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Thread: Jerry Falwell's two kingdoms

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    tWebber
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    Jerry Falwell's two kingdoms

    There has been some discussion on comments made by Jerry Falwell Jr. on his support to Trump. An interesting part of what he has said goes like this:

    There's two kingdoms. Thereís the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom. In the heavenly kingdom the responsibility is to treat others as youíd like to be treated. In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do whatís best for your country. Think about it. Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? Itís because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth. A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. Itís just common sense to me. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.b2f053ca05ba
    I much prefer the teaching of Jesus:

    Luke 21, 1 - 4
    Then Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.

    ďTruly I tell you,Ē He said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. For they all contributed out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.Ē
    I also note another strange thing about. He Falwell says: "In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do whatís best for your country." Pay attention to how he tries to justify it: "Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? Itís because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth." So his justification for only caring about what is best for your own country is that it helps other around the world. So there is this almost contradictory thing to it. Your responsibility is to be selfish. But the justification for being selfish is that it is better for the others.... Well...

    I think Falwell needs to think twice...
    Last edited by Charles; 01-06-2019 at 09:15 AM.

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    Falwell has a point but I would quibble majorly with how he articulated it. (And I already started a separate thread on his comments about charity, which I do oppose, and my post isn't going to address those comments at all.)

    For Christians, the tension isn't so much earthly values vs. God's values (and I think Falwell is wrong on that point) as it is the now vs. the not yet. We know what the values of the kingdom of God are and we work toward these values, but they will not be fully recognized until Jesus returns. Thus, some compromises have to be made in the meantime, with resources being limited and human nature being what it is. (This is the major point of John Stackhouse's Making the Best Of It, a book that has heavily influenced my views on ethics. Stackhouse is also uber-critical of Falwell's comments, for the record.)

    What sort of compromises do I have in mind? I don't mean actively endorsing or tolerating evil (Stackhouse makes the point that there are some things that Christians unequivocally oppose, giving the examples of pornography and tyranny). But a major example is the use of force. Jesus said "blessed are the peacemakers", and peace is a value of the kingdom of God. In the present world, though, peace cannot be achieved without the use of force, which is a concession to the realities of this world. The main thesis of his book is that our actions on this world should act toward increasing shalom, essentially, the values of God's kingdom. Going back to Falwell's context, I don't think his support for Trump in general counts as achieving shalom so much as it represents a political expression of "the ends justify the means".
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  3. Amen LeaC, guacamole amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Falwell has a point but I would quibble majorly with how he articulated it. (And I already started a separate thread on his comments about charity, which I do oppose, and my post isn't going to address those comments at all.)

    For Christians, the tension isn't so much earthly values vs. God's values (and I think Falwell is wrong on that point) as it is the now vs. the not yet. We know what the values of the kingdom of God are and we work toward these values, but they will not be fully recognized until Jesus returns. Thus, some compromises have to be made in the meantime, with resources being limited and human nature being what it is. (This is the major point of John Stackhouse's Making the Best Of It, a book that has heavily influenced my views on ethics. Stackhouse is also uber-critical of Falwell's comments, for the record.)

    What sort of compromises do I have in mind? I don't mean actively endorsing or tolerating evil (Stackhouse makes the point that there are some things that Christians unequivocally oppose, giving the examples of pornography and tyranny). But a major example is the use of force. Jesus said "blessed are the peacemakers", and peace is a value of the kingdom of God. In the present world, though, peace cannot be achieved without the use of force, which is a concession to the realities of this world. The main thesis of his book is that our actions on this world should act toward increasing shalom, essentially, the values of God's kingdom. Going back to Falwell's context, I don't think his support for Trump in general counts as achieving shalom so much as it represents a political expression of "the ends justify the means".
    Thank you. A very interesting post that i would not "amen" since there are parts of it I would not really agree with but I liked to read it and it made me think (unbelievable as it may sound to some).

