I have lived in the United States all of my life — 18 years. Through these years i have grown to be a mature person, and very grateful of the freedom that most others take for granted too much. Every day I see what is going on over in Iraq, and in other countries, and it makes me sick. Little kids and innocent people can't even make it outside without being in danger of a gun fight or car bomb. Like I said before, never in my life have ever have to worry about this stuff. I have been praying and thinking a lot lately, in the past year, and I am considering joining the Marines. And on top of that my best friend is thinking of enlisting too. I want to be there for him ... we are close friends. I don't know how he would do..
I want to know your views on my situation, and on War. One of the thing that haunts me is the day i might have to kill another human being. But even God has commanded holy wars, and what happens in Revelation?
Well, this is supposed to be a Christian website and you will notice that the young man is looking for validation of his preconceived ideas such as "God has commanded holy wars."
So, he was 18 on 10/24/2007. That means he was a 12-year-old on 10/24/2001, just a little over a month after 9/11. His memory probably doesn't go back much before he was 4, if at all. Therefore, he has lived nearly half the life he can remember under the chant of war. Now he says he sees what is going on over in Iraq but threw what lens? He says he realizes that little kids "can't even make it outside without being in danger of a gun fight or car bomb." Who's responsible for that? Would they have not been able to "make it outside without being in danger of a gun fight or car bomb" had the U.S. not invaded?
Also, what is this "holy wars" talk? All the wars that the self-styled military Christians are attributing to God were the result of the hardening of hearts that God hates. The iniquitous are attacked by those whose hearts are hardened, which is an evil process. Evil hardens hearts. God allows Satan to do this. It's the way of it. God is not Satan.
This is one of the central arguments in The Bible. What is God's nature versus Satan's? What is right versus wrong?
Jesus came not to deliver the same, old message. He came to further straighten out the mess that is incorrect thinking and feeling concerning what is right versus wrong. He came to further reduce, and lead to the complete elimination of, hypocrisy in the world, in human beings.
If the God of the Old Testament is properly characterized in that Old Testament, then Jesus was wasting his time. Rather though, he came to fulfill the law, meaning expound the way of God more perfectly even unto perfection.
The view of God rendered in the Old Testament (unless one had the vision of a Jesus Christ before he came) was less perfect, less clear, less plain, less correct, more evil, darker, more misleading, etc.
Jesus came and stated that things had gone from better to worse and then toward better in some respects and then were to (are to) split so that evil will continue building to its fatal crescendo while righteousness is set off in ever greater clear contrast.
Human beings started out without the knowledge of sin that is doing selfishness when one knows that one ought not to do it. Well, people kept on partaking of sin and rationalized it away. Things got very sick. There was a countervailing but muddled spirit. Out of it came imperfect laws. The intention though was at least heading in the right direction. Then came Jesus. He clarified things. He said essentially you're attempting to head away from sin, but to do it, you must learn how to identify and overcome hypocrisy. This of course was met with hugely mixed emotions by the human race. Some societies have yet to even hear of it for the first time. When they do, often they are given a pretty poor (muddled) version.
The argument over the true nature of God has continued. All sorts of people with all sorts of diverging agenda have twisted Jesus's showing of the nature of God into various contorted representations that become grotesque. Nothing good comes from them. Hence, we have people grossly misled in the twenty-first century stating that the Iraq War is a holy war to be waged by Christians. That is an abomination. It is an effrontery to God and Jesus.
In the forum thread if you care to look at it, you may see that the warmongers are doing everything they can to encourage the 18-year-old to kill. When they are reminded that Jesus said not to, they do all the twisting they can conjure to misrepresent Jesus. It is transparent that they are aware that that is what they're doing. There is an unspoken agreement within the mindset that comes through that says to string along with this ruse to have your cake and to eat it too. They are lying to each other that they can imagine that they are the most moral of people (Christians) while lusting after blood. It is shameful.
Another poster said in effect that Jesus's teaching to turn the other cheek does not apply universally. He quoted some verses to supposedly demonstrate this. He said, "Christ Himself regarded capital punishment as a just penalty for murder when He said to one of his disciples after he tried to kill a soldier who had come to arrest Jesus: "...all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Matt. 26:52)"
The logic is missing. It is not a logical conclusion that Jesus was making a statement in support of capital punishment or war by saying "all who take the sword will perish by the sword." We can say that a crime is punishable by death without being in favor of that penalty. We can warn others away from doing capital crimes even while we hate capital punishment.
To say turn the other cheek and then to say don't, is hypocrisy. Jesus isn't a hypocrite. He isn't going to say, "Hit him back." If he does, he's a liar every bit as much as the people he called hypocrites. It isn't going to happen ever.
The poster also said, "He also recognized the death penalty for people who cursed their parents. (Matt. 15:4)."
