15 votes

Christianity and War

by Laurence M. Vance | Via LewRockwell.com

This talk was given on August 20 at the Florida Liberty Summit 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

Thank you Campaign for Liberty for the opportunity to speak about a subject I feel so passionate about. I would like to speak to you today about Christianity and War. Although I am a Bible-believing Christian and a theological and cultural conservative, I write extensively about the biblical, economic, and political fallacies of religious people, and especially on the topic of Christianity and war. This is a subject where ignorance abounds in both pulpit and pew, and most of it willful ignorance. This is a subject that exposes Bible scholars as Bible illiterates. This is a subject that turns Christians into disgraceful apologists of the state, its leaders, its military, and its wars. This is a subject that reveals pro-life Christians to be two-faced supporters of wholesale murder.

If there is any group of people that should be opposed to war, torture, militarism, the warfare state, state worship, suppression of civil liberties, an imperial presidency, blind nationalism, government propaganda, and an aggressive foreign policy it is Christians, and especially conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians who claim to strictly follow the dictates of Scripture and worship the Prince of Peace. It is indeed strange that Christian people should be so accepting of war. War is the greatest suppressor of civil liberties. War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.

But modern-day Christianity is in a sad state. There is an unholy desire on the part of a great many Christians to legitimize killing in war. There persists the idea among too many Christians that mass killing in war is acceptable, but the killing of one’s neighbor violates the sixth commandment’s prohibition against killing. Christians who wouldn’t think of using the Lord’s name in vain blaspheme God when they make ridiculous statements like "God is pro-war." Christians who try never to lie do so with boldness when they claim they are pro-life, but refuse to extend their pro-life sentiments to foreigners already out of the womb. Christians who abhor idols are guilty of idolatry when they say that we should follow the latest dictates of the state because we should always "obey the powers that be." Christians who venerate the Bible handle the word of God deceitfully when they quote Scripture to defend the latest U.S. military action. Christians who claim to be dispensationalists wrongly divide the word of truth when they appeal to the Old Testament to justify U.S. government wars. Christians who claim to have the mind of Christ show that they have lost their mind when they want the full force of government to protect a stem cell, but have no conscience about U.S. soldiers killing for the government.

Many Christians have a warped view of what it means to be pro-life. Why is it that foreigners don’t have the same right to life as unborn American babies? There should be no difference between being for abortion and for war. Both result in the death of innocents. Both are unnecessary. Both cause psychological harm to the one who signs a consent form or fires a weapon. Why is it that to many Christians an American doctor in a white coat is considered a murderer if he kills an unborn baby, but an American soldier in a uniform is considered a hero if he kills an adult? In January of every year, many churches observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Fine, but we need ministers who are as concerned about killing on the battlefield as they are about killing in the womb.

Much of the blame for Christian support for war must be laid at the feet of the pastors and church leaders who have failed to discern the truth themselves so they can educate their congregations. They are blind leaders of the blind. It is tragic that many so-called Christian leaders moonlight as apologists for the Republican Party. Many pastors are cheerleaders for current U.S. wars. We hear more from pulpits today justifying American military intervention throughout the world than we do about the need for missionaries to go into all the world. Our churches have supplied more soldiers to the Middle East than missionaries. It is appalling that instead of the next U.S. military adventure being denounced from every pulpit in the land, it will be conservative preachers who can be counted on to defend it.

If there is any group within Christianity that should be the most consistent, the most vocal, the most persistent, and the most scriptural in its opposition to war and the warfare state, it is conservative Christians who look to the Bible as their sole authority. Yet, never at any time in history have so many of these Christians held such unholy opinions. The association they have with the Republican Party is unholy. The admiration they have for the military is unholy. The indifference they have toward war is unholy. The callous attitude they have toward the deaths of foreigners is unholy. The idolatry they manifest toward the state is unholy.

The result of Christian support for war reminds me of a story in the Old Testament about two sons of the patriarch Jacob. In order to avenge the rape of their sister by some foreigners, the sons of Jacob told their leader that if his people consented to be circumcised, then both groups of people could intermarry and the rapist could have their sister to wife. However, after all the foreigners were circumcised, when they were sore, two sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, came and slew all the men who were incapacitated and spoiled their city. When their father Jacob heard about this, he told his sons: "Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land."

