New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, January 24 2002 Vol 02 : 019
Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Willard
[NTCP] A Unavoidable War
Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Willard
Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence
Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence
Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence
Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Phillip - Bonhoeffer & WW2
Re: [NTCP] new user... house church planter
[NTCP] Re: Two Kingdoms
Re: [NTCP] Re: Two Kingdoms
[NTCP] The Ruler of the Kings of the Earth

Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 13:55:53 -0500
From: "Dan Shepherd"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Willard

As former military myself I must beg to differ. Jesus would raise a hand
against His enemies, he led the Israelites in battle and destroyed their
enemies numerous times, as well as the avenging King at Armageddon. The only
occasion where he didn't crush his enemies is when he was alive on earth for
approximately 33 years. So taking a very literal biblical view, Jesus only
didn't fight 0.5% of the time since the beginning of history. So that means
that He fights 99.5% of the time. Of course vengence is His, and not mine...

Dan - ----- Original Message -----
From: "Samuel Buick" To: Sent: Wednesday,
January 23, 2002 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to
Willard
>Actually Willard I have a wife and two kids (teen daughters). I served in the
>Canadian infantry as a senior NCO, served with NATO, and my specialty was
>close quarter combat, and I taught hand to hand and close quarter tactics,
>also taught recruits, and a host of other COMBAT roles and training. So, I
>have been taught and trained for war. I also experienced explosions first
>hand from the IRA in Belfast. So yeah, I know what can happen, but what's the
>point of your comments?
>
>Just because I ask the questions does not mean I don't care about what
>happens. I care deeply, but ours as believers is a different Kingdom, and so
>my question to you and everyone else, to whom do you give your
allegiance
>and loyalty, your nation or God and His Kingdom? I will NEVER fight in a war.
> I will NEVER do what I was trained to do, even if it means the death of my
>wife and kids. I will run and take cover and I will seek refuge,
but
>I will NEVER raise a hand in violence to an enemy. Jesus would never do
it,
>and neither will I.
>
>Blessings, Sam


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Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 11:14:17 -0800
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] A Unavoidable War

Dear Sam,

I wonder if the question of a "just" war is not the real issue here.

The terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11 have made it clear that their
ultimate target is Israel and the Christians - in other words, God's people on
the earth.

God has an enemy. That means God's people also have an enemy. As the Bible and
human history make clear, there have always been human beings who were willing
to ally themselves with God's enemy in order to damage His people. The warfare
is unavoidable.

It is quite possible that just as God used Cyrus, He is using some of the
stronger nations today to protect His people and His interests on the earth.

(I still marvel at the way He rescued those 8 missionaries in Afghanistan).

It appears you believe that being a "christian" means one should adopt a
pacifist or anti-war political position. Sorry brother, but those are political
positions - not attributes of the life of God which we have received.

As the Old Testament and particularly the book of Revelation show, when it
comes to caring for His people and His interests on the earth there are times
when "Jehovah is a man of war". The One who is the Lamb for His people's
redemption is also the Lion for their protection.

Our God has a heart for all men. And yet He is surely not a pacifist when it
comes to protecting His people.

Brother, I too am a Christian. Just as you are. I have believed into Christ and
have been begotten of God just like you. And like you, I share His life and
nature.

Whether or not we share your political position doesn't affect our standing as
believers in Christ and children of God.

God's enemy is evil. He attacks God's people both in both the seen and the
unseen realms. That means the Lord must care for His people in both realms.

Our job is to pray. And yet... as we fight the battle in the spiritual realm I
hope we would not be so foolish as to oppose those whom the Lord may have set
to fight for His people and His interests in the physical realm.

Your fellow soldier,

Dan Snyder


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Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 21:40:33 -0600
From: Phillip Cohen
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Willard

Hi Sam & All,

9 children here. Dad fought in the war. I was a patriot--wanted to join the
Marines & go to Vietnam. Then my upper teens and early twenties, because of
college peer pressure, I became a draft dodger.

But when I became a Christian I realized both are wrong. I have a new
citizenship. His servants are not of this world, otherwise they would fight.

