Religion and Politics–how do they mix?

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musicmonkey
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Re: Religion and Politics–how do they mix?

Unread postby musicmonkey » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:08 am

bareskin73 wrote:Let's use the whole Word of God shall we.


Definitely. By looking at the Bible as a whole, it prevents us from prooftexting a passage just to validate our own opinions. I couldn't agree with you more there.

Wikipedia wrote:Prooftexting is the practice of using decontextualised quotations from a document (often, but not always, a book of the Bible) to establish a proposition rhetorically through an appeal to authority. Critics of the technique note that often the document, when read as a whole, may not in fact support the proposition.


See also: Facing the Proof Text Method by Henry Neufeld and The Danger of "Proof Texting"

Here's something worth contemplating:

loveyourenemies.org wrote:While in general it is a good principle to look at a Bible passage on its own before comparing it to the rest of the Bible, in this case the narrative continues later that night: when one of the disciples used a sword, Jesus rebuked him for doing so.

A rebuke is recorded in three of the four gospels: Matthew 26:52 ('"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.')

If Jesus was telling them to have a sword handy (for self-defense) as they went into the world preaching the gospel, why then do Acts and the epistles consistently show the disciples accepting persecution peacefully?

1. Violent self-defence (i.e. the use of weapons in self-defense) can only be used as a last resort. There is no record of Jesus or the apostles ever resorting to it, despite extreme persecution.

2. If we are fighting attackers off, we must still continue to love them. To me, that means taking all possible means to minimise harm to all parties - as if the attacker was a member of our own family.

3. Violence must never be against a ruling authority, however much we dislike or disagree with it, because in such a situation peaceful resistance is always possible. It can only be used in the chaos of a simple violent attack on ourselves.

In light of Romans 13, which says that all authorities (even the enemy) are ordained by God, we may add two further principles if we allow war in self defence:

4. If the defence is won, there is no justification for then proceeding to attack the other country, because their government was instituted by God also.

5. If the defence is lost, then the new government must be accepted. While it may be opposed peacefully, there is no justification for a continued guerilla war against it. This goes against both Romans 13 (the accepting of governing authorities) and the principle of loving our enemy.

So yes, Luke 22:35-38 may provide some justification for fighting in self-defence. But, in light of other teaching of Jesus, it can only be used in strict self-defence, and must not be divorced from his command to love our enemies.

bareskin73
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Re: Religion and Politics–how do they mix?

Unread postby bareskin73 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:32 pm

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond, I was without my laptop for about a month and it has taken me an additional month and a half to get caught back up. Anyway.....

Your starting to catch on to my argument, but I would like to add one thing to the quote you pasted from love your enemies. Peter was not defending in the garden, what he had done was drew his sword and attacked. This was the only act of violence in the garden. Nowhere do you see (nor have I advocated) defending yourself against ruling bodies whose rule you are under, which is precisely where the persecusion of the Saints came from. What I was saying though is you should be ready and willing to defend yourself from your fellow man that is come to steal, kill, and destroy.

Daniel

musicmonkey wrote:
Here's something worth contemplating:

loveyourenemies.org wrote:While in general it is a good principle to look at a Bible passage on its own before comparing it to the rest of the Bible, in this case the narrative continues later that night: when one of the disciples used a sword, Jesus rebuked him for doing so.

A rebuke is recorded in three of the four gospels: Matthew 26:52 ('"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.')

If Jesus was telling them to have a sword handy (for self-defense) as they went into the world preaching the gospel, why then do Acts and the epistles consistently show the disciples accepting persecution peacefully?

1. Violent self-defence (i.e. the use of weapons in self-defense) can only be used as a last resort. There is no record of Jesus or the apostles ever resorting to it, despite extreme persecution.

2. If we are fighting attackers off, we must still continue to love them. To me, that means taking all possible means to minimise harm to all parties - as if the attacker was a member of our own family.

3. Violence must never be against a ruling authority, however much we dislike or disagree with it, because in such a situation peaceful resistance is always possible. It can only be used in the chaos of a simple violent attack on ourselves.

In light of Romans 13, which says that all authorities (even the enemy) are ordained by God, we may add two further principles if we allow war in self defence:

4. If the defence is won, there is no justification for then proceeding to attack the other country, because their government was instituted by God also.

5. If the defence is lost, then the new government must be accepted. While it may be opposed peacefully, there is no justification for a continued guerilla war against it. This goes against both Romans 13 (the accepting of governing authorities) and the principle of loving our enemy.

So yes, Luke 22:35-38 may provide some justification for fighting in self-defence. But, in light of other teaching of Jesus, it can only be used in strict self-defence, and must not be divorced from his command to love our enemies.


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