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Source: (consider it) Thread: What should we do about 'our own' terrorists?
Curiosity killed ...

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But isn't the whole point of this thread that different people interpret the Bible differently? So it is possible to interpret the Bible in a way to justify violence and genocide, whether we now agree with that or not?

Having reinterpreted the Bible so that slavery is not now acceptable and to allow women to minister in many churches, is it not likely that we will continue to reinterpret the Bible in different ways in the future.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
But isn't the whole point of this thread that different people interpret the Bible differently? So it is possible to interpret the Bible in a way to justify violence and genocide, whether we now agree with that or not?

Having reinterpreted the Bible so that slavery is not now acceptable and to allow women to minister in many churches, is it not likely that we will continue to reinterpret the Bible in different ways in the future.

Kaplan and Jamat don't allow that any interpretation which is different to theirs can be considered "Christian" - and therefore the justification for it must have come from outside.

It's a ridiculous monotone argument, but they seem to think it passes as intelligent comment.

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arse

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't see any comparable evil in British Jewish culture.

Oh, the evil of the Jews is in their cut-throat business practices. Just think about James Goldsmith and Ronald Cohen.

Is that anti-Semitic by the way? If so then why is it OK to talk about the evil in British Muslims?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Jamat
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quote:
Curiosity Killed: But isn't the whole point of this thread that different people interpret the Bible differently? So it is possible to interpret the Bible in a way to justify violence and genocide, whether we now agree with that or not
Your first sentence is certainly true but your second does not follow from it. I think that no reasonable hermeneutic can justify violence and genocide in the present age because the NT teaches clearly a non military and even a non political way of life. In gethsemane, Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. He told Pilate his kingdom was not of this world. Paul's teaching in Romans 13 is clearly directed to allow Christians to live with the legitimate government of the day, not to submit to a regime of evil.

This issue devolves into one's view of the Bible. There is no doubt that honest and capable expositors will differ on aspects of what it teaches and implies.

I think that the Bible is a record of God's interactions with humanity. My views, I guess, are conclusions from 40 years of reading and studying it. But as you see, they have no want of detractors. Each of us is on a journey in this regard. We need to find individually satisfactory answers and that is always a process.

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Curiosity killed ...

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But Jamat you have agreed that people interpret the Bible differently, but you ignored my point about the ways the hermeneutic has changed for slavery, for example. The Biblical justification for violence has continued, because the 'just war' argument was used for World War 2, against fascism, as it is on the "Nazis come to town thread'.

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
But Jamat you have agreed that people interpret the Bible differently, but you ignored my point about the ways the hermeneutic has changed for slavery, for example. The Biblical justification for violence has continued, because the 'just war' argument was used for World War 2, against fascism, as it is on the "Nazis come to town thread'.

Regarding slavery, tolerance of it through necessity is not approval. Paul states that if possible a Christian should become free.

The question of a 'just' war is a vexed one, too big for a few sentences. I do not know the answer to that one except that, not resisting Hitler would have been unthinkable to my parents generation who were actively involved in resisting him.

There is also the vexed, ethical question of whether the use of force is violence under circumstances where it is used to protect or defend against evil. For instance, if one intervenes to stop an assault.

The discussion on this thread has been different. It has been over how there could possibly be aggression, legitimised by a Christian ethic, or how could such a thing as a crusade be sanctioned in the name of Christ.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Curiosity killed ...

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But the ethic of taking part in the WW1 and WW2 was seen as Christian - with encouragement to enlist in WW1 and participation preached from pulpits. Unlike the Falklands War when Robert Runcie famously preached against it.

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, my grandfather came back from WWI incensed by all the clergy who encouraged them to go over the top. And that was not against Nazis.

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Brenda Clough
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A brief search on line will find you the sermons from 150 years ago, in which preachers proclaimed from the pulpit that the slavery of black persons was the will of God. There were of course pastors in the northern states preaching exactly the opposite, citing texts from the exact same Bible.

Or go back and look at the history of Southern Baptists. Why did they split off from the rest of the Baptist communion? Take a guess.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
So under your idiotic wooden exegesis, Paul was disobeying his own precept in Romans 13 by not apostatising in obedience to Nero.

There is only one viable interpretation of Romans 13, which I explained when I took to pieces the line you are running in this post earlier in the thread.

Paul is obviously referring to the role of a ruler (whether Christian or not) in keeping ordinary law and order.

