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One COG Pastor's take on "Osamagate" UPDATED RESPO
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Post Nick Park
I really don't see what the fuss is about. Both pieces are well-written, as I would expect from a thinker of Jonathan's calibre, and the point they make is eminently reasonable.

He doesn't advocate pacifism as a position for all Christians, nor does he deny that Christians may take a sense of satisfaction that Bin Laden is dead and can no longer murder any more innocents.

What he does do is point out that it is OK to feel uncomfortable with some of the rejoicing that was featured in the media after Bin Laden was taken out. And that it is unfortunate that those expressing such unease should thereby be labelled as 'liberals' or whatever.

The conflict of interest Christians feel between fighting for their country and Christ's injunction to love our enemies is nothing new. Church historians tell us that in the early Church bearing arms in the Roman army was often considered to be just cause for excommunication. (As indeed was serving as a magistrate, since magistrates might have to sentence people to death). Different Christians take different views on it, and I think Jonathan is right in saying that there should be a discussion that we can have over it without people slinging insults at each other.

As for his comments on Actscelerate, there are some intelligent and articulate people who post on here - but we all know you can find some of the dumbest stuff imaginable here as well.

After all, in recent days we have had a professed Christian gloating over a tsunami that killed thousands of souls because it has affected production of a particular brand of automobile that he dislikes. We also have a poster who appears to believe everything they read in emails or on 'prophetic' websites and are the reason why sites like snopes are necessary. And we have a current thread suggesting that President O-a-a faked the death of Bin Laden. So nobody should get offended at Pastor Martin's suggestion that not everybody who posts on Actscelerate is an intellectual giant, should they?
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5/5/11 10:35 am


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Post PastorJackson
Nick Park wrote:
I really don't see what the fuss is about. Both pieces are well-written, as I would expect from a thinker of Jonathan's calibre, and the point they make is eminently reasonable.

He doesn't advocate pacifism as a position for all Christians, nor does he deny that Christians may take a sense of satisfaction that Bin Laden is dead and can no longer murder any more innocents.

What he does do is point out that it is OK to feel uncomfortable with some of the rejoicing that was featured in the media after Bin Laden was taken out. And that it is unfortunate that those expressing such unease should thereby be labelled as 'liberals' or whatever.

The conflict of interest Christians feel between fighting for their country and Christ's injunction to love our enemies is nothing new. Church historians tell us that in the early Church bearing arms in the Roman army was often considered to be just cause for excommunication. (As indeed was serving as a magistrate, since magistrates might have to sentence people to death). Different Christians take different views on it, and I think Jonathan is right in saying that there should be a discussion that we can have over it without people slinging insults at each other.

As for his comments on Actscelerate, there are some intelligent and articulate people who post on here - but we all know you can find some of the dumbest stuff imaginable here as well.

After all, in recent days we have had a professed Christian gloating over a tsunami that killed thousands of souls because it has affected production of a particular brand of automobile that he dislikes. We also have a poster who appears to believe everything they read in emails or on 'prophetic' websites and are the reason why sites like snopes are necessary. And we have a current thread suggesting that President O-a-a faked the death of Bin Laden. So nobody should get offended at Pastor Martin's suggestion that not everybody who posts on Actscelerate is an intellectual giant, should they?
well said
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5/5/11 12:29 pm


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Post bonnie knox
Quote:
So nobody should get offended at Pastor Martin's suggestion that not everybody who posts on Actscelerate is an intellectual giant, should they?


Well, if nothing else, the mere fact that he had to return insult with insult detracted from the sentiment of this piece - that Christians should love their enemies. I mean how can you love Osama if you can't love LC?
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5/5/11 4:25 pm


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Post bonnie knox
Tom Sterbens wrote:
bonnie knox wrote:
Well, if nothing else, the mere fact that he had to return insult with insult detracted from the sentiment of this piece - that Christians should love their enemies. I mean how can you love Osama if you can't love LC?

That's quite a point...

However, Jesus was generally more indulgent of sinners than Pharisees.


I'm waiting.... Smile


I certainly wasn't implying that JM was Jesus! Razz
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5/5/11 6:18 pm


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Post Daniel Rushing
Perhaps a more important theological question would be how does Jesus expect us to love soulless, spineless, internet personae with fake names. Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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5/5/11 7:37 pm


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Post bonnie knox
Daniel Rushing wrote:
Perhaps a more important theological question would be how does Jesus expect us to love soulless, spineless, internet personae with fake names.


