…in case you were wondering.


Here’s A Fun One
December 15, 2006, 2:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I haven’t posted much about politics here on this Blog, but there is the beginnings of an interesting conversation between two blogs. Here’s where it’s at so far.

A Safer America

Kesler Bleu wrote:
“questions of the day: Why do partisan believers in the U.S. think the electing of a “Christian” candidate makes said person the end all, be all? I find it disturbing that we allow the actions of a man to go unquestioned for the simple reason that he believes in the same God we do… waves from the front step of his Sunday morning service… and holds a certain “moral fiber” that we ascribe to…. at the same time he continues to push a war that has no end and clearly no longer involves our “cause” for ” a safer America”.
Did we settle for the lesser of two evils or are we now simply condoning the actions of a man who clearly does not know when to stop.”

Eric Brown responded:
“So what if the war doesn’t involve a safer America, and so what if it does, it still doesn’t justify it. We have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, not just here in America. The more I learn about Christ, the less he seems to be concerned with the safety of his nation, and the more he seems concerned for the wellbeing, both spiritually and physically for all peoples. He never taught us that we have to be safe, or that we even have to (or have the right to) defend ourselves.

I think that we can all agree that if there were ever a noble reason for war, it would be to defend the honor of our Lord, but according to Him, even that’s not a good reason. Read about James and John and their idea of killing for the sake of Christ in Luke 9:51-56. They offered their “fire calling” services to Christ, and he rebuked them, for he came not to destroy lives, but to save them. We should be willing to lay down our lives for the unsaved.

There is a scene in “End of the Spear,” where one of the missionaries is about to get on a plane to deliver the gospel to a very violent Waodani tribe, and his son asks if he should bring along his pistol to protect himself. He reminds his son that he is ready for eternity, and these people are not…Seems quite relevant to our current situation. The truth is that Jesus, himself, probably looked more like Osama than Joel Olsteen.”

Let’s hear it.

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20 Comments so far
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Ok, I’ll come out of the woodwork again.

First of all, the fact that Jesus probably looked like Osama is relevant how?

And, if someone was attacking Mr. Brown’s wife and kids, would he simply turn the other cheek, or defend them by killing the bad guy?

Would Jesus stand by while his family was being brutalized, or would he try to stop it, without regard for the bad guy’s spiritual and physical wellbeing?

With regard to Mr. Bleu’s comments, it seems to me that the war in Iraq is still very much tied to our nation’s safety.

The reason we are in Iraq is to protect ourselves from further terrorism by installing a free, democratic government in the midst of a region dominated by despots.

The hope is that, once/if we are successful, citizens in other countries in the region will see the fruits of freedom in Iraq and want that freedom for themselves.

They will see that Western-style (or at least Western-inspired) democracy is a good thing. Maybe then Muslim children won’t be taught that America and the West are the Great Satan and must be destroyed.

I know that not all Muslims believe that America is the Great Satan, and that everyone on the planet must convert to Islam or die.

But I don’t think it can be denied that millions of Muslims do believe that, and are apparently willing to die to achieve our destruction.

I’m not willing to let them kill my family and friends without a fight.
I’m glad President Bush feels the same way.

Has he handled the war in Iraq perfectly? Of course not. It’s still a mess over there.

But I don’t think we can afford to hope that our good works and kindness toward our enemies will make them change their minds about the need for us to die.

And a Christian president is not the end-all, be-all. I would just rather vote for someone who shares my basic values. But I also want a wise person in the White House.

And of course, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Comment by Jordan

wow eric I think we hit a nerve… btw I’m on the phone w/ the NRA and they need your address… the new hats are in.

