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Author Topic: Your F Score?  (Read 49396 times)

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #90 on: April 03, 2011, 03:50:46 PM »
I should also mention that the law is there to restrain the wickedness of those who don't have God's law written on their hearts.

And there is quite a bit in the Bible about the government's enforcing morality, in the first five books.  If they're not relevant, then why bother including them in the Bible?
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #91 on: April 03, 2011, 04:57:20 PM »
I should also mention that the law is there to restrain the wickedness of those who don't have God's law written on their hearts.
"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." - Romans 8:7-8

In the context of actually restraining wickedness and being an enforced code of conduct, the law was only given to Israel, God's people, to set them apart from pagans who didn't have the law. In a wider context, the law was given to all to act basically like Agent Cool Blue mouthwash -- it doesn't clean your mouth, it dyes the gunk that's already on your teeth blue so you can see how gunky your teeth are. The law exists to show us that we can't save ourselves.

"Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 5:20-21 (see also Romans 7)

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do." - Romans 8:3

"Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory." - II Corinthians 3:7-11

And let's not forget "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it" (James 2:10). Hard to run a government on a principle like that.

The law had a governmental aspect in the past for a season, but it is fundamentally soteriological (about salvation), pointing to the new covenant (Luke 24:44-47 and Romans 3:21ff, for starters).

And there is quite a bit in the Bible about the government's enforcing morality, in the first five books.  If they're not relevant, then why bother including them in the Bible?
They were applicable in the old covenant. The old covenant is relevant to our understanding of the new covenant.

The Bible also has God ordering Noah to build an ark. Does that mean we should all build arks? All of the Bible is relevant to us today and should be read and understood, but not all of it directly applies to us today.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #92 on: April 03, 2011, 05:32:27 PM »
"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." - Romans 8:7-8

In the context of actually restraining wickedness and being an enforced code of conduct, the law was only given to Israel, God's people, to set them apart from pagans who didn't have the law. In a wider context, the law was given to all to act basically like Agent Cool Blue mouthwash -- it doesn't clean your mouth, it dyes the gunk that's already on your teeth blue so you can see how gunky your teeth are. The law exists to show us that we can't save ourselves.
The purpose doesn't justify people's sin, though, and people aren't excused from following the rules just because they can't do it perfectly.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #93 on: April 03, 2011, 05:49:16 PM »
The purpose doesn't justify people's sin, though, and people aren't excused from following the rules just because they can't do it perfectly.
We're not in disagreement on that. We're disagreeing on whether it's the government's job to deal with sin as defined by the Bible.

Biblically, I see no justification for putting the government in God's place, or setting up an old covenant theocracy in 2011. The Old Testament depicts a theocratic government under the old covenant, which has been entirely overruled by the new covenant. In the New Testament, the new covenant is never spoken of in a governmental context, only in spiritual terms ("My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." - John 18:36).

Just because something is a good thing to do doesn't mean the government should do it.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #94 on: April 03, 2011, 05:55:41 PM »
Then, again, what is the purpose of the government?

Protecting people's rights is a worthy goal, but the only reasons to do so are moral ones.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #95 on: April 03, 2011, 06:01:00 PM »
Your premise is that without God, there is ultimately no reason to do anything other than preserve one's own life. Very few people actually act that way, largely due to common grace, but even if they all did, government could still exist:

I don't want to die. Other people don't want to die. We agree together to set up a government to stop people from killing us (even if none of us on our own actually cares about people killing the plural "us" and each one is only signing up to save himself). The people we put in the government keep us from getting killed so they don't lose their job.

It's possible to get the very basics of a government set up in a highly pragmatic, almost completely amoral and nihilistic setting, assuming only that the average person desires his or her own security. I wouldn't want to go to that extreme, of course, but it is possible.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 06:11:26 PM by CrossEyed7 »
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2011, 06:33:00 PM »
But even in that context, the government has no obligation to protect anyone's rights short of protecting the people themselves from direct physical danger.  If not having its citizens get killed were the driving force behind government, then a totalitarian structure (or other such form of government which disregards many or even most of the rights of its people) would be perfectly acceptable.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #97 on: April 03, 2011, 07:28:25 PM »
And that would be true, if all non-Christians were total nihilists. But regardless of whether nihilism is the only consistent philosophy for a non-Christian, it's not the one most non-Christians subscribe to. Most non-Christians still have consciences. Maybe they're being logically inconsistent by doing so, maybe not, but they do.

