7 Thoughts on Gianforte for the Win

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So the eyes of the nation gave Montana congressional elections their fifteen minutes of fame yesterday. The Democrats have been yearning for a “”sea change win” in the various special elections held to fill vacancies created by Trump appointments, and once again came up short. That is one thing. The other is that in the hours before the election, there was a physical altercation of some sort between the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, and a reporter for the Guardian, Ben Jacobs.

Not so surprisingly, I have a few things to say about all this.

First, I know Greg Gianforte, and he is a conscientious, generous, well-spoken Christian gentlemen. He will serve Montana well as a representative in Congress. Knowing him, I knew that if an apology was warranted, it would be forthcoming, and if he did not believe it was warranted, an explanation would be forthcoming. As it happened, he offered the apology here.

Secondly, one news report tried to claim that there was a contradiction between the campaign’s initial blaming of the reporter for his aggressiveness and Gianforte’s apology, but of course there is no contradiction. It is certainly possible honestly to apologize for a poor response to someone else’s bad behavior.

In the third place, observers should also understand that this campaign was already into the ninth inning of a game of Dirty Ball. Late last week, a project with People for the American Way ran this hit piece on Gianforte, referencing yours truly in the first paragraph. Perhaps some of you did not now that “the American way” was quite that sleazy. White nationalists in the first sentence, and then me in the second, building to quite a a crescendo. And then, they added breathlessly, Gianforte supports a return to Latin instruction in elementary schools.

Fourth, the article that followed was bad enough as a representation of my views, but as a representation of Gianforte’s record, it was a hatchet job using the blunt side of the hatchet. I know Greg from a shared stint on the board for the Association of Classical Christian Schools, an association with hundreds of schools in it. So he is somehow expected to answer for out-of-context quotes taken from someone he sees once a year at a national board meeting? And unlike the modern college campus, remember, conservative educators are not given to ideological purges.

Fifth, I believe that Gianforte was right to apologize, but the denizens of the Washington media bubble need to understand that in certain parts of the country punching a reporter and refusing to apologize would actually be the big vote-getter. I am not urging anything here, just noticing.

Nothing said here should be taken as cheer-leading for the deterioration of civility in our society generally. This is the case whether it is conservative > liberal or black > white or fascists > made up fascists. The restraints we have put in place over the centuries are not a decorative fence—they are a levee holding back a swollen river. Now in my view you have to be willfully blind not to see that this degradation of civility is being driven largely by the collectivist Left, not to mention that such corruption is largely rationalized and defended there. Now I believe that conservatives ought to do everything in their power to preserve the bonds of civility—and for the most part, I think conservatives have done a decent job of this. Expecting Gianforte to apologize as needed is part of that expectation. But it has to be noted, and marked, and noted again, that when the Left finally succeeds in blowing up the levee, they are going to miss it a lot more than others will. They should have done more measuring, and more thinking through who lives in the flood plain.

In the sixth place, it is all very well for me to say that I was “taken out of context.” Lots of people say that, including people who were not taken out of context. So for those just joining the party, and who know nothing more about my views on the South than what they read in attack pieces sponsored by People for the Sleazy Way, here are several places you may go for further edification. If you follow this link, and read the materials under #2 and #3, your concerns should be put to rest. In that section, there is also a link to purchase my book on the subject, a book entitled Black & Tan.

And last, Greg Gianforte will be another vote in Congress for a whole series of crucial votes, coming up soon. In my view, the most important of them all is the tax reform proposal, the looming tax cuts. All the ginned up hooey inside the Beltway (investigations, scandals, pretend corruption, real corruption, and whatnot) are attempts by the deep state to distract us from the fact that they have been standing on America’s oxygen hose for years now. They want to keep their cash flow coming, and they don’t want your money back in your pocket, doing things that you want it to do.

There are other issues that are more important morally (e.g. defunding the ghouls at Planned Parenthood). But the tax cuts must come first. And why? As Napoleon put it once, an army marches on its stomach.

What is the most important thing for Congress to do?, and what is the most important thing for Congress to do next? are two different questions. Tax cuts now. Get between the hogs and the bucket.

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Will G
Will G
4 years ago

Build the wall so he keeps his base and Congress in 2018.

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
4 years ago

“What is the most important thing for Congress to do?, and what is the most important thing for Congress to do next? are two different questions. Tax cuts now. Get between the hogs and the bucket.”

Except it will not be getting between the hogs and bucket as long as the Treasury can keep borrowing. And the GOP has shown no stomach to force budget cuts by sticking to a borrowing cap.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Andrew, the changes in our society happened incrementally, over a period of many years. I know we all want to wake up tomorrow in a repentant, awakened, and revived society dedicated solely to bringing glory to the name of Jesus Christ, but we must be prepared to make it happen over the course of decades–or more. One step at a time, sir.

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Yes, I understand that arguement. Still this is only a step in the “right” direction IF debt reform happens. If it doesn’t happen it is no help at all. I guess I am wondering at Doug’s statement that tax reform should be next. Why not debt reform first?

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Tax reform gets the government off our oxygen hose, stands between the hogs and the bucket, and most importantly, decreases the power of those in power. Money is the mojo that greases the election machine. Paying down debt won’t sell with the voters until we can turn the dial from emotion to intelligent thought. That’s an UGE step for the Socialist States of America right now. It would also be nice if we didn’t bite and devour each other in the process.

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Capndweeb, I don’t think you take the point. There are 2 ways for people in power to get to the money bucket. Tax reform only cuts off one of the two ways. So, no, we are not decreasing the power of those in power and will not actually stand between the hogs and the bucket. The hogs will just use the other path. You are right of course in saying that we will not pay down debt until we can turn the dial from emotion to intelligent thought, but I’m not even talking about that. I’m just talking about not… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Well, yes. I would agree not to raise the debt ceiling any more, because that’s an issue we can easily explain. But for the love of all that is good, Senator McBucket, SPEND LESS!

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

LOL. Yes. Spend less. Here is a “fun” statistic. Government Debt to GDP is currently at 104.17%. That’s $1.04 of debt for every $1 of GDP. Even if we put aside really conservative economics; according to pop economics anything over 100% is generally considered questionable or even unsustainable.

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp

D
D
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Lots of political factions like the sound of spend less, or pay down the debt, but when it comes to specifics they get quiet real fast.

Of course, conservatives have a ridiculous myth that we are on the right tail of the Laffer curve so cutting taxes will bring in more money. Therefore, they can take the Trump approach – cut taxes, spend more—->more revenue, less debt.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  D

I don’t think that’s an accurate take on the Laffer curve:
http://www.austriancenter.com/the-laffer-curve-will-tax-cuts-pay-for-themselves/

D
D
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I understand the Laffer curve, and it certainly exists. Under stable conditions the decrease in tax revenue will be less than the decrease in marginal rates. However, that is not the “conservative” myth I am referring to. Any time a tax cut is floated we hear about how it will pay for itself. Mnuchin has said many times that the trump tax plan will pay for itself with growth (sometimes he adds base broadening as an additional revenue gainer), and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard pundits say that it’s simple, cut taxes, the economy grows,… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  D

“revenues to outlays were less than when he took office”

No argument there. As the article I linked to said, “It’s definitely true that the federal debt mushroomed under Reagan’s tenure. In my view, this is one of the failures of Reagan’s ‘conservative and ‘small government’ legacy.”

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Well, yeah. As a country, we’ve been spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need like a drunken sailor trying to impress a girl we would never bring home to mother for decades now. We have forged the golden calf in the fires of our inequities and are sacrificing our children to it with no thought that the top of the mountain is blazing and smoking with a God who will eventually, out of His great mercy and love for us, make our sins known to us via His mighty wrath. Until that day, those of us who… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Andrew, the changes in our society happened incrementally, over a period of many years.

How long did it take for the Confederate flag to be de facto banned from public life? (About a week.)

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

As usual, you raise a good point, ashv, but the change in thinking that allowed that to happen took 150 years.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
4 years ago

Your analogy engine is firing on all cylinders. “Standing on America’s oxygen hose” and “get between the hogs and the bucket” are so apt.

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

The “get between the hogs and the bucket” made my day.

A couple of years ago DH and I were thinking about raising a hog until a local hog farmer told us about a gent who went to feed his hogs, but wasn’t fast enough getting out of the pen and was crushed by the hogs.

We decided to stick with chickens.

ME
ME
4 years ago

“Now I believe that conservatives ought to do everything in their power to preserve the bonds of civility—and for the most part, I think conservatives have done a decent job of this.” Well, pardon me for disagreeing, but I believe the good Pastor is totally blind to some things,like the violent rhetoric coming from some quarters,like the red pills and the actual white supremacists and the number of stupid young men who have now been killed and killed others, after feasting on a diet of endless hyperbole and rhetoric. Rape rhetoric,in part. I mean, what’s more glorious then the reward… Read more »

circuschaser
circuschaser
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Bloodlust? Whose rhetoric is violent?

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Yawn. Moronic fantasies and lies about mythical “radicalized” conservative white men…while the real radicals continue to bomb/murder (Muslims) or bomb/vandalize/assault (Antifa) with no restraint.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

They aren’t “conservative men” you pathetic moron, they are radicalized lost boys like Elliot Rodgers and Dylan Roof.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

“Pathetic moron”?

Please show me where Rodgers or Roof were influenced by DW. For the record, Rodgers’ dad is a Leftist Hollywood film director. Elliot was the product of the coddled, liberal, hyper-therapy/medication culture you’d expect from CA snowflake parents. He also hated men:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/25/justice/california-shooting-revelations/index.html

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Hey, you’re describing me and all my friends! But, unlike Elliot, we do like men! His manifesto was so self-pitying that it made me feel queasy.

I am certain that the Rodgers family has never heard of Doug Wilson. People here live in a bubble. (Although it might be more accurate to call it a snowglobe!) Pathetic moron is a new low.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“Pathetic moron is a new low.”

Oh, well pardon me. Perhaps you would be more approving if I just grabbed some guy by the throat and body slammed him to the ground?

Or perhaps I should just post endless praise for Anders Breivik and remind lost and broken boys that he is a hero and we are at war?

I mean, as long as we’re being civilized here.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

No one here has done any of the things you mentioned–yet you continue to stoop to name-calling and ad hominem. Whatever you’re doing, it’s certainly not “rejoicing in the Lord” and “celebrating grace” as claimed in previous posts…

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I agree with you about Anders Breivik and the people who defend him. I don’t like much of what I have heard about Gianforte. But I just wish you could stop the name calling. Clay can call it pandering or whatever he likes. I think of it as trying to find common ground and creating human ties between people who would otherwise look at one another with hostility and suspicion. Yes, I want people here to be civilized. This is one of the few places where people don’t act like the commenters on Breitbart.

bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Doug: and for the most part, I think conservatives have done a decent job of this This means that Doug acknowledges failures on the right, but thinks that they are small compared to the left. Doug: when the Left finally succeeds in blowing up the levee, they are going to miss it a lot more than others will. They should have done more measuring, and more thinking through who lives in the flood plain. ME: So basically looking forward to the coming civil war, correct? Hoping to get a few good kicks in, right? No. This means that Doug thinks… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

When the press trumpets the virtues of punching Nazis, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for a media whore being on the receiving end.

War is terrible, but it is not the worst thing.

bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

One thing that is interesting is that this man was involved in conflict and threw the first punch. This is condemned. But Spencer got blindsided. This was lauded.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Touch not Demos’ anointed.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Not by every liberal. I remember impassioned debates about not sinking to the level of barbarians.

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
4 years ago

Bro. Doug,

Congrats on being an “extremist.” Depending on who’s calling you one, that can be a good thing.

SDG,

Bro. Steve

Ronald Reagan: “I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor. I believe I stand in pretty good company.”

Matt
Matt
4 years ago

Fascinating. So a conservative attacks a journalist and wins the election, Wilson straight up admits that large sectors of the right wing don’t even see anything wrong with this, and what have we identified as the root cause? Why, the “collectivist left” of course! That is, the people who were in no way involved in any of this.

The left has their problems, but when it comes to willful blindness the right is second to none. But I guess we get some tax cuts, so that’s cool.

Matt
Matt
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

I never accused you of defending anything. You noted, quite accurately, that a large swath of the right is cool with attacking journalists. That might be a problem you could address…or you could just blame the left for everything ever. Yeah, just do that.

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

what exactly is wrong with attacking marxist sympathizers and essentially Satan worshipers?

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

You mean like Anders Breivik did?

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

yes the Montana Man killed the reporters… ( funny how he is NOT on trial…) love the logic… probably a female right?

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

How does that line up with, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also” (Jesus, Luke 6:27-29)? (That last could have saved the new Congressman a lot of grief.)

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

How exactly does Jesus overturning tables, line up with Luke 6:27-29

and one could argue reprimanding Satan followers is loving them and doing Good to them so that they learn.

it always amuses me how Satan followers always seem to preach the bible yet never use it on themselves.
Most of these supposed journalists need to remind themselves of their own logs before questioning another….

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Nahum 1:2 – “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” Romans 12:19 – “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” Matthew 5:44-45 – “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

oh my

I hope you are not married and have a daughter
because clearly if someone came and raped your wife you would “turn the other cheek” and offer your daughter or yourself….

no wonder men are leaving the church, there is no strength left in it, just passivity of castrated males.

me thinks you need to read those verses again

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

I think you should read my post again where I said, “I believe in self-defense and just war in some cases.” Which of the verses that I quoted do you take issue with? I don’t want to argue with you. My purpose is to trust in the Lord and his justice. He has called me to the real fight, the fight for souls through the gospel of Jesus. If you think that fight is for sissies, then you are mistaken. Though I do not claim to be perfect or fighting as I should; still, I believe that is where the… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

so when someone comes to attack your family you are just going to sit back and say ” I only fight real fights”

sad…
no wonder women want to be independent

Of course soul winning is the most crucial
but so is common sense
and Jesus knew that and his actions prove that…

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

First of all, I am a woman. Secondly, I am in the military. Thirdly, please read where I said, twice, that I believe in self-defense and just war. What I disagree with is not the justice system (I wish the justice system would actually give more just punishments, in accordance with Scripture). I don’t disagree with self-defense. Your example of someone raping my daughter is offensive and unnecessary, but if someone were robbing my house, attacking my family, or anyone else for that matter, I would defend them, with deadly force if necessary. What I disagree with is attacking people… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

oh right
I am talking to a woman that is trying to be a man
Have fun with that.
enjoy your passivity , those advocating for Satan are not friends of your family.. not sure how it fits with the bible or the military but then men do not join the military anymore…

The only reason you thought that example was unnecessary because it undid your entire position…
but very few women use logic and now that I know your gender it does explain a lot…

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

I realize that a blog is not the place to change anyone’s mind. I would like to say several things about your comment that won’t do any good. You don’t know me, but you sure have strong opinions about me, about women, about many things. I won’t change your mind, and I can see you’re angry about the way our culture is going. So am I. We have different ideas about what is wrong and how to fix it. I don’t see the need to insult each other. I pray you find the godly balance of passion/aggression for the truth… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

Ciao!
But if you do really love God
Passivity and now obviously a desire to be manly is not God’s idea for women.
It explains to me where the ungodly beliefs come from

“beware of liberals in Christian clothing”

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

He did do stuff on his own initiative, so did numerous Godly men… I keep giving you examples and situations but you fail to comprehend.

