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Feeding The Lions

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hush
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25 posted 03-29-2006 02:22 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

It seems to me the statement "I don't believe in my wife" can be taken more than one way... not just believing in as in believing something exists, but believing in, as in trusting, respecting, and loving. Say you don't believe in your wife in this sense to get out of a bind, and see how quickly you end up on the couch.

Incidentally, remember in 1984 when the main character (Winston?) was being tortured and he yelled for them to do it to his lover (Julia?) instead. Same idea as the sort of denouncing we're talking about, as I see it. He wasn't just telling them what they wanted to hear- he meant it. And she betrayed him in the same way. Their relationship could never be the same again. Perhaps the same with God?
Stephanos
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26 posted 03-30-2006 12:32 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush,

Absolutely.  Taking the Christian teaching in it's fullest context, that is exactly the kind of thing that many martyrs faced.  Ever heard the phrase "Bride of Christ"?  The relationship that the New Testment emphasizes is nothing so cold as a mere intellectual belief in existence, but one of devotion and loyalty and love.  When Nero demanded to be called "Lord", and for the Christians to denounce Christ, it was indeed much more than a naked intellectual assertion of existence that was at stake.


Stephen.
Essorant
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27 posted 03-30-2006 10:57 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It is not martyrdom it is murderdom. People were murdered and still are for religious things.  There is no honour or glory in it at all that I see.  When one accepts and glorifies such a thing to me it is indirectly accepting and glorifying what brings it about too: murder.
Stephanos
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28 posted 03-30-2006 01:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ess,

I never said I glorified what is done on the part of those who murder.  I'm only saying that one is to be commended for holding to fidelity and faithfulness in the face of persecution.  This attitude does not at all advocate the persecution itself.  You're only failing to make the distinction between a wrong, and the reaction to the wrong.  That's like saying resilience and bravery among terminally-ill cancer patients, glorifies cancer itself.  It just doesn't.  


Think about it ... it is faulty logic to say that advocating a certain reaction to evil, is the same thing as advocating the evil itself.  If that were true, then many things you assume to be right would be suspect too.
  

Stephen.
Essorant
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29 posted 03-30-2006 01:55 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes, faithfulness is admirable.  But I don't see anything admireable in treating it as if it is something that life should be given up for, and treating oneself's or other's death by murder as a means to salvation.  Without life, there is no faith.  You need to live in order to have faith and help and save others, even if that means living under conditions that are against that faith, and when you are choosing death, you are no longer choosing any manner of salvation for life itself.  Once you choose death, you give up both life and faith, instead of facing the conditions against them.  
Christopher
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30 posted 03-30-2006 02:06 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Once you choose death, you give up both life and faith, instead of facing the conditions against them.
I think most Christians would say they're not choosing death, but rather, Life. Remember, Earth's just a pit-stop proving ground.

For what it's worth, I can understand the mentality in a manner - I have things that I believe are worth dying for. In my case it's my family, but I don't see how it's all that different for a religious belief, even is less physically tangible.
Stephanos
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31 posted 03-30-2006 04:21 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

Again, I prefaced everything with the statement that Martyrdom only makes sense if the Christian worldview is true.  If salvation comes through Christ .... if there is life beyond the grave ... if Jesus' teaching is true about perseverance and loyalty being necessary to salvation.  If those things are true, then a martyr would not be choosing death, but life on it's own terms.  

You say "without life there is no faith".  But you have to understand the orthodox Christian position, as a reversal of that, "without faith there is no life".  A temporary bodily existence of relative safety, at the expense of rejecting God, can hardly be thought desirable or honorable.  Only if this life is the only life, and there really is no God or Christ, would your position be reasonable.    


And remember that Christians are not forbidden any and every non-violent recourse to safety; physical escape, hiding, appeal to authority, etc...  All of those things may be used.  But when such methods fail, a Christian may not simply dishonor Christ and God, and then imagine that his spiritual life remains intact.