Comment by kesler

Jordan,
the point is that osama is made in God’s image, just as the rest of us are. secondly, jordan said, “kill the bad guy.” kill the bad guy? you want me to commit suicide? we are all bad guys. it is by the grace of God that any of us can do anything good to start with. Also, I have spoken with my wife about defending her safety, and she is willing to lay down her life, if it comes to choosing between her life or the life of someone who has not yet come to the saving grace of Jesus. I guess she got from the Bible or something.
to quote you, you said
“But I don’t think we can afford to hope that our good works and kindness toward our enemies will make them change their minds about the need for us to die.” it doesn’t really matter, jordan, what you think about what we can afford to hope. Truth is truth, and the Lord has spoken about how we, as followers of Christ, should respond to our enemies…LOVE. And you can’t love somewhere while you are bombing them…I spoke with the woodwork earlier, and they said you could come back home now.

Comment by Eric Brown

“And, if someone was attacking Mr. Brown’s wife and kids, would he simply turn the other cheek, or defend them by killing the bad guy?

Would Jesus stand by while his family was being brutalized, or would he try to stop it, without regard for the bad guy’s spiritual and physical wellbeing?”

A better analogy: If someone broke into the house next door, in your neighborhood, and killed everyone in it would you hunt the intruder down and kill them?

That is much more akin to our current conflict than an intruder in my house right now with my wife and my kids.

There, I did it, Brody. I helped you stir the pot.

Comment by shaun groves

Ding Ding Ding. That’s the end of round one.

A couple clarifications.
1) No one wants anyone to commit suicide.
2) Woodwork is a terrible place to live.

Thank You.

– The Management.

** good talk, let’s keep it going. **

Comment by Brody Harper

Well, here’s the thing. They play by a different set of rules than us. “They” can’t be reasoned with. “They” won’t stop.

I don’t see capitol punishment as murder, the same way I don’t see radical extremeist anything (muslim or backwoods firearm whording ‘christian’) as regular human beings that can be reasoned with.

anyone remember europe…circa 1934? Nevile Chamberlain anyone? I’ll take Bush over Kerry or Gore anyday.

Imperfect? Entirely. Noone can handle this one right. There is no right.

I wish the huge majority of the muslim faith in the western world would grow some balls and denounce the activity of the few maniacal lunatics.

They can’t be reasoned with. You have to kill them. Its the real world guys. Isreal is the only country who gets it.

Dan.

Comment by Anonymous

My apologies…I know that sarcasm doesn’t do anything but demean. I shouldn’t have gone that route. My position is still the same, but thanks for calling me out on being sarcastic, brody. Shaun, I agree with you that your analogy is much more accurate.

Comment by Eric Brown

I just think the picture looks like a good “picture tract” for Lakewood’s next evangalism blitz.

caption:

“See even Osama + Jesus = Rich”

Sorry that was bad.

Comment by Seth Ward

Hi guys, I’m not avoiding responding, I’m just on Korea time…and I’m short of time, too, so don’t have enough to formulate a comprehensive defense.

Eric, I guess you were partially justified in your sarcasm, as I was a bit acerbic, and probably too personal, in my comments. My apologies. (I am envious that the woodwork did in fact speak to you; it’s been ignoring me lately…)

I think my argument is still logical, though, and will attempt to prove that a little later. Again, not a cop-out; a time-out.

Comment by Jordan

Does your sense of pacifism allow you (or your wife, in that case) to defend yourself and attempt to get away? or does “pacifism” in that instance just give the intruder the go-ahead to do what he will with you and your family?

My neighbor (who knows way more about the Bible than me) and I were talking about this today. He explained to me that any time “pacifism” was explained in the Bible it was with regard to pre-meditated attacks.

This is where Shaun’s analogy works better. I know if someone came into my house and attacked my family, I would have every intention of talking to them about Jesus in the hospital the next day. But if the next day I am waiting for his and his family outside of his house with a baseball bat, I have become the offense.

The way it has been explained to me, pacifism does not bind you to a dangerous situation. The same as I wouldn’t leave my hand on a hot stove because it’s pure pacifism.

Kesler wrote:
“…at the same time he continues to push a war that has no end and clearly no longer involves our “cause” for ” a safer America”.

