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Old 04-11-2012, 08:24 PM
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Default Christians and their government

Have you come to terms with the implications of these verses.?

Romans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:19 PM
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Have you come to terms with the implications of these verses.?

Romans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Yes, I have...and it wasn't easy for a while, then 'oh snap' it dawned on me.
It took abortion to get me there...though....years of fighting that battle. Abortion is lawful....I cannot force someone to believe as I believe on abortion. I can tell them the negative/opposite side and hope they will make the right choice for themselves. Alcohol is legal...all I can do is tell people what it can do to you, because I know, been there. So on and so on....i've pretty much been thru the whole gambit......and thus my testimony was born out of that...my salvation and my deliverance, too.....it's personal. Doesn't mean everything that is legal is good for us....I choose not to partake....cigarettes for example. I cannot force anyone else to believe as I do though about it. I can tell them, but can't force them.

I don't park in the fire zone, even though some feel entitlement to do so. I don't park in handycap, I don't speed, etc etc. I try to abide by the rules because God convicts me to. He even convicts me to put up my shopping buggy or when I dig thru clothes I fold them back up. If I drop paper outside I pick it up. Not because I'm so good, but because God is so good and I've surrendered to His conviction to respect the right things to do.

If everyone would just do what they are suppose to be doing....everything would be so much better.

My first husband wouldn't be dead if he had abided by the rules of the campsite in Lawrenceville Ga, where his firearm discharged when he dropped it....no firearms allowed.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:29 PM
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Everybody Christian claims God was involved in our revolution, but our revolution was in direct conflict with these verses. Makes one think a bit.......
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:52 PM
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Very good topic and points being made. I wonder what the people in Cuba feel about it?
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:54 PM
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[quote=JB0704;6860060]Everybody Christian claims God was involved in our revolution, but our revolution was in direct conflict with these verses. Makes one think a bit.......[/QUOTE

And similar would be the Rebels of the Civil War.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:17 PM
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But what if Saddam Hussein was your leader? Or Hitler? Does the bible only apply to Americans? Paul wrote this for the present situation. The Roman government would have been much harder on Christians if they feared a revolt. Paul tried to be sure they were viewed as peaceful. He asked that they pray for their leaders. This turned Roman wrath elsewhere.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:53 PM
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But what if Saddam Hussein was your leader? Or Hitler? Does the bible only apply to Americans? Paul wrote this for the present situation. The Roman government would have been much harder on Christians if they feared a revolt. Paul tried to be sure they were viewed as peaceful. He asked that they pray for their leaders. This turned Roman wrath elsewhere.
Great point!
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:38 AM
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Everybody Christian claims God was involved in our revolution, but our revolution was in direct conflict with these verses. Makes one think a bit.......
If we look at the Prophets we find that when God delivered His message of impending doom, resulting from their disobedience, there was a message of blessing, resulting from there return to obedience (usually the return was by a remnant). It occures to me that the claim you refer to may be revisionist history.

So should we disobey in order to bring about the blessing after the return "May it never be".
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:40 AM
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What comes to mind here are a few things like the two sides of God's will, and how governments are legit. But mostly the word "oppose" here picks my interest.

In what way would our opposition to governments be out of caracter with God's will. If opposition is driven by the flesh then one can assume that it is driven by rancour and discourd, violence etc... But driven by the Spirit opposition must be peaceful and is accounted not as opposition but something else altogether.

“Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:51-52)

What Jesus and our Father have given to us is not of this sword. We do not count ourselves and others prone to perish.

Perhaps simply to love is not to oppose and ultimately our governments are us. It is our faith, our religions, our understandings, our beliefs, our dogmas that create them.

As christians do we oppose those who disagree with us or that we have disagrements with? I think the word is plain enough how we are to proceed.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:11 AM
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But what if Saddam Hussein was your leader? Or Hitler? Does the bible only apply to Americans? Paul wrote this for the present situation. The Roman government would have been much harder on Christians if they feared a revolt. Paul tried to be sure they were viewed as peaceful. He asked that they pray for their leaders. This turned Roman wrath elsewhere.
So this is a political statement made to pacify a tyrant?