Lastly the responsibility of murder lies with those who murder ... period.  All a martyr may do is refuse to recant his faith, love and devotion to Christ, in which there is nothing blameworthy as you say.  Cowardice should not be passed off as somehow being wise or morally superior.  I would say that a person who denies Christ to save his own life is either 1) not a true Christian at all, in the biblical sense. or 2) a Christian whose carnal choices will be genuinely grieved over (like in the case of Peter), and eventually overcome in the future.


Now Essorant, you've claimed to be a Christian before.  Are you telling me that you claim that a man named Jesus is the son of God, and died himself to save you from your sins, and yet you would feel okay denouncing him, to save your own life?  Don't misunderstand me here, my own resolve in this is untried.  For all I know, facing persecution I may vascillate and deny my Lord too.  I hope not.  But I know in my heart that that would be the wrong thing to do.


Stephen.
            
Essorant
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32 posted 03-31-2006 11:12 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Again, I prefaced everything with the statement that Martyrdom only makes sense if the Christian worldview is true.  If salvation comes through Christ .... if there is life beyond the grave ... if Jesus' teaching is true about perseverance and loyalty being necessary to salvation.  If those things are true, then a martyr would not be choosing death, but life on it's own terms.  "


I didn't forget that Stephanos.
I just don't think it takes away from the fact that choosing death in this life is still choosing death in this life, no matter what life may be like hereafter.  How does "above and beyond" justify choosing what results in murder and death in this life?  


"A temporary bodily existence of relative safety, at the expense of rejecting God, can hardly be thought desirable or honorable. "

If you truly believe in God you wouldn't truly reject God if you flattered a tyrant with what he wished to hear and believe was your belief, but God would know you still believed in him in your heart and inwardly.  If simply saying and convincing a tyrant that you reject your God and accept his god/religion can prevent a murder, save your life, save a tyrant from commiting that crime, allow you to still live among your family and friends, and perhaps also give you some moment to find a way to the means  to eventually move out of the tyrants lands into a place of democracy,  rally forces to speak morally and act morally against the religious persecution, and perhaps eventually overthrow it, isn't it worth it?   I think any one that still at least has a choice may still do something much better for his life and his belief than die for it this life: he can still live for it, even though that may be hard and narrow.   When you flee away you you give up and help no one that is left behind in the hard conditions.  And for what?  Simply because you couldn't lie about your belief or flatter a tyrant to prevent the worst crime, murder?
Instead you will flutter away to heaven and leave your family, friends and countrymen with one less helping hand, oppressed under a tyrant?

  
"Only if this life is the only life, and there really is no God or Christ, would your position be reasonable.  "  

I still do not see how it comes down to that.  Life is life and this one counts too, whether it is first, worst, best or last.  Once you choose and give into death, that is still a choice of death, a choice that accepted instead of prevented murder.

"a Christian may not simply dishonor Christ and God, and then imagine that his spiritual life remains intact."

How and why should choosing to live instead of die under a hardship be deemed as dishonouring Christ?  

"Lastly the responsibility of murder lies with those who murder ... period."

I agree.  But if you choose the end you want, you also choose to accept the means to that end.  In this case the means are murder.  
Instead of preventing it, the martyr gives in to it.  That to me is not admirable.  


"Are you telling me that you claim that a man named Jesus is the son of God, and died himself to save you from your sins, and yet you would feel okay denouncing him, to save your own life?"

Absolutely.
When life and death are involved my beliefs really don't mean much to me anymore.  It is now just a wish to do whatever possible to save or help save the life of anyone and everyone involved (including mine).   Why, if I may prevent murder by outwardly rejecting God, would I choose not to prevent it?  Is obstinancy and outwardness in religion, more important than saving life?  

Stephanos
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33 posted 04-02-2006 03:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
I didn't forget that Stephanos.
I just don't think it takes away from the fact that choosing death in this life is still choosing death in this life, no matter what life may be like hereafter.  How does "above and beyond" justify choosing what results in murder and death in this life?