Christian armchair warriors, Christian Coalition moralists, Religious Right warvangelicals, reich-wing Christian nationalists, theocon Values Voters, imperial Christians, Red-State Christian fascists, God and country Christian bumpkins, and other Christian warmongers have made Christians to stink among the non-Christian inhabitants of the United States. After almost ten years of the senseless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some of the greatest defenders of these wars continue to be Christians. The morality of going to war in the first place, as well as the number of dead and wounded Iraqis and Afghans, is of absolutely no concern to most American Christians. Every dead American solider is, of course, a hero, no matter where he fought, what his motive was, or how he died.

Support for the war on terror among Christians remains so pervasive that I’m inclined to agree with Mark Twain in saying that "if Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be – a Christian." I’m sorry to say that blind acceptance of government propaganda, willful ignorance of U.S. foreign policy, persistent support of the Republican Party, and childish devotion to the military are the norm among the majority of conservative Christians instead of the exception.

Non-Christian Americans should know that Christian enthusiasm for war and the warfare state is a perversion of Christianity, an affront to the Saviour whom Christians worship as the Prince of Peace, a violation of Scripture, contrary to the whole tenor of the New Testament, and an unfortunate demonstration of the profound ignorance many Christians have of history and their own Bible.

The early Christians were not warmongers like so many Christians today. They did not idolize the Caesars like some Christians do Republican presidents. They did not make apologies for the Roman Empire like many Christians do for the U.S. Empire. They did not venerate the institution of the military like most Christians do today. They did not participate in the state’s wars like too many Christians do today. If there was anything at all advocated by the early Christians it was peace and nonviolence.

Aggression, violence, and bloodshed are contrary to the very nature of Christianity. There is nothing in the New Testament from which to draw the conclusion that killing is somehow sanctified if it is done in the name of the state. As explained by the famed nineteenth-century British Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon: "The Church of Christ is continually represented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of a peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel."

There has, unfortunately, persisted throughout history the theologically schizophrenic idea among some Christians that mass killing in war is acceptable, but the killing of one’s neighbor violates the sixth commandment. I have termed this the Humpty Dumpty approach. But as the aforementioned Spurgeon said: "If there be anything which this book denounces and counts the hugest of all crimes, it is the crime of war. Put up thy sword into thy sheath, for hath not he said, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ and he meant not that it was a sin to kill one but a glory to kill a million, but he meant that bloodshed on the smallest or largest scale was sinful."

Back before the so-called Civil War in the United States, a Baptist minister writing in the Christian Review demonstrated that Christian war fever was contrary to the New Testament: "Christianity requires us to seek to amend the condition of man. But war cannot do this. The world is no better for all the wars of five thousand years. Christianity, if it prevailed, would make the earth a paradise. War, where it prevails, makes it a slaughter-house, a den of thieves, a brothel, a hell. Christianity cancels the laws of retaliation. War is based upon that very principle. Christianity is the remedy for all human woes. War produces every woe known to man." There is nothing "liberal" about opposition to war. There is nothing "anti-American" about opposition to militarism. And what could be more Christian than standing firmly against aggression, violence, and bloodshed?

So when did the early church go astray? Undoubtedly, it was the accession to power of the emperor Constantine. When the empire allied itself with the church, it was the church that changed more than the empire. Instead of spreading Christianity by persuasion and being persecuted for it, some Christians began persecuting those who could not be persuaded. This Constantinian mindset is alive and well today. When Jerry Falwell said that America should chase down terrorists all over the world and "blow them all away in the name of the Lord," he was expressing a sentiment widely held by conservative Christians.

After Constantine came just war theory.

War is mentioned over two hundred times in the Bible. The overwhelming majority of these instances concern in some way the nation of Israel. This fact is extremely important, because the president of the United States is not God, America is not the nation of Israel, the U.S. military is not the Lord’s army, the Christian’s sword is the word of God, and the only warfare the New Testament encourages the Christian to wage is against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

But just war theory has nothing to do with war in the Bible. Christian just war theory began as the attempt by Augustine to reconcile Christian participation in warfare with the morality of New Testament Christianity. In its essence, just war theory concerns the use of force: when force should be used and what kind of force is acceptable. The timing of force relates to a country’s justification for the initiation of war or military action; the nature of force relates to how military activity is conducted once a country commits to use force. The principle of the just war is actually many principles, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. A just war must have a just cause, be in proportion to the gravity of the situation, have obtainable objectives, be preceded by a public declaration, be declared only by legitimate authority, and only be undertaken as a last resort. A war that is not justifiable is nothing short of mass murder.

