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Warriors for Christ? - Page 3

post #41 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama K
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12, New International Version
Yes . . . this is what it means. I grew up in a fundamentalist home with tongue speaking parents that firmly believe in doing spiritual warfare. This meant casting out demons, binding them up, sending them back to the fiery pits of hell. They would hold all-night vigils where they would expend tons of energy jumping, screaming, and speaking in tongues in the name of doing warfare against the enemy (Satan). In a sense, Christ himself was a warrior against wickedness (remember in the temple when folks were selling and buying, he went buck wild and tore up the place).
post #42 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama
Plenty of violence and hatred has been spread because of the bible and christianity (i.e. the crusades, the salem witch burnings).
Yes, but the "witches" in Salem were not burnt, but hanged, and one (a man) was pressed under large stones.
post #43 of 80
Thread Starter 
Yeah...passages like that have been taken literally. Still, though, I said Jesus, not John of Patmos, and basically that's all from Revelation, right? Isn't quoting John's dream of Jesus kind've, you know, not valid? Like, if I claimed I had a dream where Martin Luther King said he loved the Ku Klux Klan, wouldn't it be kind've, well, dubious, if I claimed MLK really said these things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama
I was referring to these where Jesus threatens to kill and make war and other violent passages. Yes, he was known for his pacifist views but those are contradicted by these. So warriors for christ isn't really an oxymoron, in fact passages like these have been taken literally and used to kill and torture millions of people who wouldn't convert to christianity:

Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev 19:12-15 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
post #44 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfamilygal
There are many references to spiritual warfare in the NT. If you chose to ignore them, that's fine, but they are definitely there.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 "For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ"

II Timothy 2:3-4 "Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him."

Ephesians 6:10-13 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

Matthew 10:34 (Jesus is speaking) "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Okay, but I'm still confused, because the first examples you quoted are all Paul, and Christians are supposed to be, you know, CHRISTians, not Paulians. Right? As for the last example, if you look at the entire verse in its actual context:

10:32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

10:33
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

10:35
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

10:36
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.


...then you can easily see that Christ is speaking of "sword" in a very metaphorical fashion: that if you believe what Christ is saying and follow Christ, that belief (the "sword") will end up dividing you, Christ warns, from your family members. If you take an ethical or moral stand that's different from the stand taken by the majority, there will be divisiveness and conflict.

Think of the nonviolent resisters of the equal rights movement. They caused divisiveness within their own families, within their own communities. So did Ghandi: his "sword" parted the British from India. Peacefully.
post #45 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama
"Freethinkingmama, Revelation wasn't written by Jesus. None of the bible was,"

Well according to the bible jesus said those things. If you're a christian then you believe the bible was inspired by god and that it is the truth. My point was that the bible has plenty of violent passages that contradict all the lovey dovey ones. So warriors for christ is not an oxymoron at all. Plenty of violence and hatred has been spread because of the bible and christianity (i.e. the crusades, the salem witch burnings). Doesn't really matter to me who wrote it, IMO most of it is fiction.

Well, since Jesus died in AD 33 or thereabouts and the book of Revelation wasn't composed until AD 96 by a Greek author who never met Jesus, that would be a bit of a challenge, wouldn't it? Like I said, if I had a dream that MLK said he loved the Ku Klux Klan, that wouldn't mean MLK actually said those things.
post #46 of 80
[QUOTE=FreeThinkinMama If you're a christian then you believe the bible was inspired by god and that it is the truth. QUOTE]

I'm a Christian and I'm actually more inclined to use historical/critical method when interpreting the bible. And Revelation is not attributed to Jesus. I have no problem with athiests, you included, but it's frustrating to me that you're willing to tell ME what I believe when you're not well-informed about the tradition I am a part of.

Revelation is written in a different genre than the gospels or the epistles and doesn't, at all, have the same status vis-a-vis historical events. The bible isn't a theological or historical or narrative unity.