"Choosing Death" is a slur of a statement, and it's very misleading.  It makes it sound as if Christian Martyrs merely chose death, (as if it were as simple as that), instead of doing the right thing, and dying as a result.  


And if doing the right thing versus the wrong thing has any effect on life in the "hereafter" then we should logically conclude that it does matter.  


You may say that it doesn't have any effect on the life to come, or that it would be irresponsible and wasteful not to lie to save your own life in such a situation.  But Jesus himself said differently.  I can take that on authority, and be safe ... but there are also good reasons why he said so.  And I'll get into that in a moment.

quote:
If you truly believe in God you wouldn't truly reject God if you flattered a tyrant with what he wished to hear and believe was your belief, but God would know you still believed in him in your heart and inwardly.


But Jesus said things like this:  "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)

Faith in the biblical sense is not merely inward, but very much connected to outward acts.  I know this kind of concept is hard for us to get as Americans who live in postmodern times.  We are so influenced by the philosophies which lead to individualism and privatized "truth", that such things jar us when we hear them.  But that is what the scripture reveals, concerning God's thoughts on denying Jesus Christ before men.  


And God can't know that you really believe in your heart, what you are unwilling to say with your mouth in a time of testing.  When "believers" are willing to dishonor and deny the truth of Christ, to save themselves, they are really retracting (in action, not just words) the creed that he is the savior of the body, and that the witness for Christ is important, and that there is a rich reward in the life to come.  


So I myself I believe that for a Christian to retract his profession of faith in such times, proves that his faith is either false, or very immature ... because he is proving that temporal life is more important to him than Christ, even to the point of lying.


quote:
If simply saying and convincing a tyrant that you reject your God and accept his god/religion can prevent a murder, save your life, save a tyrant from commiting that crime, allow you to still live among your family and friends, and perhaps also give you some moment to find a way to the means  to eventually move out of the tyrants lands into a place of democracy,  rally forces to speak morally and act morally against the religious persecution, and perhaps eventually overthrow it, isn't it worth it?


From a biblical perspective, you certainly haven't "saved" a tyrant from anything substantial, by denying Christ in front of him.  One thing, and one thing only will you confirm in his mind ... that all that stuff about love, loyalty, salvation, resurrection, and eternal life (the very essence of the Christian Faith) is a bunch of hooey.  

At least with martyrdom, there is a memory in the persecutor's mind (which he will never shake) of a passion and purity that may someday succeed in converting him.  One of the Roman soldiers said of Jesus at the crucifixion "Surely this was the son of God".  Saul of Tarsus never forgot the stoning of Saint Stephen ... and I have no doubt that it was instrumental in his ultimate conversion to Christianity.  And there are doubtless untold stories about men of authority being deeply shaken by seeing stalwart faith remain intact under the knife, and seeing love shine above the worst of human fear.  Seeing another flimsy confession wither away won't do them any good, spiritually speaking.


And that bit about finding a democracy (Um Rome WAS the closest thing to a democracy at that time), and eventually rallying a moral cause and overcoming the tyrant ... Your confusing biblical mandates with worldy approaches.  That's what this nation is doing right now with the war on Terrorism.  (And I have no qualms about the nations of the world defending themselves with the sword, which is to be expected).  But mark my words, Terrorism will not be overcome with such methods as ours.  And regardless of what one thinks will "work" the best ... For a Christian, the goal is not first to overthrow tyrants.  It is to be a witness for Christ and of the Kingdom of God.  such honesty and devotion is required of Christians by the words of Christ himself.  


quote:
I think any one that still at least has a choice may still do something much better for his life and his belief than die for it this life: he can still live for it, even though that may be hard and narrow.



I agree.  But aren't there limits to what you would do to live?  If forced to would you rape someone in order to live?  Probably not, I know you well enough to think not.  To you, retracting your Christian profession is nothing more than words.  But to Christ (as revealed in scripture) it is much more than that.  It is bringing shame upon him and trivializing much of what he taught.