How much of scripture could be explained away with similar thinking?
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:40 AM
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How much of scripture could be explained away with similar thinking?
Yes i'm reminded on this forum that verse is not for you but _____. God was addressing the ______. Acts was written for the _____.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:18 AM
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But what if Saddam Hussein was your leader? Or Hitler? Does the bible only apply to Americans? Paul wrote this for the present situation. The Roman government would have been much harder on Christians if they feared a revolt. Paul tried to be sure they were viewed as peaceful. He asked that they pray for their leaders. This turned Roman wrath elsewhere.
Glad to see it when folks realize Paul's words were to the people of that time.We are blessed to have the recorded message that God sent to them for an example.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

We live in an especially good nation, in especially good times despite the poor economy, and poor leadership we currently have.We are spoiled, and not enough us "oh me", are on our knees praying for the persecuted Christians around the world...it's sad to say but too many of us are attending churches that preach prosperity on this side.We're giving up on eternal salvation, for worldly comforts.
One of the neat things about Christianity is that it thrives and grows among those that are persecuted, among the poor, and among the meek.I had rather have the Holy Spirit with me any day, than all the riches of the world.The Romans saw this in Christians, it amazed them that they would give up their life rather than deny Christ.They showed great love for the brethren too, and were submissive to the empire.
God will judge us all, but He holds to our leaders a greater responsibility.
leaders of nations will be held responsible.
Leaders of churches will be held responsible.
The Husband is held responsible for his duties over the wife.
Parents are held responsible for their duties over the children.
And vice versa, a child is held responsible for obeying its parents, a wife is to be submissive to her husband,we as Christians are to tithe to our churches...time or money,we are to obey the laws of our nation, and we are all to be submissive to God.
I fall short and do accept the chastisement I need to correct me at times.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:29 AM
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Yes, I have come to grips with it, knowing that this kingdom is not my own, yet I must live in it in a peaceable fashion inasmuch as it does not violate my relationship with Christ! But it does bring questions!

Does being subject to governmental authority precede the desire to change it in a peaceable fashion? Does it mean you deny your heavenly Father and your Savior Christ in order to satisfy the rule of your government? Does it mean you must not challenge your government when the rights of the innocent are infringed? What do you do when 'doing what is good' is in direct conflict with your government's stated position? These are the questions I ponder as I read this and I believe most are answered by looking a little deeper at the context of this passage and I will leave you with that context. Just take a look at the passages before and after and study them. God Bless!

Romans 12
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:34 AM
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In my mind, I believe these verses carry a hidden message for us today. "Stand up".... "Get up"..... "Get back to the ministry of My will".... "Get your mind back on My church rather than on your nation".... "Or I'll destroy your nation, just as I did Israel".

Israel didn't destroy itself, God destroyed Israel. According to these verses, God can do the same to any nation.
At least that's what it seems to say. ??????????
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:43 AM
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Yes, I have come to grips with it, knowing that this kingdom is not my own, yet I must live in it in a peaceable fashion inasmuch as it does not violate my relationship with Christ! But it does bring questions!

Does being subject to governmental authority precede the desire to change it in a peaceable fashion? Does it mean you deny your heavenly Father and your Savior Christ in order to satisfy the rule of your government? Does it mean you must not challenge your government when the rights of the innocent are infringed? What do you do when 'doing what is good' is in direct conflict with your government's stated position? These are the questions I ponder as I read this and I believe most are answered by looking a little deeper at the context of this passage and I will leave you with that context. Just take a look at the passages before and after and study them. God Bless!

Romans 12
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
I was hoping that someone would bring up the point that I highlighted. Rm. 13:3 says in part "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil." We can not always assume that the converse of a statement in scripture is true, but to ask "what if our good behavior is a cause for fear from authority?" seems a legitimate question. The temptation is to throw the commanded behavior out the window and adopt the ways of the world; which is to ignore 12:21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good".

Abortion being a favorite subject of many, I will attempt to use it. I think everyone reading this would agree that assassinating an abortionist does not conform with the teaching of scripture, but what about an orginized protest in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic. I drive by one several times a week in my work, protest that is. It bothers me, it conflicts with the attitude prescribed for those who follow Christ. Would an unmarked offering of drinks and pastry be more appropriate? I think so.

A more general way to convey what I'm trying to say might be to contrast your words "in direct conflict with your government's stated position" and 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (hope I'm not taking you out of context). Doesn't it take more than a stated position for us to even consider action opposed to authority.

I guess it comes down to this: do we know more about how to change things that appear to us to be wrong in the world, or has God given us clear teaching of how to be "A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR {God's} OWN POSSESSION"?
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hummerpoo View Post
I was hoping that someone would bring up the point that I highlighted. Rm. 13:3 says in part "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil." We can not always assume that the converse of a statement in scripture is true, but to ask "what if our good behavior is a cause for fear from authority?" seems a legitimate question. The temptation is to throw the commanded behavior out the window and adopt the ways of the world; which is to ignore 12:21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good".

