arma virumque cano (et alia)
To take this clown at face value, he would have to be certifiably insane. Lock me up, yee-haw, numbnuts, psycho-loco. The interesting thing is that he does not appear to be either stupid or unreasonable. (Of course a lot of crazy people are still intelligent.) How could anybody say anything so completely ridiculous in earnest?Answer? He's about bringing in more money and more members for churches. And bringing in a hell of a lot more money for himself. It's not unusual for churches to beg for money. But the churches that are begging the loudest are mostly concerned about their own survival, covering their overhead and salaries more than sponsoring missions, charity and good deeds for the poor.I think it's safe to label this guy as a dick. Of the highest order. Never mind the theological implications of the crap that he is saying. How about rock and roll parties with or without alcohol? Picnics? Carnivals? Rodeos? That's some damn good community outreach! Only in the free states!
Your bigotry is showing.
Umm, what's so hard to follow by taking him at face value? He wants to lure people into a situation where they'll be handed a tract or hear a sermonette--that seems like a pretty straightforward notion. Misguided? Perhaps. Ineffective? Quite possibly. But not a non sequitur that only an insane person could think of.Your money comments are applicable to many churches and not applicable to many others. Unless you have some information on the churches taking part in this, we can safely separate that discussion from this one.As for the theological implications you gloss over--I'm curious: exactly what are these implications, how are they wrong, and why does that matter to you if you are not a Christian? I know the theological arguments between various Muslim sects, but I never get into that with my friends because I'm not a Muslim, and therefore have no skin in the game and could care less if the Shia, the Sufi, or the Sunni has the proper interpretation.And as for the parting shot, why not have those things? My church has some awesome picnics. Archery and firearms ranges, chili cookoff or BBQ, sometimes a homebrew competition (after all the ranges are shut down and everything put away), dancing, and bonfires built by those of us who have let our inner pyro out to play within the confines of the fire ring. Primary focus is just us having a fun party and celebrating together, but commotion invariably draws guests who we welcome and invite to come to church the next day because we want them to hear the gospel, not because we think we'll get more money.
I love a good church picnic. It is difficult for me to consider shooting a healthy and wholesome activity. But I am willing to live and let live. To each person their own fancies and pleasures. But I don't see mixing guns and church. And I'm not condemning any church for asking for money. But my best guess is that this lunatic is mostly about the money. He did say that his mission was about bringing in the unchurched, but I just don't buy it.As far as the gospel of Jesus Christ, look to the Beatitudes. The Sermon on the Mount. When Peter cut the ear of the Roman soldier, Jesus rebuked him and healed the man. We do have one instance of righteous anger and violence recorded in the life of Jesus as he drove the money changers out of the temple, but there is no instance of him ever killing anyone. Jesus told us all to turn the other cheek, not stand your ground!
You could be right about this guy, but he could be on the up and up (and could still be misguided in his methods).I'll next address your other points about Jesus and his teachings. This may be long, so anyone who doesn't feel like reading it may feel free to skip it--I'm just going into it since Junior seems open to the discussion.Regarding Peter and Malchus' ear, yes Jesus rebuked him for pulling his sword, but it can be helpful to remember that this is after Jesus has told the apostles that He is about to be arrested, tried, and killed several times and that this is how things must be. Peter had challenged Him once already saying that this must not happen--the incident where Jesus told him, "Get behind me, Satan."Peter was opposing what he had been told must happen, even at least once earlier that night, and was trying to use force to get his way--his behavior was verging on that of a robber who "lives by the sword."Meanwhile, on another occasion, Jesus had told them that when he next sent them out they should take various items practical for traveling, including a sword. Since He gave them specific instructions for how they were to be preaching and none of these included "Convert or die," it would seem that the sword was for protection from bandits.You also bring up the Sermon on the Mount a few times, mentioning it generally and the "turn the other cheek" passage specifically. If you look at that "Turn the other cheek" passage, it falls in a section of the sermon where Jesus is talking about proper applications of commandments from the Torah. E.g. He talks about hatred being a violation of the commandment against murder and lusting or leering after a woman being a