Miracle of Peace

Jesus & the Bible on Peace

Review 2005 Lloyd Kinder

REVIEW OF "KING SAUL AND PRESIDENT BUSH," by L.K.

In his January 2005 article, King Saul and President Bush, at www.lewrockwell.com, Stephen Carson referred to a recently published book by his fellow conservative evangelical, Laurence M. Vance, called CHRISTIANITY AND WAR. He said, "Vance addresses a verse that has been used repeatedly to silence dissent among Christians: Romans 13:1. To justify their consent or silence , and to keep their congregations in line, Christian leaders repeat to their parishioners the mantra of 'obey the powers that be,' a loose paraphrase of Rom. 13:1, as if that somehow means that they should blindly follow whatever the president or the government says, and even worse, that it overturns the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' (Ex. 20:13; Deu. 5:17), which is repeated in the New Testament (Mat. 19:18; Rom. 13:9)."

Carson noted that some conservatives have assumed that the Lord has chosen Bush to be president to lead our nation in these times of increased "terrorism." But he showed that, even when God chooses a leader, this doesn't mean the leader can do no wrong and that the people must do whatever this leader commands or requests. King Saul is given as a clear example of this.

1 Sam. 8:4-9 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, [5] And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. ... [7] And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. ... [9] Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

Samuel then described the hardships that kings would put on the people, saying they would be virtual slaves to the kings. But, when the people persisted in requesting a king, God told Samuel to choose Saul. And before Samuel anointed Saul, God told Samuel to remind the people that they were thus rejecting God's leadership.

1 Sam. 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.

1 Sam. 10:17-19 And Samuel called the people together unto the Lord to Mizpeh; [18] And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: [19] And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us.

As Carson observed, "A monopoly government (a State) was definitely not what the Lord wanted for Israel, .... but once the Israelites stubbornly demanded one, despite the Lord's strong warnings through Samuel that they would regret it, the Lord then chose who would be the leader of the new state. ... Clearly, as with Saul, the Lord can establish particular rulers without endorsing the system of government as the ideal system." It is then pointed out that, despite the fact that God chose Saul to be king, Saul ultimately failed as king by disobeying God.

1 Sam. 13:12-13 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. [13] And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. [14] But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

Had Saul not been disobedient, his heirs would have ruled Israel forever, which means Jesus would have been his heir, instead of David's. As it is, Saul's entire family was destroyed. Carson remarked that, "In a sense there is nothing really special in the fact that leaders fail. The story of humanity that the Bible tells is one of people failing, starting with the very first humans, to be what the Lord called them to be. If someone tells you that a human leader cannot fail, that he cannot lose the Lord's blessing, then they are a fool. All of scripture and secular history testifies against them."

Carson concluded by saying, "My own assessment, for what it is worth, is that President Bush has shown himself to clearly not be doing the Lord's will. Is it the Lord's will that people should be lied into war, that thousands and tens of thousands of innocents should die? President Bush has borne false witness against Saddam Hussein to dreadful effect. He has ordered the continual bombing of a people who have done our country no harm. Does our Holy Father in Heaven who will allow no sin before him bless this?! George Bush may well have been called to be President, but like King Saul before him, he has failed."

Rom. 13:1 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.

This is the passage Vance said many ministers use to keep their flocks in submission. I've pointed out before that higher powers do not mean worldly rulers, but only the powers of God and his faithful ministers. Even if worldly rulers were included as higher powers, the passage is addressed to them as well as others. Rulers are to obey the higher powers as much as anyone else. Romans 13:1 commentators in the Geneva Bible stated this as well. This means rulers too must obey God. If they are disobedient to God, then it's our duty to disobey them, when they order us to do anything that goes against God's Word. When we have a choice to obey a higher authority or a lower authority on a matter, we must always obey the higher, and that means we must always obey God, because he is always the higher authority.

