Thursday, October 23, 2008

Make Love Not War

Okay, for some reason Blogger is giving me problems when I try to post a comment, so I am posting here. After 30 comments, it is about time anyway

Like I said before, this is the busiest week of my year, probably, and I should be somewhere else right how, but I am going to try to do this in ten minutes, which means that I am not going to dig out my Bible and cite verses but only reference teachings and situations in it.

A commenter named la maintains that she is concerned about voting for McCain because he seems much more eager for war, and as a Christian, she leans more toward Obama because he puts forward a platform that emphasizes diplomacy over might, and is willing to sit down with our enemies and try to bring forth peaceful resolutions.

She also maintains that war is also murder, and cites some very good verses in the comments section regarding Jesus's commands to love our enemies.

First of all:

1. No one, including McCain is saying that diplomacy is not a first priority. He is saying that the State Department is the one that sits down and works out a satisfactory situation for world leaders to meet. Some common level of agreement needs to be made before this happens.

This is a good idea for many reasons:
a. Those trained in diplomacy in the State Department are the first wave of trying to get to a solution. That is their job, it is what they studied, are trained in, etc. They understand cultural situations and differences that a President just can't get at, and can undermine in his ignorance.

b. If a common ground can't be found, diplomacy can merely be broken off without offending the leaders of either country issue that has led to war throughout history. Preliminary negotiations are not the leader's job, and haven't been since ancient times. Even chieftains of tribes send emissaries to get agreements worked out, and then they meet to finalize the process.

c. If the President agrees to meet with the Irani president, for instance, in such a circumstance, but decides that he doesn't have the time or desire to go to Ethiopia when they have a crisis, should a situation arise...he has just insulted Ethiopia, terribly by treating whatever crisis they may have as not as important as Iran . So now our President is doing the job that the State Department was set up to do in the first place -- in order to fulfill the role of serving the President. A leader of a country always is the one to complete a deal, not the one to start it or hammer out the details. And once Obama is in office, I really and truly believe that is the way he will do things as well, despite what he says now, because that is what his advisors will recommend. You don't break with a tradition that all countries have abided by really since ancient times.

Now theologically:

Jesus's command to love our enemies was not a new command. It is shown throughout all of the Old Testament. It was shown when Joseph did not kill his brothers, it was shown when God sent Jonah to Nineveh, it was shown when Amos married the prostitute who continued to shame him and didn't have him stoned, it was shown so many other times, and most of all, it was shown when God had mercy on the Israelites time and time and time again. And it was shown in the Garden of Eden when God promised a Savior. It was shown in how Joseph was going to put Mary away rather than bring her and her pregnancy before the elders of the community. All examples of how God loves us and forgives us, His enemies.

Yet God was also pretty harsh when it came to justice. He often has used war to administer this justice, both in favor of the Israelites and against the Israelites when they were disobedient. His laws have death as a punishment for so many crimes, for the sake of the well-being of the Children of Israel, yet there are so many times when we are shown examples of mercy rather than strict accordance to the Law.

When God gave the Promised Land to the Children of Israel, he told them to kill everyone living there, or they would struggle with the evils that were in the land for the rest of all time. There were wars against the Philistines, the Midianites, and many others and God showed His favor to the Hebrews time and time again, unless they were in rebellion. God said David was the Apple of His eye, even though David was a king of war. He was not the man to build God's temple because of it, but God blessed David through a period of war in Israel. God used the Assyrians and Babylonians to punish Israel, the prophets say it, again through war.

We don't have much of an example of that in the New Testament because The Judeans were already in subjection to the Romans -- it was in the midst of the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) . They were between wars when Christ lived. But Revelation certainly has images of wars that Christians fight.

Christ also said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Like I said, I don't have a lot of time to go into it. I don't know your background, la, but I am Lutheran, so I am going to explain it in Lutheran theological terms, and if any pastor or layman out there wishes to do a better job than I , I would appreciate it.

Most often, the fifth commandment is translated "Thou shalt not kill." But Greek is a very accurate language, and "murder" is actually a better word. Murder is when someone takes the life of another when they do not have a right to take that life. Abortion is a good example of that. God has bestowed life through the act of sex, and has promised that there would be blessings through that life. No one has a right to take that life. Nothing has been done to earn death (aside from being sinful from conception).

Lutherans describe the world in terms of Kingdom of the Right and Kingdom of the Left. The Kingdom of the Right is The Church - eternal, and under God's authority. The Kingdom of the Left is Government, put in place by God to act in the interest of His people. God uses the Government to do His will. There are good governments and bad governments though, just like there are good and bad in everything in this sinful varying degrees.

