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HolyGround >> Jesus and War ?


5/4/11 12:57 AM
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Ridgeback
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 KJB -  Killer Jesus Brigade.
5/4/11 12:37 PM
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inlikeflynn
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the rooster - you:
One thing I will disagree with is your statement that "any Christian is anti-war". They should be, but the sad reality is that there was hardly a peep from evangelicals when the Bush admin was beating the drums for the invasion of Iraq. In fact, most fell in right behind him.

me:
because evangelicals trusted Bush. They trusted the words of Bush more then the words of liberals. They trusted that Saddam Hussein was a threat. His lobbing bombs at Israel, gassing kurds, torturing his people, funding terrorist, and rah rahing and sabre rattling right after 9/11 was viewed by an administratioun without the luxury of 2nd guessing to take him as a serious threat. Evangelicals believed in his judgement.

Right or wrong, that is why there was hardly a peep.


Maybe they should have used their brains a little more and trusted a little less. Iraq was not a "self-defense" war no matter how you try to spin it.
5/4/11 12:39 PM
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inlikeflynn
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the rooster - you:
Do you think it is morally acceptable to execute homosexuals, adulterers, and disobedient children in the present day?

me: I believe it was morally acceptable for Israel when they were in their infancy, surrounded by pagan nations trying to seduce them into paganism or trying to destroy them in war. They lived a different life, one that was militaristic in order to survive, mandated by God for that time.


Right, for that time. Which is why it is problematic using the OT to justify certain things in the present day, e.g. war, capital punishment, etc.
5/4/11 2:53 PM
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Ridgeback
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 It is interesting to me when particular Christians tend to quote OT precedent more than quoting the actual teachings of the man who they purport to follow.  But, then again,  It is very hard to find a satisfactory picture of redemptive violence in the Gospels.  One has to wait to twist the highly metaphorical language of the Apocalypse to begin to even squeeze such a vision out of NT scripture.

The fact that David was forbidden to build the temple because of all the blood he shed should begin to shed some light on what God really makes of violence.  


5/4/11 4:20 PM
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zealot66
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 So to make a case, You have to go to the OT and Revelation, neither of which have much material comparable to the Gospels. And Rooster you are still avoiding my question on how a infantry soldier is supposed to be christlike while clearing a room or exectuting an enemy ? the Gist here is that Jesus and War only mix when you get into ethereal ideas just like politics. when its for real, they have nothing in common.
5/4/11 4:25 PM
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Joe Ray
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the rooster - you:
Yeah, something about crowds of people gathering and celebrating his death didn't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not shedding any tears for Bin Ladin, but I just don't think that's the kind of thing that we should be joyous about.

me: people can be joyful for many things. vengence, "winning", justice, who knows. I think it's very natural.


Entirely correct. Such a sentiment as joy at the death of an enemy is entirely natural, yet it is perhaps for that very reason that it is considered to be an unchristian sentiment to hold.




5/4/11 7:07 PM
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Ridgeback
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zealot66 -  So to make a case, You have to go to the OT and Revelation, neither of which have much material comparable to the Gospels. And Rooster you are still avoiding my question on how a infantry soldier is supposed to be christlike while clearing a room or exectuting an enemy ? the Gist here is that Jesus and War only mix when you get into ethereal ideas just like politics. when its for real, they have nothing in common.


The Christlike soldier does this by not using naughty language, dressing modestly, and being no party to talk of fornication in the barracks.  Aside from that he can slaughter his enemy with aplomb.
 
5/5/11 12:52 AM
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the rooster
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Ridgeback -  KJB -  Killer Jesus Brigade.



me: who? Ezekiel? or David? Or Daniel? Or John the Revelator?

5/5/11 12:54 AM
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the rooster
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inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - you:
One thing I will disagree with is your statement that "any Christian is anti-war". They should be, but the sad reality is that there was hardly a peep from evangelicals when the Bush admin was beating the drums for the invasion of Iraq. In fact, most fell in right behind him.

me:
because evangelicals trusted Bush. They trusted the words of Bush more then the words of liberals. They trusted that Saddam Hussein was a threat. His lobbing bombs at Israel, gassing kurds, torturing his people, funding terrorist, and rah rahing and sabre rattling right after 9/11 was viewed by an administratioun without the luxury of 2nd guessing to take him as a serious threat. Evangelicals believed in his judgement.