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

not interested in arguing, just shocked that Passivity is now Biblical…

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Absolutely no one has said, “passivity is Biblical”, they simply quoted Scripture to you and you responded by calling them a Satan worshipper.

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

i called pro abortion, homosexuals that, not the individual

implying that one is to just sit around and o nothing but just trust God is passive…
God blessed us with Hands , Legs and a mind
USE IT

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Unless you’re a woman. Then you can use your mind to calculate this week’s discount on laundry detergent.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I recommend Chesterton’s thoughts on this in What’s Wrong With The World, especially the chapter The Emancipation of Domesticity.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I will look for it. I was thinking subsequently that I would certainly never argue that most men lead lives of constant academic fulfillment. It is a very rare person whose occupation provides mental stimulation, and as I said to you once before, the woman at home is often in a much better position to develop the life of the mind. My quarrel is with those who seem to think that even such a desire is by definition unwomanly.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Sure. Chesterton’s basic argument on this front is that men must be specialists to make their way in the workforce, but women must be generalists to raise children well. (This has long been my puzzlement with men who don’t value intelligence or training for their wives and daughters. Even if they don’t appreciate it directly, who’s going to be the first and most significant teacher of their sons and grandsons?)

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I couldn’t agree more. Especially for parents who don’t home school, that general background is more important now than ever in an era when schools don’t teach art, music, and real literature. I took the position that if I wanted to be certain the Snowflake knew something, I had better teach it to her myself. Her education is massively lopsided towards the arts, but that was to be expected!

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’m not surprised that “her education is massively lopsided towards the arts”. In so doing, it seems you were being a specialist teaching your daughter to be a specialist, which is at odds with “Chesterton’s basic argument”. And, if specialization is the key to success in the workforce, why would one choose the arts, where the opportunities are limited and pay is typically low?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

Well, the theory was that her father would take care of math and the sciences past intermediate level, that being his strength! But the schools she attended were strong in those areas so she did okay. However, her natural preferences and actual talents lean toward the arts. It was apparent very early on that the only thing in the world that my daughter cares about is acting. She knows the prospects are dismal, and that most actors work at jobs they hate just to pay the rent while they compete for parts. But, the minute she got her SAG card… Read more »

D
D
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Even in the absense any argument about teaching and function there is an easy utilitarian/pragmatic argument to be made for finding the most intelligent woman you can to marry.

The modern economy values high IQ clustered traits above all others. —> Intelligence is highly heritable.

If you are against assortive mating, fine. But you are disadvantaging your own children.

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

yes dear, that is all your allowed to do….
sigh…

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

As I just posted several Scriptures that show that vengeance belongs to the Lord, who is the only one who judges rightly, the only one who sees the heart and knows the plans that he has for each person, so we should not take vengeance or violence into our own hands. I am not a pacifist; I believe in self-defense and just war in some cases. But initiating individual violence is not godly. The Bible does not say that Jesus harmed anyone physically, but that he made a scene and drove everyone out. He had the authority to do so,… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

tell that to your daughter…
vengeance only belongs to the lord….
why have a Judiciary then?
jeepers, what do people get taught these days?
May I ask, what Church you go to, this is just SCARY.

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

he harmed their finances
to pretend that humans are to not have justice systems or oppose proponents of baby murder ( aka most journalists) is NOT biblical.

Jesus did not kowtow to nonsense, stop making out Jesus to be some kind of manchild
He spoke his mind…

BDash76
BDash76
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

Read Nahum 1:2

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

We are to love our enemies, but not the enemies of God.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

That’s a made-up distinction that denies Scripture – Jesus’s command is specifically in the context of those persecuting the Gospel, and Paul says the same in the context of persecution.

I am interested by your admittance that you have enemies who are friends with God.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Of course we’re going to have conflict with people within the Church. Paul had a whole lot to say about how to deal with it. Plenty of cases where two people can be at odds and still recognise that they both love Jesus.

Is Psalm 139:21-22 in your Bible? Is 1 John 2:15?

(Pastor Wilson’s distinction between refugees from the world and apostles of the world is quite relevant here.)

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Is Psalm 139:21-22 in your Bible? Is 1 John 2:15? Yes, I have 1 John 2:15-16, regarding the precarious state of people who love wealth and the things of the world and the pleasures of the eyes. I don’t see how it’s relevant here. And I don’t think you want to go there, because right next to it you find 1 John 2:7-11 and 1 John 3:15-17, about the state of a person who hates others. Those are far more relevant. You have said that you hate me. You have said that you hate people like Ryan Sather. You hate… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I agree that we should humbly submit to persecution in our own case. When our enemies oppress us, we should, as Christ did, “entrust ourselves to the One who judges justly”. However — I am a husband and a father. I have a responsibility to care for my family. That means opposition to people who threaten them. Love for sheep necessarily means hatred for wolves. Similarly, we should pray for and work for leaders, pastors, and kings who love those God has placed in their care, rather than devouring them as so many do. For example, it was good that… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Again, I just have to repeat that your claims about what “love your enemies” means simply do not match Scripture, which I already laid out clearly. And your attempt to treat the individual and the family unit as separate cases is a strongly modern, Western issue. Neither Jesus nor his disciples make that division – indeed, most of the commands are in the plural form, about what “you the community” should do, not a command for isolated individuals. You aren’t supposed to love your own enemies but hate your family’s enemies. That wouldn’t have been considered a meaningful distinction at… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Given that you hold to a minority position on this stuff, historically (i.e., pacifism) I am not surprised by your stance on this.

Sather and Crouch are on record as desiring the destruction of my culture and that my descendants don’t honor their fathers and mothers. Not sure what you want me to do with that.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Win them to your side.

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

yes and no. One of the strongest expressions of this is in Psalm 139:21-22: Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. But what does he say about these, his enemies? Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, O men of blood! (v.19) He appeals to God for justice and does not take it into his own hands. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19) Notice also… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

Yes, David called on God for vengeance — and he forbore from killing Saul — but he also killed a whole lot of Philistines.

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

That is the difference between personal violence and the state. The state bears God-given authority to dictate capital punishment and make war. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. P.S. The… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

God gave Israel His law before He gave them a king. The failure of the USA to uphold justice does not remove the need for it. If our current rulers won’t do it, perhaps men can be found who will. Was Phinehas wrong to pick up a spear and do what was necessary?

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Phinehas did what he did when God told the judges specifically to kill those who had gone into blatant idolatry. We don’t have a command from God to kill anyone. It sounds like you want to take justice into your own hands and get it done. That’s the attitude that launched the Crusades. We do have a fight, but we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God,… Read more »

BJ
BJ
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

That is a pretty elementary understanding of the Crusades.

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  BJ

I admit I have a very elementary understanding of the Crusades. Perhaps I should have used a different example.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

I know a bit about the Crusades and I still can’t make up my mind what I think about them.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jrenee817

When did “Whoso sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed” get repealed? I don’t want to take justice into my own hands, I want the people who actually have governmental power to use it righteously. But if they don’t, someone should. Should Gideon have pulled down the altar of Baal, or petitioned the zoning board and homeowner’s association to have it removed? Ultimately, yes, our battle is against sin, and that spiritual battle occurs within every human heart and social structure. Sin will not be vanquished by human punishment of sinners; that’s not the purpose… Read more »

Kevin Bratcher
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

When the tactics and rhetoric of the Left are to silence verbal dissent or discussion of any kind, and glorify violent dissent (but, only their own please), at some point someone needs to point out the unsurprising potential for others to follow suit.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Matt, time to ‘fess up! What is your ownership of Al Franken body slamming a heckler? Seems like wide swaths of liberals are ok with Al Franken’s violent behavior. (?)????

Matt
Matt
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I think the proper parallel on the left is “Nazi-punching”, not Al Franken. Like I said, the left has its problems.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

And one of the many is Al Franken.????????
And Woody Kaine too.

Thanks for the response!

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

While not ‘cool’ with attacking journalists, I certainly understand it and feel for the guy. I also voted for him. While his altercation with the reporter upset me, I remembered that a week ago three leftie newspapers in Montana endorsed Mr. Gianforte for congressman. It was very odd as they were incredibly anti-Gianforte for governor and are very liberal. What a shock that on election eve he was provoked to such a degree that he lost his temper. Within moments all three newspapers withdrew their support. A little known fact is that all three newspapers are owned by the same… Read more »

FeatherBlade
FeatherBlade
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

I’m cool with him attacking journalists. Especially hostile ones who rudely barge into private meetings and shove objects in a person’s face.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

While not ‘cool’ with attacking journalists, I certainly understand it and feel for the guy. I also voted for him. While his altercation with the reporter upset me, I remembered that a week ago three leftie newspapers in Montana endorsed Mr. Gianforte for congressman. It was very odd as they were incredibly anti-Gianforte for governor and are very liberal. What a shock that on election eve he was provoked to such a degree that he lost his temper. Within moments all three newspapers withdrew their support. A little known fact is that all three newspapers are owned by the same… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You should read their content and then comment.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

You mean as in the endorsements for Gianforte that they all gave?

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You mean the ones they made a week ago so they could dramatically withdraw them moments after the ‘altercation’?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

You mean the ones they made a week ago so they could dramatically withdraw them moments after the ‘altercation’? You are a next-level conspiracy theorist if you believe that this was a pre-planned incident and the papers somehow “knew” that Gianforte was going to bodyslam and punch a reporter the night before the election. So you don’t dispute that the papers are owned by an Iowa media company, that the board of that company is largely composed of donors to the Republican company, and that all three papers had endorsed Gianforte? For that matter, you don’t dispute that the three… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Of course I don’t dispute that it’s an Iowa based company run by people who self-identify as republican. Nor do I dispute that one person wrote a story about his ‘reality’ of the incident or that he is employed by Fox News.

What’s your point?

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

This vigilante stuff isn’t so great, but we’ve got a long way to go before journalism can be effectively outlawed.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

“The left has their problems, but when it comes to willful blindness the right is second to none”

You’ve got that reversed, but you, ME and other hypocrites happily ignore the dozens of assaults and vandalism/arson by Antifa and other thugs.

Matt
Matt
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Of course I don’t ignore it. I talk about it plenty on other sites. But this site is 99.9% right wing. Literally everyone here is already convinced of the evil of the left’s acts of violence and support thereof, but there appears to be quite a bit of squishiness when it comes to the ingroup here. So other than trying to exonerate the right of all wrongdoing, what would be the point of bringing up the left?

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

The point is equal, blind justice and proportionality. People mention other situations that demonstrate an unequal application of justice.
Then, with regard to proportionality, in both the Jacobs and Franken situations, we are talking about minor and individual misdemeanors, but some treat them as if they were cross cultural genocide. (Sp?)

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt

And it’s obviously the left who is responsible for the increased lack of civility and violence.

And not, of course, the Republican president who just rolled to offense based on Christian Conservative support of his extreme lack of civility and frequent calls for violence.

fp
fp
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And it’s obviously the left who is responsible for the increased lack of civility and violence.

Glad to see we agree on something.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  fp

I guess we need more civil leaders who say things like “I want you to argue with them and get in their face’

fp
fp
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

We also need more in the media who will egg them on with statements like:

Obama’s critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let ’em know that if they aren’t with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/02/09/martin.obama.republicans/

Matt
Matt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The whole thing reminds me of those SJ types who find some way to blame White Racism for every bad behavior exhibited by a nonWhite person.

John Carnahan
John Carnahan
4 years ago

I meant to mention this at breakfast this morning. I love it when people fall into the pit that they intended for others. The election was decided before this incident because of the push to increase voting by the “disenfranchised” before Election Day- vote by mail.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson
4 years ago

When I think of important things, including in promoting Christian values, tax cuts is first in my mind too.

Not being sarcastic at all.

FeatherBlade
FeatherBlade
4 years ago

I have heard – rumors, on the internet, you understand – that the election office in Montana received calls from absentee voters, who, having heard of Mr. Gianfort’s actions toward the reporter, wished to change their votes to Mr. Gianfort.

It’s probably too good to be true, unfortunately. But it is amusing if you have any acquaintance with residents of this area of the country.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  FeatherBlade

Love that. Gotta be tough to make it in Montana. No quarter asked, none given.

Nicholas Turner
Nicholas Turner
4 years ago

So, a meeting once a year is not enough for him to get to know you but it is for you to know him? I am a fan boy who has grown tremendously by your wisdom but this makes me a bit queasy. This outburst was not out of character for either him or his wife. He may be well spoken, but it is always for the purpose of getting something, and when he doesn’t get, beware. Having unsuccessfully tried to address this and worse expressions of ambition run amok, as per Romans 18, it is even more disheartening to… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago

Come on, it was just a journalist, it’s not like he hit an actual person.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Thank you Nicholas. When I heard about the incident, I was wondering how Pastor Wilson would respond, and especially if he would use the “thug” word that he tosses around so easily for people of a certain appearance. It turns out that “conscientious, generous, well-spoken Christian gentlemen” were the words he chose to go with instead. Last year, I said that my #1 concern about the horrific character that Trump demonstrated during the election was not that it shows Trump is a bad person, but that it would negatively influence and normalize the nasty things he did among those who… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“…not that it shows Trump is a bad person, but that it would negatively influence and normalize the nasty things he did among those who support him…” Well,here’s the deal, Pastor Wilson did not support Trump. Gianforte just barely did,casting a reluctant vote at the last minute. People like me did vote for Trump, enthusiastically even, and part of that had a whole lot to do with protecting ourselves from the self-righteous and pridefully violent moralizing of the evangelical right. “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” So as crazy as… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I wish I could understand that (and I don’t mean that snarkily at all–I have truly wondered about it). You hate the red pill people on the alt-right, and you deplore the way they talk about women and racial minorities. Yet they were ardent Trump supporters, often because they assumed (perhaps wrongly) that he shared some of their views. I can see how your loathing for this type of Trump supporter would lead you to vote Green or Constitution Party or even not to vote at all. But how did you decide that it was better to vote with the… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

ME’s reasoning would explain voting for Trump in a Republican primary, but I don’t see how it explain voting for him in the Presidential election. Her explanation should be interesting.