The governments are given the right to keep order in society. We would not have a safe society if everyone who commited a crime was forgiven without repentance, without penalty. And some are just not safe to have in society, so they are kept in prison or put to death. This is an authority that God clearly gives to government. The government also has a right to take taxes (give unto Caesar) and wage just war -- which means recruit its citizens to serve the government in facing another government or situation that is threat to its well-being. There are just wars and unjust wars. I don't have the time right now to discuss whether or not Iraq is a just war, but despite the debaucle of the WMD intelligence, etc., I still believe that it is. This is not murder. The soldiers do not commit murder, the government does not commit murder in the act of is terrible all the same, and I will not say that it is good. But just like God saw fit to kill animals to put clothes on Adam and Eve, in a sinful world, death has become a way to solve problems. Some things cannot be settled without war. Does it mean we leap to it with callous disregard for the lives we are sending to the battlefront and those left behind on either side? No, not at all. May it never be. That's what dictators do. That's what Hussein would do with his troops and with his people...torturing and killing them for his amusement, treating them and his neighboring countries like his pawns.

When a shepherd knows that there is a wolf about, they hunt down the wolf and kill it before it comes into the pen and kills the sheep. Christ does that for us, sometimes through governments...sometimes through wars. He has given a government the right to do that.

I don't believe that the Republican candidate is EAGER to go to war with anyone, he seems to understand the seriousness and evils of war from personal experience...but if it is necessary, he is willing. He also knows that you don't send troops into a war that can be won and pull out before it is. That dishonors their sacrifice even more.

However, one caution. I did not "hear" the tone that you attributed to Barb. I know Barb somewhat over the last few years, and I know her writing style, and she is a straightforward one, but not rude. Sometimes we all hear the tone that we think is there -- when I am nervous about an argument I make, those who respond in writing sound more critical than they often are to my ear. Remember, this is a written media, and you may be placing your own impression of her tone. I did not "hear" her being anything but respectful. I was also respectful but straightforward when I wrote of my own concerns and fears that I truly believe to be worthy of concern. Yet you cautioned me against causing offense. At times, offense cannot be prevented when one worldview goes against another. We just have to work within that.


jené said...

I have read through this post, the one previous and all the comments. Little did I know when I sat down to catch up it would be so much to catch up with. All I would say is to continue to keep kindness and generosity of heart at the center of the dialogue. Many of the posters are pro-life. Please remember there are many of us who are consistent life pro-life and war troubles us just as much as attack in the womb. If you are such believer, there is no candidate in a major party who embraces your beliefs. For us, this is an extremely hard election to navigate. Even now I am praying for wisdom as I am casting my ballot tomorrow in early voting. At this time I still do not know for whom I am going to vote. I am thankful that I know God is sovereign and will leave the results to Him.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...


I agree that war is a terribly troubling thing. I pray that God guides your decision tomorrow.

Jungle Mom said...

I had to post below last night as Blogger would not allow me to post here.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

At least I'm not the only one that had problems :)

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Hey, RPW. Yes, I'm straightforward but not rude. That's all I'll say here. Good post, and thank you for your support.

La said...

Hi Rebellious,
I have to think about this one before I write anything, but I will respond to your caution. I think your casting offense wasn't so much what you said specifically as it was that it seemed as though you were calling the entire democratic party hypocrites. For some of us, who would be voting for the democratic party, we could feel somewhat attacked. I think, in your comments, you have been nothing but respectful. Thank you.
I guess Barb saying, "You can say you agree with the socialist and Marxist policies we'd get with Obama and I'd respect you more than now while you piss on my leg and tell me it's raining" did sound a little disrespectful. Maybe I was wrong. ;)

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Okay...I'll add "earthy" to my list of descriptors for Barb.


I wasn't referring to the whole Democratic Party as hypocrites. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. I was responding to a significant portion of the media, feminists, and certain persons in the Obama campaign who have embraced this frivolous attack mode which is really at the level of jr. high attacks...but with power. There has been little attempt at actually criticizing issues or attacking policies. Rather, dumb, sexy, brainless, closed minded...etc. Whatever problems can legitimately be found with Palin, those are not faults that she actually has.

I literally heard Obama's campaign manager say "When McCain started mentioning Joe the Plumber, he made it okay for us to go after him and dig up all his dirt."

That isn't all Democrats, obviously. Just many of the ones who have access to the airwaves and the printing press...and those running the campaign.

And as far as Socialist and Marxist tendencies...right now we have a Republican Secretary of the Treasury who is partially nationalizing the banks. And Republicans and Democrats both handed him that power.

I happen to know plenty of Democrats, and while we often don't agree, I generally can respect most of what they believe and why. Except on abortion.

White Rabbit said...

You mention the OT a lot, but there is a New Covenant in which Jesus deliberately changes OT laws, such as an "Eye for an eye". Now there is a new response.

The note about "bringing the sword" was certainly figurative, and referred to how relationships were going to be torn because people will reject those who embrace Jesus. There's no notion of violence in your citation. When Peter attempts to use his sword, the Lord rebukes him and tells him we are not to live by the sword.