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    Eh, Falwell Jr. is just another con man like his father. It's no wonder he's a Trump supporter, 2 peas in a pod!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    There has been some discussion on comments made by Jerry Falwell Jr. on his support to Trump. An interesting part of what he has said goes like this:



    I much prefer the teaching of Jesus:



    I also note another strange thing about. He Falwell says: "In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do whatís best for your country." Pay attention to how he tries to justify it: "Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? Itís because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth." So his justification for only caring about what is best for your own country is that it helps other around the world. So there is this almost contradictory thing to it. Your responsibility is to be selfish. But the justification for being selfish is that it is better for the others.... Well...

    I think Falwell needs to think twice...
    I"m shocked, shocked, that you failed to link to where we'd addressed this already. Your eisegesis and misrepresentation of Mr. Falwell are duly noted.

    Jerry Falwell, like his father, is far from theologically perfect. Ripping his (and Jesus') statements out of context, however, is not an appropriate way to address that. Can you address his comments fairly? We'll see.
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  7. Amen Mountain Man, Bill the Cat amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    I"m shocked, shocked, that you failed to link to where we'd addressed this already. Your eisegesis and misrepresentation of Mr. Falwell are duly noted.

    Jerry Falwell, like his father, is far from theologically perfect. Ripping his (and Jesus') statements out of context, however, is not an appropriate way to address that. Can you address his comments fairly? We'll see.
    To be somewhat fair to him, I posted that thread in a Christian-only area that he may not have seen.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    The two kingdom concept has been standard doctrine since the Reformation. It has often been the preferred option among people who wished not to have a unified kingdom that thusly is run under the Pope.

    Although I have not paid any attention to Falwell's doctrines, this is not a doctrine that is aberrant.

    The original post showed no inclination to have the Pope or other religious figure dictating the policies of government. I assume then that you too would rather have Christians working under a two kingdom concept.

    Now if you like Jesus's teachings better, I would suggest you follow Jesus. His yoke is light.

  10. Amen NorrinRadd amen'd this post.
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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    There has been some discussion on comments made by Jerry Falwell Jr. on his support to Trump. An interesting part of what he has said goes like this:



    I much prefer the teaching of Jesus: <blah blah>
    This silly confusion of yours was adequately dealt with in the original thread on this topic.

    I also note another strange thing about. He Falwell says: "In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do whatís best for your country." Pay attention to how he tries to justify it: "Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? Itís because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth." So his justification for only caring about what is best for your own country is that it helps other around the world. So there is this almost contradictory thing to it. Your responsibility is to be selfish. But the justification for being selfish is that it is better for the others.... Well...

    I think Falwell needs to think twice...
    You could try advocating for the converse, i.e. that we (as a nation) give generously (to other nations), so that it will be given (by God, presumably) unto us, as taught by Jesus in Luke 6; so it would still involve self-interest. But then, we criticize Prosperity Preachers for this sort of "give to get" preaching to individual believers, so why would we apply it to the secular nation as a whole?

    The bottom line is that, as a nation, we can better benefit other nations if we have an overflow with which to do so.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    To be somewhat fair to him, I posted that thread in a Christian-only area that he may not have seen.
    Ah, ok. I always go from the "New Posts" link except for the two or three times a year I actually start a thread, so I forget about those "zones."
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

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    With a very slight modification, here is my reply from the other thread on this.

    ------------------

    Since I am somehow inexplicably able to penetrate WaPo's force-field, I will quote and comment on a few portions besides what Bill the Cat provided in Reply 10.

    Source: WaPo

    You said recently that conservatives and Christians should stop electing nice guys. Arenít Christians supposed to be nice guys?

    Of course, of course. But thatís where people get confused. I almost laugh out loud when I hear Democrats saying things like, ďJesus said suffer the little children to come unto meĒ and try to use that as the reason we should open up our borders.

