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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Was Jesus really a pacifist?

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By Gnostic, I mean that you view the physical creation as bad, and the spiritual realm is good. You have a very dualistic worldview, which Christianity does not go along with. God created the physical world, and we will live eternally in new bodies. He also created and gave authority to states (governments) so that they would govern the people of the earth. He also called, gifted and gave authority to leaders of His church who are to be obeyed and followed. All things which your religion discounts, as far as I can tell by your posts.

 

No I wouldn't say creation is bad. God created it perfectly; yet we corrupted it. The Bible says Satan is the ruler of this world. Jesus taught that we are to live in this world yet not be part of it. I take that to mean not live as the world lives, live as Jesus taught. Paul talks about being in a constant battle between the spirit and flesh. They are opposed to each other. It may be semantics but because God created creation I would say it's not bad; yet things within creation are not perfect and some characteristics of creation are bad (sinful). The righteous spiritual realm is good. What the earthly states do are not our main concern. Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians. We follow the laws of the state unless they contradict God, and go about spreading the love of God in all aspects of our life. I agree we will live in new bodies. How that will 'look' or 'be' or 'where' I don't know. I do believe in spiritual leaders. I believe in groups of Christians and leaders and elders that oversee individual congregations. As I said before I'm a Christian. So my religion is simply Christianity. I realize there are a lot of different beliefs within Christianity that's why my authority is not any man or vision or teaching of a man; my authority is the Bible. As long as church leaders are following the Bible then I will be lead by them.

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Every individual, every family is under the protection of the law of the land. The government provides security, protection, law and order for the legal citizens of our country. It's our civil and Christian duty and privilege to participate in the government processes. Our goal is of attaining peace, security, prosperity and economically generating money, with hard work, with our fellow men, fellow women and familiies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with everything you say except: "It's our...Christian duty...to participate in the government process." I see nothing against God for us to participate within the government; yet I'm not aware of any instruction from Jesus that it's our duty to participate. You might reconsider that thought or provide scripture to back up that God expects us to participate in the government.

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Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians.

 

What form does this good take?

 

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The life of Christians: what they say and do. How Christians treat others.

 

You said this: "Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians."

 

Is not loving one's neighbor a physical reality, as opposed to a "spiritual" one?

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Overturning tables in the Temple does not make him sound much like a pacifist.

 

Whether or not he would have been too gung ho in declaring war is, perhaps, another matter.

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When Jesus was in the earth, our world was rocked by violence. Crimes were committed against humanity as well as Jesus. However, Jesus never retorted back. He even did not try to publish the evildoers. Jesus was a pacifist, he never took arms, he never fought back.

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Jesus was a pacifist, he never took arms, he never fought back.

He won't be a pacifist when he returns.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

 

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presencehad done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21

 

 

 

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You said this: "Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians."

 

Is not loving one's neighbor a physical reality, as opposed to a "spiritual" one?

 

Fair question. It's all about individual motive.

 

It is physically unnatural and financially harmful for me to spend my money, receiving nothing in return, on a stranger by putting gas in the strangers car that asks for my help. The motive for me to sacrifice my money is spiritual yet I'm doing the act physically in this world. This same principle applies in all aspects of a Christian's life. Self preservation is a major if not top priority in this physical world. It is unnatural in this physical world for man to sacrifice ourself; yet as a Christian we are motivated by spiritual principles of self sacrifice and servanthood (just like Christ) that we apply in our physical world.

 

So I have to say no to your question. Why should anyone love their neighbor based upon natural or physical reasons? Remember love is not just an insignificant word, it is: patient, kind, not jealous, doesn't brag, isn't unbecomingly, doesn't seek it's own, isn't provoked, doesn't keep account of wrongs suffered, doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, rejoices with truth, bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things, never fails. These are qualities that are not normal in this physical world to show towards another. It takes something more powerful for one to exhibit these qualities; God's love.

