Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Outline Of The Answer To Question (9) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Re--Citing Question (9):
" Since Jesus told people to turn the other cheek, why aren't more Christians pacifists ? "

Outlining The Answer Given:
At the outset, Miller does not deny that there are Christians who are truly pacifists. But, as the question asks why not more of them be so, since the teachings of their Bible instruct to be so.

The answer that has been given, by Stephen Miller, can be divided into two parts:

Part One: It deals with the pacifist Christians.
Part Two: It deals with the non--pacifist Christians.

The following quotes taken from Miller's answer may make the the difference between the two groups of Christians clear:

Quotation One:
" Christians were pacifists for the first 300 years of Christianity.Most church history scholars agree on that much. "

Quotation Two:
" Why Christians were pacifists ?  Early church leaders preached love, not war:
      We no longer arm ourselves to fight a nation. We don't study the art of war, either. We are soldiers of peace, lead by our commander: Jesus.
                                                                      Origen ( about 185--254 ), against Celsus.

      When Christ disarmed Peter he disarmed every soldier.
                                                                       Tertullian ( about 160--220 )
      Each church rule book said the same thing."

Quotation Three:
      * Christians were forbidden to join the army.
      * Soldiers converted while in the army could continue to serve, but not fight.
      * Officers converted while in the army had to resign.
                                                                         Apostolic Tradition, AD 200s

Quotation Four:
" Pacifists used a literal take on the New Testament ( of the Bible) teachings of Jesus as ammunition for their argument--just as pacifist Christians do to day.
      * " Do not resist an evildoer. But if one strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. "
                                                                        ( Mathew 5:39 NRSV ).
      * " Love your enemies. " ( Mathew 5:44 ).

      * " Do to others whatever you want them do to you. " ( Mathew 7:12 ).

The foregoing is the tip of the iceberg revealing why some Christians were (and still are) pacifists. the next question Miller has raised to answer his own original question is the following question:

" Why some Christians fight. (?):

The Invention of The Just War Theory"
It was Bishop Augustine ( 345--430 AD ) who invented the " Just War Theory ". Bishop Augustine "was one of the most theologian of all. He believed that " there are times when war is justified--when it's conducted for the good of everyone."

Miller says that " Martin Luther ( 1483--1546 ), founder of the Protestant movement, agreed. But instead of preaching " just war," he talked about the reality of two kingdoms. In Christ's spiritual kingdom, there's nothing but peace. But outside the perfect world--in our world--war is sometimes God's way of restoring order. "

The following quotes may provide more light on the question, why some Christian fight. (?):

Quotation Five:
" To Luther way of thinking, tyrants left unchecked will reign over a status quo of injustice: starvation, homelessness, sick people left untreated, legal systems favoring the rich, laws written by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful, minorities targeted for discrimination, or worse. Luther would have argued that Christians need to take a stand against that. "

Quotation Six:
" History's best illustration of what Augustine and Luther preached: Hitler. "

Quotation Seven:
" Locked and loaded, survivalist Christians, anticipating some kind of global apocalypse, remind their peace--loving brothers and sisters that two-third of the Bible is the Old Testament. And it's full of holy war--the justice side of God's love."

Final Words:
As it has been said earlier in the foregoing, the above presentation is really the tip of the iceberg. There are so many pro and con, for each group of Christians--pacifist or un--pacifist Christians. Any reader who is interested in getting the full meticulous details on both groups, should get a copy of the book and read it.I can only provide you with outlines the best I can.


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