If we were to walk out of Iraq today, would that stop the nice folks sneaking “bomb shoes” or box cutters onto airplanes? I don’t know much about why we are there. It has never made sense to me, but I’m not sure we can say that it “clearly no longer involves” our safety. Although it does seem to be the most “foggy” war this country has ever been involved in.

Comment by Brody Harper

great points, brody. my pacifism deals only with taking a life, so I am not sure that it is pacifism. I would more than likely beat someone with in an inch of their life if i walked in on them attacking my family. I could only hope and pray that I would show enough restraint to know when to stop. Do whatever it takes to protect your family, but taking a life is where I would draw the line. I would, however, put my hand on a hot stove for a lot of money. Hope this clarifies. This view is likely to change at any time.

Comment by Eric Brown

Brody, I know your neighbor. I respect your neighbor. But your neighbor is wrong if he’s the one who told you pacifism doesn’t bind you to a dangerous situation. it most certainly does or else none of the Christians from Christ’s leaving earth to 325AD would have been pacifists. (and all their bishops and most of their congregants were). Their lives were dangerous. And being pacifistic made their lives worse.

It is impractical.

If nothing about my faith is impractical, btw, I have to question what my faith is actually in. Faith in Jesus – to believe what Jesus believed and live as Jesus lived (or our best guess) – is often impractical.

A Christian pacifistic response to terrorism – make no mistake – will not “work” in that it would more than likely result in the end of America as we know it. Does God value the existence and prosperity of America above all?

I think what God values more is His reputation which is furthered by His people’s radical sacrificial and even impractical obedience. When we obey no matter what people notice and when they notice they learn something about our God. Pacifism tells the world something about the pacifist’s God: He is trustworthy. In Ezekiel 36, the Jews warred when God did not ask them to so God called them profaners of His name because their murders told the world God did not love people and wasn’t trustworthy.

What does our nation’s war tell the world about America’s God? Not a rhetorical question.

Comment by shaun groves

Shaun.

My neighbor wants to fight you now.

Interesting (and huge, confusing) words.

I think this war tells the world that America’s god will kick some ass if you don’t believe/act/live the exact same as America. That’s the problem I have.

Comment by Brody Harper

I will say that my neighbor and I were talking with regards to the “someone in your house” scenario. And again, there isn’t really a way to connect the current situation in Iraq to someone attacking your wife.

I think my question to you (Shaun) is: What should we be doing in Iraq? In you opinion, should we be there? How would you (as a pacifist) be dealing with things now?

Anyone else that would like to answer feel free as well.

If you found yourself in the position, how would you deal with the current situation concerning the middle east?

Comment by Brody Harper

I’m the neighbor and my response was to the ridiculous ‘what do you do when someone is in your house raping your wife’ questions that inevitably come up in a pacifist debate.

First, that question has no bearing on the Iraq war discussion.

Second, my response to Brody was that personal self-defense is the gray area in the pacifist argument. Scripture in the NT that is used for non-violence deals with revenge and does not fully cover every scenario that can be dreamed up. It is very clear on killing and violence in response to violence to yourself but talks very little about saving someone else from violence and how that should be done.

The early church was pacifist, as SHaun states, and that was a major influence and witness to those around them. But they also ran away from violence (see Acts 8:1 where the church scattered from Jerusalem to avoid persecution) Being for non-violence is not the same as letting the violence happen without any response. The response jsut has to be more creative than violence and killing.

If my family were attacked (going back to the ‘I can’t figure out any other way to argue this point but this one’ question) I would most defintely do everyhting in my power to free them and allow them out of the way of danger. That may mean restraining the attacker to allow them to flee. My intent is not to kill him or even injure him – my intent is to free my family and I will do what it takes to allow that. I don’t find scripture that tells me to watch my wife get raped and do nothing to save her. I do find scriptue that tells me if I want revenge on the attacker so i wait and attack him in response to his attack then that is sinful.

I am for non-violence and against war but I also don’t believe any of you guys that say you would not try to free your wife or kids from an attack because of this issue. i just don’t think that’s what these scriptures are teaching.

