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Posted: 8/19/2001 11:24:22 AM EDT
I found this while I was surfing the web last night. www.gunowners.org/fs9902.htm Sorry that I don't know how to turn it red so you can just click in it. Maybe one of you guys who knows how to do that will. [;)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 11:29:42 AM EDT
Try [url]www.gunowners.org/fs9902.htm[/url][>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 11:33:24 AM EDT
Thanks To EricTheHun for your help.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 12:18:21 PM EDT
The most thoughtful and well presented article on the subject I've seen. I'm making it available by email and printed copies to friends. God is NOT a pacifist!
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 1:55:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2001 1:52:31 PM EDT by mattsd]
[img] http://wsphotofews.excite.com/027/m0/od/wQ/WX90506.jpg [/img]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 2:08:48 PM EDT
www.gunowners.org Aug 1999 What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control? by Larry Pratt Executive Vice-President Gun Owners Foundation The underlying argument for gun control seems to be that the availability of guns causes crime. By extension, the availability of any weapon would have to be viewed as a cause of crime. What does the Bible say about such a view? Perhaps we should start at the beginning, or at least very close to the beginning -- in Genesis 4. In this chapter we read about the first murder. Cain had offered an unacceptable sacrifice, and Cain was upset that God insisted that he do the right thing. In other words, Cain was peeved that he could not do his own thing. Cain decided to kill his brother rather than get right with God. There were no guns available, although there may well have been a knife. Whether it was a knife or a rock, the Bible does not say. The point is, the evil in Cain's heart was the cause of the murder, not the availability of the murder weapon. God's response was not to ban rocks or knives, or whatever, but to banish the murderer. Later (see Genesis 9:5-6) God instituted capital punishment, but said not a word about banning weapons. Did Christ Teach Pacifism? Many people, Christians included, assume that Christ taught pacifism. They cite Matthew 5:38-39 for their proof. In this verse Christ said: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." The Sermon on the Mount from which this passage is taken deals with righteous personal conduct. In our passage, Christ is clearing up a confusion that had led people to think that conduct proper for the civil government -- that is, taking vengeance -- was also proper for an individual. Even the choice of words used by Christ indicates that He was addressing a confusion, or a distortion, that was commonplace. Several times in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount Christ used this same "you have heard it said" figure of speech to straighten out misunderstandings or falsehoods being taught by the religious leaders of the times. Contrast this to Christ's use of the phrase "it is written" when He was appealing to the Scriptures for authority (for example, see Matthew 4 where on three occasions during His temptation by the devil, Christ answered each one of the devil's lies or misquotes from Scripture with the words: "it is written"). To further underscore the point that Christ was correcting the religious leaders on their teaching that "an eye for an eye" applies to private revenge, consider that in the same Sermon, Christ strongly condemned false teaching: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven..." (Matthew 5:19). Clearly, then, Christ was not teaching something different about self defense than is taught elsewhere in the Bible. Otherwise, He would be contradicting Himself for He would now be teaching men to break one of the commandments. The reference to "an eye for an eye" was taken from Exodus 21:24-25 which deals with how the magistrate must deal with a crime. Namely, the punishment must fit the crime. The religious leaders of Christ's day had twisted a passage that applied to the government and misused it as a principle of personal revenge.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 2:13:41 PM EDT
The Bible distinguishes clearly between the duties of the civil magistrate (the government) and the duties of an individual. Namely, God has delegated to the civil magistrate the administration of justice. Individuals have the responsibility of protecting their lives from attackers. Christ was referring to this distinction in the Matthew 5 passage. Let us now examine in some detail what the Scriptures say about the roles of government and of individuals. Both the Old and New Testaments teach individual self defense, even if it means taking the assailant's life in certain circumstances. Self-Defense in the Old Testament Exodus 22:2-3 tells us "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft." One conclusion which can be drawn from this is that a threat to our life is to be met with lethal force. After the sun has risen seems to refer to a different judgment than the one permitted at night. At night it is more difficult to discern whether the intruder is a thief or a murderer. Furthermore, the nighttime makes it more difficult to defend oneself and to avoid killing the thief at the same time. During the daytime, it better be clear that one's life was in danger, otherwise, defense becomes vengeance, and that belongs in the hand of the magistrate. In Proverbs 25:26 we read that "A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well." Certainly, we would be faltering before the wicked if we chose to be unarmed and unable to resist an assailant who might be threatening our life. In other words, we have no right to hand over our life which is a gift from God to the unrighteous. It is a serious mistake to equate a civilized society with one in which the decent people are doormats for the evil to trample on.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 3:01:04 PM EDT
Yes it is very well written. A point though, in Exodus 22: 2-3 the thief sneaking in during the night is aware that the family is home a nd sleeping. This thief shows no regard to those living there and if found out, might possibily kill one to hide his crime. That is why 'you must rise up and strike him down' This is a strong argument for self defense and protecting your family and home. Jews and jewish life were not pacifistic, we might think of lawyers, doctors and other professionals, but that is now, then we were warriors and nation builders. You have to look back at that life to see the real meaning. These were people surviving and holding on to their homes and nation.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 3:51:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 3:56:57 PM EDT
"No offense, but basing our rights on the Bible is an error" Damn you Founding Fathers! you guys f%^&*ed up again![;D]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:02:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:11:40 PM EDT
Post from raf -
Most were Deists.