This presumably would be why the New Testament doesn't ever use the phrase 'ordinary law and order' or any phrase equivalent to 'ordinary law and order' or define the limits of what ordinary law and order might be or tell us what makes some law and order ordinary and some not.

Nevertheless, that's what he's obviously referring to.

Presumably ordinary law and order is what is maintained by a standing police force. I know London didn't have a standing police force to maintain ordinary law and order until the eighteenth century. I've never seen any evidence that Rome ever had a standing police force. It would be anachronistic therefore to project what we might think when we hear 'ordinary law and order' back to Paul's Rome; it's equally anachronistic to believe that the Christians of any period inbetween could or ought to have found it obvious that the passage meant what we think of by the phrase 'ordinary law and order'.

Nevertheless, that's what he's obviously referring to.

Every Roman official believed that the lynchpin of ordinary law and order in the Empire was worship of the Empire and its gods. So your interpretation seems also to have Paul disobeying his own precept by not apostasing; and the interpretation is therefore no superior on those grounds alone.

Nevertheless, ordinary law and order is what Paul's obviously referring to.

quote:
Any other interpretation leads to self-evident absurdities,such as that rulers are to kill all heretics and heathen in flat contradiction tot the whole of the rest of the NT, or that rulers are justified in slaughtering Christians.
You've already conceded that there is no passage in the rest of the NT that flatly forbids killing all heretics and heathen. Your argument was up until this point that there was no verse that someone could use to justify it from the NT.

quote:
quote:
How much more do you need?
I have given you and explanation, but what you need is an understanding, which I can't give you.
Oh well that settles it. Clearly you couldn't have written that unless it was true. Just as you couldn't have called Croesos' exegesis 'idiotic' unless it was actually idiotic and you couldn't have said your interpretation was obviously the only possible interpretation unless it was obviously the only possible interpretation. Your fingers would have seized up. Your computer would have refused to send the signal to the internet. The Angel of the Lord would have descended and smote your city so that no inhabitant remained, nay not even a hamster.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Curiosity Killed: But isn't the whole point of this thread that different people interpret the Bible differently? So it is possible to interpret the Bible in a way to justify violence and genocide, whether we now agree with that or not
Your first sentence is certainly true but your second does not follow from it. I think that no reasonable hermeneutic can justify violence and genocide in the present age because the NT teaches clearly a non military and even a non political way of life. In gethsemane, Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. He told Pilate his kingdom was not of this world.
That doesn't seem particularly "clear", it seems more inferential. One could just as easily argue that Jesus' instructions to Peter were specific to that particular situation rather than a generally applicable instruction to all Christians. That's the usual favorite dodge for Christians faced with a Biblical passage they don't like, right? Absent a specific passage that says something like "no Christian may be a soldier" or "never have anything to do with the state, including paying taxes" I don't think you can claim that this is the clear teaching of the Bible.

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Paul's teaching in Romans 13 is clearly directed to allow Christians to live with the legitimate government of the day, not to submit to a regime of evil.

The idea that Christians don't have to submit to a "regime of evil" is nowhere explicitly stated in Romans 13. For context, the regimes Paul was most familiar with (because he lived under them) include those of Caligula and Nero Cæsar. Given that these are the kinds of governments Paul tells Christians they're supposed to submit to, I'm not sure where you'd draw the line to qualify something as a "regime of evil" if Caligula and Nero don't qualify.

quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
So under your idiotic wooden exegesis, Paul was disobeying his own precept in Romans 13 by not apostatising in obedience to Nero.

There is only one viable interpretation of Romans 13, which I explained when I took to pieces the line you are running in this post earlier in the thread.

Paul is obviously referring to the role of a ruler (whether Christian or not) in keeping ordinary law and order.

This presumably would be why the New Testament doesn't ever use the phrase 'ordinary law and order' or any phrase equivalent to 'ordinary law and order' or define the limits of what ordinary law and order might be or tell us what makes some law and order ordinary and some not.
It's also not readily apparent that a first century Christian or Jew would regard theft or perjury as any less of a violation of God's law than worshiping the wrong gods. The distinction between God's law and "ordinary law and order" is more of a modern distinction, not anything you could Biblically justify.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Jane R
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Dafyd:
quote:
I've never seen any evidence that Rome ever had a standing police force.
You mean, apart from the cohortes urbanae? [= urban cohorts, under the command of the urban prefect]

[ 18. August 2017, 15:51: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Gamaliel
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As we live in societies, are involved in the 'polis', then it is hard to see how it is possible to live a 'politics free life.'

