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Old 03-25-2003, 11:32 PM   #76
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Originally posted by speedracer
Okay, so I'm late joining this thread, but...

What precisely is the difference between someone thinking that this war is "the right thing to do" and someone thinking that this war is "the will of God"?

Just curious.
The former is secular and the latter is theist.

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Old 03-26-2003, 12:05 AM   #77
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Originally posted by melon


The former is secular and the latter is theist.

Melon
Sorry Melon, you don't get off that easily.

Some decisions are framed in terms of morality, and some people think that morality derives from God. In such a case, what distinguishes a theistic conviction from a secular conviction?

People can change their minds about what they think God's will is, and people can also be quite stubborn about issues in which they do not invoke the Almighty. Is a deep theistic conviction about a controversial issue necessarily more worrisome or dangerous than a deep secular conviction about the same issue?
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:09 AM   #78
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Originally posted by speedracer
Sorry Melon, you don't get off that easily.
But why is that question complicated? Ask an atheist; one can certainly believe that the war is "the right thing to do," but certainly won't think that the war is the "will of God."

I will actually write more to your last response tomorrow sometime. It is late and I have a class to wake up to. Until then...

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Old 03-26-2003, 12:57 AM   #79
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"This precept concerning obedience to magistrates, in which, in consequence of the mutual relation of subjects towards magistrates, and magistrates towards subjects, every civil duty is contained, is a universal precept, (verse 1), no man of any class being excepted. Subjection is enjoined to the supereminent authorities: in which the word is tacitly presumed an argument for subjection; that is, in the antithesis between the prepositions : if rulers are placed in the higher grade, subjection is due to them from inferiors. A second argument is, that a legitimate magistracy is from God, whose authority Paul calls lawful, not without law, or an unrestrained license. As Melancthon said, ‘The authority is to be distinguished from the person; for Paul loved civil organization and authority, but Nero and Caligula he execrated as monsters of nature, instruments of the devil, and pests of the human race.’ A third argument is derived from the fact that it is an order divinely constituted, under God, for the glory of God. For so I interpret as meaning, not so much ‘by God,’ which had already been said, as ‘powers ordained’ under God [Melville here adduces a number of instances from classical writers confirming his interpretation]: which he calls, with the article, as if he would say powers that are really such, and deserve the name. Hence an impious and unjust tyranny, which is neither from God, as such, nor at all according to the divine ordination, he excludes as illegitimate from this legitimate obedience, unless at any time it may seem good to God to impose even upon his own people a tyrannical government as a paternal rod for their chastisement,—for then, indeed, they should obey it, provided it enjoing nothing impious towards God, or unjust towards others—for in such cases its authority is to be disregarded."[1]
Difficult passage, 80s. But I get the gist of it. I think.
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:33 PM   #80
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Originally posted by melon

If there is anything you can learn from Jesus, it is this. Bush is not carrying out God's Will. Bush is carrying out man's will.
Melon
But where is Biblical evidence for that? Jesus doesn't speak of war at all. His admonition to "turn the other cheek" was framed in personal context, not corporate or world-view context. Same is true for "he who lives by the sword will die by the sword" - this speaks of individuals who live violently and that is their attitude. In fact, once when he met a Roman soldier, he praised the man's faith. If he was against war at all times, would he have anything good to say about a soldier, especially a ROMAN soldier?
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Old 03-26-2003, 03:33 PM   #81
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If Jesus was for war, then why didn't he incite the Jews into rebellion against the "oppressors" of the Roman Empire? Because that's precisely what the Pharisees expected; a warrior Messiah to vanquish their enemies and make them the greatest kingdom on Earth. His passive and peaceful nature is precisely what convinced the Pharisees that Jesus was not the Messiah. Would we do the same as the Pharisees if Jesus returned to Earth in an equally peaceful manner?

Power is a human concept, and that is what this is: a power struggle. I'm not going to play God and try and assume what He thinks of this war. God will judge the Bush Administration accordingly, upon their death, and will likely be judged by their intentions behind this war. Was it really inspired by a desire to "liberate" Iraq or vengeance for humiliating Bush, Sr. in the last war? Only God will know the answer to that, but, overall, there is no such thing as a "Holy War." Man has created war, and man will discover the consequences.

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