Yet, just war theory is untenable because it is difficult to know with sufficient confidence whether all of its conditions have been met, because some of its tenets are impossible to realize, because the criteria of just war theory are too flexible, because it contradicts itself in that it sanctions the killing of innocents, which it at the same time prohibits, and because it is used to justify rather than to prevent war. Indeed, just war theory can be used effectively by all sides to justify all wars. Every government, every ruler, every soldier, every citizen – they all think their country’s wars are just.

Just war theory says that a war is just if certain conditions and rules are observed. But how can you make rules for slaughter and mayhem? By sanctifying war while attempting to curtail its manner and frequency, just war theory merely allowed Christians to make peace with war. That just war theory is used to defend the war in Iraq shows just how useless it is. Waging the war in Iraq is against every Christian just war principle that has ever been formulated.

But not only is just war theory not based on Scripture, it is rooted in blind obedience to the state, which, the last time I read my Bible, is not a tenet of New Testament Christianity. War is nothing but a form of state-sponsored violence. It is the state that decides to go to war, not the people, most of whom want nothing to do with war. The state always claims that it is acting defensively, has the right intention, has the proper authority, is undertaking war as a last resort, has a high probability of success, and that a war will achieve good that is proportionally greater than the damage to life, limb, and property that it will cause. What good is just war theory if it can be used by both sides in a conflict?

After just war theory came the Crusades, where conquest was conflated with conversion, followed by the continual wars of religion among European Christians. The ultimate picture of the folly of war is the bloodbath perpetrated by the Christian nations in World War I. From 1914 to 1918, in battle after senseless battle, Christian soldiers in World War I shot, bombed, torpedoed, burned, gassed, bayoneted, and starved each other and civilians until twenty million of them were wounded and another twenty million lay dead. The conduct of Christians in the United States before and during the Great War was shameful.

But even without the massive government propaganda campaign that was undertaken during World War I, we see the same shameful conduct among Christians regarding the war in Iraq. When Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 with the announcement that our cause was just, Christians lined up in droves to support their president. They enlisted in the military. They put "W" stickers and yellow ribbons on their cars. They implored us in church to pray for the troops. They began reciting their patriotic sloganeering, their God-and-country rhetoric, and their "obey the powers that be" mantra. They dusted off their books on just war theory. They denounced Christian opponents of the war as unpatriotic, anti-American, liberals, pacifists, traitors, or Quakers.
Why? Why have so many religious people gotten it so wrong? As I have explained in many of my articles on Christianity and war over the years, there are many reasons: thinking that the war in Iraq was in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks, believing that Saddam Hussein was another Hitler, supposing that Iraq was a threat to the United States, seeing the war in Iraq as a modern-day crusade against Islam, assuming that the United States needed to protect Israel from Iraq, viewing Bush as a messiah figure, equating the Republican Party with the party of God, blindly following the conservative movement, deeming the American state to be a divine institution, failing to separate the divine sanction of war against the enemies of God in the Old Testament from the New Testament ethic that taught otherwise, having a profound ignorance of history and primitive Christianity, reading too much into the mention of soldiers in the New Testament, possessing a warped "God and Country" complex, holding a "my country right or wrong" attitude, and adopting the mindset that brute force is barbarism when individuals use it, but honorable when nations are guilty of it.

I believe the two greatest reasons religious people have gotten things so wrong are American exceptionalism and American militarism.

Many Christians are guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. They have bought into a variety of American nationalism that has been called the myth of American exceptionalism. This is the idea that the government of the United States is morally and politically superior to all other governments, that American leaders are exempt from the bad characteristics of the leaders of other countries, that the U.S. government should be trusted even as the governments of other countries should be distrusted, that the United States is the indispensable nation responsible for the peace and prosperity of the world, that the motives of the United States are always benevolent and paternalistic, that foreign governments should conform to the policies of the U.S. government, that most other nations are potential enemies that threaten U.S. safety and security, and that the United States is morally justified in imposing sanctions or launching military attacks against any country that refuses to conform to our dictates. These are the tenets of American exceptionalism.

