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Xianity And Revolution


Lycorth
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Titus 3:1 says: "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good."

 

The context of the rest of this book does not contradict the plain meaning of the above verse, and that is to be submissive to the rulers of the place you live in.

 

It is fitting that this should exist in the Babble, since it is basically a slave religion. Friedrich Nietzsche called Xianity a slave religion because Xianity expects us to do what slaves are also expected to do, and that's obey. Real slaves, no matter how skilled they are at their labors or how able they are at learning new tasks, are worthless to their masters if they don't obey. Xians, according to their religion, are worthless unless they obey the commands of God.

 

It's in perfect harmony with the commands of Jebus to turn the other cheek and resist not evil. The perfect religion for slaves and cowards, and the perfect tool to inspire it.

 

It's a mystery to me that people can claim that noble revolutionaries, such as the American Founding Fathers or the organizers of the resistance cells in Nazi-occupied Europe, were acting in accord with Xian principles. I have never found a single Xian principle that encourages rebellion or unlawfulness in any way, and the entire Babble reads as one big testament to being obedient. One thing I am sure of is, when Xians are giving their speeches and lessons about how "Xian" the Founding Fathers were<snip>

 

Breaking down the questions here:

1) the difficulty of understanding authority and its place in a persons life and actions

2) What is the Christian definition of submission

3) [Christ]ianity expects us to do what slaves are also expected to do, thus it is posited it has no concept of leadership or power for the individual

4) the idea that pacifism has no power or strength in the face of active agression

5) Whether there is place for revolution within Christian orthodox doctrine

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Breaking down the questions here:

1) the difficulty of understanding authority and its place in a persons life and actions

2) What is the Christian definition of submission

3) [Christ]ianity expects us to do what slaves are also expected to do, thus it is posited it has no concept of leadership or power for the individual

4) the idea that pacifism has no power or strength in the face of active agression

5) Whether there is place for revolution within Christian orthodox doctrine

 

first effort, define Christian submission:

 

The Christian idea of submission is that there is authority and hierarchy of that authority. At the topmost level is God and His Word. Christian submission involves, first, obedience to God's authority. Within this is the idea that God has appointed authority in people who are delegated the right to bear rule. The purported purpose of this is to have order and conduit of God's authority. Submission is also a concept of mutual care and concern, this is given as contrasted with the cosmos idea of of dominance and rule by force. It is illustrated within the account of the Last Supper when Jesus washed His disciples feet. Leading by serving.

 

Question from me: Is all submission bad ? What makes it acceptable or good? Is the Christian concept different from what is seen as good or acceptable submission? And if not, why is it denigrated as detrimental?

 

second effort:

Examining the difficulty of concept of authority.

The example seen in all of creation is that there are levels of authority and dominance. In people we see beneficient and malignant froms of authority. There are concepts of what is right in bearing rule, and what is wrong. But everyone is subject to some sort of authority in some way, that part of existance is unavoidable, although efforts are often made to escape it. There are constructs by which we understand rightful authority and rightful rebellion. these will be discussed within the context of the other questions.

 

Question from me: is it reasonable to deny or denigrate the concept of authority in the Christian religion, when it is unescapable as a concept in all areas that we may discuss? I submit it ought to be limited to whether Christian ideas are reasonable and right and not debate how terrible the religion is for stating ideas of authority. i.e."a slave religion because Xianity expects us to do what slaves are also expected to do, and that's obey"

 

More later...

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Excellent points V!

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The god depicted in the Babble wields authority through fear. He does have omnipotence at his disposal, but he reinforces his authority through fear and threats. The teaching of Hell is the best example of this. Hell is like a loaded gun pointed at the believer, with God's finger on the trigger. "Give me your love or you'll get it!" is the demand from this divine mugger. Without Hell and the threat of eternal damnation, God has no leverage. Without the fear of everlasting suffering, God has nothing with which to punish all the "undesirables."

Actually, it's more of a statement of fact than a threat. If you aren't reconciled to God in this life, you won't get a chance in the next, which means you'll be shut out from the only source of joy.

 

If any human ruler behaves in like fashion, rules with an iron fist and makes horrific threats to keep his subjects in line, said ruler is branded a dictator and smeared, rightly, as wicked.

Unless said ruler has actually created his subjects and has given his son for them.

 

It should be no surprise that people defy the "authority" of God, for God is nothing more than a spiritual dictator, punishing dissidents with horrible torture (eternally).

If He exists...

If He doesn't, you can cool down and blame it all on the parents. If He does, you might try to get a more balanced view of Him, taking into account His love.

What do you think Hell is (supposed to be) like?

