This is the first time I have ever responded to a commenter (especially an anonymous one) with a whole post. I feel it is warranted based on the fact that my motives and character are called into question (the Bible calls this judging). I regularly get into civil debates with atheists through my blog who are less attacking.
The original post and the full comment I am referring to are HERE.
Dear Anonymous (if that is your real name),
You have called my post political as if that is somehow sneaky and underhanded. I will draw your attention to the tabs at the top of my blog. I have a political tab and the post Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer is on it.
It is also on the 20/20 Hindsight tab where I say upfront: The purpose of this series is to show God's hand of providence in the lives of people throughout history. Sometimes God works His good through a person, sometimes He does it in spite of that person, and sometimes their lives merely teach us a lesson.
None of this is underhanded. I am completely transparent and as this is called Randumblog I am not pigeonholed into one area. The reason all of the posts have Christian undertones is because Christ is the center of my life (see About page).
I digress. There seems to be an overwhelming lack of understanding about what Christians/pastors are "allowed" or "should say" when it come to politics. This mainly stems from the separation of church and state which is not in the constitution.
The constitution actually bars the federal government from establishing religion or prohibiting it. But you sir/mam (this is why it helps to use your name) have brought up the fact that I admire the constitution or am proud of my country as a negative thing for a Christian to have.
I couldn't disagree more. And since you said there is NOTHING in the bible to support anything I have written I will draw your attention to a few verses.
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Paul is talking to believers in Rome. You know, the place where Christians were routinely thrown to lions. Now lets examine our "powers that be". We are a contitutionally limited republic. That means that the constitution is the power that be.
Our constitution allows us to participate in the process, and bars the elected officials from operating outside of its jurisdiction. To realize this is to recognize that Abraham Lincoln was operating outside of the power given to him by the constitution.
Despite his violation of Romans 13, God worked through him to free the slaves (which could have been done through legal means as I pointed out in my post). Here is the direct quote from my post: But in hindsight God worked through a bloody mess of our own making to set people free.
Now as to your assertion that --
"This logic applied to the rest of the world says that we should in no way come to the aid of those suffering in other countries, because in doing so we would be imposing on that countries sovereignty. Therefore genocide is acceptable."
You seem to be saying that our government should stop bad things from happening while at the same time saying-- "
"...Instead it speaks loudly to a god of a political system - a human construct that is flawed and is NOT God. It is worship of nation, of constitution, of political idealism. This is not God, and throughout the bible and history, those who worshiped their nation over God have never fared well."
My friend, God has placed the church here as His change agent. This is what I am trying to say. Slavery would have ended anyway. But you have given God attributes that the Bible does not--
"This post in no way speaks to a God who is love, a God who would work to end suffering, to hear the cry of those oppressed and free us from the bondage of sin."
You have made a God who is only loving if He steps in to end suffering. Suffering exists because of sin. He sent Jesus to cure the root problem, but this side of heaven there will ALWAYS be suffering. Would a God who's goal is to end world hunger say, "the poor you will always have with you." No because He heals spiritual hunger.
As to the slavery issue. You cited Moses as a reason that God always opposes slavery and genocide. Are you aware that Abraham had slaves when God called him and was never commanded to let them go? Are you aware that Saul was punished for not destroying every last man, woman, child and baby of the Amalakites?
In the New testament Paul speaks specifically to slaves and their masters:
Ephesians 6:5-9 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Slavery is used as a picture of our relationship with Christ as well as marriage is. "We are not our own, we are bought with a price." These are recurring scriptural themes.
American slave owners reached all new lows in their violation of Ephesians 6. Historically we know of many brutalities that were done against the slaves. These issues were not the only cause the Civil War, but God used it anyway to end this oppressive system.
Remember you can't have your cake and eat it too. On one hand you want Christians to stay in church and out of conversations about government and in another breath you want us to advocate to play global cop around the world.
Whatever the case, God has blessed us and we have a big responsibility. We can wield it in the wrong way and cease to exist like other nations, or work within the rule of law.
"Applied to history, this logic says Hitler's holocaust was a sad necessity because as chancellor of his country, he had the sovereign right to do whatever he wanted to his own citizens."
I would say that according to you the Christians in Rome should have revolted. Hitler was taken down legally by countries he and the axis powers attacked. I believe God used the allies to do this and that He even unwittingly used Hitler himself (see my 1st post in this series on Hitler).
Thank you for your comment. Let's not let opinion divide His church as I believe it is both of our goals to see people come to Him.