Where there are people, there's politics. We can't avoid it. It may not be 'party political' but it's still political.

There are politics within scout groups, cricket clubs, voluntary organisations, and, who could possibly believe it? - within and between churches ...

None of this stuff happens in a vacuum.

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Jamat
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quote:
I'm not sure where you'd draw the line to qualify something as a "regime of evil" if Caligula and Nero don't qualify
Roman law is pretty fundamental to our rule of law and was bigger than individual administrations. Jesus specifically told the Jews who had a big issue in this regard, to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. He did not, in doing so, incite rebellion against him.

Paul's injunction to converts was that in the normal course of life, to work,earn a living and if possible be at peace with all men. The teaching of NT Christianity is that the church can live and fit within the ethos of whatever civil government in which it found itself. It was never to set up as a political entity but rather to be an example of godliness, light and salt if you like and of course, Christians are enjoined to pray for rulers.

You need to look at Romans 13 in context instead of thinking in terms of 'there's no verse against this or that'. The teaching of the NT supports the rule of law but there is a clear instruction to resist evil as well. There is no conflict between being a law abiding chap and taking a stand against wrong doing.

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Gamaliel
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I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that, Jamat.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Oh, the evil of the Jews is in their cut-throat business practices. Is that anti-Semitic by the way?

Yes, it is.

quote:
If so then why is it OK to talk about the evil in British Muslims?
Has anyone talked about "the evil in British Muslims"?.

There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad Jews, Christians, and just about any other religious or ethnic grouping you could think of.

It the mindless, monolithic, stereotypical generalisation, such as yours about Jews, which is the problem.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I've never seen any evidence that Rome ever had a standing police force.

Thanks for the history lesson.

Previously we all imagined that Roman law enforcement involved a standing police force identical to modern ones, except that they used swords instead of pistols, and chariots instead of cars.

Who would have thought....?

quote:
So your interpretation seems also to have Paul disobeying his own precept by not apostasing
It is not I who has the problem.

"My" (because I am the first person, of course, to ever hold it) interpretation (ie that the NT tells believers to obey the civil law except when it tells them to betray their faith) makes sense of Paul's words in Romans 13, and the rest of the NT (eg Acts 4:18-19), and Paul's refusal to apostatise.

It is other interpretations (ie that Romans 13 teaches Christian rulers to slaughter non-Christians) that lead inexorably to absurdity.

quote:
You've already conceded that there is no passage in the rest of the NT that flatly forbids killing all heretics and heathen.
In the same way as I "concede" that there is no passage in the rest of the NT which flatly (ipsisima verba) forbids the torture and sexual abuse of small children - or arson, or cruelty to animals, or online fraud.

quote:
Your argument was up until this point that there was no verse that someone could use to justify it from the NT.

On the contrary, I have pointed out on numerous occasions that you could fill a library with examples of exegetically and hermeneutically loony biblical justifications for just about anything.
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Gamaliel
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Except that no-one is saying that anyone, not even Charlemagne, interpreted Romans 13 to mean that Christian rulers should slaughter all non-Christians and pagans.

What has actually been said is that it would have been commensurate with the world-view at that time to expect rulers to establish a single religious polity within their domains and to protect and enforce that by violent means when necessary. That doesn't mean they would have necessarily envisaged genocide as part of that process, but they would have expected some form of state-enforcement of whatever polity was the dominant one in whatever territory it happened to be.

It's already been explained way, way upthread how, within the medieval mindset, how the obligations of citizens were understood and applied - and how concepts such as forgiving enemies and so on were understood in a different kind of way.

That doesn't mean that different standards should apply in the way we judge or evaluate their actions - other than to say that we need to understand the background and culture,as we do with any culture that differs from our own.

Would Charlemagne have annihilated every single Saxon, had such a thing even been logistically possible, had they continued bto defy him? Who knows. All that can be said with certainty is that he executed a large number of capture Saxon 'rebels' - or 'resistance fighters' - choose which term you will - and threatened the death penalty for future non-compliance.

It would appear that 4,500 is a figure disputed by historians - but that a 'large number' were executed seems likely.

Whatever the case, it's very hypothetical, anachronistic and a circular argument to say that it should have been obvious to them that Romans 13 doesn't teach that Christian rulers shouldn't execute 'malefactors' on religious grounds because it wouldn't have been obvious to them at all.

