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Author Topic: Opinion of transformational pacifism  (Read 1126 times)
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jmfcst
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« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2011, 09:01:44 am »
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@Nathan,

what is your take on the following verse:

Exodus 22:2 "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”

So, from your point of view, if killing in self-defense is a sin, which category of sin are you referring to?  In other words: If the defender in Ex 22:2 is not guilty of the sin of bloodshed, then what sin is he quilty of?  The category of sin certainly can't be sexual immorality, or lying, or witchcraft...none of those actions are involved...so what exactly is the sin?

Or, are you saying that in the OT, killing in self-defense was NOT a sin, but in the NT it IS a sin?

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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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Nathan
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« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2011, 01:35:53 pm »
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@Nathan,

what is your take on the following verse:

Exodus 22:2 "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”

So, from your point of view, if killing in self-defense is a sin, which category of sin are you referring to?  In other words: If the defender in Ex 22:2 is not guilty of the sin of bloodshed, then what sin is he quilty of?  The category of sin certainly can't be sexual immorality, or lying, or witchcraft...none of those actions are involved...so what exactly is the sin?

Or, are you saying that in the OT, killing in self-defense was NOT a sin, but in the NT it IS a sin?



Perhaps I should explain briefly, if I may, the admittedly somewhat odd hamartiology that I've been using here.

You may very well be right that there are things that aren't of the Kingdom of God that nevertheless don't in and of themselves incur sin in a fallen world; my point of view is more that the sin is one of disservice by not trying to attain the Kingdom of God to the greatest extent possible. In this sense I would distinguish the laws set out to govern an earthly society in OT from the sense of heavenly 'sin' that I'm referring to. It's a distinction made between merely 'just' and actively 'righteous'; perhaps 'sin' hasn't been the ideal world to be using but I genuinely can't think of another in English that means close enough to what I've been trying to say. (There's one in Japanese, 罪, pronounced 'tsumi' with the u almost silent and the i as in Italian or Spanish, that means exactly what I want it to, but I'm aware that I'm one of very few people on this forum who's at all conversant in that language; the only other one I know of is opebo, and somehow I doubt that's the sort of vocabulary that would interest him.)

I admit that this isn't necessarily a conventionally 'Christian' distinction to make for people and traditions that fall into the category of 'self-described Christians' that we were talking about in that other thread, but it has support in the writings of St Augustine if you're genuinely interested in understanding this better. I fully and freely recognize that he can explain this a lot better than I can. It's also conventional within Eastern Orthodoxy, in which sin is interpreted and described in more medical than legal terms. This is a way of looking at it that I really like and which I feel is closer to the message of Jesus--though since it's a set of interpretive analogies it's not something I'm at all doctrinaire about, whereas what constitutes 'falling short of the glory of God' is.

It's a shame that English doesn't have a more advanced vocabulary for making these sorts of distinctions. I feel like we could have avoided at least some of this argument if the one word 'sin' hadn't been the only one readily available to both of us.

I guess the simplest way to summarize this would be to say that while there's certainly nothing wrong with your interpretation of those passages, I believe that we're called to a higher standard and that it does something of a disservice to not take that call even if it doesn't directly and gravely endanger our souls in the same way that up and shooting someone in the face because one doesn't like the cut of their jib would.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 01:50:59 pm by Nathan »Logged

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His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

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jmfcst
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« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2011, 01:59:55 pm »
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perhaps 'sin' hasn't been the ideal word to be using but I genuinely can't think of another in English that means close enough to what I've been trying to say.

the problem is not with the word 'sin', because it is clearly and simply defined in the bible as a transgression of God's law.  Therefore, what you and I have been arguing over is NOT the word sin, but rather the difference in how you and I read the contents of God's law for the NT church.

The problem I have is that what you’re placing the guilt of sin where it doesn’t belong.  I don’t like loading people down with unnecessary guilt, especially unwarranted guilt they can’t solve (you’ve defined a sin that there is no way to avoid and thus no way to avoid)

At least most legalism (e.g. wearing white shoes is a sin) has a solution (don’t wear white shoes)…but yours has no solution.

---

it has support in the writings of St Augustine if you're genuinely interested in understanding this better.

St. Augustine’s writings do not trump scripture, and I do understand the argument well enough to have immediately zoned in on the example of self-defense.  If there is a passage I am overlooking, I will be more than happy to review it.

