The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Two Swords are Enough


That thought can easily lead us, into a kind of fatalism. Like that the Muslims, Calvinists and “no free will” Christianity presents. We need to thread carefully here. :wink:

By the way. Let’s look at the answer given, by the Calvinist site Got Questions:

What did Jesus mean by coming to bring a sword in Matthew 10:34-36?

The answer they give is more in line with Cindy’s answer…then yours, as the word of God.

I think we need to strive for balance, between being peaceful and being practical.

On the one hand, if mankind doesn’t change their ways…It could lead to the tribulation, and the Zombie Apocalypse. And I am like Paul Revere, yelling:

On the other hand, I see things - in a positive vein. Like that seen by the Eastern Orthodox/ Eastern Catholics and TV evangelist Joel Osteen.

I try to live in harmony - between these two extremes.



I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t find this entire discussion (argument?) to be very edifying.



It’s called practical or pragmatic Christianity. You might be trying to frame everything - in the NT - into a framework of peace. Like the Quakers and Mennonites do. I can respect it. But we live in a fallen world. And we sometimes have to make choices - that aren’t very pleasant. Like not being peaceful, if push comes to shove. If you want to ALWAYS be peaceful…because that’s how you view Christ and the NT - so be it. I can still be a Christian, in the FULL sense. But NOT always be peaceful - if push comes to shove.

Now suppose I have a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, I’m an expert marksman, have a concealed weapons permit and I’m a Christian…I honor all scripture as true…as well as the historical creeds. And I try to be peaceful. From my perspective, I can use the Jiu-Jitsu - and the firearm…should the need arise…and still be a Christian.



Well, thanks for putting me straight, HFPZ. I accept your counsel. Hereon, although I don’t have a sword. I guess I can feel free to take the gloves off.



Take them off mainly with HFPZ. :laughing: :laughing:
(Just kidding - we do kidding too).



I think we need, a lesson in fighting. From a first class terror. :laughing:

Mainly, I think we need to align ourselves - with the historical church fathers, the historic creeds and the thoughts of reformers. Otherwise, we can get many interesting variations. Like:

My own tribulation and the Zombie Apocalypse. Which I feel is the most realistic, of the statistical outliers…, of traditional, bell-shaped curve theologies - presented here. We have everything done - Full Preterism. Ultra universalism - God waves his magic wand and let’s everyone in. Or no free will and universalism. God and the devil are equal, in power and might. And everything is idealism - Christian science. All equally plausible and defendable - by sola scriptura.

But we need, BOTH Christian men and women of peace…As well as, Christian men and women of war - at times.



I think we need to discern the Spirit in the words that Jesus said. When we take what He said literally then I believe we have stumbled.



Yes, that Night is fast approaching. The Word is to preach the Truth. In fact that is what my website is about. So I know the verse well and deeply concerned about it.

I think to discern the things of Christ then you have to throw out the literal interpretation of what He says and look Spiritually to discern the message that He is communicating.



I disagree with the Got Questions website more often than not it seems. I don’t think it a question of looking at the verses as needed into make a choice. I think if we look at them Spiritually, we will conclude the same thing.



But let’s consider Love, is it enough? Yes, but on condition. For the Bible tells us there is no reward if we only love those that love us. We need to love those that persecute us. Not return evil for evil. Not take vengeance. But be led to the slaughter as Christ was. For those in Christ emulate Him.



Would you agree that is unlawfull to oppose (violently) the government but not unjust to oppose thugs, home-invaders and the like, even with deadly force?



I liked Cindy’s take on the matter. From my view, In the USA, our constitution was created around a group of people who wanted certain freedoms, and realized that at some time armed conflict might ensue. So the idea of our 2cnd amendment was both for the intrusion of outside forces as well as the well being of the citizens against a tyrannical government like they left in England. This does bring up different cultures and views here in the 21st century.

sven said:

I opinion that, (and I think others have waxed greatly on the point) opposition to harmful force (thugs) in a defensive position makes the use of firearms of utmost value. And from my view, totally within Gods natural rights as He has established. It gets fuzzy with Paul and Peter’s talk about conforming to the rulers. Which once again leans me toward the pantelistic/historic reading of the bible, to where they were talking to a specific group at a specific time. So how we use deadly force today may be different than how the first century Christians looked at it. Very basic to many of you but very befuddling to some.