Abortion being a favorite subject of many, I will attempt to use it. I think everyone reading this would agree that assassinating an abortionist does not conform with the teaching of scripture, but what about an orginized protest in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic. I drive by one several times a week in my work, protest that is. It bothers me, it conflicts with the attitude prescribed for those who follow Christ. Would an unmarked offering of drinks and pastry be more appropriate? I think so.

A more general way to convey what I'm trying to say might be to contrast your words "in direct conflict with your government's stated position" and 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (hope I'm not taking you out of context). Doesn't it take more than a stated position for us to even consider action opposed to authority.

I guess it comes down to this: do we know more about how to change things that appear to us to be wrong in the world, or has God given us clear teaching of how to be "A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR {God's} OWN POSSESSION"?
Good points.
Keep in mind that the verses in Romans were breathed out by a man whose preaching went against the rule of the day, and got him whipped, beaten, chained and imprisioned more times than most martyrs of the faith.
It was illegal for Paul to continue to preach Christ. That was the order of his day (and is quickly coming on this present time as well).
Yet he knew he must obey God and not man.
Now, if one would suggest I'm saying we toss out the local and national rule of law, nah! they didn't get it.
There is a place for standing for the gospel and truth when unrighteousness is at the door.
Start with an appeal, and keep your case straight to the point, as Paul did as he appealed to his leaders of his day.
The bombers of abortion clinics are a bad example... sorry, had to say it in case this gets touted as righteous. The wrath of man doesn't lead to the righteousness of God. But there are "self" righteous peeps out there that believe that.
Back on topic with a question...

Can you think of other matters of governance that are against the betterment of man? Or evil? How is your witness for Jesus changing the landscape? (The question is just for consideration, not a condemnation)
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hummerpoo View Post
I guess it comes down to this: do we know more about how to change things that appear to us to be wrong in the world, or has God given us clear teaching of how to be "A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR {God's} OWN POSSESSION"?
I would say, if the excellencies of Jesus are proclaimed, that would cover these issues for the most part, and folks just might come out of the dark, just as you and I come out of the dark. I doubt if it will work any other way.

I still see Romans 13:8 as the culmination of the principle displayed in the OP. And even the verses in Ch. 12 I quoted. God bless!
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:38 PM
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Good points.
Keep in mind that the verses in Romans were breathed out by a man whose preaching went against the rule of the day, and got him whipped, beaten, chained and imprisioned more times than most martyrs of the faith.
It was illegal for Paul to continue to preach Christ. That was the order of his day (and is quickly coming on this present time as well).
Yet he knew he must obey God and not man.
Now, if one would suggest I'm saying we toss out the local and national rule of law, nah! they didn't get it.
There is a place for standing for the gospel and truth when unrighteousness is at the door.
Start with an appeal, and keep your case straight to the point, as Paul did as he appealed to his leaders of his day.
The bombers of abortion clinics are a bad example... sorry, had to say it in case this gets touted as righteous. The wrath of man doesn't lead to the righteousness of God. But there are "self" righteous peeps out there that believe that.
Back on topic with a question...

Can you think of other matters of governance that are against the betterment of man? Or evil? How is your witness for Jesus changing the landscape? (The question is just for consideration, not a condemnation)
When I think of the sacrafices the WW11 vets did for peace, especially the civilian soldiers of Florida who persued in their inferiour tanks the Third Reich's tanks and armour from the shores of France and Italy right up to Berlin so that the western world might enjoy freedom idividual and cultural-- in my mind their's make all other sacrafices since pale in comparison.

President Eisenhower cautioned what could come out of this sacrafice to poison our society--if we were not careful.

In the same way perhaps as a christian I can warn that the sacrafice of Jesus on the cross can poison our society if we are not careful. We can misappropreate it in our lifes. If we make for it a dogma that life is going to hades in a handbasquet and only personal get ahead salvation is were it's at, than I think we undo the will and purpose of Jesus for us.

