HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 2

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 1509 until his death. Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. (from here)

In part 1 of this series, HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 1, we introduced the topic (Since commenters have had a lot to do with this series of posts, when I say “we” I mean exactly that.).

What is the topic? Romans 13:1-7. In Romans 13:1-7 the Apostle Paul tells us that the authorities who govern us are appointed by God. Therefore, we should make ourselves subject to the governing authorities, but that raises this question:

How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?

Here is the problem.

Romans 13:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

If we going to submit to the governing authorities, we have to know just who the governing authorities might be. Consider what insanitybytes22 had to say about the topic.

insanitybytes22

Is always crystal clear who God has appointed as the governing authorities? Do we always want to be subject to the governing authorities. Have we never heard of a civil war? Of course, we have. In the West, Kings once claimed to rule by divine right, but we no longer take such claims seriously. Yet many once took the claim quite seriously. Consider this definition.

Divine right of kings (reference.com)

According to the divine right theory, any attempt to overthrow the king, limit his powers or go against his will in any way was sacrilege, as it was also an act against God himself. This allowed kings freedom to do whatever they wanted, because only God was able to judge a king. A French political philosopher named Jean Bodin first proposed this theory in the 16th century.

One of the first proponents of the divine right of kings was King James I. Originally known as James VI of Scotland, King James I held the three crowns of Scotland, Ireland and England in the early 17th century. During his reign he sponsored the Bible translation that bears his name, the Authorized King James Version. He wrote a treatise called “The True Law of Free Monarchies,” in which he argued that kings were superior to other men and had royal prerogative to impose laws as they saw fit. Across the English Channel, the French King Louis XIV was also a strong advocate of the divine right theory. By the late 18th century, with the American and French revolutions, support for the theory weakened, and by the beginning of the 20th century, the theory was defunct.

Over time the criteria we use to justify authority changes. When peasants could not read, and the priests told them that kings had the divine right to rule, that made the rule of kings easier to accept. When peasants learned to read, they could not discover where in the Bible God had given their kings the right to rule. So that theory slowly declined in favor.

What theory do we use to justify the powers we give to authorities who govern us? Do we still believe God appoints our governing authorities? Those of us who are Christians believe in the sovereignty of God, but do any of us think one of God’s appointed prophets anoints each of our rulers? No.

When we look at the history of man, what stands out? Warfare. Men have stood up an proclaimed their right to rule, and with the force of arms they have striven with each other for dominance. And each has offered up some excuse for the violence of their conduct. Some have called upon their gods. Others have proclaimed everyone but their own people inferior. Some have offered complex ideologies such as Nazism and Communism. Only the great Democracies have tended to renounce warfare, claiming to follow the Rule of Law.

Authority (plato.stanford.edu) (an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) addresses when political authority is legitimate. The long discussion suggests the subject is more complex than we might at first think. Consider how section 1 begins.

Let us start with the distinctions between political authority as a normative notion (or morally legitimate authority) and political authority as a non-normative notion (or de facto authority) and between political authority in either of these senses and political power. To say that a state has authority in the normative sense is to say something normative about the relationship between the state and its subjects. This is the relationship that we will concentrate on in what follows. (from here)

What is normative? That depends upon the expectations of the people in a particular country. An Islamic theocracy might be acceptable to the people of a Muslim country, for example. On the hand,  the people of the West have replaced monarchy, once acceptable in the West, with more democratic rule.

What is de facto authority? We have a de facto authority when the ruler governs in fact or in actuality, regardless of what others consider the morally legitimate authority. Note that a few philosophers consider the distinction between morally legitimate and de facto authority a distinction without a difference.

Also, the distinction between de facto and morally legitimate authority is not universally accepted or at least it is not accepted that the distinction makes a difference. Thomas Hobbes insists that any entity capable of performing the function of de facto authority is necessarily justified and deserves the obedience of the de facto subjects (Hobbes 1668). But most have argued that there is an important distinction between de facto authority and legitimate authority. (from here)

When we consider the issues related to Romans 13:1, does it make any difference whether the governing authorities are a  morally legitimate or de facto authority?

To grasp the difficulty of the problems involved, let’s consider some real world issues from today and from the past.

The Rivalry Between Democrats and Republicans

Since  Lander7 brought this up, and it is the issue that got this series start, here is a quote.

Once the leader is in place there should be no more resistance only support per what God stated. There is a time to petition God (Prayer, voting) and then there is a time to obey and support.

When I see the negative comments about Democrats or Republicans I see the evil division that is in fact “disobedience”, rather than cooperation and peace as stated in the Bible.

I also clearly stated that we are judged by God so we do have responsibility with the government. The clear fact that it is currently not working in a peaceful way is our fault. (from here)

Of course, there is a problem. Generally, when there is a dispute, most people see the dispute as the other guy’s fault. Right now, for example, the news media and Liberal Democrats (Most of the members of news media are Liberal Democrats.) are trying to blame President Trump for separating the families of illegal immigrants (parents from their children), but Trump is just trying to enforce laws that go back to the administration of George W. Bush. These laws and their lax enforcement are to blame. What is most comical (or disgusting, depends on your sense of humor) about this dispute is that the vast majority of illegal immigrant children seem to be arriving at the border without their parents.

With a little investigation, the dispute becomes quite ridiculous. When an American citizen breaks the law, do we send his or her children to prison with him or her too? No? Then why do advocates for open borders insist we should treat illegal immigrant lawbreakers better than our own citizens? Because Liberal Democrats love children? When these same people insist taxpayers pay for abortions?

Many think the argument over separating families at the borders obviously contrived. Why? They think the news media wants to divert the public from the investigation of corruption in the DOJ and the FBI that occurred during the administration of Barack Obama.

The severity of the rivalry between Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats is the issue of our day. So we should focus on this, but we should probably also consider what we can learn from the past and the Bible.

The American Revolution

Because the Founders of this nation did not take idea of rebellion against the governing authorities lightly, they wrote the Declaration of Independence. Did they have Romans 13:1-7 in mind? Perhaps.

The American Civil War 

When we consider the American Revolution with respect to the American Civil War, we have a study in contrasts. Both were civil wars. Both were quite bloody. Today we consider the rebels who won the American Revolution fighters for a good cause and the rebels who lost the American Revolution fighters for a despicable cause. What is not obvious is whether rebels in the American Revolution violated Romans 13:1-7 and the rebels in the American Civil War did not.

In 1776, the British Crown clearly ruled the Thirteen American colonies. Did the rebels violate Biblical teachings when they rebelled? In 1861 the South rebelled against Union. Our Federal government is a creation of the States. Whether slavery was evil or not, did the States still retain the right to secede?

The Assassination Attempt on Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler lead Germany. His government was the de facto if not the legitimate governing authority. At what point was it permissible to rebel against Hitler?

History records numerous attempts to assassinate Hitler. The last involved a respected man of God, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Was Bonhoeffer wrong to participate in the plot?

Note 

Some of the comments to two previous posts are relevant to the issues raised here.

When you comment on this post, please feel free to reflect upon and borrow from those comments.

Additional References

Divine right of kings (definitions.net)

Divine right of kings and Legitimacy (political) (en.wikipedia.org)

Divine right of kings and Authority (britannica.com)

Authority (plato.stanford.edu)

Jean Bodin (c. 1529—1596) (iep.utm.edua)

A Right to Rule? (e3ne.org)

Adolf Hitler (en.wikipedia.org)

Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer Wrong to Plot Against Hitler’s Life? (desiringgod.org)

 

318 thoughts on “HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 2

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  1. “ If men were angels we would not need a government.”

    Tom, Actually, I don’t agree with truth of that hypothetical. Instead, if the fallen and finite world was unchanged, and we were still the same limited creatures, except that we obeyed God with the perfection of an angel, I propose that we would actually have more government than ever.

    You fear government because you fear the corruption in men. Corruption comes from selfishness. The beauty of regulated capitalism is that it harnesses that selfishness to lower prices and to create value for everyone.

    If people maintained their differences in skill, talent strength, etc., but acted unselfishly toward each other and as a community, capitalism would be unnecessary and leadership through government would be more vital than ever so as to provide necessary goods and services and efficiently divide labor. I propose that in this hypothetical government would do everything.

    The moral of that story is that government is no more or less evil than any other organizing systemic. It is our selfishness that must be overcome, constantly reformed against and diminished, not government.

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      1. @Tsalmon

        Maintaining sovereignty requires the application of force. Good government uses force justly.

        When government is limited only to those functions required to protect our God-given rights, we have the greatest opportunity for a just government. Don’t we argue enough about how much government we need to protect ourselves from each other? Then consider how much more ferocious our arguments must inevitably become as we expand the use of government force

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        1. “When government is limited only to those functions required to protect our God-given rights, we have the greatest opportunity for a just government.”

          Tour angels hypothetical is illuminating because it shows why we need government to exert force, but it ignores all the reasons why even angels would need government. Therefore, let’s unpack your statement above.

          1. Please specify what rights are God given, and provide where God actually scriptually gave us each of those rights so that we can know exactly what government must be limited to. Obviously if God gave us millions of rights, then even your limited government would have to be enormous to arbitrate and enforce them all. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is not a good list because, to my knowledge, that basically came from Locke, not God, and because the list is too nebulous to be workable.

          2. Can you seriously see no need to work together as a community as an aspect of government outside of rights protection? Having worked in county government for a short while, I can think of many more that most Americans would want.

          3. Your statement above is in the logical form of an A therefore B proposition. If government is limited to A (rights protection then we will have B (a more just government). Other than platitudes, what actual proof can you provide that A leads to B? Even if A does lead to B, does A exclusively lead to B as your statement implies, or could other things also lead to B. For example, the statement, If we had A (rights protection) and C (greater equality) and D (less corruption) therefore we would have B (more just government). Looking at our angel hypothetical, it would seem that more virtue leads to more just government and the size and scope of government may relate to efficiency, but not justice (although I grant you that unnecessary inefficiency can be its own form of injustice).

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    1. Tsalmon

      You misunderstand the definition of government. If men were angels, no one would have to be forced to do either the right thing or stopped with forced from doing the wrong thing. So no government would be needed. Would there be plenty of voluntary associations? Yes, but that is not government. Government is force.

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      1. Certainly force or coercion is one important aspect of the larger definition if government, but most governing in a democracy is already voluntary in nature. No one forces you to vote or run for office. Most people don’t have to be forced to honor the policy decisions of their representatives.

        Like our government now, our hypothetical angel society would still have to have leadership, policy creation, decision making, laws, and dispute resolution, even if the disputes were amicable and no one needed to be forced to abide by the laws. In other words, we would still need government even if that government is, as you say, in a more voluntary form of organization. On the other hand, if people were completely unselfish like angels, why would we need private enterprise? Why would we need to have charitable organization if government could coordinate sharing?

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        1. @Tsalmon

          What characteristic marks your angel society? Unselfishness? When Socialists start talking about government, why is that the only virtue that matters? When we speak of the character of angels, we need to think more about the virtues we lack.

          Anyway, we have voluntary associations in this country, not voluntary governments. They are extremely different in substance if not in form.

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          1. “When Socialists start talking about government, why is that the only virtue that matters? When we speak of the character of angels, we need to think more about the virtues we lack.”

            Far enough. What Socialists? What virtues can you name that do not essentially derive from unselfishness? What vices can you name that do no essentially derive from selfishness?

            “Anyway, we have voluntary associations in this country, not voluntary governments. They are extremely different in substance if not in form.”

            Other than their voluntary nature and the lack of physical or financial coercion, what are these substantive differences? Can you be more specific?

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          2. @tsalmon

            The basic Christian virtues are faith, hope, and charity (agape love). The Bible also speaks of moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude as the fruits of Wisdom. Greek philosophers recommended temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage.

            The bible identifies the essential vice as “pride”. Pride heads the list of the seven deadly sins. The others are: greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.

            The list of the virtues that the seven deadly sins oppose are: humility, charity, chastity, kindness, temperance, patience, and diligence. We exhibit “unselfishness” when we exhibit such virtues. Considerable humility, I think, is required for the selflessness required to be unselfish. At the very least when we take money out of our billfold and give it to a charity, we have to put someone else’s needs before our own wants.

            Consider that calling someone unselfish is just another way of saying that they are generous or charitable. Yet the Socialist carefully and deliberately uses the word “unselfishness”. We are supposed to pay our taxes because we are unselfish, but not generous or charitable? Why?

            When our political opponents don’t do what we want them to do, does bludgeoning our opponents with the charge of “selfishness” exhibit humility? Not likely, but that seems to be the primary use that too many politicians have for the virtue of “unselfishness”. Yet what does being either spendthrift or generous with other people’s money actually have to do with “unselfishness”?