Not to me - you made an obvious and good point.
Pantelism as I understand it has nothing to do with it.



My point :smiley: was that many think we should somehow look at the scripture as a sort of ‘we need to wait on Jesus, or we need to give our cloak’ mentality. I will not go there because of my respect for you. :wink: It is a ongoing issue with Christians here in the US.

Basic stuff. We’ve been through it :laughing:



I don’t know what pantelism is, but my understanding of Paul’s advice to obey the government is that it was the right advice for the time. They weren’t going to take down Rome, and even if they could have done, it may have made things even worse. They did have the Pax Romana, which, cruel though the Romans absolutely were, nevertheless created a consistent, more-or-less stable environment that facilitated the spreading of the gospel.

The barbarians (who were at some point (maybe not Paul’s time–I’m not sure–) the chief threat to Rome) would not have cared at all about being “better than the Romans.” There was no such thing as political correctness back in the day. There was only power. But that was all moot, because there was no way in hell anyone (at that time) was going to succeed at putting an end to the Roman Empire’s dominance in any of its occupied territory. OTOH, Roman subjects were apparently permitted to defend themselves against those on the wrong side of Roman law… highwaymen, for example. Thus, the advice to sell a cloak and buy a sword because (presumably) the sword would be the more vital piece of kit to have in one’s possession.




Pantelism or "full preterism (preter means past), consistent preterism, hyperpreterism, pantelism (from the Greek words meaning, “all is
completed”) or the “Hymanean heresy.” " … efuted.pdf

davo’s Pantelism website:

“Some of the peculiar teachings of full preterism =Pantelism] are as follows. The second coming of
Christ has already taken place including the rapture, the general resurrection from the dead and
the final judgment; the old heavens and earth have completely passed away; and the new heavens
and earth are present. The Great Commission has already been completely fulfilled (Mt. 28:18-
20). The Bridegroom has returned for His church. Both death and Hell (or Hades) have been cast
into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13-14).”



Jesus referenced “he will be numbered with the transgressors” an Isaiah prophecy, so it may be that allowing Peter to have a sword was necessary for him to manifest as a transgressor by defending Jesus with that sword and cutting the ear off of the soldier arresting Jesus.



Personally I am highly skeptical of the much spiritualizing of Scripture that is so frequent in our day. As a wise, old Mennonite man once said, “If the literal sense makes sense, it make no sense to take it in any other sense.”

Yes, I know—Jesus Himself used many figures of speech in his teaching, but to spiritualize Jesus’ words "He who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one,"is about as ludicrous as spiritualizing Paul’s words in his letter to Timothy:

I once asked a preacher whether he had ever preached a sermon on that verse—and to my amazement he said that he had, in fact, done so!

I wonder what Jesus’ instructions to love one’s enemies means to the spiritualizers. Does it mean that our “enemies” are actually our sinful acts, and that we should love them?

I should explain that I am merely venting my frustration with the much spiritualization of Scripture that I encounter. I want to make clear that it is not my intention to attack any particular person.



Actually, they did take down Rome. As Constantine declared Christianity as the state religion:

Once again, the idea of todays evangelicalism’s view of taking the bible as a literal guidepost, is what I was and is referring to. There is both a preteristic (my view is Pantelism) and historical component to the story. So in my view, the bible history is done.

Obeying or not obeying government (as the scriptures proclaim) in my view has nothing to do with us. The bible admonition is HISTORY. This is the very thing I was saying to Dave, but I may not have made it clear.



That is pretty much my own view also.

By spiritualizing scripture one can make it say anything one wishes according to the desires of their hearts.

Instead we should conform our thinking to that of Scripture rather than the other way around.