Right or wrong, that is why there was hardly a peep.


Maybe they should have used their brains a little more and trusted a little less. Iraq was not a "self-defense" war no matter how you try to spin it.


Maybe. Maybe it was about oil, or about a strategic base next to Iran, or maybe it was an opportunity to do "something" or maybe it was a distraction. I don't really know. I'm just telling you that I believe there was barely a peep because evangelicals trusted Bush more then they trust Obama.
5/5/11 12:57 AM
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the rooster
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inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - you:
Do you think it is morally acceptable to execute homosexuals, adulterers, and disobedient children in the present day?

me: I believe it was morally acceptable for Israel when they were in their infancy, surrounded by pagan nations trying to seduce them into paganism or trying to destroy them in war. They lived a different life, one that was militaristic in order to survive, mandated by God for that time.


Right, for that time. Which is why it is problematic using the OT to justify certain things in the present day, e.g. war, capital punishment, etc.


me: maybe. Again, you have to read the before and after. Capital punishment is part of the Noahic covenant and preceeds the abrahamic covenant as well the mosaic covenant. Of course you have to believe that Noah existed and the covenant was real.

I provided both OT and NT specifically where the scriptures are nearly parallel.
5/5/11 1:06 AM
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the rooster
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zealot66 -  So to make a case, You have to go to the OT and Revelation, neither of which have much material comparable to the Gospels. And Rooster you are still avoiding my question on how a infantry soldier is supposed to be christlike while clearing a room or exectuting an enemy ? the Gist here is that Jesus and War only mix when you get into ethereal ideas just like politics. when its for real, they have nothing in common.



Zealot, my first scripture was Paul and the power of the sword of the state. So let's see, we will exclude the entirety of the OT, Revelations, and parts of the epistles?!!? You cannot tear pages out of the bible and then ask what is the bible's position on Christians being soldiers.

Christianity is imbedded with the OT. Paul said we are wild branches grafted into the original (Israel).

Your flaw is that you have a preconception as to your conclusion and you have to literally ignore huge parts of the bible.

When Jesus healed the centurions servant, he commended the soldier for his great faith in Jesus' healing power. He said that there wasn't such faith in all of Israel.

He responded to the soldiers faith in Him. He never condemned him, or told him that his faith could never mix with his occupation.

Neither did John the Baptist.

Neither did Peter when he preached the gospel to the 'special forces" Italian centurion (Cornelius) and the Lord poured out His Holy Spirit on all of them. They were the first gentiles saved and converted. He then baptized them in Jesus name (ACTS 10)

No commands to stop being a soldier or to stop his profession.

The apostles came from a country constantly at war, conquering and being conquered. Warfare was a part of the culture.

Warriors were honorable in their profession and responsibility to defending their country.

Obviously not every solder is "good" (Joab, Goliath, Absalom) but the profession itself was considered part of the arm of the executive power of the king God had raised up.

Is every soldier good? no. Is every soldier confessing to be Christian...a Christian? No? Is every cause just? no.

That being said. A soldier is clearly an honorable office and one Christians and pre NT saints occupied with blessings, annointings and God led victories.
5/5/11 1:13 AM
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the rooster
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Ridgeback - 
zealot66 -  So to make a case, You have to go to the OT and Revelation, neither of which have much material comparable to the Gospels. And Rooster you are still avoiding my question on how a infantry soldier is supposed to be christlike while clearing a room or exectuting an enemy ? the Gist here is that Jesus and War only mix when you get into ethereal ideas just like politics. when its for real, they have nothing in common.


The Christlike soldier does this by not using naughty language, dressing modestly, and being no party to talk of fornication in the barracks.  Aside from that he can slaughter his enemy with aplomb.
 


Your caricatures are really odd.