            Other than their voluntary nature and the lack of physical or financial coercion, what are these substantive differences? Can you be more specific?

            That’s a joke. Right?

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        2. Put more simply, the reason we need government to have force is because people are not angels, but we would still need government. And a better truism would be “If people were angels, then we would not need private enterprise and we would not need charities”.

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          1. Definition of government

            1 : the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control
            2 obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion
            3 a : the office, authority, or function of governing
            b obsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office
            4 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule
            5 a : the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it She works for the federal government.
            b : the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out
            6 : the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization: such as
            a : the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency The government was slow to react to the crisis.
            b capitalized : the executive branch of the U.S. federal government
            c capitalized : a small group of persons holding simultaneously the principal political executive offices of a nation or other political unit and being responsible for the direction and supervision of public affairs: (1) : such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry (2) : administration

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          2. Certainly “authority” implies coercion, but “administration” implies cooperation and direction.

            Look at it this way. Our angel society may not require force, but they still would require direction (leadership) and administration. Because angels would be unselfish, they would not be motivated by the pecuniary incentives that drive capitalism, and lacking that “unseen hand”, they would require other administration

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          3. @tsalmon

            Because angels would be unselfish, they would not be motivated by the pecuniary incentives that drive capitalism, and lacking that “unseen hand”, they would require other administration.

            Here is a case where I suspect conventional wisdom is dead wrong. I don’t think all the people who run their own businesses are motivated strictly by greed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do our best. Sometimes that will involve working for someone else. Sometimes that will involve working for ourselves.

            If men were angels, would money disappear? Would Capitalism be eliminated? No to both questions. Your Socialist top-down command economy administrative model would not work for the same reason it does not work now. Capitalism would provide a more efficient mechanism for delegating decision-making. Moreover, the people who produce the wealth would still have the moral right and obligation to decide whether they want to keep it, sell it, or give it away.

            We already have private charities. These would provide administrative bodies that would helpful in redistributing wealth, but in a society where honesty is prized, not much administration is actually required. We could assume the truthfulness of the claims.

            Think.
            1. Joe’s house is flood. He calls whatever passes for the local House of Charity. Help!
            2. An assessor arrives just to help Joe figure out what he needs. Then the assessor posts Joe’s list on the site’s Internet website and organizes volunteer workers and charitable donations from the local community. Various Capitalists (the people with skills and money) volunteer their time and goods to help Joe and family through a difficult time.
            — Joe’s employer provides him time off to get straighten out the mess.
            — A hotel provides temporary lodging at a discount.
            — A contractor works with Joe to repair his home and prevent future flooding.
            — A food bank does its part.
            — And so forth.
            In other words, the Local House of Charity just guides the process. Capitalists volunteer their time, skills, and money to get the job done. People with angelic character just give of themselves more joyfully.

            Charity, by the way, is not an invention of government. It is an invention of the heart.

            What about a bigger disaster? Don’t we already have large charities financed by donations from the earnings of our Capitalist society? Where do you think the wealth our government spends comes from?

            Anyway, if you think angels can make Socialism work, I think you need to give more thought to the complexity of our economy. Even angels are finite beings with finite minds. I don’t know how the economy of angels works, but if they have a command economy, then God is in charge of it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. You make some good points. There is some research that shows that at some point paying CEOs more actually decreases productivity, but that does not keep them from being paid more now does it?

            You’ve given some thought and a sincerity to this reply so I want to think on it some before I try to respond sincerely.

            To be fair, however, I never said my hypothetical angel government would be purely socialistic. What I said was that people would still require governing (administration) of some sort. Even your charity example is just a another form of governing (administration).

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          5. “Look at it this way. Our angel society may not require force, but they still would require direction (leadership) and administration.”

            Hm. Okay, as a hypothetical let’s take an altruistic government endeavor which actually happened: Food distribution to the starving in Somalia.
            -Government sends food aid, gets robbed.
            -they send soldiers to protect the shipments from sabotage and aid workers to distribute it “efficiently”.
            -Aid workers and soldiers need places to stay and buy stuff, so this creates an underground economy where the war lords exploit every business in the area and demand mafia style payments….they take the money, and buy more weapons to take over the territories of other warlords. Problem becomes exponentially worse.

            In the above scenario of course, Somalis are not angels.
            But what if they were? If they were, government would not be necessary as the elements of “inefficiency” would be gone (and no one would be concerned with inefficiencies anyway…they would just take as much as they needed and give as much as they could).

            Liked by 1 person

          6. I’ve been thinking about what Tom wrote about people having other than pecuniary incentives to innovate and produce. Tom’s position is that, because our angel society would still have these other incentives, capitalism would still be the main efficient driver of the economy, and private charity would expand. Tom’s belief is that the conventional wisdom “self interest” motivates capitalism is wrong. Let’s review the theory of capitalism for a minute, and look at a brief and simplified summary of how capitalism works.

            Lots of willing buyers are looking for the best price and value for scarce resources (goods and services). Lots of willing sellers compete to provide the best price and value. In order to win the competition, sellers are motivated to innovate and lower production costs. Given perfect information and equal bargaining power between buyers and sellers, the buyers will buy the goods and services from the sellers that have the lowest price and the greatest value. In this crucible of competition between over price and value, scarce resources are efficiently and automatically directed to their highest and best use, as if an “unseen hand” were directing the entire effort. The whole machine, however, unquestionably depends upon the self interest of buyers who are seeking the best price and value for scarce resources and the self interest of sellers who wish to win the price and value competition.

            Can this whole program be driven by altruistic motivations other than self interest? I don’t exactly see how even if the ambitions of buyers and sellers were completely “enlightened” by the higher virtues. The whole machine depends upon ruthless self interested competition which is only tempered by the government standardizing the playing field, defining the rules of the game and providing umpires to enforce those rules. In other words, the whole game absolutely depends upon selfish competition and a governmental playing field to keep it fair. Take away the selfish competition and there is no reason to play the game of capitalism. Absent self interest driven competition, some new form of governing administration would be needed to efficiently and fairly create and distribute scarce resources.

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          7. Okay, fair point…let’s take a hypothetical worst case scenario.
            The type of incentive trap that can really wreak havoc in a capitalistic economy.
            Scarcity (lower supply) plus need (higher demand than supply). Probably best to keep it small scale as larger isn’t needed and it works the same either way (fluctuations would just be bigger).

            Let’s say there is a community of 1000 (normal…not angels yet) people that comes down with a deadly illness. Luckily for them there is a medicine available that they can take to treat this illness.
            It won’t cure it, but it will keep them alive if they take one dose every month.
            Okay, so the community sets up an auction for the medicine.
            The rules set are that each person can only buy one dose.
            All 1000 people gather together, it’s announced that there are 1000 people in attendance and there are 1000 doses available and the starting bid on each dose is $10.
            Supply = Demand and most likely each dose will sell for the starting bid of $10.
            The next month though things change.
            For whatever reason 10 more people move to this community.
            When the auction is held it is announced that there are 1010 people in attendance, and 1000 doses of medicine available.
            Same rules apply. Starting bid is $10 per dose, but now 10 people aren’t going to be able to get the medicine and because of that, they could die.
            Demand has only increased 1%, but the price paid in the auction would likely go up much more than that.
            After all, people need this medicine or they could die.
            So, the price sky-rockets maybe by a factor of 10 or more. 1000% increase in price for a 1% increase in demand because that threshold has been crossed.
            Okay, now we move to the next month and for whatever reason the population of that community has gone from 1010 people to 990 people, a 2% decrease.
            Next auction, 990 people, 1000 doses, $10 starting price.
            What happens? Back to $10 again because we’ve once again crossed that threshold where now the supply exceeds demand.

            The above is a hypothetical worst case situation. Would government be necessary if everyone was an angel? I don’t see what government would add to this scenario (IF everyone was an angel…it’s quite obvious government is necessary if they aren’t).

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Im having the same trouble. I find the hypothetical fascinating so I appreciate your continuing it. IB, anon and you have all made interesting points and given insights that I hope we can develop. Just to be clear, however, I am not saying that Socialism replaces capitalism in the hypothetical. I’m just saying that capitalism must be replaced by something, and it must be some form of governing. What form it takes, I’m not clear on yer.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. @tsalmon

            It is kind of like the Theory of Evolution. The theory is interest and sort of makes sense, but we don’t have the means to test it. Perhaps when the Millennium comes we will have a somewhat better idea.

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    2. I’ve been following this discussion. It’s kind of interesting. I think Tom is really on to something when he said,

      “In other words, the Local House of Charity just guides the process. Capitalists volunteer their time, skills, and money to get the job done. People with angelic character just give of themselves more joyfully.”

      You see this idea reflected in the world today. Global poverty has declined dramatically, thanks to not government, but to capitalism. Many diseases have been eradicated, not because of government, but because of capitalism. The lives of poor people are often vastly improved not by government but by capitalism. So, if those better angels of our nature ruled the day and we wished to improve the quality of life for the largest number of people, our governing would involve supporting,promoting and interfering in capitalism as little as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @insanitybytes22

        Glad you have enjoyed the debate.

        Your comment is interesting. Also makes me think. When I was a boy, I liked reading books by H. G. Wells. One of his fantasies involved a car that drives through a time warp. Our heroes (those in the car) learn that in the future they have solved the problem of government through education. Since H. G. Wells was a Socialist, you can guess what our heroes learned. How to be Socialists, of course.

        It took me about four decades to realize Well’s experiment in education had already been tried. Not too fast on the uptake.
        😦

        Largely by accident the people who settled the thirteen original colonies improved the governance of what would latter become America by educating their children in the Bible as Christians. To the extent they succeeded in instilling Christian virtues in their children their children learned to willingly do what they ought to do anyway.

        Consider where Liberal Democrats and Conservatives differ most profoundly. Abortion? That’s important, but Liberal Democrats have most heavily invested themselves in education and the news media. From cradle to grave the Liberal Democrat establishment seeks to educate and inform us in the principles of their ideology, including the “fact” that they have no ideology, that they are just scientifically correct and pragmatic.

        If parents want their children and grandchildren to enjoy the same freedom and prosperity that they grew up with, they have to seize control of the education of their children. Otherwise, those children will never understand that each of us is made in God’s image. that we each owe to God far more than we owe to any government.

        We serve our government because we love our neighbor as we love our self. We love our neighbor because God loved us first. God we must love with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. It is to our Creator we owe our primary obedience. When government demands from us what God abhors, in obedience to our Maker we must resist.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lander7 You Said,

    “We are going to have a hard line disagreement here barbecue these two parties are not good for the pocketbook. We are closer to a type of tribalism than economic drive with an end product of pure division.”

    If interested, read this post link and comment your opinion which political party or religious beliefs are “barbequing.” Or, in other words, cooking up more tribalism, or rejecting Bible scripture, by their actions of not accepting, or disobeying, the results of the last election.

    https://rudymartinka.com/2018/07/01/king-solomon-usa-political-divisiveness-parallel/

    Regards and good will blogging.

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  3. Q — “How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?”
    A — God answered this clearly.
    Romans 13:1-2
    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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

    Q — “When we consider the issues related to Romans 13:1, does it make any difference whether the governing authorities are a morally legitimate or de facto authority?
    A — For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

    You stated — “Of course, there is a problem. Generally, when there is a dispute, most people see the dispute as the other guy’s fault.”
    My response — The problem with bias is that it completely ignores truths to follow an agenda. A person who blames someone rather than providing a solution is part of the problem. Therefore, going to scripture is better than relying on man’s understanding. God is the solution and what he tells us to do is the best way to move forward.

    You stated — “The severity of the rivalry between Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats is the issue of our day. So, we should focus on this, but we should probably also consider what we can learn from the past and the Bible.”
    My response — I disagree. The lack of belief and trust in God is the issue of our day. It’s the reason there are two parties fighting each other. Both parties believe they know better than God.

    You stated — “What is not obvious is whether rebels in the American Revolution violated Romans 13:1-7

    My response — No, the colonies in America were founded by companies and countries. They were fought over for control by both local and foreign powers (including British authority). Consolidation of the colonies lead to a war between local allies and foreign powers. A new nation was formed that then was appointed a leader.

    A number of English colonies were established under a system of Proprietary Governors, who were appointed under mercantile charters to English joint stock companies to found and run settlements.

    Between 1584 and 1589, the English attempt to establish Roanoke Colony failed, and in 1590 the colony was found abandoned.
    In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia was founded by the London Company (also known as the Virginia Company).
    In Newfoundland, a chartered company known as the Society of Merchant Venturers established a permanent settlement at Cuper’s Cove, from 1610.
    St. George’s, Bermuda was founded by the Virginia Company, in 1612.