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Apparently an explanation will not be given. That saves time and possible brain damage.

fp
fp
4 years ago

…the denizens of the Washington media bubble need to understand that in certain parts of the country punching a reporter and refusing to apologize would actually be the big vote-getter. It would seem Gallup corroborates this sentiment. From their latest Honesty/Ethics in Professions, Journalists scored 4% “Very High” for honesty and ethical standards, just above lawyers, and 18% “Very Low” for honesty and ethical standards, which is just two percentage points lower than the group which has the highest “Very Low” score for honesty and ethics — and if you can guess which group that is without clicking the link,… Read more »

bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  fp

Politicians of course. Now off to read your link.

fp
fp
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

It’s a certain class of politician, but I’ll give you an upvote anyway.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  fp

While that’s a high number, it’s still only 18%, less than a fifth of the population. And that’s despite a massive campaign by the right (including the president himself) to portray journalists as “the enemy of the American people”. On the other hand, 57% of the American public scores journalists as “average”, “high”, or “very high” on honesty/ethics. That’s comparable to the 58% who say the same of stockbrokers, the 60% for HMO managers, the 57% for advertisers, 62% for insurance salespersons, and 53% for car salespersons. In fact, the 23% of the public who rates journalists as “high or… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“massive campaign by the right to portray journalists as ‘the enemy of the American people.'” No, the high number comes from enough people still having functioning brains and a modicum of objectivity. Just a quick glance at CNN’s website reveals the following: – 10 articles about Trump. 8 of them have headlines that are clearly denigrating or imply wrongdoing. One was about having too many white guys with him in a photo. – An article about Obama visiting Prince Harry that could’ve been written by the DNC – Two other articles/videos on Obama, one of which was clearly favorable just… Read more »

fp
fp
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Doesn’t erase the fact that the extreme negatives for journalists are the second highest on the list.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Here is the account of the incident by the Fox News reporters who witnessed it. Three separate Fox News reporters have confirmed the account of the Guardian reporter who was attacked. Faith, Keith and I arrived early to set up for the interview in a room adjacent to another room where a volunteer BBQ was to take place. As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman. During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This guy has a bright future writing British spy dossiers.

By the way, body slamming is just the Montana way of saying ‘hello’. It’s our culture. How dare you criticize us!

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

Nearly all of my comment is the report of the eyewitnesses who were there.

What does you reply even mean in that context?

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Simply, it means that the press lies and cannot be trusted.

This will be the downfall of the left by the way. The left will defend a lie even after no one believes it. If they would understand this, they could rebound, but they won’t. They have fallen into their own trap. They confuse shouting the loudest with being the majority.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

This will be the downfall of the left by the way. The left will defend a lie even after no one believes it. If they would understand this, they could rebound, but they won’t. They have fallen into their own trap. They confuse shouting the loudest with being the majority. The irony here is almost deafening. So four witnesses share the same version of events, the Gianforte-supporting sheriff has charged Gianforte with assault, but you believe the perpetrator over them simply because they’re journalists…even though three of the four work for the most famous conservative news organization in the nation?… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Here’s another eyewitness:

@FoxNews Did NOT happen~I was there~there was a disagreement because the reporter was being extremely aggressive~there was NO body slam. NONE. Period

— Christie (@Alexa__Bella) May 25, 2017

Hmm.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

I assume that if this person was actually on the scene, that she gave her statement to the sheriff before the sheriff charged Gianforte with assault, right?

And since your evidence is a tweet and not her actual name or anything, we’re sure that she’s not on Gianforte’s staff, right?

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Did you know Ben Jacobs has a law degree and used to work for the Democrat Party in Iowa? Wait, isn’t that where the republican owners of the Montana newspapers are located?

Hmmm.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

So now that Gianforte has admitted that he assaulted the reporter, that it was unlawful, that he was fully responsible, and that the reporter hadn’t even touched him before he did it, are you will to accept that you were wrong and perhaps adjust you assumptions accordingly?

bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Just a minor point. Fox may be less left that CNN, NYT, BBC etc. But it is to the left of many conservatives. It may be famous, but it is not excessively conservative.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

JL, I think the right can be guilty of exactly the same thing. The real problem, it seems to me, is that nobody seems to care about objective truth. Deny, deny, deny, and when that doesn’t work any more, make up an excuse that blames the other side and never addresses the fact that you were caught lying through your teeth. People on both sides think that supporting their team is more important than establishing any facts. Add to that the idea that it is somehow disloyal to admit that a person on your team did something very wrong. Or,… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I absolutely agree, Jilly. The republicans are no better. I saw something once that said ‘conservatives are fake salt’. I thought it was very true. I consider the republicans and democrats as two wings of the same party.

Actually, now that I think about it, republicans are worse. They have absolutely no backbone and claim to be for Christians. At least liberals don’t lie in that way.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

I want a Truth Party. You lie, and you are gone.

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Let’s start it!

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

But how can anyone be expected to know objective truth when they have turned away from the only One who is the Truth? Both left, right and center are guilty. We are all guilty. Some people here won’t even acknowledge the Bible as inerrant word of God and yet we expect them to have a standard of truth. When people start to find their greatest joy and contentment in Jesus, and only Jesus, then society would change. All the rest is arguing over cow dung.

jrenee817
jrenee817
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Can I upvote this twice? The answer to our predicament is humble repentance and desperate prayer. This, the enemy knows and so it is the hardest thing to do as he is very, very good at distracting us.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

J’, if there is anything my long association with inspector Clouseau has taught me, it is that you wait to collect all of the evidence from all angles. I for instance, am typing on my smart phone right now. It sounds like Ben Jacobs has a smart phone as well! Has Ben Jacobs released his unedited recording of this event? If not, he should publish it, what with him being a “journalist” and all. As for anger and violence issues, did Peter have those issues because he cut off a guy’s ear one time? Does Jesus have anger issues because… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Yes, Jacobs released his unedited recording of the event almost immediately.

Attacking someone physically because you are angry IS an anger issue. We are not talking about Peter defining his Lord from arrest or Jesus making a dramatic point in the temple under His authority. We are talking about someone who physically attacked another man solely because he was tired and angry.

Have you ever done that in your adult life? Have you ever thrown another human being to the ground and started punching them solely because you were frustrated?

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not yet, but if I did, it would simply not redefine my previous 50+ years.

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
4 years ago

After listening to the audio of the altercation, I’m pretty sure I heard Ben Jacobs say “Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help, help, I’m being repressed!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_6ZRPbCbMo)

To all the rabid commenters here, how many of you have children who can say they never saw you lose your temper, as N.D. did of his dad? https://dougwils.com/s16-theology/110006.html at 3:37. I think Pastor Wilson’s comments are balanced and appropriate and he is well qualified to speak on outbursts of anger (Gal 6:1).

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Ginny Yeager

My child can say she has never seen me lose my temper or use force. I don’t think that is too much to ask of someone in public office. Not losing your temper is a requirement imposed on us all.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

You know Jilly, once Gianforte is actually in office, I bet he will be quite circumspect!????

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Let’s hope so. No more Preston Brooks!

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Who is that?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

There was a man called Charles Sumner who was leader of the Republican party and an avowed abolitionist. He made a two-day speech in the Senate in 1856 attacking a South Carolina senator named Andrew Butler, whom he accused of taking the harlot slavery. One of Butler’s cousins, Preston Brooks, decided to avenge Butler’s honor. “Two days after the end of Sumner’s speech, Brooks entered the Senate chamber where Sumner was working at his desk. He flatly told Sumner, “You’ve libeled my state and slandered my white-haired old relative, Senator Butler, and I’ve come to punish you for it.” Brooks… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Brooks had a cane because he had been shot fifteen years earlier in a duel with another secessionist Confederate. He planned his assault for two days and entered the chamber to carry it out alongside Rep. Edmundson, who himself had tried to physically attack a Northern Congressman during a slavery debate two years earlier. While Brooks beat Senator Sumner, a third Confederate, Rep. Keitt, pulled a pistol and threatened to shoot anyone who tried to stop the beating. Despite Senator Sumner falling unconscious, Brooks didn’t stop beating him until the cane broke. But I’m sure these were all just conscientious,… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I await ashv’s take on this historic event! Of the many parts of the story that I will never understand, one is the importance of defending family honor. You nearly kill somebody for insulting a distant cousin??

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

J’, I am certain that our host has never spoken favorably about assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
Am I wrong?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Pastor Wilson has claimed that the left is by far the initiator of political violence, and that the Confederate South was by far the most noble political leadership we’ve seen at least since that time. If he doesn’t favorably support the unprecedented thuggish behavior of U.S. Representatives Brooks, Edmundson, and Keitt, despite the fact that the Confederate South as a whole did, then he has to explain how their nobility had led them so far astray.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

J’, topic first, then tangent. As far as the allegation goes, you say that because of this incident, Gianforte has alleged anger issues. From my point of view, if someone gets drunk once, it’s not likely that they have a drinking problem. If someone gets in an auto accident once, it’s not likely that they have a driving problem. If someone makes a single, isolated sexual indiscretion, that does not make them a prostitute. If someone has an isolated altercation, when feeling harassed, that does not mean the person harassed has an anger issue. What is your justification for saying… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

From my point of view, if someone gets drunk once, it’s not likely that they have a drinking problem. If someone gets in an auto accident once, it’s not likely that they have a driving problem. If someone makes a single, isolated sexual indiscretion, that does not make them a prostitute. If someone has an isolated altercation, when feeling harassed, that does not mean the person harassed has an anger issue. What is your justification for saying that Gianforte does? You and I both know of lots of people without drinking problems who have gotten drunk, lots of people without… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Al Franken at a minimum.

And Hillary Clinton for throwing lamps and ash trays at Bill, as witnessed by their Security detail Officers.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Al Franken at a minimum. A Dad, I and everyone else have been ignoring your silly Al Franken obsession, but I suggest you take your own advice and look it up. First, you should know that ANYTHING reported by the NY Post should be corroborated by other sources before taking it as fact. The account you quoted was made up and immediately rebuked. The NY Post is a borderline tabloid. In reality, two violent protestors disrupted an event, security was chasing them, and Al Franken, the comedian, helped security grab them and carry them out. The NYP reporter, who already… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I read several accounts. As usual, they all have different slants. In any case, it sounds like there are times when a violent response is appropriate, so we agree on that. We probably do not agree on when.
As for Hillary throwing lamps and ash trays at Bill, I’m actually conflicted!????

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

As for Wilson and slavery, my general take on what he is saying is the people like George Washington were slave owners, in a time when it was cultural and legal. If so, does being a slave owner make George Washington a scum bag? I assume he applies this idea to the non-criminal elements of the South, like Robert E. Lee for instance. Keep in mind that my ancestors are from the north, and some were Union Civil war combat casualties. I am simply stating what I think Wilson’s position is. Let’s say that you and I are both christians,… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, my knowledge of the South comes from reading Faulkner (deadly), Thomas Wolfe (wonderful), Truman Capote, and all the Elsie Dinsmore novels. Add to that watching Gone With the Wind, Deliverance, and Easy Rider. So, I know very little. Leaving slavery aside for the moment, was the behavior of Southern politicians more spectacularly violent than that of politicians anywhere else in America?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Violent rituals like duels lasted much longer in the Southern upper class than they did in the North. (Southerners are also credited with bringing the dueling tradition to the West.) While some argue that duels were a way to prevent even bloodier violent conflict, that only begs the question of why there was a level of violence necessary that a potentially deadly duel becomes a “reduction” in the violence. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s not just that U.S. Representatives Brooks, Edmundson, and Keitt were involved in such violent acts right in the capital, but that they were widely lauded… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

J’, below is the essence of Wilson’s take on southern slavery: “But, I would point out mildly, to argue for peacefully subverting an institution until it is stone cold dead and good riddance is not the same thing as defending that institution. In short, when it comes to slavery in America, there is no species of cruelty, unkindness, malice, hard-heartedness, callousness, greed, avarice, presumption, lust, wickedness, arrogance, or pride that I am prepared to defend or explain away. The only thing that can deal with such sins is the blood of Jesus Christ. But I know that I can be… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I’m not going to refight Wilson’s position on slavery here, which many have already demonstrated false on numerous levels. Let’s just make one point. Wouldn’t making a new state, say Kansas, as a free state be the essence of gradualism? And yet THAT was what the Confederates were violently opposing. The Civil War and the violence they engaged in before the Civil War were not fought to oppose the abolition of slavery, they were fought in reaction to the fear of gradualism. And I agree with Pastor Wilson in opposing the Civil War, but I’m consistent there. Pastor Wilson states… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If you believed in the possibility of a just war, would abolishing slavery (assuming for the sake of argument that the Civil War was entirely for that purpose) have struck you as sufficient cause? Do you believe that, if the war had not happened, the slave owners would have voluntarily freed their slaves? How long do you think that would have taken? I have never seen a reason to believe it would have taken place within a century or so. There is little evidence that anyone was preparing his slaves for eventual freedom; in fact, wasn’t anything like that forbidden… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

If you believed in the possibility of a just war, would abolishing slavery (assuming for the sake of argument that the Civil War was entirely for that purpose) have struck you as sufficient cause? That’s sort of like saying, “If you believed in abortion, at what month would you limit it?” Since I think the Civil War caused more harm than it fixed and created more problems for Black and White Southerners both than what they could have reached peacefully; since I believe in fact that the Civil War made this whole country a worse place, not to mention the… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

When St. Paul returned Onesimus to Philemon, was he violating Deuteronomy 23:15-16: “Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him?” I can’t remember whether Mr. Wilson addressed this point in SSAIW.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I think Deuteronomy is the plural “you” – speaking of slaves from outside Israel who have sought shelter in Israel. That’s why it says they can settle in whatever town they like. In that sense I don’t believe it’s relevant to Philemon.

I also think it is somewhat ambiguous whether Onesimus has his own choice in returning. It’s possible that he is agreeing with the choice to go back, but not absolutely certain, I think.