Did you have a problem with the "true church" waging war? I guess we now know that the crusades was a farce put together by a secular church/state intent on satisfying it's blood lust eh?

I'm sure the inquisition was also another example of violent carnal demonic led men who found gross pleasure in torturing those who disagreed with them.

The true church right?

Pacifist right? Which "pope" was extolling the virtues of pacifism? was it the pope that crowned Charlemagne "holy roman emperor" for his satisfaction of his blood lust?

Give me a break dude.

You advocate and trust in farces, books written by apologist and philosophers, and the actions of carnal would be world rulers.

And then you ignore the very book that gives the answers to the questions.

Again, I could really care less about your opinion, and frankly my opinion is just that as well. Zealot is essentially asking if a Christian can hold the office of a soldier. Of course he can. The definition of a Christian is in the bible, rooted in thousands of years of "godly warrior soldiers" and you have to tear out all but a few pages of the bible to escape this conclusion.

It doesn't mean that soldiers aren't held to a deep ethical standard, or that every war is just, every soldier godly, etc.

But the answer to zealot's question is completely covered by the entirety of scripture.


5/5/11 1:24 AM
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the rooster
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zealot, it seems to me from your question and responses you already had the answer in your mind. You cannot fathom that a Christian can be a soldier. It doesn't matter what the entirety of scriptures reveal or teach. That's fine but why ask the question? Are you looking for others to validate your opinion or to argue for you? It doesn't matter on any topic whether people agree with me or not. it doesn't change the truth. Truth comes from Jesus Christ who is the way, the TRUTH and the life. He inspired the prophets of old and His followers and so His word speaks truth. If you want opinions that match yours based on what you feel, then I would say you've found your amen corner. If you really are asking what the scriptures reveal and teach, it's crystal clear *if you really believe in the scriptures*.

I think that is ultimately the flaw in your question and in your back patters. You don't reaaaaally believe the scriptures...not all of them, not as they are written. Baptism in Jesus name doesn't really mean Jesus.

Noah's world wide flood wasn't really world wide.

The garden, man's fall, really symbolism.

After a while you can talk yourself into believing whatever you want.

I'm not trying to be pejorative or overly critical but I think you will have a hard time really understanding what the bible says on a topic when you hyper spiritualize and symbolize parts and disregard others. You are left with a "menu" bible. A bible where you pick and choose the entrees and desserts you will consume while crossing others off the menu. that wasn't how the bible was meant to be read.

It's a book of entirety. It weaves a tapestry and pulling threads out distorts the whole picture and corrupts the final piece.

Anyway, I don't want to argue for the sake of arguing, I just want to tell you that if you already have made up your mind, not much use in discussing with me is there?
5/5/11 12:18 PM
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inlikeflynn
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the rooster - 
inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - you:
One thing I will disagree with is your statement that "any Christian is anti-war". They should be, but the sad reality is that there was hardly a peep from evangelicals when the Bush admin was beating the drums for the invasion of Iraq. In fact, most fell in right behind him.

me:
because evangelicals trusted Bush. They trusted the words of Bush more then the words of liberals. They trusted that Saddam Hussein was a threat. His lobbing bombs at Israel, gassing kurds, torturing his people, funding terrorist, and rah rahing and sabre rattling right after 9/11 was viewed by an administratioun without the luxury of 2nd guessing to take him as a serious threat. Evangelicals believed in his judgement.

Right or wrong, that is why there was hardly a peep.


Maybe they should have used their brains a little more and trusted a little less. Iraq was not a "self-defense" war no matter how you try to spin it.


Maybe. Maybe it was about oil, or about a strategic base next to Iran, or maybe it was an opportunity to do "something" or maybe it was a distraction. I don't really know. I'm just telling you that I believe there was barely a peep because evangelicals trusted Bush more then they trust Obama.


Absolutely they trusted Bush more than Obama. Whether or not that is/was warranted is another discussion. However, I would argue that it had more to do with not having a proper view of war, i.e. they don't really hate war.
5/5/11 12:55 PM
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inlikeflynn
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inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - you:
Do you think it is morally acceptable to execute homosexuals, adulterers, and disobedient children in the present day?

me: I believe it was morally acceptable for Israel when they were in their infancy, surrounded by pagan nations trying to seduce them into paganism or trying to destroy them in war. They lived a different life, one that was militaristic in order to survive, mandated by God for that time.