But let's not get off on a tangent. The topic of the debate is whether the Bible commands modern governments to enforce morality, not whether they would be philosophically obligated to in a hypothetical godless universe. Under the old covenant, the law was a code of conduct for one specific nation. Under the new covenant, the law is a revealer of sins which then gives way to forgiveness (for believers). Where does the Bible say anything about Christians using the Levitical law to set up an earthly government to rule over Christians and non-Christians alike?

(Not to mention the fact that you're probably breaking one of those commandments right now by wearing two kinds of fabric.)
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #98 on: April 03, 2011, 07:54:48 PM »
But let's not get off on a tangent. The topic of the debate is whether the Bible commands modern governments to enforce morality, not whether they would be philosophically obligated to in a hypothetical godless universe. Under the old covenant, the law was a code of conduct for one specific nation. Under the new covenant, the law is a revealer of sins which then gives way to forgiveness (for believers). Where does the Bible say anything about Christians using the Levitical law to set up an earthly government to rule over Christians and non-Christians alike?
Quote from: Romans 13
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

(Not to mention the fact that you're probably breaking one of those commandments right now by wearing two kinds of fabric.)
I'm not breaking a commandment, though.  Things like "don't wear two kinds of fabric" and "don't cook a young goat in its mother's milk" are meant to show wisdom and have underlying principles, rather than needing to be interpreted as literally as things like the ten commandments.  Again, ceremonial ordinances like that are the ones that were rendered unnecessary by Jesus.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #99 on: April 03, 2011, 08:04:14 PM »
Romans 13 is addressed to subjects of governments. Specifically, it was addressed to people ruled by the Roman Empire, which wasn't exactly a Christian nation. I actually considered using it in my argument. You're arguing against the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (in a sense, the ruling authorities of America) on a matter of political rather than spiritual significance.

Romans 13 isn't written as a guide to politicians, and it certainly doesn't tell the Christians it's addressed to to go and take over the government and replace existing laws with old covenant law.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #100 on: April 03, 2011, 08:10:18 PM »
Romans 13 is addressed to subjects of governments. Specifically, it was addressed to people ruled by the Roman Empire, which wasn't exactly a Christian nation.
America isn't exactly a bastion of the Christian faith, either, anymore.  I'm not sure what your point here is.

Romans 13 isn't written as a guide to politicians, and it certainly doesn't tell the Christians it's addressed to to go and take over the government and replace existing laws with old covenant law.
Old covenant law... as opposed to...?
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #101 on: April 03, 2011, 08:23:53 PM »
Old covenant law as opposed to new covenant grace.

The point is, Romans 13 tells Christians to be subject to the government, whatever it is.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #102 on: April 03, 2011, 08:29:48 PM »
I'm confused as to what you think new covenant grace is.  How does that work in reality?  Can we just do whatever the heck we want?  That can't be right, since Jesus and the New Testament authors spent quite a while condemning certain acts in no uncertain terms.  What happens when someone sins?

Romans 13 also implies that the government is there for a reason.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #103 on: April 03, 2011, 09:02:37 PM »
I'm confused as to what you think new covenant grace is.  How does that work in reality?  Can we just do whatever the heck we want?  That can't be right, since Jesus and the New Testament authors spent quite a while condemning certain acts in no uncertain terms.  What happens when someone sins?
When a believer sins, they do what they need to do to repair any damages and reconcile any relationships, and they may be disciplined by their church body, but they're forgiven by God for that sin just like all the others (But, "What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification." Romans 6:15-19).

When an unbeliever sins, they don't get disciplined by the church, because they're not in a church, and it's not like it's the first time they've sinned, so it's nothing new. The New Testament doesn't give any guidelines for us punishing people for sins beyond church discipline. And unlike in the Old Testament, the government is not the church. Under the old covenant, God set His people apart visibly as a physical nation. Under the new covenant, God sets His people apart on the inside, making external nationalities and boundaries meaningless. The kingdom is spiritual now.

There is no Biblical precedent for a government that rules believers and unbelievers alike under the Levitical code. Israel was God's chosen people. Today, God's chosen people are not a nation, but a mixed, scattered group of people held together by a belief.

You couldn't run a government of unbelievers under the Levitical law (especially if you include James 2:10). Every single person is guilty and deserving of eternal punishment. That's the whole point of the law. You can't run a human government where it's impossible to abide by the laws.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #104 on: April 03, 2011, 10:58:26 PM »
I hate this thread.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

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