So we both have limits.  Don't make "life" (in a vague sense) the determining factor.  Even you analyze the conditions of that life, as to whether it is preferable to death.  You have reasons for your limits ... But you at least ought to be able to understand the Christian position on this, from being aquainted with those kinds of reasons.  Where you differ, is not really in saying that bodily life is always the uppermost concern, but in disagreeing with the value of Christ, and Christian confession.  


You say that you don't disvalue Christian confession.  And I have no doubt that's true.  But it is not the same valuation that is given in scripture.  To call an idea "Christian", is to have some standard or criteria, beyond one's own thoughts, or even (excuse the blasphemy here) vaguely moral democratic ideals.  And I can't think of anything more appropriate for that, than the words of Jesus himself.  


quote:
When you flee away you you give up and help no one that is left behind in the hard conditions.  And for what?  Simply because you couldn't lie about your belief or flatter a tyrant to prevent the worst crime, murder?  Instead you will flutter away to heaven and leave your family, friends and countrymen with one less helping hand, oppressed under a tyrant?



Firstly, dying as martyr after exhausting every legitimate means of escape, and every appeal, is not "fleeing away".  Rather, it is facing what one must face, if he is to keep any integrity.  I already discussed how it would not be good for the tyrant, and the believer to lie and dishonor Christ.  Now what about the surviving Church?


I think historically, if you look at the writings of the early Christians, you'll find that martyrdom actually turned out to strengthen the Church.  Getting killed in the army may deter some from joining ... but it emboldens others, and steels their courage.  That's a worldly example.  But the principle is the same.  There are many testimonies of people being converted because of the fact that some Christian martyrs stood strong and did not waver.  


There were, of course, caricatures and an over-glorifying of martyrdom in some ways ... But have you ever heard the phrase "The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church"?  The times of Roman persecution saw an explosion of growth in the Christian Church.  That's verifiable history.  So to your "one less" argument, I will respond "three more".


And all this can be acknowledged without even hinting the love of death, or justifying murder.  


quote:
I still do not see how it comes down to that.  Life is life and this one counts too, whether it is first, worst, best or last.  Once you choose and give into death, that is still a choice of death, a choice that accepted instead of prevented murder.



As I said before.  "Choosing life is always the thing to do" cannot be your argument, if you yourself have limits to this concept.  We're merely disagreeing about what the limits are.  So why do you keep saying that life unconditionally rules?  Trust me, I work in an ICU where dying people are often put on life support.  That just isn't true.  


quote:
How and why should choosing to live instead of die under a hardship be deemed as dishonouring Christ?


That's easy.  ... if one must dishonor Christ in order to live, then he is dishonoring Christ.


quote:
f you choose the end you want, you also choose to accept the means to that end.  In this case the means are murder.  Instead of preventing it, the martyr gives in to it.  That to me is not admirable.



The end that is chosen is not death, but rather to glorify Christ and remain faithful to him.  The Christian surely would prevent it if he could do so legitimately.  Your means of prevention would not be admirable to God, according to the words of Christ.  Again your valuation of Christian profession, and the Bible's valuation are not the same.  


You too are using the "ends to justify the means".  Your means to the end of "life at all costs" would be to deny Christ yourself, making yourself guilty of trivializing his claims and his sacrificial death for you.  At least with the martyr, the means of "murder" does not belong to him.  The martyr would not be responsible for the murder, and when you say that he is doing wrong by not denying Christ, and lying, in order to save his own skin ... you are erroneously attributing the guilt of the murderer onto the innocent.        


quote:
Why, if I may prevent murder by outwardly rejecting God, would I choose not to prevent it?  Is obstinancy and outwardness in religion, more important than saving life?  


Again, in the Christian view of things, life is far more than physical life now.  And though life here and now is very important, if you would be jeopardizing someone's eternal salvation by denying Christ, then no, you shouldn't reject God outwardly in order to save yourself.  