Sometimes I wonder whether people who retaliate, either on a personal level or
a national level, have met another Jesus, because the very core of His nature
is suffering love and treasures in the eternal world.

Awhile back I noticed a discussion on syncretism (is that how to spell it?). In
our materialistic society, we're not immune to that: adding Jesus to our other
gods. God and country. God and personal ambitions. God and wealth. God and . .
. ?

On Wed, 23 Jan 2002 12:40:42 -0500 "Samuel Buick" writes:

Phillip & Mary Cohen harborlights3 In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 09:05:37 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence

>Not to be unteachable, but my point was,
>that with Sam, I'm not yet convinced of your understanding of the New
>Testament. I believe that it has led many to attempt to make a silk purse out
>of a sou's ear. My point was, that there is another way to understand the
>evidence.

To understand the evidence Jay, one must engage the evidence. So it exists--
that's progress. Now let's discuss it. How do you understand this evidence?
Let's try to avoid rabbit trails and stay on task, please. No spurts of
pontification. No theological red herrings. Staying with the simple sense of
the texts. No allegorical smoke and mirrors. Clear reasoning only through the
appropriate verses and archaeological/historical discoveries. Not getting
sidetracked, but building a case inductively. Next let's evaluate whether your
position (or mine, or some others') is the best one available. Then comes the
challenge together of applying our mutual findings to our own lives and
ministries. A commitment to obedience through the power of the Spirit. Truth
is at stake! Sound like a plan?

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 07:06:27 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence

Deborah wrote:

>To understand the evidence Jay, one must engage the evidence. So it exists--
>that's progress. Now let's discuss it. How do you understand this evidence?
>Let's try to avoid rabbit trails and stay on task, please. No spurts of
>pontification. No theological red herrings. Staying with the simple sense of
>the texts. No allegorical smoke and mirrors.

Dear Michael,

If you will send me the date of your evidentiary email, I could give it one
more try. I have to say, however, in light of your pejorative assessment to
date, that I am not very hopeful. I will therefore try to keep it brief so as
not to further grieve the Spirit, to say nothing of the spirits of others on
this list. "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and
their contentions are like the bars of a castle."

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 07:53:17 -0500
From: "Michael Gastin"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence

>To understand the evidence Jay, one must engage the evidence. So it exists--
>that's progress. Now let's discuss it. How do you understand
this
>evidence? Let's try to avoid rabbit trails and stay on task, please. No
>spurts of pontification. No theological red herrings. Staying with the
>simple sense of the texts. No allegorical smoke and mirrors.

>--MICHAEL
Jerusalem

Michael,

One wonders what you think of Jesus' style of communicating the truth? He had
spurts of pontification, rabbit trails and a few allegorical smoke and mirrors.
Once can witness this anytime He was speaking to the religious leaders of His
day. It is duly recorded in the scriptures for all to see. In fact, He
purposely employed these techniques when speaking to certain types of people to
make it more difficult for them to grasp the Truth. Interesting, no?

Of course, He did speak plainly to His disciples from time to time. Yet, in
reading all the Gospels, I have noticed that Jesus Himself - the Author of our
Faith - never seemed to worry about doctrinal facts or theological perfection.
He seemed to have focused on the heart of the individual. the Pharisees, on the
other hand, cared nothing for the individuals, but rather demanded scriptural
perfection.

The book of Proverbs defines the importance of Wisdom. It is to be desired
above all else. Yet, can we say that Wisdom is the ability to dissect every
verse of every passage of every page of the scripture? Or, is there a deeper
message that deals with our hearts that we do well to focus on? Is it Wisdom to
argue the existence of a specific evil spirit with a specific name? Or is it
Wisdom to simply acknowledge that evil exists and as children of God we are to
stand against evil and shine the Light of Christ? Or is it something all
together different? Mike


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 08:01:26 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - reply to Phillip - Bonhoeffer & WW2

Hi Phillip:

I was just refreshing my mind with the martyrdoms of the Anabaptists. One of
their theological 'hangups' with supporting the state in war was their concern
about being involved in the killing of other Christians on the other side!
Just as you say about 'syncretism', adding God with whatever, it is rather sad
that in both world wars and other conflicts, Christians have been
'nationalistic' and have fought for their contries.