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[b]Most[/b] were deists? Who, precisely? I can only think of two, maybe three, of the Founding Fathers who were Deists. Franklin? Paine? and possibly Jefferson? Don't believe [u]everything[/u] 'they' try to teach you about the Founding Fathers! See for yourself how many were members of mainline Protestant Churces and the Catholic Church! What about Gen. Geo. Washington's admonition to his men at Valley Forge on the rough language he thought they were using. Now that doesn't sound like a Deist speaking, does it? Where in the dickens do you find a Deist Church in old Boston or Phildelphia?[:D] Eric The(IKnow,IKnow,'They'Don'tHaveChurches!)Hun[­>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:12:39 PM EDT
Is that a joke[>:/] Look dude in seventeenth centure English/new American culdture to say ther word "GOD" meant the Judeo-Christian God, and thats very specific. America was Founded on the bible cuz. it's a good sound set of laws that work and this was known then and now the difference now is people fear the Bible and are afraid some one will try to use it to ruin there fun.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:14:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:53:06 PM EDT
Posts from raf -
Very few of the founding fathers were Christians. [u]Most[/u] were Deists, something altogether different.
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and
the [u]Key[/u] Founding Fathers were not Christians per se.
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Once again, my friend, I must ask you - Which of the 'Key' Founding Fathers were Deists? I used to think the same thing myself, but after ruminating the matter over at length, I said to myself - Just who is it that says the Founding Fathers were 'Deists.' When I went to the Deism websites, I could only find claims for Deism among [b]three[/b] particular individuals - Thomas Paine (who is on the very edge of my considering as a Founding Father), Benjamin Franklin (who is of course a Founding Father) and Thomas 'The Man' Jefferson (who is undoubtedly a Founding Father). Paine and Jefferson the Deists approvingly claim to be their kindred spirits! Franklin, well they're not too sure of, as:
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who claimed to be a "thorough Deist" at one time, said that he "began to suspect that this Doctrine tho' it might be true, was not very useful." Franklin was well-known for his practical, down-to-earth philosophy.
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Apparently, Franklin was doing some 'backsliding' in his Deist Church in Boston! As a matter of fact, the Deism website made mention how Paine was rudely handled by the Adamses (Samuel and John) and by the other leaders of the New American Republic for his alleged 'infidelity' to Christianity! Other than these three, who are the others which are spoken of by Revisionist Historians? Eric The(INeedNames,IfPossible)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:55:35 PM EDT
how about "Thou Shall Not Lie" Real gun control is more police on the street, not names and rifle brands in a computer registry.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 4:58:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Very few of the founding fathers were Christians. Most were Deists, something altogether different. Does the Constitution mention the Bible? Does the Declaration of Independence? They speak of God, and Religion, but wisely leave off any talk of specific religion.