As a christian it is my duty to point to the Good News of the Kingdom, a kingdom in the here and now and of the cross. It is my mission to point to the Holy Spirit given by Jesus for the resurection and grace for the Kingdom. Or a Kingdom of Grace. And that grace is the counter to opposition in the old man, it is the sword of our sacrafices--grace is. It is creative and freedom creating. It is tempered by peace in its workings and goals.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:57 PM
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Good points.
Keep in mind that the verses in Romans were breathed out by a man whose preaching went against the rule of the day, and got him whipped, beaten, chained and imprisioned more times than most martyrs of the faith.
It was illegal for Paul to continue to preach Christ. That was the order of his day (and is quickly coming on this present time as well).
Yet he knew he must obey God and not man.
Now, if one would suggest I'm saying we toss out the local and national rule of law, nah! they didn't get it.
There is a place for standing for the gospel and truth when unrighteousness is at the door.
Start with an appeal, and keep your case straight to the point, as Paul did as he appealed to his leaders of his day.
The bombers of abortion clinics are a bad example... sorry, had to say it in case this gets touted as righteous. The wrath of man doesn't lead to the righteousness of God. But there are "self" righteous peeps out there that believe that.
Back on topic with a question...

Can you think of other matters of governance that are against the betterment of man? Or evil? How is your witness for Jesus changing the landscape? (The question is just for consideration, not a condemnation)
First I have to admit that I am finding it difficult to zero in on where we are in this discussion, witness the poor focus of my previous post. My intent was to focus on the converse of 13:3, "what if our good behavior is a cause for fear from authority?" I attempted to steer away from the radical anti-abortion movement to the more accepted marching up and down the sidewalk carrying signs, an activity for which I have not been able to discern a ligitimate objective (I do not consider scaring potential clients away to be a ligitimate objective; if there is something scripturally legitimate being said to those driving by, I don't see it).

Perhaps if I respond to more of F1's post:
Does being subject to governmental authority precede the desire to change it in a peaceable fashion? No. Peaceable being clarified as Spirit guided love.

Does it mean you deny your heavenly Father and your Savior Christ in order to satisfy the rule of your government? Never

Does it mean you must not challenge your government when the rights of the innocent are infringed? No. With the stipulation that the nature of the challenge is such that the challenger is obviously subservient to Power behind the challenge.

Perhaps we are to the point of discussing specific matters of governance; I'll let you decide.

How is my witness for Jesus changing the landscape? In the last three places I've worked there has been a definite change for the better; I will leave the eventual result to God. Wish I could be as certain about the churches I have attended. That is a real burdan because my greatest concern is for believers.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:02 PM
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I would say, if the excellencies of Jesus are proclaimed, that would cover these issues for the most part, and folks just might come out of the dark, just as you and I come out of the dark. I doubt if it will work any other way.

I still see Romans 13:8 as the culmination of the principle displayed in the OP. And even the verses in Ch. 12 I quoted. God bless!
No argument with what you say, or what I believe is in your heart as you say it. You might note that I only pointed out a small quibble with you previous post. Perhaps my concern is best shown by what Ronnie pointed out recently about the divorce rate and support for the death penalty. We are called to be "a peculiar people". I don't believe that we have been left to figure out what that means; I believe we have been told what it means. I wish I were smart enough to quantify the NT for how much is said about how we are to treat people versus what we are to say to people. If the number of people who are saved could be determined by counting those who truly stand apart from the world in the way they relate to the world ... I'll stop there with that thought, I'm wandering anyway.

You are right, 13:1-7 is not a random thought thrown in between the verses you quoted. You would be correct to say that he who does not "Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax {is due;} custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor" does owe something other than "to love one another"; and he has not "loved his neighbor and fulfilled {the} law."

It would also be true that he who is not "subject to the governing authorities" has "conformed to this world" and has not "been transformed by the renewing of his mind" and has not "proven what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:35 PM
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I so much appreciate everyone's comments to this subject. I continue to question exactly how I should allow those verse to impact my life today as an American. But I think about it a lot.

I believe these verses that talk about our relationship to the local government are directly connected to chapter 12, and are a continuation of what Paul said in verse 1 and 2 of that chapter.....

to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world

I once read, "If we could make America into the very best nation in the world, the most pleasant place to live, the place where wealth would be most common, it would be the perfect place to die and go to hel l from."

I don't know if those words are way off-base or not.

Please continue to share your thoughts............................
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:54 AM
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I just woke up from sleep and the first thing I recalled to mind was that Paul was a Roman and a Jew. He was very intimate with the practices, the influences, the real history and life of romans; and he was very familiar with the the practice of Yahweh and/or Elohim and His habit of using internal and external leadership and governance along with foreign kings and rulers to bless and correct them ( his people) and shape His chosen.