violation of the commandments against sexual immorality. Similarly, when He talks about turning the other cheek, He is clarifying a misconception.He starts, like in the other cases, with a quote of an Old Testament passage that was being misapplied in the culture at the time--in this case, the phrase "eye for an eye." In the original context in the Torah, the phrase was intended to communicate that a punishment was to be severe enough to equal the crime, but also to make it clear that it was not to be more severe--none of this Hammurabi's Code bullshit where you might get the death penalty for a relatively minor wrong to one's social better.Instead, people were using it, as they still do today, to justify tit for tat personal vengeance--you slapped me, so I'll slap you; you totaled my car and didn't have insurance so I burn yours, etc. etc.Just like in the other passages, Jesus was telling people not to follow this wrong understanding. Hence the example of someone slapping you on the right cheek (it does specify), meaning they slapped you with the left hand--still one of the worst insults you can give in the Middle East, only slightly above shoe slapping/throwing.It's a commandment about deescalating from an insult rather than slapping back and getting into a fight. To the extent that the concept of standing one's ground means just that--standing and not escalating--it doesn't contradict this. To the extent someone escalates a situation (e.g. Dunn going for a gun and coming back), that's not supposed to be covered under these laws (regardless of the thoughts of some dumbass jurors), and it shouldn't be on moral grounds.As for self-defense in general, there were rules for it in the Torah which allowed it with various rules dealing with proportionality, the inability to claim it if you're brawling, etc. and Jesus never contradicted these pasages, He just corrected misinterpretations of others.
"standing one's ground means just that--standing and not escalating"You are so full of shit, Simon. I don't have the time or energy to list all the ways. That quote about stand your ground is one example.Your "clarifying a misconception" about turning the other cheek is another.
Gee, we were having a civil conversation here until you showed up calling names.Do you care to give the rest of that sentence you pulled the quote from? In context, I was discussing whether standing one's ground contradicted the idea of turning the other cheek. The ACTUAL sentence you pulled that quote from was this:"To the extent that the concept of standing one's ground means just that--standing and not escalating--it doesn't contradict this."You pulled a phrase out such that you completely changed what I was saying, all so that you could try to score a cheap point.You did the same thing with your statement about, "[My] 'clarifying a misconception' about turning the other cheek." You pulled the "clarifying a misconception" part from what I said an applied it, for those who didn't read my post, in such a way that it looked like I was trying to redefine turning the other cheek when what I said was that Jesus was clarifying a misinterpretation of the Torah--a misinterpretation that was being used to justify the taking of personal vengeance. I'd love to hear you tell me how that argument was bullshit.Prove me wrong, or admit you were merely pulling out of context quotes and distorting what I said.
My brief excerpts of what you said changed nothing.
Ah, so you've decided to go with continuing to obviously lie about what I said.After all, if you were to admit that what I wrote condemned revenge and condemned escalation like in the Dunn case, it would expose you as a willful liar who purposefully distorted what I said so that you could continue to lie about my positions.Of course, anyone who looks at this post can read my statements and see that that's what I said, and clearly see how full of it you are.
And? He knows about demographics and appealing to his audience.
Luke 22:36-38He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.Sounds like you have paid good attention in Sunday School. I'm sure that scholars will disagree about this passage until the end of time. However, Jesus did cite the scripture in Isaiah that prophesied that he "...poured our his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." To me that's very specific. I can't really see it as a call for arming oneself against attack. That of course in itself does not mean that there might not be some instances when it would be appropriate to arm oneself. But as far as silly stuff like carrying your gun into a department store, maybe it's better just to let those types of conflict occur with the normal pushing, shoving, hitting and stampeding.
FJ, the passage you quoted from Isaiah is interpreted to be about the Messiah, not about people in general. The function of the Messiah wouldn't be in keeping with armed self-defense. But when it comes to carrying in a department store, why does my right to defend my life end at the entrance to the store?
That's why it always gets kind of dicey using scripture to support political arguments. I think we've explored this one enough.