    I would also note that when the leaders put in place were disputed by those who lacked faith in Gods appointed servants, there was a civil war. As I stated with Hitler, the people suffered and there was a loss of life. This is what happens each time man tries to reject those put in place by God.

    You stated — “Adolf Hitler lead Germany. His government was the de facto if not the legitimate governing authority. At what point was it permissible to rebel against Hitler? Was Hitler put in place by God?”
    My response–: They did not elect him. He was not placed in power, FACT: Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. He was placed in power per the process stated in the Bible.

    A party of people within the citizenship started complaining, sabotaging, disobeying, etc., much like we see here in the states. They rebelled against those God has chosen. They then moved to the last phase to force changes, kill opposition and dismantle the governing body.

    In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire (killings) on the communists and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties (force), a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests (force). Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934 (killings), Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (force), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had begun voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial(killings), which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship (end of the government). This would make Hitler commander of the army as well (force). A plebiscite vote was held on August 19. Intimidation (fear of death) made him a full powered dictator. After this he continued the use of force and killing.

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    1. @Lander7

      The Bible provides guidance. We have to figure how how to apply that guidance to specific situations. As your comment demonstrates what we should do is not always obvious. That does not mean, however, that some people won’t say otherwise.

      The lack of belief and trust in God is the issue of our day.

      Can’t disagree with that, but when isn’t that true? How do we see lack of belief and trust in God manifesting itself in American. I think the rivalry between Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats is where we see it. Conservative Republicans uphold God-given rights. Liberal Democrats fight for government-given rights.

      Your justification for the American Revolution strikes me as unnecessarily complicated. I think the Declaration of Independence provides a better explanation of why the Continental Congress thought it legitimate to rebel.

      Was Hitler elected? Not directly. However, Hitler was put in place as the chancellor via an electoral process. This process is one used by a parliamentary system, not a direct election.

      Like

  4. Below someone said, ” The South rejected the authority of the Union, and for what, slavery? ”

    No, I think they rejected authority due to a commitment to individual liberty and a desire for economic freedom, but ultimately it was about land, territory. Expansion.It was about whether or not the federal government had the right to rule over territories that were not yet even states.It was really a war over states rights and who could have political and economic control. Abraham Lincoln had won the election without even being on the ballot in 10 Southern states. So people had no representation, no voice in government, but they were being taxed and regulated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up mostly in Southern states. So I have sympathy for what you just said. However, slavery was the elephant in the room. Read the Lincoln Douglass debates. Consider what Alexis De Tocqueville observed about the cultural differences between North and South. The Bible speaks of us as the children of God, not as His slaves, for good reason.

      Legally? I doubt whether the Union could justify an invasion of the South, but the South attacked Union forces first at Fort Sumter. That gave Lincoln what he needed.

      Morally? The war was not ostensibly over slavery, but everyone expected a Union victory to eventually result in its end. Was that enough cause? God only knows.

      All I know for certain is I don’t envy generation that fought that war. I hope we find ways to end the differences we have in our time without such violence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, one reason why I mentioned territorial issues is because wars are almost always fought because of tribalism and territorial conflicts. We like to give them noble and ethical causes as if we are actually fighting over ideas and morality. Ideas and morality are kind of unseen and ethereal, vague. You can’t “win” those kind of things with war. It also creates deception, a lie,and cloaks our warfare in noble ideals. The truth is more like, my tribe wanted something they had.

        So I’m not really empathizing with the South here, I’m just saying the North wanted something the South had, mostly their land and territory and economic fruits.

        It’s way above my pay grade to try to understand the morality or immorality of war, I’m just saying that we tend to hide our reasons for war behind idealism and nobility, rather than being truthful about what we are really doing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. insanitybytes22

          I suppose most wars are fought for economic and territorial issues, including the civil war. Because they wish to divert the issue from slavery, some in South like to say tribalism and territorial conflicts motivated the North. However, slavery created created the tribalism and territorial conflicts that lead to the Civil War.

          What did the North gain from the Civil War? Hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded? Yet Lincoln and his supporters stayed the course. Why? The answer resides in ideas and morality. One was quite simple. Union. If the states that composed the Confederacy had been allowed to unilaterally secede, the idea that is the United States would probably have died.

          Slavery caused the split, but the idea of keeping the United States together as one nation drove Lincoln to war.

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        2. @insanitybytes22

          Well said:

          “We like to give them noble and ethical causes as if we are actually fighting over ideas and morality. Ideas and morality are kind of unseen and ethereal, vague. You can’t “win” those kind of things with war. It also creates deception, a lie,and cloaks our warfare in noble ideals. ”

          So true!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. You stated — “No, I think they rejected authority due to a commitment to individual liberty and a desire for economic freedom,”

      Response — I agree and would also add slavery since they wanted to continue the use of free labor and sexual abuse of women and children.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m in agreement with you, Lander. I just think it is important that we understand that slavery was a means to an end and not the end itself. The North and the South were fighting over economic issues, territories, and power, of which slavery was a part.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Tom, Re your question

    “How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?”

    Without going into an explanation who gives power to a ruler, there is one simple answer in my opinion.

    Romans 13:3

    “that a governor that injects more fear into the people, than is for the honour of God, shall be punished, and shall not see his son a disciple of a wise man.”
    But to the evil; to wicked men, who make no conscience of doing hurt to their fellow creatures, by abusing their persons, defrauding them of their substance, and by various illicit methods doing damage to them; to such, rulers are, and ought to be terrors; such are to be menaced, and threatened with inflicting upon them the penalty of the laws they break; and which ought to be inflicted on them by way of punishment to them, and for the terror of others. R. Chanina, the Sagan of the priests (b), used to say,
    “pray for the peace of the kingdom, for if there was no “fear”, (i.e. a magistrate to inject fear,) one man would devour another alive.”

    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/romans/13.htm

    In other words

    If a ruler breaks the laws of God, he was not appointed by God, in my opinion.

    Regards and good will blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that interpretation has merit, but how do we apply it in practice? The Roman Empire was relatively just. On the other hand, the Roman Empire could be horribly unjust. Remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Consider the support for slavery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Faith in God over time is the proof. The Roman Empire is no more.

        Makes me wonder though, will the USA be no more in time too.

        Won’t happen if we put our faith into practice by being examples for our young and voting on issues with Christian values.

        Time will tell In the end,. Regardsess if the USA survives or not in the future, Christianity will be revived same as it has in the past

        Regards and good will blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. You stated — Curiously, you have yet to comment on HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 3. Why not?”

            My response — Sorry, I just became aware of part two recently and started reading/responding to it. Given the difficult nuances of the topics and the length of peoples responses, I have been carefully reading them and trying to respond honestly. I fully plan on reading part three because I think you have brought up a good topic that helps me understand opposing views.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. You stated — “Makes me wonder though, will the USA be no more in time too.” Won’t happen if we put our faith into practice by being examples for our young and voting on issues with Christian values.

          My response — I agree but would say that Christians don’t typically vote values but rather they vote political power.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lander7

            You stated….”My response — I agree but would say that Christians don’t typically vote values but rather they vote political power.”

            Are you saying Christians do not value …..values such as God, family, country?
            What is your reason for stating Christians rather than other faiths? For example, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, secular, etc., etc.

            Why are you singling out Christians about an American Nation problem?

            Care to expand?

            Regards amd good will blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You stated — “Why are you singling out Christians about an American Nation problem?”

            My response — It was appropriate for context. I was speaking as a Christian and had previously quoted scripture so I was keeping my part of the conversation in context to that.

            You stated –“Are you saying Christians do not value …..values such as God, family, country?”

            My response — Christians have values they speak of but when it comes to politics the majority of Christians prioritize the Democrat or Republican party above those values since clearly both parties do not support God but rather they support money.

            You stated — What is your reason for stating Christians rather than other faiths? For example, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, secular, etc., etc.

            My response — Again context but I am happy to expand my original statement. All remaining religions also primarily vote party lines putting aside religious values for political power. The Democrat and Republican party do not support the values of those religions either.

            The two parties gain the majority of voters in each election. Very few people are willing to put values above political party to make changes in the US by creating and supporting new parties that solely stand on values reflected by God.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Lander7

            I believe the founder of our Democracy purposely keep religion and politics separated for a purpose.

            Iran is a country that thinks like you that Religious beliefs alone should rule over everyone.

            The USA believes in individual voter choices, whether it is based a a religious moral, pragmatic, common sense, wisdom, love etc. to solve problems in our nation.

            I totally disagree with you that most Christians do not support religious values or vote strongly for political power.

            The reason we have problems in the USA is mainly a failure of wisdom and love by a large number of politicians who serve in government to serve personal or party interests rather than to serve out Nation;s interests, in my opinion.

            Regard and good will blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. You stated — “I believe the founder of our Democracy purposely keep religion and politics separated for a purpose.”
            My response — You are incorrect. First, we are not a Democracy we are a Republic. We also do not have a founder but rather we have founders, we are not royalty. We also have a separation of church and state but not during elections where religion is used as a selling point.
            You stated — “Iran is a country that thinks like you that Religious beliefs alone should rule over everyone.”
            My response — Your statement is nonsensical since you don’t know how I think, also Iran is not a Christian society so that would not line up with anything I have stated in the past. Iran is also ruled by a dualistic government/religion leadership. Even with your jab at my position you do not show enough understanding of their government to make the jab make sense.
            You stated — “The USA believes in individual voter choices, whether it is based a a religious moral, pragmatic, common sense, wisdom, love etc. to solve problems in our nation.”
            My response — You are incorrect about “individual voter choices” since we purposely do not go by the popular vote, which would be individual votes. In the USA individual votes are not as important as electoral votes.
            You stated — “The reason we have problems in the USA is mainly a failure of wisdom and love by a large number of politicians who serve in government to serve personal or party interests rather than to serve out Nation;s interests, in my opinion.”
            My response — I agree that politicians do not always use wisdom and love while making decisions, but I think our true failure is related to disobedience to God.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Landers7

            Thanks for your corrections on Democracy vs, Republic and founder vs. founders.

            Those same founders purposely recognized that electoral vote takes precedence ofver popular votes for a very good reason. Check up on it if you are interested..

            My statement is nonsensical since I don’t know how I think, I agree. Same as I don’t agree or know how the religious leaders in Iran think that it is right to kill infidels according to thier God.ther religions such as Iran.

            As for disobedience to God, since when did you become appointed judge and jury of everyone in our nation regardless of their
            religion beliefs, laws, of our nation to state anyone who does not believe like you is nonsensical?

            I have a feeling you need to read up on King Solomon;’s advice about vanity in Ecclesiastes, perhaps?

            Regards and good will blogging.

            .

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You stated — “Those same founders purposely recognized that electoral vote takes precedence ofver popular votes for a very good reason. Check up on it if you are interested..”

            My response — Since I corrected you on what type of government we have and how we don’t go by individual votes it’s seems unnecessary to advocate for my education of the Republics process and why we have it. Let’s pretend we are all educated enough for the conversation and let our thoughts either rely on evidence or scripture. We have an opportunity to see if our understandings are flawed or reasonably correct. I don’t come into these conversations thinking I can’t be wrong but I do need a clear perspective with evidence to persuade me otherwise.

            You stated — “As for disobedience to God, since when did you become appointed judge and jury of everyone in our nation regardless of their religion beliefs, laws, of our nation to state anyone who does not believe like you is nonsensical?”

            My response — I challenge you to show me where I said that.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Read your last sentence of what you think and compare it to your sentence that imy statement is nonsenceable because I don’t know what you think when you told me what you think?

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          8. Are you referring to this statement by me?

            “My response — I agree that politicians do not always use wisdom and love while making decisions, but I think our true failure is related to disobedience to God.”

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          9. @Lander7

            For all practical purposes scatterwisdom described the behavior of our leaders as a form of disobedience to God? What do you want? Is there not a point when we ought to take yes for an answer?

            It doesn’t work to put our own words into someone else’s mouth. That much agreement requires terrorizing our victims.

            Consider. We go by both the popular and the electoral vote. We elect our Congress, which is supposed to be the most power branch of government in direct elections. In recent years, however, the president has exercised more power because our congressmen and senators just want to spend money; otherwise they shun responsibility. So both of you are right about that.

            Do we have a republic, but most people use the term democracy, thinking the words have close to the same meaning. They don’t, but in this context it does not make much difference. Well, we do have a republic to protect individual rights from majoritarian tyranny. So I am not sure why you even brought it up. What is the point you want to make?