Right, for that time. Which is why it is problematic using the OT to justify certain things in the present day, e.g. war, capital punishment, etc.


me: maybe. Again, you have to read the before and after. Capital punishment is part of the Noahic covenant and preceeds the abrahamic covenant as well the mosaic covenant. Of course you have to believe that Noah existed and the covenant was real.

I provided both OT and NT specifically where the scriptures are nearly parallel.


What I'm saying is that it is problematic to say, for instance, "Well, God instituted capital punishment in the OT so it's OK to do now", because as I pointed out, God also called for executing homosexuals, adulterers, etc. and genocide at times. Those are things that very few Christians would advocate today. Why not? What has changed? Isn't it that God all along has been moving us towards a more perfect way? A way that was demonstrated by Jesus while he was here on earth?

You quote Revelations where Jesus returns as a warrior to execute judgement as support for war, but doesn't it make more sense to look at his life and teachings while he was here? What do those say about violence? Isn't that a better parrallel for our current situation, i.e. what he did and said while he was living like us?

I don't know that the other NT scriptures you cite are strong support either. Nothing explicit is said either way in the case of the soldiers converting, but we know that God accepts us where we're at, no? That doesn't mean that we're not expected to change, though. Do we know what happened to these soldiers after their conversion? Did they continue being soliders? Or did they abandon that along with the other things that are typically left behind as a Christian matures spiritually?

Rev has stated before that the early church wouldn't accept soldiers and was pacifist. I don't know for sure if that's true, but if it was, does that make a difference to you? The Bible doesn't cover everything explicitly, and where it doesn't, do the practices of the early christians, who were being discipled by the Apostles hold any weight with you?

I hope you don't feel like you're getting "dog piled" here. This is tough stuff. I struggle with it just like Chrisitians have struggled with it throughout history. Your incite provides balance, so I appreciate that.
5/5/11 2:07 PM
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zealot66
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 I asked the question intentionally. Yes I have an opinion but not the one you think I do. I was in the military, certainly not in combat or this issue might be harder for me than it is. I do however study warfare dilligently. I study not just tactics and battles but the inner man in warfare. There is nothing christian about it. You are arguing in the body politic just as we argue over healthcare. It all sounds good ( which ever position you hold ) until YOU are the one standing in front of a doctor with either no money OR no choice in the matter. Someone else made the choice for you. 

Arguing a just war does nothing for the man who sights his barrel on the brain stem of a combatant and he pulls the trigger and his head evaporates in a pink mist. Then his kids come out of the house crying over the dead body you just destroyed. Hard to see Jesus doing that. You argue theology from a personal attatchment and belief. I think its healthy to examine a topic without emotional attatchments to the logical outcome. Im not bashing you at all. I still dont think anyone is answering the compatibility of living a christlike life and the scenario I just wrote. Its more well, we can support a just war against evil. Thats fine but the outcome of a decision leaves in doubt the realities of waging warefare.
5/5/11 3:14 PM
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Grakman
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 zealot, is there a difference in your opinion between being a soldier in an invading / occupying force and a soldier defending his home?
5/5/11 6:52 PM
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the rooster
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inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - 
inlikeflynn - 
the rooster - you:
One thing I will disagree with is your statement that "any Christian is anti-war". They should be, but the sad reality is that there was hardly a peep from evangelicals when the Bush admin was beating the drums for the invasion of Iraq. In fact, most fell in right behind him.

me:
because evangelicals trusted Bush. They trusted the words of Bush more then the words of liberals. They trusted that Saddam Hussein was a threat. His lobbing bombs at Israel, gassing kurds, torturing his people, funding terrorist, and rah rahing and sabre rattling right after 9/11 was viewed by an administratioun without the luxury of 2nd guessing to take him as a serious threat. Evangelicals believed in his judgement.