I don’t think Pastor Wilson addresses that in Southern Slavery As It Was, but it’s been a long time since I read it.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

But the Deuteronomy verses ought to have applied to Christians living in Northern states who returned runaway slaves to their southern masters?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yeah, I was thinking about that and I don’t have a firm answer. My general thought is that Israel’s laws, as “Law”, don’t apply to Christians living in Northern states. They aren’t celebrating the jubilee or holding off on the edges of their fields either. But any Christian in the North reflecting on Deuteronomy, and asking, “Why did God want Israel to be a refuge for foreign slaves?” would probably end up realizing that he should do the same thing and be a refuge as well. Of course, I can’t imagine any application of “Love your neighbor as yourself” or… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan wrote:

But I can’t come up with sufficient cause for war in any real-life, non-hypothetical situation, so it’s a moot point.

In taking this position, Jonathan is apparently more holy than God Himself.

katecho
katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan wrote: That’s why I think Pastor Wilson calling Nelson Mandela “a thug and a bad man”, and referring to Abraham Lincoln as a “tyrant”, while full-throatedly supporting the American Revolutionaries and suggesting that we should be ready to go to war soon if our taxes get any higher, is simply ridiculous. Is “full-throatedly” supposed to mean “without any qualifications”? I seem to recall Wilson providing extensive qualifications around the subject of civil disobedience, let alone violence. Jonathan can start by giving us the reference where Wilson says that “we should be ready to go to war soon if our… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

War is terrible, but it’s not the worst thing.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Well, that is true.

I could also say things like, “Rape is terrible, but it’s not the worst thing” or “Slavery is terrible, but it’s not the worst thing” or “marmite is terrible, but it’s not the worst thing.”

But while they are not the worst thing, neither war nor rape nor slavery nor marmite ever make anything better.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You know what’s worse than war?

Defeat.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

No, Jesus already demonstrated fairly dramatically that “defeat” in human terms is not the worse thing. Stephen, James, Peter, Paul, and others nailed down the lesson. 2 Corinthians 2:12-17 is dramatic in that respect. The best thing is to take up your cross and follow Jesus, even though “take up your cross” was inherently a sign of defeat. The worse thing is to deny Jesus and follow the ways of the world. Even in a practical sense….Vietnam won a war with France and the USA, the Philippines never did. Which would you rather be? Afghanistan won a war against the… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You present a false choice. What about victory while truly holding on to Christ? That would be my preference.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

If you have won that victory by loving your enemy, loving your neighbor as yourself, choosing to be a servant rather than dominate over others, turning the other cheek, and rejecting the sword, then yes, victory is preferable. Far preferable.

But defeat is still not the worst thing.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Your black-and-white indictment of violence, while no doubt highly principled, is extra-biblical. There is no contradiction between loving a man, and being willing to fight him in order to protect the innocent.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Everything I said in that comment was quite clearly Biblical. And Jesus was innocent, the soldiers sought his death, yet He still told Peter in that exact situation, “Put your sword in its sheath” for “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.”

And no, I cannot imagine any scenario in which I kill a man and claim I love him without a contradiction. I have a daughter I love, and I cannot imagine any scenario in which I would not seek out an approach other than killing her.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The question is not “How would Jonathan respond in a given scenario?” I am happy to grant that you are a committed pacifist, who would rather see murder done than raise your hand against one of God’s image bearers. The question is, rather, where in Scripture is non-violence preached as a universal principle? Where in Scripture is all violence denounced? Jesus clearly told Peter not to fight in one instance. He also composed the Mosaic legal code, and the command to Noah instituting capital punishment that preceded it, and inspired Paul to legitimize governmental violence in restraining evil. These are… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I never use “pacifist” or “pacifism” to describe my position because I find such words are virtually always twisted out of shape. And no, you are incorrect about what you claim the “near-unanimous” tradition of our faith supports. (Unless you are using “near-unanimous tradition” so loosely that you could also say paedeobaptism and acceptance of icons are “near-unanimous” traditions too – in fact, both are much more “unanimously” accepted than violence.) There is strong evidence of extreme nonviolent positions by theologians of significant influence in the first three centuries of the church, including Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Origin. Hippolytus’s 3rd… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Quick point – I’ll try to address the rest later today – you fail to distinguish private violence from the justice of the state. Wrath is a sin, or can be, and vendetta is clearly God’s prerogative, not ours. And if you live for centuries in a society where Christianity is against the law, naturally the idea of the Christian monarch dispensing God’s justice will not be heavily in emphasis. Yet, even so, Paul sees fit to remark, favorably, on the violence inherent in the system. Sure, there have been radicals who said that even soldiering was necessarily wicked. I… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

So bring on your broad exegetical narrative; I have actual texts on my team. That’s not true at all. You no more have any texts saying, “Jesus wants you to commit violence” then I have texts specifically saying, “Jesus commands nonviolence” in so many words. I have clear, direct commands from Jesus, and the witness of his actions and the actions of all his disciples and all the authors and actors of the New Testament, that command and show nonviolence. Not with that particular word, but with more than enough other words that paint the picture clearly. You have a… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Let me ask a clarifying question, then. If you do not think killing judicially or in (at least some) military conflicts is inherently evil, what is your position? Was it okay then, but less than ideal (like polygamy)? Would you describe judicial killing as a necessary evil, something that in a perfect society would have no place? Or would you say that a well-ordered society of regenerate Christians should be a community wherein no violence is practiced, even in self-defense? Above, I hedged about wrath, because I think the Bible’s approach to anger is complex, and contextually driven, not unlike… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Let me ask a clarifying question, then. If you do not think killing judicially or in (at least some) military conflicts is inherently evil, what is your position? Was it okay then, but less than ideal (like polygamy)? Would you describe judicial killing as a necessary evil, something that in a perfect society would have no place? Or would you say that a well-ordered society of regenerate Christians should be a community wherein no violence is practiced, even in self-defense? I don’t like the phrase “necessary evil”, but it might be the best word to describe numerous things that God… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan: “In fact, their actual work of soldiering was probably more like a combination of policing and tax collecting. The soldiers that John was talking to weren’t fighting a war, they were patrolling a city at peace.” This is like arguing that Jesus drank non-alcoholic wine. The men were soldiers; their profession was war. Anyway, how do you think the city of Jerusalem came to be “at peace” beneath Rome’s heel? J: “That’s how people justified slavery for 1800 years, because Paul never tells Philemon that slavery is wrong either, even in an entire letter in the context of his… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Jonathan: “There is simply nothing in Jesus’s teachings that say that one set of rules apply to you when you are a normal person and these rules don’t have to be followed anymore when you gain power.” Isn’t this one of those circumstantial arguments from omission that you find so feeble? haha – no, I find the idea that we should always be obedient to Jesus no matter what our circumstances to be a default, not an “argument from omission”! “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

NT Wright sure writes a lot, doesn’t he? He appears to suggest that Jesus’ undermines the plain meaning of his own words via an inference drawn from a possible allusion to a text from centuries before. Color me skeptical. But even if he’s write, so what? The coins are Caesars, and it is legitimate to pay them to Caesar. Taxation may be undertaken justly by government, which was my point. In any case, while I accept that principle that we ought to obey Christ, you are extending his commands, and I think you bear the burden of proving that your… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

NT Wright sure writes a lot, doesn’t he? He appears to suggest that Jesus’ undermines the plain meaning of his own words via an inference drawn from a possible allusion to a text from centuries before. Color me skeptical. But even if he’s write, so what? The coins are Caesars, and it is legitimate to pay them to Caesar. Taxation may be undertaken justly by government, which was my point. Oh, I agree that it alone doesn’t change the issue. I just try to correct what I believe is a missing of that interpretation when I see it. And I… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Private citizens can ask, but not compel. Also, unlike a government, a private citizen can provide his goods selectively – I don’t need to sell lemonade to people who refuse to pay for it. Compare that with roads – there is a road whether I agree to pay for it or not, and the government can’t simply stop repairing it because I refuse to contribute. So how do you solve the free-rider problem absent some kind of coercion?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

This is like arguing that Jesus drank non-alcoholic wine. The men were soldiers; their profession was war. Anyway, how do you think the city of Jerusalem came to be “at peace” beneath Rome’s heel? I’m quite certain than no one Jesus spoke to had participated in the initial conquer of Jerusalem. I’ve personally known many soldiers in many militaries who joined for reasons other than desiring to kill and who hoped they would never have to kill. It’s not a bad bet a lot of the time only a small percentage of armies are fighting at any time, only a… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“God can certainly use pagan nations to carry out his will, and yet judge them for the very acts with which they carried out his will. Do you not think Pilate and the high priests needed to repent for the crucifixion of Jesus, no matter how they did it?” Sure, because conspiring to murder an innocent man is already obviously sin. So of course when God uses sinful men as part of his good plan, the sins remain culpable. But to apply this to war and other forms of violence that are not murder begs the question. We agree that… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

For all the influence of his apologetic writings, Tertullian was extremely radical. I agree that he was brilliant, but I cannot believe you are citing him as a mainstream source. Okay, here’s a list. I am not arguing a consistent position across the church, but I don’t see how you can’t see that it was a widespread position and within the mainstream. Again, FAR more mainstream than the abolition of slavery. 150, Justin Martyr: ““We ourselves were well conversant with war, murder and everything evil, but all of us throughout the whole wide earth have traded in our weapons of… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I appeal tradition not prescriptively – I am a protestant – but with the presumption that what the church historically has done and practiced is generally correct unless proven otherwise. And I can certainly tell you that the Latin tradition has never rejected God’s command to Noah “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” Violence is enjoined there as a matter of justice, and there is no major theological school that rejects this clear command. Even Francis, radical in almost every way, never suggests that Christian soldiers is an inherently problematic category. Even Lactantius… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

And I can certainly tell you that the Latin tradition has never rejected God’s command to Noah “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” Violence is enjoined there as a matter of justice, and there is no major theological school that rejects this clear command. Um, it seems pretty obvious to me that virtually no one in any practice has taken that as a literal command. If it were a command, it would require the execution of every single murderer, even for manslaughter, not just a select few of them. Heck, it would require… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Noah’s law is prevented from being absurd (a daisy chain of executioners? Really?) by being glossed through the Mosaic code. Bloodshed in Genesis clearly means “unlawful bloodshed”, i.e. murder. And, as I say, the Latin Christian tradition has never to my knowledge struggled with the justice of that principle. And in any case, pre-modern societies executed virtually all murderers right quick.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

And in any case, pre-modern societies executed virtually all murderers right quick.

Except, you know, Cain, Moses, David, Paul, etc.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I frankly don’t see a lot of value in the views of first-century Jews. Not what I would call an exemplary moment in their history. It apparently wasn’t too difficult to persuade the chums of Rabbis Tarfon and Akiba to kill Jesus, Stephen, and many others via kangaroo court. So… I don’t know what you expected that citation to prove. When they had a Sanhedrin, it was plenty bloody.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I also think its telling that you can think of half-a-dozen examples – over six thousand years. Which we largely remember because of how unusual they were. Cain has a mark named after him. Moses fled into the desert for years to escape Pharaoh’s wrath. These examples make my point for me.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I also think its telling that you can think of half-a-dozen examples – over six thousand years. Which we largely remember because of how unusual they were. Cain has a mark named after him. Moses fled into the desert for years to escape Pharaoh’s wrath. These examples make my point for me. You think only four examples in the Bible is too few? I gave four examples were a murderer was not killed, and all with the sanction of God. Now, you give me all the Biblical examples of Capital Punishment being used justly. I’m not talking about war or… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have no idea what you are attempting to demonstrate with this question. Do you disagree that the Israelites were commanded to practice capital punishment? Exodus 20:12 – “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.” Is it your contention that this is purely descriptive, as a man might say “Adders are venomous”? I do not understand why you keep bringing up a couple of obviously exceptional cases. Do you think that murder was not generally punished in practice (to say nothing of adultery, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking and the like), or that it had… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I am showing that Genesis 9:6 cannot be taken as a universal command. You say my examples are exceptions, when they’re literally all the examples we have. It’s like claiming that polygamy must have worked out great generally, and we only here about the problem cases in the OT. God ensured that no one would kill Cain, though Cain certainly didn’t appear to have done anything to merit special grace. God called Moses and made him ruler, even though he was a murderer on the run. God rebukes David but saves him from experiencing death as a punishment, even though… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Again, I don’t dispute that there were exceptions. God shows grace to many people in varying degrees for his own mysterious reasons. Sometimes the reasons are clear: Moses “murder” of the abusive Egyptian clearly figures the judgment of God on Egypt, and Moses’ eventual calling as leader and defender of his people, and type of Christ. Other times they are obscure. I still fail to grasp the relevance of your point – are you claiming that Moses and co. are actually not exceptional, that murder was actually okay, or generally unpunished, or what? No, of course the point of the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I still fail to grasp the relevance of your point – are you claiming that Moses and co. are actually not exceptional, that murder was actually okay, or generally unpunished, or what?

I am pointing out that Genesis 9:6 has to be something other than a universal binding command.

I am definitely not saying that murder is okay – quite the opposite. The entire unifying strand between Jesus’s commands, the “life for a life” sections of Exodus and Deuteronomy, and the proverb in Genesis 9:6 is that murder is not okay.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well, my point is that in the New Testament era, this non-violence you keep talking about was not very much in evidence. Israel was more like a fire ant mound than anything else, always boiling over and murdering her prophets, until it got stomped down hard by Rome and discovered the virtues of pacifism. I’ve pointed this out before, but this is a complicated conversation so I’ll say it again: the early church was completely alienated from civil authority – the Jews hated them, the Romans weren’t big fans, the traditional pagans hated them – so it seems like a… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Well, my point is that in the New Testament era, this non-violence you keep talking about was not very much in evidence. Israel was more like a fire ant mound than anything else, always boiling over and murdering her prophets, until it got stomped down hard by Rome and discovered the virtues of pacifism. True – and note that was exactly what Jesus had kept warning them about. Have you read “Jesus and the Victory of God”? The pre-revolt dynamic you describe, and Jesus trying to warn the Israelites off of it, is a major theme in the book. I… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

So the argument you are making is that the use of the word “condemn” in Luke implies that whereas other judgments are (provisionally) okay, the death penalty is off limits? So can we flog adulterers?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

No, that’s just one particular hard line. Jesus’s subversion of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth”, extreme orientation towards mercy and forgiveness, his strong focus on revolving all around love for neighbor and love for enemy, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, etc. would mean significant reformation of a lot of criminal justice practices. I have earlier argued that as Christians, our interaction with the criminal justice system should primarily revolve around protecting the vulnerable in society and reforming the criminal. I also admitted that outside the death penalty, this isn’t something that I’ve done… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“I am pointing out that Genesis 9:6 has to be something other than a universal binding command.” This is a very binary way of thinking about Scripture – as if a command will either be universally observed and documented as such, or else it can’t be a real command. You might as well argue that the Sabbath laws weren’t real either – after all, how many accounts do we see of an Israelite just staying home on the Sabbath, performing only works of mercy and necessity, and contemplating Jehovah? None, to a first approximation. The Bible, like most stories, is… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Exceptions make better stories. Agatha Christie didn’t write any books about that time that Poirot walked in and saw the murderer standing over the body yelling “I wouldn’t have killed him if he’d listened”, or whatever. Wouldn’t be very long or interesting.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

She did write one where the narrator is the murderer, and if you can name it, I will be inordinately impressed.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I read it last year. (Not totally uncultured, I promise.)

