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Thread: A case against revenge

  1. #11
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  2. #12
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Executor View Post
    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.
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 07-08-2017 at 03:02 PM.
    Something is always happening, but when it happens, people don't always see it, or understand it... or accept it.

  3. #13
    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    . . . 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.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  4. Amen lee_merrill, Darth Executor amen'd this post.
  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    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?

  6. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  7. #15
    tWebber Darth Executor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    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.
    "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you." ~ 2 Chronicles 19:2

    "The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked." ~ Psalm 58:10

  8. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  9. #16
    Thanks Old Man... Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    https://earlychurchhistory.org/milit...nt-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:



    “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.

    Megiddo-Mosaic.jpg

    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.



    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals --- Manya the Holy Szin --- The Quintara Marathon ---

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  10. #17
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    https://earlychurchhistory.org/milit...nt-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:



    “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.

    Megiddo-Mosaic.jpg

    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.

    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.

    Source: The Ancient Church at Megiddo: The Discovery and an Assessment of its Significance by Edward Adams

    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.

    © Copyright Original Source


  11. Amen One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
  12. #18
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    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.
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  13. #19
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    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/sh...e-early-church

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