Where Your Allegiances…Lie

According to the satanic interpretation of Just War Theory: Rebellion is the only and evergreen ground for initiating violence. Since, by definition, an authority cannot rebel against its subordinates, it follows that the merest use of violence by an authority–even for discipleship and administered in love–is fundamentally unjust according to the satanic interpretation.

Keep this in mind whenever you find yourself supporting an overthrow of some kind. And if you have an unshakeable aversion to the use of violence by legitimate authority regardless of the circumstances, then you should know that part of yourself is in cahoots with the Devil.

If, on the other hand, you revel in the truth that Our Lord Christ will return with overwhelming and unstoppable violence, then you can know that part of you has been redeemed from the bondage of lies.

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32 thoughts on “Where Your Allegiances…Lie

  1. NO. Peace to men of GOOD WILL. And the WW2 generation understood Just War Theory considering we bombed civilians. Because people, Americans especially, are culpable for the actions of their government. Ignore that at your peril.

  2. NautiGal says:
    June 27, 2014 at 12:06 am

    “NO. Peace to men of GOOD WILL.”

    That’s not what the Bible says.

    Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

  3. I still wonder how the American Revolution was justifiable from a Scriptural viewpoint. That is especially a bigger concern given that the current US Government is more oppressive than King George ever was.

  4. Appropriate violence is a difficult concept to grasp considering our adulterated lexicon – the word violence has been re-framed to mean abuse, and there’s no such thing as appropriate abuse, duh. I have an acquaintance who insists she is committed to non-violence, but she has no idea what she’s talking about. She thinks it means “I don’t want anyone to get hurt it’s so sad” with a side of vegan, because baby animals are so cute. Neither of those things has anything to do with non-violence one way or the other.

    I still wonder how the American Revolution was justifiable from a Scriptural viewpoint.

    IIRC, Jefferson wanted some sort of symbol (currency?) to portray the Exodus. I don’t know if there is scriptural justification for it or not, but that concept is how the FF’s justified it to themselves.

    Because people, Americans especially, are culpable for the actions of their government.

    Especially? Because of our posture of (supposed) Republic?

    I wonder about that, I don’t see how we can reject the notion of collective salvation, but then take on collective responsibility because other people are bad actors. I do believe God judges nations, I mean I read that somewhere, but I don’t think He condemns individuals for the sins of others, does He?

  5. @Oscar
    That is why the proper translation of the Bible is so monumentally important. In the Douay-Rheims the verse is, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” And Pope Benedict changed the mass to reflect that. Because it matters.

  6. “And if you have an unshakeable aversion to the use of violence by legitimate authority regardless of the circumstances, then you should know that part of yourself is in cahoots with the Devil.”

    How would you define legitimate authority? I assume you are referencing Romans 13 to obey authority.

    For example Hitler replaced church leaders both protestant and catholic, with nazi versions, and nazi ideologies were taught within these churches.

    In Russia the Eastern Orthodox Church was almost wiped out by the actions of Stalin, with most church members killed or sent to Siberian camps. When missionaries returned after the fall of the soviet union many regions did not even have bibles.

    Would both of these examples not fall under the definition of authorities appointed by God in Romans 13:1? Romans 13:3 Says if they obey they will be commended, but I certainly don’t think that was the case for Hitler or Stalin. Unless the passage is talking about being commended by God similar to how Jesus or Stephen did not resist the authorities with violence.

    Or how about the time of the Reformation which led to the split of the church in europe? Was the pope not considered a legitimate authority (and if he wasn’t what qualifies or doesn’t qualify him to be one)? Why was there an overthrowing of his power and other catholic priests if he was a legitimate ruler appointed by God?

    I just find it hard to wrap my mind around paragraph 2 if you could expound upon that, perhaps I can knock the devil away.

  7. @JatGP

    Let’s deal with the priorities one at a time.

    I just find it hard to wrap my mind around paragraph 2 if you could expound upon that, perhaps I can knock the devil away.

    Suppose we are reading the story of David and Goliath. When David says, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”, and then slays him: Do you exult in that, or do you think that it is sad that David had to kill him; that David is somehow tarnished because he slew Goliath?