            All our sins involve disobedience to God. Wasn’t scatterwisdom just more specific? Hasn’t that been the nature of both his and my complaint? When we talk about a specific situation, it is always easy to call you up and ask you what to do. When you have yet to demonstrate what makes your interpretation of the Bible any better than our own, we also cannot figure why we should call you.

            Am I trying to make fun of you? No. I am just saying God made each of us unique. Much of the Bible is crystal clear, but what is obvious to me is not always going to be obvious to you, and vice versa. We can get close, but agreement often requires compromise. When we refuse to accept a reasonable compromise, because we are each slaves of God, not each other, that’s a sin of pride.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. You stated — “Do we have a republic, but most people use the term democracy, thinking the words have close to the same meaning. ”

            My response — We are a Republic not a Democracy. He was simply wrong and there is no need for us to debate that point. We can move on from that.

            You stated — “Am I trying to make fun of you? No.”

            My response — It wouldn’t matter if you were because it would have no value to me. The only thing I am interested in is the truth. If you think you have a better truth than me then I am willing to hear it. If you want to occasionally waste time with personal comments about me then do so but it doesn’t matter to me . I am fully curious about your point of view and I intend to keep digging into it to see if it has value. If it does I will incorporate it into my thinking and if it doesn’t it will be because you couldn’t produce a good enough argument for it.

            You stated — “All our sins involve disobedience to God. Wasn’t scatterwisdom just more specific? ”

            My response — Scatterwisdom told me what he thought and for him it’s the truth, so now I understand him better. I responded with my truth so that he can understand me better if he so chooses. You don’t need to defend him, he’s not under attack. We are all in a war of ideas that will one day either make us better or tear us apart. It would be a shame if we at least didn’t try to understand where we differ in those ideas.

            Now if we can get back on topic and try to clear up a few details.

            Should we protect our borders. I say yes we should. We should also have a strong military.
            Should we obey God. I say yes. Is it a challenge to do so? Yes.

            Do we agree on these two? If so let’s stop talking about those two and talk about how we accomplish them.

            If we do not agree then why?

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Conventional wisdom has it that people (not just Christians) generally vote what they think best for their pocketbooks. What we should be voting for is the best interests of our people.

            Because I cannot read minds, I am uncertain about whether conventional wisdom is correct. Still, when I consider most of the people we have elected, I fear conventional wisdom is largely correct, but I think people would do better if the news media did not lie so much about the better candidates.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. I disagree: I think most people vote party line based on miss information, fear and hate of the other side. If people did what was best for the pocket book the current two parties would have been thrown out years ago because they are greedy and wasteful. Both serve only the wealthy not the people.

            Our government doesn’t act like a Republic or a Democracy or even a Christian Nation
            1) We don’t follow the Constitution.
            2) We don’t listen to the majority of the people.
            3) We don’t follow God.

            What we are living in is a Capitalist Commonwealth where money controls your government, businesses, health, home, and relationships.

            The richest candidate gets elected.
            The richest companies can talk directly to congress.
            Money frees the rich from prosecution and the power of the law.
            And religion is paid for.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. @Lander7

            What happens when people vote what they think best for their pocketbooks instead of the best interests of everyone. That allows the powerful to cut us up into special interests and identity groups.

            Instead behaving like a Republic or a Democracy or even a Christian Nation, our government:
            1) Doesn’t follow the Constitution.
            2) Doesn’t listen to the majority of the people.
            3) Doesn’t follow God.

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          14. We are going to have a hard line disagreement here barbecue theses two parties are not good for the pocket book. We are closer to a type of tribalism than economic drive with an end product of pure division.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. @Citizen Tom

        This may be a good opportunity for me to understand your perspective better Tom.

        You stated — “The Roman Empire was relatively just. On the other hand, the Roman Empire could be horribly unjust. Remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Consider the support for slavery.”

        I want to put the crucifixion to the side for this response since it fulfills prophecy and focus on just the, could be horribly unjust”, part.

        Why do you think there is a disconnect between God assigning authority and that authority being unjust?

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        1. Lander7

          God is infinite. Our universe may not be infinite, but it is too big for us. We are finite. So I doubt anyone understands these verses.

          Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

          28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

          Some how, some way, God will make everything work out in the end. Part of what He does is put the people in charge who will do His will, whether they know it or not.

          Our problem? How do we know who God wants in charge, either to stay in charge or to take over. We don’t always know. We just know our Lord God is sovereign, and He expects us to do our best to obey Him. So we will sometime have to obey a cruel government. We may not like the people in charge, but they have authority. Those whom most of the people obey govern.. Therefore, as Christians we obey until those leaders demand that we give to them something we can only rightfully give to our Lord God Almighty.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @Citizen Tom

            This may be a side topic you are creating but I am honestly not sure why you say Romans 8:28-30 is not understood, this seems like a simple set of verses.

            You stated – “Our problem? How do we know who God wants in charge, either to stay in charge or to take over.”

            My response — I’m not sure why we keep coming back to this. I want to try an experiment to see if we can put this part to rest. I will write down how I think about this part. I will then provide a verse if I disagree with your response and you tell me where that verse fails to provide clarity so I can see where you think I’m wrong for believing it.

            1) God appoints all levels of authority. There is no exception to complex systems like voting, royalty, etc.
            2) If a leadership is forcibly removed by a person, people, organization, etc, then they have now rebelled against God and they are not a recognized authority (regardless of time or succession. They will not be until the aggressor is removed and the original system restored. I have provided examples of this for Hitler and the Civil war.
            3) An authority put in place by God can do great good or great evil since they are human and can do as they please. God warned us of this. God gives us the type of leader (though his authority) that we ask for. Per the heart of the people and the desires they have.
            4) God told us that we rejected him as a leader (the only just and good leader) and choose men(people) to lead us. So, we get what we get.
            5) We must obey our leadership to obey God, this also prevents anarchy if you want to look at it from a secular perspective.
            6) We can choose to disobey authority if it opposes God or performs immoral acts against fellow human beings. There are examples of this in the Bible. From a secular perspective, this is also a necessary response to injustice.

            Now I took the time to write out my position on this so you can now either show me where I’m wrong or waste time mocking me. But after you tell me where I’m wrong I want to put scripture on it and see if you still think I’m wrong and if so where that same scripture (not me) is either insufficient or does not apply so I can see where we differ (not to throw it in your face)

            I want to be convinced that I am wrong (if I am) with evidence, not words like (“You’re wrong).

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          2. @Lander7

            Thanks for the comment.

            I am an early to bed, early to rise, sort of guy. God willing, I will address each point tomorrow. I will do my best to explain why our inability to understand how God fulfills the promise in Romans 8:28-30 is relevant.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. @Lander7

            How do the following verses relate to your assertions?

            Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
            28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

            How exactly does God make all things work together for good to those who love Him. Consider the sheer complexity of controlling events that shape the lives of all the events in the people who love God.

            1. Does God appoint all levels of authority? Yes, but we don’t always know who God has appointed? When the Assyrians overran Israel and the Chaldeans destroyed Judah, God appointed the Assyrians and the Chaldeans. Habakkuk records the utter shock of one of God’s prophets that God would do such a thing, but Habakkuk had faith in God. Unlike Habakkuk, we are not prophets. When God appoints new rulers, we often have no idea what is going on.

            2. Because we are sinful, we all rebel against God to some degree. So consider your observation.

            If a leadership is forcibly removed by a person, people, organization, etc, then they have now rebelled against God and they are not a recognized authority (regardless of time or succession.

            We know God has appointed new leadership by the fact the old leadership has been removed. Who do we define as the authority the successful removal of the old leadership, the old leadership or those trying to remove the old leadership. Keep in mind revolutions are often unsuccessful, create havoc, and not always an improvement.

            3. I agree we tend to get the leadership we deserve, but I don’t think we always know what God thinks we deserve. Think about Romans 8:28-30. God knows the future, what he has planned, but we don’t.

            4. During the time of the Judges, the people of Israel had something that looked like a theocracy. Our Christian church have no temporal powers. So we have to have some sort of government. I think that means we are only suppose to render unto our government what rightfully belongs to it. That does not stop a government from demanding we worship public officials. It just means we must refuse. Yet that government may continue on for centuries. The Roman Empire provided an environment which allowed Christianity to spread. Therefore, in spite of the bad things it did, that government apparently served our Lord’s purpose (Romans 8:28-30).

            5. Even a bad government is better than no government (Romans 8:28-30).

            6. Christians disobeyed Roman authorities when they refused to worship the emperor. Yet they did not attempt to overthrow the Roman Empire. Romans 13:1-7 specifically forbade that. What is the threshold for overthrowing the authorities. When does it serve God’s plan (Romans 8:28-30)?

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          4. @Lander7

            How do the following verses relate to your assertions? I don’t think we can be certain what God intends.

            Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
            28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

            How exactly does God make all things work together for good to those who love Him. Consider the sheer complexity of controlling events that shape the lives of all the events in the people who love God.

            1. Does God appoint all levels of authority? Yes, but we don’t always know who God has appointed? When the Assyrians overran Israel and the Chaldeans destroyed Judah, God appointed the Assyrians and the Chaldeans. Habakkuk records the utter shock of one of God’s prophets that God would do such a thing, but Habakkuk had faith in God. Unlike Habakkuk, we are not prophets. When God appoints new rulers, we often have no idea what is going on.

            2. Because we are sinful, we all rebel against God to some degree. So consider your observation.

            If a leadership is forcibly removed by a person, people, organization, etc, then they have now rebelled against God and they are not a recognized authority (regardless of time or succession.

            We know God has appointed new leadership by the fact the old leadership has been removed. Who do we define as the authority the successful removal of the old leadership, the old leadership or those trying to remove the old leadership. Keep in mind revolutions are often unsuccessful, create havoc, and not always an improvement.

            3. I agree we tend to get the leadership we deserve, but I don’t think we always know what God thinks we deserve. Think about Romans 8:28-30. God knows the future, what he has planned, but we don’t.

            4. During the time of the Judges, the people of Israel had something that looked like a theocracy. Our Christian church have no temporal powers. So we have to have some sort of government. I think that means we are only suppose to render unto our government what rightfully belongs to it. That does not stop a government from demanding we worship public officials. It just means we must refuse. Yet that government may continue on for centuries. The Roman Empire provided an environment which allowed Christianity to spread. Therefore, in spite of the bad things it did, that government apparently served our Lord’s purpose (Romans 8:28-30).

            5. Even a bad government is better than no government (Romans 8:28-30).

            6. Christians disobeyed Roman authorities when they refused to worship the emperor. Yet they did not attempt to overthrow the Roman Empire. Romans 13:1-7 specifically forbade that. What is the threshold for overthrowing the authorities. When does it serve God’s plan (Romans 8:28-30)?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. You stated — “How exactly does God make all things work together for good to those who love Him.”
            My response — This type of thought is nonsensical because no one knows the mind of God or the range of his capabilities. You either take it on faith and believe in him or you do not. There is no other way to approach God about his power, it is literally beyond our scope. We can only go with what he tells us. So when he says something this tells us what he will and will not do.

            You stated — “Does God appoint all levels of authority?
            Then you answered with “Yes”
            Then you immediatly stated the following — “but we don’t always know who God has appointed?”
            My response — Let’s test something: The following two verses are what I believe to be 100% true
            Proverbs 30:5
            Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
            Romans 13: …For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

            Do you believe these two verses are 100% true or are they only true in some instances or do you have a third option?

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          6. @Lander7

            Screwy! You admit we cannot understand the mind of God. If we don’t understand God’s mind, then unless God reveals His plans, we are going to have trouble knowing His plans. So I think it makes more sense trust God, not knowledge we don’t have.

            When we make decisions, if we do our best to act in love, that is trusting God.

            Like

          7. You stated — “Screwy! You admit we cannot understand the mind of God.”

            My response — 1 Corinthians 2:11
            For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God
            except the Spirit of God.

            You stated — If we don’t understand God’s mind, then unless God reveals His plans, we are going to have trouble knowing His plans.

            My response — He has told us everything we need to know. Is there something you need to know that the Bible has excluded or God forgot to mention?

            You stated — “So I think it makes more sense trust God, not knowledge we don’t have.”

            My response — You are 100% correct. TRUST GOD

            You stated — “When we make decisions, if we do our best to act in love, that is trusting God.”

            My response — No, not correct. You do as the Bible directs you to do not as you understand things.

            Proverbs 3:5-6
            5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

            Like

          8. @Lander7

            The Bible is a book. There are only so many words in it. It does not cover every situation. The Bible tells us everything we need to know, but it does not tell us everything we want to know.

