Chris G P wrote: From what I understand the two ends of Nigeria are very different from each other. The South is majority ‚ÄúChristian‚ÄĚ, but (note the inverted commas), this tragically means every variety of prosperity gospel, false doctrine and all that one can think of, both of local origin and of the imported US / European variety. The local pastor sadly is often nothing more than a Christianised version of the old witch doctor, and rules his church as his own personal empire.
ChrisGP, reminded me of the IFB YouTube video listing the top ten richest pastors in the world today, which included, amazingly, a couple from Nigeria. Yes, they have prosperity gospel there all right, stealing money in Jesus name. They make a Jesus who is not the Jesus of the Bible.
[The anxiety of one mass shooting after another has led some churches to start training and arming their worshippers with guns. Not all security experts support this approach, but it has gained momentum as congregations across the country grapple with how to secure spaces where welcoming strangers is a religious practice.] (from the article)
What I would like to know is, how many of the posters supporting this move, belong to churches who are now engaging in this training scheme?
There are Evangelical Free churches in the UK, but they are all independent and non-denominational. They are also usually genuine gospel preaching churches, holding to the old definition of evangelical.
This group, being denominational with distinctives, has done well to jettison this particular distinctive, not least because it is an incorrect understanding of the end times.
The Quiet Christian wrote: Perhaps, John. .. Freedom is worth protecting. It is worth pursuing. It is worth dying for.
Good morning brother,
Just a couple of points.
The Jews in AD30 were men who wished for freedom and were willing to die for the cause. They were awaiting the promised Messiah/Deliverer who would lead them in battle against the Romans and get their land back. But it didn't quite work out that way.
Regarding war and its effectiveness. Back in the day, battles were fought by soldiers against other soldiers, sword against sword. With today's weaponry you can kill an entire city of civilians with nerve gas without even going there.
And then there is the balance of power theory. I don't have access to accurate figures, so bear with me. Imagine all the world guvs getting together in one place with a lot of dosh. The total amount was about 200 trillion dollars. Together, they shoveled all this cash into an incinerator and burnt it.
In the real world, for a long time, nuclear weaponry has been stockpiled by various guvs around the world. There is enough fire power to blast planet earth to pieces. But no-one sets them off, because it would mean global suicide.
I too would like to share a testimony of a missionary, except that this missionary was born in Mississippi and he is my spiritual father.
Running a Christian late night cafe, in which he often began preaching at midnight to extremely colourful characters, one night the Lord told him to take down the 12 ft wooden cross he had illuminated on a wall of the cafe, and prepare to carry it across America, coast to coast, taking the gospel of the cross.
This he did, and on the day, he and a friend were setting off and had not gone far when a crazy man started running towards them, axe in hand. He was shouting, "I am going to chop up your cross, and then you!"
My father immediately began praying for this man, and sorted out a suitable tract to give him. Something like that. He and his friend had quickly decided to trust the Lord to protect them, seeing as it was his commission, and they were merely servants.
Just as the axeman came alongside them, he began shaking, dropped the axe, and went running off back where he'd come from.
My father can share hundreds of such events, and regularly does, when he is in-between cross-walks.
Frank wrote: Thanks brother! We have unusual laws here. In my state, if someone "feels" their lives are in danger, then they can use lethal force. Lots of people have concealed carry permits. I pray that I am never put into a situation where I feel my life or someone I love lives are put in danger. So far, the Lord has not allowed that to happen. Praise His holy name!! To me the Exodus 22 verse simply means there are circumstances where killing is not murder.
Pilgrim, I'm right glad to hear you acknowledge this thing: "So far, the Lord HAS NOT ALLOWED THAT to happen".
As one who has preached in the open-air many times over several decades, I can testify that the Lord has not permitted any harm to ever befall me, or any of those with me. He is the sovereign God, and Lord over all men.
And yes, there are other circumstances where killing is not murder, such as the death penalty. The Jews who brought about the death of Jesus Christ imagined they were doing something legitimate, until the Holy Spirit showed them that they had murdered the Lord of Glory, The Prince of Peace, the incarnate God - Jehovah.
Frank wrote: Hey brother! Yes, I was referring to born again believers who refer to themselves as pacifists or who are pacifists. Pacifism is not a proof of Christianity. And as you know, I don't consider Calvinists, Arminists and Baptist to be synonymous with proof of Christianity. What did you think of my Exodus 22 text? See how great minds think alike.
They sure do bro!