An interesting paradox of sorts was the life of Bonhoeffer who while he could
have stayed out of WW2, chose to return home, and chose to pray and intercede
for the defeat of Germany. He was recruited by the ABWEHR, the German military
secret service as a courier, and the bulk of his activities for that branch of
the service was the 'treasonous' activity of going through couriers to explore
with the Allies, the conditions of surrender (He was against unconditional
surrender, for it would not be acceptable to the vast majority of Germans in
the military or the ordinary citizens. Surrender yes, but not unconditionally.
The Allies after the war realized the error of their ways in this. But the
political machinery was entrenched and the Allies demanded the surrender be
unconditional, and that is one reason why the German resistance movement to
Hitler never had the support it could have had across their nation. The
unconditional aspect played right into the hands of the Nazis and resistance to
the bitter end).

Bonhoeffer originally wanted to go to India and meet Ghandi and explore
pacifism in the reality of Nazism. He never got the chance. And, although he
saw the evil and the sin IN HIMSELF in confronting Hitler and supporting his
assasination by the resistance, he saw that there was nothing he could do but
USE EVIL to REMOVE A GREATER EVIL. This is how he came to terms with his
'treasonous' actions against the state. It was a clash of the Kingdom of God
versus the kingdom of darkness in Nazism.

Bonhoeffer was very conscious of the fact that Christians were killing other
Christians as well as the innoncent in that conflict and it deeply disturbed
him. It disturbed him to the point of being pragmatic and using evil means to
remove a greater evil. Perhaps the lesson for all of us here is that he chose
to "live by the sword and perish by the sword." In a very true sense he reaped
what he sowed.

The question for all of us is, "What are we sowing, and what will be the
resulting harvest?" Big question with big implications!

Blessings,

Sammy


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 09:25:08 -0500
From: forwarded
Subject: Re: [NTCP] new user... house church planter

[Via Link's other address.]

At 04:02 PM 1/22/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>vision. We launch our first 3 house churches this week. I will write more
>later. I just wanted to see how this thing works first.

Hi,

Welcome to the discussion group.

There are a lot of interesting participants on this newsgroup who might be able to help you with advice, or just some much-needed encouragement. There are plenty of house church people online, many of whom are church planters, church planter coaches, or are involved in church planting in one way or another. Some people, like me, are just interested in church planting and want ot help out as the opportunity arises.

James Rutz is on this forum. He wrote _The Open Church_ several years ago (I
got interested in house churches after reading that book). He recently posted
that he wasn't sure of one church that really did open up, even though a lot of people got excited about the book. Maybe you can change his statistics for him.

The guidelines are pretty simple on here. Topics should (loosely, at least)
relate to church planting. No more than two posts per day. Be nice, and glorify the Lord.

Please tell us more about your church's plans. I know of one big denomination
here in Indonesia which is supportive of starting house churches. They have a
big cell group church, a structure which they aren't changing, but they legally
sponsor house churches, and some people with their ministry have planted house
churches in poorer areas of the city.

Link Hudson


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 11:09:01 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Two Kingdoms

Sam,

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to interact with the questions you gave
Mike. I thought they were extremely good questions and I think I can clarify my
position between the nations and the Kingdom of God.

>>1. Should Christians, be involved the military at all, if the governments
of nations cannot reflect Kingdom principles?
>2. If there are so many Christians in government, and I know there is a
goodly number in the US, UK, and Canada, what is their role in all this? How do
you commit yourself to the King and His Kingdom, and stand for righteousness in
the nation, and on the other hand condone war? Does not one invalidate the
other?
>3. I think it would do all of us some good to study Anabaptist history and
theology. They were murdered by the Reformed, Lutheran and Roman Catholics for
what they lived and practiced concerning government and the sword!
>4. Christians need to thoroughly examine what citizenship they hold and
what their role is in the culture in which they live.
>5. As far as I am concerned the war in Afghanistan was not justified, and
the proposed war in Iraq, and wherever else 'Battlin' Bush' wants to go will be
just as unjustified. The weapons of his warfare are carnal and not spiritual.
>6. Do we have a 'right' to defend ourselves? Do we have a right to 'avenge'
ourselves? Have we asked God's perspective on these things?Sam,

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to interact with the questions you gave
Mike. I thought they were extremely good questions and I think I can clarify my position between the nations and the Kingdom of God.