I agree that plenty of violence has been committed in the name of Jesus, but I'm opposed to that and I disagree with other Christians about interpreting the bible that way. Which I think was part of CB's point in starting the thread in the first place...
post #47 of 80
Quote:
I just figure there one of those annoying people who hand out tracts and go door to door trying to push there beliefs on people.
I nearly got involved in warfare recently when a 'religious' doorknocker came to deliberately pick a fight with me, telling me that she knew more about God than I did. I don't care what she knows - as soon as anybody knocks on my door and starts being aggressive and rude I automatically shut the door. The thing that really annoyed me was that I had great comebacks for everything she was saying, but I choose not to have debates with people like her. If she'd been a bit nicer we could have had a great conversation.
post #48 of 80
Revelation was acepted into the canon very late. Contested for centuries. The Catholic Church today does not hold to its authenticity as accurate history, or literal truth.
post #49 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:

I agree that plenty of violence has been committed in the name of Jesus, but I'm opposed to that and I disagree with other Christians about interpreting the bible that way. Which I think was part of CB's point in starting the thread in the first place...
Yeah, you hit it on the head, absolutely. I don't claim to be a Bible expert or a Christ expert, only a person who thinks about stuff, and it seems so odd and incomprehensible to me that people who are self-designatedly Christian are in favor of things like war or even in favor of appropriating war's metaphors and trappings. I can't see what all that has to do with what Christ said at all. To be honest, I'm still not seeing it, because I'm asking for what Jesus said and so far I've gotten John, I've gotten Paul, I've gotten everyone but George or Ringo; I've even gotten Jesus out of context, but that's it. To me, flipping some dudes' tables in a temple doesn't count as violence against people at all, although it does suggest a very healthy disgust toward people who turn religion into big business. Thank God that all Christian churches take that part of Christ's message to heart today. Cough.
post #50 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
... the book of Revelation wasn't composed until AD 96 by a Greek author who never met Jesus,
Um, John was one of Jesus's 12 disciples, so they certainly did meet.

Many Christians believe that his "dream" was actually prophecy.

Revelation is a fascinating book and IMO it is IMPOSSIBLE to interpret it correctly (without Divine intervention, anyway ) - I believe that it is meant to be somewhat of a mystery.
post #51 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
...iit does suggest a very healthy disgust toward people who turn religion into big business. Thank God that all Christian churches take that part of Christ's message to heart today. Cough.
That's a rather broad statement. :
post #52 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I confess my ignorance here, but maybe you can help me. Where does Jesus (not Paul, not John the Divine, not any commentator, but Jesus) say that Christians are soldiers?

Well, I beleive in the Trinity, and that Jesus is the Word of God, and that the Bible is God's word. SO.....I also don't understand your term "commentator" The bible was written by various authors. Do you refer to authors of any other book as commentators?
post #53 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
Um, John was one of Jesus's 12 disciples, so they certainly did meet.

Many Christians believe that his "dream" was actually prophecy.

Revelation is a fascinating book and IMO it is IMPOSSIBLE to interpret it correctly (without Divine intervention, anyway ) - I believe that it is meant to be somewhat of a mystery.
John the disciple is not the author of the book of Revelation. Not the author of the Gospel of John, either. None of the gospels were written by actual disciples of Jesus, although they contain traditions and stories which were probably handed down by followers of various disciples... there's the Johannine school, the Markan school, etc. "School" meaning loose group of followers.

The gospels were composed in their current form, using some older stories, in about the 90's CE.

The status of a biblical text as revelation within the Christian church doesn't depend on its historicity, nor should it. So I'm not denigrating the value of the text, just pointing out that apostolic authorship has not been considered authentic for centuries.
post #54 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
Um, John [the Revelator] was one of Jesus's 12 disciples...
Nope.
post #55 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope
just pointing out that apostolic authorship has not been considered authentic for centuries.
By whom, if you don't mind? Because there's a lot of conflicting info out there regarding the authorship of Revelation.

My NLT Bible was published in 1996, and clearly identifies John the Apostle as the author of Revelation.
post #56 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
That's a rather broad statement. :
Broad, but perhaps not untrue, either.
post #57 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
By whom, if you don't mind? Because there's a lot of conflicting info out there regarding the authorship of Revelation.

My NLT Bible was published in 1996, and clearly identifies John the Apostle as the author of Revelation.
I'm not clear what NLT means?

My New Oxford Annotated Bible (New Revised Standard Version) dates Revelation toward the end of the reign of the Emperor Domitian, who was in power form 81-96 AD, although sections of it might have been before 70 CE. So although the author's name is thought to be John...it's not the same John. FWIW, I was thinking of the legendary apostolic authorship of the gospels, but the same is true for Revelation - it was written well after Jesus' era. Plus, peasant fishermen from Galilee are not all that likely to have been literate, and Revelation and the gospels are all polished works of literature - Mark less so, the gospel of John more so. There are any number of good introductions to the New Testament that give overviews of the literary origins of the NT texts.