            When God tells us some directly, we should obey. When we have a choice between A, B, C, D, and so forth, and the Bible does not say what choice we should make, then we should choose based upon what we think will be most pleasing to God! Nowhere does it say to ask Lander7.

            Like

          9. LOL “Nowhere does it say to ask Lander7.”

            The Bible is a book to those who are secular but it’s life to those who love Christ.

            No one needs to be told what to do in every situation but they do need to know what type of person to be. Jesus is the example of what type of person to be.

            When it comes to the border then secure it but treat the people as if they were Christ and you will have no problem in your relationship with God. Do to those who come to the border as you would do to Christ. Do onto Christ as you would have him do unto you.

            If you are at the gate of your Father in heavens house, how would you want him to treat you? What should he do with you?

            Liked by 1 person

          10. @Lander7

            We cannot have open borders and a welfare state. We also don’t want hordes foreigners imposing their culture and language upon us. Therefore, we have to deny passage across our border to lots of people. That does not stop us from loving our neighbor. It just means we expect him respect our fence.

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          11. @Lander7

            Disingenuous! A playpen is a type of cage. The issue is one of motivation. When the parent of a child breaks the law, those in authority have to figure out what to do with the children. There is no happy answer, but that is the fault of the parents, not authorities.

            Have you already forgotten your favorite passage?

            Romans 13:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
            Submit to Government
            13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will [a]bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 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. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

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          12. LOL there is a happy answer, don’t put children in cages. Use the authority given to you by God to treat the children the way you would treat Christ.

            Remember your destination:

            Matthew 25

            34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

            37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

            40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

            Like

          13. @Lander7

            That’s a fine interpretation of scripture. So long as bank robbers have children, we may as well house them in mansions. Otherwise, we might have to separate them from their children. Then, we might have to confine their children, and God will send us to Hell if the optics are bad.

            Like

          14. You stated — “If a leadership is forcibly removed by a person, people, organization, etc, then they have now rebelled against God and they are not a recognized authority (regardless of time or succession.”

            “We know God has appointed new leadership by the fact the old leadership has been removed. Who do we define as the authority the successful removal of the old leadership, the old leadership or those trying to remove the old leadership.”

            My response — Your first statement reflects scripture but then you second statement somehow give legitimacy to the rebel government. This is where the break is with scripture. The rebel government is never in line with God. They have to be destroyed to end the rebellion. They can be in place for generations.

            Maybe this is where we are having a conflict so please let me know where you disagree with this.

            Like

          15. You stated — “I agree we tend to get the leadership we deserve, but I don’t think we always know what God thinks we deserve.”
            My response — Why would we need to know? If we wanted to know what he was thinking, how would we pull that off? We can go with what he has already said.

            1 Corinthians 2:11
            For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own
            spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God
            except the Spirit of God.

            You stated — “that government apparently served our Lord’s purpose (Romans 8:28-30).”
            My response — A government put in place by God does not need to serve God’s purpose. God stated that directly to us in scripture.

            1 Samuel 8:10-18 Samuel’s Warning Against Kings
            10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men1 and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

            1 Samuel 8:19-22 The Lord Grants Israel’s Request
            19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

            You stated — “What is the threshold for overthrowing the authorities. When does it serve God’s plan (Romans 8:28-30)?”
            My response — Only God has the right to remove what he has put in place. You have the option to do what is right and pay the price or do nothing.

            Do what is right and pay:
            Daniel then openly did what was right in obedience to God without attacking the authority placed in power by God:
            10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

            The king rightfully punished Daniel because he disobeyed:
            16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

            Or do nothing:
            Samuel 26:9-11
            9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed….

            Like

    2. @scatterwisdom

      You stated — “If a ruler breaks the laws of God, he was not appointed by God, in my opinion.”
      My response — I disagree. I believe God when he says: “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

      With that said I would also like to state that he warned us that we would get what we asked for since we reject the Lord as direct ruler.

      Here is a clear example of people asking for the leader they want

      1 Samuel 8:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
      6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

      1 Samuel 8:10-18 Samuel’s Warning Against Kings
      10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men1 and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

      1 Samuel 8:19-22 The Lord Grants Israel’s Request
      19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

      When a ruler disobeys God, he is dealt with by God.

      Daniel 4
      28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

      31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

      Like

      1. Lander7

        Forgive me for being confused. You interpret scripture as saying that there is no authority except authority appointed by God, but then you exclude authority that came to power without the conventional legitimacy of the time, place and manner in question (Hitler is your example of such illegitimate authority). This begs many questions and disputes about the legitimacy of literally any and every authority.

        Under this scriptural interpretation (and I’m not saying it’s wrong) one could argue that the US is not a legitimate authority because it illegitimately rebelled against England, and that we will remain illegitimate until we either return to being a colony under the British Empire or Britain formally emancipates us.

        1. Is it your position that certainty of legitimacy is debatable (in other words, true but not completely knowable by men)?

        And/or

        2. Is it your position that we must treat all authority as from God (per scripture) legitimate or not, regardless of disputes of legitimacy, knowing that we may suffer under the governing illegitimacy until, as Tom says, God in His unknowable plan, restores legitimate authority to power?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You stated – “You interpret scripture as saying that there is no authority except authority appointed by God…”

          My response — I didn’t use any interpretation for these two verses, they seemed to straight forward for me to consider it.

          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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

          You stated — “but then you exclude authority that came to power without the conventional legitimacy of the time, place and manner in question (Hitler is your example of such illegitimate authority). This begs many questions and disputes about the legitimacy of literally any and every authority.

          My response — I haven’t excluded any authority and would challenge you to show me where I did but I get the spirit of what you are saying so let’s talk it through

          First Biblical perspective: The Bible only speaks of authority provided by God. There is no other type of authority. This is to say that the coin has, on one side, a full authority put in place by God and, on the other side, there is resistance that conflicts with God and will suffer because of it.

          Now Secular perspective — From a secular view there are many different forms of authority like for instance the one you named, “illegitimate authority”. This is to say that the coin has, on one side, a full authority put in place legitimately and, on the other side, a full authority put in place illegitimately. They have equal power and can gain legitimacy over time.

          You stated — Under this scriptural interpretation (and I’m not saying it’s wrong) one could argue that the US is not a legitimate authority because it illegitimately rebelled against England, and that we will remain illegitimate until we either return to being a colony under the British Empire or Britain formally emancipates us.

          My response – This would be incorrect since the US did not originate from England. They did however fight against England. I also understand the spirit of what you are saying here so let me unpack this.

          The (colonies) in America were founded by companies and countries. They were fought over for control by both local and foreign powers (including British authority). Consolidation of the colonies lead to a war between local allies and foreign powers. A new nation was formed that then was appointed a leader.
          A number of English colonies were established under a system of Proprietary Governors, who were appointed under mercantile charters to English joint stock companies to found and run (settlements).

          Between 1584 and 1589, the English attempt to establish Roanoke Colony failed, and in 1590 the colony was found abandoned.

          In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia was founded by the London Company (also known as the Virginia Company).
          In Newfoundland, a chartered company known as the Society of Merchant Venturers established a permanent settlement at Cuper’s Cove, from 1610.
          St. George’s, Bermuda was founded by the Virginia Company, in 1612.

          You will get to see this play out again starting next year since Audi is going to the moon. https://realitydecoded.blog/2018/03/19/did-you-know-that-the-car-company-audi-is-going-to-the-moon-in-2019/
          There are major corporations looking to establish sites off world along with support teams for monetary gain. The next colony dispute is bound to come up but the question will be, “Who owns the moon?”

          Q — Is it your position that certainty of legitimacy is debatable (in other words, true but not completely knowable by men)?
          A – Everything is debatable but you must say that God could be wrong first to have the debate. The nature of debate is expressing a disbelief in an opposing position. The scripture is written by God not me.

          Q — Is it your position that we must treat all authority as from God (per scripture) legitimate or not, regardless of disputes of legitimacy, knowing that we may suffer under the governing illegitimacy until, as Tom says, God in His unknowable plan, restores legitimate authority to power?
          A – I trust that God is correct when he says all authority is from him. You don’t have to treat it that way if you don’t want to since it’s a choice (God also made that clear), you can obey or resist as needed per your choice.

          As for what Tom thinks, I see his position as being secular in nature, from what he has posted I can only conclude (At The Moment) that when Democrats are in office he may be waiting on God to restore legitimate authority. He may also see any Republican in office that doesn’t do as expected as suddenly being illegitimate and thus again waiting on God to act. It may also be the case that if a leader is corrupt he is not appointed by God and thus we are again waiting on God to restore legitimate authority.

          I don’t know Tom on a deeper level but I’m starting to understand his position as it relates to political parties based on economic and cultural security.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lander7

            I’m no scriptural scholar so I’m out of my depth here. I would, however, think that a scriptural scholar would look at various translations and, if a believer in exigetical interpretation, he would try to get into the mind of the person who would have read this at the time it was written

            However, just on its face, taken literaIly, and using only the translation you have provided, and given only the context you have provided, it seems the me that “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” seems to have at least two interpretations.

            One interpretation is the one you appear to have given, that litererally all authority, whether it be illegitimate, diabolical or maniacal, is God granted, and the other interpretation I see is that only the those “exclusively” granted authority by God have actual authority, and all otherss, even those with de facto authority, do not have actual authority. Do you see what I mean?

            The second interpretation actually has a philosophical appeal to me, as the first interpretation would appear to make God authorize tyrants and maniacs. However, as I said, I’m no scriptural scholar. I also admit that, even if the second interpretation is correct, we should be hestitant to rebel against authority because, as some others have said before here, how can we know which authority derives from God and which does not? Therefore your basic assumption that all authority is God granted is still a prudent conjecture.

            Because so much of the rest of your answer hinges upon your first interpretation, I have no response right now, except to say, it has the appearance of interpreting history so as to picayunishly rationalize an outcome you are predjudiced toward favoring – that our rebellion against England was not a rebellion against authority that comes from God. Your reasoning with the Hitler example had the same appearance to me. But maybe I’m just not understanding you correctly.

            I certainly am enjoying your thoughts on this though. Your arguments have opened a good many doors to the search for truth.

            Like

          2. You stated — “….a scriptural scholar would look at various translations…”

            My response — I do look at many translations but that shouldn’t matter because first I could be lying about any level of education when it comes to the Bible (so credentials are irrelevant) and second even if I were the greatest Bible scholar on Earth, I could still be wrong in my reasoning.

            A truth is a truth no matter what I know or think. The Bible was designed to be the truth of the world. I am not part of that equation. You have the option of reading everything I read and if you don’t come to the same conclusion then we only have God to look to, he’s the author. This is all we have so it will either be enough, or we will fail. We can’t get into Gods head.

            You stated — “One interpretation is the one you appear to have given, that litererally all authority, whether it be illegitimate, diabolical or maniacal”

            My response — Keep it in context. The people begged God for who they have, and God authorized it based on their desire. This is after every warning you can imagine not to pick such people. We can’t pretend it’s not our fault but at the same time we can’t ignore it’s under his power.

            1 Samuel 8:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
            6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

            You stated — “it has the appearance of interpreting history so as to picayunishly rationalize an outcome you are predjudiced toward favoring – that our rebellion against England was not a rebellion against authority that comes from God. Your reasoning with the Hitler example had the same appearance to me. But maybe I’m just not understanding you correctly.

            Let’s look at it this way:

            Denmark, Dutch Republic, England, France, Russia, Spain, Sweden, all have governments in place. We will stipulate that they were all authorized by God via a desire by the people in each country per his will.

            In America you don’t have a ruling empire you only have colonies and settlements via nations, companies, and pirates doing trade. There is no authority in control of America, it’s in a form of anarchy where fighting between rival factions is daily life, the height of tribalism.

            Nations then begin all-out war to conquer the new land and claim it. A new nation is formed in the middle of this struggle that has its own authority.

            This is not a rebellion because the land has no owner and the people were from multiple nations, many of which left their nations for a new world and a new life.

            Does this clear it up for America? If so we can move on to Hitler, if not let’s hash it out.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Lander7

            I don’t disagree, am still confused by your argument or have no opinion on most of that. As a matter of religious philosophy I am not a Biblical literalist, and interpretive literalism is not a necessary tenant of my chosen denomination. For example, one can see how the Samuel cite could have any number of metephiical interpretations that are quite profoundly truthful. Your placing Samuel as contextual to Paul may be correct or it may be inapposite. As I told Tom earlier, perhaps the three wisest words in the English language are “I don’t know.”

