Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by marketsurfer, Dec 31, 2003.
Another passage: Paul asks for believer to "pray" for the king so that they can "live a quiet life" and "work with their hands". Again, if Paul was so interested in anarchy, why wasn't he arming all his disciples?
As a historical sidenote, if Paul had armed his disciples and fought the state, Christianity might have been crushed (or close to it) in its early stages. However, as I'm sure you're aware, all the apostles including himself were martyred. Far from dying with a sword in their hands, they allowed themselves to be killed by the state.
Here's what I'm getting at: by the third century A.D. secular scholars have noted that between a tenth and a third of the Roman Empire was Christian! Of course imo Jesus knew exactly what he was doing: neither politics nor violence was the answer. And Christianity has always grown faster through non-violence.
The time that the Church was violent - the Crusades - a stumbling block was created that lasted for centuries...
Here's another reason I can't agree with the anarchy idea:
From what I have read, the political thinking of men such as our founding fathers was based on ideas such as:
1. The Old Testament passages where God tried to talk Israel out of the idea of wanting a king. All the neighboring nations had a king and God warned them against it. They had a disastrous situation with Saul in this regard. Anyway, from this they concluded that God is extremely wary of authoritarion forms of govt.
2. What did God want for Israel in place of a king? They assumed He wanted a leadership system based on what Moses did with the groups of 50's, 100's, etc. The Founding Fathers took this as splitting up govt as much as possible to limit its power. And that's why the original emphasis was on the state's power, i.e. get the federal govt out of the state's business. Of course, this philosophy is the opposite of what American stands for today imo.
But, again, notice that God did allow them to have a king in spite of the fact they were not listening to Him...
That's not the strongest argument because it relies on the fact that anarchy applies both to man's government as well as god's government, which I don't believe the word "anarchy" was intended to cover. At any rate you end up arguing semantics. But why argue semantics when the weight of evidence is clearly on your side?
And marketsurfer does have a legitimate point about the ad hominem attacks since you started with them, while attempting to accuse him of doing the same after your first volley. I see this as a recurring debate tactic.
There are plenty of examples where Jesus had a chance to disobey the law of the land, yet he submitted to it or he counseled others to do the same.
A great example was when Jesus had just exited the garden of Gethsemane and Judas came to betray Jesus with a group of Roman centurions. Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of one of the Romans. Jesus then heals the ear and tells Peter to put up his sword. He then voluntarily gives himself up to the authorities and submits to the law without offering any defense.
Such is hardly the activity of one who seeks to oppose or destroy the government. If anything, they are actions of someone whose actions show that following the law was important, even when doing so was not convenient.
thanks for the cogent responses. just trying to open up debate and show their may be other ways to look at the same thing.
happy new year !
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