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[size=4][red]I beg to differ[/red][/size=4] I see you have bought the lie that the liberals have been pushing for years now. [V]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 5:48:00 PM EDT
Leaving aside the question of whether the Founding Fathers were Christians or Deists or something else, the question of what the Bible's position on gun control would be is a bit more complicated than that. On the one hand, it seems very clear that the Bible is in favor of personal defense and would not support gun control as a philosophy, it is also clear from the Pauline epistles that a Christian is expected to obey the laws of whatever civil government under which he finds himself. (See Romans 13: 1-7) I know those verses are most inconvenient for those Christians who believe that they can remain true to the Bible and also fight with violence against a government they perceive to be tyrannical, but the passage exists and must be dealt with by anyone who thinks they can break laws they find to be unjust while still obeying what they perceive to be God's laws.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 6:07:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2001 8:33:13 PM EDT by GWF]
After the last supper, when the Romans came to take Jesus away, Jesus had to tell the apostles to put thier weapons(swords) away. Clearly there was no doubt that defending yourself with deadly force was not considered a problem.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 6:12:25 PM EDT
This country was founded by a great many European Christians. It is applicable in that it reflects the general background of the whole group of founders. That is those that signed the D of I, to a backwoodsman. Also it provides a historical basis for our right to self defense. Remember that an argument that is used is the commandment'thou shall not kill' althought the proper translation is 'thou shall not murder.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 6:15:15 PM EDT
RikWriter, The right to LIFE is not legislated and bestowed upon us from government, it is endowed upon us from our Creator. We are supposed to obey the authorities, who God ALLOWS to rule, only when their laws do not interfere or contradict God's laws. God says "do not MURDER" but never "do not KILL in self-defense of yourself or your loved ones.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 6:36:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By flasht: RikWriter, The right to LIFE is not legislated and bestowed upon us from government, it is endowed upon us from our Creator. We are supposed to obey the authorities, who God ALLOWS to rule, only when their laws do not interfere or contradict God's laws. God says "do not MURDER" but never "do not KILL in self-defense of yourself or your loved ones.
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I was not referring to the right to self defense, I was referring to obeying or disobeying gun control laws and other laws that are imposed by a civil government, even when one feels them unjust. When it comes to obeying civil laws, the Bible even councils slaves not to try to escape but instead to be good slaves and try to win their masters to Christ.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 6:52:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:00:46 PM EDT
I guess the dilemma a Christian would find himself in, should a government prohibit owning weapons, would be WHY is the government prohibiting ownership? Obviously, so you can't defend yourself (the right to LIFE). And the subject of slaves is probably not a good one to use in a logical examination of the Bible, as slaves were obviously "legal" to own in Bible times. A more pertinent example might be a Christian wife married to a non-beleiver. She is counseled to win her husband over by her Christian submission and good works, not by harping and nagging her husband to go to "church". She is NOT counseled to allow her non-beleiving husband to abuse her physically or run around on her.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:15:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By flasht: And the subject of slaves is probably not a good one to use in a logical examination of the Bible, as slaves were obviously "legal" to own in Bible times.
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Well, gun control laws are legal in these times, in the sense that legally elected governments have passed them and no court has overturned them as of yet. So I think it is a very good example to use.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:23:16 PM EDT
Then the fact that they were counseled not to run away is moot since the slaveowner had legal and moral right to own the slave. The slave in question is not being asked to allow a slaveowner to abuse him or take his life, rather to obey the law of the land.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:29:03 PM EDT
Post from Rikwriter -
When it comes to obeying civil laws, the Bible even councils slaves not to try to escape but instead to be good slaves and try to win their masters to Christ.
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And Paul specifically states that 'rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil.' When they become a terror to good works and uphold the evil, then they are no longer a governing authority ordained of God. To view these verses as requiring absolute obedience to an evil government is to put a construction on Paul's words that is simply not there! Remember Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, scarcely fifty days after Jesus' crucifixon - 'But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.' ([i]Acts[/i], 4:19) Paul said that he wished there was no slavery, but that if you had to have slavery then be a good Master to your slaves. If you were a slave then be a good slave to your Master. See for example his letter to [i]Philemon[/i]. But now I wish to return to the previous question, how many of the Founding Fathers were Christian and how many Deists? I believe that we have been sorely misled by our teachers in this matter. Eric The(WasBlind,ButNowISee)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:40:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By flasht: Then the fact that they were counseled not to run away is moot since the slaveowner had legal and moral right to own the slave. The slave in question is not being asked to allow a slaveowner to abuse him or take his life, rather to obey the law of the land.