The result of this American exceptionalism is a foreign policy that is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. This is why U.S. foreign policy results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States. We would never tolerate another country engaging in an American-style foreign policy. How many countries are allowed to build military bases and station troops in the United States? It is the height of arrogance to insist that the United States alone has the right to garrison the planet with bases, station troops wherever it wants, intervene in the affairs of other countries, and be the world’s policeman, fireman, social worker, security guard, mediator, and babysitter.

The other reason religious people have gotten things so wrong is American militarism. Americans love the military, and American Christians are no exception. There is an unseemly alliance that exists between certain sectors of Christianity and the military. Even Christians who are otherwise sound in the faith, who treasure the Constitution, who don’t support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who oppose an aggressive U.S. foreign policy get indignant when you question the institution of the military. It doesn’t seem to matter the reason for each war or intrusion into the affairs of another country. It doesn’t seem to matter how long U.S. troops remain after the initial intervention. It doesn’t seem to matter how many foreign civilians are killed or injured. It doesn’t seem to matter how many billions of dollars are spent by the military. It doesn’t even seem to matter what the troops are actually doing – Americans in general, and American Christians in particular, believe in supporting the troops no matter what. Americans are repulsed by the serial killer who, to satisfy the most basest of desires, dismembers his victims; but revere the bomber pilot in the stratosphere who, flying above the clouds, never hears the screams of his victims or sees the flesh torn from their bones. Killing women and children from five feet is viewed as an atrocity, but from five thousand feet it is a heroic act. It is sometimes suspicious when a soldier kills up close, but never when he launches a missile from afar.

Christians of all branches and denominations have a love affair with the military. To question the military in any way – its size, its budget, its efficiency, its bureaucracy, its contractors, its weaponry, its mission, its effectiveness, its foreign interventions – is to question America itself. One can condemn the size of government, but never the size of the military. One can criticize federal spending, but never military spending. One can denounce government bureaucrats, but never military brass. One can depreciate the welfare state, but never the warfare state. One can expose government abuses, but never military abuses. One can label domestic policy as socialistic, but never foreign policy as imperialistic.

It is the U.S. government that is the greatest threat to American life, liberty, property, and peace – not the leaders or the military or the people of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, or Yemen. And as James Madison said: "If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." Christians should vigorously dissent the next time some warmongering politician says there is some great evil in the world that must be stamped out by the U.S. military. As John Quincy Adams said: "America . . . goes not abroad seeking monsters to destroy." Christians should stop regarding the state’s acts of aggression as benevolent. Christians should stop presuming divine support for U.S. military interventions. And because just war theory merely allows Christians to make peace with war, they should reject it just as they would any theory of just piracy or just terrorism or just murder. It is Christians that should be leading the way toward peace and a foreign policy of nonintervention. It is Christians that should be leading the way toward the ideas of Ron Paul.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

As soon as someone speaks of God in a "knowing" way

we should turn the other cheek and plug our ears.

Imagine all the wars that would of been avoided.

Grains-starches-sugars, Slavery, Religion, Militarism, Fuel, Drugs, and Monopoly Banking -- has there been any other reason for war than these?

This why I always say that ONLY Atheists and Deists will make it into a "free-society"

The Deist is humble enough to not talk in concrete terms regarding the Creator.

The Atheist is humble enough to not invest in conclusions that cannot be derived from fact.

The Religionist does not need humility (he tells other religionists their way is wrong -- which means he believes them to be sub-agents of satan "anti-christ" and/or going to hell) and he does not need "premises" to draw conclusions.

Doesn't the latter sound like the lit-fuse of perpetual war.

hahahaha

Yes, because formally atheistic countries like the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and North Korea are such awesomely free and peaceful places.

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt

There's no such thing as an "atheistic" country

#1 Stalin was surrounded by Orthodox Christian "knights" (if you will) -- he knew that having a secret service and military "elite" (Spetzna Guard -- their Navy Seals) based on Church edict to protect the "ruler" would ensure his safety.