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Whoa!!

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I think she got a bum rap from the critics. One thing that makes her detective novels enjoyable is the clarity of the moral outlook. And of course the characterizations are not fully fleshed out, but they’re not supposed to be. I think it is amazing how deftly she could use one or two details to make a character, like Roger Ackroyd’s sister, immediately recognizable to the reader. Death on the Nile is one my favorites.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago

Even now that the leadership of the Catholic church opposes the death penalty, the opposition is not based on arguments about its being unjust.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Oh, and Genesis 9 is clearly framed as a command by the context you yourself cited. There is a command about animals – not just “people usually don’t drink blood” but “don’t do it.” Then he continues

And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being: who sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.

That reads to me (and, again, to most Christians throughout history) as a declaration that murder is a capital offense, and must be punished by putting murderers to death.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I just thought of something interesting. In the recent discussion many people were saying that the reason the woman in John 8 was freed was because the Pharisees hadn’t punished the man as well, thus they were practicing injustice and could not judge. But in the American justice system, the death penalty is profoundly unjust, especially if you believe that Genesis 9:6 commands that murderers need to die. In fact, wealthy murderers never die, murderers with good lawyers virtually never die, murderers with black victims rarely die, and white murderers only occasionally die. Only a tiny % of murderers in… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Capital punishment is fairly rare in America, relative to the number of convicted murders. I am not surprised to learn that the relatively small number of killers who receive justice at the hands of Uncle Sam are disproportionately poor and such-like. But I would say that the solution to something being practiced unjustly is to try to do it right, not give it up entirely as a bad job. There are by the same token many sinful husbands, but I want them to repent and try harder, not abandon their families. Re: Genesis 9, Westermann states that scholars differ. I… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Can I point out that of all the debates I’m engaged in right now, I find speaking to you by far the most pleasant and thoughtful? Thank you for that. But I would say that the solution to something being practiced unjustly is to try to do it right, not give it up entirely as a bad job. There are by the same token many sinful husbands, but I want them to repent and try harder, not abandon their families. Yes, I agree with you completely! That was my whole point in the John 8 thread. To claim (without any… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thank you for your kind words. I always have to think carefully if I want to disagree with you, and I am very grateful both for your conversation, and for the spirit in which you bring it. One or the other of us may wind up becoming right at this rate, or at least a bit more holy. “Of course, the key difference being that here Jesus adds that all who live by the sword will die by the sword, thereby extending the statement across the board.” I’m not so sure. “All” is sometimes a true universal statement in Scripture,… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Thank you for your kind words. I always have to think carefully if I want to disagree with you, and I am very grateful both for your conversation, and for the spirit in which you bring it. One or the other of us may wind up becoming right at this rate, or at least a bit more holy. May the peace of Christ be with you, I do see his heart in what you say. “Of course, the key difference being that here Jesus adds that all who live by the sword will die by the sword, thereby extending the… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“But Jesus very clearly is not speaking unique situational advice to Peter” Sure, but the principle is still in question. The extent of any biblical command is something that must be demonstrated, not simply claimed, and the bare fact that millions of Christians over the millennia have observed a difference between Peter’s context and that of a civil magistrate is sufficient to demonstrate that your interpretation is not “very clear”. I, for example, would draw a sharp distinction between a just soldier of policeman, who lives by the law and acts to enforce justice, and a robber who lives “by… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Your reading of Matthew 5 seems to ignore Jesus’ thesis statement that “I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it” (v. 17). In other words, what he is doing in that discourse is exposing the real sins against which the Mosaic code had been pointing – not anti-social behavior merely, like taking another man’s wife to bed, but the spiritual state of lust. If so, it follows that Christ affirms the strictures of the Mosaic code – murder is truly worthy of a capital trial – while also expanding the scope of the crime by defining it… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

RE: Paul – good points. I am willing to stipulate that Paul may been acting outside Roman law. Hard to say – Peter, e.g., was imprisoned, which seems pretty official. I think we agree, however, that Saul wasn’t a vigilante – he was arresting and prosecuting people as directed by the authorities, and the question comes in as to whether his superiors were giving legal commands. “don’t use violence to resist evil” – where does non-violence come into it? My Bible says simply “Don’t resist”. If we are going to apply Jesus’ statements strictly, surely we should be strict, no?… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

“don’t use violence to resist evil” – where does non-violence come into it? My Bible says simply “Don’t resist”. If we are going to apply Jesus’ statements strictly, surely we should be strict, no? It is antistēnai in the Greek, which can mean simple “oppose” in a metaphorical sense, but was more often used as a term for military resistance in both Classical Greek and in the Septuagint itself. I was quoting from Kingdom New Testament – I usually try to always quote from either that or NRSV, unless I grab something off the internet or for some random reason… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“It is antistēnai in the Greek, which can mean simple “oppose” in a metaphorical sense, but was more often used as a term for military resistance in both Classical Greek and in the Septuagint itself.” I can see how such a congenial reading might be attractive, but I am skeptical of your philology. You can’t restrict the meaning of a term that narrowly by means of etymology alone, particularly when the word is centuries old. That’s like adducing Shakespeare to argue that hoisting someone on his own petard is a violent physical attack. Language doesn’t work that way. There is… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I can see how such a congenial reading might be attractive, but I am skeptical of your philology. You can’t restrict the meaning of a term that narrowly by means of etymology alone, particularly when the word is centuries old. That’s like adducing Shakespeare to argue that hoisting someone on his own petard is a violent physical attack. Language doesn’t work that way. There is doubtless some sense of violence inherent in the idea of resistance for first-century readers – it was a violent world in which they lived. But to argue that it is only, or chiefly a military… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’ll have a look at it. Thanks for the recommendation!

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“A simple retribution is not a setting right of wrongs. The wrongs are not righted unless there is restoration – in fact, because of Jesus’s sacrifice, restoration can exist even without retribution. Stephen will be restored, but retribution will not have to fall on Paul – Jesus has already taken that.” I am not sure if this is Biblical. God certainly will restore his own. But I see little indication that God’s enemies – Satan and his angels, those who persist in rejecting grace – will receive anything but dreadful vengeance. Would you call the Lake of Fire a restoration… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I can see how what I said could be confused. I am not saying that God is not free to exact retribution, or that he does not do so. I have affirmed God’s wrath and retribution all along. By saying, “A simple retribution is not a setting right of wrongs. The wrongs are not righted unless there is restoration,” I am saying that retribution is not enough. If the satan and his minions are thrown in the lake of fire, but his victims stay condemned, then what wrongs have been righted? Nothing has been “righted”. Yes, the satan has been… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Wrongs are only righted when restoration accompanies the retribution.” Possibly I agree. Only I would distinguish between the objects. A wrong is one thing, its author is another. One can right a wrong – say, by creating a new heavens and a new earth – without restoring its author, who may be damned. In the end, the restoration is of those who are saved, the penitents who put their faith in Christ, while the retribution is reserved for those on whom the wrath of God is and will be poured out. In brief: all sins are avenged, whether on Christ… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Well, I don’t think I can ever go so far as to say I know who will and will not be restored. But yes, I certainly agree that what you say is a possible option, and also that it would be justice.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I don’t specify who is who. But I would say that the general pattern is necessary to make sense of scripture, which clearly records that some will be damned.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

But of course then the Anabaptists came up and resurrected many such Gospel teachings in the 16th century

I would urge you to be careful here, because this is the classic pattern for heresy; claiming to recover what the early Christians really believed.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Those wonderful Anabaptists also gave us the Münster Rebellion.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

But of course then the Anabaptists came up and resurrected many such Gospel teachings in the 16th century

I would urge you to be careful here, because this is the classic pattern for heresy; claiming to recover what the early Christians really believed.

Um, I said, “gospel teachings”, not “early Christians”. I don’t know much about Anabaptist history, but I believe that they were working from the Bible itself just like every other Protestant in the world.

Of course, if your findings are affirmed by the early Church, that’s a feature, not a bug.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

There’s no single verse against “violence as a principle”, just as there’s no single verse against, say, abortion or slavery, but we can still discern from Scripture that it is clear we shouldn’t practice it. I believe that the crystal-clear, central principles from which everything else flows are “love the lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself”. From there, other secondary commands, like do not avenge yourself, love your enemy, do not judge or you will be judged, this is not the time to separate the weeds from the wheat, turn the other cheek, do good to those… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

(I would. Link?)

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

Do you have a means by which I can send you a private message? A website you use or an email address I can send something to?

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You bet. Dh said I can use his website. It’s promo at doyoubelieveinheaven dot com
Thanks, Jonathan. I look forward to reading it.

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Abraham had a son he loved. He was given a test the rest of us would most probably fail.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

Thankfully, no sacrifice at all will be required again, for Christ has done that once and for all, nor shall that such test ever be asked of one again.

Though if you really want to get technical, sacrificing your child’s life in obedience to God’s will is closer to to the position some are claiming I hold than any other position out here.

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Though if you really want to get technical, sacrificing your child’s life in obedience to God’s will is closer to to the position some are claiming I hold than any other position out here.

As Mr Bennett once said, “I have not the pleasure of understanding you.”

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

F.d.U. just stated that I would rather see murder done than raise my hand against one of God’s image bearers, in other words suggesting that I would choose obedience to God over the life of my own child, as Abraham did.

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Wouldn’t you? Choose obedience to God over the life of your own child, I mean?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

Again, I don’t think it’s a choice we ever have to make. We are never, ever asked to kill our child or anyone else.

I do believe we are asked to choose obedience over fear of death, or fear of our child’s death. But that is a different thing.

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, I think you have a lot to contribute to this community. I suggest that one of the reasons you are often misunderstood is that you tend to phrase your positions absolutely. Good and evil are white and black, but in this fallen world there are some situations where no choice is perfectly white. My sister was asked to choose who should die. Should it be the baby, or her and the baby? She had an ectopic pregnancy, and she chose (with many tears) to end it. You have built your principles on the study of scripture, and that is… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

I agree with you Indigo. I think one of my main issues is not necessarily how strong I phrase my positions, but that I phrase my positions strongly in a different manner than a lot of other people here do. For instance, I’ve noticed that some commenters here have a very strong focus on the word “sin”. They seem to see things as black-and-white in the sense that either something is “sin”, or it is “okay”. I’ve seen statements that suggest that as long as something is not sin, then anything goes. I’m actually less black-and-white in that respect. I… Read more »

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

In the recent discussions on wealth, I and others understood you to be saying (and in fact I think you did say) ‘having wealth and possessions is evil’. We were engaging with that mindset, and it wasn’t until after screeds of comments that it became clear that it was the hoarding of wealth and the selfish use of it that you were actually opposed to. If that had been clear at the beginning, we could all have saved our fingers a lot of typing :) I will add my voice to fp’s in requesting abridged comments! Economy with words requires… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

In the recent discussions on wealth, I and others understood you to be saying (and in fact I think you did say) ‘having wealth and possessions is evil’. Oh no, goodness, I don’t think I used the word “evil” once. We were engaging with that mindset, and it wasn’t until after screeds of comments that it became clear that it was the hoarding of wealth and the selfish use of it that you were actually opposed to. If that had been clear at the beginning, we could all have saved our fingers a lot of typing :) I’m not sure… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

One can be wealthy and not hoard wealth. The Bible has individuals in both Old and New testaments that are wealthy and righteous. Trying to be economical. :)

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Can you explain what the distinction is?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Won’t waste time until you can see that there are wealthy righteous and wicked righteous.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

It’s a heart issue, not a bank account issue. No, that’s quite clearly a modern imposition. You’re making a distinction that is absent from the text. Every time that Jesus tells them to address this “heart issue”, he tells them to address it with the physical act of distributing the wealth away from oneself. At least half-a-dozen times that I already quoted to you, Jesus addresses “possessions” or “wealth” as the problem themselves, not “love of possessions” or “love of wealth”. He uses “wealth” and “love of wealth” interchangeably. To separate the physical acts and the heart condition as you… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Can you agree that the Bible contains examples of wealthy individuals who are righteous?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Yes.

The Bible also contains examples of slaveowners who are righteous, no? And polygamous individuals who are righteous?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You said: No, that’s quite clearly a modern imposition. You’re making a distinction that is absent from the text.

No I’m not. If you agree there are wealthy, righteous people in the Bible then the issue isn’t money or whether you are blessed with it or not. The issue is how you respond to that blessing. Being blessed financially doesn’t render you “less righteous” than someone who is financially poor. And it doesn’t make you more righteous either. What you do with the money and the priority it has in your life is what counts.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

So do you also agree that by the same logic, because there are polygamous righteous people in the Bible, and because there are slaveowning righteous people in the Bible, then the issue isn’t polygamy or slavery?

It’s just what I do with my slaves and my multiple wives that counts, right?

