One or two respondents on one of my hubs objected to my statement that all the familiar moral codes state that it is wrong to kill. They pointed out that the fifth Mosaic commandment is correctly translated "You shall not murder", not "You shall not kill". Of course I was well aware of that. But I find it odd that Christians should prefer to fall back on Mosaic law when Christ himself reportedly said "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets". That directive from the founder of Christianity clearly outlaws military killing, unless we are to believe that soldiers go into battle wishing to be killed. I therefore have no time whatsoever for the sophistry that continues to justify militarism.
I would venture a guess that most that subscribe to this particular statement you raise are "zealots"...with more passion then logical sense. I hope they explained their reason for answering your statement in such a manner. Christ came to abolish the old...and bring forth the new. That can not be deabated by strong believers in Christ. It is as true as any Mosiac Law. Also, Christ's parables...where you should not worry for anything...which ultimately means God is in charge. God will do what he says...when he says he will...how he says it. Though...I am sure passionate enthusiam for Christ is understandable...However, Christians are still to remain the "light" to the World...that Christ called upon.
In other words...slow your horses...when rushing to make statements. Does your position help to show the love of Christ in what you say? No one is perfect by any means...everyone down deep...wants to defend our God, and also our Savior, Christ...(myself included)...but in the end run...we must ask ourselves...if the message we just sent out...is a good one? Does what we say...aid the body of Christ...here on the planet...and those that would be a part of it.
Case in point...Do you feel that every televangilists has furthered the message of Christ in a good way? I don't think anyone can say "yes"...all though many a televangilists was just given it all he/she had...in passion for Christ?
In this Christmas season...Any and All Christians...remember why the Christ child was born to the World...Go forth with a message of Peace and Love...and even if you be as human (myself included) as the next person...don't forget the pin-point messages of Christ...and bring forth his light to a World. A World that just does'nt quite get him...and a World that does!
Merry Christmas to Everyone...and a Very Blessed New Year!
Jesus is not the founder of Christianity, he was a jew.
Your argument seems to be a case of sophistry itself. What christians are you referring to that justifies militarism?
Of course, but I'm sure you understood me. I'm happy to call him the inspiration for Christianity, or the well-head, if you like.
The ones that do. I'm not going to name names. If you think there are no such people, just ignore the assertion.
Well that sounds a little like people who think jews control the world. They won't name names but there's people who believe it. I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is. If there was one.
Nope, Jews don't control the world. Nobody is in absolute control, but big banking and big corporations are making a serious bid for it.
The point of the thread was to examine inconsistencies between stated beliefs and de facto beliefs particularly in the field of military adventurism as practised and advocated by some who also profess to follow Christ's teachings. In the public arena, Bush and Blair are obvious candidates, but even in this thread, Onusonus (who was not in any way the subject of the thread) appears to follow suit.
At least it's a more interesting thread than:
God exists /no he doesn't /yes he does /etc
Oh well yes, you will certainly find a divergence of view points among individual Christians and the Christian world itself. These view points caused schisms so that there are various sects of Christianity. And I'm not only talking about Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox. There's also ancient subsects like the Nestorians, Copts, etc. Individuals can always find something in the Bible to support anything but that doesn't necessarily agree with the teaching of the Christian authority of whatever sect.
Also, if you are looking at public figures such as Blair and Bush, you should keep in mind that as public figures, they may have expressed their beliefs but the bottom line is that any government decision making cannot be dominated by their private beliefs. Bush's decision to go into war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and what was thought to be a threat in Iraq was left over from the Cold War of mutually assured destruction. You build up a strong army so that the communist opponent wouldn't even think to send anything your way. However, times change and this strategy was not appropriate when it came to Islamic terrorists.
Iraq was not a country of Islamic terrorists before the allied invasion. But we've successfully fostered the terrorist mindset by our intervention. And we're doing the same in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
No, it was not a country of Islamic terrorists but it did have one dictator that did threaten the US and kept us guessing as to whether he had nukes, and was tolerant of the presence of Al Qaeda in his country. Bush made the decision to attack and finish the job that his father aborted. As for the terrorist mindset being fostered, it was done long before that and it will probably continue. The Muslim Middle East are failed countries that aren't able to build democracies and economic futures for their citizens. They've often used the US as a scapegoat for their failures and with the way things are going on over there, it will continue. As always it will be their people that are suffering and continue to suffer.
I think maybe you have never lived in the Middle East? Your impressions seem to be stereotypes gleaned from American media. You might not have noticed yet, but the US (and most of Europe) has degenerated to oligarchy and is no more democratic than medieval France. Try voting out big oil or big banking and see how you get on.
Describing US and the Europe as no more democratic than medieval France is of course hyperbole. I'm not sure why you can't determine the difference between an oligarchy and a liberal democracy but it probably helps you to live your life to think that way. The function of Big Oil and Big Banking has its place but I doubt that it has anything on the dissipated sheiks of the Middle East oil producers.