Americans generally regard the president as the highest authority in the U.S. But this is very incorrect. In earlier times a larger percentage of the people probably realized that the people are the highest authority and the Constitution, which they endorsed, was and is the next highest. The U.S. Supreme Court has long acknowledged that the Constitution is the "supreme law of the land," meaning in the U.S. When a public official, even the president, orders us to do anything that violates the Constitution, we must obey the Constitution and not the president, unless the Constitution violates God's Law on the matter at hand.

Our presidents don't have Constitutional authority to order troops into battle or conflict without approval from each house of Congress. I think a two-thirds vote of each house is required to declare war. So the Iraq War, like all of our wars in the past 50 years have been illegal. Congress has not approved any of those wars. There are also provisions in the so-called Patriot Act that are unconstitutional and therefore unlawful or illegal. So, if ministers want to advise people to submit to higher powers, let them advocate obedience to the Constitution and especially to the Word of God, if they wish not to be hypocrites.

By the way, Vance and other writers at www.lewrockwell.com have observed that Christians in Iraq are much worse off now than before the war. Iraq was one of the few Muslim nations in which Christians were free to practice their religion without interference. The new government of Iraq has made Islam the official religion and has outlawed all others. Christians there will now be required to worship in great secrecy, like under communism previously.

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GREATEST BAPTIST MINISTER
RE CHRISTIAN WAR FEVER

"Charles Haddon Spurgeon ,who served as pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London from 1861 until his death ... is still widely revered ... as one of the greatest Baptist ministers in history." This is from Laurence M. Vance's recent article, Charles Spurgeon on Christian War Fever, archived at www.lewrockwell.com. Following are quotes of Mr. Spurgeon.

... And I should not expect to be successful in preaching the gospel, unless I might stand and feel that I am a brother, bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh. If I cannot stand before them thus, I cannot get at their hearts. Send me, then, to India as one of the dominant ruling race, and you give me a work I cannot accomplish when you tell me to evangelize its inhabitants.

... Did you ever hear of a nation under British rule being converted to God? Mr. Moffat and our great friend Dr. Livingstone have been laboring in Africa with great success, and many have been converted. Did you ever hear of Kaffir tribes protected by England, ever being converted? It is only a people that have been left to themselves, and preached to by men as men, that have been brought to God. For my part, I conceive, that when an enterprise begins in martyrdom, it is none the less likely to succeed, but when conquerors begin to preach the gospel to those they have conquered, it will not succeed, God will teach us that it is not by might. All swords that have ever flashed from scabbards have not aided Christ a single grain. Mohammedans' religion might be sustained by scimitars, but Christians' religion must be sustained by love. The great crime of war can never promote the religion of peace. The battle, and the garment rolled in blood, are not a fitting prelude to "peace on earth, goodwill to men." And I do firmly hold, that the slaughter of men, that bayonets, and swords, and guns, have never yet been, and never can be, promoters of the gospel. The gospel will proceed without them, but never through them. "Not by might."

... The Lord's battles, what are they? Not the garment rolled in blood, not the noise, and smoke, and din of human slaughter. These may be the devil's battles, if you please, but not the Lord's. They may be days of God's vengeance, but in their strife the servant of Jesus may not mingle. We stand aloof. Our kingdom is not of this world; else would God's servants fight with sword and spear. Ours is a spiritual kingdom, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds.

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WAS JESUS A PACIFIST?
by Bob Murphy -
www.lewrockwell.com - September 18, 2002

Bob Murphy is author of ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE and has a website: www.BobMurphy.net.

In a recent article, World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah challenges the view that Jesus was a pacifist. Inasmuch as I have asserted otherwise in this forum, I'd like to defend my opinion a bit more thoroughly. I'll first explain the general reasons I believe Jesus was/is a pacifist, and then I'll address Farah's specific arguments.