I agree fully, though, that it is what we do with our wealth that counts. The consistent answer by Jesus and his disciples is that we give it to those in need. Which is not the same as holding onto it.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Again, polygamy was allowed under certain conditions in the OT, but was never encouraged. And it’s easy to see some of the disastrous consequences for Solomon and other kings. In the NT, Paul forbid it for elders (1 Tim 3:2) and everyone else in I Cor 7:2. So again, the issue is nothing like wealth on any level. Theology 101 stuff here.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Again, polygamy was allowed under certain conditions in the OT, but was never encouraged. And it’s easy to see some of the disastrous consequences for Solomon and other kings. In the NT, Paul forbid it for elders (1 Tim 3:2) and everyone else in I Cor 7:2. So again, the issue is nothing like wealth on any level. Theology 101 stuff here. Well, I agree that it’s Theology 101, because the fast majority of those who put up the foundations for Theology 101 are either wealthy or sponsored by the wealthy. It’s really easy for us to see the biases… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“The foundations for Theology 101 are either wealthy or sponsored by the wealthy. ”

And your theology and general gut reactions are about 98% social justice/identity politics/multicultural studies and 2% Bible (proof texts), no matter how much you ridicule this idea or deny it. You constantly use terminology and assumptions from these sources.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

And your theology and general gut reactions are about 98% social justice/identity politics/multicultural studies and 2% Bible (proof texts), no matter how much you ridicule this idea or deny it. You constantly use terminology and assumptions from these sources. Another one of the lies you push about me without the least evidence. Before I became a Christian, I was fascinated with war (even met with both National Guard and Army Reserves recruiters and came very close to enlisting) and wanted to be both famous and make a lot of money. And I had grown up in a basically all-White rural… Read more »

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Are you telling me that Jesus wishes that his followers would drop their country club membership, sell the lake houses and Super Air Nautique 230 ski boats, and use the proceeds to help those who struggle to feed their families?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Ya think? ;)

Either that or I’ve just been co-opted by the far left through too much Bible reading.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You’ve been co-opted. It’s obvious you that you read the bible through the lens of vile, progressive, false Christianity. I bet you don’t read the ESV or KJV. Some of Jesus’ closest disciples owned sailing yachts and lived on or near a huge lake. It’s even been reported that archeologist (the real bible-believing ones) have discovered Peter’s house right on the shore of Lake Gennesaret.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

You had me going for two sentences! In fairness to Jonathan, his overall views would irritate many of my affluent left wing friends just as much as they irritate people here. He reminds me a bit of Tolstoy, and he ruffled quite a few feathers through being a tad dogmatic on the issues he was passionate about.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Only two sentences? I’ll need to step up my game! If Jonathan has managed to irritate the left and the right, then I’d say he’s hit the bullseye.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

I think that it is possible to give generously to the poor and still retain a few creature comforts. Jonathan appears to many of us to disagree on this. I think that if someone I know is in desperate need and I decide I would rather buy new shoes than help him out, I am not acting in a Christlike manner. But I don’t think this means that I am required never to buy new shoes. At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus didn’t demand that the hosts sell the wine He made and give the proceeds to the poor.… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not holding on to it doesn’t mean you can’t/aren’t financially wealthy. You site sins associated with individuals, such as Saul, but nowhere can you site the command to not prosper financially. It isn’t there. I know people who give 20% of their income and are still wealthy. In Mark 15 we see this; Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Joseph was a wealthy man. He is not condemned. You claim you are often misunderstood. A casual reading of your… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Not holding on to it doesn’t mean you aren’t/can’t be financially wealthy. You site sins associated with individuals, such as Saul, but nowhere can you site the command to not prosper financially. It isn’t there. If you mean that there is no command not to gain a large income, then I absolutely agree. Though there are clear statements against wanting to be rich (“those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare”), and in the present economy the vast majority of people with high incomes got that way because they wanted to be rich, as opposed to… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Though there are clear statements against wanting to be rich (“those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare”), and in the present economy the vast majority of people with high incomes got that way because they wanted to be rich, as opposed to getting that way by some sort of accident.” Simply not true. Many people spend years obtaining advanced degrees because their field of study interests them and they see the potential to do good for society. Others are blessed by God through prudent investments. Your presumptions again preclude the possibility of a individual being… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Simply not true. Many people spend years obtaining advanced degrees because their field of study interests them and they see the potential to do good for society. Others are blessed by God through prudent investments. Your presumptions again preclude the possibility of a individual being wealthy and righteous. I do not preclude that an individual can be wealthy and righteous any more than I preclude that an individual can be a slaveowner and righteous, or polygamous and righteous. And not everyone who ends up making a high income (and then keep enough of that income in their own pocket to… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Too late now but in my class people wanted the opportunity to be their own boss. Perhaps you know a more self centered group of people than I do.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I don’t need to do a poll . Most of the people in my class wanted the opportunity to be their own boss. Perhaps you know a more self centered group of people. As you are adept at playing the self righteous individual (I’m not really concerned with the word “sinful”, I am looking for the ideal.) Can you explain how that is any more self-righteous than anyone else who is trying to do the right thing? I am trying to point out that don’t agree with the black-and-white line of “this is sinful” and “this is not sinful”, but… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I don’t need a poll because I have been in health care since 1982. Yes, the younger generation can be more materialistic but that is a gross over generalization. You are the king of the snide remark. “His comment was “liked” 4 times but I pointed out how wrong he was” Yeah. “I know many people in the health industry and agree that they want to use their knowledge to benefit others AND they want to make a lot of money. ” I am reasonably certain I know more people in the health field and agin you over generalize. Hate… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Hate to break this to you but you are rich. Have a computer, you’re rich. Have clean water when you turn on the tap? You’re rich. Have indoor plumbing? You’re rich. Have a car? You’re rich. First of all, that’s a useless definition of rich. I’ve repeatedly spoken about how we see “problematic” wealth in Scripture, and you haven’t dealt with that at all. Second, why do you assume that those things are true of me? The first one is, none of the others are. But what difference does that make? That’s one of the annoying things about your arguments… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You know why people find you obnoxious? Because, with all due respect, your an a hole. You are rich. You may see yourself as poor, poor Jon but you are rich by the standard of the overwhelming percentage of people on this planet.
Suck it up and grow a pair.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

You know why people find you obnoxious? Because, with all due respect, your an a hole. You are rich. You may see yourself as poor, poor Jon but you are rich by the standard of the overwhelming percentage of people on this planet. Suck it up and grow a pair. gfkdzdds, I can see that this conversation isn’t beneficial to you right now. I think it might be better for you if I stop replying to you, and if you stop reading my replies to other people, if they’re going to lead you to this place. I have never stated… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Actually I enjoy debating those who deny or are ignorant of the Holocaust. And as far as the discussion regarding wealth I have found your position predictible but earnest.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, but others are seeing the fallacy of your arguments. You are the only one debating me. i read your posts. Did you read the link I posted. Did you read ANY of the links I posted on the Holocaust??

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Would you not consider shelter and medical care to be basic needs of life? If I give so much away that I rely on the state or my long suffering relatives to buy my migraine medication, is that improper of me? Do you think that part of being a responsible citizen is providing for one’s old age, if that is possible?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Again, here is Jonathon telling us how to live because we all should live as he does. Despite giving him an extensive link from MacArthur, and I could provide similar links that essentially say the same thing from Sproul and Piper, he consistently implies that a wealthy Christian probably became wealthy by hoarding money and that they are under obligation to give away any amount that covers more than their basic needs. The above named theologians see money not as evil per se but rather a reflection of our relationship with God. Jonathon is free to interpret scripture as he… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I think there is much to be said for preaching the gospel but leaving such decisions to the individual conscience. If I have been a skinflint, God will certainly let me know!

I also remind myself that so much of what makes life pleasurable for me came about because many people had lots of money. Cathedrals, paintings, Broadway musicals…

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I believe that if God blesses you with money that He expects you to support the church and the pastoral staff, support missions and give to the poor and needy. But it is easy to fall into a trap where you are giving money but for the wrong reasons.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

“Jonathon is free to interpret scripture as he sees fit but his interpretation is out of step with some of our most prominent theologians.”

Well, I seem to recall Jesus Christ Himself was often found to be out of step with “prominent theologians.”

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Well ,Jonathan isn’t Christ and he delights in informing everyone how wealth in the Bible is, at least in the examples he uses, associated with sin. Those who are wealthy acquire that wealth by hoarding. His prerogative but there are too many examples of God blessing individuals with wealth for that to stand up to close scrutiny. But if it works for him…..

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

There is nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself, but Jonathan is quite right, it is frequently associated with sin. If you look about the modern world right now, we have a huge gap between the rich and the poor and a federal gov printing money like crazy. There is so much sin going on there six ways past Sunday, it just doesn’t bode well for any of us. Kind of interesting, one of the major sins of Sodom and Gomorrah had to do with the gap between the rich and the poor and how people went hungry in… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I have always maintained that wealth and how an individual handles it is a direct reflection of the individuals relationship with God. Jonathon maintains that only by giving away your wealth except for your most basic needs that you are hoarding it to become wealthy. That isn’t ht case for the patriarchs, Job etc. Love of money, not money, is the sin.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

There is nothing wrong with wealth itself, but there sure is something wrong in our culture stemming from a love of money.

I guess you’d have to be without walking into one of our mega churches to really understand that something has gone all wrong with the plan.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

While that is sinful I don’t think that was the major reason God destroyed the cities :) And the causes of the gap between rich and poor extend far beyond a lack of generosity from the rich. That is a contributing factor but not the only factor.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jude verse 7; In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Jude verse 7: In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

It’s also true that Jesus was often in step with the “prominent theologians”, so your statement, while true and certainly worth considering, does not contribute greatly to the discussion. It does imply that you agree with Jonathan’s view. If so, why?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

I agree that Jesus is both in-step with some theologians and out-of-step with others. If we’re really going to have a claim to authority debate on this whole thing, though, I should pull out some bigger guns. I’ll happily oblige MacArthur and Sproul and Piper, and call them with Basil and Chrysostom. We who are disciples of Christ claim that our purpose on earth is to lay up treasures in heaven. But our actions often belie our words. Many Christians build for themselves fine houses, lay out splendid gardens, construct bathhouses, and buy fields. It is small wonder, then, that… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

I should also note that those incredible words were being preached in an age where the pagan emperor Julian was lamenting the following: The religion of the Greeks does not yet prosper as I would wish, on account of those who profess it. But the gifts of the gods are great and splendid, better than any prayer or any hope…. Why then do we think that this is sufficient and do not observe how the kindness of Christians to strangers, their care for the burial of their dead, and the sobriety of their lifestyle has done the most to advance… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

1. Yes, I consider “food and clothing” to be shorthand for “the basic needs of life”, which include some form of shelter and medical care. I think that Jesus didn’t mention those individually because they were taken care of communally. 2. No, I think that putting away large amounts of money for the distant future is a ridiculous misuse of resources, that we only participate in because we’ve moved so far from the Bible’s vision of trust in God and community. From a practical standpoint, it’s a huge waste. I have wealthy friends who abuse their workers by paying them… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There was a time when I would have been more inclined to agree with you. But old age creeps up much more quickly than anyone expects, and the brutal reality is that there are not many communities that take in old people and meet their needs. Even the churches that operate such shelters charge enormous prices for them, and many people who grow too old to remain in their homes end up in ghastly county-financed facilities. Because the standard of living is falling, I doubt that our children will be in a position to pay for our care. Most people… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yeah, what you describe is certainly the breakdown of community. The idea of stashing away the elderly in special care homes is a very recent innovation – these homes hardly exist in most of the world, and the disadvantaged elderly there are the select few whose communities and families have abandoned their responsibilities (much much more common, I might add, in the city than in the country). And the majority of “homes’ specifically made to serve such people are, frankly, kinda terrible places to live. We need to be doing a lot better in general for everyone. I feel especially… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, in the past, people did far better in caring for the old. But, in the past, the age at which people died was much closer to the age at which they retired. Had my father lived to be as old as my mother is, he would now have been retired for over 30 years. There is no church community able to support its old people for three decades. The fact that people are living longer means that their caregivers must tend with medical problems and expenses which did not often exist in the past. I know people who have… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

One of the Bayly pastors was describing how many children he had and mentioned they were on Medicaid. I found it odd he was so willing to let other people pick up the tab for his children.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I don’t know how I ought to think about this. Once the children are here, of course I want them to have medical care even if their parents can’t afford it. But I grew up with certain principles dinned into my consciousness through constant repetition. Do not get married with nothing to live on. Do not have more children than you can afford to feed, clothe, educate, and pay doctor’s bills for. Do not expect others to support you. Do not borrow money you can’t afford to pay back. If you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it (except for houses).… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I didn’t know your parent’s raised me!!!!!!!! Very true. I knew so many of my classmates that wanted it “all” the moment they graduated. My wife and I bought a real fixer upper even though I have zero carpentry skills. But we paid off my loan on the home in 7 years, the loan on my office in 3 years and the loan on the equipment in two years. All my classmates who thought I was an idiot stopped laughing when the subject of debt came up at the annual national meeting. They were slaves to their practice while I… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

You must be one proud papa! Congratulations to her, and to her parents!

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Had my father lived to be as old as my mother is, he would now have been retired for over 30 years. There is no church community able to support its old people for three decades. Well yeah, early retirement is a problem. When we have Supreme Court justices serving into their 90s, there’s no reason why a lot more people can’t do a lot more productive work for a lot longer. I know people who have tried to keep their beloved parents at home but could not. The average adult child–coping with work and raising his or her own… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It is simply prudent to save a portion of your income for the situations you describe. Neither the church nor the state will be of much help when your spouse develops dementia and requires 24 hour care. But we must be careful that we don’t become slaves to saving for retirement – a word not found in the Bible.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“We should be satisfied with food and clothing and nothing more, stop wanting to be rich”

“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.” Job 42:12

Maybe God should’ve given Job tickets to a social justice conference instead?