Hyperbole is a valid rhetorical device. I have to say I'm getting a bit tired of your patronising manner. Quite unnecessary, really.
I'm not at all trying to be patronizing. Not knowing the difference between an oligarchy and a liberal democracy is being deliberately obtuse and you don't seem ignorant. That's why I said that thinking that way must help you to live your life in some fashion.
In any democracy, the people have to be constantly on their guard against their liberties (and their wealth) being hijacked by self-serving groups and individuals. In recent times, the balance between the very rich and the rest has become skewed to an unprecedented degree and there are no signs of a reversal. That is why I use the word oligarchy. An unelected, unremovable coterie of international bankers and head of corporations has taken control. Democracy, like truth in wartime, is the first casualty. It died a long time ago.
Perhaps because of where you live you have that outlook and it may be true in your experience and I feel sorry for you that democracy died in your country, if it ever was there. However, my experience has been different. There is great dissatisfaction here in the US because of the slowdown in the economy but people are highly politicized (and what you said could apply to either party follower) so no one is happy, it doesn't mean that democracy died.
I am from UK, Scotland originally but now living in England (except that for 11 months per year I am working in Qatar and/or UAE).
I agree there is a groundswell resistance taking hold in US and Europe against the political/financial elite. But much of it is lost in the noise of non-issues and manipulated (and irrelevant) left-right battles.
I'll accept that democracy is alive and well if/when I see signs of power being reclaimed by the people. When do you think that will happen?
Well Scotland and UK did and still do have the royal family and lords and stuff, so I can see that you have experienced an oligarchy of a sort. And certainly in Qatar, there is no democracy. Here in the US the percentage of the elite stay more or less the same but the people keep changing. I would say it's alive and well here.
What you see is really dependent on your ability as to how you interpret your government.
Alive and well - so, you're not bothered by the unprecedented and growing gulf between your super-rich and the rest, or the disappearance of the middle classes?
Things ebb and flow, am I happy that so many people are out of work and suffering? Of course not. I was not happy about TARP and I wasn't happy about the bailouts. More people would be out of work if it weren't for those government actions and I wouldn't be happy about that either but I think it would have made more sense to people if banks and companies were allowed to fail. Then they wouldn't be so upset at CEOs and investment bankers getting those huge bonuses and salaries; they should not have been rewarded for their bad decisions. More of them would have had a share in the misery that the majority are experiencing. What I am happy about is that people are more engaged to try to make government and big business accountable. That's what I mean about the democratic process in my country being alive and well.
That's fair enough. I hope people power proves effective but I don't underestimate the manipulative power of the financial elite, especially when they fear they've been 'rumbled'. They won't give up their ill-gotten gains and power without a fight, any more than the Arab dictators do.
Anyway, we've drifted from the religious/ethical domain to the firmly political so maybe we should leave it there before someone says we're in the wrong forum!
I kind of have the feeling that this tendency to support militarism has to do with a sort of contextualization in the old testament, as well as fulfillment of end time prophecy. If you read the Bible from cover to cover, there is a great deal about war before there is a great deal about peace. But when you get to the end again and start looking at bits about the resoration of Jerusalem and the final Battle between Jesus and Satan, if you interpret this sort of thing to be literal, once again things start to seem oriented towards physical conflict. Excuse my limited knowledge and slight inaccuraices in detail please, if any.
Well, Paraglider, as an atheist it's difficult for me to understand the difference between "Murder and Kill" Giving the benefit of the doubt, I would imagine that the distinction is between deliberately taking another's life and finding oneself in a situation where it is necessary to take another's life in order to protect one's own life: Self defense??
It must be awful to live in the US, and feel that everyday you need to be armed, because your life is at risk. Doesn't sound like a free, great or wonderful nation to live in!
As for the young men and women who, in my opinion, go off to war to protect "Us" I feel that this is very sad and misguided. They do not protect "us" they are inadvertently helping an elitist group rape other nations of their natural resources and sovereignty. I know, I will be slammed for this viewpoint. But, I'm trying to cast my mind back to when the so called "enemy" were ever really a threat to us. Let me see, can't remember a time when this was "truly" the case. No to militarism. Let the likes of Bush, Blair et.al, send their own children off to war.
I've never lived in US but have worked there quite a lot over the years. It's not such a bad place, but far less diverse culturally than Europe (generally). And what passes for politics is hopelessly bipolar. Too many people believe their own myths, at least that's what I see. Certainly, the streets are far safer in the Middle East!
A true Christian would never be offensive; yes he could defend.
97Paraglider Good Morning
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets".
Good morning Paraglider
sipping on my first cut of coffee "Yawn"
Translation of 4000 year old words ??
If someone came into my house (especially at night uninvited) intending to do bodily harm to a wife and/or children, they will certainly be shot.
AS I would suppose would happen to me if I were to do the same.
If my neighbor is raising poisonus snakes and they are getting out of their boxes and coming to my house; I would go to my neighbor and protest. When he does not correct the problem, I might enter into his property and fix the problem myself.
I would expect him to do the same.