>>1. Should Christians, be involved the military at all, if the governments of
nations cannot reflect Kingdom principles?

I think that's a tough call. Paul tells us to obey the government and to pay
taxes, giving to Caesar what is his and to God what is God's in Romans 13. Yet
we find ourselves "aliens and strangers" here on this earth, part of a Kingdom
not of this world: "Jesus answered, 'I am not an earthly king. If I were, my
followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my
Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36 NLT).'"

Where do we draw the line? The Romans were no fools, they understood the
Christian rite of baptism to be first and foremost to them a political act, a
rearrangement of loyalties, a joining of another Kingdom directly in competion
with Caesar, and they treated it as such.

I believe a Christian can serve in the government or in the military, but they
would walk a very fine line. What if the military mission given is to attain
unjust goals? Or one is ordered to attain a just goal thru immoral means? One
would have to stay true to the Kingdom, and refusing orders in wartime would be
frowned upon, to say the least.

The same for government: John Ashcroft, an AG pastor's kid, as Attorney General
can be justice to evil doers in accordance to the will of God for political
states, and at the same time can be responsible for when the government abuses
the authority God gave them: his office is responsible for enforcing Roe V.
Wade every day.

>>2. If there are so many Christians in government, and I know there is a
goodly number in the US, UK, and Canada, what is their role in all this? How do
you commit yourself to the King and His Kingdom, and stand for righteousness in
the nation, and on the other hand condone war? Does not one invalidate the
other?

Their role is in the oaths they took in taking office. Bush doesn't rule as a
Christian Church leader, he rules as the enactor and protector of the US
Constitution. His Christianity will define his personality and character, but
he doesn't represent the Church, he represents the nation. He is to protect
citizens from crime and foreign invasion by the sword and he is to ensure that
everyone has the opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They can condone war because that is how governments can, in a very limited
way, restrain evil. There can be no nation that can officially enact Jesus'
teaching and survive. The Kingdom's citizens "came to Christ and were
"circumcised," but not by a physical procedure -- the cutting away of the
sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with
him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God,
who raised Christ from the dead (Colossians 2:11, 12)." The "uncircumcised"
citizen sure wouldn't go along with that program!

Sam, can you point to a particular place in the NT and show me where war for
the nations is condemned? I know Jesus and Paul, totally and completely, ruled
out physical violence of any type for those representing His Kingdom, but when
did Jesus say that war was evil in and of itself?

>>3. I think it would do all of us some good to study Anabaptist history and
theology. They were murdered by the Reformed, Lutheran and Roman Catholics for
what they lived and practiced concerning government and the sword!

True. Because of the Reformation's largest failing (which would have horrible
consequences in WW II) by not separating Church and State, the State/Church
reacted sinfully to the Anabaptists destabilizing European society. But the
Anabaptist were in some cases what we today would at best call Anarchists and
at worst call an end-time fanatical cult. I seem to remember a place called
Munster?

>>4. Christians need to thoroughly examine what citizenship they hold and what
their role is in the culture in which they live.

AMEN to that! Why is it that our baptism doesn't put us more at odds with the
dominate political/economic/cultural "kingdoms" that surrounds us here in the
West, especially in the States?

>>5. As far as I am concerned the war in Afghanistan was not justified, and
the proposed war in Iraq, and wherever else 'Battlin' Bush' wants to go will be
just as unjustified. The weapons of his warfare are carnal and not spiritual.

Any nation attacked, except for the Kingdom of Heaven, has a right to defend
themselves, Sam. How else can the State protect their citizens? Seriously: lets
say that worldly governments suddenly gave up all the ways they gain and hold
power. Do you think for one minute their own citizens would let them get away
with it?