            As for the rest, is it seriously your contention that on July 4, 1776, we declared our Independence from an
            “anarchy where fighting between rival factions is daily life”? Funny, I thought it was the sovereign rule of the British throne. I mean, they did make a rather big fuss about it on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a war and everything.😁

            I don’t mean to be glib, but that is a novel theory, don’t you think?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. “I don’t know” is a fair response. For me these verses simply mean what they say. I will also admit it does make authority in the world much easier to deal with in a civil way. I find the Bibles approach the best way to end anarchy.

            As for the colonies. I could see it your way if the struggle were only between England and the colonies but history has over seven countries involved and not one of them had fair claim to the new land.

            You have to successfully conquer a land to lay claim to it, England did not. I would go one step further and state that for all of North America none of the European nations succeeded in gaining full lasting control of any of it.

            There are two core ways of looking at anything. One, the way it actually is as a realist or second, the way it could be if you allow for a added meaning. I find the second to be more complicated and it allows for some strange thinking.

            I see the Bible as a relationship with God and a straight forward message. If it’s taken out of that context and left to complicated interpretation then you will end up with thousands of ways to view it and no one will know which one is correct.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Lander7

            There is a very civil logic to your approach that definitely appeals to me. People will chose order and security over freedom, expecially when they have very little order and security to begin with. It seems to be a truism that a people rebells only when things are either going very well for them or very badly to the point where they have little to lose. When the USSR fell and when we liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, I think many Americans expected those countries to naturally flower into Jeffersonian democracies. However, as their traditional institutions fell, it was far easier to fall into a chaos where it was people sought to cling to any order that presented itself, from religious fundamentalism to a corrupt tyranny. That’s why I think (as you alude) we should be very careful about overthrowing our own governing institutions. Mere corruption is better than chaos. Continuing reform is better than revolution. You’re scriptural philosophy seems to justify this way of thinking, even though it is inconsistent, amorphous and confusing in application.

            While I agree that most of the continent was wild and unruly, there is little evidence that the 13 colonies were anything but firmly under British sovereignty. They considered themselves British
            citizens. They wanted to be British citizens. They only rebelled when they felt that they were not being treated as British citizens. After the rebellion, they basically governed themselves under the institution of British common law. It was the basic preservation of this and other British institutions (only without the King) that differentiated us from the French Revolution and likely kept us from falling into the natural chaos and desire for the order of tyranny
            that normally follows the overthrow and destruction of governing institutions.

            You could therefore make an argument that we did not actually rebell against the real authority of our basic institutions (and therefore not against God’s authority) when we rebelled against the King, but an argument that the Founders were not actually rebelling against British rule is simply not historically compelling to me.

            Like

          6. The Bible to some is just a book.
            Do you think it is just a book or the word of God?

            Some think the Bible can be interpreted to mean various things depending on the variables. That if can be used by all sides of the argument since it has multiple meanings.

            Do you think a book that can be used to justify anything is a valid path to truth?

            America:
            Let’s go with England owned America.
            Why did it own America?
            Does England own the Moon?
            If not then why not?

            Like

          7. @Lander7

            “The Bible to some is just a book.
            Do you think it is just a book or the word of God?”

            My simple answer is that I think the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus is the Word Made Flesh and Blood. However, for me at least, there is a good deal of mystery in that profound principle of faith. I try not to say that know things that God has not yet graced me with the revelation to know. I try not to say that I understand things that I actually do not understand. I try (not always successfully) not to pretend that I will ever know the infinite Mind of God just because God has given me the tiniest fraction of what I only need to know in the Revelation of His Word.

            The Word of God Is given as Story (or in other words metaphor) more than it is given as a treatise of doctrine or an essay. We comprehend and are revealed the divine truth in metaphors very much more mysteriously and profoundly than we can easily formulate in the linear logic that we devise to explain those truths into human doctrine. I think we often presume to actually comprehend more of God’s Will than we actually do know when we interpret mysterious divine revelations too literally in our desparation to formulate absolutist rules, dogmas and doctrines that are, at best, human rationalizations of those mysterious, often metaphorical revelatory truths, and at worst prideful heresies that warp the mysterious truth just to fit our prejudices.

            The fact that Christians have so many denominations, mostly with such dogmatic doctrinal differences, should give us pause when we proclaim that our own revelation of formulaic doctrine is “obviously” the only interpretation and that we have captured and manifested the Awesome Mind of God with our pitiful rationalization of His mysterious, often metaphorical and not literal, scratchings in the dirt.

            Sorry, this is a whole new and far more expansive topic than the one we are trying to bite off here, but since you asked….

            I think what you are basically saying, however, is that the rational formulation that you have divined from these scriptural passages is an absolute that is always consistently applicable when you obviously have to dance with many angels on a pin head to square that circle of historic inconsistency. You are saying that what you write is not debatable when it quite obviously is, and by people much more knowledgeable than I, like my good brother here.

            Howevrr, I am very much enjoying the debate and learning and agreeing with much of the actual truth in what you are writing. This is not meant to discourage. I very likely may just be misunderstanding you.

            Like

          8. Let’s keep the verse nearby for reference:
            Romans 13:1-2
            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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

            My past position on this was: “For me these verses simply mean what they say.”, ” I didn’t use any interpretation for these two verses, they seemed to straight forward for me to consider it.”

            You view of how I see scripture — “I think what you are basically saying, however, is that the rational formulation that you have divined from these scriptural passages is an absolute that is always consistently applicable when you obviously have to dance with many angels on a pin head to square that circle of historic inconsistency. You are saying that what you write is not debatable when it quite obviously is, and by people much more knowledgeable than I, like my good brother here.”

            My response — Let’s start with the first part, “rational formulation that you have divined”. So I took the verses as is, which means no use of personal reason, no action on my part to formulate my own understanding, and no use of my own intuition. I am trusting the author to be 100%. I would except the argument of, “Should you trust the author”, but my approach doesn’t match your observation.

            ra·tion·al·i·za·tion
            1.:the action of attempting to explain or justify behavior or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate.

            for·mu·la·tion
            1.:the action of devising or creating something.

            di·vine
            past tense: divined; past participle: divined
            1.:discover (something) by guesswork or intuition.

            My response — Let’s look at the next part, “is an absolute that is always consistently applicable”. This seems true that I would by faith see God as an absolute and that his word can be applied to anything.

            ab·so·lute
            1.not qualified or diminished in any way; total.

            But what about the rest of your sentence, “when you obviously have to dance with many angels on a pin head to square that circle of historic inconsistency.”. This is where there may be a chance to see the fallacy on my part or on yours.

            Why would I or anyone need to square the Bible with anything? We didn’t write it, we don’t make money from it, God doesn’t need our help with it. Our views on history are different so we have conflicting thoughts on what scripture would call us: rebels against God OR a new authority. But this doesn’t diminish if the scripture is true.

            You stated — “You are saying that what you write is not debatable when it quite obviously is, and by people much more knowledgeable than I, like my good brother here.”
            My response — LOL I challenge you to show me where I stated that I can’t be debated in a forum for debate. You and your brother seem quite capable of debating me easily.

            What are we really talking about? He posted these discussions because I keep using scripture to answer questions and challenge his position on political parties in the US.
            Is the Bible a good way to solve political challenges? I think it can handle all challenges.
            Is the Bible confusing? Only when using interpretation.
            Can the Bible be trusted? I think so.

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          9. As for British ownership of its colonial possessions, I think the word you are looking for is “sovereignty”. You can look up the full definition.

            That our colonies were under the sovereign power of the British monarchy, I think will meet every part of that definition. The main point of sovereignty, however, is control. Can the sovereign control and defend the territory and its subjects located there? Does that government have the exclusive use of military power within that territory? I think those questions with regard to Britain’s American colonies prior to the Revolution was certainly “yes”. Look at the French and Indian Wars as a demonstration and assertion of that British sovereignty. Look at the fact that the British colonials considered themselves British subjects under the protection and control of the King. Look at the fact that the colononies specifically rebelled against British sovereignty.

            As to the moon, if any country exercises the prerequisites of sovereignty over the moon, then, yes, in sovereign terms, that government will “own” the moon.

            Does sovereignty equate with “authority” as you are using that word? You will have to distinguish it because it seems the same to me.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. I’m trying to be careful with words. I believe God actually “owns” everything, including each of us. However, in practical material legal terms of human governing, the government that exercises “sovereignty” over the moon, as that word is generally defined, will “own” the Moon until that government is not sovereign over the Moon anymore.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Lander: “Which government will own the moon?”

            The answer to that question doesn’t really matter with respect to the subject of sovereignty, does it?
            My question to you is:
            Why can’t a government own the moon and if not why not?
            How about a satellite?
            An embassy?

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          12. I know of no reason a government can’t own the moon. They can also easily own a satellite and an embassy. All of your questions are easy.

            My question seems to still not be answered.

            “Which government will own the moon?”

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          13. I should also say that no one country may end up being sovereign over the moon. We may choose by international treaty (as I believe we do with the Antarctic and also with international waters) not to make any one government sovereign.

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          14. Well let’s go with your example from before: We know that Audi is going to the moon with us citizens to establish a colony for economic gain. They are US tax payers ergo the moon belongs to the US correct?

            If it was true for the American colonies surely it’s true for the moon.

            History is repeating it’s self.

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          15. ““Which government will own the moon?”

            The government that takes ownership and control of the moon?

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          16. Sounds about right. If there are multiple colonies on the moon from multiple nations and they unite as a new nation which nation on Earth owns that new nation?

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          17. “That’s a great response, so if China exercises “sovereignty” over the moon you would agree that they own it correct?”

            As I wrote above, the word “own” is not specific enough to be useful in this context, so I can only offer you the obvious circular logic of semantics that, if China is “sovereign” over the moon, then China is obviously sovereign over the moon.

            However, the real question is does sovereignty equate with “authority” as you are defining that word from the Bible? And if not, why?

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          18. However, the real question is does sovereignty equate with “authority” as you are defining that word from the Bible? And if not, why?

            They already have authority over China and the people who live in it (Like England). In this example they have colonies on the moon through corporations (Like England). There are other colonies on the moon from other countries but in fewer numbers.

            When we talked earlier this was all that was needed to claim sovereignty (I disagreed).

            Sovereignty is power, if you don’t have power you don’t have ownership.

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          19. “Sounds about right. If there are multiple colonies on the moon from multiple nations and they unite as a new nation which nation on Earth owns that new nation?”

            Interesting point. However, all 13 colonies that ultimately united had Britain as their sovereign, and specifically rebelled against Britain, so Your hypothetical is inapposite.

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          20. I don’t think it’s that easy to dismiss.

            England did not have sovereignty: First reason being they had to rely on others to setup the colonies. The colonies in America were founded by companies and countries. They were fought over for control by both local and foreign powers (including British authority). Consolidation of the colonies lead to a war between local allies and foreign powers.

            Our disagreement should end right here where I proved they did not have sovereignty.

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          21. @Lander7

            During the French and Indian War, the. Brits defended their sovereignty over the 13 colonies from the French. The cost of doing that provided an excuse to tax the colonies. The American Revolutionary War was in fact a rebellion against that sovereignty.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. You stated — “During the French and Indian War, the. Brits defended their sovereignty over the 13 colonies from the French.”

            My response — The question is what makes them sovereign over the colonies, I think we can all agree they fought for “protection of” and “control over”.

            You stated — “The cost of doing that provided an excuse to tax the colonies. The American Revolutionary War was in fact a rebellion against that sovereignty.”

            My response — Just to be clear are you saying that if we fight in a foreign land and then spend money defending it, we are then sovereign over it?

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          23. @Lander7

            Just to be clear? When it is so apparent you are trying muddy the waters?

            Read Declaration of Independence. The Signers put their lives, their family’s safety, and their fortunes at risk. That document is crystal clear about their purpose.

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          24. I didn’t ask for purpose I asked what makes them sovereign .

            I shouldn’t be able to muddy the waters since that is a useless trick to win an argument. I see no value in winning the argument I just want to make sure I have a clear perspective. You may be right and I may be wrong but at this point you have not presented an argument I find compelling so I’m asking for more clarity. I may even challenge those responses, but this is a forum for doing so.

            There should be no harm in asking.

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          25. This is getting litrle hard to keep up with in this format, at least for me. This is my response to your comment starting with: “Let’s keep the verse nearby for reference”

            I think you misunderstand what I am saying about metaphorical truth verses the truth that you might find in a set of rules, laws, or doctrines that were clearly written as rules, laws and doctrines.

            I spent enough time practicing law to know that even the most clearly written rules and laws are difficult to apply to a given set of facts to know that, even when scripture seems clear, it is subject to dispute in practice. That is what courts and lawyers spend all their time doing is interpreting clearly written laws and applying those laws to unique sets of facts. The fact that disputes on the law must be settled is the reason we have courts and why we have so many cases appealed. However, in the case of scripture, there is no higher authority to appeal to unless God graces a prophet among us with His revelation in a given application. “Thou shalt not kill” is pretty clear, but we obviously make lots of exceptions, for self defense, in a just war, etc.