  8. @JatGP

    Me too.

    How would you define legitimate authority? I assume you are referencing Romans 13 to obey authority.

    Yes, and Peter, and David and Saul, and the gist of nearly all interplays between authorities and subordinates in the Bible.

    The question of whether or not a person is a legitimate authority ultimately has an objective answer, but that is often hidden from us. We must choose with subjective sight. It is my strong belief is that this choice is easier than we pretend. Hiding and evacuating Jews from Hitler, or Orthodox priests from Stalin, is not a hard call. Paying taxes to a government that distributes those moneys to abortion clinics is not a hard call either. We just like to pretend it is. We want to feel like we are in charge because we’re right. They have the authority to tax money, so give them the money. What we should not do is give them babies to kill.

    Christians, like everyone else, struggle with rebellion and the desire to yank vengeance out of God’s hands into their own (but I repeat myself). Protecting Jews and Orthodox priests isn’t vengeance. It’s protecting; even if you kill their persecutors in the process. We’d better really and objectively be protecting though. Prevention by bombing persecutors not in the act is not protection. It might be war, but you’d better be sure it is a Just War; which is a higher bar than “But they’re doing bad things!”

  9. “How would you define legitimate authority? I assume you are referencing Romans 13 to obey authority.”
    Jesus told us before He ascended that all authority in heaven and earth was given to Him by His Father. Romans 13 repeats that truth by stating that there is no authority but God. Legitimate authority is therefor authority delegated by God to do God’s will/pleasure. A legitimate authority will support the good and oppose the evil as defined by God. If the authority is promoting the good then, and only then are you required to be subject to said authority, and only then is it legitimate. Then you must be subject for your conscience sake. Romans 13 concerns all authority; parent, church leaders, community leaders, as well as government leaders. Church leaders during the time of the American Revolution understood that the British government was not legitimate. The Declaration of Independence has the details.

  10. Pingback: How Dare You Associate Me With Them | Things that We have Heard and Known

  11. @Thanks Cane.
    So is it similar to how David and King Saul meet in 1 Samuel 23?

    Saul is chasing David all over Israel after two previous murder attempts, and David has a chance to kill Saul once and for all, but spares Saul because he recognizes the authority was given to Saul by God and that God would be the one who would avenge, not David himself? Even though what Saul did is objectively bad (i.e. killing priests of Nob while searching for David), David still respected his authority and didn’t escalate in violence, and even defended the town of Keliah from the enemies of Israel. He simply tries to avoid Saul murdering him, and tries to pacify his wrath at every turn, all while staying true to the defense of the nation of Israel.

    @Bobbye
    I don’t know much about the legitimacy of the American Revolution, but what’s to stop a group within America that thinks the American government as it is today is promoting evil and therefore are not subject to its authority, from seceding? Isn’t that the opposite of what Cane is saying or am I missing something?

  12. As one of my friends points out frequently we are free by the Grace of His Majesty King George. Such is the Christian position.

  13. @JatGP

    So is it similar to how David and King Saul meet in 1 Samuel 23? […]He simply tries to avoid Saul murdering him, and tries to pacify his wrath at every turn, all while staying true to the defense of the nation of Israel.

    Exactly so. David was a loyal servant even as Saul tried to kill him, and even after David has been anointed to be king. Later, when Saul is defeated by the Philistines, and Jonathan is dead, one of Saul’s men kills him, and reports Saul’s death to David. David kills that man for touching the Lord’s anointed, Saul.

    Isn’t that the opposite of what Cane is saying or am I missing something?

    You’re correct, if I’m understanding Bobbye correctly. In Bobbye’s defense he has obviously been dutifully subject to what he’s been told, and I don’t think it is his job (and hardly necessary) to suss out the lie in the statement he received that: “Church leaders during the time of the American Revolution understood that the British government was not legitimate. The Declaration of Independence has the details.” That’s what I was told, too, but at best that (the pile of charges in the DoI) is an extremely foreshortened version of the truth.

    The King of England not the legitimate authority of Englishmen and English colonies, for which England fought and other Englishmen died? The very conceptualization of freedom to which Jefferson appealed was founded in English rights. The Jefferson who said, “From time to time the tree of liberty must be refreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants” said that while standing on essentially English ground, and about the tree the Kings of England gave us.