 

A human ruler who does this is understood to have acted inhumanely and to have even forfeited his credibility in the eyes of the world. A god who is said to do the same often gets the same thing, and people "rebel" by leaving the religion and ceasing to believe in that god.

'I hate you, Saddam -- I cease to believe in you!'

 

Again, this is what invalidates the authority of the Xian god, the fact that it is enforced through threats of eternal punishment. No human would submit to this from another human, nor should one submit to it from a god.

The punishment consists of running away from God (see here). It happens with the consent of the inhabitants...

 

Now, the topic is primarily about Titus 3:1 and its clear demand to Xians to submit to all authority. It does not make the distinction between just and unjust authority, and plainly refers to any human institution of political or social power. It basically forbids Xians to rebel against governments, go to war against established powers, or anything else that can be seen as defying an authority. Now, if people behaved like this, wicked rulers would easily hold power in a world of slaves, a world where people obeyed religious commandments to not rebel on pain of eternal torture.

Um...if Christians followed God's commandments solely out of fear, you'd have had a point.

And in Acts 5:29, we are told that we have to obey God rather than men. I.e., when the government makes demands of us that go against God's law, we are allowed to put them aside. Besides, serving the government, like all other duties, should not be done out of fear, but out of love; not out of slavery, but out of freedom. See Rom. 8:2. And don't forget Rom. 13:3 either: 'For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.'

Rom. 13:4 describes government as 'God's servant to do you good'. If more governments would have that as a guideline, the world would be a better place.

 

The topic is about the hypocrisy of Xian claims that their religion inspired such things as the American Revolution or helped to inspire any sort of resistance to a wicked authority, such as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. There is nothing in the Babble that supports the idea of rebelling against an authority...

See Acts 5:29 -- Peter defying a command of the great religious leaders of his time. Also note the equality in Gal. 3:28: 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'

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The god depicted in the Babble wields authority through fear. He does have omnipotence at his disposal, but he reinforces his authority through fear and threats. The teaching of Hell is the best example of this. Hell is like a loaded gun pointed at the believer, with God's finger on the trigger. "Give me your love or you'll get it!" is the demand from this divine mugger. Without Hell and the threat of eternal damnation, God has no leverage. Without the fear of everlasting suffering, God has nothing with which to punish all the "undesirables."

Actually, it's more of a statement of fact than a threat. If you aren't reconciled to God in this life, you won't get a chance in the next, which means you'll be shut out from the only source of joy.

That makes it better? I bet all those other people for other exclusive religions get the warm-fuzzies from thinking they will get the joy too for being good little boys and girls. :twitch: Who gets the bag of coal?

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That makes it better? I bet all those other people for other exclusive religions get the warm-fuzzies from thinking they will get the joy too for being good little boys and girls. :twitch: Who gets the bag of coal?

I know the Colosseum is informal, but I thought it was for serious remarks on the topic.

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The god depicted in the Babble wields authority through fear. He does have omnipotence at his disposal, but he reinforces his authority through fear and threats. The teaching of Hell is the best example of this. Hell is like a loaded gun pointed at the believer, with God's finger on the trigger. "Give me your love or you'll get it!" is the demand from this divine mugger. Without Hell and the threat of eternal damnation, God has no leverage. Without the fear of everlasting suffering, God has nothing with which to punish all the "undesirables."

 

If any human ruler behaves in like fashion, rules with an iron fist and makes horrific threats to keep his subjects in line, said ruler is branded a dictator and smeared, rightly, as wicked. He can expect uprisings in his country and, if any atrocities are leaked to the international press, invasion from other countries to depose the dictator are possible. This ruler's rule is declared unjust, and no one can fault citizens for rebelling and defying his authority.

 

It should be no surprise that people defy the "authority" of God, for God is nothing more than a spiritual dictator, punishing dissidents with horrible torture (eternally). A human ruler who does this is understood to have acted inhumanely and to have even forfeited his credibility in the eyes of the world. A god who is said to do the same often gets the same thing, and people "rebel" by leaving the religion and ceasing to believe in that god.

 

God's "authority" is unjust and so is his purported rule over humanity.

 

======

 

Not all submission is bad. Children submitting to their parents, so long as the parents are not abusive, is seen as just, for example. One person sexually submitting to another's advances is also just, provided there is no coercion from one to the other. In most cases, I'd wager, submission is just when it is given freely and with full consent, and unjust when it is forced through fear or violence, or the threats of such.

 

Again, this is what invalidates the authority of the Xian god, the fact that it is enforced through threats of eternal punishment. No human would submit to this from another human, nor should one submit to it from a god.