It says, For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. However, we all know that if we read in context, there are many verses (laws) in The Bible that Jesus showed are hypocritical. Matthew 15:4 doesn't sit there in a vacuum. The context is as follows:
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:1-9).
You will notice that Jesus was showing them their hypocrisy. He was not saying that the death penalty is correct. In fact, when he said do not stone the adulteress, he was saying do not obey this evil, hypocritical law that is not the law of God but a law of men. Remember, the reason that manmade law ever came into existence was due to the hardheartedness of people who were doing utterly disgusting and depraved and defiled and defiling things and came into existence out of a muddled view of God's nature and will or desire for human kind. Remember that Jesus said that divorce was not always allowed. People's hearts were not always as hard as they had become leading to Moses law for the hardhearted because they were then incapable of anything better.
The poster also cites the parable of "The Wicked Vinedressers."
A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. (Luke 20:9-19).
Now, this can be taken out of context by completely ignoring the rest of the teaching of Jesus and the verses in The Bible that show a nature of God that the warmongers choose to ignore, such as when God says that vengeance is God's alone, meaning no human being may take vengeance; and what is war if not vengeance, especially when George W. Bush stands on a pile of rubble at 9/11 ground zero with a bullhorn shouting vengeance against those he fingers (correctly or incorrectly).
What is Jesus's context? The context is teaching not to usurp. It is teaching not to steal the inheritance. Jesus was accusing them of stealing the inheritance of others (all others). The inheritance is mine. It is yours. It is everybody's who will share it. That's what Jesus is saying that God wants. We are to be one. Jesus shares everything with that one.
Now this kind of talk goes right over the heads of the warmongers. They cannot comprehend. Well, actually they can. They just pretend not to. That's what the Pharisees were doing. You see, it says, "...they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them." What that means is that they identified themselves with the thieves. Someone who wasn't guilty wouldn't have had that problem.
We don't identify with those inheritance thieves for instance. The warmongers though are part of the pack of ravening wolves to varying degrees. They are of the pack that doesn't want perfection. They like the negative gain of war making and blood letting. Some are just sicker than others. It all comes down to lust that is temptation and selfishly caving in to short-sightedness. The long-term vision is to see that pacifism is the answer and caving into wrath is the offense no matter what the rationale.
The poster also points to Luke 19:27. "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me."
We won't go into detail here, as it would constitute belaboring the same point about taking the verse completely out of the overall context of the whole revelation of Jesus Christ. Suffice it to say that were this verse taken literally and that same degree of literalness were applied throughout, Jesus would be for people giving their gifts whatever they be over to the literal, mundane bank of the unrighteous usurers. Clearly that is not what he wants. That's not what he was saying. It was an analogy to be understood figuratively that is spiritually. Only the spiritually dead would take it literally. Jesus point is that we are to take our gifts and to use them to bring forth, as "bring forth" is meant by Jesus again within context.
The poster also cites Romans 13:3-4. We dealt with that in detail when U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia used the same illogic.
One poster wrote, "Some of the most peace loving peaceafists tend to get rather hostile and judgmental in their belief that we are not to do any type of harm to another human being, ever." Hostile is only bad when it's harmful. Jesus was considered hostile when he cleans the temple, but he wasn't harmful, ever. Judgmental is also only bad when it's harmful. He judged the temple in need of cleansing. His judgment was good. It was unselfish. It was healing. It was prophetic. It was warning. It was love. It was not blood lust. The term judge has many contextually determined connotations. Not all connotations of the term are the same as what Jesus meant when he said, Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1).
That judgment means that you won't forgive and that you want to punish.
Another poster wrote:
God created governments to help hold back the tide of evil and bring punishment on people that need it. I think as christians we are fully allowed to help in these efforts. God is not a pacifist God (as you can see clearly in the OT), He would use might when necessary. Whether joining the police or the military, it is an honorable choice to help in the cause of bringing safety to our society in a secular way.
But of course this argument, whether we should be pacifists or not, is a very old one. So OP you need to seek God in prayer because you will get different opinions on it. There have been many soldiers in our wars who God used in wonderful ways to lead other soldiers to Jesus - God can use you the same way.
That will be the last one of the posters we'll deal with here. It just becomes redundant. "God created governments to help hold back the tide of evil and bring punishment on people that need it." That's unChristian. Jesus said, resist not. His word is law. His law governs the Christian. He said, don't stone. His word is law. His law governs the Christian. He said don't punish. Yet, here is this person claiming to be a Christian ignoring the New Testament and misleading an 18-year-old. Here also is the false-safety message coming from the satanic spirit. Safety does not lie in the mundane notions of the safety and security of the flesh. It is the soul that matters eternally. The flesh follows. The soul is first. The spirit is over the matter. If the version of safety that is being put forth here were correct, Jesus would have used it. He did not.
Jesus was and is a pacifist. Anyone who claims otherwise is misled at best and definitely misleading, bringing knowing harm that is sin always.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)