The weapons of a nation's warfare are carnal Sam. It is the Kingdom's weapons
that aren't, and Bush isn't President of the Kingdom of God.

>>6. Do we have a 'right' to defend ourselves? Do we have a right to 'avenge'
ourselves? Have we asked God's perspective on these things?

Earthly kingdoms do. Without that right, due to who man is, anarchy and chaos
would ensue. Do Christians have that right? No. We're in God's hands, and He
will avenge. We are ambassadors, and our message is:

"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting
people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to
tell others. We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you.
We urge you, as if Christ himself were pleading with you, 'Be reconciled to
God!' (2 Cor 5:19, 20 NLT)."

I am also disturbed when people put this new war in terms of a religious war
between Christianity and Islam. And I pray that it will not last long, although
I fear it will. But even so, come Lord Jesus, come!

Great questions Sam!

TC


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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 12:24:34 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Two Kingdoms

>
From: TheologusCrucis
Hi TC

>Sam,
>
>I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to interact with the questions you gave
>Mike. I thought they were extremely good questions and I think I can clarify
>my position between the nations and the Kingdom of God.
>
>>>1. Should Christians, be involved the military at all, if the
>governments of nations cannot reflect Kingdom principles? I think that's a
>tough call. Paul tells us to obey the government and to pay taxes, giving to
>Caesar what is his and to God what is God's in Romans 13. Yet we find
>ourselves "aliens and strangers" here on this earth, part of a Kingdom not of
>this world: "Jesus answered, 'I am not an earthly king. If I were, my
>followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my
>Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36 NLT).'"
>
>Where do we draw the line? The Romans were no fools, they understood the
>Christian rite of baptism to be first and foremost to them a political act, a
>rearrangement of loyalties, a joining of another Kingdom directly in competion
>with Caesar, and they treated it as such.

1. Why is it that Christians do not distinguish the differences in loyalties.
For instances this young man, Walker, is about to face trial for conspiring to
kill Americans. These are the facts as I understand them. a. Walk went to
Arabia/Yemen two years ago, converted to Islam. b. He went to Afghanistan in
June of last year as a Muslim defending Jihad. He considers his loyalty to
Allah to be greater than his loyalty to the US. c. Now he faces prison for life
for fighting on religious grounds "a holy war against a demonic state called
America" (his words not mine).

Should Walker be on trial for what amounts his religious beliefs, because that
is what they are. He is being completely consistent with his belief system,
and as such will be perceived as a martyr by their radical Islamic faith sect.

A good question. Some American said they should have shot him right away, and
that terror begets terror. And I have heard similar words come from
Christians, which really disturb me.

As far as I am concerned as I look at this case, I would strip him of his
citizenship and send him back to Pakistan or wherever else he would like to
live in exile from the US. But I would never put him on public display like he
will be.

When I think of how Bush feels about him and the words he has used, I am not
surprised, this is the same Bush that continually refused mercy and clemency
for prisoners on death row, even for those who had been exemplary prisoners,
showed remorse and even some had become believers, such as Tucker, the woman
executed under his administration in Texas. No, Bush may be a believer, but he
has accountability to answer for and I am glad I do not stand in his shoes.

>I believe a Christian can serve in the government or in the military, but they
>would walk a very fine line. What if the military mission given is to attain
>unjust goals? Or one is ordered to attain a just goal thru immoral means? One
>would have to stay true to the Kingdom, and refusing orders in wartime would
>be frowned upon, to say the least.

2. In wartime if you refuse an order it may very likely result in a court
martial and possibly a death sentence. Why even put yourself in the position
to have to make a spiritual/moral decision, and then have to pay the ultimate
price for your convictions and die?

>The same for government: John Ashcroft, an AG pastor's kid, as Attorney
>General can be justice to evil doers in accordance to the will of God for
>political states, and at the same time can be responsible for when the
>government abuses the authority God gave them: his office is responsible for
>enforcing Roe V. Wade every day.

3. I know people like Ashcroft are strong believers and vibrant citizens who
want to do the best for God and their nation. But how far does that go? Can a
Christian really hide themselves behind the Constitution as an excuse to not
speak out or act against unrighteousness?