 

=====

 

Again, authority which is exercised without threats of violence or unjust treatment is just, whereas authority maintained through terror is unjust. Of course, threatening to punish violent criminals with death is an example of authority being perfectly moral even though it makes a threat for those who disobey it.

 

=====

 

It is reasonable to denigrate the concept of authority in Xianity, since it is the kind that is maintained through terror. Those who commit non-criminal acts (like unbelief or sodomy, which cannot be proven to be harmful to the individual or to society at large) are threatened with eternal torture. Furthermore, unlike the democracy that Xians claim to uphold, the faithful have no say in how their god treats them; they either submit or suffer, turn or burn. This is the mentality of a dictator in a human society. This is also the mentality of a spiritual dictator in a religion. Therefore, God's authority is unjust, immoral, and fit to be defied.

 

Now, the topic is primarily about Titus 3:1 and its clear demand to Xians to submit to all authority. It does not make the distinction between just and unjust authority, and plainly refers to any human institution of political or social power. It basically forbids Xians to rebel against governments, go to war against established powers, or anything else that can be seen as defying an authority. Now, if people behaved like this, wicked rulers would easily hold power in a world of slaves, a world where people obeyed religious commandments to not rebel on pain of eternal torture.

 

The topic is about the hypocrisy of Xian claims that their religion inspired such things as the American Revolution or helped to inspire any sort of resistance to a wicked authority, such as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. There is nothing in the Babble that supports the idea of rebelling against an authority, unless one wants to note the OT references to Yahooweh sending his armies against this people or that, which only highlights the Babble's biggest problem, and that's self-contradiction.

 

"wields authority through fear."

 

Intrinsic to authority and its power is real ability to enforce. Otherwise the "authority" is mere window dressing and doesn't qualify for the word. Real ability to enforce holds the possibility of fear in those defiant of the authority and the power wielded in upholding the position. That is not to say the same thing as the authority "reinforces his authority through fear and threats". In fact, how do you differentiate between "fear and threats" and "truth and consequences". I would like your defining difference of these things articulated. It seems unfair to hide real consequences of actions, yet those would elicit fear in the potentially rebellious against the authority, and be deemed threat even if not primarily given as such.

 

""Give me your love or you'll get it!""

 

You've jumped ahead here, Var. Is the demand for obedience the same as the demand for "love" stated by you? Is it wihtin the rights of authority to demand obedience, if it has rightful position? Where do you get your idea of love being "demanded"... and indeed, by what we know of love in its definition is that even possible? I can state my right to be loved, perhpas, but can I demand love? Does the concept of love operate that way? Explain your case to me.

 

"God has no leverage"

I beg to differ. God has leverage by virtue of his superior power. I think that is what leverage is. You may correct me on this.

 

"any human ruler behaves in like fashion"

Hmmm. But we aren't talking about a human ruler are we? And by what standard do we get our spectrum of judgment on this? Are you reasonable to judge man God by man's ambivalent standards? Even between man's differing cultures there is a great difference in what is acceptable in terms of what a human ruler is considered in his bounds.

 

Ignoring the nonsensical construction of this sentence:"No human would submit to this from another human, nor should one submit to it from a god." let's skip to the basis of "why not?" What gives the determining standard for you to say this to me? And can you support the idea that one human does not indeed in certain conditions give such submission under such circumstances as you state?

 

"This ruler's rule is declared unjust, and no one can fault citizens for rebelling and defying his authority"

Where do you derive the standards for such a concept of justice?

 

"God's "authority" is unjust and so is his purported rule over humanity."

 

Only under your own personal definitions. Do you give God His authority that you may deny it? By virtue of His name God which you ignore through all of this is it reasonable to suppose that you can justly accuse Him? Are you more knowing, more understanding, more just, more perfect, that you can stand outside Him and judge? If not, you need to use other ways of forming your argument. By virtue of calling Him God, and by virtue of alleging accusations you have put yourself in an untenable situation. You no longer find fault with the religion , but with the person of God.

I submit that you may not argue that with me because I do not see any credentials that put you in the superior position. Try another tack.

 

"people "rebel" by leaving the religion and ceasing to believe in that god."

This is true, but you have not supplied the justification for them doing so, that we may look at that.

 

I think we need to retrace steps on what is authority and what are its rights and boundaries.

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"Now, the topic is primarily about Titus 3:1"

 

Your opening argument wasn't stated that way. But to segue to that. This is something that has been well-argued in the 'divine right' versus 'Lex Rex' debate. In which Lex Rex - in history- has clearly won out.