Jesus was clearly a revolutionary thinker who challenged the seemingly natural idea of retribution. Rather than vengeance, Jesus commanded forgiveness (Mat. 18:22). Instead of the pagan ideals of strength and power, Jesus offered the Christian ideals of humility and meekness (Mat. 5:5). Jesus went so far as to demand that His disciples love their enemies (Mat. 5:44).

The above is not in dispute. Even most atheists would agree that Jesus' teachings were wise precepts concerning the uselessness of hatred and revenge. But did Jesus literally require pacifism? A straightforward reading would suggest that He did. He literally (given the translation) commanded "whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Mat. 5:39). But perhaps this was just a specific rule? Well, immediately before this famous injunction, Jesus also gave the general rule, forbidding resistance to evil. It is this passage that inspired Christian pacifists such as William Lloyd Garrison and Leo Tolstoy, and I find their interpretation entirely plausible.

Of course, Jesus often spoke in metaphors; one should be very careful in deriving categorical conclusions from a few Gospel passages. When studying not merely His words, but His actions, does it seem that Jesus was a pacifist? I for one think this is the only sensible conclusion. He rebuked Peter for drawing his sword during His arrest. And of course, the entire purpose of Jesse's coming to Earth was to suffer unjustly at the hands of evil men, despite the fact that He obviously had the power to prevent this. Such an argument alone doesn't prove the case for Christian pacifism, but it does show that the doctrine is consistent with Christianity.

Horrible things happen to good people all the time. The use of violence won't ever "solve" this. Most people would agree that it is impermissible to murder someone, even if so doing would save (through a heart transplant, say) a child from death. Yet most people believe that it is permissible to kill someone in order to prevent him from killing a child. The apparent inconsistency is evaded by classifying the latter case as justifiable defense, and by classifying the dead man as a criminal, worthy of less respect and rights than "civilized" people.

Yet it is precisely this mentality, I claim, that Jesus sought to overthrow. The kingdom of God can only be approached when everyone voluntarily renounces violence against his neighbors. And isn't it just possible that the best and surest way to reach that goal is for each of us personally to renounce violence, for whatever reason, right now? To say, "I will lay down my arms just as soon as all the evil people do first" is to guarantee that you will never see the kingdom of God during your life.

We now move on to Farah's arguments. He really has only two. First, he reminds us that Jesus came, not to overturn the Mosaic Law, but to fulfill it. He also reminds us that Jesus and God the Father are the same. Therefore, since the God of the Old Testament was clearly not a pacifist, Jesus can't be either: Moving to the Gospel of John, we learn that Jesus is eternal. He always was and He always will be. He made the world and the universe. He is one with the Father. So, all of the commandments of God, as we know them, in what Christians call "the Old Testament," are likewise the commandments of Jesus. He didn't come to overturn them. He came to fulfill them.

Read the Book of Judges and you will find that God told the Jews to utterly destroy entire unrighteous nations so that they could occupy the Promised Land. When the Jews failed to do this, they paid a heavy price. In Genesis, God Himself destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because of immorality. Throughout the Old Testament, we witness God destroying unrighteous men and ordering unrighteous men destroyed. Keep in mind, also, we are told in Heb. 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, that means Jesus destroyed unrighteous men and ordered unrighteous men destroyed. Now this is, to me, a rather strange argument. Granted, to the extent that we use the Trinity to make Jesus the same as the Old Testament God, then Jesus isn't a pacifist. But that's not what Christian pacifists mean; I don't think anybody would argue that the God of Moses was a pacifist . In any event, when I say that I think Jesus was a pacifist, I mean the living and acting man of the New Testament renounced the use of violence, and commanded His followers to do the same.

More serious, I simply cannot understand Farah's argument concerning the Mosaic Law. In the very sermon in which Jesus states that He has come to fulfill it, Jesus goes on to "update" all sorts of Old Testament commands. It is true, for most of them Jesus merely increases the requirements, in the sense that a Christian must not only obey the letter of the Law but do so with the right heart.