In many ways Paul ministry to the gentiles was God's ministing to Paul's own people. It was not a ministry of opposition but one of faith and grace or love. God used Paul's voice to call out of the gentiles those He had given to Jesus. And like it was with Paul on the road to Demascus, and as it had been and continued with the Jews He honed and purified in exile, He raised us for Paul a(gentiles) anew. From our blindness and death, for Paul the roman apostle He (God)called us home and He continues to shape us for our governments internal and foriegn.

In many ways to be a roman was to belong to a political unit, perhaps even a people, that was a melting pot of peoples and individual with various or different ethnic, cultural and shared in commom beliefs. In other words Rome was a creation not unlike America or all of the present day Western World..
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:28 AM
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Should I go to war for my nation, knowing that God would never want me to go to war for the church?

When the time come to "lock and load" whose instrument am I, my nation, or my God?
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gordon 2 View Post
I just woke up from sleep and the first thing I recalled to mind was that Paul was a Roman and a Jew. He was very intimate with the practices, the influences, the real history and life of romans; and he was very familiar with the the practice of Yahweh and/or Elohim and His habit of using internal and external leadership and governance along with foreign kings and rulers to bless and correct them ( his people) and shape His chosen.

In many ways Paul ministry to the gentiles was God's ministing to Paul's own people. It was not a ministry of opposition but one of faith and grace or love. God used Paul's voice to call out of the gentiles those He had given to Jesus. And like it was with Paul on the road to Demascus, and as it had been and continued with the Jews He honed and purified in exile, He raised us for Paul a(gentiles) anew. From our blindness and death, for Paul the roman apostle He (God)called us home and He continues to shape us for our governments internal and foriegn.

In many ways to be a roman was to belong to a political unit, perhaps even a people, that was a melting pot of peoples and individual with various or different ethnic, cultural and shared in commom beliefs. In other words Rome was a creation not unlike America or all of the present day Western World..
This is the first time I've ever heard Paul referred to as a Roman, I will read up and investigate more , but I have always read he was from a long line of Jews.

As to the Gentiles we have been in Gods plan all along, God gave Israel the oppurtunity to be a great nation that other nations would envy, and other nations would want to worship the God of Israel, but the Jews were very bigoted...example would be Jonah...God wanted him to preach to the Gentiles and for a little while he thought he would rather be dead than to deliver a message to those dogs of ninevah.
God gave them every oppurtunity, and they failed, even denying his own son.Peter and Paul preached the Gospel to the Jew first...giving them one more chance to repent before God sent the Romans in to destroy Israel.
Now Gods chosen are not divided by Abrahams blood but, by the blood of Christ, no matter your race you can become His chosen, "whosoever will".And it is our job as his chosen to shine his light to make others envious of the joy in our life to bring them to Him.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:39 AM
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Should I go to war for my nation, knowing that God would never want me to go to war for the church?

When the time come to "lock and load" whose instrument am I, my nation, or my God?
Always God's. But be careful. The intrument one is about to be is not one so that your kind can have freedom and liberty alone, but also it is to be given as a prize to your enemy.

To be an instrument of the state only is to invite war crime and often peace making( Pax Romanus and Shovel in the Face until you stop) instead of an intrument for peace keeping. The state when it comes to war has no morals--its conscience is driven by security and self-preservation.

Now I know this. Many soldiers are soldiers because they need a job--the rest is a devil they sleep with. Mouthed ideals of states and even spiritual ideals are often clap trap to putting butter on the soldier pancake.

Special forces are thought to kill, kill uprigth, kill unside down and sideways, and to kill a thousand times and a thousand other ways. The goal is to kill and what ever serves to keep up moral in the face of this reality serves the purpose of killing and survival in order to kill again.

Prayer and Fatherland are more than not the allies of a bayonet in your enemies chest or injury by friendly fire. The adrenelin to cave in your enemies face, to throw him alive out of a flying helicopter without a parachure is often the child of hate and egomania disguised as patriotism.

So perhaps this is why some nations try to keep to small armies in peace time and citizen souldiers in times of conflict.

Though the sacrafice is highly paid in citizen armies who make the peace, they are less likely to be slaves of the state compared to professional armies who should only be used to keep the peace.

So when it comes time to "lock and load" it is perhaps worth while to judge that the enemy is not bound up for our injustice and we are asked by the state to point our barrel behind his head.

God's fight for freedom and liberty is not a fight to accumulate the trophy of slaves.