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

One of two things:

1) The Bible is wrong according to modern social justice “Christianity”
2) The truth is a lot more complicated and nuanced

I’m opposed to polygamy and chattel slavery. Wealth is totally different and a false analogy in this case.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

One of two things: 1) The Bible is wrong according to modern social justice-infused “Christianity” 2) The truth is a lot more complicated and nuanced You’re going to have to fill both of those out more, because I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at. I’m opposed to polygamy and chattel slavery. Wealth is totally different and a false analogy in this case. This is why these slogan-level arguments drive me crazy. gfkdzdds made a one-sentence argument that was obviously inadequate, and four people immediately liked it anyway because it confirmed what they believe. I showed right away that the… Read more »

jon
jon
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I don’t see how you showed that his argument was inadequate. The difference being that the Bible doesn’t speak of slavery as evil and speaks of wealth as the blessing of God. The Bible does speak against polygamy, and while it is tolerated in God’s people in the OT, it is never seen as the blessing of God, and the negative effects are manifestly evident. The Bible does speak against hoarding, trusting in money, pride in money, and it is certainly identified as carrying temptations, but to not see it as a blessing of God is to distort and misread… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jon

The Bible does speak against polygamy, and while it is tolerated in God’s people in the OT, it is never seen as the blessing of God, and the negative effects are manifestly evident. The Bible does speak against wealth, as I’ve quoted numerous times, and the negative effects are manifestly evident, as the prophets and Jesus and the disciples make clear numerous times. Even in Proverbs, the most pro-wealth book in the entire Bible, you have the writer praying, “Lord, do not make me wealthy, that I may forget you”, which is just one of the negative effects and would… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You are simply unable to see that money can be a blessing from God. The Bible does speak of righteous poor, righteous rich, wicked poor and righteous poor. Are we to strive to be rich? Should that be our goal in life? No, we should strive to be righteous. But the Bible is clear that money and our attitude towards it in relationship to our spiritual walk is what is important. God blesses some individuals with wealth. They will answer to Him on judgement day if they handled His blessings properly.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Give me a sizeable amount of cash, and I will undertake to show Jonathan how holy I can be with it.

bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Much of what you have written about money could be applied to sex. But sex is an intrinsic good that is easily abused. That sex is a particularly strong temptation to sin does not make sex intrinsically evil.

Money, similarly, has strong temptations and can easily be desired and used sinfully.

But to say money is an intrinsic evil like abortion and infanticide is mistaken.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Sex is an inherent, God-given part of being human. Money, and in fact most wealth that can be hoarded in any significant amount, is a human invention. Now, I would not call money an intrinsic evil, I don’t think that even makes sense as it is a “thing” (though Jesus does refer to it as “unholy” and “dishonest”, which appears to give no one here pause other than myself). But for now, the only thing at question here is the act of holding onto wealth, the storing up of money. And I believe a righteous person can and has done… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jon

Doesn’t make a bit of difference to him. He continues to place sins in front of the word “wealthy” and ignores the fact that God speaks of blessing certain people with wealth.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“I feel I’ve given a strong argument. That doesn’t mean that it’s correct, but it is logical and well-supported by Biblical evidence.”

No it’s not. Again, what you gave is a textbook false analogy. Wealth and polygamy and the broader issues surrounding them are completely different. What’s driving you nuts is that others see past your solipsistic viewpoint. This is further evidenced by your obsession with “likes.”

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

No it’s not. Again, what you gave is a textbook false analogy. Wealth and polygamy and the broader issues surrounding them are completely different. What’s driving you nuts is that others see past your solipsistic viewpoint. This is further evidenced by your obsession with “likes.” Solipsistic? Either I don’t know what you mean or you’re using the word wrong. The argument was inadequate, as I already demonstrated clearly. You can claim that “wealth is different”, but you have to do so by actually making a different argument, not just asserting “wealth is different”. If the argument you use to “prove”… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

It makes no difference to Jonathon. I think he is the actual person obsessed with wealth and all he can do is repeat the same unbiblical response over and over. He is using a laptop and in his mind that doesn’t make him rich compared with 99% of the people in the world. Let’s start a Go Fund Me page for Jonathon. I just chipped in a nickel.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

In the future I will delete any comment that receives more than 1 “like.” Arrogance is a sin too Jonathon.

Indigo
Indigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I may have misremembered your use of the word evil, and if so, I apologise. I went looking for it in your comments and quailed at the miles of text so instead I have brought up this snippet from the bowels of the discussion: Even when I try to explain in detail, I have certain people who consistently claim things like: * If I argue for nonviolence then I am arguing for passivity * If I argue against wealth then I am in favor of Communism If you insist on using ‘wealth’ and ‘hoarding of wealth’ interchangeably (something I dispute… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

I’m taking all your words very well Indigo. You are speaking quite kindly. This is a key passage: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Jesus does not tell us to avoid placing our heart on our stored-up treasures. He tells us not to store them up. “For where your treasure is,… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

Likewise precision with language is important if you don’t want your readers to think ‘passive’ when you say ‘total nonviolence’. My use of the word “nonviolence” is on the same spectrum as its use by theologians across the denominational spectrum – I could point to books by Reformed and Methodists and Southern Baptists and Catholics and Mennonites. It is the main word that has been adapted. I do realize that it is imperfect, and that I’m dealing with a segment of the church that has had less exposure to Jesus’s nonviolent teachings. So that is why I spend so much… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That was my attempt to paraphrase your view, such that violence, even in defense of the innocent, is never justified. Is that not what you think?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

I do believe that violence is never justified, but your paraphrase misinterprets and falsifies the thinking behind that belief. What if I told you that you had to have sex with a man to fix your marriage and be right with God? And if you refused, I then said, “See, you believe that sex with a man, even if it would save your marriage and make you right with God, is never okay.” The reason you say “no” isn’t because you don’t want to be right with God, it’s because you don’t think that is ever the path to get… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

So in other words, if someone is threatened with death, and violence of some sort is the only way that you can see to stop it, your position is that either a) God will intervene to stop the injustice from happening, or that b) the injustice being carried through is part of his plan. Is that about right? Re your hypothetical, that’s a terrible situation to be in. But hypothetically, if it were clear to me that a) my child will not be persuaded not to kill this man and that b) my child was doing so unjustly, then I… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

So in other words, if someone is threatened with death, and violence of some sort is the only way that you can see to stop it, your position is that either a) God will intervene to stop the injustice from happening, or that b) the injustice being carried through is part of his plan. Is that about right? I doubt there is any time that lethal violence would ever be the only way I could see to stop the threat of death, and it’s certainly not something I could “know” is the only way I could stop it. The actual… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Do you distinguish between lethal violence and other sorts? Are you okay with knocking people down to keep them from killing, or does justice demand a strict no-contact policy?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Do you distinguish between lethal violence and other sorts? Are you okay with knocking people down to keep them from killing, or does justice demand a strict no-contact policy? Ah, I assumed you had seen our quite lengthy discussion about this in a previous post. I always strive to base my obedience on the principles that Jesus tells us to live out. And He states that the central command is “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”, and everything else flows from there. So the primary principle is act in love to all involved. He also… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must
be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you
again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if
you do.”

Anyone who quotes P&P is my friend for life.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
4 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

Make it the full quote: “I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?”

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan,

This is an area I’m still trying to work out – what are Christians called to as far as war.

Someone I respect says we were wrong to fight the Crusades even though the original call to fight was to protect Christians who were being slaughtered. Do you agree with that? Can you explain it?

Thanks.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

Someone I respect says we were wrong to fight the Crusades even though the original call to fight was to protect Christians who were being slaughtered. Do you agree with that? Can you explain it? The actual start of the Crusade is a lot more complex than that. I’m not going to get into the whole thing and it is very debated, but political objectives were at least as much a part of it as a mercy mission. I recommend reading the Wikipedia article on the “First Crusade” to get an idea of how complicated the whole thing was. But… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thank you. I should have used a less complicated example like WW II or current persecution of Christians in Iran.

If I understand you correctly, basically fallen man can’t rescue anyone, and it is highly unrealistic to believe in something like a Christian army outside of angelic ones.

I’ll wait until I read your article. I hope we can discuss it a bit if you have time.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

Oh, those aren’t less complicated at all except in their mythology. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Your reading of the Crusades is a bit tendentious. You act as though “the Crusades” were some singular military operation, like D-Day, rather than a civilization-level conflict with countless moving parts that lasted for centuries. The fourth Crusade, for instance – sacking Constantinople was the result of a long chain of intrigues by the ambitious Venetian doge, who virtually enslaved the Crusading army he had been tasked to transport. I agree that the Crusades didn’t “work” in the strict sense of saving the Byzantines from Muslim oppression. But as that goal was basically impossible – for logistics reasons, if nothing… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Good luck with that approach and a platoon of SS coming at you.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Andre Trocme faced the Nazis quite well.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And so did the 101st Airborne. I’m sure your pacifism would have preferred Trocme standing in the way of your family and the SS with an MG 42 aimed at them..

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Yes. And me. And the rest of the believers. I suggest you look at how many people were killed before we started aiding the military effort, and how many were killed after. I suggest you research the Holocaust, and see how many Jews were slaughtered before we started supporting the war effort as opposed to how many Jews were slaughtered afterwards. Look at how many Jews were saved by efforts like Trocme’s and the Danish resistance and the Dutch resistance and all other non-military means, and then look at how many Jews were saved by military means. And that is… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A Hitler apologist. Congrats. He was such a nice guy right up until D-Day. Time for some more research. Hitler started killing Jews long before WW2 started. Approximately 1.5 million Jews were killed by the Nazis before the camps. You are simply incorrect that Hitler planned to ship Jews out of Germany right up to the start of the war. By 1937 it was almost impossible for Jews to obtain exit visas. To obtain an exit visa they had to leave the country and obtain a visa that would allow them to leave Germany. Catch 22. Hitler was killing the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

A Hitler apologist. Congrats. He was such a nice guy right up until D-Day. Absolutely false – I said nothing like that whatsoever. You should take more care to read what I say and less time rebuking what I didn’t say. For all his hatred of the Jews, Hitler was powerless to do anything significant unless people followed his orders. And I don’t believe there is a chance that German Christians were so evil that they would have gassed 12-13 million people in death camps in anything other than a war that threatened Germany. Vienna was a hotbed of anti… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Your timelines are all off. Germans were being told in the 1800’s that the Jews were a source of their problems. Even during WW1 they were being persecuted. What is this nebulous “German Christians?” Most Germans agreed with Hitler to a large extent. I won’t respond to all your comments because they are so historically incorrect as to be sad. “And I don’t believe there is a chance that German Christians were so evil that they would have gassed 12-13 million people in death camps in anything other than a war that threatened Germany.” German “Christians were killing Jews long… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Your timelines are all off. Germans were being told in the 1800’s that the Jews were a source of their problems. Even during WW1 they were being persecuted. What is this nebulous “German Christians?” Most Germans agreed with Hitler to a large extent. I won’t respond to all your comments because they are so historically incorrect as to be sad. How does that make my timeline off? I said that European Jews had been persecuted all the way back to the 12th century. This is only further proving my point – that despite all the other factors out there, including… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thats my point. The holocaust was happening long before WW2 and continued even after peace had been declared (SS continued to kill Jews. Jews were blamed for the plague in Europe and tens of thousands were burned alive. Luther’s book contributed to the anti Semitic sentiment in Germany. One of the reason you feel so misunderstood is because you state things like this; “And you keep misrepresenting my position on Hitler. I have never said a single position thing about Hitler in this entire conversation. Please refer to your previous post; “For all his hatred of the Jews, Hitler was… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Thats my point. The holocaust was happening long before WW2 and continued even after peace had been declared (SS continued to kill Jews. No, the Holocaust did not start long before WW2. You have made numerous statements to that effect and haven’t supported any of them. YES, some Jews died and were persecuted here and there. NO, that is not the Holocaust. I don’t know why you seem unable to distinguish between a few hundred Jews dying and millions of Jews dying. There is an enormous difference. The Holocaust began in late 1941/early 1942. I gave you clear statements that… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Fine. You are always right. So lets go to the Simon Wiesenthal Center for answers. When does he say the holocaust began??? Oops! You’re WRONG!!!!. From the JewisThe Sturmabteilung (S.A., Storm Troopers), a grassroots organization, helped Hitler undermine the German democracy. The Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, Secret State Police), a force recruited from professional police officers, was given complete freedom to arrest anyone after February 28. The Schutzstaffel (SS, Protection Squad) served as Hitler’s personal bodyguard and eventually controlled the concentration camps and the Gestapo. The Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers­SS (S.D., Security Service of the SS) functioned as the Nazis’ intelligence service,… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Much as I like Jonathan, I think your statement of facts is more accurate. It is true that the wholesale murder of Jews escalated as the war went on, but I think it is wrong to conclude that it would not have happened if Britain and America had not gone to war. One of the things that accounted for the lower number of deaths in the beginning was the time it took to build efficient methods of mass murder. I learned that there were times the more enthusiastic anti-Semitic countries such as Roumania had to be told to decelerate the… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly, thank you for your comments. I definitely lost my temper with Jonathon and for that there is no excuse. However, I felt Jonathon was bordering on being a Holocaust denier. There are many topics discussed on this site that I have only a passing knowledge of and I don’t feel qualified to comment. Science and WW2 history are the exceptions. Jonathon regards the ghettos as little more than densely packed living areas. In fact, the Germans allowed so little food in that people starved to death. He thinks the SS we fairly decent until 1942. In reality, they were… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I don’t think he is either of those things, but I think that when the Holocaust comes up in the context of two of his beliefs–that no human being is irredeemably evil and that nonviolent resistance is the only ethical way to stop mass slaughter–we have a problem! To accept both ideas in reference to the Holocaust, we end up trying to make Hitler and his henchmen sound more reasonable and less evil than they were, and we have to prove that nonviolent resistance was both more widespread and more successful than it was. The trouble with Jonathan’s argument, and… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Well,HE’S BACK. I just can’t read his latest comment without thinking he is an anti Semite or a Holocaust denier. He says Dachau wasn’t in use beyond ’38. It was liberated in 1945. The father of a good friend was one of the GIs that liberated the camp. I won’t reply to the rest of his comments because they are either grossly uninformed or he is just being argumentative. He’s all yours. You can try a knock some sense into him but he will tell you that you are wrong. At that point, should it occur, I say he is… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly; FYI, a few quotes in case you weren’t sure Hitler wanted to kill the Jews. This is from Robert Ley who was hired by Hitler in the early ’30’s to be a top dog in the Nazi party; “We swear we are not going to abandon the struggle until the Last Jew in Europe has been exterminated and is actually dead. It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind-the Jew has got to be exterminated.” (Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Vol.3, Nuremberg, 1947, p. 36) And from Mein Kamph; If,… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Thank you. Our fingers have been busy as I had just used two of those quotes in my last post to Jonathan. In view of the massive documentation, I simply can’t understand his reluctance to take Hitler at his word. The part that interests me and gives me hope is thinking about why those three nations, Bulgaria, Italy, and Denmark, were determined to save their Jews. One Catholic, one Orthodox, and one Lutheran. Why the Italians and not the French? Why the Bulgarians yet not the other Balkan states? I have read that the people who liberated the camps never… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’m not sure about Bulgaria. In Denmark the reformed Church there played a role but Italy was Catholic. What is odd is that after the war Italy became a temporary refuge for nazis to escape prosecution as they fled to South America.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

This is a horrifying read. https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/how-the-catholic-church-sheltered-nazi-war-criminals/

Commentary is a Catholic periodical, and thank heaven that individual Catholics are no longer denying that this happened. The kindest thing that could be said about the motives of the priests and prelates is that they thought a general amnesty for war criminals would increase the chance for a lasting peace. But, their real motives become only too clear as you continue to read. I will never support canonization for Pius XII. I think he had blood on his hands.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yes, it is terrible. It was known as the ‘ratline.” Nazis knew if they could make it to the ratline they would probably escape. Then again the US let major Nazis go free as they quickly became allies in the Cold War.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Was this partly because they wanted their technical expertise?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

While they took the top Nazi scientists ( Werner von Braun) they wanted spies and they knew they needed German help to control the Soviets. Many of the top SS went on to serve in the German police. I recently learned that Churchill wanted to continue the war except fight the Russians. That didn’t go over real well.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

They wanted the top scientists (Werner von Braun) for the space program and for atomic weapons and they needed spies to report on the Russians. The US was far too forgiving and let many of the top Nazis escape prosecution. Many SS ended up as German police. Not our finest moment.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

It was not Canada’s finest moment either. For quite a long time, the Simon Wiesenthal foundation identified Canada as a top haven for Nazi war criminals. Trying to get anyone extradicted to stand trial seemed to take decades. In the mid-1970s there was a whole slew of movies about escaped Nazis: The Odessa File, The Boys in Brazil, Marathon Man. In my blithe innocence I thought they were total fantasy. I suppose Jonathan would not like the Mossad’s way of taking care of people who kill Jews! When I came to the U.S. as a legal immigrant in 1987, I… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I remember those movies especially Dustin getting his front tooth drilled by Sir Lawrence. Sure hope you didn’t have to answer “Yes” to any of those questions! lol.
I always thought the Jewish nation showed tremendous restraint in their pursuit of war criminals. I know if I had lost loved ones Mossad would have been given more latitude to avenge their deaths.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Marathon Man gave me nightmares worse than anything other than Rosemary’s Baby.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I never, ever said that Hitler didn’t want to kill the Jews, or anything remotely like that.