Stalin himself may have been an "atheist" but he was heavily connected and supported by the Orthodox Church -- absolutely necessary for him to gain power. So, yes an "atheist" who gained power via Church.

#2 (and as I said or have said elsewhere) Any "so called" Atheist Gov't rose to power (historically) ONLY after a tyrannical church-certified or priesthood certified gov't is ousted; it's reactionary and as we know, civil war is the bloodiest.

#3 Communism is the philosophy you are rightfully degrading. Communism supercedes "atheism" -- that's a sub-tenant and is reactionary to what preceded.

#4 In the examples you give the "leader" takes on a role similar to a religious figure, in that his authority is absolute and his image is plastered everywhere with smiling children and other such propaganda. This mirrors EXACTLY religious sentiment regarding religious leaders or prophets etc etc. Meaning the communist gov't creates a state-certified "holy" figure much the same-way the state-church creates a "holy" family or blood line. It is identical.

So here's what's observable (historically speaking).

Religious Horror and "Just Cause" spreads the widest blood shed world wide (mass wars). Then the "opposite" sort of fundementalism sprouts up in "reactionary" style and commits in some cases even "more" atrocities.

Good post Octobox.

Good post Octobox.

Octobox

I assume you are either an atheist or a deist. Either way, speaking for true Christians (not cultural Christians), it might be fair not to assume that we "do not need humility." Jesus Christ taught us to be humble, to not boast in ourselves but in our Creator, to not seek our own glory but God's glory. I can see how for an atheist, these commands may be hard to understand (God's glory becomes ?'s glory) but it is not a fact that God does not exist so please exercise some of that atheistic humility.

I am a Christian, I speak of God in a knowing way because I believe that scripture is the Word of God. I yearn for a U.S government that does not justify its wars by perverting religion, spending irresponsibly, imposing social attitudes through its laws (both theocratic and secular), and whose leaders do not use religious affiliation and rhetoric to pander to non-discerning voters.

We may not agree on the fundamental questions of our existence but I want a free society just as much as you do, which is why we are both voting for Ron Paul.

Austriankool: There should be no difference "in kind"

between a Deist and a Christian -- if the latter is for free-market thinking and individualism.

History proves the opposite of your sentiment -- why "christians" follow "organization" and then call themselves "individualists" is a kind of oxy-moronic thinking -- axiomatically.

I will vote for Ron Paul, but it will be the 3rd time I voted since 1988 -- I disagree with the voting-to-gain-liberty mindset; it can never bring about liberty.

Liberty is "taken" it is never "given" -- The elections are rigged (we know this).

History has show that liberty is "taken" then lost to the "organization" that did not throw down it's rulership afterward -- "we" become surfs under new management.

This is because we do not understand free-will nor the words of Mises fundamentally -- we must find means to take liberty as "consumers" not religionists, not voters, and not by force.

India was a very close example of where this almost worked.

Open-Source Leadership in Real-Time will be the basis of "that" movement -- "this" movement (Revolution) hopefully after 2012 will not lead into 2014, 16, 18, 20, and 22 (perpetual election-seeking).

Voting is Abdication of Self-Rule
---Passing ones power over to a "leader"

Lobbying is Bribery
---The purchase of leaderships voting trend in congress, senate, or executive.

There is no liberty by proxy.
---This is "religious' thinking personified

Religion and the Priesthood have created every single world gov't known.

When there is NO "religion" or "priesthood" (in the dogmatic sense) then there is no Gov't -- historically this is fact.

Please don't say Stalin or Mao -- their totalitarian "rule" came on the heels of the overthrow of religion and mirrored (in absolute terms) the authoritarian maxims that are espouced by emperors, potentates, presidents, popes, and monarchies.

...ok

I don't think we are on the same page...
My comment was simply made to dispute your claim that Christians are incapable of being humble.

All-inclusive statements about certain groups of people as a whole are usually too oversimplified to be true.

You seem to rely on "history" to come to your conclusions about religion as a whole. Before I can even consider whether you are right or not, I need to see your sources, otherwise I am just taking what you say on faith (and I'm sure you wouldn't want that.)