Right or wrong, that is why there was hardly a peep.


Maybe they should have used their brains a little more and trusted a little less. Iraq was not a "self-defense" war no matter how you try to spin it.


Maybe. Maybe it was about oil, or about a strategic base next to Iran, or maybe it was an opportunity to do "something" or maybe it was a distraction. I don't really know. I'm just telling you that I believe there was barely a peep because evangelicals trusted Bush more then they trust Obama.


Absolutely they trusted Bush more than Obama. Whether or not that is/was warranted is another discussion. However, I would argue that it had more to do with not having a proper view of war, i.e. they don't really hate war.



That's pretty speculative and subjective. How do you assess whether people "hate war" or not? You know monolithically that evangelicals trusted Bush more because ultimately they "don't hate war"?!?
5/5/11 6:59 PM
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the rooster
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you: What I'm saying is that it is problematic to say, for instance, "Well, God instituted capital punishment in the OT so it's OK to do now", because as I pointed out, God also called for executing homosexuals, adulterers, etc. and genocide at times.

me: it's not problematic. You have to take each premise on it's own merit.

you: Those are things that very few Christians would advocate today. Why not? What has changed? Isn't it that God all along has been moving us towards a more perfect way? A way that was demonstrated by Jesus while he was here on earth?

me: Sure, except that Jesus also revealed a "warrior" side.

you: You quote Revelations where Jesus returns as a warrior to execute judgement as support for war, but doesn't it make more sense to look at his life and teachings while he was here?

me: no, what makes sense is to look at the totality of who Jesus Christ is and not minimize one aspect over another. He is perfect love and also will be our Judge. They are not mutually exclusive and we cannot white out aspects that don't appeal to us.

you: What do those say about violence? Isn't that a better parrallel for our current situation, i.e. what he did and said while he was living like us?

me: did He stop living with us when He revealed Himself to John in Revelations?

you: I don't know that the other NT scriptures you cite are strong support either. Nothing explicit is said either way in the case of the soldiers converting, but we know that God accepts us where we're at, no? That doesn't mean that we're not expected to change, though. Do we know what happened to these soldiers after their conversion? Did they continue being soliders? Or did they abandon that along with the other things that are typically left behind as a Christian matures spiritually?

me: we know that harlots, liars, homosexuals, etc. were explicitly named as sins and forgiven and changed. Can you cite me in scripture where being a soldier is condemned, listed as a sin, or listed as something someone was but converted to?

you: Rev has stated before that the early church wouldn't accept soldiers and was pacifist. I don't know for sure if that's true, but if it was, does that make a difference to you? The Bible doesn't cover everything explicitly, and where it doesn't, do the practices of the early christians, who were being discipled by the Apostles hold any weight with you?

me: sure.

you: I hope you don't feel like you're getting "dog piled" here. This is tough stuff. I struggle with it just like Chrisitians have struggled with it throughout history. Your incite provides balance, so I appreciate that.

me: no problem at all. Which I wasn't in such a hurry because i'm giving very brief responses :-)
5/5/11 7:01 PM
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the rooster
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zealot66 -  I asked the question intentionally. Yes I have an opinion but not the one you think I do. I was in the military, certainly not in combat or this issue might be harder for me than it is. I do however study warfare dilligently. I study not just tactics and battles but the inner man in warfare. There is nothing christian about it. You are arguing in the body politic just as we argue over healthcare. It all sounds good ( which ever position you hold ) until YOU are the one standing in front of a doctor with either no money OR no choice in the matter. Someone else made the choice for you. 

Arguing a just war does nothing for the man who sights his barrel on the brain stem of a combatant and he pulls the trigger and his head evaporates in a pink mist. Then his kids come out of the house crying over the dead body you just destroyed. Hard to see Jesus doing that. You argue theology from a personal attatchment and belief. I think its healthy to examine a topic without emotional attatchments to the logical outcome. Im not bashing you at all. I still dont think anyone is answering the compatibility of living a christlike life and the scenario I just wrote. Its more well, we can support a just war against evil. Thats fine but the outcome of a decision leaves in doubt the realities of waging warefare.<br type="_moz" />


me: let's look at Ridge's view of a Christian "soldier". They cuss like sailors, they dress 1/2 naked and if a women is being raped and children are being murdered they watch and effeminately ask them to stop or say a prayer and move on???