A great book on Revelation is Barbara Rossing's "The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation." She's a Yale Divinity School M.Div and a Harvard Divinity School Ph.D and she's on the faculty of a Lutheran seminary.
post #58 of 80
Quote:
The author of the book gives his name as John (1:1,4). Tradition from the middle of the second century identified him with the apostle, although there is evidence that this tradition was disputed in the second half of the second century by Christians who found distasteful the teaching of the book on the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth before the final judgement (20:3-6). Criticism of the tradition was renewed in the third century by scholars who were conscious of the contrasts in style which separate this book from the Fourth Gospel, also traditionally attributed to the apostle.

The great majority of modern critics agree that the John who wrote the Revelation cannot also have written the gospel or the epistles.
http://www.religion-online.org/showc...itle=531&C=569

Iraneus said Papias said John the Revleator and John the Apostle were the same, but then, scholars admit there is little credence that Papias can be trusted. Some think Iraneus made up Papias!

At any rate, John of Patmos never says he walked with and learned from Jesus. Ya think he might have mentioned it if he had.

Yet, Catholics believe as you do skellbelle. From the Cath Encyclopedia:

Quote:
The author of the Second and Third Epistles of John designates himself in the superscription of each by the name (ho presbyteros), "the ancient", "the old". Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, also uses the same name to designate the "Presbyter John" as in addition to Aristion, his particular authority, directly after he has named the presbyters Andrew, Peter, Philip, Thomas, James, John, and Matthew (in Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", III, xxxix, 4). Eusebius was the first to draw, on account of these words of Papias, the distinction between a Presbyter John and the Apostle John, and this distinction was also spread in Western Europe by St. Jerome on the authority of Eusebius. The opinion of Eusebius has been frequently revived by modern writers, chiefly to support the denial of the Apostolic origin of the Fourth Gospel. The distinction, however, has no historical basis. First, the testimony of Eusebius in this matter is not worthy of belief. He contradicts himself, as in his "Chronicle" he expressly calls the Apostle John the teacher of Papias ("ad annum Abrah 2114"), as does Jerome also in Ep. lxxv, "Ad Theodoram", iii, and in "De viris illustribus", xviii. Eusebius was also influenced by his erroneous doctrinal opinions as he denied the Apostolic origin of the Apocalypse and ascribed this writing to an author differing from St. John but of the same name. St. Irenaeus also positively designates the Apostle and Evangelist John as the teacher of Papias, and neither he nor any other writer before Eusebius had any idea of a second John in Asia (Adv. haer., V, xxxiii, 4). In what Papias himself says the connection plainly shows that in this passage by the word presbyters only Apostles can be understood. If John is mentioned twice the explanation lies in the peculiar relationship in which Papias stood to this, his most eminent teacher. By inquiring of others he had learned some things indirectly from John, just as he had from the other Apostles referred to. In addition he had received information concerning the teachings and acts of Jesus directly, without the intervention of others, from the still living "Presbyter John", as he also had from Aristion. Thus the teaching of Papias casts absolutely no doubt upon what the New-Testament writings presuppose and expressly mention concerning the residence of the Evangelist John in Asia.
(not copyrighted)

Hm. Clear as mud?

from Wikipedia:

Quote:
The author of Revelation identifies himself several times as "John" (1:4, 1:9, 22:8). The author also states that he was in exile on the island of Patmos when he received his first vision (1:9, 4:1–2)...

Traditional views hold that John of Patmos was the same person as John the Apostle, who is also considered to be the author of the Gospel of John. Others speculate that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos refer to at least three separate individuals (see Authorship of the Johannine works). Those in favor of a single common author point to similarities between the Gospel and Revelation. For example, both works frequently refer to Jesus as a lamb or as a shepherd.

...Revelation and the Gospel of John are very dissimilar in many ways. For one, the author of Revelation explicitly identifies himself as John several times, but the author of The Gospel of John remains anonymous, never identifying himself directly. The theology of the Gospel is markedly different from that of Revelation...they consistently use different words for lamb—the Gospel uses "amnos", Revelation uses "arnion". Lastly, the Gospel is written in nearly flawless Greek, but Revelation contains grammatical errors and stylistic abnormalities...
Jury still out and not coming back in.
post #59 of 80
And anyway, who cares who wrote it if the UK Catholic bishops now refute its words anyway?

Quote:
Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...811332,00.html
post #60 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Hm. Clear as mud?

Yep, that about sums it up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope
I'm not clear what NLT means?
New Living Translation

Quote:
So although the author's name is thought to be John...it's not the same John.
I consider that to be opinion, not fact. I cannot find solid evidence for one view or the other.

Quote:
it was written well after Jesus' era.
Well, Jesus was only 33 when he died, and we're talking about his contemporaries. My bible indicates that John the Apostle lived to be about 100.
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