            However, neither scriptural site you give clearly is a rule or doctrine. One is a statement, and the other really is a story, a metaphor.

            I’ve already shown that my small mind can come up with two clear interpretations of your Romans cite. And as I said, a metaphor simply does not always translate easily into doctrine, nor IMHO, were scriptural metaphors meant to.

            I can give you a much longer explanation of this, but, as I said, I’m already getting lost finding my way around this post.

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          26. @tsalmon

            Romans 13:1-7 is not metaphorical. The Apostle Paul wrote that passage to Christians who were under the domination of the Roman Empire. Our problem is the same one we always run into with the Bible. How does something written thousands of years ago apply to us?

            Because the Bible is old, and thinking is hard work, some people blow the Bible off. Others go to the opposite extreme. With Romans 13:1-7, for example, they may not bother to consider that the Apostle Paul did not write to us; he wrote to people who are now long dead. Paul wrote for us, but not to us. Hence, we have to figure out how to apply Paul’s guidance to our present situation.

            Liked by 2 people

          27. This seems fair so it leaves us with a problem. What use is it?

            If I follow the verse with no interpretation (as is) and you follow it with interpreted meaning then (A) do we end up in the same understanding? (B) If not then does the Bible still have value?

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          28. “England did not have sovereignty: First reason being they had to rely on others to setup the colonies. The colonies in America were founded by companies and countries. They were fought over for control by both local and foreign powers (including British authority). Consolidation of the colonies lead to a war between local allies and foreign powers.
            Our disagreement should end right here where I proved they did not have sovereignty.“

            Not so fast. You don’t seem to understand how ownership, control and authority exist within the aegis of sovereignty.

            Ownership of anything by a person or institution of persons, tangible or intangible, real or personal, only exists in practical terms within a bundle of rights and responsibilities to use and exclude (through that ownership) that are defined, arbitrated and enforced by the sovereign government. Companies that are chartered by a government are a legal fiction created by the sovereign, and because that sovereign defines, arbitrates and enforces that company and that company’s ownership, that company becomes an extension of the sovereign that charters it, just as an army that controls territory for a sovereign ends up extending the sovereign territory.

            Regardless, although there may have been competing sovereign charters at the time of the earliest settlements, by the time of the Revolution, the issue you are arguing was moot – the sovereignty of England over the 13 colonies was not even derivative any more. It was a given and thus the requirement to rebell. The manifesto that is the Declaration of Independence makes it very clear that they were rebelling against their sovereign and attempted to justify that rebellion. The argument was not that they never actually had a single sovereign. You’re reaching here Lander7 in order to make something fit that simply does not.

            Liked by 1 person

          29. “Romans 13:1-7 is not metaphorical.”

            To be clear, I did not say it was. Grammatically, It is a declaration, something quite different from a metaphor, but also not quite the same as a proscriptive statement with a modal verb such as “thou shall” or shall not” do a thing. Each type of Biblical writing would necessarily have very different methods and problems for interpretation that may make them more or less unambiguous.

            Other than that I have no objection to you comment.

            Liked by 1 person

          30. Citizen Tom stated — “Paul wrote for us, but not to us. Hence, we have to figure out how to apply Paul’s guidance to our present situation.”

            You stated — “Other than that I have no objection to you comment.”

            My response — You are responding to Tom but not answering or solving his dilemma. He is not worried about the objection he is struggling with the “application of”. How do we apply what the scriptures say with what is happening now at the border and should we even do so?

            We know my position, “As Is”, the Bible means what it says regardless of time, date, location, culture etc so I can easily apply it to this situation. This may be what Tom would call a, “Talking to us”, although he does not advocate that the Bible talks to us but rather that it was “Written for us”.

            So, the question is to you tsalmon, how do you apply the Bible to the border situation?

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          31. @Lander7

            “As is” is not a practical way to interpret the Bible. Here is an illustration. There was a comedy show, a spoof on the 007 spy gendre, that involved a robot sidekick, “Get Smart”. The robot took everything Maxwell Smart said literally. Imagine telling the robot Togo fly a kite. When we interpret the Bible literally, we produce similarly absurd results.

            When the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to someone, it makes no sense to ignore the fact. It just makes nonsense of the Bible. Sense you are obviously not that stupid, I am having trouble taking you seriously. Instead of being an advocate for the Bible, you appear to be the opposite.

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          32. So you see my position, of taking the word of God to mean what it says, as being an anti-bible position. Interesting, your response makes me wonder more about your view of the Bible. Does this mean you now see me as the enemy? Do you see me as someone trying to force people away from the Bible by constantly saying to trust it and quoting scripture?

            With your view of the Bible what practical use does it serve for current times?

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          33. @Lander7

            I don’t see you as an enemy. I too think the Bible says what it means and means what it says. I just think you are too dogmatic. It is dangerous to think we know more than we do.

            I read your post on what the Bible says about slavery. Then I sat there thinking. Does he think God is for or against slavery? From your post I could not decide. To determine what you think those passages mean, I had to read what you said here => https://gavinortlund.com/2018/05/25/is-the-bible-pro-slavery/. The Bible is so “obvious” to you I had go to someone else’s blog to find out what you think? That’s weird.

            Consider that pastors do Bible exposition for good reason.

            You do realize God is against slavery, and you were willing to argue the case. So I congratulate you for that. However, please observe that when some read those same passages from the Bible they think God must condone slavery. Why? The problem is not that the Bible is unclear. The problem is that when the Bible was written few saw slavery as wrong. It was an ordinary part of their daily lives. So God’s law, when properly applied, turned a vile system of exploitation into something more akin to welfare in ancient times.

            How do you define Bible literalism?

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          34. Now this is very interesting Tom since my debate with shnarkle didn’t have anything other than what was in my article. The scriptures are clear on what God thought about slavery but it is also clear about how man is to deal with slaves. These two things are not the same. It’s also clear on how slaves come to be.

            But I wonder if you are able to consider another possibility that you left out. Is it possible that your view of Bible interpretation is wrong?

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          35. @Lander7

            Uncertainty is a fact of life. All I can say is that I have made a decision for Jesus, and my faith has grown. I do wish I was better a prayer.

            There is such a thing as using scripture to understand those portion of Bible we find difficult to apprehend. So studying related passages is helpful, but we still have to make sense of the passages just as the people who first heard them.

            The parables are unique, however. Sometimes Jesus had to explain them to His apostles. In other cases they did not make sense until Jesus rose from the dead.

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          36. @Lander7

            @Lander7

            That is possible, but you have not demonstrated an approach that appears logical.

            Universities exists because some men created them to study theology. Men such as St. Augustine, Martin Luther, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin applied logic and reason to learn as much as they could about God. I am not so smart, but I will imitate them as best I can.

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          37. When it comes to the border what are you trusting him with?

            You stated before that you had to only trust yourself.

            You stated — “When we have a choice between A, B, C, D, and so forth, and the Bible does not say what choice we should make, then we should choose based upon what we think will be most pleasing to God!”

            Tom in all your opposition to the scriptures I post the solution is always what you think should be done. Your own words above directly state that “YOU” are the solution. You stated that you know what will please God.

            Where exactly are you trusting him when you are doing all the thinking?

            Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
            5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

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          38. @Lander7

            You are demanding I trust you, not God. You have proposed a misguided solution, not passed on direction from the Bible.

            The Bible says that if I have two coats and I find someone in need of a coat I should share my extra coat (Luke 3:11). It does not say to take the coat off my child’s back and give it to someone else’s child.

            I have but one country to pass onto my children and grandchildren. I will not help wreck it in a prideful and pointless display of virtue. We are supposed to be good stewards so we can share, not so we can devise ways to needlessly test our Lord.

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          39. LOL You have steadily questioned me posting scripture as a solution and then to avoid my direct questions (without scripture) you put the blame on me.
            Tom let’s just hear the truth. What value is there in having children in cages?
            Simple focused question, if you dodge it again the dishonesty will be obvious.

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          40. So let’s look at Paul’s declaration in context of the time and place, as well as the context of the Gospels. I don’t think either Paul or Jesus was interested in rebellion against Roman rule, do you? Instead don’t you think they were more interested in God’s sovereignty over the human heart and soul. Seeing the declaration in context kind of makes it metaphorical, don’t you agree?

            Did Paul expect his declaration to be used as a proscriptive statement or to be used to create a broader formulaic doctrine? Perhaps, but shouldn’t we also be very careful in doing this by realizing that we are drawing implications from either metaphorical or time, place and manner declarations rather than from the linear reasoning of an essay or a manifesto?

            Liked by 1 person

          41. You stated — “Perhaps, but shouldn’t we also be very careful in doing this by realizing that we are drawing implications from either metaphorical or time, place and manner declarations rather than from the linear reasoning of an essay or a manifesto?”

            My response —
            “implications from either metaphorical”
            If you see the scriptures as figurative then all three of us – myself, you and Tom can come to our own conclusions as it relates to things we perceive it to mean. If this is the case then of course we are all right because there is no single way to look at it. The negative way children are treated at the border is easily defended or opposed from this perspective. Scripture would then have no added value to the conversation. I would imagine this would also be an Atheistic perspective.

            “implications from either ..time,”
            If we look at the scriptures from a moment in time perspective then there is no reason to bring the bible into this argument unless we are debating history. The negative way children are treated at the border is easily defended or opposed from this perspective since there is no new revelation from God for our moment in time. Scripture would then have no added value to the conversation.

            “implications from either ..place,”
            If we look at the scriptures from a location perspective then we can exclude the Bible completely since this is America and not the middle east. The negative way children are treated at the border is easily defended or opposed from this perspective since our border is unique to our location and there is no scripture referencing the USA and Mexico.

            “implications from either ..manner declarations,”
            Given the different cultures, laws, and policies of the USA than that of Biblical times, one could easily reason they no longer apply or just apply in part. The negative way children are treated at the border is easily defended or opposed from this perspective given the complexity of policies between the US and Mexico. Scripture would then have no added value to the conversation since it doesn’t address these specific laws, cultures and policies.

            My position is absent from interpretation so it doesn’t include variables such as time, place, etc. “As is” makes no attempts to rationalize the subject matter. Interpretation is already the most popular way to look at the Bible. By sheer numbers interpretation is supported by the majority. My position is, in fact, the weakest viewed by society. So in our conversation I’m not drawing implications but rather I am simply using faith. This of course is separate from our debate on “American history” which is not a discussion of faith but rather of conclusion (the two should not be confused). To be clear I am not using linear reasoning or nonlinear reasoning to get to a solution on how children are treated at the border, I’m using faith in absence of reason. If I use my own reasoning then we would return to either “Interpretation” so it can reach a conclusion that works in my understanding or “Secular” so it can serve my bias.

            Using Bible interpretation is so popular that it was even used to justify slavery in America. So, if the goal is to find a way to justify treatment of children at the border using interpretation of the Bible I would say give up now because neither of us can take solid footing using that method.

            I personally take the stance of “as is” for scripture to defend how the children at the border are treated.

            Mark 9:36-37
            Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

            I must admit you are one of the more fascinating people I have encountered in the blogosphere. You approach to information and understanding is interesting. The manner that you use to challenge a person’s position is pleasant and at the same time effective. You also don’t seem to fearful of opposing views (which is somewhat unusual), most people I encounter either become angry or intimidated, you seem more analytical (less emotional) and truly curious. Are you a polymath of some type?
            I would also like to state that my goal is not to win an argument but rather to see the limit of my own understanding. I am curious to see if there is a greater truth so I have no need to defend what I believe just to reveal it for discussion. This is to say I could be wrong in my understanding of anything. This is why I ask so many questions on what others believe, it’s not an attack just a curiosity for seeking truth.

            Liked by 1 person

          42. @Lander7

            Jesus spoke in parables. Here is an example.

            John 6:41-59 New King James Version (NKJV)
            Rejected by His Own
            41 The Jews then [a]complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
            43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, [b]“Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who [c]has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes [d]in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
            52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
            53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is [e]food indeed, and My blood is [f]drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
            59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

            When we interpret the Bible “as is”, we can get as confused as some of those who heard Him and tried to take Him literally.

            Had Jesus come from Heaven? Yes, but was He literally bread? No. Did Jesus expect anyone to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood? No. Reason, not faith is required to understand this passage. Reason is even required to believe, but faith is required to act upon that belief.