    Itís such a distortion of the teachings of Jesus to say that what he taught us to do personally ó to love our neighbors as ourselves, help the poor ó can somehow be imputed on a nation. Jesus never told Caesar how to run Rome. He went out of his way to say thatís the earthly kingdom, Iím about the heavenly kingdom and Iím here to teach you how to treat others, how to help others, but when it comes to serving your country, you render unto Caesar that which is Caesarís. Itís a distortion of the teaching of Christ to say Jesus taught love and forgiveness and therefore the United States as a nation should be loving and forgiving, and just hand over everything we have to every other part of the world. Thatís not what Jesus taught. You almost have to believe that this is a theocracy to think that way, to think that public policy should be dictated by the teachings of Jesus.

    So, the government you want is one free of religious association?

    Yes. The government should be led by somebody who is going to do whatís in the best interest of the government and its people. And I believe thatís what Jesus thought, too.

    © Copyright Original Source



    This part above is foundational to the article as a whole.


    Source: WaPo

    You pushed for national leaders to use the term ďradical Islamic terrorismĒ when describing Muslims who are terrorists. Should leaders call it ďwhite supremacist terrorismĒ when we have violent acts by white supremacists in this country?

    Sure, if a terrorist is someone who is trying to overthrow a political regime. I guess it depends on what your definition of terrorism is. Anybody who kills anybody else or commits violence against anybody else because of their race is horrible. Itís just as bad as the 9/11 attack.

    © Copyright Original Source



    This is good, except he should have gone out of his way to include Antifa as terrorists. Wuss.


    Source: WaPo

    You and other white evangelical leaders have strongly supported President Trump. What about him exemplifies Christianity and earns him your support?

    What earns him my support is his business acumen. Our country was so deep in debt and so mismanaged by career politicians that we needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone whoíd been successful in business to run the country like a business. Thatís the reason I supported him.

    © Copyright Original Source



    His reasons are not the same as mine, but they are fine.

    Notice he did NOT claim that anything about Trump "exemplifies Christianity." At this point, I will again bring up an underused point that I have not noticed anyone else addressing: If "exemplifying Christianity" is important, Christians would not vote for a pseudo-Christian cultist such as Romney or any other Mormon.


    Source: WaPo

    Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?

    No.

    Thatís the shortest answer weíve had so far.

    Only because I know that he only wants whatís best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically ďconservative,Ē but itís going to be whatís best for this country, and I canít imagine him doing anything thatís not good for the country.

    © Copyright Original Source



    The unqualified "No" is astonishingly stupid. I don't *expect* him to do any such thing, but if, e.g., he did something like diddling a young intern with a cigar during his Presidency, I would totally abandon him and call for his resignation, and I hope all Evangelicals would do likewise.

    A better answer might have been, "Nothing he could do would persuade me that supporting him over Hilary or any pro-choice liberal was the wrong decision."


    Source: WaPo

    Is it hypocritical for evangelical leaders to support a leader who has advocated violence and who has committed adultery and lies often? I understand that a person can be forgiven their sins, but should that person be leading the country?

    When Jesus said weíre all sinners, he really meant all of us, everybody. I donít think you can choose a president based on their personal behavior because even if you choose the one that you think is the most decent ó letís say you decide Mitt Romney. Nobody could be a more decent human being, better family man. But there might be things that heís done that we just donít know about. So you donít choose a president based on how good they are; you choose a president based on what their policies are. Thatís why I donít think itís hypocritical.

    Thereís two kingdoms. Thereís the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom. In the heavenly kingdom the responsibility is to treat others as youíd like to be treated. In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do whatís best for your country. Think about it. Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? Itís because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth. A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. Itís just common sense to me.

    © Copyright Original Source



    This is the portion previously cited. I'm disappointed that he missed an excellent opportunity to denigrate Romney's religion. (I am mainly in favor of doing so in cases where it is one that pretends to be Christian.)

    It honestly baffles me that people insist on imposing Mark 12 / Luke 21 on this. He is not denigrating poor people, he is advocating for an economy that reduces their number.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    Beige Nationalist.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

  14. Amen guacamole amen'd this post.

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