But even if you pointed to credible sources, I think your claim that "'religionists' cannot be humble" oversteps the jurisdiction of what history can teach us. How can history discern authentic Christians from cultural Christians, those who were genuine in their faith from those who merely used faith as a means to political gain? Historical insight (while valuable in its own right) has limits when it comes to determining people's true intentions. What a person professes in words is not always necessarily what he believes in his heart.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, especially Christians, because the bible is clear that there always was/is/will be an abundance of "Christians in name only."

#2 The claim of a "lack" of humility

"Humility" is easy to show (or a "lack" of humility).

Some definitions:

Catholic Church says "humility" means lowliness and/or submissiveness.

Wikipedia says "humility" says it is the quality of being modest and respectful -- let's go with this definition.

I think the Catholic meaning is the same -- using modern terms.

Wikipedia says "respect" denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem.

Every "religion" takes certain absolutist positions (in their core belief system).

In Catholicism there are many ("canons").
---The Pope is the "Vicar" of Christ
---Only through God, Christ, and Church can one know Salvation
---That God can "actually" grant absolution of sin (church is "God" certified)
---The Church "has" (historically) justified every horror of the Agrarian age or would have if they were around back then
---Martin Luther is the anti-christ
---Hate the Jews (not a "canon" but a pereptual truth of the church -- up to WWII this truism was made public)
---There's Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
---Jews can't get into Heaven because they wont recognize Messiah
---Only Church "certified" Saints can perform miracles

Martin Luther and thus all Protestant
---The Pope is the Anti-Christ
---Jews are still bad (for most of evangelical history)
---Purgatory does not exist
---Still have Heaven and Hell (useful "insurance ploy")
---Jews can't get into Heaven because they wont recognize Messiah
---No Saints (Miracles "without" proxy)

Since Judaeism and Islam are the progenitor and successor of the above traditions I find no reason to make all the same "absolutist" positions or Temple "authority."

Now -- back to "humility" (that no "religionists" can have it).

A "religionist" is a person who ties their faith to one of the above religions -- that the religion and their private observance and their "understanding" of God and the Bible come from the above traditions.

All those religionists believe and support (financially and emotionally) those traditions -- if they are "ignorant" of those traditions and hundreds of horrible others then it's even worse. Since they "believe and support" they think (at the fundemental level) that people of the "wrong" faith will go to Hell (or whever).

Can you have "respect" (esteem) for a person or group you believe are going to "Hell?"

A "good person" would be sympathetic and want to convert (if that's their belief) otherwise they are being insincere in their faith and they are heartless to let any group of people to march off into "hell" (rip tear burn -- over and over for all time).

Can and "insincere" person be humble -- nope "sincerity" is a hallmark of "esteem" and thus "respect" sooooo no.

Thus -- a religionist cannot be "humble" and would OF COURSE never usher in a Free-Society -- because they have absolutist beliefs at their core. Absolutism is the hallmark of Collectivism, which is the essence of Churchianity or Dogmatic Fellowship.

An Un-Church Christian (maybe)

An Atheist or a Deist or an Un-Decided (yes) they can usher in a Free-Society because they do not take absolute positions regarding the "un-known" -- which is where a free-society operates ("in the 'unknown' future" -- since it's never existed).

Religionists "fear" the unknown (see above).

#1 What obscure "historical" references did I ever make

that you do not already know.

You know that Slavery and Militarism is how the Banksters really became powerful -- which was born after the Agrarian Age and certified by "some" Priesthood or "some" Religion or "some" Mythos. Meaning the power of the "priests" or "religionists" comes from a people who abdicate self-rule for the seeming comforts of comformity -- it's a historical "insurance scam" (similar to how the Italian Mob controlled Italian neighborhoods and businesses by "selling" insurance from theft or whatever by creating a "false threat").

We can see the latter truth as far forward as the Cuban Missle crisis and the begining of the "Cold War" and the "War on Drugs" and the "War on Poverty" and the "War on Terror" -- all the "War On's" are part of the same really old "insurance scam" that goes back to the beginning of or just prior to the start of the Agrarian Age and Organized Religion.

Organized Religion being the biggest "Insurance Scam" of them all -- because it professes knowledge on "foreverness" and rules by the same absolutism as every Gov't since.