That isn't to say that the NT actively teaches and promotes those kind of actions - of course it doesn't - but it simply suggests that - for a whole range of socio-cultural reasons, they wouldn't have understood these things in precisely the way we do.

Acknowledging that does not in any way - contra Jamat - justify or condone understanding these issues the way that medieval people did - which seems to be what the concern is here.

If it is, then it's an unfounded one.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad Jews, Christians, and just about any other religious or ethnic grouping you could think of.

Well exactly. And yet posters here use "the evil in Muslim culture". Whereas "the evil in Jewish culture" would be unacceptable.

In both instances one could defend oneself by saying "Of course there are good and bad individuals". But in both instances the phrase is unacceptable in implying a fundamental problem with a group of people.

[ 19. August 2017, 05:12: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Jamat
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quote:
Gamaliel: which isn't to say that the NT actively teaches and promotes those kind of actions - of course it doesn't - but it simply suggests that - for a whole range of socio-cultural reasons, they wouldn't have understood these things in precisely the way we do.
I think your problem is right here. No one thinks anyone in a past mindset would understand things the way you do. However you are strongly suggesting another subtle step viz they would therefore, not have grasped the import of the text.
I do not think that is true.

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Curiosity killed ...

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So how do you interpret the speech from James I (of England and VI of Scotland) made in 1610 and quoted above? In that speech he explains what he believes the role of the king to be and how much was ordained by God.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
It seems you can get away with saying all sorts of things about Muslims that you could never say about Jews.

Frankly, the more strongly Gamaliel argues that it's really difficult to go against the culture you're born into, the more one suspects that in British Muslim culture terrorism isn't really all that bad...

I don't see any comparable evil in British Jewish culture.

@Kaplan Corday - this the post that implied British Muslims are evil and was being challenged

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Gamaliel: which isn't to say that the NT actively teaches and promotes those kind of actions - of course it doesn't - but it simply suggests that - for a whole range of socio-cultural reasons, they wouldn't have understood these things in precisely the way we do.
I think your problem is right here. No one thinks anyone in a past mindset would understand things the way you do. However you are strongly suggesting another subtle step viz they would therefore, not have grasped the import of the text.
I do not think that is true.

Again, you misunderstand me. It's not that I think they were incapable of understanding 'the import of the text', simply that they understood the role and reach / responsibilities of rulers in a different way to us and because of that would have understood the texts through that lens and filter.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
So how do you interpret the speech from James I (of England and VI of Scotland) made in 1610 and quoted above? In that speech he explains what he believes the role of the king to be and how much was ordained by God.

Well, I am not an expert expert on James1 but for mine it is a thinly disguised attempt to claim divine authority for his power and position. Bearing in mind he inherited at a time England was pretty well over despotic monarchal rule but needing monarchy for constitutional purposes. His rule was a continual struggle to balance the tension of traditional kingly power with emerging democratic pressure? If I am wrong please correct me.
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mdijon
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So let's say that's true. Did his speech work? History suggests it did.

Which implies that a lot of people genuinely believed him. Or it wouldn't have worked.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Curiosity killed ...

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James I (& VI)'s son Charles I also believed in he divine right of kings, so there is evidence that the Stuart kings had this view of Romans 13

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Gamaliel
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Just a further point, Jamat, would you not accept that it's possible to have a fuller grasp of some aspects of divine revelation at the same time as having a less comprehensive or flawed grasp of others?

So, for instance, whilst theologians in Charlemagne's day had thrashed out and agreed their understanding of things like the Trinitarian nature of the Godhead, there were other things they may not have worked out so clearly?

You seem to have this expectation that everyone 'ought' or should be on the same page at the same time. That doesn't appear to be a practical expectation - as my example of slavery demonstrates.

Yes, there were Patristic misgivings about slavery and yes, a Pauline suggestion that obtaining one's freedom was desirable if circumstances allowed - and my insert of Roman slavery is that it wasn't always intended to be a permanent state for the enslaved - but it took many centuries for there to be a consistent and coherent position on slavery across the churches.

The same thing applies, surely, to things like the Divine Right of Kings and so forth.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I've never seen any evidence that Rome ever had a standing police force.

Thanks for the history lesson.

Previously we all imagined that Roman law enforcement involved a standing police force identical to modern ones, except that they used swords instead of pistols, and chariots instead of cars.

Who would have thought....?

You've been sarcastic. You can't possibly have ducked the point if you've been sarcastic. Only the one whose interpretation is correct can be sarcastic.

