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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Who Would Jesus Torture?


That is one of the most pellucidly stupid questions ever uttered, both the sense of it, and the motive for it, because it betrays one of the most basic flaws in Christian (or religious) thinking. There exists differing things authorized for different groups in the New Testament (this betrays my apriori assumption that the Bible is authoritative in matters of faith and practise.) In church life, there are three groups involved, at least in this case. First you have individuals, then the church (local congregation, then the State (or "Caesar"). Each of these groups has Scripturally authorised abilities and spheres of influence; differing jobs, if you will. In money usage, for example, I as an individual Christian may do as I like with my money. It is mine as long as it is in my possession (and as to Facebook theology "Well, it REALLY all belongs to God....", no. Peter told Ananias that as long as he kept his money, it was his to do with as he wished -Acts 5:1-11). I determine what I do with my money. Once I deliver some to the local church in an offering, different rules apply. Scripture gives example of uses of a congregations offerings, and it appears to be quite narrow, helping true widows and orphans in the congregation, giving aid to indigent believers elsewhere, and the support of evangelist/teachers locally and on "mission" journeys. What I as an individual may do charitably is broader than what the congregation may do.

As to censure, and the "church court", if I see a brother falling into an unhealthy lifestyle, rebelling against the counsels of God's Word, I may speak to him. If he will not listen to me, then I may bring someone else with me to speak with him. If he rejects that, we take him before the church. If he rejects the church's judgment, "
let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" Matthew 18:15-17 As an individual, I may not censure him. The congregation and its leadership has that authority.

But what if he kills someone? Same rules apply. The church, however may not apply Ultimate Sanction, execution. The State alone has that authority. Romans 13 teaches:

Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

The State wields the sword against evildoers; it has that authority. I do not, nor does the church.
(The individual may protect himself and others...that is a different issue). Jesus would not have wielded the Civil Sword; His Kingdom is not of this world. Nor would he have waterboarded, nor let a dog bark close to a prisoner, nor applied heat to soft tissues. Right or wrong, those things are the purview of the State. I am not seeking to argue whether any of these practices are right or proper, or not.

I merely wish to correct the blithering idiocy of that question.


Doom said...

Very solid work. By the way, if they wonder why Christ will never use torture? Explain to them, that in it's time in the last war, He won't bother. He will have no need. He will know who is evil and will slay them all, in a moment, with a word(s). The streets will run red with blood, from His word.

The difference between men who attempt to do what is right, and even angels bearing God's will and purpose, is that we can't know. We have only the tools of flesh or spirit, and will, to do good... God's work. Christ does know, as He has and will know goodness. Instead of trying, as we, humbly, fumblingly, do, He won't hurt, or suss, or ask, He will say and they will die.

Compare torture to death and you may see that... torture is lesser, but that even death is not evil. Christ can't sin. Probably on earth (if I debate that, a bit, even to my Church's teaching... meaning, I think He had to struggle with sin in truth, His remaining sinless wasn't guaranteed but a hard choice). But He definitely can't sin now.

Do not suffer fools. Their hearts really aren't in the right place. They often remind me of the crowd who chose Barnabas. Wicked and knowingly so. Wine was just an insult on injury, not the cause. So it was, so it is.

The Aardvark said...

Thanks. Things make me cranky.

The thing is, the stuff that we are whinging about wouldn't pass muster AS torture, not to the real experts, the Torquemadas, the Viet Cong, the Japanese in Nanking....

Paul says that Jesus was tempted in ALL points as we are, yet without sin, so yes, he was tested sore, and passed!

Doom said...

Never worry. If it comes to it, I can make even Satan talk. While a creature of the dark, brought to the light, I know their dark ways far better than they do. They are cowards, trust me. A bastard of many things. Nothing like being a shadow of the light. This is a good thing. Don't trust me, lay your faith only on the One, leave the rest to those who... hmmm... understand. We may pay a price, but will do it for the L(l)amb(s). God allowed me to see how much He loves you, through His eyes.

Don't know why God called, but I do know He knows what He called. Fangs, and hunger, and talons, and all. You deal with the humans, I'll handle the others. Amen.

It isn't our deeds, but our faith, that will... make it all work, personally. His work just works through us, in faith. Or we try to work against what will happen anyway, to our damnation. Funny? I really might become no more for something that was natively alien to me... His will. But after seeing Truth, and his love of lambs, I can't choose otherwise. Celibate, until marriage or death... me! Among other things. Ha! ;)

Jay! said...

I have mixed feelings about torture. I'm against it but, like it as not, when a people are at war ... well ...

Yet I have a problem with state power possibly getting out of hand.

Had a run in with a cop wanna-be who argued Romans 13 as the "divine right of kings" and that one should submit to the state no matter how bad.

His reasoning was that Romans was written in the time of Nero and thus was a part of his non-reasoning.

Looking it up, I found Paul wrote
Romans a few years BEFORE Nero went off the deep end. I doubt Romans would have been written as such during the time Nero was into wholesale torture and arena games with the martyrs.

To which all I have to say to such wanna-bes' and statists:

"You sir ... are a COP!" - Bela Lugosi in, Scared To Death.