or look at Jesus' teachings as pacifist. If you've got it handy, read John Howard Yoder's "Politics of Jesus" Yoder did not see Jesus advocating a "do-nothing" approach ... in fact, he saw Jesus as taking the harder path of implementing a "power under" politic.

If you don't have it handy, send me a PM with an e-mail address and I'll get you a copy from Amazon. If you're looking to develop an understanding of how Christian pacifists (well, Mennonites, anyhow) think on the issue, Yoder is still (I believe) the seminal work of the last 50 years.

KingsGambit
04-29-2015, 06:24 PM
Paul wasn't using typology; his belief in Genesis is what he understood about the historical origins of mankind and thus applied it to his theology. Hey, if you're willing to admit Paul was wrong about his understanding of the origin of man and death, more power to you. In fact, I can respect that more than trying to weasel out of it and argue Paul didn't mean what he clearly did mean. If you can keep your faith intact with that glaring theological problem staring you in the face, then hey brother, you got faith of steel and I salute you. But I don't think even you could honestly put that problem on par with the problem of Romans 13 with a straight face.

So you're saying that my view is that Paul was simply wrong. Even if this was my view, how is that any different from your view?

Also, CBW is correct; at the time Romans was written there was no widespread persecution of Christians. Compare the early chapters of Revelation for Scripture written during an actual time of persecution (this isn't controversial even under a futurist view) The approach to empire is very different.

seanD
04-29-2015, 06:32 PM
So you're saying that my view is that Paul was simply wrong. Even if this was my view, how is that any different from your view?


You really can't be that stupid KG. Read post #12 again and there's your answer.

KingsGambit
04-29-2015, 06:56 PM
You really can't be that stupid KG. Read post #12 again and there's your answer.

As I said, that's the nature for typology. I'm curious why you don't think Paul's use of Adam constitutes typology.

Darth Executor
04-30-2015, 02:29 AM
even evil like the Nazi's

Current western governments are more evil than the Nazis and Christians submit to them just fine.

Darth Executor
04-30-2015, 02:36 AM
As I said, that's the nature for typology. I'm curious why you don't think Paul's use of Adam constitutes typology.

I think he's saying that you think Paul was wrong on an issue essential to faith while he thinks Paul is wrong on a side-issue.

KingsGambit
04-30-2015, 02:52 AM
I think he's saying that you think Paul was wrong on an issue essential to faith while he thinks Paul is wrong on a side-issue.

It seems so but it's an ad hoc characterization since I still maintain everything Romans teaches is spiritually true, whereas he doesn't.

hedrick
05-05-2015, 04:52 AM
I still don't understand the OP. Jesus taught forgiveness and reconciliation. In a lot of contexts I think his followers would avoid using force. I think the US has been too quick to use force internationally, without carefully considering the likely result. In Jesus' original context, he wanted Jews to take a non-violent approach to the Romans. But none of this means that he was a complete pacifist, who saw no role for force in policing or defense. He interacted with a few soldiers, and seemed OK with their role.

Furthermore, Rom 13 is consistent with his position. It counsels accepting the role of the Roman state, just as Jesus did. In the context of Jewish politics of the time, Rom 13 borders on pacifism, because it implies that Jews shouldn't resist Rome.

Cerebrum123
05-05-2015, 04:55 AM
I still don't understand the OP. Jesus taught forgiveness and reconciliation. In a lot of contexts I think his followers would avoid using force. I think the US has been too quick to use force internationally, without carefully considering the likely result. In Jesus' original context, he wanted Jews to take a non-violent approach to the Romans. But none of this means that he was a complete pacifist, who saw no role for force in policing or defense. He interacted with a few soldiers, and seemed OK with their role.

Furthermore, Rom 13 is consistent with his position. It counsels accepting the role of the Roman state, just as Jesus did. In the context of Jewish politics of the time, Rom 13 borders on pacifism, because it implies that Jews shouldn't resist Rome.

The underlined is the issue. There are those that believe that Jesus explicitly taught a radical form of pacifism where lethal violence is never justified under any circumstances.

Truthseeker
05-05-2015, 03:11 PM
Furthermore, Rom 13 is consistent with his position. It counsels accepting the role of the Roman state, just as Jesus did. In the context of Jewish politics of the time, Rom 13 borders on pacifism, because it implies that Jews shouldn't resist Rome.I read an essay some time ago about Romans 13 and how badly translated to English it was. Also misinterpreted. For one thing, the context (Romans 12 and beyond) has to be kept in mind. Another thing, the word translated "civil authorities" or whatever is more general than that. The scope of the word may be intended to include such people as village elders, teachers, parents, synagogue leaders.