You may think the above strengthens your position. It doesn't. It looks like an attempt to distract from the fact that you haven't addressed the substantial point I made.

quote:
quote:
So your interpretation seems also to have Paul disobeying his own precept by not apostasing
It is not I who has the problem.

"My" (because I am the first person, of course, to ever hold it) interpretation (ie that the NT tells believers to obey the civil law except when it tells them to betray their faith) makes sense of Paul's words in Romans 13, and the rest of the NT (eg Acts 4:18-19), and Paul's refusal to apostatise.

You need to show not tell.

I presume by 'civil law' you mean criminal law and not civil law.
Also you need to show that you can clearly demarcate the bits of the 'civil law' that are obviously the government's business from the bits of the 'civil law' that are overstepping the government's business and asking Christians to betray their faith.
For example, suppose the law forbids people from feeding or otherwise giving charity to illegal immigrants. 'Civil law' or asking Christians to betray their faith?

quote:
It is other interpretations (ie that Romans 13 teaches Christian rulers to slaughter non-Christians) that lead inexorably to absurdity.
Again you need to show not tell. The word 'absurdity' is here merely pejorative. It carries no rational nor persuasive force. If someone isn't already convinced that slaughtering the heathen is wrong under all circumstances they will not find your conclusion absurd.

quote:
quote:
You've already conceded that there is no passage in the rest of the NT that flatly forbids killing all heretics and heathen.
In the same way as I "concede" that there is no passage in the rest of the NT which flatly (ipsisima verba) forbids the torture and sexual abuse of small children - or arson, or cruelty to animals, or online fraud.
Yes. I read that bit. You're not addressing the actual argument here.

Your argument is I presume that although nothing in the NT flatly contradicts the killing of heathen to spread the Gospel it is clearly ruled out by the general sense and spirit of the NT; and therefore any interpretation of any difficult passage that seems to allow it must therefore be a wrong interpretation.
Well, I'm certainly willing to accept that line of argument is valid. As an illustration I and many other Christians would argue that although nothing in the NT flatly permits same-sex sexual activity forbidding same-sex sexual activity is ruled out by the general sense and spirit of the NT; and therefore any interpretation of relevant difficult passages that seem to forbid same-sex marriage must be therefore a wrong interpretation.

My point here is that I wouldn't use the word 'clearly' for that. Because people do disagree. And so since your argument is logically equivalent, your argument cannot be clear or obvious either.

By the way, if you think killing all heretics and heathen and cruelty to animals are equally clearly contrary to the Gospel that mean factory farming is as clearly against the Gospel as killing heretics is?

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Sighthound
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
James I (& VI)'s son Charles I also believed in he divine right of kings, so there is evidence that the Stuart kings had this view of Romans 13

They did indeed so believe, and so misdirected themselves. Every sovereign of England since 1399 (bar Edward IV and Edward V) has been established by Parliamentary authority. This was recognised as long ago as the 1530s, in the famous discussion between Thomas More and Richard Rich, in which they agreed that Parliament could (in theory) make Richard Rich king. (Indeed he probably had as valid an hereditary claim as Henry VII.)

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
You've been sarcastic.

Well-perceived.

Point?

What "point"?

The trite revelation that there were not direct correspondences to modern standing police forces in the ancient world?

I'm not sure why I bothered to respond to it at all.

quote:
I presume by 'civil law' you mean criminal law and not civil law.
Yes, mea culpa, I did mean criminal law - or rather, just the day to day law and order that all governments of all religious and political complexions attend to as their minimal raison d'etre.

This is what Paul obviously - yes, obviously - is referring to.

quote:
The word 'absurdity' is here merely pejorative.
No it's not, it is precisely the mot juste.

It is your job to show not that people have derived Christian religious violence from the Bible (because obviously they have) but to show why it is not absurd to derive Christian religious violence, ie the duty of a Christian government to kill heretics and heathen, from Paul's words in Romans 13 in the context of the rest of the NT.

You can't do it.

quote:
By the way, if you think killing all heretics and heathen and cruelty to animals are equally clearly contrary to the Gospel that mean factory farming is as clearly against the Gospel as killing heretics is?
Hmmm, and does it mean that I think that because the NT condemns explicitly neither setting fire to a crowded venue, nor making an unkind remark about someone's outfit, that the one is "as clearly against the Gospel" as the other?

Scholasticism is clearly staging a comeback.

