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Old 07-05-2013, 11:06 PM   #91
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Some "Christians" defend their refusal to help the poor, whether in their country or in other countries, by using the Biblical quote "charity starts at home" - which is totally taken out of context.
So far out of context as to be questionable whether it is even the Bible it all! The actual phrase is not found in the Bible though there is debate about whether it is implied in some passages.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:49 AM   #92
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I pray every day that I receive the gift of Healing - I would love to walk around town and heal people. Not only would it be awesome to restore people the health, but it would be nice to finally put an end to this corrupt system.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #93
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So far out of context as to be questionable whether it is even the Bible it all! The actual phrase is not found in the Bible though there is debate about whether it is implied in some passages.
This goes to a broader question of whether Christian principles should be embedded in our form of government. Christ speaks to the individual about how to live life, not Roman leadership on how to structure government.

I'm sure I could flood this thread with posts that argue that Christian principles have no place in US government, but that's a broader concept for FYM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #94
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This goes to a broader question of whether Christian principles should be embedded in our form of government. Christ speaks to the individual about how to live life, not Roman leadership on how to structure government.

I'm sure I could flood this thread with posts that argue that Christian principles have no place in US government, but that's a broader concept for FYM.
Apart from the argument that church and state should be separated at all times, embedding christian principles in US government is discriminative and dangerous.
Former President Bush reduced God to a political agenda, this can grow into some sort of Christian'sharia'. And what about American Jews, Muslims, Native Americans and atheists? Is it even democratic to force christian beliefs upon them?
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:21 AM   #95
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This goes to a broader question of whether Christian principles should be embedded in our form of government. Christ speaks to the individual about how to live life, not Roman leadership on how to structure government.

I'm sure I could flood this thread with posts that argue that Christian principles have no place in US government, but that's a broader concept for FYM.
that's what it's like in France - religion has no place in government, state schools etc. - it's meant to be a "neutral" secular system, with religion being something that happens in the home... sometimes i think it goes too far, like banning of the burqa, no religious jewellery allowed in schools etc., but i guess France had a pretty bloody past at the hands of religion, between protestants and catholics...
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:53 AM   #96
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This goes to a broader question of whether Christian principles should be embedded in our form of government. Christ speaks to the individual about how to live life, not Roman leadership on how to structure government.

I'm sure I could flood this thread with posts that argue that Christian principles have no place in US government, but that's a broader concept for FYM.
This same question is being touched on over in the same sex parenting thread. I think it's a great one to ask. We have a dominant paradigm among Christians the US that says it should, but there has been a lot of variation among Christians through history.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:10 AM   #97
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Christ speaks to the individual about how to live life, not Roman leadership on how to structure government.
To be fair, Christ did not teach in Rome, he taught in Israel - which was basically a theocracy (of course he would contend they were getting theocracy wrong, but the Kingdom of God is basically the ultimate theocracy).

From the little bit I've read on the subject - even though Israel was a Roman controlled territory militarily, they rarely meddled in the daily affairs of the Jews.

My point is - Jesus was very much in favor of theocracy, and He is the king. So, as a Christian, the question is most often not about should Scripture influence law - but am I interpreting Scripture correctly.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:07 AM   #98
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Perhaps we ought to wait until Christ's return then to make sure we get the theocracy correct because until that time any theocratic government is going to be a discriminatory mess. Cause I'm pretty sure the Golden Rule contingent are not going to be the ones pushing themselves to the top of the theocratic governing food chain.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #99
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I don't agree that Jesus was for a theocratic government, but even if that were the case, 1) theocracy and democracy aren't compatible (and I'll take democracy 10 times out of 10), and 2) theocracy simply does not work in the real world.

Unless someone would like to show me an example of a multi-cultural society where theocracy works/worked well.

I'll wait.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #100
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And what about American Jews, Muslims, Native Americans and atheists? Is it even democratic to force christian beliefs upon them?
Just an FYI: some Native Americans are practicing Christians. I don't know the percentage, but not all of them adhere strictly to their tribal beliefs.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:10 AM   #101
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To be fair, Christ did not teach in Rome, he taught in Israel - which was basically a theocracy (of course he would contend they were getting theocracy wrong, but the Kingdom of God is basically the ultimate theocracy).
Jesus is famous for saying, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's." (The meaning being, pay your taxes as good citizens, but never forget that while your money reflects the image of your ruler, you reflect the image of your creator.) Other Scriptures exhort us to respect our leaders. Christians in the first three centuries were famous for being either martyrs or apolitical. So saying that Jesus came to establish a theocracy is a bit much. If anything, you can argue that Christianity was a movement that was inherently subversive, meant to constantly challenge whatever political attitudes were prevalent.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:29 AM   #102
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To be fair, Christ did not teach in Rome, he taught in Israel - which was basically a theocracy (of course he would contend they were getting theocracy wrong, but the Kingdom of God is basically the ultimate theocracy).