Sometimes the thin line between right and wrong isn't thin at all.
I have heard, Good fences between neighbors MAKE good neighbors.
However, we can build a fence so tall that it falls and someone gets crushed.
Maybe I should wake up some more before commenting.
Jerami - both the scenarios you cite constitute self defence. I'm more concerned with military adventurism as advocated by a surprising number of religious folk.
And with the idea that it's OK to fall back on Moses as exemplar when Jesus is just too difficult (or wrong? Is that what we're saying?)
Had to leave earlier and will have to do it again ,, just checking in for a few.
I was actually visualizing my two scenarios in a larger picture, rather than a personal one.
Unfortunately, many times, nations streatch the truth a bit in order to gain popular public opinion to their agressive behaveior.
The good guys and bad guys all wear white hats, unlike in the old western movies when we could know the bad guys cause they wore black hats.
Sorry ... gotta goe out some more
The problem I was having was in persuading some people that they can't have it all ways. You can't claim that Jesus was always right AND it is sometimes right to disobey his teachings. You can't UNLESS you are prepared to admit moral relativism or situational ethics into the equation (which I was advocating). But that is anathema to the absolutists who insist there are absolute standards of good and evil.
And Merry Christmas to all from me too
Thanks. I'll take that.
I did my seasons greetings under the topic "Christmas", perhaps you saw it.
But, I repeat it back at you.
Be blessed this Christmas season!
PS, very thought provoking thread!
I think that a Christian person definitely should not join the military with the intent to kill people but rather to defend our liberty and the liberty of our allies. That's what I like about the American military, they usually don't fight unless someone else is the aggressor.
Well say what you will about Iraq, but I think it is debatable. It definitely wasn't a conquest, we didn't get any oil from them. Everybody said that a maniac dictator had WMD's.
Not a conquest? Regime change, execution of leader, 100,000 Iraqi deaths.
(But no WMDs - just hot air)
Yeah conquest. no Subjugation, no plundering, no mass migrations, no forced culture changes. We removed the evil dictator, stabilized the government, and now we are packing up our stuff and leaving,(a little prematurely if you ask me).
Lots of lucrative contracts to rebuild the infrastructure, but of course, no plundering...
No mass migrations, just thousands rendered homeless, penniless, maimed or dead.
But thank you for demonstrating to Cassie Smith (above) that Christians who support militarism are not a figment of my imagination
@paraglider u r right man...those who use any kind of force under any reason are not following christ in principal...Christ didnt use force even to protect himself forget rest....The use of force in any name is mostly for political reasons and can be linked with broader theory and must not be seen from narrow prism of religion....
Hi pisean - personally, I'm a pragmatist in such matters. I think that sometimes force is justified (though not nearly as often as it is used). But I am not religious in any way and I support situational ethics. I worry about those who claim to know absolute right and wrong, especially when they back up their 'knowledge' by highly selective scripture.
"Christ didnt use force even to protect himself" is the perfect example of Peace.
Manly, good to see you again here...Your team (Houston Texans) is rolling, mine lost last night..
Merry Christmas, PDH...Good to see ya'! What about those Texans...I am so enjoying this football season. Thank you, Texans! Sorry about Da' Boys losing (Well...kind'a sorry 'bout that!?!)
Oh wait a second...I seem to remember that you are a Steelers fan...and that the Cowboys won their lost one! Whoops...my bad...I have to been way to focused on the Texans lately. (Sorry, about the Steelers loss last nite...Well...kind'a sorry 'bout that!?!)
Yes Steelers lost, I moved to the East Coast now manly, am not in Dallas anymore, near to Pittsburg where the Steelers are, actually I am nearer to Philadelphia, neighbors will be mad at me cheering for Steelers instead of the Eagles.
I think Texans is doing good...they are now the division champs, YOOHOO!!!!!!!!
Merry Christmas and take care!~!
As a Christian, can you not mourn the deaths of the Iraqi people and say that the war was wrong? Can you not mourn the death of US/UK soldiers and say that the war was wrong? I know from reading your previous posts that you are a college graduate. Looking back, were the lives of all those people, worth it for a "Maniac dictator?" Or, do some Christians believe that some lives are worth more than others?
Hi Dave... I think almost all culture value life, but to the effect that some people think that to sacrifice their life - to kill for others sake is the highest form of value, and to be killed is an honor in whatever value they upheld. - Personally I don't understand that, but who is to say a culture is wrong in believing that way? People indulge war for various reasons, mostly economic, also in defense if somebody attack them, sometimes in offense too.
Hi Maita - Merry Christmas
There is too much pro-war rhetoric flying about in the public domain. War is always a failure of diplomacy. Sometimes though, it is a deliberate failure engineered by vested interests in conflict.
Hmmm...probably...Sorry, PG...and others that have inputted.
Anything you do is fine with me
Yes, I'm going home on Christmas Eve for 3 weeks. The snow hasn't arrived yet, but there will probably be some while I'm there.
Not my topic.!
Not my op!
I will let it be, not my problem.
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