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It is physically unnatural and financially harmful for me to spend my money, receiving nothing in return, on a stranger by putting gas in the strangers car that asks for my help. The motive for me to sacrifice my money is spiritual yet I'm doing the act physically in this world.
I'm sorry, but I don't see how you are getting nothing in return. Not only do you receive good feelings for helping, but also the reassurance that you live in a world where people help each other which means that if something happens to you or your loved ones others may help, and the possiblility that the person may repay the favour at a later date, even if they are a stranger. (And with certain people I know, they get to look good to others, and spend weeks talking about it for the social kudos and so they can show people how selfless and good they are). There are many non-spiritual reasons to do a good deed, and direct benefits in this world.

 

Regarding pacifism, see Matthew 8:5-13 and the centurion. Jesus did not reject soldiers, nor tell them to quit the army when he could have. He gave them a place like everyone else.

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I personally do get something from helping others. I agree with most everything you said in the first paragraph. My belief is without some type of spiritual guide or foundation or principle humans are self preserving and would not have a natural reason to go beyond what can serve them. Yes they may help someone but they would do so expecting something in return. I will concede some humans without God as a motive in their life may be more loving to others; yet I believe as a rule of thumb the vast majority of us would simply be selfish without God. Look at how man acted in the very beginning before Noah. We were so terrible God killed all of us except for one man and his family.

 

Regarding non violence, you seem to be making an argument based upon silence. We do not have any account of Jesus condoning violence. An argument can not be made based upon something not said, this is a fallacious invalid type of reasoning. Jesus did not say to harm anyone. We can't read into that any more than what we have recorded that he said. We know He said and did many things that we don't have an account of. Jesus used sinners and the "low life"of His time to do His work. I understand your point that Jesus praised His faith; however it can not be inferred that Jesus was saying it's ok to harm someone. There are so many other clear scriptures that speak plainly about God's expectation of His people to be non violent.

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There are so many other clear scriptures that speak plainly about God's expectation of His people to be non violent.

 

Likewise, there are so many contrary Scriptures that exempt Rulers and Government from pacifism. Nice job by the way, seems you have been rather effective in neutralizing any arguments from the OT. It is no surprise to me that a Pacifist rejects anything outside of the Red Print and isolates even its verses from the rest of the NT.

 

God bless,

William

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Regarding pacifism, see Matthew 8:5-13 and the centurion. Jesus did not reject soldiers, nor tell them to quit the army when he could have. He gave them a place like everyone else.

 

After Jesus told Peter to put up his sword and said, Matthew 26:53 "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" What do you think those angels might do? Turn with me to the OT during Sodom and Gomorrah, oh wait, someone said "we can't use the OT".

 

God bless,

William

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We do not have any account of Jesus condoning violence.

We do have statements by Jesus affirming his belief in the Old Testament, where we learn that God commanded capital punishment and ordered his people to engage in warfare.

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We do have statements by Jesus affirming his belief in the Old Testament, where we learn that God commanded capital punishment and ordered his people to engage in warfare.

 

You're absolutely correct. It does not invalidate my statement.

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In the Old Testament God commanded that people guilty of certain crimes be killed. He sometimes commanded the Israelites to engage in warfare and when they entered the promised land he ordered them to kill all the inhabitants of the land. The Bible also teaches that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is one of the three persons in the Godhead so in reality it was Jesus himself who commanded capital punishment and warfare.

 

Here is how the Bible describes his return.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

 

He will destroy his enemies.

 

Jesus committed many acts of violence before his incarnation and he will do the same when he returns. Perhaps he could be described as a pacifist during his incarnation but that is only because the reason he came then was to provide salvation by dying for our sins. Anyone who rejects his salvation will have to face his wrath sometime in the future.

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In the Old Testament God commanded that people guilty of certain crimes be killed. He sometimes commanded the Israelites to engage in warfare and when they entered the promised land he ordered them to kill all the inhabitants of the land. The Bible also teaches that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is one of the three persons in the Godhead so in reality it was Jesus himself who commanded capital punishment and warfare.

