Re: Church-State -- some history

From: Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net>
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 20:00:52 EDT

[snip]

>>>No nation-state on earth really does today. All are in rebellion against
>>>Christ. Consequently, the Enlightenment ideals of fraternity, equality,
>>>
>>>
>etc.
>
>
>>>have no stable social base, as is quickly becoming evident in N.
>>>
>>>
>America.
>
>
>>>The kingdom to which we belong, though not visibly established yet on
>>>
>>>
>earth,
>
>
>>>is our norm for good government and is the standard gainst which the
>>>existing ones are measured and fall short.
>>>
>>>
>>Let me change just a few words: "All nation-states but ours are in
>>rebellion against Allah. Consequently, the Western ideals of fraternity,
>>equality, democracy and capitalism have no stable social base, as is
>>
>>
>quickly
>
>
>>becoming evident in Satanic America. Allah's kingdom to which we belong,
>>though not visibly established yet on earth, is our norm for good
>>
>>
>government
>
>
>>and is the true standard against which the existing ones are measured and
>>fall short." This doesn't sound nearly as convincing when it comes from
>>another mouth, does it?
>>
>>
>
>I would expect Muslims to say something like that, and if Allah were the
>true God, then they would be correct in affirming that position. But as
>Christians, we are convinced that Christ is Lord, though the implications of
>that simple creed are often in need of being made explicit.
>
>
So let me get this straight, you would as a Christian worship Christ the
Son of God, thereby not worshiping in error the one who sent him, the
one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob named by Muslims and
Jews? Forgive me if I misunderstood you, but does that not present a
dilemma? If Jesus is distinguishable from the God of Abraham, it would
seem then that there is a problem with having "no other gods before me"
(look carefully at the many ways Jesus distinguishes himself from his
heavenly father in the red-letter texts of the NT). On the other hand,
if you find Jesus and God the Father to be one and the same, then there
is a problem with distinguishing the Christian God from Allah or YHVH,
the God whom all three religions claim to have spoken to Abraham, our
progenitor in one way or another. I would go further and say that this
is something we should not be careless about because a declaration like
"your god is not mine" either "disses" a person or people who seeks in
honesty after the one true god (or perhaps we impugn their integrity!?),
or it "disses" the one they seek (or both).

I know this raises doctrinal issues. But here is a thought experiment.
God stands on a mountain top, fully obscured by clouds. He hears the
voices of three children from below, all raising their voices (in
different languages), speaking words of recognition, honor, and petition
in a heart-felt dead-serious quest for relationship with the
dimly-perceived divine presence they all register to some degree. Each
petitioner affirms that there is only one true God, and that he is the
creator of all that is, and is in fact the God who has spoke to their
ancestors in times past.

Now, God is the only one who now knows that the three share the same
great great grandfather, who raised his voice in much the same way and
with the same intent in his own time. In addition to the differences in
the children's languages and names for things, God notes differences in
their understandings of himself and of his actions past and present, as
well as differences in their families' preserved written and oral record
of experiences and speculations about the divine. There are also
differences in their families' creeds and practices as they seek to
relate to him and find better understanding of his purpose in them and
for them. Though the languages they speak distance the children from one
another, God understands their petitions perfectly because language is
something needed only by the children and their kind. God notes with
disappointment, however, that the children sometimes stand with their
hands atop the fences that separate them, accusing one another of
seeking in error some God other than he who spoke to their own
ancestors, none realizing that they all are kin.

How shall God choose from among the three to respond to?

I think we should be very careful about this "your god is not my God"
business, particularly in the case where we share Abrahamic roots. But
the principle is probably extensible as well.

....or so it seemeth to me. - JimA
Received on Fri May 28 20:17:11 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri May 28 2004 - 20:17:12 EDT