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I think you are missing the point I was making...I did NOT say that the Bible was anti-self defense, I said that if you accept the rule of the Bible, that Romans 13:1-7 orders Christians to not break the law, which would include gun control laws.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:53:47 PM EDT
Slavery under Jewish law at the time was different than any other country. Slaves were given the Sabbath to rest. They were treated humanely, and could complaiin to the government. If a slave was jewish or even became a convert, they were set free in 7 years. Slavery disappeared much sooner with in the jewish culture than in rest of the war.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:54:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: On the one hand, it seems very clear that the Bible is in favor of personal defense and would not support gun control as a philosophy, it is also clear from the Pauline epistles that a Christian is expected to obey the laws of whatever civil government under which he finds himself. (See Romans 13: 1-7) I know those verses are most inconvenient for those Christians who believe that they can remain true to the Bible and also fight with violence against a government they perceive to be tyrannical, but the passage exists and must be dealt with by anyone who thinks they can break laws they find to be unjust while still obeying what they perceive to be God's laws.
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I believe the Constitution is a higher law than any passed by congress.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:59:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: And Paul specifically states that 'rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil.' When they become a terror to good works and uphold the evil, then they are no longer a governing authority ordained of God. To view these verses as requiring absolute obedience to an evil government is to put a construction on Paul's words that is simply not there!
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No, Eric, I am afraid you are the one that is creating your own erronious interpretation. Romans 13 quite explicitly says: "Let EVERY soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is NO power buit of God; the powers that be are ordained of God." And this was written at a time when the "powers that be" was the Roman Empire, which was persecuting, imprisoning and killing Christians. They were very clearly an evil government, yet Paul was explicitly ordering Christians to follow their laws to the letter.
Remember Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, scarcely fifty days after Jesus' crucifixon - 'But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.' ([i]Acts[/i], 4:19)
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But the Sanhedrin were not the civil rulers of the day, the Roman Empire was, so that passage has no bearing on the subject at hand.
Paul said that he wished there was no slavery, but that if you had to have slavery then be a good Master to your slaves. If you were a slave then be a good slave to your Master. See for example his letter to [i]Philemon[/i].
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He wished there were no slavery...fine. But he told slaves to be good slaves, not to revolt or try to escape. To me, that says pretty clearly "Even if the laws of the government are treating you harshly and unfairly, don't rebel against the government." I know a lot of (especially fundamentalist) Christians don't want to believe that, but it seems very clear and explicit.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:00:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2001 8:07:25 PM EDT by flasht]
RikWriter, what I said previously was "it would be a dilemma". As Christians we have God's word, the law of the land we live in, and a big BRAIN God gave us along with a properly conditioned and tuned Christian conscience. We would never expect blessing by intentionally bending God's will when it didn't fit in with what we WANT.But, as I said, WHY would a government enact laws prohibiting ownership of weapons? I think the logical conclusion would be, so we can't defend ourselves and the life that our Creator gave us. In that case MY Christian conscience would lead me to the same quote Eric the (quite the Bible student) Hun pointed out - Acts 4:19. Then, be willing as always, to pay the price for the decision you have made. Always remembering, LIFE is a gift of God and whenever any act of ours injures or takes a life we WILL stand judgement before the Highest court in the universe. It is not something to be taken lightly. And the Sanhedrin was delegated civil control by the Roman empire. They certainly had authority, granted by Rome, to rule the Isrealites. Eric the Hun, Paul said that creation tells us of the Creator. Only those who do not WANT to see claim God is not the author of the Bible and Creator of the universe. Then, they can do what they want - no guilt. It is the same with those who say our Founding Fathers weren't Christian. Our country was blessed as no other until we allowed those who beleive that to remove God from the classroom and indoctrinate them with their godless religon of evolution. And Liberty of 76 - right on. The only law higher is from above. "Laws" that aren't constitutional aren't laws.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:00:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheWind: Slavery under Jewish law at the time was different than any other country. Slaves were given the Sabbath to rest. They were treated humanely, and could complaiin to the government. If a slave was jewish or even became a convert, they were set free in 7 years. Slavery disappeared much sooner with in the jewish culture than in rest of the war.