This sort of bizarre equivalence-mongering reminds me of Doctor Johnson's satirical doggerel:-

"If a man who turnips cries,
Cries not when his father dies,
'Tis a proof that he had rather
Have a turnip than a father".

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
It seems you can get away with saying all sorts of things about Muslims that you could never say about Jews.

Frankly, the more strongly Gamaliel argues that it's really difficult to go against the culture you're born into, the more one suspects that in British Muslim culture terrorism isn't really all that bad...

I don't see any comparable evil in British Jewish culture.

@Kaplan Corday - this the post that implied British Muslims are evil and was being challenged
It is obviously wrong to state or imply that all Muslims are evil, but most Muslims themselves (including the ones I know) would think that there is an "evil", ie a propensity on the part of a minority to practise or sympathise with indiscriminate terrorist violence, present within the broader Muslim community.

In the same way, many Jews as well as non-Jews would have been prepared to acknowledge an "evil" within the broader Jewish community in the days of the indiscriminate terrorist violence of the Irgun and the Stern Gang.

[ 19. August 2017, 23:41: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
James I (& VI)'s son Charles I also believed in he divine right of kings, so there is evidence that the Stuart kings had this view of Romans 13

Yes..and the point is.? You cannot possibly be suggesting it is a correct interpretation. It is patently decontextualised and self-interested.
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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Gamaliel: which isn't to say that the NT actively teaches and promotes those kind of actions - of course it doesn't - but it simply suggests that - for a whole range of socio-cultural reasons, they wouldn't have understood these things in precisely the way we do.
I think your problem is right here. No one thinks anyone in a past mindset would understand things the way you do. However you are strongly suggesting another subtle step viz they would therefore, not have grasped the import of the text.
I do not think that is true.

Again, you misunderstand me. It's not that I think they were incapable of understanding 'the import of the text', simply that they understood the role and reach / responsibilities of rulers in a different way to us and because of that would have understood the texts through that lens and filter.
Yep but that seems beside the point. Does what you have said imply they could honestly believe and act in a manner utterly contrary to the sprit of Christ? I do not think so.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Gamaliel
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It's not beside the point, it is the point.

As to whether they could honestly and sincerely have believed that what they were doing was commensurate with the spirit of the Gospel, well, neither you or I are in a position to assess that. They will have to give account for their actions before the Judgement Throne of Christ, as will we all.

The judgement throne of Jamat and Gamaliel in the meantime may very well declare their actions to have been wrong - even if they were sincerely misguided as it were.

You can be sincerely wrong but still wrong.

Whether they were sincerely wrong or insincerely wrong, they were still wrong.

You keep coming back on the sincerity thing as if this is the ultimate litmus test or as if I'm trying to condone or justify their actions by seeking to understand their historical context.

Kaplan keeps making this mistake too, hence his descent into Godwin territory earlier.

I believe that was a sincere mistake on his part.

It was a still a mistake.

I believe that you are sincere when you continue to misunderstand the point I'm making.

But you still misunderstand.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Gamaliel: As to whether they could honestly and sincerely have believed that what they were doing was commensurate with the spirit of the Gospel, well, neither you or I are in a position to assess that. They will have to give account for their actions before the Judgement Throne of Christ, as will we all.

You have made an assessment of it. You think they could have. I disagree.

I think you actually misunderstand the implications of what you have been asserting here. The whole deal about, 'they did not have our hermeneutic, we cannot judge them, ' means you have actually validated their hermeneutic, even though you do not approve of where it took them.

That is where your reasoning leads.

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Gamaliel
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No it doesn't. It only does so if you take an entirely binary approach as you appear to be doing.

I haven't evaluated their position and validated it. I think their position was wrong.

What you or I are unable to judge is the sincerity or otherwise of their actions. Sincere or insincere, they were wrong.

Whether you or I think they were sincere or otherwise adds nothing to the discussion.

You seem to conflate an attempt to understand the context with an attempt to justify the action.

Then you accuse me of not appreciating the implications of my arguments but it's obvious you haven't even understood them in the first place either because you don't read for comprehension or for some other reason.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Martin60
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It's the story of the story which is always more informative. We're ditchists. Engaged with culture in trench warfare. If a Roman Catholic position is overrun inside our heads we may find ourselves in a fundamentalist one. An overrun evangelical redoubt can drive us to Orthodoxy.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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Sure, and exchanging different sets of problems along the way, but reading for comprehension and avoiding binary conclusions where such things are not required is surely something that should apply right across the board.

