Orthodox on the Gospel, But Still Hating Enemies?

Some of the most “orthodox on the gospel” folks I know are also the same folks who read Chronicles (if my people) as if it were talking about a covenant of works with America. And some of the folks who agree with me that Muslims don’t care if they are being killed for Christian reasons or secular ones, well, these folks have no clue about what the gospel is.  Here I am talking about quaker and mennonite and roman catholic pacifists. They don’t believe the gospel, they don’t know the gospel, but they do know we shouldn’t kill.

That is not only a disappointment to me, but a puzzle. People who have the same gospel have different politics, and people who have the same politics have different gospels. And I ask myself, how can they know so much about the grace of God and think the way they do about their enemies? And they ask themselves about me, how can he be so “conservative” when it comes to gospel doctrine, and still not see the right of America to do whatever it takes to protect Israel from the Muslims?

I could say there are different kinds of “conservative”. Neo-cons who want their version of ” economic liberalism” are not the same as Luther and Calvin when it comes to politics. But what I usually say is this–you can believe the gospel without wanting to “conserve” that which has come about with the passing of time..

Psalm 109 Be not silent, O God of my praise!
2 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
3 They encircle me with words of hate,
and attack me without cause.
4 In return for my love they accuse me,
but I give myself to prayer.
5 So they reward me evil for good,
and HATRED FOR MY LOVE.
the enemy  6 “Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
8 May his days be few;
may another take his office!
9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
10 May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11 May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13 May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15 Let them be before the Lord continually,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
16 For he did not remember to show kindness,
but pursued the poor and needy
and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
17 He loved to curse; let curses come upon him!
He did not delight in blessing; may blessing be far from him!
18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat;
may curses soak into his body like water,
like oil into his bones! 18 He wore cursing like his coat—let it enter his body like water

and go into his bones like oil.
19 Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself,
like a belt he always wears.”  (end of enemy’s speech)

20 Let this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil against me.

21 But You, Yahweh my Lord,
deal kindly with me because of Your name;
deliver me because of the goodness of Your faithful love.
22 For I am afflicted and needy;
my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like a lengthening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees are weak from fasting,
and my body is emaciated.[f]
25 I have become an object of ridicule to my accusers;[g]
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.

26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to Your faithful love
27 so they may know that this is Your hand
and that You, Lord, have done it.
28 THOUGH THEY CURSE, YOU BLESS.
When they rise up, they will be put to shame,
but Your servant will rejoice.
29 My accusers will be clothed with disgrace;
they will wear their shame like a cloak.
30 I will fervently thank the Lord with my mouth;
I will praise Him in the presence of many.
31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy
to save him from those who would condemn him.

When Christians attempt to act as God’s agents in holy war, they have confused  the American nation with a church. It is inconsistent with the new covenant law of Christ for citizens of the kingdom of heaven to kill for the sake of another kingdom. Those being killed might not even know they are being killed for “secular” (not “holy”) reasons.

We don’t drown you for your views on baptism but rather for your political sedition in sharing those views publicly and acting on them. The Magisterial Reformation praxis is not inherent in being Christian.

We don’t kill your for being Muslim. We kill you before you can kill us, because you would kill us simply because we are Christians. There is no other reason you could possibly have for killing us except that we are not Muslims.

Psalm 58:6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths;

tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

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10 Comments on “Orthodox on the Gospel, But Still Hating Enemies?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    My practical suggestion would be to stop reading the Ten Commandments before the Confession and read the Sermon on the Mount instead. Of course that would disrupt “that which has come about with the passing of the time” in the Reformed tradition. But it would do much to put to rest this idea that the only problem with “the law” is “Jewish misunderstanding of the law”.

    Instead of looking at the six antitheses, and saying that Jesus is only the best teacher of “the law” clearing away “misinterpretation”, we need to see indeed that Jesus is our lawgiver. All divine law is “moral law”, but this does not mean that God cannot and does not change law when God changes covenants. Hebrews says that, but the Reformed tradition is not very good when it comes to seeing one covenant as different from another.

    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

    Lust

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into gehenna 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into gehenna.

    Divorce

    31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Oaths

    33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

    Retaliation

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

    Love Your Enemies

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?

  3. MARK MCCULLEY Says:

    Judges 9: 8 The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ 9 But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ 12 And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Isaiah 10: 5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger;
    the staff in their hands is my fury!
    6 Against a godless nation I send him,
    and against the people of my wrath I command him,
    to take spoil and seize plunder,
    and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
    7 But he does not so intend,
    and his heart does not so think;
    but it is in his heart to destroy,
    and to cut off nations not a few

    Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Romans 13 For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been ordained by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has ordained, and those who resist will incur judgment…. For they are the servants of God, AVENGERS who carry out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    Romans 9: 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much LONGSUFFERING vessels of wrath prepared for destruction

    Romans 2: 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

    Romans 2: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

    Romans 2: 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    Romans 2:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    I Peter 2: 8 and “A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”
    They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were ordained to do.
    9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of DARKNESS into his marvelous light.