Nonetheless, **Jesus clearly overturns many literal rules of the Old Testament. The most relevant for the current article is the "eye for an eye" revision; this was not some pagan barbarism, but commanded by God (Ex. 21:24). God also told the Jews not to gather food on the Sabbath (Ex. 16:28-29). Indeed, when Jesse's disciples did this (with His approval), the Pharisees accused Him of breaking the Mosaic Law (Mark 2:23-24). Finally, **Jesus did not endorse the Mosaic penalty of stoning for an adulteress, but rather forgave the woman and told her to sin no more (John 8:3-11).

Farah's only other argument is Jesse's command to purchase swords (Luke 22:36). Now this is one instance where I think Jesus is speaking metaphorically; in the context it seems to me that He is trying to prepare His disciples for the fact that their leader will soon be taken from them. (In any event, He says that two swords are "enough." I have heard one interpretation that Jesus was exasperated that His disciples had once again misunderstood His message, and so said, in effect, "Enough of this." But even if one takes that literally - so that two swords among all his disciples are "enough" - then this hardly seems reconcilable with Farah's belief that Jesus believed in smiting evildoers.) Shortly after the admittedly troublesome (from a pacifist viewpoint) verse in which Jesus tells his followers to buy swords, He is arrested. He rebukes Peter for cutting off the ear of the high priest's servant, saying, "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Mat. 26:52).

.... Finally, let me end by saying that I am not claiming that someone who, say, shoots a home invader is therefore a "bad Christian." Such a judgment on my part would itself be contrary to my interpretation of Christianity. My only purpose in writing the present article was to explain why I personally think Jesus was a pacifist, and why I try to live up to that difficult requirement in my own life.

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GOD'S LAW OR MAN'S LAW, PEACE OR WAR? by Ned Netterville - www.Jesus-on-taxes.com

Ned is the author of JESUS OF NAZARETH, ILLEGAL-TAX PROTESTER at his website above, which is Dedicated to: Doctor Bob and Bill, two old friends.

[p54] In order to know Jesus, I believe it is necessary to pray as he instructed (Mat 6:5-14) and to study the Gospels. In order to understand the Gospels, it is necessary to read the Old Testament. Why Jesus was, by virtue of his principles, an anarchist opposed to government as we know it, and why he was opposed to taxes of every stripe, is more readily understood with some background knowledge of the role of God in the affairs of the Israelites as revealed in Holy Scripture.

The true meaning of all that is included in the Old Testament Scriptures is beyond my conception. But Jesus knew the Scriptures by heart, and he is undoubtedly the only man ever to fully understand them.

We know from Luke's account (Luke 2:42-60) that at the age of twelve Jesus was already engrossed and advanced in the study of Scripture. He often referred to Scripture to explain himself, and after his resurrection on the road to Emmaus, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto [two of his disciples] in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself". (See Mat 21:42;22:29;26:54, Luke 4:21;24:27,32,45, John 5:39;7:38;10:35)

From the time the descendants of Jacob escaped subjugation under Pharaoh in Egypt until Samuel appointed Saul king of Israel, a period of four hundred years, the only lawmaker the Jews recognized was God. This fact is mentioned in the Book of Judges: "Then the Israelites said to Gideon, 'Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also: for you have delivered us out of the hand of Midian'. Gideon said to them, 'I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you: the Lord will rule over you.'" (Jdg 8:22-23) And again, "In those days there was no king in Israel, all the [p55] people did what was right in their own eyes." (Jdg 21:25)

As Thomas Paine pointed out in Common Sense, Gideon did not decline to rule, but rather acknowledged that the Israelites had no right or authority to make him or any man their lawmaker in place of God. Until they embraced Saul as their king, God was the only lawmaker the Jews recognized.

The state, by its monopoly on force and violence, exponentially increases the ability of individuals to kill, maim and enslave others. Throughout recorded history, individuals have used the enhanced macabre capabilities of government to slaughter their fellow men, often pursuant to laws made by kings and legislatures. The number of murders committed by the state over the course of its existence is simply incomprehensible.