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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2011, 02:17:53 pm »
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perhaps 'sin' hasn't been the ideal word to be using but I genuinely can't think of another in English that means close enough to what I've been trying to say.

the problem is not with the word 'sin', because it is clearly and simply defined in the bible as a transgression of God's law.  Therefore, what you and I have been arguing over is NOT the word sin, but rather the difference in how you and I read the contents of God's law for the NT church.

The problem I have is that what you’re placing the guilt of sin where it doesn’t belong.  I don’t like loading people down with unnecessary guilt, especially unwarranted guilt they can’t solve (you’ve defined a sin that there is no way to avoid and thus no way to avoid)

At least most legalism (e.g. wearing white shoes is a sin) has a solution (don’t wear white shoes)…but yours has no solution.

The solution is the grace of God, which is actually more sola fides than I was thinking or what I'd like, but it's the only solution that makes sense to me. Total depravity is one of the few areas in which I agree with the Calvinists, but so is irresistible grace.

I actually do understand the vehemence of your disagreement with me a lot better now, since I know it's profoundly unpleasant and damaging to have guilt where it isn't necessary or called for, so thanks for that.

Quote
St. Augustine’s writings do not trump scripture, and I do understand the argument well enough to have immediately zoned in on the example of self-defense.  If there is a passage I am overlooking, I will be more than happy to review it.

http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/thesis/spelman/spelman.pdf

(I'm sorry I keep linking you to things rather than trying to advance the arguments myself, but it's the academic in me, with his obsession with citations for everything, and I'm trying to be as humble about this as I can since I am only an amateur theologian.)

This is somebody's theology thesis, which talks about this in terms of both Scripture and St Augustine. As you might guess, it focuses mainly on what I imagine you would consider a highly naive interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount/Plain, but this should give you a decent idea of where this kind of thought comes from. (By the way, I do know the counterarguments to this way of looking at it, quite well actually, so I'd appreciate it if you'd accept this as a point of disagreement and at least accept that this is something I've thought about a lot, even if it would of course be unreasonable to ask you to agree with me or even think my opinion is valid.) We also run into the problem of where things that are just 'life lessons from Jesus' end and 'commandments begin'; I'm inclined to think that if there even is a difference it's a pretty small and blurry one.

I recommend reading the whole thing, actually, since it's really interesting and even-handed; it's not just a polemic for my position.

Side note: I'd like to apologize for being so much more abrasive about this in earlier parts of this discussion. My cat was very ill and it was wearing on my nerves. I'm glad that we both seem to be having this conversation more calmly now.

Other side note: I'm not going to unilaterally shut down the conversation again, but if you agree with me that we both understand each other's positions relatively well and are able to be civil even we obviously don't agree with or even necessarily respect them, I'd like to ask that we leave this be for now, because this actually takes quite a bit of mental effort for me and I have a lot of things both academically and socially going on right now that require a lot of my attention. Would this be okay with you?
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 02:34:55 pm by Nathan »Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2011, 05:51:40 pm »
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The solution is the grace of God, which is actually more sola fides than I was thinking or what I'd like, but it's the only solution that makes sense to me. Total depravity is one of the few areas in which I agree with the Calvinists, but so is irresistible grace.

By solution I meant a way to repent and sin no more in that area, which is what your belief in this area lacks since you feel we are put into situations where every available choice is sinful.  To me, repent means to turn around and leave the direction you are going and go another direction…which is different than asking for forgiveness.

---

I actually do understand the vehemence of your disagreement with me a lot better now, since I know it's profoundly unpleasant and damaging to have guilt where it isn't necessary or called for, so thanks for that.

Sorry bro, I just automatically assume members are familiar with me, I didn't bother to look at your profile to see when you joined the forum, thought you had been here for a while and knew my story...the instant I was saved in 1992, God gave me a commission and set me to witness to a bunch of very close friends (my best friends) who were involved in a legalistic church founded by Herbert Armstrong who proclaimed himself to be the end of days Elijah sent to restore the true church and taught the observance of OT holy days and kept Moses' dietary law.  It was really upsetting to my friends (some of whom I had previously spent many nights eating dinner with them and their families, and their parents being part of the leadership of their church) when I told them I had been saved and sent by God to show them the truth, and I lost some very good friends, as if a bombshell had been dropped into the middle of my life, but I was able help save some of them, including my girlfriend who later became my wife (it took 18 months of studying with her before she finally let go - her church said it was the only true church and those that left were the only ones who wouldn't be saved).