    Mark Steyn made the point in 2007 (maybe even before) that George III would never have conceived of the injustices against English liberties that we routinely suffer today, and to which we never even give a thought. England is the worse for it, too.

    Don’t worry: I think it’s very likely that in 1,000 years we will be considered Byzantium to England’s Rome, a continuation of one empire.

  14. @NautiGal

    What makes “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will” “the proper translation of the Bible” and “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men” the improper translation of the Bible?

    [CC: She’s correct. The ESV says: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”]

  15. @ Cane: If the legitimacy of authority does not come from God, then what is the source of the legitimacy? The chief priest of the Temple in Jerusalem were the ‘legitimate’ authority and yet Peter refused to be subject to him saying” we ought to obey God rather than men” How did Peter determine that he should not obey the lawful order of the chief priest? How did early Christians determine that they should not obey the lawful orders of Caesar even at the cost of their lives? For a Christian, is the determination of legitimate authority different now? For people who live as if there is no God, might always determines legitimacy.
    @ James: Nothing but violence is to stop them. Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world and thus Christians are not called to establish it with violence. God will establish and reveal that Kingdom in due time. For this reason many Christians would never view active, violent revolt as a service to God.I am one of those. But that does not mean that I am absolved from the responsibility of evaluating whether the ‘Authorities’ are being ” God’s ministers to me for good” and thus whether I should obey them or not.

  16. @Bobbye

    If the legitimacy of authority does not come from God, then what is the source of the legitimacy?

    Where did I say that God is not the source of legitimacy? He is.

    Let’s suppose that the English tax on tea levied without the consent of English colonialists was a bad idea. Does that error mean God remove the English crown’s authority or legitimacy? Let’s suppose a husband overdraws the shared account. Does that remove his authority or legitimacy? Does either one of those things grant the right of the subordinates (colonialists or wife) to rebel? No.

    How does it transgress God’s authority to pay an unpopular tax on a popular product? How does it transgress God’s law for a wife to stow away money for the family? It doesn’t.

    How did Peter determine that he should not obey the lawful order of the chief priest?

    It wasn’t lawful, but the important point here is that it would have been wrong for the Early Church to burn down synagogues, or declare war on the Sanhedrin.

    What will really blow your mind is that it would have been right for a Roman soldier Christian to kill Jews at the command of his centurion.

    How did early Christians determine that they should not obey the lawful orders of Caesar even at the cost of their lives?

    Very few laws were broken by the Early Church. The Sanhedrin was able to convince some Romans that Christianity was a new, separate religion, and therefore illegal, but other than that: How did they disobey? That case is pretty clear cut. They certainly didn’t rebel.

    For a Christian, is the determination of legitimate authority different now?

    No, and as I said to JatGP it’s not really hard to determine.

    You’re avoiding the real issue, though and essentially making a luciferian case for rebellion. From one perspective, Lucifer is just a bad guy who opposes God. From another perspective he’s the unethical prosecutor, the accuser–the Adversary–who runs entrapment schemes on souls so that they might be killed and sent to Hell. He does this on the basis that if we do wrong, then our privileges (freedoms,, protections, and especially our authority) are forfeit. We, who if we are God’s, have authority over angels and will judge them; yet a fallen angel works ceaselessly to usurp us; to get us convicted, and kill us by the same standard that you said the early American churches used to explain away the evil of rebellion.

    Peter and Paul both say that the civil authorities are put over us by God for the punishment of those who do evil, and the praise of those who do well. Moreover, it is explicit in the Old Testament that the various kingdoms who conquer the Israelites and are conquered by them do so by God’s will.

    Are there times to run, hide, or fight? Yes. But we had better be very careful. The American Revolution does not pass that muster. The cultural rot of America bears that out and witnesses against the Revolution.

  17. As Cane rightly pointed out there is a myth that the Christians were law breakers. The fact is even the widespread persecutions were fairly short lived. In Egypt for example the Church became the welfare state something Justin the Apostate Emperor fought against.