We have been considering the Exodus 22 text while you were away, and I guess it is helpful, in a general sort of a way. There's no doubt some of those multitude of OT laws found their way into the UK statute books; many haven't, such as the stoning to death of disobedient children.
We had a case recently in England, of an elderly farmer who was being burgled by an intruder late at night, and while he was climbing the stairs, the farmer shot his shotgun at him and killed him. It was dark, and the law process was lengthy and difficult, with folks on either side of the debate.
I haven't yet stated my position on this article bro, so if you see anyone making accusations of me, they are strawmen, nothing more nothing less.
Frank wrote: Taken to an extreme, these pacifists....
Pacifists, Calvinists, Arminists, Baptists?
How about Disciples of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who follow Him and His word? These are the little remnant who make it to heaven, receiving Christ the Lord, bending the knee, not loving their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11
Bro US, I ran out of space, so let me run this by you for your consideration and response.
Let us say you are the pastor of Christchurch, in a small town in Texas. In the wake of mass shootings throughout America, you are considering the best means to protect yourself and your congregation when you meet on Sundays and Wednesday nights.
Now let me imagine you are spiritual enough not to call a "committee meeting" and humanly discuss a human problem without recourse to God.
So instead you have two options:
1. The word of God. Does it give clarity concerning the particular new thing you are considering doing? If yes, you go ahead and either do it or don't do it, accordingly as the scripture teaches. Job done.
2. The Word of God. Ask him what to do, and wait for his reply. If he replies, do what he says to do. If he does not reply, do nothing.
Is this fair enough?
The "TWO" principle will apply to anything in the Christian life, and should ensure we do nothing which is against the will of God.
Christopher, excellent post! Blessed me to bits bro. This is exactly right. "...bottomless pit of junk." A lot of work, in other words, as we go from serving the flesh to walking in the Spirit. And the work will always be hampered by what is called in the trade "baggage". Them that would walk into a mall and start shooting are usually those who have the most "baggage", and need the most help. Those brought up under the nurture and admonition of the Lord are the most privileged.
"I consider trying to emulate Him, a joyful task, as opposed to an unwelcome chore." Amen and Amen!
Mike NY, thanks for your commentary. I am pondering.
Bro US, your "proof text":-
Galatians 6:9-10 KJV (9)¬† And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10)¬† As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
No, really brother, it is a clutching at straws.
You see, scripture records for us the difficulties, trials, beatings, stonings, beheadings and so on, of the saints in the NT, but not one mention, in any of those accounts, of Christians deploying weapons to save their skin. Not one. And what's more, you know that right well.
Christopher000 wrote: Preservation of human life, is tantamount to being faithless, and trying to thwart God's will? I've never heard such utter nonsense.
Again, I'm not sure who you are referring to, Christopher, but here is my answer anyway.
Acts 18:9-10 KJV (9)¬† Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: (10)¬† For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
Now Christopher, think about this for a while, all afternoon if need be.
Here is the living Lord Jesus Christ speaking to Paul in Corinth. He told him not to be afraid, but to speak, no holding back.
This is the John 2:5 principle I mentioned.
Jesus tells him, "I am with you, and no-one will be allowed to set on you and hurt you." Sure, he can carry his dirk (Luke 22:36-38, not a sword but a dirk), but he'll never need to use it, because of the total sovereignty of God over all men.
What did the Lord say in the Great Commission? And which hardly a soul believes today?
Matthew 28:20 KJV (20)¬† Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am WITH YOU alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Christopher000 wrote: John, the post wasn't directly to you, and was in response to a post shortly before. Don't worry, I'll be sure to address you by name when I have a statement or question for you. I'll be sure of it, because I know how important that is to you.
Ah, okay then, I thought it was that answer to my question that you promised to give me some days ago.
There has been much time passed, and still no-one seems to be able to find a biblical account of Christians defending themselves with weaponry when faced with great trials. I am still searching the New Testament myself, because if there is biblical warrant I will submit to the truth of God's word.
But the main problem goes far deeper than this little one. It goes back to the roots of Christianity.
Our brother Adriel often remarks about liberals within christendom, and for decades and longer, evangelicals have classified them as denying the faith. But what do we see today, among those same evangelicals? The same sort of sentiments coming from their lips. Everything must be natural. Expressions such as "Jesus lives in me" no longer refer to the Person, but to his ethics, his teachings. Jesus is relegated to a museum, no longer relevant.
Matthew 10:34-39 KJV (34)¬† Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35)¬† For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36)¬† And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (37)¬† He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38)¬† And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (39)¬† He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
One of the costs of following Christ is antagonism between family members. Jesus is not referring to a literal sword, but a rift, a separation. When it comes to peace, he teaches:
Matthew 5:9 KJV (9)¬† Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Christopher000 wrote: 1. Talk about grasping at straws to try and prove a point that's nothing but opinion, at best.