Now where in that analysis do you see something that's not easily seen and would require a special book or some "titled" author to convince you of -- haahhaha. It's observable in the history we know and the history that frankly is NOT argued about.

Here's a recent example: Slavery (Gov't and Religious Backed), Transatlantic Slavery (Gov't and Religious Backed), Forced Assimilation of American Indian and Australian Aborigine Children (Gov't and Religious Backed), Forced Relocation / Reservationism (Gov't and Religious Backed), Black Codes / Jim Crow (Gov't and Religion Backed).

Pick an ancient civilization of great size and far reaching power and you will find a Priesthood of some sort and those "certified" by the Priesthood to rule in absolute terms. Priesthood controls the Mythos and Boogeyman Arena and the Gov't (Emperor, King, Pharoah, President, Dictator, or Potentate) controls the Currency (valuation mechanism or just plains owns all tools and land).

I literally cannot think of one civilization where this was not the case -- even the First Emperor of China (the first "living God") or the first Emperor of Japan (etc).

When you do think of one tell me "who" destroyed that society and it will again be one of the above (Emperor, King, Pharoah, President, Dictator, or Potentate).

I really do not understand that part of your "rebuttal" -- everything I've said is observable and known to all. It's not an intricate argument.

Restated: Show me one society where there was a big gov't (of some sort) that was not either certified by a priesthood (of some sort) or was a reactionary regime to a "former" priesthood certified Gov't? The latter "regime" ruling in the same absolutist authority as the former is in essence "the same" -- Just a "new hat" on the old coat rack.

I thank you both gentlemen, for a very civil discourse,

on a very touchy subject.
Dr Paul is right, liberty and freedom DO unite people!

yes, HVAC (all)

I wish such discussion were always the "norm". ;))

Thumbs Up !!

Herbert W. Armstrong lol

donvino

"modern-day Christianity is in a sad state"

because it does not represent what Christianity originally was intended to represent.

Then He [Jesus Christ] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Does that sound like today's kind of 'Christianity'?

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

this reads like brother Chuck!

as in Baldwin, we need to hook those two up!

Posted to facebook

Thanks for sharing. It was a bit accusatory for me but I feel Vance's frustration for sure..

Mathew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

bumping . . .

for good content.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Christ as seen on Glenn Beck last nite has been compromised .

Love is the human answer, but Christ is more than Love. A spokesman for GOD Jehovah should speak only when Jehovah tells him what to say. We have a lot of false teachers in the FAITH which IS the trick of the devil or just plain ignorance of scripture. LAW and GRACE cannot be mixed, it is like nullifying Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
It is great to see prophesy fullfilled, but it is not the will of GOD to digress to LAW mingling with GRACE. If you are a legalist you are not SAVED, PERIOD. Christ fullfilled the LAW for those who are HIS. HIS; are believers in HIS work and Diety. Sorry just the facts, there is ONE LORD over ALL.
Anything between your heart and Christ, is anti-christ.
Which is the reason the devil will try to impersonate Christ. It is the devils only hope to win the battle. The devil knows scripture better than most he is a legalist. He is mankind's accuser. "The unbeliever's accuser"; for there is no longer condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
Though HE slay me , yet will I trust in HIM. Jesus commands, COME OUT from amoung them. Be yea HOLY for I am HOLY. And when HE commands people respond. Who is your Commander? The LAND belongs to the KING of KINGS and some day it will be inhabited by a HOLY people. At the last trump. Tribulation is reserved for the unbelieving. For those who NEGLECT so great a salvation. They bring it upon themselves.

It's getting late people.

Jesus Christ

shall seperate the wheat from the chaff. I do not bad mouth any person. HE is the advocate, the FATHER is the JUDGE. All JUDGEMENT has been handed to CHRIST. There is "one" reason the Worlds were created, To GLORIFY God's SON.
There is a lot of deception going on. Lots of false teaching.BUYER beware.

I think we could get a good margin of Christian voters

to come over to the Ron Paul camp. I've been working on my friends in the church for a couple of years and slowly they are coming over. Some are even starting to realize that undeclared/unconstitutional wars are not what God wants. It's okay if a war was a declared war, with a declared purpose, but to have undeclared war isn't right.