From the little bit I've read on the subject - even though Israel was a Roman controlled territory militarily, they rarely meddled in the daily affairs of the Jews.

My point is - Jesus was very much in favor of theocracy, and He is the king. So, as a Christian, the question is most often not about should Scripture influence law - but am I interpreting Scripture correctly.
Let's be clear about history. Judaism was intended to be a theocracy in the old Testament but by the time of Christ Israel was part of the Roman empire, and had a governor who was directly responsible to the emperor. It was an occupied territory where rebellion smoldered for years, which was why there was such a strong military presence in the area and why the Roman government was so jumpy about the many Jewish "messiahs" that went around preaching revolution. Judaism had a great deal of freedom to rule over other Jews in matters of Judaism, but they did not have jurisdiction over non-Jews. They didn't even have the power of the death penalty over Jews, which is why they had to have Jesus tried by Pilate.

The big conflict among Jews during the time of Christ was about whether Israel should struggle for independence and reestablish itself as a theocracy. The Zealots of the Bible were the revolutionary wing of Judaism, and they did in fact want to violently overthrow Roman rule. But many, many Jews recognized that Israel had very little chance of success, that it would certainly bring death and suffering to their people, and wanted to hold on to the degree of religious freedom that they had under Rome. The Jewish leaders of the time- the priests and the Sanhedrin- did NOT support revolution.

There are people who argue that Jesus was in fact a Zealot who wanted to overthrow Rome and establish a direct theocracy (for example, Jesus The Man by Barbara Thiering). But they tend to have non-orthodox views of Scripture and to use lots of outside sources. It's pretty hard to argue that position from the four canonical gospels. Jesus told Roman soldiers to do their jobs well, tax collectors to collect for Rome honestly, told citizens to pay their taxes- not to refuse to participate or to work for political change. He refused over and over to be the military messiah that Zealots wanted him to be. Over and over he demonstrated to them that the Kingdom of God on this earth is a spiritual, not a political power. He told his followers to give up all their worldly goods and prepare to be persecuted and live as wanderers, not to set up a righteous new government. In fact the Jewish leaders who wanted him killed had to pay false witnesses to characterize Christ as a revolutionary, and Pilate didn't buy it.

Claiming that Jesus wanted a theocracy is frankly a big fucking deal. There are very, very few people who would like to go back to the days of Christian Rome. We've all seen what modern theocracy looks like in the Middle East. If you are going to make this claim you need to be prepared to support it very well, and then you'll need to be prepared for people to start saying that if that's what Christianity is than they want no part of it. Most people would far rather live in a pluralistic, secular government with freedom to practice their religion privately that run the sorts of risks that a Christian sharia can bring. I'm not even a Christian any more and I find the claim that Jesus wanted a theocratic government to be insulting to Jesus as well as very disturbing.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #103
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Here is a snippet from the same sex marriage thread I used from the [Jewish] Orthodox Union.

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...The reason we opt to express our viewpoint in a public forum is because we believe that our Divine system of law not only dictates our beliefs and behaviors, but also represents a system of universal morality, and therefore can stake a claim in the national discourse
That "Divine system" is part of what Jesus was referring to when he mentions the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not just Heaven, but Heaven and Earth united.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:32 PM   #104
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Jesus is famous for saying, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's." (The meaning being, pay your taxes as good citizens, but never forget that while your money reflects the image of your ruler, you reflect the image of your creator.)
Yes, never forget who your true king is - God.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #105
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The big conflict among Jews during the time of Christ was about whether Israel should struggle for independence and reestablish itself as a theocracy.
I think this piece of an article does a better job of summarizing my point:

Quote:
N.T. Wright

People are expecting that God is going to send in the troops, but Jesus is saying God becomes king in the same way he wanted creation itself to work in the beginning—by seeds being sown. This is what God's kingdom is like. It's like a woman who loses a coin and finds it again. It's like a shepherd looking for sheep. It's not like clearing out the sheep over night and getting a new lot who will never ever get lost.

In the first three centuries, when the Romans were persecuting [the church] beyond belief, people still went on becoming Christians because the church was out there doing stuff. They were caring for people by looking after the poor and the lonely and the elderly. People were just flabbergasted because they had never seen anything like this before. Nobody had ever looked after, or educated, or cared for people other than their own kin or immediate special interest groups. The thought that there was a community that was just going around doing good—especially to the poor—just freaked people out.

What we've forgotten in the West—because it's in the interest of post-Enlightenment Western society to forget it—is that the church has actually radically transformed the world. For example, most of the great hospitals and educational institutions have been started by Christians . . . that's the kind of stuff the church does. These are signposts of the kingdom. This isn't bringing the kingdom in all its fullness. Only God will do that in God's good time. But God has begun to do it through Jesus, and he's continuing to do it through the Spirit.

When God wants to run the world in his way, he doesn't send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners, the peacemakers, and the people hungry for justice. By the time the bullies wake up and realize what's going on, they have set up schools, built hospices, made peace, and brought warring armies back together again.
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