No authority that flagrantly and repeatedly breaches the authority of God has any rights to expect submission. In fact, it is rather the duty of those who serve God to rebel against all such wrongfully used authority. Which is delegated to them, By God. The abusive authorities lose their position, or should have it taken from them as they are unworthy and are themselves in rebellion against the Highest authority. This is the correct usage of those things which you were trying to use earlier. But it is all a house of cards once you remove the authority of God from the equation. Then it is all peers. And that is where you get opression and lots of trouble on your side of it in trying to find "justification".

 

===

PS This statement:

"submission is just when it is given freely and with full consent, and unjust when it is forced through fear or violence, or the threats of such." is going to get really sticky for you in the conversation. I will return to that later....

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That makes it better? I bet all those other people for other exclusive religions get the warm-fuzzies from thinking they will get the joy too for being good little boys and girls. :twitch: Who gets the bag of coal?

I know the Colosseum is informal, but I thought it was for serious remarks on the topic.

It was a serious remark. Is not being good little boys and girls analogous to being good little boys and girls submitting to authority?

 

Your remark on the otherhand....

 

Please don't attempt to moderate these forums miss thang.

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Ms Grit quoth:

The Christian idea of submission is that there is authority and hierarchy of that authority

 

And you have found your Peter Pinnacle here at ExChristian dot net.

 

kFL

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Ms Grit quoth:
The Christian idea of submission is that there is authority and hierarchy of that authority

 

And you have found your Peter Pinnacle here at ExChristian dot net.

 

kFL

:wicked: I left to pick up my daughter from school and I was just thinking about grits and your authority here on the drive. I giggled a maniacal little giggle.

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I have never found a single Xian principle that encourages rebellion or unlawfulness in any way...

 

 

Matthew 12:

 

1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

 

3He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that one[a] greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

 

9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"

 

11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

 

It's funny, you struck me as a man who knew something or other about the Bible.

 

God calls us to respect authority, yet His authority is much higher than any worldy authority.

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It's funny, you struck me as a man who knew something or other about the Bible.

 

God calls us to respect authority, yet His authority is much higher than any worldy authority.

 

Um...problem. The laws that you describe the disciples as breaking? The mosaic laws? Where did they come from? Who is supposed to be dictating these laws to Moses to be written down? God right?

 

So these would be god's laws then.

 

Jesus & Friends are breaking god's laws.

 

So they are already breaking laws set by a "higher authority". The very "higher authority" you try to clad as "worldly authority" in your statement.

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QuinnTheEskimo- Um, looks to me like the passages you cites imply that Jesus, the apostles, and David were NOT breaking the law, only appearing to in the eyes of the foolish, such as the Pharisees. They're implying that they had a True Understanding of the Mosaic law and knew what was not forbidden by the spirit of the law.

 

truegrit- What you're saying about evil rulers losing their divine authority sounds a lot like the ancient concept of the Mandate of Heaven - but it's Chinese, not Hebraic. The clearest examples we have of Hebrew rulers losing their authority are back in the OT, and they are generally depicted as being dethroned ONLY by another person who has expressly been chosen by Yahweh as the new, divinely-appointed leader. See David overthrowing Saul. Nowhere do we see the masses being empowered to rise up against an unjust ruler, such as, say, King Herod. Instead, we have Titus 3:1 and Romans 13 for the people. There's a third one in there too that hasn't been brought out yet, so I'll do it. Go to 1 Peter 2:13 through 2:14. It actually is the most extreme of all of these verses as it states "For the Lord's sake, accept all authority - the king as head of state, and the officials that he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right." (Emphasis mine.)

 

Note that verse 13 doesn't distinguish between benevolent and malevolent rulers. Arguably, this is intentional. Recall the verse that immediately follows the section on obeying the king - 1 Peter 2:18, which tells slaves to obey "harsh" masters as well as "kind" ones. Nice bit of sugarcoating, that, in either the Hebrew culture that permitted beating slaves severely so long as they didn't die immediately or lose their eyes - see Deuteronomy or Leviticus for that one, or the Roman, in which the eldest male of the house had the power of life and death over all that were in it, including slaves. But I digress. The similarity of the passage in 1 Peter instructing slaves shows that the individual was not permitted to rebel against the individual, PRIVATE authority of the slavemaster, who is NOT expressly granted a divine mandate of authority like the king. If a slave can't rebel against another private person without a divine grant of right to rule, then how can you logically get to the position that ordinary people can overthrow the divinely-appointed king?

 

Also note that the king apparently can delegate his divine authority on down to the "officials that he appoints," thus exacerbating the problem. Now not only is the ruler shielded from rebellion, but the lackeys are above rebellion as well. Do you really want to live in a world where the police are above the law, so to speak?