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We aren't speaking of slavery under the OT Jews...the Pauline epistles were written during the Roman Empire and he was speaking to slaves under the laws of the Roman Empire. And believe me, they were NOT treated near as nice as slaves under the OT Israelites.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:02:04 PM EDT
As for obeying the rules, When ruling jews started to adopt the ways of the Greeks, a band of Jews the Maccabees, went and kicked their asses , killing them as they defiled the Temple and adopted idol worship. That is the real story of Chanukah. The miracle of the oil lamps was the reward for the righteous. We will follow the laws, but there is a point that our values must take over. Remember we shared those values with you
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:02:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By libertyof76: I believe the Constitution is a higher law than any passed by congress.
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I don't think the Bible gets into such detailed argument of civil law. But say you were right...you would be saying that it is okay for Christians in the US to ignore gun control laws, but not Christians in, say, China?
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:20:51 PM EDT
The point is, Chinese Christians and non-Christians have the right to live, as we do. I say absolutely, you have the right to own weapons to defend yourself with, no matter the law of the land. Of course, their godless communist rulers weren't inspired to include that right in their Constitution, as our Founding Fathers were.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:27:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By flasht: The point is, Chinese Christians and non-Christians have the right to live, as we do. I say absolutely, you have the right to own weapons to defend yourself with, no matter the law of the land. Of course, their godless communist rulers weren't inspired to include that right in their Constitution, as our Founding Fathers were.
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A couple things here. First, are you saying that the Bible guarantees the right to own firearms? Yes, it supports self-defense, but does it guarantee every Christian an uninfringable right to keep and bear firearms no matter what the ruling government says? Second, are you stating that you think the Constitution and BOR are divinely inspired, like the Bible?
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:43:03 PM EDT
Well then we have Paul, teaching the Romans the virtues of Judasim. Remember that the apostles were jews first. As for specficily permitting guns. Guns were above their knowledge. But as I learned in T*r*h class, it is vague it can be interpeted by each succeeding generation with relation to their place in time.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:53:33 PM EDT
I believe problem with this arguement is that both sides (non-Christians and Christians) have a tendency to take only the parts of Scripture that bolsters their case and doesn't take the parts in their original context. I think it's necessary for those who are interested in learning the precise meaning of Scripture (as it relates to gun-control for example) to read the Bible in it's totality rather than take soundbites to support their arguement. While it is true that there seems to be contradictory statements in this regard (cloak to sword vs. turn the other cheek for one example), I think that most of the misunderstanding comes from the fact that Scripture is sometimes read literally word for word without regard for context, place, time or audience. Does (paraphrasing) 'Render unto God which is God's and to Ceaser what is his' mean that as good Christians we should simply accept a government that wishes to persecute us? Some non-Christians would cynically say yes. But if taken in its original context, the passage is referring to taxation. Personally, I feel if God didn't want us to have guns, He wouldn't have created Mr. Eugene Stoner.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:55:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gun_nut2: The Constitution is not divinely inspired.
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Thanks, but I was asking the other fella that question, since it seemed he implied it was in hist post.
It is however the over-riding law of the land - IMHO. I think that we not only have the right to disobey laws that go against the Constitution, we have a responsibility to get those laws overturned by the judicial system. Those illegal laws may seem like the law of the land, but that is only because they haven't been challenged.
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What about the right to resist with force attempts to enforce those laws? Is it your belief that Christians are given this right by the Bible?
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:56:19 PM EDT
Post from Rikwriter -
No, Eric, I am afraid you are the one that is creating your own erronious interpretation. Romans 13 quite explicitly says: "Let EVERY soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is NO power buit of God; the powers that be are ordained of God."
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No, Rikwriter, it is YOU who are creating the erroneous interpretation that Paul is saying to obey unjust rulers is God's command. Read the rest of your own citation, it clearly says to render honor to him to whom honor is due! There is no honor due a tyrant!
And this was written at a time when the "powers that be" was the Roman Empire, which was persecuting, imprisoning and killing Christians. They were very clearly an evil government, yet Paul was explicitly ordering Christians to follow their laws to the letter.
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Read your history more carefully, Rikwriter. At the point in time that Paul was writing this (57-58 AD), the Roman government had taken not a single action against Christianity except to put to death Jesus at the instigation of the Sanhedrin! The execution of Christ was not blamed upon the Romans, but upon the Jews! A specific anti-Christian animus by the Romans against the early Christians did not arise until approx. 64-65 AD, with the persecution under Nero. And only then as a pretext to shift blame for the disastrous fires in Rome at that period away from the Emperor. Paul, himself, perished in this persecution! Prior to that the [b]Jews[/b] were the ones who were expelled from Rome by order of the Emperor Claudius (49 AD).