 

Here is how the Bible describes his return.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

 

He will destroy his enemies.

 

Jesus committed many acts of violence before his incarnation and he will do the same when he returns. Perhaps he could be described as a pacifist during his incarnation but that is only because the reason he came then was to provide salvation by dying for our sins. Anyone who rejects his salvation will have to face his wrath sometime in the future.

 

You're right, I agree with everything you said. I would add that Jesus' purpose was not just to provide salvation when He was a man. His other purpose was God's prophet, telling/showing us how to live. There is a distinct difference in what God/Jesus told the Hebrews to do and what He tells us to do. The New Covenant brought about a "New" message from God. Part of that message was absolute love; which absolute love does not allow us to judge which life is more valuable than another, God will do that as it describes in Revelation. Revelation is describing a different time also. This is the time when you could say it's time to pay the piper, judgement from God not man. It is describing what Jesus will do, not instructing us on how to live. As a human is when Jesus showed us how to live.

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As a human is when Jesus showed us how to live.

One of the things he showed us is that we are allowed to defend ourselves and others, and even to use deadly for is necessary. Read Luke 22:36.

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One of the things he showed us is that we are allowed to defend ourselves and others, and even to use deadly for is necessary. Read Luke 22:36.

 

We have to be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there. Jesus does not in any way tell His disciples to defend themselves. 2 swords are not enough to do that. Besides the next few words Jesus speaks explains why He wants some of the disciples to have swords: it was to fulfill the OT prophecy that Jesus be among transgressors which the disciples and Jesus were in the eyes of the Romans by having those weapons. Also Jesus rebukes Peter shortly after for defending himself. That in no way is teaching to defend ourselves, it is in fact just the opposite. There are no instructions given to the disciples nor examples of the disciples defending themselves as they went about spreading the Gospel. This is hard to accept (it was for me when I first came to study and accept this principle of Jesus); yet it is the teachings and examples of Jesus and also the first disciples.

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Got nothing to do at work so I will take a shot.

Was Jesus really a pacifist? My answer: An emphatic NO!

Start with a definition. Pacifist: a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.

Thus, if I can find one occurrence in which Christ makes "war" or is violent" I prove my case.

Premise 1: God never changes (Job 23:13 Psalm 102:27) (thus, what He does in N.T. does not make what He did in the O.T. irrelevant in regards to His nature. (Pacifism is a characteristic on one's nature, though I submit pacifism is not of God's nature)

 

 

Premise 2: Christ has the same nature as God. John14.9 thus anything God does is of the same nature as Christ and vise versa.

 

Example of God being Violent or making war:

Let's keep it simple. I can give one example of eternal and perpetual violence (non-pacifism) commissioned by God (who has the same nature as Christ).

Since Adam's time and forever more people will be in a violent place (Hell). This is a place created and sustained by God/Jesus (John 1:3)where God will forever cause pain. Thus, God/Christ cannot be correctly described as a pacifist. (unless you ascribe to universalism)

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We have to be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there. Jesus does not in any way tell His disciples to defend themselves. 2 swords are not enough to do that. Besides the next few words Jesus speaks explains why He wants some of the disciples to have swords: it was to fulfill the OT prophecy that Jesus be among transgressors which the disciples and Jesus were in the eyes of the Romans by having those weapons. Also Jesus rebukes Peter shortly after for defending himself. That in no way is teaching to defend ourselves, it is in fact just the opposite. There are no instructions given to the disciples nor examples of the disciples defending themselves as they went about spreading the Gospel. This is hard to accept (it was for me when I first came to study and accept this principle of Jesus); yet it is the teachings and examples of Jesus and also the first disciples.

The disciples only had two swords because Jesus had just given the command and they had not had an opportunity to obey it yet. Also the command to buy a sword was only one of the commands he gave. “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” What was the purpose of the commands to carry a moneybag and a knapsack?

