The Annoyed Man wrote:
ShootDontTalk wrote:Apathy? It is difficult to convince Christians to stand up for themselves. As long as it doesn't happen to them personally, no one even notices.
I wouldn't call it apathy, per se. There are complex reasons for why this is so.
One reason is that no less a person than Jesus tells us to respond charitably to injustice: Matthew 5:38-41 - "38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."
Also, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:18, 19 - "18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all
. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves
, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”"
These things do not mean that we should not protect ourselves, but they do mean that we are not to seek revenge for insults - whether they be religious, cultural, or physical insults. No revenge doesn't mean that you don't fight back in self-defense, but it does mean that you forego the right to exact punishment. So on one hand, you have the central character of the faith telling us to accept the insults (because we will be persecuted for our faith), but his most prolific prophet telling us that A) we are to live in peace with everybody in so far as it is possible, B) that we are to leave revenge up to God, and C) that God's justice will happen according to his
plan, not ours.
So right there, just in those two passages (and there are others), you've got scriptural instruction not to seek payback.
Then, Christian scripture also
tells us that we will be persecuted for the faith, and to understand that when it happens, God's prophecies are being fulfilled, and to rejoice in that fulfillment. So what you end up with is a believer who is not passive (we are free to pray all we want), but who is enjoined to be nonviolent in so far as it depends upon that believer, and to not seek revenge for insults. The product is a person who will perhaps act quickly to defend someone else
from these kinds of depredations, but may seem more resigned to it when it happens to directly themselves.
I am unaware if Islam teaches anything similar. If it does, then modern Islamicists are failing radically to uphold their religion.
There seems to have been some confusion among Christian nations with the teachings and examples in the Bible which require God's people to literally destroy the armies and nations that come against us, even at times, including the women, children and animals, while other Scriptures command us to love our enemies and pray for them, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give our cloak as well as our tunic, bless those who curse us and spitefully use us and love our neighbor as ourselves.
If God does not change, according to the Scripture, and He and His Command(ment)s are the same yesterday, today and forever, then we seem to have a problem. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Gideon, Samson, and many others DESTROYED and killed the enemies of God, AND HIS PEOPLE, without mercy, as God required. These same men were commended by God in the Bible. After all, the stakes were high. The lives of innocent human beings, namely Israelites, were at stake. Their (our) enemies had no problems picking of straggling families and raping and killing innocent men women and children, even ripping out babies from the wombs of their mothers ALIVE. These enemies of God's people deserved nothing less than the death which God COMMANDED. While these faithful and courageous leaders of God's people were alive, NO ONE was allowed to get away with attacking or killing God's people. And we should remember that God has PROMISED these specific men, as well as other men and women like these, WILL BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD to immortal life. So there we have the requirements, and some examples and what God does for those who keep them, according to the Bible.
One would wish we had leaders alive today in the government as well as the military, who felt the same way. Too bad we don't. The warriors who actually fight for us feel the same as Israel's leaders of old. OUR 'leaders', even in the military, generally do not. These 'leaders' usually betray any of our warriors who go counter to any traitorous rules of engagement set by the civilian leadership. By our 'leaders', even in the military, siding and giving preferential treatment to the ENEMY who MAIM and KILL our warriors and our people, they show themselves as the cowardly TRAITORS they are. These types would rather suck up to evil and keep their jobs, then do the right thing. Continuing...
On the other hand, we have all the commandments as taught by Christ and enumerated above, which requires us to show great mercy and tolerance for our NEIGHBOR who mistreats us.
And that is the distinction. God COMMANDS us to completely destroy enemy ARMIES and NATIONS who attack us.
God COMMANDS us to extend MERCY to our LITERAL 'next door' NEIGHBORS, our 'brothers' so to speak, who are of the same NATION who MISTREAT us.
There are laws of course then, and now, which should encourage people from stealing from, harming, slandering or libeling, and murdering OUR neighbor. Those laws give rights and SHOULD give justice to the victims as they penalize the CRIMINALS among OUR people.
On another level, it's clear that the Biblical enemies of God consist of enemy NATIONS. Those same enemies of God, are in fact also OUR ENEMIES, because those nations hate us and attack us, HIS PEOPLE.
We don't (or shouldn't) kill or mistreat fellow Americans as a people, they are OUR neighbors and if the Bible is to be believed, of the same blood. And even when not, it's clear from Old and New Testament that those who live like Israelites who keep the laws, are to be treated AS Israelites. Though primarily the laws being referred to in both Testaments, are God's Laws as given and kept by Moses, as well as Christ, the Apostles and New Testament Christians, even for decades AFTER Christ died.
Bottom line, we should not tolerate any attacks on OUR people, not by foreign nations, nor from ANY from them. Any attack from anyone aligned or from them, is a defacto attack BY that ENEMY nation.
So much for our 'ally' Saudi Arabia. Most of the 9/11 attackers were from the country anciently known as Esau, or Edom. If the Bible is to be believed, God HATES EDOM, and all it's people (Mal 1:3), and LOVED Jacob, later known as Israel. The father of the 12 Tribes of Israel.
It's obvious that if Abraham, Moses, David, Joshua or Gideon (and many others) were alive and leading this people, things would be done MUCH differently than they are today. Our war fighters would have all current constraints removed as they fulfill their missions to SAVE our people when required, and DESTROY the enemy COMPLETELY, when THAT is required.
Obviously, we are NOT living in the New Testament, because God's Laws are NOT in our hearts and minds as we KEEP and OBEY them.
Not yet anyway.
We are indeed required to live in peace with all men, unless those men are NOT of our country, and attack and kill our citizens.
It should be obvious even to those most casual observer that certain middle eastern countries have next to no 'relation' to countries of the West and the Israelis, which are comprised mostly of Christians and Jews. There is a reason for this. We are all descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel, the same Tribes which Moses rescued from slavery, and which we were warned would happen again.
Too bad scientists who think they can trace mankind back to pond slime, can't find enough functioning brain-cells to trace back and find the origins of the average American citizen.
It should be said though, as a poster below reminded me, that God did set Laws for His people and those Laws enumerated penalties, including death, for any FELLOW CITIZENS who broke those Laws.
The responsibility to protect the people from attack for foreign nations, as well as from those within who break the law, was on the GOVERNMENT.
In our case, WE are responsible for those we put in civilian leadership. And THEY are responsible for breaking the promises they make to US, the public, including their oath's of office.
If Abraham was NOT deemed guilty by God as he and his 318 men chased and ran down and slaughtered the armies of four enemy kings who took his nephew Lot and his family captive, WE are not guilty when defending our loved ones by CRIMINALS who attack us and our loved ones.
When caught, these criminals should NEVER have MORE rights than their victims. Criminals by definition, have been CONVICTED of breaking the law and the government has a responsibility to PUNISH these, even when required, with death.
Showing mercy to criminals only breeds more crime.