 

Verse 14 is an unjustified generalization that is patently untrue in many situations. It's the same problem with Romans 13 that says that the good need not fear rulers. Both verses flatly contradict the human experience that there have been an endless number of vicious, degenerate men in power who exist only to benefit themselves, and they'll crush the good people if it serves them to do so. Back to Nazi Germany, we all know what happened to the GOOD people who protected the Jews or opposed the Nazi Party - they wound up in the gas chambers. And the wicked people ran free, wielding much power. I can give hundreds more examples that are less extreme, but I don't think it's necessary at this time.

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A god of love shouldn't need to rule through fear. Fear is employed only by those who don't have the power (or desire) to rule solely on love. Furthermore, fear and punishment are employed to keep the Xian out of Hell - but Hell (as well as sin and Satan) exists because the Xian god permits it. If he did away with all of that, humanity would have no reason to "sin" or do wrong at all, since all temptation comes from the devil.

 

Hence it is unecessary for the Xian god to rule through fear because he has the power to improve conditions and remove all dangers. He chooses fear because it strokes his ego, hence his authority is unjust.

 

=====

 

See my above explanation for why God has no right to demand anything from us because he could've done better.

 

I've not jumped at all - for God to require us to believe in Jebus or else burn in Hell is indeed a case of "give me your love (or loyalty) or you'll get it!" It's no different from being mugged at gunpoint by someone who threatens to shoot you.

 

Stop making excuses for your god. None of this "one rule for the governor/ one rule for the governed" shit. You wouldn't tolerate that from politicians, so why would you tolerate it from a religion?

 

God furthermore has no moral leverage because of his unjust nature and demands. If he did exist, he'd have no more moral authority that he does as an invention of human minds.

 

======

 

We judge things by human standards because we are humans. And a god who is supposedly of superior moral fiber should exercise superior morality. Your god's behavior is like unto that of a third-world dicatator, not a truly superior being.

 

And most folks, ancient or modern, agree that murder, theft, and terrorism are wrong, so it's hardly a case of things being so different between cultures that we can't judge a god.

 

Especially since there is no proof your god is real, and all the reason to believe he doesn't exist, we can more easily judge him, since he is only an invention of human minds.

 

Ignoring the nonsensical construction of this sentence:"No human would submit to this from another human, nor should one submit to it from a god." let's skip to the basis of "why not?" What gives the determining standard for you to say this to me? And can you support the idea that one human does not indeed in certain conditions give such submission under such circumstances as you state?

 

My sentence is perfectly sensical. Pull your head out of your ass. What gives you the right to say to me that I have to bow before a god who permits evil to exist and never shows his face?

 

Humans may submit to evil rulers out of fear, but if they had the power not to, most humans would not submit. Common sense.

 

"This ruler's rule is declared unjust, and no one can fault citizens for rebelling and defying his authority"

Where do you derive the standards for such a concept of justice?

 

Common sense and human behavior. Unless you're the kind who likes to submit to rulers, to suck up to them for favoritism and to not rock the boat lest you get "in trouble."

 

As for you wondering where I get off questioning your god, yes, I am morally superior to your god. God is an invention of humans and anything we make and sustain, we can destroy - both God and the sick religion of Xianity.

 

I don't see any credential on your part to demand I bend my knee to a god who is depicted as behaving wickedly, and a god you furthermore cannot even show proof of.

 

"people "rebel" by leaving the religion and ceasing to believe in that god."

This is true, but you have not supplied the justification for them doing so, that we may look at that.

 

I have supplied it. Threats of eternal torture, depictions of behavior inconsistent with the attributes God is said to have, and lack of proof that this god even exists is all the justificaiton I need to leave your religion and cease to believe in your god.

 

"Now, the topic is primarily about Titus 3:1" Your opening argument wasn't stated that way.

 

Yes it was - it was clear that I am citing Titus 3:1.

 

No authority that flagrantly and repeatedly breaches the authority of God has any rights to expect submission. In fact, it is rather the duty of those who serve God to rebel against all such wrongfully used authority. Which is delegated to them, By God. The abusive authorities lose their position, or should have it taken from them as they are unworthy and are themselves in rebellion against the Highest authority. This is the correct usage of those things which you were trying to use earlier. But it is all a house of cards once you remove the authority of God from the equation. Then it is all peers. And that is where you get opression and lots of trouble on your side of it in trying to find "justification".

 

You only consider God's authority just because you submit to it blindly instead of examining it critically. If you did that, you'd dump Xianity faster than I did.