So, my first couple of years of Christian life was spent witnessing to people in legalism…so I am a little “sensitive”, you might say, when I perceive a legalistic situation.  But, I also see this forum as a debating platform, so I am much more willing to push against ideas I feel are obviously and unnecessarily backward, than I would if we were simply co-workers.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 07:00:55 pm by jmfcst »Logged

Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2011, 02:22:41 am »
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By solution I meant a way to repent and sin no more in that area, which is what your belief in this area lacks since you feel we are put into situations where every available choice is sinful.  To me, repent means to turn around and leave the direction you are going and go another direction…which is different than asking for forgiveness.

If there's a solution I suppose it would be to avoid violent situations or ways of life, but you're right that that's not always possible. I suppose I would say one would just have to muddle along and try to minimize these sorts of things as much as one possibly could, do good works and love justice and mercy in as many areas of life as one can, and trust in the grace of God to see that one has faith and has tried. But even I don't actually enjoy the pessimistic implications of some of my positions, to be honest.

Quote
Sorry bro, I just automatically assume members are familiar with me, I didn't bother to look at your profile to see when you joined the forum, thought you had been here for a while and knew my story...the instant I was saved in 1992, God gave me a commission and set me to witness to a bunch of very close friends (my best friends) who were involved in a legalistic church founded by Herbert Armstrong who proclaimed himself to be the end of days Elijah sent to restore the true church and taught the observance of OT holy days and kept Moses' dietary law.  It was really upsetting to my friends (some of whom I had previously spent many nights eating dinner with them and their families, and their parents being part of the leadership of their church) when I told them I had been saved and sent by God to show them the truth, and I lost some very good friends, as if a bombshell had been dropped into the middle of my life, but I was able help save some of them, including my girlfriend who later became my wife (it took 18 months of studying with her before she finally let go - her church said it was the only true church and those that left were the only ones who wouldn't be saved).

So, my first couple of years of Christian life was spent witnessing to people in legalism…so I am a little “sensitive”, you might say, when I perceive a legalistic situation.  But, I also see this forum as a debating platform, so I am much more willing to push against ideas I feel are obviously and unnecessarily backward, than I would if we were simply co-workers.

Thing is, I'm really not trying to be legalistic in that way. In my head at least these things actually tend to be quite emotive, even fervently so; it's just easier to discuss in legalistic terms because that's the sort of vocabulary we tend to apply to this sort of thing in the West. I actually prefer to think of it medically in a sense, as I said a little up above; I feel like if we were more used to the vocabulary of Eastern Christianity a lot of this would have been easier to get across, and I'm sorry I didn't realize your history with (genuinely or superficially) similar sorts of situations.

For what it's worth, given your explanation of that situation and what I know of Herbert Armstrong and his followers, I definitely do think that you were in the right there. I'm sorry if the way I was advancing my arguments reminded you of that; that's the sort of thinking about faith that I really do try to avoid.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 02:28:45 am by Nathan »Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2011, 12:04:59 pm »
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For what it's worth, given your explanation of that situation and what I know of Herbert Armstrong and his followers, I definitely do think that you were in the right there. I'm sorry if the way I was advancing my arguments reminded you of that; that's the sort of thinking about faith that I really do try to avoid.

no, you didn't remind of it
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2011, 12:48:42 pm »
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For what it's worth, given your explanation of that situation and what I know of Herbert Armstrong and his followers, I definitely do think that you were in the right there. I'm sorry if the way I was advancing my arguments reminded you of that; that's the sort of thinking about faith that I really do try to avoid.

no, you didn't remind of it

Okay, good to know.

I'm really glad we've cleared the air on this.
Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2011, 06:59:48 pm »
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it was an interesting discussion, don't think the topic had been vetted yet on the religion board
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
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« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2011, 08:51:54 pm »
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it was an interesting discussion, don't think the topic had been vetted yet on the religion board

Agreed.

We were both a little angry in the beginning, but now that I think we understand each other better I look forward to any future topics of discussion and debate.
Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
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