    I Peter 2: 13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by God to punish those who do evil 18 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (note, Caesar was not called emperor, nor did Caesar want to be called emperor)

    I Peter 2: 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly

  5. markmcculley Says:

    What is the gospel? is it good news to say that Jesus died as a substitute for all sinners, but nevertheless many of these sinners will still perish? It is not good neww, but a false gospel that conditions salvation on the sinner. Not that many Mennonites actually even teach penal substitution. What Mennonite church do you know that preaches the gospel? Be careful to give me the address, and if it’s Lancaster County, I will be careful to check it out. Do you know me or how many Mennonites I know? if not, you might doubt how careful you have been with your boasting about how many Mennonites you know. What is the gospel?

  6. markmcculley Says:

    mld—Christ’s praise of the Centurion’s faith did not come with a “go and sin no more” provision.

    mark—well, that sure covers it for me—1. from the silence we can infer that Christ simply did not care if the centurian sinned or not, and/or 2. also from silence elsewhere we infer that now soldiers can do what they do without any violence, and that prostitutes can do what they do without any sin…

    mld—He was glad for the presence of an occupying force because it kept a peace the warring factions of Zealots would have outlawed

    mark: is this what those loyal to King George said about the British military invasion? At least it “keeps the peace” (the status quo) against Patrick Henry and John Witherspoon?

    mld—I think that Christ’s approval of the Centurion as he was, in his capacity, is similar to Peter and Paul telling us to obey and respect our rulers.

    mark: and when one set of rulers takes arms against another set of rulers, it’s important that citizens of heaven take sides with one set of the rulers because it’s important that somebody get killed and how is that going to happen if we don’t take sides, not as Christians of course but as common folks who also agree that Jesus may be redeemer but certainly is no lawgiver—would not be prudent to obey literally what Jesus says, because that was only to show us our need of the gospel…

    mld: Intelligent Christians who still want to be part of the conversation a Nation has with its people …

    mark: why this lust to be “part of the conversation”? after so many years of eliminating abortion from the earth, have we learned nothing about co-option? Let those EFFECTUALLY CALLED by God worry less about coming off smart or normal and reject “realist” appeals to “the way thing are” in a way that ignores what Jesus said about the power for His kingdom on earth coming from heaven so that Christians should not kill Muslims (John 18)

    “A striking example of how hard it is to draw a line between lawful and unlawful war is to be found in Calvin’s thoughts on whether French Protestants might defend themselves by arms against their enemies, the Dukes of Guise. The day after the massacre of Vassy, he frankly encouraged and helped the Huguenots to organise their army, finding many fine pretexts, resting on great principles, to authorise such action. But quite soon afterwards, in April 1563, he wrote: “I shall always recommend that arms be abandoned and that we should all perish rather than return to the confusions that have been experienced.”

    http://www.bringthebooks.org/2010/12/lasserre-on-calvins-advice-to-huguenots.html#links

  7. markmcculley Says:

    where would you go in your car if the car could go again? and how long would you be there? and what would you be doing when you got back from going? (these are some of the questions my mom always asked me when she was wanting me to postpone gratification, endure, for now exist and do without, and then later….

    Philippians 4: 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

    thanks for what you sent, but I didn’t need it

    but i guess you need a thank you, and you will also receive reward from God for sending it to me (though you don’t need that it either)

    11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content…. Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship….. even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my need several times. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that is increasing to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided—a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

    I meet lots of people who think Christians are basically narcissistic. As opposed to our selfishness, these non-Christians claim willingness to be damned if any other person is going to be, They are even willing to say there is no such thing as wrath or damnation if anybody besides them would have to suffer it. They seem to agree with Kant’s position—-that any action done with self-interest is suspect, any fact believed while thinking that those who believe that fact will be rewarded is a suspect fact.

    I do get it. I myself suspect myself, and everybody else, including those who think “morality means no reward”.

    I suspect that those who think that “Calvinists want to get paid”, also want to get paid for not being Calvinists.

    But Jesus talked about reward, about good stuff like resurrection and immortality for those Jesus loved. The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7.

    Would it be less narcissistic to say–well, Jesus loves me because I love him, and He would love you too, if you only would—-

  8. markmcculley Says:

    I Corinthians 7: 29 And I say this, brothers: The time is limited, so from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use the world as though they did not make full use of it. For this world in its current form is passing away.

    2 Corinthians 8: 8 I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you would become rich. 10 Now I am giving an opinion on this because it is profitable for you, who a year ago began not only to do something but also to desire it. 11 But now finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to desire it, so there may also be a completion from what you have. 12 For if the eagerness is there, it is acceptable ACCORDING TO WHAT ONE HAS, not according to what he does not have. 13 It is not that there may be relief for others and hardship for you, but it is a question of equality— 14 at the present time your surplus is available for their need, so their abundance may also become available for our need, so there may be equality. 15 As it has been written:

    The person who gathered much
    did not have too much,
    and the person who gathered little
    did not have too little.

    Romans 8: 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

    Mark 9: 40 For whoever is not against us is for us.

    Some Christians “act as if some vast conspiracy is brewing in America over the Christian faith, with naysayers organized against Christians. They feel like they live life on the cultural margins, so they take that as their identity–they count their marginalization as their righteousness. They are not looking to Jesus as their only righteousness, and so they act from prejudice, assuming that everyone hates them, and they act in a way that confirms this.” (Crucifying Morality, p 105, R. W. Glenn

    Philippians 3:19 Their end is destruction. Their god is their belly. Their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things. ,-

    Colossians 3 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death your members on earth—sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry


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