Police officers ( often a bad word when applied to soldiering) are peace officers and it is that spirit that would make me "lock and load".


At the time of the American Revolution the british authorities were cold blooded instuments of the state. Their ranks were filled mostly by biggotted and selfrightious christians who prayed to Jesus and made their soldiers read King James each morning ---just before they again bombarded Washington's make shift defenses.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:36 AM
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Should I go to war for my nation, knowing that God would never want me to go to war for the church?

When the time come to "lock and load" whose instrument am I, my nation, or my God?
Right out of High School I nearly made it into the service in '76, but back then the U.S. was out of Nam and there wasn't a call to arms, so to speak, and no longer a draft. So the requirements were pretty strict, and my teenage asthma cancelled the deal.

Even though this was 3 years before my conversion to Christ, I've often thought what would have been the outcome had I made it into service and a war was really going on at the time. And let's just say that somehow the truth still got to me and I believed in Jesus. I have to be honest and say I was dissapointed when I could not be accepted, and today I still have some regret that I couldn't serve my country.

And even with the possibility of having to fire a weapon, my conscience is clear concerning my duty to God, and my country. Sure, it will be one of the toughest things to do, but when our home is invaded, we have a right to defend our nation, like our right to defend our property.
I don't find in scripture anywhere that the word rebukes a man for either entering the draft or enlisting voluntarily.
In fact, Jesus Christ commended the *Centurian ( Luke 7:1-10 ) for... his deeds? his military service? No, but for his faith.
After Christ's words there isn't any indication that the Lord said he resign his position, however I'm sure the man's new-found life directed him to change from within. We would be careful not to presume that outcome (something law/religion would try and do). As the circumstances of his earthly call change and servicemen/leaders are pressured into evil and unrighteous acts (and this is true for whatever station/career we find ourselves in), he must needs deal with that with his Lord and with his leaders.
But just imagine for a minute what a testimony this Centurion had about the healing of his slave. This man's affections for a subordinate no doubt spoke volumes to the entire leigon under his command! (In fact, for the Centurion to even speak to Christ was considered an act of sedition, punishable by death. But now I am getting off topic).

So to answer your post Ronnie, I believe a "soilder in the Lord's army" (as in a Christian prayerfully wrestling against the forces of spiritual darkness) can indeed be a soilder serving in his country. It is still a noble vocation no matter the spiritual side of the fence one is on.
As to all the military leaders and all in active service... my prayers go out for wisdom and protection. Consider: 1Tim2:1-2
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may
lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.


1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.



For further consideration:
1 Corinthians 7:24
Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

1 Corinthians 10:33
just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.


*Centurian: A professional officer of the Roman army, and a commander of 60 to 80 men despite the commonly assumed 100.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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Should I go to war for my nation, knowing that God would never want me to go to war for the church?

When the time come to "lock and load" whose instrument am I, my nation, or my God?
Do you know the movie "Sargeant York". It's not that easy to find but well worth the effort. It speaks directly to this question. I would say it's my favorite movie. It's generally consider, perhaps correctly, pro-war but mostly I see a story of a man who is true to his faith. From what I have read, about the movie and the man, he never wavered from that stance throughout his life. If you chose to make the effort to see it, be prepared to work at your watching, the details are important.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:59 PM
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I saw Sergeant York a long long time ago.
I'm not sure I remember it at all.
You must be much older than me.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:25 PM
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That movie is one i've always heard alot about but i've never seen it. I just watched a couple of scenes of it on you tube. In one they were at Camp Gordon here in Augusta. Looks like their are lots of Christian connections in the film. I'll have to watch the whole thing.
I'm reminded of how being a Christian and doing the work of our government can co-exist. I've heard my Dad say Jimmy Carter didn't make a good president because he was too good a Christian. I imagine he had some personal battles between his beliefs and government. I've also heard Christians don't do good in business because they are too honest to tell someone it was just a loose wire instead of selling them a new part.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:36 PM
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I saw Sergeant York a long long time ago.
I'm not sure I remember it at all.
You must be much older than me.
It came out in 1941 and I am younger than the movie. I made a tape of it from the TV about 15 years ago which is worn out.

Just watched it again, for the first time in about a year, because thinking of it rekindled a desire to get a DVD and while looking for one I got to reading people's reviews. Some stated that Sargeant York had decided to fight for his country, which is not the way I remembered it. I don't think, as protrayed in the movie, he did. Although the acting is not what we are accustomed to today (which is partially attributable to the restrictions York himself put on the production) it's still my all time favorite.