 

Clearly, I will get nowhere trying to debate with you, because you cannot offer rational justification for your god's authority or his actions. A human ruler would be hunted down and killed for acting like your god does, but as a loyal subject of his, he can do no wrong in your eyes.

 

It seems I'm talking to a proud member of the Jesujugend :rolleyes:

 

PS This statement:

"submission is just when it is given freely and with full consent, and unjust when it is forced through fear or violence, or the threats of such." is going to get really sticky for you in the conversation. I will return to that later....

 

No, it won't. Your god demands submission out of fear of eternal torture. Freely given and uncoerced submission isn't what your god wants. He doesn't care whether we give it freely or not, but has the Hell doctrine to threaten us with.

 

 

 

 

"A god of love shouldn't need to rule through fear. Fear is employed only by those who don't have the power (or desire) to rule solely on love."
First, God is Love not a god of love, and in that expression of Love is the characteristic of being Just. Justice enforced holds fear for the unjust. You conflate the responses of fear on the part of those who wish to sidestep the wheels of justice and the inlfiction of fear by the Just. Then you use undefined standards of justice to so-called pass sentence. You haven't made the case yet.

 

..and that, my friend, is unjust. Can't pass sentence before the case is made.

 

=====

What is the essence of eternal torture? What are its intended uses? Where does it say that God intended man to endure eternal torture?

 

I'm going to skip to your "No, it won't." comment here. I said:

PS This statement:

"submission is just when it is given freely and with full consent, and unjust when it is forced through fear or violence, or the threats of such." is going to get really sticky for you in the conversation. I will return to that later....

 

It is going to get sticky for you right now:

In law, there is force to comply or just consequences are threatened {fines, incarceration,etc}. Is the fact that a nation has law unjust in your opinion? Explain this.

 

If God has law, and the abrogation of that law is committed, is He unjust to exact the punishment? How is He more unjust than government of man? How can you condemn the action of Justice in the case of lawbreakers in society? Force is used in all cases.

 

Is force automatically unjust? Do prisoners for crimes against humanity give consent to their incarceration, trial, and condemnation? They do not. There are many times people do not give their consent for things that must be in order to have justice and right prevail. That is why we have the concept of "criminals".

===

"he could've done better."

This is an interesting accusation. Said by a human when all human efforts "to do better" inevitably fail in efforts to set up just or good systems that are supposed to be for benefit of all.

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"We judge things by human standards because we are humans. And a god who is supposedly of superior moral fiber should exercise superior morality."

And this "superior morality" looks like "what" exactly? Are all human standards equal? What makes something superior?

 

Just this statement alone, "terrorism [is] wrong" shows how little you have looked into this. Terrorism is rationalized by many cultures and nations. We say it is wrong in certain circumstances and to different degrees- some elevate it to saint status. So much for your assessment of "most folks, ancient or modern".

bzztt.wrong.

====

"Especially since there is no proof your god is real, and all the reason to believe he doesn't exist, we can more easily judge him, since he is only an invention of human minds."

 

Then you are just judging human minds, then? What happened to "Common sense and human behavior" for the standard by which we judge things such as true justice et al?

I have to ask you again, then, where a dependable basis for this standard should derive. "Common sense and human behavior" led to religion, and millions who beleive Christian religion, then- as you state this... so what is dependable for ...truth? justice? morality...for humankind as a group?

 

====

"it was clear that I am citing Titus 3:1."

You said nothing of "Lex Rex" which was written by Samuel Rutherford. Have you read it? Know about it? It is a Reformation document, but good for Catholics and former Catholics to read. It is basic to our modern views of Democracy, and influenced such later thinkers John Locke, Blackstone, etc.

 

====making it about me====

"to not rock the boat lest you get "in trouble."

Do I strike you as that type?

 

"to demand I bend my knee to a god"

I never demanded anything of you- we are talking about authority, and you jump to these conclusions through your own subjective filter on it. I demand nothing of you.

 

"you did that, you'd dump Xianity faster than I did"

and yet...here I am, a Christian. You presume many things about me including that I have not and do not look critically at my beliefs or the doctrines of my religion. That is presumption on your part and nothing more. Not everyone dumps their Christian faith. Not everyone goes by "blind faith".

 

"Clearly, I will get nowhere trying to debate with you"

I never promised you that. And I further gave to you that I was not going to try to change you- we are just supposed to be looking at the ideas here. You can't make your case on the topic that Christians have no place for actions such as the American Revolution. The entire Reformation was based upon the idea that man can and should protest unjust authority- whether it is found in religion or in the temporal realm of nations.