... [p56] The account of how the Israelites went from a stateless people to a nation under a king is enlightening. It is recounted in the Bible in the First Book of Samuel: Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations." But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, "Give us a king to govern us," Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice, only--you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen; and to run before his chariots; [p57] He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards, ... one-tenth of your grain and your vineyards and ... one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day." But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, "No! but we are determined to have a king over us." (1 Sam. 8:4-19)

There simply cannot be any doubt that Jesus, Son of God, would be offended by man's usurpation of God's prerogative as lawmaker just as his Father was at the time of Samuel. Jesus came not to sanction the usurpation but to reverse it. He said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." (Mat. 5:17) It is God's law, not man's, that Jesus came to fulfill. God's law does not sanction man's laws. In the full scope of the meaning of "fulfill" as it pertains to God's law, it is necessary that God be restored to his rightful position as lawmaker, if not of Israel of the Jews, then of some other people. **I presume that in due course the disciples of Jesus and perhaps other lovers of freedom will restore the law in that regard and establish a Kingdom of God on earth. www.HisHolyChurch.com> Then the era of governments and democide may very well be on the road to oblivion.

[p58] God's frightening description in 1 Samuel of how a king would reign over the Israelites was realized during the reigns of various kings of Israel and Judah. Even worse misfortunes befell the Jews during those times when they were ruled by foreign kings or councils, including Rome's emperor. A king, as lawmaker, usurps a role reserved exclusively to God for people living under His dominion. The human act of making laws is a rejection of God's law . Today's legislators, the successors of kings, continue man's usurpation of God's prerogative. The one-tenth tax on the that made them slaves of their king is far less than most Americans pay in taxes to their government masters. Not even approval by one hundred percent of a plebiscite can save the illicit activity of men making laws from God's and his son Jesus' condemnation. It is wishful thinking to refer to any state as a "Christian" nation that is governed by king or legislature. The principles Jesus espoused exercising control of others by means of legislation, which is to say by force. Jesus would never approve an arrangement that his heavenly Father denounced.

All the laws that man needs to live by in a modern, peaceful and prosperous society are contained in the Ten Commandments. Righteous men in the role of juries and judges have the ability to interpret and apply God's laws to the most recondite circumstances in a highly complex community. With God's Ten Commandments as the foundation, men can develop and refine continuously evolving and effective standards of social conduct and efficient procedures for justly resolving disputes, and do so without recourse to man-made statutes or statist police powers. That in [p59] essence was the methodology of the English Common Law, although it was often corrupted by statutory enactments.

Only God has the divine wisdom necessary to create laws that are good for all time. There is more than a hint of idolatry involved in statutory lawmaking. It contains the arrogant presumption that kings or legislatures at a moment in time possess the wisdom to make laws to serve the unknowable future. That is what God did when he promulgated the timeless Decalogue, but it is beyond our abilities to imitate God's creative wisdom.

A rough equivalent of taxation, called "tribute" in the Scriptures, was one of the early unlawful practices of the Israelites. Slavery, taxation, conscription and any other possible form of involuntary servitude are all condemned by the commandment, Thou shalt not steal. The tribute of the Jews violated God's law and rejected his rule. It was exacted from people living in territories the Israelites conquered, when they took control of the Promised Land. The covenant God made with the Israelites through Moses proclaimed, "If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess."(Deu. 30:15-16)

When the Israelites, with God's assistance, did in fact take possession of the Promised Land, they were commanded by God to drive out all the old inhabitants lest they corrupt God's chosen people with their practices of idolatry.(Ex. 23:23-33) But the temptation to live off the fruits of other men's labor was too great. We are told in the Scriptures, "Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the [p60] Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out." (Jos. 17:13) The tribute the Israelites exacted from the Canaanites became a model for the tax of the render-unto-Caesar incident. It is called tribute in the KJV, a tax the Jews were required to pay to their conquerors, from which Roman citizens were exempt. A taste of their own medicine; so to speak, in retribution for their treatment of the Canaanites after God had rescued them from their similar oppression by the Egyptians.