Just one aspect is the theology that is protrayed.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:53 PM
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I'll have to search and watch the movie.
Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:06 AM
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I'll have to search and watch the movie.
Thanks.
U tube has most of it. York a consciencious objector like most citizens everywhere, had issued to him a 1903 Springfield number 218102, and he followed orders to the degree we all would have to.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:11 AM
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I've also heard Christians don't do good in business because they are too honest to tell someone it was just a loose wire instead of selling them a new part.
I can understand the selfish motivation, but it's a sad state of affairs when a Christian cannot believe God will bless honest business practices.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:35 AM
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I can understand the selfish motivation, but it's a sad state of affairs when a Christian cannot believe God will bless honest business practices.
There was a discussion on one of the forums about a Texas business man who wasn't doing too good and finally started giving most of his profits to do Church mission work. His profits and life improved after that. He also started a technical school. He invented and made logging and heavy equipment.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:59 AM
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Conscience is something over which no other man has dominion.
What we do with its conformation to the Lord to the extent to which we have received, is in our hands alone.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:53 PM
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There was a discussion on one of the forums about a Texas business man who wasn't doing too good and finally started giving most of his profits to do Church mission work. His profits and life improved after that. He also started a technical school. He invented and made logging and heavy equipment.
There's a book out there by a Christian businessman with a similar story. Its called "God owns my Business", by Stanley Tam. Another book about his experiences: Stanley Tam's Incredible Adventures with God
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:29 PM
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No, I haven't come to grips with the passages in the OP. Folks have mentioned some instances recorded in the bible where "lawlessness" was modeled as a kind of circumstantial righteousness. I agree with Israel: our response to government boils down to exercise of our free will, informed by
conscience. I think Gary Cooper played the role of Alvin York. I've frequently thought of the movie scenes depicting York's personal struggle. Ultimately, Jesus' own words in response to pharisees' questions -- to the effect, Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's -- helped York resolve to enter WWI as a combatant. The movie depicts his struggle, his meditation, his earnest pressing into the Holy Spirit, and his epiphany. Given Sgt. York's actual record of accomplishment in that war, one could reasonably conclude that the Lord truly blessed him and preserved him. Some may say he was just born with a horseshoe to have survived, no, excelled, in the combat he faced. My take away: Scripture, the Word, will meet us where we're at, regardless of the fleshly legal
equations that exist. American law in York's time authorized conscription and conscientious objection. When York was drafted, he broke no law declaring himself a noncombatant. His struggle was over national patriotism in wartime versus the commandment that thou shall not kill. I greatly respect York, his service, his testimony and that movie. Same generally for our government and military. But I can't guarantee that Jesus's tax response would impel me to submit to the government in every instance outside of
that specific context. Same for Paul's writing to the Romans.

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Old 04-15-2012, 11:45 PM
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There was a discussion on one of the forums about a Texas business man who wasn't doing too good and finally started giving most of his profits to do Church mission work. His profits and life improved after that. He also started a technical school. He invented and made logging and heavy equipment.
Well God does say to test Him...very few times does He say prove me if I will not prove to you.....
Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:50 PM
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Conscience is something over which no other man has dominion.
What we do with its conformation to the Lord to the extent to which we have received, is in our hands alone.
Amen!....free will....free will that I try to surrender every day. I have free will to surrender my free will...I like that. God help my unbelief!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:04 AM
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The businessman I was trying to think of was R.G. Letourneau.
This is what he said: Some people think I'm all mixed up---that you can't serve the Lord and business, too, but that's just the point. God needs businessmen as partners as well as preachers.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:38 PM
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The businessman I was trying to think of was R.G. Letourneau.
This is what he said: Some people think I'm all mixed up---that you can't serve the Lord and business, too, but that's just the point. God needs businessmen as partners as well as preachers.
Amen.

Our companies are as much a mission field as are the unreached tribal groups of the Amazon, Africa, Austrailia, etc.

I think a problem is that Christians tend to segregate the 'secular' with the 'spiritual', when all we are, where we are, and all we do can be understood as 'spiritual'.
Does not the Spirit of God go and be with us where ever we are? According to Psalm 139, even in the obsure places we call worldly our God is there. We literally have the Spirit to direct us in any situation and bring His life, wether we see it, or are willing, or not.
The age old saying is true: Preach Christ always, use words when necessary.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:56 PM
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Picked this up on Wiki today and though it might fit in this tread re: Puritans


"Core views

In the relation of churches to civil power, Puritans believed that secular governors are accountable to God to protect and reward virtue, including "true religion", and to punish wrongdoers. They opposed the supremacy of the monarch in the church (Erastianism), and argued that the only head of the Church in heaven or earth is Christ.