    Christians were commanded by Jesus to obey in even little things. Even onerous things like the head tax directly by Jesus. And for the most part they did. The Romans court documents of the time point out the Romans felt the Christians were troublesome for a couple of reasons, first they didn’t delve into the Emperor Cult which was considered treasonous. The second, and more perplexing problem, was that they made _other people_ angry and were seen as a source of violence even though they were otherwise good citizens. There’s interesting cases recorded of Roman magistrates trying to figure out how to _avoid_ punishing Christians because they really didn’t want to slaughter innocents that paid their taxes on time.

    Peter contrary to your description does obey the priests. He only demurs when he has orders from up higher as he points out, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.” When he accidently insults the high priest he immediately apologizes. That is THE pillar of the church (as St. Paul calls him) apologizes to his Saul like predecessor.

  18. Peter contrary to your description does obey the priests. He only demurs when he has orders from up higher as he points out, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.” When he accidently insults the high priest he immediately apologizes. That is THE pillar of the church (as St. Paul calls him) apologizes to his Saul like predecessor.

    I believe it was Paul who referred to the high priest as a whitewashed wall, and then revealed that he did not know that the man was the high priest. I don’t remember an actual apology though.

  19. Cane I know you are a busy guy, but if you get the time, could you make your case for the following:

    What will really blow your mind is that it would have been right for a Roman soldier Christian to kill Jews at the command of his centurion.

    I’m not sure if I agree or disagree, but I do have to second that it is a mind blowing statement.

  20. Bringing war, violence, murder or even the act of killing is one of the hardest concepts to harmonize with scripture. Granted, I must say though I am not a Christian I still respect your standings. In my times ans experience with scripture which in fact is what led me to respect its moral promptings but deny its fundamental credibility regarding, “the story.”

    One of the things that is important was, Jesus rebelled at the so called God ordained government that as Paul, has stated Israels God appoints. If Israels God was against rebellion( which he is not) than I could see war being evil and rebellion evil. The bible is filled with acts of rebellion towards evil and war towards evil rather physical, mental, or spiritual.

    Would Israels God judge our troops for our defense and killings? I highly doubt it. Since in my opinion revenge is an evil and a confession of a hurt. But a defense is not so much an evil especially from tyranny. In my beliefs and perspective it is the intentions and motives that will be judged and not the acts. Since our acts come from our beliefs, thoughts, and motives.

    To say, to not rebel against a tyrannical ruler who orders everyone to kill their wives and children, is in fact, slavish, stupid, unmanly, and sinful. One has the power to rebel but we must learn and know when we can use that power less we become enslaved by the higher powers.

  21. @ Cane:”You’re avoiding the real issue, though and essentially making a luciferian case for rebellion” I’m sure I am confused but it seems to me that you are making a case that all authorities that currently exist are legitimate by virtue that their existence is evidence of God’s approval and setting up of them.

  22. @JDG

    Cane I know you are a busy guy, but if you get the time, could you make your case for

    Yes, eventually. It’s an upcoming topic. Actually, I already started it here. Not specifically Romans soldiers vs. Jewish citizens, but what is required of us in submission to earthly authorities; what that should look like. I think this is widely misunderstood, and because of that we teach sinful theories.

    @Mavellian

    One of the things that is important was, Jesus rebelled at the so called God ordained government that as Paul, has stated Israels God appoints.

    Did He? I do not think so. First of all, Jesus is the King that was not recognized. How does a king rebel against his servants by telling them how to behave? How does a king rebel against his servants at all?

    Secondly: How did Jesus rebel? He did their job for them (praying, forgiving, offering sacrifice, casting our demons, teaching, healing, etc.) , and when they unlawfully came for Him He did not resist.

    To say, to not rebel against a tyrannical ruler who orders everyone to kill their wives and children, is in fact, slavish, stupid, unmanly, and sinful.

    One does not rebel against insanity or evil. One puts it down. We had better be very sure that the former authorities are worth fighting against before we do, and even then it’s not enough that they have evil ideas towards others. We must be stopping the actual practice of them against others.

    @Bobbye

    I’m sure I am confused but it seems to me that you are making a case that all authorities that currently exist are legitimate by virtue that their existence is evidence of God’s approval and setting up of them.