Just as God the Father proscribed the Israelites from exacting tribute, we can be sure that the principles Jesus espoused precluded his followers from collecting or paying taxes. In so doing, Jesus was guilty of violating Roman law, but upholding God's law against stealing, and his own principle of nonviolence. Not paying taxes is a crime in every state; counseling others to resist has been a capital offense under many regimes. The crucifixion of Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, pursuant to man-made laws, ought to be sufficient cause for his followers to abstain from making laws and levying or paying taxes.

The Jewish leaders could not crucify Jesus on their own authority. Rome's government reserved that God-like power over life and death to its sovereign self. So, Luke tells us, the Sanhedrin dragged Jesus before the district director of taxation for Judea (Pilate) where they accused him of "forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor." It is virtually certain that on the basis of that accusation alone the man in charge of taxes for the district of Judea was persuaded to execute Jesus. Modern Christians who depend on tax-paid government benefits to supply their wants and needs stand shoulder to shoulder in spirit with Pilate in favor of strict enforcement of the tax laws that fund their precious benefits. And why not? The exegetes [p61] have told them that taxes are a Christian's duty. So, like the Pharisees before them, many Christians today cannot afford to accept Jesus' words on taxation, because his principles jeopardize their entitlements. It is, as Jesus said, "because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand." (Mat. 13:13) (See, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, by Robert Higgs, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987)

There is nothing quite like war to justify increasing government's size and the level of taxation. And there is nothing like size and abundant resources of a state to justify going to war. Without taxes there could be no government, and without government there could be no wars. War and death are among the few things the state is capable of producing more efficiently and abundantly than private enterprise/?/. Taxes, war and the state all violate God's law violently. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Satan, in the guise of the state, is the Prince of War. He who says Jesus approved of the [p63] state and taxes says Jesus approved of Satan's handiwork and of war. May God forgive them!

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TURN THE OTHER CHEEK

[p64] Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you: Do not resist an evildoer. But if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also." (Mat. 5:38-39) ... [p67] I am confident that Jesus meant exactly what he said both literally and figuratively, physically and spiritually. Furthermore, I have had one occasion to put my literal interpretation of turn the other cheek into practice.

While out jogging at night, I was accosted by two young men, who appeared to be inebriated. When I tried to go past them by running into the street from the sidewalk, one of them moved directly in front of me blocking my way. At first I thought it must be someone I know, and I raised my hand palm forward to offer a high five. I was quickly disabused of that notion when my would-be assailants informed me that I was about to receive a severe beating, while at the same time his cohort moved so that I was between them. I remained silent, endeavored to appear humble, and made no effort to defend myself. After several minutes of verbal abuse, I was told that if I did not want to get stomped, or some such term, I had better run. So I resumed jogging, and judiciously refrained from opening my mouth to point out that running is what I was doing when stopped. I was never fearful during the incident, but afterwards I was a bit shaken.

It has been many years since I first made the commitment to heed his counsel and follow the example of Jesus by turning the other cheek. Since then, with only the one exception mentioned above, I haven't had to turn the other cheek because no one has attacked me. I firmly believe that the most common consequence of making the commitment to turn the other cheek by adopting an attitude of non-aggressive humility in the face of violence is that [p68] those who do so are kept safe from violence by God. According to John Hostetler in Hutterite Society (Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University, 1974), Hutterite religious communities have been around for over 400 years, and there has never been a single homicide among them. In their North-American villages there are no police forces. These benefits, I suspect, are spiritual consequences of the Hutterites consistently practicing nonviolence including abstaining from government benefits.