But the Sanhedrin were not the civil rulers of the day, the Roman Empire was, so that passage has no bearing on the subject at hand.
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Really? Yet the Sanhedrin had both apostles beaten before they were released, had ordered the imprisonment and murder of Christians by Saul of Tarsus (Paul), and succeeded in executing James the Just all without explicit Roman approval! They thought they were in charge and I suppose a lot of Christians did too! So answer it as if you knew the history, don't keep avoiding the obvious! Eric The(ItIsStillTheLord'sDay,AfterAll)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:58:02 PM EDT
Forget the Bible, what did Aristotle have to say about this subject? He had more to do with the foundations of our culture and civilization than Jesus or God. If you want to know what shaped the Founding Fathers' thought look at what John Locke wrote. The Bible will appear to support self-defense and that's good enough for me.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:11:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Post from Rikwriter -
No, Eric, I am afraid you are the one that is creating your own erronious interpretation. Romans 13 quite explicitly says: "Let EVERY soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is NO power buit of God; the powers that be are ordained of God."
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No, Rikwriter, it is YOU who are creating the erroneous interpretation that Paul is saying to obey unjust rulers is God's command. Read the rest of your own citation, it clearly says to render honor to him to whom honor is due! There is no honor due a tyrant!
And this was written at a time when the "powers that be" was the Roman Empire, which was persecuting, imprisoning and killing Christians. They were very clearly an evil government, yet Paul was explicitly ordering Christians to follow their laws to the letter.
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Read your history more carefully, Rikwriter. At the point in time that Paul was writing this (57-58 AD), the Roman government had taken not a single action against Christianity except to put to death Jesus at the instigation of the Sanhedrin! The execution of Christ was not blamed upon the Romans, but upon the Jews! A specific anti-Christian animus by the Romans against the early Christians did not arise until approx. 64-65 AD, with the persecution under Nero. And only then as a pretext to shift blame for the disastrous fires in Rome at that period away from the Emperor. Paul, himself, perished in this persecution! Prior to that the [b]Jews[/b] were the ones who were expelled from Rome by order of the Emperor Claudius (49 AD).
But the Sanhedrin were not the civil rulers of the day, the Roman Empire was, so that passage has no bearing on the subject at hand.
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Really? Yet the Sanhedrin had both apostles beaten before they were released, had ordered the imprisonment and murder of Christians by Saul of Tarsus (Paul), and succeeded in executing James the Just all without explicit Roman approval! They thought they were in charge and I suppose a lot of Christians did too! So answer it as if you knew the history, don't keep avoiding the obvious! Eric The(ItIsStillTheLord'sDay,AfterAll)Hun[>]:)]
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Very well stated. If only you were from Michigan..... [:D]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:18:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: No, Rikwriter, it is YOU who are creating the erroneous interpretation that Paul is saying to obey unjust rulers is God's command. Read the rest of your own citation, it clearly says to render honor to him to whom honor is due! There is no honor due a tyrant!
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Sorry, that must be in the "Bible According to Eric the Lawyer"...it sure aint in the King James. Here's what's in the King James: [B] 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. [/B] I don't see ANYTHING in there about "...but if they make laws you think are bad, you are free to ignore them." If that were so, why weren't Christian slaves encouraged to revolt? Roman slaves were often treated pretty horribly. Naw, Eric, I think that you are definitely the one reading what you WANT to read, rather than what is there.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:43:27 PM EDT
Romans 13 has been used for centuries as a tool for secular governments to pound Christians into submission because of its apparent call for Christians to be slaves of the state. But once again, one has to take it in its proper context. Paul was talking to the Christians of Rome who ideally recognize only one government, and that is the Kingdom of Christ and to obey those who have charge over their 'souls'. No where does it mention 'obey the secular government'
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 10:13:53 PM EDT
Post from Rikwriter -
I don't see ANYTHING in there about "...but if they make laws you think are bad, you are free to ignore them."