 

Here is the prophecy about Jesus being among transgressors.

 

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:12

 

This was fulfilled when he was crucified between two criminals.

 

Peter wasn't trying to defend herself when he used his sword. He was trying to defend Jesus. It was wrong for him to do this because Jesus had to die to atone for our sins. This shouldn't be taken as a command never to use force.

 

 

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David was a man after the Lord's own heart. David was a man of war. There are many instances in the Bible where just war is used and approved of by the Lord. Also, Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." It is also clear in Scripture that self-defense is justified even if it results in the death of the perpetrator. Also, Jesus' disciples carried swords for self-defense. There are also just soldiers and police officers who may kill if it is righteous. The LORD is also pleased with hunters if they are just. Jesus is not a pacifist. Jesus is righteous and peaceful and just.

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On 12/28/2017 at 9:16 AM, Fastfredy0 said:

Got nothing to do at work so I will take a shot.

Was Jesus really a pacifist? My answer: An emphatic NO!

Start with a definition. Pacifist: a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.

Thus, if I can find one occurrence in which Christ makes "war" or is violent" I prove my case.

Premise 1: God never changes (Job 23:13 Psalm 102:27) (thus, what He does in N.T. does not make what He did in the O.T. irrelevant in regards to His nature. (Pacifism is a characteristic on one's nature, though I submit pacifism is not of God's nature)

 

 

Premise 2: Christ has the same nature as God. John14.9 thus anything God does is of the same nature as Christ and vise versa.

 

Example of God being Violent or making war:

Let's keep it simple. I can give one example of eternal and perpetual violence (non-pacifism) commissioned by God (who has the same nature as Christ).

Since Adam's time and forever more people will be in a violent place (Hell). This is a place created and sustained by God/Jesus (John 1:3)where God will forever cause pain. Thus, God/Christ cannot be correctly described as a pacifist. (unless you ascribe to universalism)

Most if not all of what you said is true.  The main point for Christians; though, is what are our characteristics/nature suppose to be.  God is clear that He is the only one with the authority to exact revenge; not Christians.  What God expects of His people most definitely has changed.  I'm not going to speak one way or the other regarding the nature of God changing.  What matters for man is how are we to live to be pleasing to God.  Jesus showed us exactly that, by becoming man.  So to make the point that man is never justified in retaliating against or harming another it doesn't matter that God wagged war and will exact revenge upon man at judgement.  Jesus was clear as to His principles for us to follow when He lived as a man.  Philippians 2:3-8  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  You can argue that God is not a pacifist or nonviolent; however that is irrelevant as to His instruction for us to be pleasing to Him.

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On 12/28/2017 at 8:24 PM, CDF47 said:

David was a man after the Lord's own heart. David was a man of war. There are many instances in the Bible where just war is used and approved of by the Lord. Also, Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." It is also clear in Scripture that self-defense is justified even if it results in the death of the perpetrator. Also, Jesus' disciples carried swords for self-defense. There are also just soldiers and police officers who may kill if it is righteous. The LORD is also pleased with hunters if they are just. Jesus is not a pacifist. Jesus is righteous and peaceful and just.

Examples and teachings from God in the OT were for the Hebrews/Jews.  God's teachings for His people today do not come from the OT, they come from Jesus.  Jesus did away with that and established a new way in which God desires His people to live.  One example of numerous, numerous, numerous principles of Jesus is when He references the OT: you know from old an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is justifiable, BUT I SAY to you turn the other check when you are hit.  What is the principle?  Before, God allowed equal retaliation/punishment; yet now Jesus is instructing man that this is no longer applicable.  Man is not to retaliate and seek or expect retribution.  The nature, characteristics, responsibilities, expectations of God is not a reasoning for us living a certain way.  The life of Jesus as a man is the way we are to live and His principles are very clear if we let them speak to us without prejudice.

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