There is a person behind the name.
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5/5/11 8:43 pm


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Post Daniel Rushing
I honestly wasn't whining about pen names. I was actually asking the question regarding the ethics of online personalities and the gospel. But I digress. Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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5/5/11 10:48 pm


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Post The best I've read doyle
As I view the responses to the quotes listed in the top post of this thread, I wonder "Have I missed something?"

I didn't see any call to pacificism but rather a call to follow the teachings of Christ. Jesus was the strongest one I've ever heard of and to be completely honest, when it comes to Osama Bin Laden, I'm struggling with the Lord's teaching on loving and praying for our enemies.

I'm sure there are people who have obtained that high standard but I'm still at the bottom looking up at a standard not yet obtained.

THE BEST: I thought Brother Jonathan's blog on the Osamagate deal was the best and most thought-provoking I've read and I'm a voracious reader. But from the responses to his article here on ACTS, I wondered if we were reading the same article Johnathan wrote. It seems we certainly were reading it differently.

I think at times we all do struggle in following some of the Lord's teachings and bringing them into what his response to events and situations that swirl around us, would be.

Most likely I would have called lightening down on the house of Judas and Ciaphas but Jesus did none of that. He simply ascended above them all. There were no threats "I'll get you if it's the last thing I do."

QUOTE FROM JONATHAN'S ARTICLE:

People say "If your family was chopped into tiny pieces and someone burned down their house and then urinated on the ashes—WHAT WOULD YOU DO?! WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!” (There is always an implicit “BOOM,” at the end of this question—like I’m dropping the mike on you, sissy.)

Let’s be very clear: I have a REAL temper, and I am not saying this in a life-relating, I’m really just one of the boys preacher kind of way…I am telling you the truth. I have felt like resorting to violence in matters so mundane as being cut off in traffic while attempting to merge onto 277, or trying to talk to Christians who resort to quandary ethics from 1974 in conversations about morality instead of deeply engaging Scripture in a meaningful way. Given such weakness, I make no claims as to what I would or would not do if “the worst thing” happened in my life. God help me.

But of course I am a follower of Jesus, which means my job is to reflect in a disciplined way on the implications of the cross of Christ for how I view the world in any and all circumstances. Thus how I feel or don’t feel, what I would do or not do, is not the ultimate question. The question is, what does a cross-shaped life call for? What does it look like, in the words of Revelation, “follow the lamb wherever he goes?”

End of Quote

Jesus was not a radical. He is the Divine Son of God and our precious Lord and Savior, but some of His teachings when compared with how the world deals with things, is radically different.

What I got from Johathan's article reminds me how different Jesus calls us to be from the attitudes of the world. I'm former military having served in the U.S. Army so I totally understand that a great enemy of our nation has been killed. I understand why it was necessary to capture or kill him.

But sadly, not once in these years have I ever followed the very radical teaching of Jesus to pray for the enemy. Not one prayer ever crossed my mind or my lips praying for Osama Bin Laden.

The Bible has given us an example of how the most hardened enemies can come to Christ. Apostle Paul comes to mind. He campaigned to kill Christians and yet, came to Christ and developed into one of His most prolific followers.

I must improve my serve in following the Lord because I'm not just a former soldier but I am a present Christian. What Jesus taught is important to me, even the ones tough to follow.

I appreciate Jonathan's article for it is a call to my spirit to improve my commitment to the Lord's teachings as I follow Him.

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5/6/11 9:09 am


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Post Cojak
I have never had a problem with military service and obeying my Commander in Chief. It seems that on this forum I have heard a few Acts members mention that many are not praying for, and supporting our president, and we should.

Now with the death of ObL, I have no problem thinking it was the correct thing to do. One President declared War on Terrorism, the leader of many terrorists was specified as an enemy of OUR Country. This president followed thru when the opportunity afforded itself.

So do I support my leader’s decisions and orders? Or can I pick and chose which I support? Of course we can all disagree openly, unless you are on active duty. (LOL)

The big question is who sent these Seals to take care of business, it was not the church, it was the Head of State. The head of a government that is mine, and one that I have afirmed or sworn to protect.
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5/6/11 9:23 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Nevertheless, I still feel like there is unaddressed tension. I do not disagree in the least with any of his assertions concerning the church. But I also do not agree that the sort of hard line of separation he and others appear to be drawing between the church and the state.