>>>2. If there are so many Christians in government, and I know there is a
>goodly number in the US, UK, and Canada, what is their role in all this? How
>do you commit yourself to the King and His Kingdom, and stand for
>righteousness in the nation, and on the other hand condone war? Does not one
>invalidate the other? Their role is in the oaths they took in taking office.
>Bush doesn't rule as a Christian Church leader, he rules as the enactor and
>protector of the US Constitution. His Christianity will define his personality
>and character, but he doesn't represent the Church, he represents the nation.
>He is to protect citizens from crime and foreign invasion by the sword and he
>is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to life, liberty, and the
>pursuit of happiness.

Actually Bush does 'reign' with Christ right now, although he holds elected
office as US President. You cannot divorce the two clinically. As President
he called the elected representatives to prayer and called the nation to
prayer. How can he do that on one hand and not do something even more radical?
He represents God FIRST and the nation SECOND. Has anyone even considered
what would have happened had the US reached out in love and understanding to
Afghanistan?

>They can condone war because that is how governments can, in a very limited
>way, restrain evil. There can be no nation that can officially enact Jesus'
>teaching and survive. The Kingdom's citizens "came to Christ and were
>"circumcised," but not by a physical procedure -- the cutting away of the
>sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And
>with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of
>God, who raised Christ from the dead (Colossians 2:11, 12)." The
>"uncircumcised" citizen sure wouldn't go along with that program!

Is the issue "polical survival" or righteous government? No one has truly
tried to reign in government in a loving and abiding way. No one has tried and
that is the shame of it. Those who have tried in a limited fashion are the
ones who refused to relinguish the power of the sword. You cannot have the
reign of Christ in government and retain the sword.

>Sam, can you point to a particular place in the NT and show me where war for
>the nations is condemned? I know Jesus and Paul, totally and completely, ruled
>out physical violence of any type for those representing His Kingdom, but when
>did Jesus say that war was evil in and of itself?

4. We are not talking about nations, we are talking about individuals within
nations. We have been tought to turn the other cheek, and go the extra mile,
and to give aid and shelter...to our enemies (Sermon on the mount). How many of
us as Christians are prepared to do that?

>>>3. I think it would do all of us some good to study Anabaptist history
>and theology. They were murdered by the Reformed, Lutheran and Roman
>Catholics for what they lived and practiced concerning government and the
>sword! True. Because of the Reformation's largest failing (which would have
>horrible consequences in WW II) by not separating Church and State, the
>State/Church reacted sinfully to the Anabaptists destabilizing European
>society. But the Anabaptist were in some cases what we today would at best
>call Anarchists and at worst call an end-time fanatical cult. I seem to
>remember a place called Munster?

4. Munster was an aberation of Anabaptism that was even condemned by most of
the divergent streams of Anabaptism in its own day. To use Munster as an
example of anything, it must be viewed in its context. Munster is anything but
an example of true Anabaptism.

Sure Anabaptism disrupted the flow of control and stability in the nations of
western Europe, but the whole point was that the Kingdom was coming forth
vibrantly and in some case violently and much change was coming. Everyone was
holding unto any semblance of stability and reality. Anything that undermined
the established order wasa dealt with harshly.

In a less violent context, when revival comes to the Body of Christ, the people
most angry and offended are those in the religious order who have most to lose,
as in their power and influence, etc.. This is why our own nations have a
difficulty in becoming carriers of God's anointing, and pliable wineskins to
hold the new wine that comes through revival. Those with most to lose rarely
walk up and say, "Here take it!" No, they resist to the end, at least most of
the time.

Even in matters of separation of church and state there are serious issues in
N. America and western culture as a whole, for we always want the actions of
our nations to be sanctified and blessed by God and His representatives so we
have a clear conscience with stuff like going to war! I even have a hard time
with having to act as an agent of the Crown (jurisdiction of Ontario) in the
performance of public marriages. I am seen by the government in the same light
as a Justice of the Peace! I object to this, but it is the reality. I would
rather see the emergence of civil ceremonies that all couples must go through
at city hall, and then a separate Christian celebration (very similar in
Holland and parts of Germany). This eliminates having to deal as an agent of
the government. And I like that!