When Jesus tells us to love our "enemies" the word translated "enemies" is used 149 times in the LXX (Greek translation of the Hebrew bible most commonly used by the Jews of Jesus' day) for political and national enemies. It is used 37 times to refer to personal enemies.

Rome was occupying Israel. If you asked any Jew who their enemy was in Jesus' day they would have said Rome, not each other. Even the Hindu's and Muslims got along when Britian was occupying their land. It is always the occupier that is the enemy, and this is what was understood by Jesus' audience.

The goverment is God's servant to a certain extent. They also rebel against God. That is the picture in the OT over and over. We are also told that we are to submit to the government so long as it does not cause us to disobey the will of God. Killing your enemy is considered disobedience.

There was a bumper sticker that read: When Jesus said to "love your enemies" i think he probably meant we shouldn't kill them."

Christians need to determine what rule they will live by. We do not belong to any nation. We are citizens of the kingdom of God. Wouldn't be the sin of all sins if a Christian pulled the trigger on another Christian, both thinking that by serving their country they were doing God a favor?

Christianity is a religion of non-retaliation and non-violence. "Love your enemy, bless those who persecute you". i don't think persecution Jesus was talking about was from a "personal" enemy. i'm sorry, but "personal" enemy does not seem to have much support.

i believe the proper response to the Jewish persecution would have been the German church standing up alongside the Jews in a non-violent protest and being willing to die along side of the Jews to demonstrate Christ's example and love for all people. i believe the shame this would have caused the Germans would have eventually caused them to rethink, just as this was effective when Gandhi used it to drive out the British occupation.

The church lost her nerve. They were too afraid to identify with the persecuted. They failed to live out the teachings of Christ.

ElderChild said...

“Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(I John 5:19)

Rather simple to "see" what the world is, for those with "eyes to see"? The Messiah declared the world to be wicked, and i believe it rather simple to "see" that the world is that 'place' where money is 'god', and 'god' is money. That 'place' where The Only True GOD's Order, which is HIS Will, has been cast aside, replaced by the "imag"ined systems of mankind, and especially the religious systems which create but confusion, dis-order, and every evil work. Yet to those who are of this world, such a 'place' is a paradise. And what better represents such a 'place' than that which is called the u.s. of a.?

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

The “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-(

And the “strongest thing” in the evil one’s worldly systems? “Woman”…… yet The Truth, that which is of The Only True GOD, is stronger even than woman. (read I Esdras 3&4 of the Apocrypha) And Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Mercy, Hope,,,etc,,, all that is “good”, is of The Only True GOD and is of HIS Spirit, not of this world. Those born of The Spirit, those born of The Only True GOD, are the brethren of The Messiah, for they received "a love of The Truth that they might be saved”. Reborn!

And those who have received "a love of The Truth” have separated themselves from this world and those of this world, for they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come out of her MY people.” They are “in, but not of this wicked, evil world”, and The Only True GOD has received them, and is "A Father unto them, and they are HIS sons and daughters”. And they follow, and desire to be like their Master and Brother, The Messiah, He Who was “the firstborn of many brethren”. And as “The Messiah was a servant of The Only True GOD”, so also His Brethren are “servants of The Only True GOD.”

The called out ones are not “adulterers and adulteresses”, they are not “friends of this wicked, evil world”, they do not “fornicate with the god of this world” for they know that “to be a friend of this world is to be the enemy of The Only True GOD.” They are at war against the evil spirits that possess those who are of this world.

And they do not “allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach. For she teaches others to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. The Only True GOD gave her a chance to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Rev 2:20-21)

“fornication” and “adultery..” in that which is recorded above signifies spiritual fornication with “the god of this world”, which is to love that which is of his world.

Once again, the “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18)

Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

And as stated, “woman is the strongest thing of this world”. Yet stronger than woman is The Truth, which is in those who have “received a love of The Truth”.

The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”.

They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" ndeed and Truth!

Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” And Faithful women are exhorted to “be in silence.” “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” “For Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11,12,14)

A man and woman joined together in obedience and submission unto The Only True GOD are blessed indeed. All who are not obedient, all who will not submit themselves unto The Only True GOD will have to answer to HIM..period..

Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Light, Truth, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Thankfulness, .etc.)!

Paul testified, “The Only True GOD is The HEAD of The Messiah, The Messiah is The Head of the man, and the man is the head of the woman”. Multitudes pervert GOD’s Order because they have been seduced by ” the commandments and doctrines of men and devils”.

Multitudes are seduced by the religious systems that are in and of this evil world. Seduced because they love this evil world and their own life in it!

“Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of "The Only True GOD" to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

Once again, “Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

“Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the religious systems. "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world!

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......

Truth is never ending.......