Re: Do non-U.S. Christians say "God Bless America?" (fwd)

Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 12:23:45 EDT

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    In a message dated 5/28/03 10:40:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

    > > From:
    > >
    > > If nationalism becomes overzealous we assume a mercenary army, don't
    > > we. That's one of the structural weaknesses that brought Rome down --
    > > a mercenary army and uncontrolled importation of slaves to work the
    > > massive latifundium that replaced the small farms of the Roman
    > > legionnaire and centralized agriculture in these large slave owning
    > > estates. The empire is raised, but on a very temporary foundation.
    > >
    > Rich:
    > The example of Rome is telling (and, to the degree you reflect
    > Christian sentiment, one that should make the rest of the world
    > nervous---"Trust us. Like the Romans of old we have good intentions").
    > Are you suggesting that Christians are called to be in the business of
    > building and maintaining empire? That is what the post seems to
    > imply. Remarkably, what you focus on is not how Rome treated its
    > citizens (not to mention those it conquered), and its low regard for
    > life, but that it did not succeed because it was not nationalistic
    > enough and the people weren't willing to serve in the military. Is it
    > possible that Jesus had intended a vision different from this for his
    > church?

    I'm suggesting that Christians wherever they build the kingdom of God, build
    it without limit. It is not confined to philosophy or government but permeates
    I didn't say anything about how Rome treated its citizens. I mentioned
    changes that Gibbon remarks helped bring Rome down, changes which we are embracing.
    You say the people weren't willing to serve in the military, That's because
    the roman small farmer who had been the traditional legionairre no longer
    existed, he was either extinct or driven to the corn dole in the cities after having
    lost his farm to the great land owners and their latifundium. He was replaced
    by slaves. Slaves don't have a loyalty to the land that enslaved them. Be
    careful characterizing Rome. rome was not evil, just capable. Later Rome was
    "evil." All severely centralized empires degenerate (as we must with the growth of
    the federal government and the stationing of our armies far from home while
    our borders are undefended).
    If all nations of the world dropped their borders, who would rule? The people
    who have never respected borders in the first place, because they are already
    organized to effect control beyond borders. What then happens is that
    indigenous peoples are at the mercy of a government they cannot impact because it is
    beyond borders and questions of citizenship.

    Jesus didn't need to envision ANY social organizations. Jesus demonstrated
    the self sacrifice which if embraced guarantees ideal social organization from
    individual hearts guided by Him.


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