How does the theology he has presented -- which, again, I take absolutely no issue with, especially as it concerns me individually and my personal heart attitude toward Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, or anyone else -- practically inform and effect, for example, the leaders I support and vote for? How does it practically inform and effect the national policies I support or endorse?

I agree absolutely that the best thing the Church can do is "be really good at being the Church." And so far as I am concerned as an individual I see no tension there. I can pray that our enemies would repent and turn toward God, and I can love them as God loves them.

But that leaves a LOT of tension -- not only unaddressed, but unacknowledged -- concerning how I practically apply the same in my interaction with the government and nation of which I am by God's grace and choice a part.

Still hoping for a reply to this one. It's easy to advance a theology and then to say "I don't know" when asked how that theology should be practically applied. But a theology without practical application is not a theology at all.
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5/7/11 5:53 pm


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Post Daniel Rushing
[quote="Dave Dorsey"]
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Nevertheless, I still feel like there is unaddressed tension. I do not disagree in the least with any of his assertions concerning the church. But I also do not agree that the sort of hard line of separation he and others appear to be drawing between the church and the state.

How does the theology he has presented -- which, again, I take absolutely no issue with, especially as it concerns me individually and my personal heart attitude toward Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, or anyone else -- practically inform and effect, for example, the leaders I support and vote for? How does it practically inform and effect the national policies I support or endorse?

I agree absolutely that the best thing the Church can do is "be really good at being the Church." And so far as I am concerned as an individual I see no tension there. I can pray that our enemies would repent and turn toward God, and I can love them as God loves them.

But that leaves a LOT of tension -- not only unaddressed, but unacknowledged -- concerning how I practically apply the same in my interaction with the government and nation of which I am by God's grace and choice a part.


Dave, I will speak for myself. This way of thinking informs everything I do just by the nature of it. I try to vote for politicians are not warmongers and point out those that are- i.e. Ron Paul. I want to see policies that pursue peace and diplomacy first. I want leaders who can make the tough calls, but for those calls to actually be tough for them.

However, there is something that must be acknowledged by the church- and especially by the American church- and that is the church is not Rome! The church transcends Rome- and the church can thrive regardless of the state of the government that it is located. I think we believe that in our heads- but not in our hearts. We are so fearful of what might happen if we don't fight back, what poverty may come, what death may come, what anarchy may come. This kind of theology has no fear! That is why we often celebrate the actions of the government, even when the are at odds with the gospel, as long as they keep us safe and comfortable- as long as the preserve our way of life. That is why we find the tension- because our hearts are fearful of the "what ifs". And the "what ifs" drive us to just toss such thinking to the side and confess "surely Jesus didn't mean that".

The early church didn't seem to care about this tension. Rome did its thing, and the church still thrived. The church did not seem to care whether or not Rome thrived in itself. There was this feeling that no matter what happens in the world, Christ has overcome it (read Revelation). Persecution was seen as an expected result (per Jesus' warnings himself). The church was the church, and this theology was subversive to the kingdoms of this world- so much so that the kingdoms of this world fought it with violence. But there was no physical resistance. It is said (whether legend or not I do no know) that as Peter watched his own wife be lead away for crucifixion, before his own death, they rejoiced together regarding their future in the resurrection.

Indeed, I think such theology is still subversive- and I wonder what kind of reaction the American church would get if we ever believed it in our hearts. Instead of being friends with the government, we might very well be seen in the same light as the 1st Century church. This board itself shows the kind of venom that comes out when you even suggest such a thing. God, guns, and country right?
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5/8/11 7:56 am


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Post bonnie knox
The church is not Rome, but neither is the US government. We as Christians in the US are blessed to be able to participate in a system in which we govern ourselves through a representative government. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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5/8/11 7:30 pm


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Post Marie Auvenshine
I am still not persuaded that OBL is dead....
Don't trust our government right now...don't believe in what they say....their actions speak much louder than any of their words.
Not discussing political parties because this goes back many years...There have been far too many cover ups....too many people taking the fall for those in power.....too many lies.....and what we have now is just the icing on the cake......
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6/1/11 12:50 pm


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