Sadly, those characteristics can be found in all Christian confessions.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
the evil of the Jews is in their cut-throat business practices. Just think about James Goldsmith and Ronald Cohen.

Is that anti-Semitic by the way?

It is entirely possible to deplore cut-throat business practices wherever they occur. And to observe that statistically speaking Jewish communities have been particularly prone to this evil. (Alongside some Protestant communities...).

Where it becomes wrong is when you personalize it, if that's the right word when talking of a class of people rather than individuals. When this becomes a brush to tar all Jews with whether they're in business or not. When the fact of who's accused of a wrong is more important than whether or not it is a wrong.

Condemning massacres ordered by medieval kings in general seems uncontroversial. Painting Charlemagne's act as a Christian act - trying to make it say something about Christianity - is the controversial bit.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Martin60
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No G. That's a common sense, rational view. It doesn't apply to Jamat's or Kaplan Corday's viewing. There is no dialectical basis there.

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Love wins

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And to observe that statistically speaking Jewish communities have been particularly prone to this evil. (Alongside some Protestant communities...).

Even with the alongside modifier this is still anti-Semitic. You have no actual statistics to speak of, you simply imagine them. The act of imagining such statistics is therefore an act of prejudice. At least you seem to be even handed about the way you point it though.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
the evil of the Jews is in their cut-throat business practices. Just think about James Goldsmith and Ronald Cohen.

Is that anti-Semitic by the way?

It is entirely possible to deplore cut-throat business practices wherever they occur. And to observe that statistically speaking Jewish communities have been particularly prone to this evil. (Alongside some Protestant communities...).

Where it becomes wrong is when you personalize it, if that's the right word when talking of a class of people rather than individuals. When this becomes a brush to tar all Jews with whether they're in business or not. When the fact of who's accused of a wrong is more important than whether or not it is a wrong.

Condemning massacres ordered by medieval kings in general seems uncontroversial. Painting Charlemagne's act as a Christian act - trying to make it say something about Christianity - is the controversial bit.

Show me.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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I don't think anyone is presenting Charlemagne's execution of rebellious pagan Saxons as a 'Christian act.'

Here's someone else who needs to read for comprehension.

Rather, it's been asserted that Charlemagne, as an early medieval ruler, acted in a way that was commensurate with that within a society that had yet no concept of the separation of church and state.That's not controversial.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Gamaliel: As to whether they could honestly and sincerely have believed that what they were doing was commensurate with the spirit of the Gospel, well, neither you or I are in a position to assess that. They will have to give account for their actions before the Judgement Throne of Christ, as will we all.

You have made an assessment of it. You think they could have. I disagree.

I think you actually misunderstand the implications of what you have been asserting here. The whole deal about, 'they did not have our hermeneutic, we cannot judge them, ' means you have actually validated their hermeneutic, even though you do not approve of where it took them.

That is where your reasoning leads.

[QUOTE] Rather, it's been asserted that Charlemagne, as an early medieval ruler, acted in a way that was commensurate with that within a society that had yet no concept of the separation of church and state.That's not controversial.
QUOTE]

Which means Gamaliel, that you HAVE validated the position that the poor chap was a victim of his time. Please read your own posts for comprehension instead of asserting you are not understood. It is getting tedious.

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Gamaliel
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How does that follow?

Acknowledging that Charlemagne acted in ways that were commensurate to some extent with the prevailing worldview of his time is one thing. Using that to validate his worldview is quite another. As is the suggestion that this somehow exonerates him from being a brutal warlord.

It does not such thing.

You think you have given a clever reply and undermined my argument. You have done neither.

All you have done is shown that you are a 'victim of the times' yourself - a victim of the woodenly fundamentalist literalist mindset that appears to render you totally incapable of nuanced debate, reading for comprehension and stringing a coherent argument together.

That's what's tedious.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Jamat
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quote:
How does that follow?
What you said is essentially that the chap was a victim of his time. Certain things follow from that.
E.G.
He could have therefore acted sincerely
Christianity was a different animal back then
His hermeneutic was valid..for him.

It amounts to relativism. 'Christianity' was different in his time so that legitimised his actions...not according to our lights, mind, just according to his.

You seem not to realise what you are saying.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
I did mean criminal law - or rather, just the day to day law and order that all governments of all religious and political complexions attend to as their minimal raison d'etre.