Now having said all of that ... I still concede the possiblity of genuine faith hidden in timid people.  Nicodemus, in scripture was a man in religious authority, who believed in Christ almost secretly.  There were many others mentioned who were like this.  But they too seemed to have their moments of standing up for him, is some way or another.  And so, faith may be tested, and fail, and be tested again.  But Peter's denial was grevious to him, as he wept bitterly about it.  And so will a denial of Christ be grievous to all true Christians.  


Stephen.  
Essorant
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34 posted 04-03-2006 01:35 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

" 'Choosing Death' is a slur of a statement, and it's very misleading.  It makes it sound as if Christian Martyrs merely chose death, (as if it were as simple as that), instead of doing the right thing, and dying as a result."

I don't think it is Stephanos.  We are talking about only two options: deny one's God or die.   Its no different if someone came up to someone on the street with a gun and said it directly: "deny your God or die"  Are you saying that the victim, and especially if he/she is Christian, should answer him otherwise than what the person demands and incite his threat into coming into action for the sake of not outwardly denying God?

How can inciting or provoking a death threat into coming into action by not denying God, be the right thing for anyone?  


"there are also good reasons why he said so.  And I'll get into that in a moment."

What reason is more important than life (including the present life) itself?

"But Jesus said things like this:  "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)

Faith in the biblical sense is not merely inward, but very much connected to outward acts.  I know this kind of concept is hard for us to get as Americans who live in postmodern times.  We are so influenced by the philosophies which lead to individualism and privatized "truth", that such things jar us when we hear them.  But that is what the scripture reveals, concerning God's thoughts on denying Jesus Christ before men. "

I agree.
But stating that one should not deny God, is not the same as saying that one should not suspend one's belief's behavior at all to save his own life.  Suspending an outward expression, or hiding it as a defense, and expressing something else, to save one's life, I believe is justified by the righteousness of saving life, and therefore I also believe it is righteous in the eyes of a true and living God.  

"And God can't know..."

An Omniscient God "can't know"?          


"When "believers" are willing to dishonor and deny the truth of Christ, to save themselves, they are really retracting (in action, not just words) the creed that he is the savior of the body, and that the witness for Christ is important, and that there is a rich reward in the life to come. "

If they are denying Christ in word and outward show, I still don't think they are denying him by choosing to save their life, for the truth of Christ IS life, and I believe that include this life too.  If they do not show and hide their belief in Christ with a lie to save their life, they still confirm their belief in Christ thro the very deed of choosing what preserves their life, by saving life.  I believe choosing what brings one life is God's will, not what brings death.


"So I myself I believe that for a Christian to retract his profession of faith in such times, proves that his faith is either false, or very immature ... because he is proving that temporal life is more important to him than Christ, even to the point of lying. "


If the truth of Christ is Life including this "temporal" life, I think choosing to die retracts it far worse than choosing to lie.  Not only does God give us an after life as a gift, he gives us an before-life as a gift.  Both are gifts, that is, are given to us to keep, not to abandon.


"From a biblical perspective, you certainly haven't "saved" a tyrant from anything substantial, by denying Christ in front of him.  One thing, and one thing only will you confirm in his mind ... that all that stuff about love, loyalty, salvation, resurrection, and eternal life (the very essence of the Christian Faith) is a bunch of hooey. "

If that is true, that would suggest that Christ's death is really what taught stubborn people all the truth.  That his death on earth was really the "teaching" virtue.  I don't think you believe that Stephanos.  Didn't Christ teach thro life?  Doesn't he still?  Since when did he teach people that death or choosing what results in death was the way to try to teach anyone?


"But aren't there limits to what you would do to live? "

I will do anything that may minimize or stop a deadly threat against life, unless that involves striving against the life and honour of a person and doing something that is far more than just trying to stop the threat, and becomes threatening or degrading to the person's life that is threatening or degrading me or someone else.  Life and honour deserve to be defended at all times.  There is no right for me to strive against a person's life because he strives against mine.  But I believe I have a right to strive to stop someone from doing his evil deed.  And I will do that to the utmost of means that are within the safety of his/her life.  

hush
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35 posted 04-03-2006 02:06 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

"According to stricter definitions of suicide, to be considered suicide, the death of the person who commits suicide must be the central component and only intention of the act, not just a certain consequence; hence, suicide bombing is considered a kind of bombing rather than a kind of suicide, and martyrdom usually escapes religious or legal proscription."