    I’m making the case that we should assume that until we are clearly shown otherwise. Taxation hurts people, but not in the way that the Holocaust hurt people. The best way that I can think of to determine this is: Would running from, hiding from, or fighting against the authority in question be loving to someone? If it’s not directly loving then it’s just rebellion, and not a form of allegiance to a higher authority.

  23. What will really blow your mind is that it would have been right for a Roman soldier Christian to kill Jews at the command of his centurion.

    You’re right, it is mind-blowing. I don’t buy it. This sounds like the Nuremburg Defense.

  24. I doubt there were many Christians in Flavius Vespasianus’s legions when they besieged Jerusalem, so we’ll never know what Christians would have done in that situation.

    We do know, however, about the Theban Legion. It was a Roman Legion made up entirely of Christian Copts from Egypt. They were ordered to Gaul to suppress a rebellion. When they arrived, they received orders to sacrifice to the gods before battle and to exterminate Christians in Gaul. They refused and were decimated. They still refused and were all martyred.

    Had I been in St Maurice’s place, I probably would’ve fought, but then, I’ve always thought I’d make a lousy martyr. I don’t claim to be a good example in that regard.

    By the way, there were times when Christians broke the law constantly. The Roman Edict of 202 AD made conversion to Christianity illegal. And the Edict of 250 AD stated that every citizen had to carry a certificate issued by local authorities stating that they’d sacrificed to the gods. Obviously, Christians broke both those laws by their obedience to God.

  25. @Oscar

    The Roman Edict of 202 AD made conversion to Christianity illegal. And the Edict of 250 AD stated that every citizen had to carry a certificate issued by local authorities stating that they’d sacrificed to the gods. Obviously, Christians broke both those laws by their obedience to God.

    Yes. Like I said: It’s not very hard to tell when obedience to God means disobedience to civil authorities. I

  26. Re the scriptural justification for the war of independence. It makes me crazy that history has redefined the war for independence as “the revolutionary war”. It was not a war of revolution seeking to overthrow a government. It was a was seeking to throw OFF a government. There’s a huge difference. Scripturally then it could be likened to the Paulian admonition to the slave to gain his freedom,or the Israelites leaving Egypt.
    It is interesting to me that a solder commanded to kill a Jew would be commended by God for his bowing to authority that God had placed over him. Should we then be not as quick to condemn the man that kills an abortionist, because he may be following God? I dunno.
    When the end comes it will be violent and bloody.
    Thanks for letting me comment.

  27. I am not convinced it is as simplistic as you seem to be presenting Cane. Though I am not completely clear on your point.

    I would also say I tend to think David was in error when he said Saul was God’s annointed. That was clearly removed earlier, as noted by Samuel. It may have ended up the proper thing to do, but keep in mind that David also wanted to let Absolom get away with his rebellion. David turned to God, which was what made him a man after God’s own heart, but he was not perfect.

    One minor quibble: David slew the man who claimed to have slain Saul, not necessarily the one who did it. It notes he claimed that, but evidence seems to indicate he was claiming something he did not do. That is quite possible, though David’s action was consistent with what David lived, based on the man’s own claims.

  28. Oscar says: ‘What makes “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will” “the proper translation of the Bible” and “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men” the improper translation of the Bible?’

    Sometimes the meaning has to be inferred from context due to linguistic ambiguity. There is no avoiding it, which is why translation is so perilous. The thing is, ‘[of] goodwill’ could be either a subject along with ‘peace’, or it could be a modifier of ‘men’, and even that could be ambiguous depending on the particular nouns.

    Many languages use a construction where that language’s genitive-case version of ‘of something’ means an unspecified quantity of that thing. For example, ‘Donnez-moi du pain’ is ‘Give me [some] of bread’. The ‘peace, [some of] goodwill toward men’ translation follows this pattern.

    On the other hand, many languages also use word endings (cases) to communicate relationships between nouns and modifiers where English would use word order. The ‘peace to men [of] goodwill’ translation reflects this. Anyway, St. Jerome translated the Vulgate in the 300s as a fluent speaker of then-current Greek and Latin and Hebrew, so his interpretation at the time of an ambiguous construction has to be given considerable weight.

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