This is not true.
This is the point you ducked when you talked about police forces.
It's simply not the case that all governments have taken the maintenance of day to day law and order as their minimal raison d'etre. You will struggle to get that from Plato. You will certainly not get that from Aristotle. Nor I think will you get it from any Roman author. If you had to pick a leading candidate from government inscriptions from the ancient world I think the most obvious raison d'etre for government would be military glory.

quote:
This is what Paul obviously - yes, obviously - is referring to.
You can say the word 'obviously' as much as you like; you can say the word 'obviously' until your face goes from red to purple: it doesn't make it true.

quote:
It is your job to show not that people have derived Christian religious violence from the Bible (because obviously they have) but to show why it is not absurd to derive Christian religious violence, ie the duty of a Christian government to kill heretics and heathen, from Paul's words in Romans 13 in the context of the rest of the NT.
And then once we've shown it's not absurd, it will be our job to show that we've shown it? And then it will be our job to show that we've shown that we've shown it?
Your burden of proof argument is ridiculous. If both sides insist that the burden of proof lies with the other no debate is possible. Argument merely degenerates into a shouting match. If debate is to aim at truth and persuasion it must assume that each side responds to what the other says rather than merely asserting that the other has not met a burden of proof.
Therefore, if someone comes up with a derivation of Christian violence it is then your job to refute it.

quote:
quote:
By the way, if you think killing all heretics and heathen and cruelty to animals are equally clearly contrary to the Gospel that mean factory farming is as clearly against the Gospel as killing heretics is?
Hmmm, and does it mean that I think that because the NT condemns explicitly neither setting fire to a crowded venue, nor making an unkind remark about someone's outfit, that the one is "as clearly against the Gospel" as the other?
So not everything that is contrary to the Gospel is clearly contrary to the Gospel?

quote:
Scholasticism is clearly staging a comeback.
Thank you for the compliment.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Gamaliel
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And you don't appear to have understood a word I've written.

Pay attention.

Gerald of Wales was a man of his time. He believed all sorts of tall tales. Fine. He couldn't help that. He didn't kill anyone though.

Charlemagne was a man of his time. He believed rulers had the right to impose religious uniformity by force. He killed people. That's rather more serious.

How is that exonerating people for carrying out acts of violence in the name of religion?

It isn't.

Can you not see the difference?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
How does that follow?
What you said is essentially that the chap was a victim of his time. Certain things follow from that.
E.G.
He could have therefore acted sincerely
Christianity was a different animal back then
His hermeneutic was valid..for him.

It amounts to relativism. 'Christianity' was different in his time so that legitimised his actions...not according to our lights, mind, just according to his.

You seem not to realise what you are saying.

The relativist bit doesn't follow

Charlemagne reads the bible (or listens to those he sponsors those who read it for him) and sincerely asserts he has God given duties to defend God's people from the pagan invaders who are at the borders of his country. Furthermore this is obvious because ... ... ... (and so ... needs to be read in the light of this)

Jamat reads the bible (with someone else having done the translation) and sincerely asserts that he doesn't. Further more this is obvious because ... (and so ... ... ... needs to be read in the light of this)

I can quite happily believe one of you is right about the outcome and the other is wrong. What none of us can do in good faith (unless we find Charlemagne's/Jamat quote is actually from King Lear, or clearly* out of context) is claim it's obvious [without doing that second bit of work].

* which requires a decent bit of work.

[ 20. August 2017, 21:21: Message edited by: Jay-Emm ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think the most obvious raison d'etre for government would be military glory.

To a few perhaps, but hardly to hoi polloi.

I Timothy 2:2 indicates that Paul, a Roman citizen, certainly didn't see government in terms of military glory.

In any case, the two are scarcely mutually exclusive.

quote:

Therefore, if someone comes up with a derivation of Christian violence it is then your job to refute it.

No-one has produced a "derivation of Christian violence" from Romans 13 that is remotely convincing - that is anything other, in fact, than a desperate debating point with no exegetical backing.

The facts that neither Paul nor any other NT figure explicitly teaches Christian religious violence; that the whole of the NT (especially Christ) explicitly rejects Christian religious violence; and that in religious matters Paul and others in fact defy the authority of the very government to which Paul refers; constitute a refutation which no-one has countered.

The onus of proof continues to lie with those who (claim to) believe that Paul in Romans 13 is teaching the obligation of governments to practise Christian religious violence.

quote:
Thank you for the compliment.
If you are prepared to accept that as a compliment you must be pretty needy.
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