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

Date: Fri May 30 2003 - 08:27:35 EDT

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    In a message dated 5/27/03 11:59:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

    > While on the subject of being faithful to Romans 13, it does seem
    > ironic that the instruction to pray for the emporer comes in the
    > context of forbidding revolution (He who rebels against the authority
    > is rebelling against what God has instituted, Rom. 13.2). It seems
    > that it is difficult to translate Paul's instruction to first century
    > Christians into our own. Revolution was evidently a possibility to
    > them. They lived in a world that, perhaps apart from Israel, knew
    > nothing equivalent to the modern nationalism that we have

    Paul's asia minor was subject to great disintegration due to the pressures of
    the Parthians to the east. the eastern countries took men as prisoners and
    made them mercenaries. Roman Law was a great protection for those city states
    liable to attack. Why would the early Christians in a city like antioch,
    regularly destroyed, want to revolt against the Romans and the stability of Roman
    law? In fact, constantine's building of many churches and legalizing
    Christianity just reinforced the new system of taxation instituted by diocletian who
    had broken tax districts up into "dioceses." Following Armenia's example and
    legalizing Christianity, Constantine supported his most staunch ally in the area
    near the beginning of the Silk Road, Armenia and solidified the populace,
    increasingly Christian, in the eastern empire solidifying the empire's
    southeastern borders.

    The ancient world did not know nationalism, whose excesses pale into
    insignificance when contrasted with tribalism. In Asia Minor it was the Jews and the
    Greeks who hated Christians as the fledging movement grew. Of course, they
    would. Earlier, just prior to roman rule, in the revolt of the machabees against
    antiochus epiphanes, conservative Jews had preferred Egyptian government ruled
    by the Greeks and Macedonians (tribal rule over an indigenous peasant) rather
    than the syncretist Hellenism of the Seleucids which threatened their ethnic
    "The Christians are attacked by the Jews as if they were men of a different
    race, and are persecuted by the Greeks..." Justinus (ad Diognetum c.5 in
    Harvard classics).
    Christianity was a universal religion, as it grew it united the underclasses
    into a cohesive social force. In a tribal milieu, embracing and organizing the
    masses disenfranchises elite ethnic groups. and so the people whose niches
    were threatened 'naturally' hated Christians.


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