The idea of personal Biblical interpretation, while central to Puritan beliefs, was shared with Protestants in general. Puritans sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God; that his first concern in life was to do God's will and so to receive future happiness.[15]"
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:13 AM
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I cannot escape the very simple notion that many a redcoat died with the name of Jesus on his lips.
I had a lengthy post that went far afield and perhaps derailed this thread to some extent, so I deleted it.
Basically it described my own experiences in justifying rebellion.
"Who is my neighbor?" was once asked of Jesus.
I rarely live up to the love that lays down its life for every son of Adam, but even so, I cannot deny I see One who did.


To this I add Jesus instructions regarding the Temple Tax.
The usurpers who demand tribute from others...without recognizing the true "sons" are paid their taxes for this one reason..."nevertheless, so as not to offend..."
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:24 AM
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And yet, Alvin York (perhaps fictionally) put his life at risk for authority (refusing to kill), and killed for the the life of his neighbor. Thus I study the story relative to scripture.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:25 AM
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And yet, Alvin York (perhaps fictionally) put his life at risk for authority (refusing to kill), and killed for the the life of his neighbor. Thus I study the story relative to scripture.
Did you ever research if this movie was in part propaganda?
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:31 PM
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Did you ever research if this movie was in part propaganda?
Yes, but it's been a while and my memory is foggy. There was some question, but I think it was the other way. I think the concern of the producers was that the movie would be seen as pro-war in the climate of isolationism that prevailed prior to U.S. involvement in WWII. I do recall that an effort had been made to get York to approve the making of a movie from shortly after WWI, which he had rejected because he did not want to see his actions glorified. He, and the others depicted, extracted many guarantees concerning the production before the signed off on it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:21 PM
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Indeed: redcoat, minuteman, Yankee, confederate. Praying to our same Christ, sacrificing their lives, for neighbor, for their Lord. And how did the Body of Christ reconcile the irreconcilable call to arms by these warring governments? Despite the potential for advantage of perspective based on history, I can't reconcile Paul's discussion against this backdrop. If the current war of words over political and sociology-economic rights results in our government repeating history, or results in some new violent domestic chapter, I don't have a good answer to Ronnie's ominous OP. Have you come to terms with what Paul said?
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:24 PM
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Ronnie T Ronnie T is offline
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I occasionally hear someone include the following in a public prayer:

"Father, be with our service men and women who are fighting overseas so that we can continue to worship you freely and without fear of harm".

Frankly, that doesn't sit well with me. Based on history, I'm thinking that many prayers like that could give God the notion of letting us know what it's like to worship in fear!

Know what I mean?
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT Charlie View Post
Indeed: redcoat, minuteman, Yankee, confederate. Praying to our same Christ, sacrificing their lives, for neighbor, for their Lord. And how did the Body of Christ reconcile the irreconcilable call to arms by these warring governments? Despite the potential for advantage of perspective based on history, I can't reconcile Paul's discussion against this backdrop. If the current war of words over political and sociology-economic rights results in our government repeating history, or results in some new violent domestic chapter, I don't have a good answer to Ronnie's ominous OP. Have you come to terms with what Paul said?
The last two posts are a firestorm.
Admittedly...some of those who took up arms needed little in the way of outward incentive...that is...this whole notion of God and country (read "my" way of life) has become so ingrained as a sacred nostrum one can get easily scorched by messing with it.
Makes you consider Jesus many instructions as he preached to and amongst a people enjoying the company of a brutal occupying force.
Some might even say he sounded as though he saw past all the impotence of worldly power and authority to accomplish anything.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BT Charlie View Post
Indeed: redcoat, minuteman, Yankee, confederate. Praying to our same Christ, sacrificing their lives, for neighbor, for their Lord. And how did the Body of Christ reconcile the irreconcilable call to arms by these warring governments? Despite the potential for advantage of perspective based on history, I can't reconcile Paul's discussion against this backdrop. If the current war of words over political and sociology-economic rights results in our government repeating history, or results in some new violent domestic chapter, I don't have a good answer to Ronnie's ominous OP. Have you come to terms with what Paul said?
"political and sociology-economic rights"

Is this an idol worshiped?
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