A point to make is this, how do you expect Americans to follow the rule of law, if our own government refuses to follow its own constitution? IF God tells us to follow the rule of law, don't you think that God wants nations to follow the rules as well?

Let me further add this, wars are fought because of evil men/women seek to destroy peace. This is what Hitler did when trying to take over the world and murdering millions. So WWII once attacked by the Japanese was a just war, with a just cause, with a just purpose. Today's wars are nothing more than a expansion of power for those in power and is fought against regimes that will have no chance against us.

I really do think they are trying to create a regional Mideast war that they hope will lead into another World War. And that is why they have been trying to overthrow regimes.

Thank you

This article comes at the perfect time for me. It clearly explains what I have been trying to get my family to understand. We are all (my whole family) Christians, but over the last several years there has been a growing wedge between us, because I see things the way you do and support Ron Paul.

same here

But slowly my family is coming around one at a time. But SLOWLY. We are all Christians, as well.

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt

I really think that being

I really think that being anti-war is the primary direction the campaign should take. It is the difference that sets Ron Paul apart from all the other candidates. They can all say, like Rick Perry recently, how they despise the Fed's policies, and the issue of the Fed seems to be just a little above the head of the average TV zombie, so it all sounds the same. But one thing you'll never hear them utter is "we need to end the wars" or "we need to cut the military budget".

I have a great respect for Ron Paul because he is a man of principle. I've noticed that when media hosts question him on his concerns when Rick Perry or the latest neo-con enters the race he confidently brushes it off. He recognizes that Perry is a threat in the cult of personality race, but Ron Paul is not running for president in such a way that he wants your vote just because you like him. In other words, Ron Paul wants people to vote for him because they believe and understand the principles of liberty. To win the presidency in any other way would be to become the president of a culture foreign to your own beliefs. It would be to become captain of a ship that is in mutiny even before you took the helm.

We need to get people to vote because they want peace. Because they want to end the wars. Once you break the spell over a person that empowers their love affair with the war, everything else, the fed, liberty, small government, etc, become subjects that can now be civilly discussed.

"Ron Paul must go all out anti-war",

last week there was a thread on DP with many comments that supports what you wrote/suggested in the first line of your post.
"Ron Paul must go all out anti-war" -
http://www.dailypaul.com/174153/ron-paul-must-go-all-out-ant...

So Right, - the primary direction the campaign should take.
So Fair, - to emphasize this point / explain this vital issue.

I agree...

... Blessed are the peacemakers. The whole country is sick of war. The neo-cons are out on a limb. They have all compromised themselves and cannot come over to Dr. Paul's position without exposing their limitations.

Plano TX

Blessed are the peace-makers.

Quote for our times, as reminder.
Great article, with healthy comments. Lawrance Vance is a biblical scholar, has written lengthy articles on the "Christian Just War Theory", LewRockwell.com has been carrying them. Thanks.

The

evangelical church is in horrible spiritual condition and they are some of the biggest supporters and apologists for the state. The biblical illiteracy is killing them and bankrupting them (and everyone else). If the evangelical church had spoken up against many of the atrocities in American history, they probably wouldn't have happened.

Please note: I am an evangelical Christian and I can make these statements from an insiders perspective.

It is sad and disgraceful.

Dr. Vance has done the most bravest work I know.

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise." - Benjamin Franklin

Btw,

by bankruptcy I did not just mean financially. I also meant spiritually and morally. I also meant the reference to killing both literally and figuratively.

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise." - Benjamin Franklin

The evangelical church...

... has been hijacked by the neo-cons in the GOP. The deluded pastors without exception (Baldwin and few other brave ones excluded) all want a "seat at the table," thereby betraying their call, their flock and their Lord. They only care about the enterprises they are running and how to collect the tithes of the deluded sheeple. It took the war criminal, George Bush, and the pastors' praise of him for me to see through the whole farce called "evangelical chir$tianity."

Plano TX

Nice article but

I would have liked to see some attention paid to social engineering, the Council for National Policy, and the 501(c)3 problem of government dictating to churches what can and cannot be said.

the 501c problem is the

the 501c problem is the problem.