Sounds like Spring break.

A christian has a duty to help the weak. If my neighbor or family is facing lethal threat, I have a duty to risk my life to meet that threat and repel it.

Period. That's love.
5/5/11 7:02 PM
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the rooster
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Grakman -  zealot, is there a difference in your opinion between being a soldier in an invading / occupying force and a soldier defending his home?


I would say yes.
5/5/11 7:20 PM
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Grakman
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 What if Revelation wasn't an end time scenario but instead described the world at the time of John, and the number of the beast referred to Nero?


5/5/11 8:26 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman -  What if Revelation wasn't an end time scenario but instead described the world at the time of John, and the number of the beast referred to Nero?



 Why you gotta try to take Rambo Jesus away from the fundies?
5/5/11 9:49 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - 
Grakman -  What if Revelation wasn't an end time scenario but instead described the world at the time of John, and the number of the beast referred to Nero?



 Why you gotta try to take Rambo Jesus away from the fundies?

 I was introduced to Christianity through a church that believed in the Rapture and that we are currently living in the End Times. Once I learned about the preterite view though, I've always pretty much held to that interpretation, and didn't realize that, despite no longer holding to that view of eschatology I still held to that view of Jesus as the returning King who will make war on mankind and so on in order to prop up my view that Jesus would sanction a just war.  It came to my attention while I was reading and responding to this thread, so I asked the question.

Although I know your question is tongue in cheek and rhetorical anyway thought I would answer with the truth. :-)
5/5/11 10:45 PM
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Ridgeback
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 I was raised in the same traditions.  

It is a complex question, but too many Christians are so in love with redemptive violence they don't even stop to wonder about the apparent dissonance between Jesus the man refusing to use violence to stop the powers of the state and an eschatological picture of him carrying out a war on mankind as you put it.  

I think we severely underestimate the nature of God and the nature of God's peace at the heart of the Trinitarian life when we think he must enter into the chain of violence within a fallen world to finally bring some kind of justice to it all.  I don't see it that way and I don't think that is what the scriptures actually teach.  The Second Coming is the end of the whole show and the ushering in of the Kingdom.  The whole point of the Kingdom is that God is so present in every aspect of it that evil has no place to exist.  It is like an intense light causing all shadows to dissapear or a devouring fire burning up the hay and stubble.  It isn't about God's revenge or punishment, as if he teaches his followers to forgive, claims he does not rejoice in the death of a wicked man, wants all to be saved and come to know the truth, but in the end he still gets his comeuppance.  The wrath of God is the experience of God's consistent love, mercy, and forgiveness by those who refuse to repent and have made themselves at home in a fallen world rather than in the Kingdom. 

And let us say that the scripture allows both interpretations.  Why are so many Christians so quick to embrace a God that stands in stark contrast to the example and words of Jesus?  He teaches forgiveness, non-violence, loving enemies, and peace, but then he is beholden to a different standard because he has more power?  It makes no sense.  And because of my upbringing with many American fundies who never saw an American military campaign they didn't support without a moment's hesitation, I very much believe that this version of Jesus makes them uneasy because he doesn't appear to be preaching the gospel of redemptive violence whereby we can kill our way to the kingdom.  I think people like that deserve to be given a hard time or a sardonic lashing as I said before.

Much of the Apocalypse was certainly read as a code book for "here and now" realities, but I believe some of it is prophetic in the sense that some of it has not taken place.  The notion that it was all about the future is ridiculous.  I agree that much of the preterist reading makes far more sense of it.  St. John was writing in code because it was a time of great persecution.  The Apocalypse is a great example of how people are prone to twisting the scriptures as St. Peter was already concerned about.  Just more evidence that the Bible was never meant to be interpreted apart from the Church that wrote the NT books, preserved all the books, and put them  together into an authoritative canon over centuries.  

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