The fact that you just spent so much text refuting a claim that I’ve never made or even implied, yet have nary a single reference refuting ant of my actual assertions, shows that you simply don’t have an argument.

If Hitler wanting to kill Jews was enough to have a Holocaust, it would have happened 20 years earlier, as you point out.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

What single fact about the Holocaust have I denied? Yes, Dachau was a work camp for political prisoners from 1933. But it was not used to house Jews at all until after 1938, and it was not turned into a death camp with mass executions until 1942 (in fact, it did not even have a crematorium until that year). Yes, the SS ran the concentration camps. Yes, they helped to kill the Jews in mass numbers AFTER the war situation got bad. No, the majority of the rank and file were NOT in favor of killing Jews in mass numbers… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I won’t continue this any longer. I’m sorry Sweetie, you don’t know history. The father of a very good friend liberated Dachau in ’45. I hope you can find peace with your obvious anti Semitism. I cited The Simon Wiesenthal Institute and The Holocaust Museum. You are so concerned with how people handle money compared to you. I would be far more concerned with the hate in your heart. You are a Holocaust denier. God bless.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I won’t continue this any longer. I’m sorry Sweetie, you don’t know history. The father of a very good friend liberated Dachau in ’45. I hope you can find peace with your obvious anti Semitism. I cited The Simon Wiesenthal Institute and The Holocaust Museum. You are so concerned with how people handle money compared to you. I would be far more concerned with the hate in your heart. You are a Holocaust denier. God bless. You cited two sources who call Hitler’s ascension to power the beginning of the Holocaust. Both sources still acknowledge that mass killing began in… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You define the Holocaust as mass killings. This is the usual understand of the Holocaust but is not true. Again, Simon Weisenthal outlines the start as being much earlier. I will take his opinion over yours. From SW 1. When speaking about the “Holocaust,” what time period are we referring to? Answer: The “Holocaust” refers to the period from January 30, 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, to May 8, 1945 (V-E Day), the end of the war in Europe. Regarding Dachau from SW 13. When was the first concentration camp established and who were the first inmates? Answer:… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I think that Jonathan’s certainty about the correctness of his thesis–that military opposition to genocide guarantees a higher body count among the victims than nonviolent resistance–makes it hard for him to deal with evidence that undermines this interpretation. I believe that he might say that the opposite is true for us–that our belief that there can be evil so appalling that it justifies a military response blinds us to a clear reading of history. I tend to think we are at an impasse. My core beliefs–that a nation has the right to use force to repel a hostile invasion, that… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“I think that Jonathan’s certainty about the correctness of his
thesis–that military opposition to genocide guarantees a higher body
count among the victims than nonviolent resistance–makes it hard for
him to deal with evidence that undermines this interpretation.”

Reading over, but not participating, in this sub-conversation, that was exactly the impression I had before I read your comment. That’s not a slam on Jonathan — we all tend to read history or other evidence in light of our presuppositions about how things work. But I think he is falling victim to that error in this case.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

So true. I just can’t comprehend, nor is it Biblical, that worldview. If the Germans and Japanese had been successful the bloodshed would have continued for decades. Jews would have been wiped off the face of the earth. Two things, and not to start a new extended thread, have always puzzled me. I wonder what role that the carnage soldiers witnessed played in their subsequent spiritual lives? Secondly, with many soldiers enduring years of combat what was the rate of PTSD? I have read that our military is experiencing a higher rate of suicide that at any other time. And… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

I just looked at a study which estimates that probably at least 25% of combat veterans returned from World War 2 with PTSD, then called shell shock. There was no treatment for it, and in fact, there was little sympathy. The suicide rate did not spike. However, there was a spike in the suicide rate of WW2 vets as they reached their eighties, which I find really tragic. As you know, my dad was a prisoner of war for three years. Before he left for the Dieppe Raid, he married my mother, an English girl living in a British army… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Wow, amazing story. Your Mom was brave to leave England, even with the “security” of a convoy. I would think the 25% number is low but I have no data to back that claim. I just can’t comprehend spending years in combat and seeing the associated horrors without it damaging your psyche. My father’s PTSD took the form of a hair trigger temper and a desire to be alone. Like you, I never told him how thankful I was for his service or how brave I thought he was. I try not to think about that now because it always… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

My mother says that her dominant memory of that trip was lifeboat drill on the deck in the middle of an icy January night. Between dodging U-boats and icebergs, it was a ghastly voyage! But when she reached Halifax, she had all the candy she could eat after five years of rationing. My dad has been gone for 19 years and I miss him more than I would ever have expected. I was the only one of his children to inherit his quirky sense of humor and to have a sense of the ridiculous that lands me in trouble. In… Read more »

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

But he was “old school.” They didn’t express their feelings in those days, especially men. My dad died 21 years ago. We weren’t really close so I was surprised when it hurt so much. Just too many things left unsaid.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

One of the greatest difficulties in our conversation is that you misrepresent my positions over, and over, and over again. And I understand why. We are part of a culture that has absolutely enveloped itself in hero-stories about violence, which sees its military power as an “advantage” it should never give up. So I’m not surprised or offended when people who have never seriously researched the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance don’t understand how it works. (Want a start? Read Erica Chenoweth’s research on the comparative effectiveness on violent v. nonviolent revolutions.) Or when those who have literally never read a… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I am sure my words sounded critical to you but they were intended as explanatory. Jonathan, you have been told by someone else that your words sounded to him like a kind of Holocaust denialism. I said that I do not believe you are a denialist (and, heaven knows, not an anti-Semite), and that I think your own twin principles–no person is wholly evil, and nonviolent resistance is always preferable to violence–requires you to take position that strike other people who have studied the war as either flat out wrong or breathtakingly naive. If I have understood all your previous… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jonathan, you have been told by someone else that your words sounded to him like a kind of Holocaust denialism. I said that I do not believe you are a denialist (and, heaven knows, not an anti-Semite), and that I think your own twin principles–no person is wholly evil, and nonviolent resistance is always preferable to violence–requires you to take position that strike other people who have studied the war as either flat out wrong or breathtakingly naive. Jill, you know that’s unfair. I’ve seen you be the subject of unfair attacks from multiple persons on this site and have… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, I am sorry to seem unfair. And in saying that you are not a Holocaust denialist, I did think I was defending you from a charge I find very serious. I believe you are utterly sincere. The problem is that I also think that you are utterly wrong. Which were the parts you found unfair? Did I misstate your position when I said that you are never willing to use lethal force? Did I misstate your position when I said that you rejected the notion that any individual or nation is wholly evil? I think we need to get… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

If I have understood all your previous comments to me correctly, you believe that the Germans would have responded to conscientious, principled nonviolent opposition from the citizens whose nations they occupied by eventually realizing the immorality (or inutiity) of their plans. There are a great number of varying responses to nonviolent resistance, many of which fit the aims of the resisters. Only in very rare situations does the architect of the violence “realize the immorality” of their actions, at least not while it is going on. That is not usually a necessary goal. I believe that under nonviolent resistance as… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

You define the Holocaust as mass killings. Okay, I am talking about the mass killings. I won’t use the word you don’t want me to use anymore, I will simply say, “mass killings of Jews”. I hope that clears it up and you don’t have to continue on the extended diversion anymore. Both Jilly and I have provided you with quotes from Hitler that predate the war by many years and clearly show he intended to kill the Jews. Yes, I have already affirmed that MANY times in this conversation, I have never questioned it once. The fact that you… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, I am dubious about your claim that the SS did not support killing the “JewAccording to the BBC, Yad Vashem, the US Holocaust Museum, and some other sources, the SS leadership got upset that Hitler was so distracted by the war that he wasn’t taking care of business regarding the Jews. Hans Frank, the governor general of Poland, was angry that Hitler kept shipping Jews into his territory, and demanded that either the shipments end or the Jews currently held there be killed. He also demanded that any remaining Jews be rounded up so that soldiers could occupy their… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Lets be careful about what we are seeing here. The facts you know, I completely agree with. The only difference between your view and mine is that you’ve transposed those facts you already know past the time when they were correct. Everything you say about the SS and the German people is true during the height of the war, from the end of 1941 to 1945. The amazing thing historically is that it wasn’t true in the decade before that. Here is my argument that the majority of the ranks of the SS (and of course the German people in… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

What you say still places the blame for the Holocaust onto the Allies, first for not issuing refugee visas and secondly for declaring war. It was the west’s responsibility to rescue and take in 6 million Jews (and probably have to pay ransom money to the Reich for them, the Nazis having already taken their assets). If Hitler wanted all of Europe, he should have been allowed to have it. This, by the way, is Pat Buchanan’s position. He says the death of the Jews–if it happened–is Britain’s fault for daring to come to Poland’s defense. Last night I did… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

What you say still places the blame for the Holocaust onto the Allies, first for not issuing refugee visas and secondly for declaring war. It was the west’s responsibility to rescue and take in 6 million Jews. First off, Nazi Germany is 100% to blame for the Holocaust. That does not mean that others did not need to do something different. Yes, the thieves were 100% to blame for beating up the Good Samaritan, but are we really going to claim that the priest and the Levite who walked by on the other side and did nothing were blameless? Why… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If you mean who I think you mean, I have not heard him say that the Holocaust was the fault of the Jews. The worst I have heard him say is that the expulsion of Jews from so many European nations through history says something about their desirability as a people. I find that a detestable point of view, and I have said so to him. Once anyone defends Hitler’s slaughter of the Jews, I withdraw because I know that I am in the presence of evil. We will never see this issue, or interpret any available facts, in the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

If you mean who I think you mean, I have not heard him say that the Holocaust was the fault of the Jews. The worst I have heard him say is that the expulsion of Jews from so many European nations through history says something about their desirability as a people. I find that a detestable point of view, and I have said so to him. Once anyone defends Hitler’s slaughter of the Jews, I withdraw because I know that I am in the presence of evil. It was a comment to you, but I’m not surprised you blocked it… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan
Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I hadn’t read it – there’s some good stuff in there though I’m not impressed with the presentation. He purposely starts off the article with some quotes that out-of-context look a bit inflammatory. To clarify… * Unless there’s a lot of material I haven’t seen yet, the mature Gandhi was only as proud of his own ethnic background as he felt everyone should be. He made similarly distinctive, positive remarks about other ethnic backgrounds as well. From around 1908 on, Gandhi was strikingly egalitarian on racial issues to a degree that few men of his time matched. I think the… Read more »

D
D
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Very interesting discussion. Thanks, all. When I saw the holocaust was being discussed I expected to just see everyone virtue signalling about how much more concerned they were about atrocities than everyone else. I’m happy to see an actual exchange. Scott Alexander reviewed Eichmann in Jerusalem, and I found his discussion of which countries did best and worst at shielding their jews fascinating. Full disclosure, I am an unlettered dilettante and I haven’t read Arendt’s book. http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/01/30/book-review-eichmann-in-jerusalem/ It is also important to have more context for the Holocaust than just centuries of European anti-semitism. Throughout the late 19th and early… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  D

D, that link was by FAR the best contribution to this entire thread. Not so much the profoundly odd Eichmann, but like you say the discussion of what countries did with their Jewish populations is incredible.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  D

One of the commenters recommended this book as a more nuanced look at the degree of German popular resistance during WWII. But like several other books on the subject, it unfortunately appears to focus on 1939-1945 and doesn’t seem to get into how much feelings did or didn’t change before the war as compared to during it.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/10/the-german-war-a-nation-under-arms-1939-45-by-nicholas-stargardt-review

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I recommend, to you and Jonathan, the historical novel, The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Little. It deals with this very subject.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yet you seem to want us to believe that this fully intended slaughter of the Jews would not have occurred if only Britain had let Germany have all of Europe? That the Jews would have been safe if there had been no “existential threat” to the German people? No, I have NOT said that. The war was a factor that caused the Holocaust. The war was the wrong decision. That does NOT mean that “doing nothing” was the right decision. That sort of logic is only used against anti-war proponents. If I had said, “It was a mistake to send… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

While I am far from calling you a Hitler apologist, I find your analysis a bit off point. Although the Holocaust wasn’t really a proper casus belli in itself, the Nazis were still evil tyrants who were credibly attempting to crush our allies. They also declared war on us; their allies attacked us, and looked at the time to continue doing so. But if your main purpose was to deny the Holocaust… (wait for it)… as a moral justification for American involvement in WWII, I agree so far. But your argument also extends to France, Poland, China, Korea, Britain, Greece…… Read more »

ashv