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Sam against the Council of Trent
Part III


James,

James, those were some rotten priests and they should've been horsewhipped. Do you know whatever happened to them?

As for you religious position on things, suffice to say, there's a lot in there that I'm working through in my own research and other things that I'll push back against. (However, given that we're a Heathen and a Christian, I reckon I should've expected that.) In the interest of keeping this conversation from spiraling out into a book of it's own, I will pass along something of note concerning the early Church and violence that I found the other day for the further exploration of this topic.

While apparently some of the Church Fathers like Tertulian and Origen (who from what it sounds like, leaned outside of the norm of Christian thought at the time, and lived in peaceful parts of the empire) were against violence in all cases and have become the basis for many to support the Pacifist narrative of the past hundred years or so, turns out this was far from unanimous. In addition to the aforementioned scripture, contemporary archaeology and research has found soldiers' gravestones and churches in forts from the 2nd Century, which are among the earliest from the era. The author closes with a line I like that seems to speak to my initial query:

There was no golden age of a pacifist church avoiding the worldly entanglements of politics, only to trade its soul to Constantine for earthly power. Instead, as Peter Leithart observes, “the story of the church and war is ambiguity before Constantine, ambiguity after, and ambiguity right to the present.” The pacifists are reaching back for a mythical past that never existed. There has always been disagreement on the issues of war and the legitimacy of the state, and there likely always will be so long as the world breeds overreaching governments and discontented citizens.

Are you doing any better up there, James?

Y'all take care out there,

Sam

Read James response at the link below:

https://jameslafond.blogspot.com/2019/05/sam-vs-council-of-trent-part-iii.html

Our Captain: A Sickness of the Heart-Part Two: The Expedition Of Juan De Grijalva

https://www.amazon.com/Our-Captain-Sickness-Heart-Part-Expedition/dp/1530122376/ref=sr_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511037944&sr=1-20&refinements=p_27%3AJames+LaFond

Add Comment
Bryce SharperMay 28, 2019 12:40 AM UTC

"Instead, as Peter Leithart observes, “the story of the church and war is ambiguity before Constantine, ambiguity after, and ambiguity right to the present.” The pacifists are reaching back for a mythical past that never existed. There has always been disagreement on the issues of war and the legitimacy of the state, and there likely always will be so long as the world breeds overreaching governments and discontented citizens."

Sam has intertwined several things which are actually separate questions. Are Christians pacifists? No. They have historically been skeptical about fighting for government authorities though Roman soldiers and a proconsul were some of the first gentiles converted. Jesus never told them to stop fighting. He told them to stop stealing and be content with their pay. The sixth commandment demands lawful self defense and defense of others and much as it prevents murder.

The second question is, "Can Christians be involved in politics?" Yes. Should they? It depends. Often, it's impossible not to be.

http://www.apuritansmind.com/westminster-standards/chapter-23/

I'd weigh what Origen and Tertullian said against their circumstances. Christianity was not legalized until Constantine and it was a minority religion to that point. Fighting with earthly weapons in the first century against Roman oppression would've been completely pointless, much like the Israelites trying to rebel while in exile. The Reformation, English, and American Revolutions were a completely different story.

Be wary of Leithart. He may be right about some things but is wrong about the very basics:

https://www.theaquilareport.com/federal-vision-peter-leithart-the-reality-of-doctrinal-standards-in-the-pca/