 

"It seems I'm talking to..."

A professing Christian. I made that clear at the outset.

====

"God to require us"

What does God require?

"Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

 

That doesn't sound like mugging to me...but then I am not you.

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Bluescreen, "Mandate of Heaven - but it's Chinese, not Hebraic" might well be, but not in "either/ or" sense. Some ideas are very ancient, and they are found within numerous threads of human culture. I find that a plus with such ideas. This does not however, negate it in Christianity as Var is trying to make his premise in this thread.

 

In your discussion, I would like to point out that there is authority and there is anointed authority- in the case of the theocracy of old Israel. The Old Testament and all of the ancient cultures did have strict views of authority and what was considered usurpation.

 

"punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right."

This is the job description, isn't it?

 

"doesn't distinguish between benevolent and malevolent rulers"

 

This is true. In fact, it was made under the regimes that produced persecuting Caesars. It was the theologians looking at abuse in Christian-professing realms that made distinctions based upon exegesis of the whole of scripture later. A case to be made for revolution is hard to find in any ancient culture- although the practice was widespread enough. Jews were viewed as rebellious by their conquerors (as seen in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah; later, the Maccabees). This is a complex topic when viewed in its proper context of concepts of authority and justice.

 

In many ways, it emphasizes the extreme seriousness of the Colonists when they embarked on this ground. Not everyone was convinced of the propriety of that.

 

"But I digress."

You do. Slavery is something I will be addressing in the Christian blogosphere that I roam about in. I will probably crosspost it. And it will be necessary to kindly bid you all here adieu once I start in on that. That, for me is the serious business of doing the theology of what I live by. The issues of women, of slavery, how the theologians debated those, and what I see as the word of scripture on it.... will take up all my time soon. So it is an interesting digression to me...

 

"Also note that the king apparently can delegate his divine authority on down to the "officials that he appoints,"

That is the way it works;but those who delegate can also revoke. And that is my point. So much for police officiers not acting in accordance with their duty. Just recently about half the force of a small community here was relieved of their postions- an illustration that it does and can happen happen. And should happen, IMO.

 

"If a slave can't rebel against another private person without a divine grant of right to rule, then how can you logically get to the position that ordinary people can overthrow the divinely-appointed king?"

No where that slavery is accepted can the slave leave his estate except under very limited circumstances. That is why slavery had to come to be viewed as unjust to humanity before anything could be done about it. And then, only by those who accept that Christian views of ones fellow man are theri own conviction as well. The idea that all men, obedient or otherwise have rights by virtue of bearing the image of God and thus having dignity of their persons and rights equally, must be in place to do anything about slavery. And it took quite a long time after Americans had committed to such an idea for it to win out in our society- not without war to enforce the decision of the nation, either.

 

But this is actually a whole 'nother thread. I will not be on this board with it, as I think the topic needs an essay form to do it justice.

 

"Back to Nazi Germany"

You simplify this. There are routes to power that are not legitimate, and not all power is being upheld by the scriptures you cite. In Nazi Germany the Churches, to their shame, often did use these to support Hitler, but not all. Not every Christian saw Nazi power as legitimate or "God-given".

 

The purpose of government is God-given and that is stated as "punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right"

 

If the scriptures give any reason to view some rulers as unjust and unworthy of their position, then that must be viewed in context with the usualy types of rulers who are in place for purposes of human law and order. It is no different than the challenge all of us faces in modern times. With or without Christian tenets, there is the question of "by what authority do we decide a ruler is unjust an worthy of overthrow and rebellion?"

 

Good job, Bluescreen, you brought up some of the more important points in this discussion. Here is where Christians talk of balance of scripture versus each one being a fiat, etc. As you no doubt know this remains a controversial and unsolved debate for Christians.

 

truegrit- What you're saying about evil rulers losing their divine authority sounds a lot like the ancient concept of the Mandate of Heaven - but it's Chinese, not Hebraic. The clearest examples we have of Hebrew rulers losing their authority are back in the OT, and they are generally depicted as being dethroned ONLY by another person who has expressly been chosen by Yahweh as the new, divinely-appointed leader. See David overthrowing Saul. Nowhere do we see the masses being empowered to rise up against an unjust ruler, such as, say, King Herod. Instead, we have Titus 3:1 and Romans 13 for the people. There's a third one in there too that hasn't been brought out yet, so I'll do it. Go to 1 Peter 2:13 through 2:14. It actually is the most extreme of all of these verses as it states "For the Lord's sake, accept all authority - the king as head of state, and the officials that he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right." (Emphasis mine.)