From Wikipedia's article on Suicide.

Just thought it was interesting.
Stephanos
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36 posted 04-03-2006 01:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
Its no different if someone came up to someone on the street with a gun and said it directly: "deny your God or die"  Are you saying that the victim, and especially if he/she is Christian, should answer him otherwise than what the person demands and incite his threat into coming into action for the sake of not outwardly denying God?


You're right.  There is no difference.  And that's exactly what I'm saying.  I'm not limiting Christian persecution to 2nd Century Rome.


quote:
What reason is more important than life (including the present life) itself?


Christ is the giver and author of life, setting it's proper boudaries in life as well as death.  Temporal life, as it stands, is not to be mistaken for Christ himself.  And by his own words, commitment to God's truth is more important than temporal life.  You are equating Christ with your own human life ... but again, that's not the historical Christ of the Bible.  Your view of Christ is more akin to the Greek Philosopher's impersonal logos, or many flavors of metaphysical monism, it seems.


quote:
Suspending an outward expression, or hiding it as a defense, and expressing something else, to save one's life, I believe is justified by the righteousness of saving life, and therefore I also believe it is righteous in the eyes of a true and living God.



Again, you are making "the righteousness of saving your own life", the point of justification.  But there are many instances where even most non-Christians believe that saving one's own life would not be righteous.  Therefore, you're only begging the question here.


quote:
An Omniscient God "can't know"?



Maybe it would be better to say that God will not know some things, because they aren't true.  For example, does he know someone is a Christian if they really aren't?


quote:
If they are denying Christ in word and outward show, I still don't think they are denying him by choosing to save their life ...



Usually we would refer to the expressions of a person, when saying something about that person, rather than just resorting to our own ideas.  What did Christ say himself concerning these things?  Have you personally studied them or read them?

quote:
Not only does God give us an after life as a gift, he gives us an before-life as a gift.  Both are gifts, that is, are given to us to keep, not to abandon.



No, not to carelessly abandon.  But certainly not to keep at the awful price of verbal apostasy.  With Jesus, there is definitely no egalitarianism concerning temporal life, and the life to come.  There is a qualitative and quantitative difference.  He compared this life to a seed, which must fall into the ground and die, before the stalk of corn can come up.  Of course not every time is the time for seeds to die ... But according to Jesus, if life can only be retained through such a dishonoring way, then that would be such a time.  This doesn't diminish this present life's value, but rather increases it's significance.  

quote:
If that is true, that would suggest that Christ's death is really what taught stubborn people all the truth.  That his death on earth was really the "teaching" virtue.  I don't think you believe that Stephanos.



Actually I do believe that.  Biblically, Christ's death is central to the Christian doctrine of salvation, as well as an example of faithfulness under persecution ...

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And,

   'If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
      what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?'


So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."
  (1 Peter 4:12-19)


quote:
Didn't Christ teach thro life?  Doesn't he still?



Certainly he does.  Death in it's proper bounds, certainly does not contradict his teachings about life.  Why either/ or?

quote:
Since when did he teach people that death or choosing what results in death was the way to try to teach anyone?



Are you seriously proposing that he didn't teach that it is proper at times to suffer for "righteousness", even to the point of death?  In my next reply, I'll give you some of the many scriptures which address this issue, to show you that he did teach such a thing.

quote:
But I believe I have a right to strive to stop someone from doing his evil deed.



Of course, I do too.  

But we don't have a right to disown Christ before men, and to blaspheme him.  We're never forbidden the efforts and desire to live.  It's usually that way ... There are many trees in the garden which are quite legitimate as means to our ends, with usually just one or two off limits.   Sounds familiar doesn't it?


  
Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (04-04-2006 12:52 PM).]

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