I am sure that I would lose my own immunity to violence if I willingly participated in taxation or otherwise endorsed the use of force in the conduct of my affairs by willfully supporting in any way that violent institution--the state. I am equally confident that God could and would secure from all harm an entire nation of people who acknowledged Him alone as their lawmaker in place of monarch or legislature ruling through the use of force.

Ned's RECOMMENDED WEBSITES: Karl Barth, www.island-of-freedom.com; Jacques Ellul, www.ellul.org; Alphonse Maillot, www.Jesusradicals.com; James Redford, www.anti-state.com. Roderick W. Marling, www.kamakala.com; Ludwig von Mises, www.mises.org; Carl Watner, www.voluntaryist.com.

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A RADICAL CALL TO LOVE
Passages recommended by James Patton - July 28, 2005

Rom. 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Eph. 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Col. 3:12-15 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, ... mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; [13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. [14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. [15] And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

1 Thes. 5:15,21-22 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. ... [21] Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [22] Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Rom. 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

2 Cor. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Rom. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Eph. 6:14-17 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Luke 6:27-28 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, [28] Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Luke 6:35-36 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. [36] Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Rom. 12:17-20 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. ... [19] Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [20] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

1 Pet. 3:8-11 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: [9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. ... [11] Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Mat. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

1 Pet. 3:14-15 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; [15] But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Jam. 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [3] Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Philip. 1:28-29 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. [29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Jam. 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. [18] And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Jam. 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: [20] For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

1 Pet. 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, [2] As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Philip. 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Mat. 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

1 Tim. 6:9-11 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. [10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. [11] But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Eph. 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

2 Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Eph. 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; [2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Eph. 5:8-11 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: [9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) [10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. [11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

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WHO'S OMNISCIENT ENOUGH TO KILL? by L.K.

Thanks to another conservative Evangelical for these biblical references in The Christian and a Biblical Approach to War, at www.lewrockwell.com, by Bill Barnwell.

Christians are supposed to be "peacemakers" (Mat. 5:9).
They worship the "Prince of Peace," not the god of war (Isa. 9:6).
God apparently ordered war in the O.T., but only under his leading (Gen. 14:17-20; Num. 1:1-4; 13:26-33; Deu. 7:2,25-26; Jos. 1:2; Jdg. 1:1-2; 20:3-18).
He uses warlike terms or ideas even in the New Testament, but these terms were only meant spiritually (Mat. 5:39; 8:5-13, John 2:15; Acts 10:2; Eph. 6:10-20; Heb. 11:32-34; 13:8; Rev. 19:11-21).
The Israelites were to be special and different from the wickedness around them (Deu. 7:6).
Doesn't "different" mean peaceful instead of warlike like all other nations?
God continues to insist that we, his people, separate from the wicked (1 John 2:15-17).
God never gave his blessing to people who went to war without His leading.
Just as only God is wise enough to make our laws, also only God is wise enough to punish anyone for vengeance (Rom. 12:19).
Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [20] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. [21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
This shows that only God can properly punish to do proper vengeance, while we can only punish by doing good to our enemies, not evil.
We are not to kill people intentionally (Ex. 20:13).
The lion will lay down with the lamb and stop killing it (Isa. 65:25).
We should trust God instead of trusting our weapons of mass destruction (Isa. 31:3).
The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt was the best way to do battle (Ex. 14:13-14).
Jesus warned against hatred and bitterness (Mat. 5:21-24).
We're not to seek revenge against anyone (Mat. 5:38-42).
As Jesus himself demonstrated in his persecution, we're not to raise a hand against persecutors, but pray for them (Luke 23:34).
He told Peter, "All who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Mat. 26:52b).
Die by the sword means to die spiritually.
Jesus said he was our example (John 13:14-15).
We are to "Obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

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SEEING DECEPTION
Review by L.K.

The following is from What Allows People To Be Easily Deceived? Hindrances To Seeing Deception, by Greg DesVoignes - Thanks to Greg's article at www.crmspokane.org/easilydeceived.htm for highlighting the following biblical passages.