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It doesn't matter whether YOU think they are bad but whether the laws are bad. And what about the statement Peter and John made to the Sanhedrin, was that not an 'in your face' response to 'laws you think are bad'? What do you think that Verse 3 means when it clearly states that:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
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[b]If[/b] rulers become a terror to good works, and not to the evil, then hasn't the condition that the Lord is imposing on obedience to rulers been eliminated! How do YOU read that same passage and state that it doesn't alter the equation? And after that, please explain your refusal to see that Verse 7 of the passage that YOU cited, does not simply mean that give only that which is due!
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
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What's the honor due to Caesar when he is in the midst of butchering Christian women and children? This is Holy Scripture, not a suicide pact for Believers, that we're discussing here! Eric The(Yes,FundamentalistInALLThings)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 5:44:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: It doesn't matter whether YOU think they are bad but whether the laws are bad.
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Ah...and how are you supposed to make a determination whether the laws are bad without THINKING they are bad? Is a big sign going to magically appear over the capital saying "This law is bad, you may ignore it without sinning?"
And what about the statement Peter and John made to the Sanhedrin, was that not an 'in your face' response to 'laws you think are bad'?
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Again, the Sanhedrin were NOT a political government, despite what you seem to think. The Romans were TREATING them as if they were, but in the system of government supposedly handed down by God for Israel, they were not.
What do you think that Verse 3 means when it clearly states that:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
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I think it's very clear to anyone with no axe to grind that it means that if you keep your nose clean and don't break the law, that the rulers of a civil government are nothing to be afraid of. I think that is Paul's very clear and explicit message in that verse and I have never before met anyone, in the two decades I was a Christian who tried to equivocate away from that obvious meaning the way you have. But then, I didn't hang out with a lot of attorneys.
If rulers become a terror to good works, and not to the evil, then hasn't the condition that the Lord is imposing on obedience to rulers been eliminated! How do YOU read that same passage and state that it doesn't alter the equation?
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Because the equation-altering is nothing but wishful thinking on your part, not something written by Paul.
And after that, please explain your refusal to see that Verse 7 of the passage that YOU cited, does not simply mean that give only that which is due!
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
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What's the honor due to Caesar when he is in the midst of butchering Christian women and children? This is Holy Scripture, not a suicide pact for Believers, that we're discussing here!
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Well the Holy part is a matter of opinion of course, but I don't recall the Bible suggesting anywhere in its description of Herod's butchering of the males in Bethlehem that the Jewish people should have raised up and fought the soldiers doing the deed...and surely that was about as heinous a crime as a government official can comitt. If that wasn't enough to cause God to reccommend rebellion, just what is?
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:16:02 AM EDT
Eric and RikWriter, I'm rather enjoying this discussion since this is a topic I have thought a lot about and on which I haven't really come to a firm conclusion. I tend more toward RikWriter's point, that Christ's followers are called to submit to the political authorities, even if they are oppressive, but I'm not so sure that it's the 100% case that he portrays it as.
Again, the Sanhedrin were NOT a political government, despite what you seem to think. The Romans were TREATING them as if they were, but in the system of government supposedly handed down by God for Israel, they were not.
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However, I have to disagree with RikWriter about the Sanhedrin. Jesus, who was renowned as one who spoke with authority on the law, called them the civil authority in Matthew 23: "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Many of the teachers of the law were members of the Sanhedrin, which is what Jesus is referring to by saying that they sit in Moses' seat, i.e., as judges over Israel.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:29:40 AM EDT
I think there is one verse that pretty much covers it in regards to the Bible and gun control. "And Jesus wept" Michael
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:45:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: However, I have to disagree with RikWriter about the Sanhedrin. Jesus, who was renowned as one who spoke with authority on the law, called them the civil authority in Matthew 23: "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Many of the teachers of the law were members of the Sanhedrin, which is what Jesus is referring to by saying that they sit in Moses' seat, i.e., as judges over Israel.
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Well, religious judges yes, but not civil authority, at least not AFAIK. As far as I can tell, and as far as I was taught, that verse refers to the Sanhedrin's teaching of Jewish moral law, not day-to-day administration of civil authority. Civil authority was in the hands of the Roman-appointed governor of Palestine.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:53:15 AM EDT
Okay, I agree with that, but in the way the Jewish system was supposed to operate, the moral law and civil law were one and the same. Of course, as you point out, the Romans kind of interfered with that in practice. But the Jewish people didn't have the understanding of a civil-religious separation that we do. So what the Sanhedrin said was something the Jewish people [b]should[/b] have obeyed.
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