>>>4. Christians need to thoroughly examine what citizenship they hold and
>what their role is in the culture in which they live. AMEN to that! Why is it
>that our baptism doesn't put us more at odds with the dominate
>political/economic/cultural "kingdoms" that surrounds us here in the West,
>especially in the States?

>>>5. As far as I am concerned the war in Afghanistan was not justified,
>and the proposed war in Iraq, and wherever else 'Battlin' Bush' wants to go
>will be just as unjustified. The weapons of his warfare are carnal and not
>spiritual. Any nation attacked, except for the Kingdom of Heaven, has a right
>to defend themselves, Sam. How else can the State protect their citizens?
5. I never asked the state to defend me! I ask God to defend me and that is
the difference. He may or He may not use government to defend its citizens.

Seriously:
>lets say that worldly governments suddenly gave up all the ways they gain and
>hold power. Do you think for one minute their own citizens would let them get
>away with it?

I am not responsible for their actions. I am responsible for my own actions.
Most citizens are apathetic to begin with. They aren't good citizens. Most
don't even vote. At least I vote and encourage others to vote, and that
includes encouraging those who do not like the slate of candidates, their right
to destroy their ballots, which is the best way to protest the vote.

>The weapons of a nation's warfare are carnal Sam. It is the Kingdom's weapons
>that aren't, and Bush isn't President of the Kingdom of God.

You misconstrue here. I am talking about believers within the state. We are
too quick to use carnal things to attempt to achieve righteous ends. I agree
that this is what Bush has done, and that has been his choice. The question
still is, "What and how are Christians responding to all this warfare?"

>>>6. Do we have a 'right' to defend ourselves? Do we have a right to
>'avenge' ourselves? Have we asked God's perspective on these things? Earthly
>kingdoms do. Without that right, due to who man is, anarchy and chaos would
>ensue. Do Christians have that right? No. We're in God's hands, and He will
>avenge. We are ambassadors, and our message is:
>
>"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting
>people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to
>tell others. We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you.
>We urge you, as if Christ himself were pleading with you, 'Be reconciled to
>God!' (2 Cor 5:19, 20 NLT)."

I am talking about CHRISTIANS and not the state. I am speaking of a
CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSE TO WAR, and not the state.

>I am also disturbed when people put this new war in terms of a religious war
>between Christianity and Islam. And I pray that it will not last long,
>although I fear it will. But even so, come Lord Jesus, come!
>
>Great questions Sam!
>
>TC

Blessings to you all,

Sam


------- <><><> -------


Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 12:36:09 -0800
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] The
Ruler of the Kings of the Earth

Dear Sam,

I hope you'll have the grace to let me pick on you a bit :)

I think the above statement is a good illustration of the great failure of the
"what would Jesus do?" philosophy.

If you are an anti-war person that's fine. I just wish you wouldn't make it
into a Christian "requirement".

As some on the list have pointed out, the Bible shows that when it is necessary
to care for His people and His interests "Jehovah is a man of War". Revelation
19 shows clearly how the Lord Jesus will deal with His enemies.

The Bible reveals that the Lord Jesus is both the Lamb... and the Lion. Such a
Jesus is the one who died for us, and who now lives in us, and who also now
sits upon the throne in the heavens as the Ruler of the kings of the earth.

The danger with "WWJD" is the it's all too easy for us to fabricate an
imaginary "Jesus" (many times according to our own opinions.... such as an
"anti-war Jesus" if our political bent is anti-war).

We then try to live up to the standard we have created for our "imaginary
Jesus". (Or we use our "imaginary Jesus" to confirm our own disposition). We
may also expect (even insist) that others do the same if they are to be
"christians".

Such a self-made standard is a big frustration to living Christ, and to
cooperating with Him for His move on the earth. The One who is the Ruler of the
kings of the earth is surely very active in the present world situation.

May we pray ourselves into Him, touch His heart, and cooperate... not with what
He "would" do - but with what He IS doing - for His people and for His
interests on the earth right now.

Your brother (and His),

Dan

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #19

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