2. A madman revs his car up, the tires smoke, and he's making a bee-line to murder himself a Christian. The Christian steps out of the way to save his life, instead of dropping to his knees in prayer, and the Christian is in sin for being faithless?
3. A Christian is street preaching when a madman says, "I'm gonna kill me a Christian", and begins stabbing the preacher. The preacher trys to run, but the madman is much faster. The preacher strikes the madman with a pipe he sees laying nearby to stop from being murdered. The preacher was a faithless chump who sinned by defending himself?
Christopher, thank you for your post.
1. You are in danger of joining with those who do not believe in objective truth. Read an article on "relative truth" and it may save you from a cul-de-sac. It is also true that the God who "so loved the world" does not have different truth for different countries.
2. Who is it you are trying to convince? Me? Then say me, instead of flapping about beating the air.
3. They have to run it past GOD first. I am speaking by experience. Are you?
Usually, context irons out misconceptions regarding scripture. But separating one verse is most dangerous, and is where heretics get their heresies from. Note,
Luke 22:35-38 KJV (35)¬† And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. (36)¬† Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (37)¬† For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. (38)¬† And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
Here is a clue for you all from v37 "And he was reckoned among the transgressors".
The questions you have to ask yourself are, "Who are these transgressors?" And, "What were the two swords actually for?"
I have to turn in, so I wish you all a good night, and do not forget that if you are a child of God you have been allocated at least one guardian angel.
The Quiet Christian wrote: While certainly true, John, and commendable to put first things first, we may well be having this conversation because non-believers died for a principle of freedom that enables us to discuss and debate with relative ease matter of first importance -- saving faith and repentence unto life -- as well as many less important matters. Did it matter? The sacrifice of a life with other lives was used by the Lord to grant us this gift -- Freedom. Again, I'm approaching this from an American mindset. Some of my forebears fought for freedom here. Our culture celebrates that kind of individualism. I'm no expert on UK culture but I'm hazarding a guess that you may not see things the same way because of the cultural influence, however subtle, that push you to be loyal to the crown.
Culture and tradition QC, as they are usually opposed to the Jesus culture, ought be fought against and rejected, which thing I am currently engaged in on a daily basis, getting to the bottom of it spiritually. The problem is that 99% of christendom is firmly attached to their culture and favourite traditions, and will not give them up for Jesus, which is why they make a Jesus who is not the Jesus of the Bible.
James Thomas wrote: I think many examples have been provided in this thread by others to show that using necessary means for protection are acceptable in the eyes of God.
Ah James, when you say, "I think....." you are expressing uncertainty. And when I say, "No examples have yet been given from the new testament to show that when faced with death or imprisonment or beatings, Christian men and women defended themselves with weapons, even to the degree of killing their attackers, I am expressing certainty.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Brother John, we will give you your thinking on Paul. Not clutching at straws, don't care what other preachers think, basing my thinking on Biblical principles of my God given responsibilities from the verses cited in my last post. If you don't see that it is not my problem. God bless.
Okay brother, I'll retract that which I said.
But what I'm after is not so difficult, is it? My simple little question could easily be answered if there was was such a text to furnish it. With all the persecution and killings and imprisonments and beheadings and beatings and robberies and stoning to death in the new covenant church, I'm after one reference where a Christian fought back with weapons, even with his fists, and killed, or hurt in any way, or disabled another person. Surely if that was a common practice, there must be lots of references.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Had a reply written and decided it was too snarky. Here's the bottom line. The Scripture says I am to provide for my own and I believe that includes their safety and protection. The Scripture says I am to do good to all men but especially those of the household of faith and that includes stopping them from receiving bodily harm when it is within my power to do so.
Ahem, a couple of things here bro.
1. It was "the authorities" who protected Paul. He was in their custody. It was NOT Paul defending himself, nor did he ask his Christian friends to defend him. I can hardly believe you are using this text as a proof text. Yet you are angry with me, who has a just argument, and why is that? You will have to work that through with the Lord Jesus.
2. You are jumping, jumping, away from your proof text, knowing it to be no proof text (the tongue-in-cheek technique) and now are jumping into another argument, hoping that it might fare better (clutching at straws technique).
Brother, I am convinced you are fully aware of the futility of your argument, but you fear the Yee Ha preachers and other members who will laugh at you, and force you to leave their circle.