Jer. 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm , and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

2 Cor. 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. [15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Don't follow the crowd; don't be deceived that there is safety in numbers.

Mat. 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Don't be deceived that saying you believe is enough; believing means doing, not just saying.

Mat. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

It is deception to think that comfortable things make us happy or whole.

Isa. 30:10 to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

Jer. 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?

Jer. 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.

Pride and habit prevent us from seeing our own sins; this is the greatest deception. And it leads us to ruin.

Jer. 8:6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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THE GLORY OF WAR [Cont. from Ch. 5]
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. -
www.lewrockwell.com - May 6, 2005

Why? Nationalism is one answer. To be at war is to feel at one with something much larger than oneself, to be a part of a grand historical project. They have absorbed the civic religion from childhood - Boston tea, cherry trees, log cabins, Chevrolet - but it mostly has no living presence in their minds until the state pushes the war button, and then all the nationalist emotions well up within them.

... But nationalism is not the only basis for bourgeois support for war. Long-time war correspondent Chris Hedges, in his great book War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (First Anchor, 2003), argues that war operates as a kind of canvas on which every member of the middle and working class can paint his or her own picture. Whatever personal frustrations exist in your life, however powerless you feel, war works as a kind of narcotic. It provides a means for people to feel temporarily powerful and important, as if they are part of some big episode in history. War then becomes for people a kind of lurching attempt to taste immortality. War gives their lives meaning.

... War is the devil's sacrament. It promises to bind us, not with God, but with the nation state. It grants, not life, but death. It provides, not liberty, but slavery. It lives, not on truth, but on lies, and these lies are themselves said to be worthy of defense. It exalts evil and puts down the good. It is promiscuous in encouraging an orgy of sin, not self-restraint and thought. It is irrational and bloody and vicious and appalling. And it claims to be the highest achievement of man.

It is worse than mass insanity. It is mass wallowing in evil.

And then it is over. People oddly forget what took place. The rose wilts and the thorns grow, but people go on with their lives. War no longer inspires. War news becomes uninteresting. All those arguments with friends and family - what were they about anyway? All that killing and expense and death - let's just avert our eyes from it all. Maybe in a few years, once the war is out of the news forever and the country we smashed recovers some modicum of civilization, we can revisit the event and proclaim it glorious. But for now, let's just say it never happened.

That seems to be just about where people stand these days with the Iraq War. Iraq is a mess, hundreds of thousands are killed and maimed, billions of dollars are missing, the debt is astronomical, and the world seethes in hatred toward the conquering empire. And what does the warmongering middle class have to say for itself? Pretty much what you might expect: nothing.
People have long accused the great liberal tradition of a dogmatic attachment to peace. It would appear that this is precisely what is necessary in order to preserve the freedom necessary for all of us to find true meaning in our lives.

Do we reject war and all its works? We do reject them.

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[Cont. from Ch. 3]
THE END OF THE WORLD ... MAYBE
__As LRC's Gary North has pointed out, there are roughly three main views of Christian eschatology: premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism (these views are too complex to go into here; his article covers them completely).
__What is important to remember is some of these groups believe that one-third of the inhabitants of Israel are going to be offed during the End Times. And they believe this is going to happen really soon. So, there are people working to bring this about because of their belief, for an example, in Zec. 13:8-9 "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. [9] And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried:"
__These people have to die in order to fulfill what these groups see as God's plan. To this I can only say, "The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." I have no idea how many people have been killed in the name of God, but I'm sure it's been a lot. And yet, even today, in the 21st century, we still have people doing it. This is a perversion of religion.
__I have for years been intrigued by the story of Satan, which I see as the most accurate and perceptive explanation of human evil. I see this evil as comprising three things: the desire to rule (to be God), the desire for attention (to be worshipped), and the desire to destroy.
__Since these people are trying to destroy, what does this say about them? Who exactly are they serving, in their desire to destroy the world?
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