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    World Religion & Speculative Theology - Thread: Ask a Christian - Pauline Christianity - a religion of the State?

    1. #11
      MoreCoffee's Avatar
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      I think Stravinsk is right in saying that MennoSota did not address the questions raised in the original post.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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    3. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsk View Post
      Ask a Christian - Pauline Christianity - a religion of the State?


      Please read and answer thoughtfully before giving a flippant answer based on the title, thanks. Doing so shows some respect for my thoughts. There are a few different reasons I do not call myself Christian, this is one of them.

      The first few verses of Romans 13 make it clear that:

      1) There is no State Authority but what God has established (Romans 13:1-2)
      2) If you are punished by the State it is because you have done evil - conversely - if you are praised by the State you have done good. (Romans 13:3-4)
      3) Obey the State not only because of the power vested in it to harm it's citizens, but also because it is for conscience sake (Romans 13:5)
      4) The States employees are "God's Ministers" (Romans 13:6), therefore taxes are good and necessary.

      In a nutshell (with some supporting verses elsewhere such as 1Peter 2:13-14, 17) these verses tie Christianity to the State

      So my main question and follow up questions for Christians are:

      Do you believe this?

      If no, understood (neither do I, not as the chapter states it, anyway)
      If yes, then...

      Question 1 for those who believe this passage and supporting passages as written) Was Jesus a sinner or was He evil? Because it is logically impossible to accept what Romans and 1st Peter teach *and also* accept that Jesus is a sinless sacrifice. For according to the teaching above - the State could not punish and put to death an innocent man. One of it's primary functions is to sort the good from the bad and punish evildoers, by the Authority of God, according to Paul.
      If the State got it wrong in Christ's case, then the State was not being governed by God as Paul says it must be. If the State got it right in Christ's case, then Christ is an evil doer according to Paul's teaching here.
      If the argument then becomes that the State acknowledged Christ's innocence but still tortured and murdered Christ because of Jewish influence - then the passage still falls into one of the previous categories - as one of it's primary duties is to punish evil doers and not the innocent.

      Question 2 for those who believe this passage and supporting passages as written) State vs State. For this question let there be the assumption that both States in Question are primarily Christian and have at least nominal Christian leaders. I'm letting this assumption dominate even though the text does not specify it but because someone is bound to say it doesn't apply to "non Christian" states.

      If State X and State Y are both Christian majorities with leaders who confess Christ, then through the understanding of Romans 13:1-6 what must logically follow is that

      A) If a state of war exists between them, God has ordained it.
      B) Any action by one State against another State must be under the ultimate approval and authority of God - as God is the Authority in both states according to Romans 13. Therefore, any action done by one State's government to another - including Sanctions leading to starvation, Torture, replacing leaders, rape, murder and anything else - is ultimately done under God's Authority. The benefactor and malefactors only a matter of God's favoritism at the time. And of course, favoritism *must* be shown in this scenario. It further follows that if favoritism is shown in these ways (by the Authority of the State which Paul says represents God's will for determining good and evil) - then God doesn't love the whole world. Just the State he is favoring in hurting and plundering the other's citizens. God bless (your country, and *only* your country here).


      Or ...
      The first few verses of Romans 13 cannot possibly be correct in it's very wide proclamations about God and government, and a bunch of qualifiers and excuses not found in the text must be added to this chapter of Romans (and 1Peter 2: 13-14,17) in order to make it relevant. Which of course means that the Scripture is incomplete and not God-breathed.


      Here's your chance to convince me I've got this all wrong and I might even be in the running for being saved like the rest of Christianity thinks it already is. Let's hear it, if you have it.
      I find this comment "here's your chance to convince me I've got this all wrong. . . ." to be really patronizing. If you don't want to believe that is your choice. God is a God of truth, so to the extent that the government is established on truth then it is in God's will. But countries can rebel against God's authority just like man can. There are plenty of examples of that in the Old Testament with Israel. I believe America is already there having followed after an idol of money and materialism and is no longer for the most part following after God.
      Please stop being patronizing

    4. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I find this comment "here's your chance to convince me I've got this all wrong. . . ." to be really patronizing. If you don't want to believe that is your choice. God is a God of truth, so to the extent that the government is established on truth then it is in God's will. But countries can rebel against God's authority just like man can. There are plenty of examples of that in the Old Testament with Israel. I believe America is already there having followed after an idol of money and materialism and is no longer for the most part following after God.
      Please stop being patronizing
      God raises up all nations and tears them down by his ordination. This includes the ones we consider extraordinarily evil.
      Habakkuk 1:5-7
      [5]The lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.
      [6]I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands.
      [7]They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like.

    5. #14
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      It is clear that Stravinsk does not want to consider Romans 13 and what the text says. In this case it's best to let him/her do whatever seems right in her/his own eyes.

    6. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
      It is clear that Stravinsk does not want to consider Romans 13 and what the text says. In this case it's best to let him/her do whatever seems right in her/his own eyes.
      I am fairly sure that Stravinsk noted that he's not very keen on Pauline writings.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

    7. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      I am fairly sure that Stravinsk noted that he's not very keen on Pauline writings.
      Big deal. He brought up Romans 13 and surmised that it was teaching merger of church with State. I went through the chapter and explained that it has nothing to do with merging church and state.
      Do you believe in the union of church and state?

    8. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
      Big deal. He brought up Romans 13 and surmised that it was teaching merger of church with State. I went through the chapter and explained that it has nothing to do with merging church and state.
      Do you believe in the union of church and state?
      Yes Stravinsk did mention Romans 13, but he did so in much the same way that you might bring up a "word from the Lord" by Kenneth Copeland

      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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    10. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Yes Stravinsk did mention Romans 13, but he did so in much the same way that you might bring up a "word from the Lord" by Kenneth Copeland

      I have no idea what you are talking about. I guess the pope doesn't get a word from the Lord.

    11. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Yes Stravinsk did mention Romans 13, but he did so in much the same way that you might bring up a "word from the Lord" by Kenneth Copeland

      I thought Kenneth Copeland was Word of Faith rather than Baptist.

    12. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Confessional Lutheran View Post
      I thought Kenneth Copeland was Word of Faith rather than Baptist.
      He is, but I think MennoSota doesn't much care for his theology and Stravinsk has a similar view about Paul.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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