Brian

Comment by Anonymous

Speaking of “woodwork”, welcome to the comments section of this blog Brian. Good thoughts. I’m curious to hear Shaun’s take on that…or anyone else’s.

Comment by Brody Harper

If everyone’s not completely tired of this subject, I’d now like to give a full defense of my initial comments.

First of all…

Eric,

Your response to my comments was a rather angry and acerbic defense of…Christian love. Whether or not my comments warranted that type of response, you certainly didn’t exhibit Christian love by lashing out at me (I know, I know, cue the violins…but it needs to be said).
A wee bit contradictory, that’s all.

And, you apologized to Brody for your comments, though your sarcastic polemic was aimed at me. Why am I harping on this? Because your tone and your position are, or were, at odds. (As I have previously admitted, my tone could have been gentler.)

Now, as to your position:

If your wife is willing to turn the other cheek if being attacked, and does not want you to stop the attacker, then that’s fine. I’m not sure it’s a biblically mandated position; those with more theological experience and spiritual maturity will perhaps know better.

When I said “kill the bad guy,” I meant “kill him if that’s the only way to protect your family,” not “kill him in revenge.” Taking personal revenge on your enemies is clearly a sin. And I used the term “bad guy” in a rhetorical, not theological, sense, of course. I’m not saying that you are inherently more righteous than he is. Next time I’ll simply say “attacker,” to avoid all confusion.

Okay, now for your final point:

And I quote…

“to quote you, you said
‘But I don’t think we can afford to hope that our good works and kindness toward our enemies will make them change their minds about the need for us to die.’ it doesn’t really matter, jordan, what you think about what we can afford to hope. Truth is truth, and the Lord has spoken about how we, as followers of Christ, should respond to our enemies…LOVE. And you can’t love somewhere while you are bombing them…I spoke with the woodwork earlier, and they said you could come back home now.”

(Again, note the incongruity of your talk of “LOVE” paired with your clever zinger at the end…
But I’ve covered that.)

To continue:
If turning the other cheek means letting the enemy destroy our society and kill us, then, yes, we can only hope that our love towards and prayers for them will make them stop. And, of course, God can do a miracle and change their hearts; that is a viable possibility.

But, if we have a responsibility to protect the weak, the old, the infirm, and the innocent among us, then we can’t afford to be passive victims.

Revenge is wrong, self-defense is not (I believe). And it seems from your later post, Eric, that you changed your mind and now share this position.

And…

Shaun,

I kind of got away from the Iraq war context when I made my analogy. I agree that in direct comparison to the Iraq war, your analogy makes more sense, but I think I can do you one better:

What would you do if someone killed everyone in a house down the street from you and then threatened to kill everyone on the block unless they converted to his religion? What if other neighborhoods were sheltering and aiding him and his cohorts? And what if you were the sheriff?

And in response to all those with pacifist views, doesn’t the state wield the sword at God’s behest? Should the state be pacifist? To defend our supposedly warmongering President, it is his job to protect American citizens. His God-given job. And as I said in my very first comment, the purpose of the Iraq war is still to defend and protect American citizens.

Okay, I think I covered everything…sorry it took so long.

Comment by Jordan

Jordan,
Bro, I’ve already pleaded guilty as charged. I have apologized for the condecending remarks. I am a hypocrite. If satan were to cry, “Jesus is Lord,” however, then would it not still ring true? Just because I am guilty of not loving doesn’t change the fact that Christ commands it of us. Let it go, man. My position on this topic has not changed. And if you don’t want poop flung, then don’t antagonize. You’re just encouraging it.

Comment by Eric Brown

Eric,

You know what? You’re right. I should have just focused on the essence of your argument. I took it too far. And speaking of Christian love, I failed in that respect, too. Please accept my apology.

Comment by Jordan

Jordan,
Thanks, man. I know we are all quite passionate about our views on this, but like we have already agreed on, we should be known by our love for one another.

Comment by Eric Brown




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