 

Note that verse 13 doesn't distinguish between benevolent and malevolent rulers. Arguably, this is intentional. Recall the verse that immediately follows the section on obeying the king - 1 Peter 2:18, which tells slaves to obey "harsh" masters as well as "kind" ones. Nice bit of sugarcoating, that, in either the Hebrew culture that permitted beating slaves severely so long as they didn't die immediately or lose their eyes - see Deuteronomy or Leviticus for that one, or the Roman, in which the eldest male of the house had the power of life and death over all that were in it, including slaves. But I digress. The similarity of the passage in 1 Peter instructing slaves shows that the individual was not permitted to rebel against the individual, PRIVATE authority of the slavemaster, who is NOT expressly granted a divine mandate of authority like the king. If a slave can't rebel against another private person without a divine grant of right to rule, then how can you logically get to the position that ordinary people can overthrow the divinely-appointed king?

 

Also note that the king apparently can delegate his divine authority on down to the "officials that he appoints," thus exacerbating the problem. Now not only is the ruler shielded from rebellion, but the lackeys are above rebellion as well. Do you really want to live in a world where the police are above the law, so to speak?

 

Verse 14 is an unjustified generalization that is patently untrue in many situations. It's the same problem with Romans 13 that says that the good need not fear rulers. Both verses flatly contradict the human experience that there have been an endless number of vicious, degenerate men in power who exist only to benefit themselves, and they'll crush the good people if it serves them to do so. Back to Nazi Germany, we all know what happened to the GOOD people who protected the Jews or opposed the Nazi Party - they wound up in the gas chambers. And the wicked people ran free, wielding much power. I can give hundreds more examples that are less extreme, but I don't think it's necessary at this time.

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What does God require?

"Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

 

I love that verse.

 

Trim away the whole of the Bible and leave that verse and it works as well as any other system ...

 

well - that is .. as well as the individual's perception and understanding of the 'good' s/he has been shown...

as well as the individuals perception and understanding of 'justice' ... as well as the individuals perception and understanding of 'mercy' and as well as the individual's perception and understanding of their 'god'.

 

Somewhere along the line other people's perceptions of what it means to do these things have started to the rule the day.

 

The idea that blood sacrifices are required in order for justice to be done is very weird to me. I see no mercy in the hell doctrine as taught by literalists.

 

But on the OP - my view is that if people say they draw inspiration for rebellion against governments thay see as unjust from the Bible - then they do.

 

Perspective, perspective, perspective .... that's what sells the house.

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^..^

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^..^

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Basically, I think your thoughts on this are perceptive. Their weakness is that relativity weakens any conclusions on defining justice and mercy for practical applications. Perception may rule the house of the moment, but we want some of more lasting foundations if we are not to be mocked by the future:"And this is what they thought of justice ". To have any meaning, Justice has to really be something- not simply what it seems to us at the moment. If for no other reason than the fact that we are so quick to justify ourselves at another's expense.

 

What does God require?

"Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

 

I love that verse.

 

Trim away the whole of the Bible and leave that verse and it works as well as any other system ...

 

well - that is .. as well as the individual's perception and understanding of the 'good' s/he has been shown...

as well as the individuals perception and understanding of 'justice' ... as well as the individuals perception and understanding of 'mercy' and as well as the individual's perception and understanding of their 'god'.

 

Somewhere along the line other people's perceptions of what it means to do these things have started to the rule the day.

 

The idea that blood sacrifices are required in order for justice to be done is very weird to me. I see no mercy in the hell doctrine as taught by literalists.

 

But on the OP - my view is that if people say they draw inspiration for rebellion against governments thay see as unjust from the Bible - then they do.

 

Perspective, perspective, perspective .... that's what sells the house.

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Basically, I think your thoughts on this are perceptive. Their weakness is that relativity weakens any conclusions on defining justice and mercy for practical applications. Perception may rule the house of the moment, but we want some of more lasting foundations if we are not to be mocked by the future:"And this is what they thought of justice ". To have any meaning, Justice has to really be something- not simply what it seems to us at the moment. If for no other reason than the fact that we are so quick to justify ourselves at another's expense.

 

Hmmmm

 

How can we have a more lasting foundation for our definition of justice and mercy - other than via our perception of same?

 

You cite God as the authority on Justice and mercy ... but still this can only be human perception of what individual percieve to be God's justice and mercy.

 

Do you believe that something is just because you have a concept of justice or because 'God says so'?

 

I try not to mock the past - people make decisions based on the knowledge and understanding available to them. Where future generations may conclude that something I believed to be just or merciful was not so - I hope they will understand my intent and 'judge' me accordingly.

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