            The Bible makes more sense than anything else, and it is reason that tells us that, not faith. However, to act upon the teachings of the Bible, we have to trust God and our understanding of the Bible. Hence, we need to pray for wisdom. To overcome our doubts, we have to have faith.

            Do you remember swimming in deep water for the first time. Then you had to have faith in your ability. When we obey God, we must have faith that He is perfectly good and holy, that He loves us.

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          43. Just two questions:

            Who determines the correct understanding?

            Is this a parable?
            Mark 9:36-37
            Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

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          44. @Lander7

            Since Jesus was teaching his apostles, the answer is no. However, that is part of a passage on humility, not border security.

            Mark 9:33-37 New King James Version (NKJV)
            Who Is the Greatest?
            33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you [a]disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

            We each have the responsibility to understand the Bible as best we can. That is why it is important to help our children study it.

            Ultimately, however, we are each dependent upon the Holy Spirit.

            2 Peter 1:16-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
            The Trustworthy Prophetic Word
            16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
            19 [a]And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private [b]interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [c]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

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          45. Just out of curiosity if this is not an example I can use for how to treat children at the border, is there any example in the Bible that can tell me how to treat children or is it void of such a thing?

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          46. @Lander7

            What you are trying to do is use the Bible to justify open borders, not to justify treating children well. Just because you have these two concerns conflated does mean I have to do so.

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          47. So when I say keep borders safe and under control you hear on you side “Open the borders up” you don’t hear “Control the border but treat children with decency.

            This is much like what you were saying about how I read the Bible. I only read what is there but you prefer that I translate it into another message based on education and knowledge.

            Before I wasn’t sure but now I clearly see that you use bias in your interpretation of anything you read or hear.

            My stance is to secure the border and treat the children with respect and kindness. We need to show the world the strength and compassion of the USA.

            Liked by 1 person

          48. @Lander7

            We are treating the children with respect and kindness. However, if Americans had treated their children the way these illegal immigrants have treated their children, we would jail them and separate them from their children..

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          49. Why is it when I bring up how we should do something you remind us of how others do something.

            If we are both Christians our role model is Christ, not poor people escaping poverty in another country or criminals seeking monetary gain in the states.

            I want to know why “WE” can’t treat the “CHILDREN” better? Is there something you think will make the USA look weak if we show compassion to children? Do you think that they are animals deserving to be caged for all the world to see?

            How do children in cages make the USA safe?
            How do children in cages please God?

            I want to understand your logic because you said to me that we have to think our way too pleasing God since he doesn’t provide all the answers.

            It’s just you and me now, I’m not throwing scripture in your face. Help me understand a better way.

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          50. There was a woman who was in a car accident a few months back. She was trying to teach her children (who were strapped in child seats in the back) a lesson in faith. She closed her eyes, gunned the gas, said that everything would be okay because God would save them due to her awesome faith…and she rammed a telephone poll. Was she behaving according to the scriptures?
            Well….there’s this bit: “don’t put the Lord your God to the test”.
            We trust in God, but also lock our doors.

            Liked by 1 person

          51. If that is disobedient (and I agree it is) what is leaving one’s door open and demanding everyone else leave their doors open to invite thievery? It is likewise disobedient.

            Liked by 1 person

          52. Do you have a door? Do you use it? Why? Do you lock your door? Why?
            I suppose it would depend on where you live and the expectation of thievery.

            Liked by 1 person

          53. I have a door. I do use it. I do lock it. I lock it so strangers won’t come into my house or so people won’t rob it.

            I used to live in Canada where we left the door open so from time to time people would come in for various reasons without being invited. Mostly people we knew.

            I am still looking for an answer to my questions. If you don’t want to answer them let me know,

            Are you saying that there is a display of faith through disobedience?

            Why is leaving your door open inviting thievery?

            Do thieves avoid closed doors?

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          54. “Are you saying that there is a display of faith through disobedience?”
            No. That’s the point. There is NO display of faith through disobedience.

            I find your argument misleading in the extreme.
            We don’t have hordes of homeless orphans at our border, we have adult people who are using children as a means to access our resources. If individuals want to help these people this is fine…don’t demand that everyone else do so.

            I have a very close friend who is in Asia now, working as a nurse, after spending many years in Africa as a nurse. She is a Christian helping children. This is her missionary work. She is also very much against open borders.

            I have a door. I do use it. I do lock it. I lock it so strangers won’t come into my house or so people won’t rob it.
            Well, there you go.

            “I used to live in Canada where we left the door open so from time to time people would come in for various reasons without being invited. Mostly people we knew.”
            I used to live in the Florida keys and we left our outdoor stuff open for the taking by people we knew (or didn’t know). They always borrowed it and brought it back.

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          55. Why is leaving your door open inviting thievery? I think you are saying that open doors makes people into criminals that can’t resist robbing you of your belongings.

            Do thieves avoid closed doors? I think you are saying they do avoid closed doors. I also think you are using this as an analogy for the border and are saying once we secure the border no one will attempt to enter the USA via tunnels, air or water.

            I’m not sure this is logical to me but I get that you see the border as a weak point for security. I can agree that the border needs to be secured if that is the argument.

            I wasn’t really talking about border security with the verse, I was addressing how to treat children at the border. I think you avoided my topic and redirected because you though I wanted an open border which I never said.

            Liked by 1 person

          56. “I think you are saying that open doors makes people into criminals that can’t resist robbing you of your belongings.”
            No, I think one is making it easier for thieves by leaving the door open. One would also be making it easier by leaving the keys in the car, or the car running and unlocked. In a bad neighborhood this would be especially bad judgment.

            “Do thieves avoid closed doors?”
            Probably more than open ones.

            ” I think you are saying they do avoid closed doors. I also think you are using this as an analogy for the border and are saying once we secure the border no one will attempt to enter the USA via tunnels, air or water.”

            Excluded middle fallacy. Making it more difficult does not mean that no one will make an attempt…it just discourages attempts.

            “I’m not sure this is logical to me but I get that you see the border as a weak point for security. I can agree that the border needs to be secured if that is the argument.”
            Yep. Guess we have no disagreement on that.

            “I wasn’t really talking about border security with the verse, I was addressing how to treat children at the border. I think you avoided my topic and redirected because you though I wanted an open border which I never said.”

            It seemed to be implied. Children at the border are the hot button issue du jour after all. Bad people often attempt to use children to manipulate good and well intentioned people.
            What we have is a resource problem. We have facilities to house children with their mothers, but we don’t have enough. We could take some resources and direct them toward making more facilities, but that will take time and money (and resources for one thing…for example border security personnel, would need to be redirected to do that). If you agree that border security is needed, the rest becomes a cost to gains equation.

            I noticed you asked Citizen Tom what is to be gained by “keeping children in cages”. Well…we keep gates around most schools too. I was “in a cage” all my school years. They keep the children in and also protect them from outsiders. I was also in a cage (called a playpen) when I was a toddler. I lived in military base housing with lead paint and aspestos for a while. We had to sign a disclaimer. I made sure not to feed our children paint chips during this time. Didn’t make a federal case about it. I’m sure if it were government funded indigent housing instead of military housing this would have made headline news.

            Liked by 1 person

          57. You stated – “I noticed you asked Citizen Tom what is to be gained by “keeping children in cages”. ….. I was also in a cage (called a playpen) when I was a toddler

            My response – My guess would be that if I’m a driver (since I own a car) you would also see yourself as a driver if you played in a motorized toy car as a child.

            This type of argument is not only nonsensical but it’s weak. I can respect (not agree with) those who put the children in cages because they have stated they want to send a message that instills fear in those trying to cross the border but your response of children detention cages being just like your playpen are intellectually dishonest and do nothing to further the argument.

            I can respect being either Hot or Cold on the subject but to make nonsensical comparisons to stay lukewarm is disappointing.

            Liked by 1 person

          58. @Lander

            When a pirate ship disguises itself as a merchant vessel, it is virtual signaling over the bounding main. Give it a break. The kids in cages pictures came out during the Obama administration, and no one cared. Now they are relevant?

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          59. Obama wasn’t a good president either so I would say they were relevant then and are still today. I’m not sure why you would think it was ok when Obama was president.

            We have to hold our leaders and organizations to a higher standard, past evils don’t excuse current evils. This should be obvious from a Christian perspective.

            Liked by 1 person

          60. Q — Obama was not a good president? Why not?
            A — He didn’t remove the “Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003”.
            He created the “National Defense Authorization Act of 2013”
            He didn’t shut down the “Pre Crime” and “DHS FAST” application programs now used in cities around the US.
            He didn’t stop the roll out of smart street lights in 2011 in Michigan.
            He didn’t shutdown the “PRISM” program.
            He didn’t end the “Patriot Act”.
            He didn’t end the “Fisa court system”.

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          61. @Lander

            Well, then. If you have to give Trump a difficult time, why don’t you focus on subjects that have more substance. Put some posts on you blog that deal with what you think Trump should be doing about such matters.

            Pictures of children sleeping comfortably in “cages” is old news.

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          62. “What value is there in having children in cages?”

            Answered a bit above, but just pondering more after a few minutes of thought.
            There are cages for children EVERYWHERE.
            Go to the nearest daycare center and look at the cages.

            Go to a mall and watch children in “cages” running around the central area of the mall…in a position they can be well guarded but also “free” in the sense they can roam around their little cages.

            Should I mention actual leases for children? I used to wonder why…that changed after my sons were born (our youngest was eight months old when he could both walk and climb). I was in a chemistry lab (my first major) and about five squirrel babies jumping into the lab. They were everywhere, running around…the mom came in and was beside herself trying to round them up. I didn’t realize at the time I was getting a premonition into my future life.

            Liked by 1 person

          63. I stated — “What value is there in having children in cages?”

            Your response — There are cages for children EVERYWHERE.
            Go to the nearest daycare center and look at the cages.
            Go to a mall and watch children in “cages” running around the central area of the mall…in a position they can be well guarded but also “free” in the sense they can roam around their little cages.

            My reply – This is the level of intellectual dishonesty I find needless in open communication. To equate American daycare centers to detention cages for children at the border is at best a failed analogy and at worst a direct lie. The emotional experience impacted on the children is not relational.

            Liked by 1 person

          64. @Lander7

            An alarm just went off! Noisy as all get out. Wonder what it is. Oh! It is nothing. BS detector. I thought I had disabled that. Wife must have turned it back on as a practical. So much BS these days it is useless. Going off all the time.

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          65. “Bad people often attempt to use children to manipulate good and well intentioned people.”
            (had an imbed quote failure…I’ll try again for clarity)

            Just to be clear, the “bad people” I’m referring to aren’t here. I have no doubt people arguing about the care of children are genuinely concerned. Just as people are always genuinely concerned by other propaganda campaigns that use children. Saddam placed anti-aircraft devices around schools and hospitals for this reason.

            I worked in a nursing home with a ridiculous patient to staff ratio and know how difficult it is to be understaffed with a lot of people under one’s care. At any time, a photographer might have gone into this facility and taken pictures “proving” abuse that was not really there…but things looked bad from a still shot with no context. IN the meantime every caregiver (or the vast majority) were very good and caring people doing a very difficult job with limited resources.

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          66. You stated — “Bad people often attempt to use children to manipulate good and well intentioned people.”

            My response — That’s irrelevant to what we do with children as a nation. The USA does not make excuses for our behavior in connection to someone elses agenda. We set the example of what should be done. We are not cowards who need to hide behind “Good” or “Bad” people doing things.

            We would sound like children crying that “Bobby made me do it!”

            You stated — “I worked in a nursing home with a ridiculous patient to staff ratio and know how difficult it is to be understaffed with a lot of people under one’s care. At any time, a photographer might have gone into this facility and taken pictures “proving” abuse that was not really there…but things looked bad from a still shot with no context. ”

            My response — If they can take a picture of something being done incorrectly and you have also stated that the facility was understaffed then obviously service is lacking. Why are there so many excuses for failed service or bad behavior. Obviously, the nursing home was not managed correctly. Call it what it is.

            I think the problem with bad behavior is the thick layer of bias and hypocrisy that protects it. People are unwilling to see things as they are. Just mountains of excuses and exceptions designed to justify idiocracy.

            Liked by 1 person

          67. “That’s irrelevant to what we do with children as a nation. The USA does not make excuses for our behavior in connection to someone elses agenda. We set the example of what should be done. We are not cowards who need to hide behind “Good” or “Bad” people doing things.”

            Partial information is extremely misleading. Bernard Shaw was correct when he said it was worse than ignorance. Having been on the receiving end of partial information before, I’m hyper aware of when someone is attempting to manipulate me.

            Now that you’ve called me dishonest (and a liar), our conversation is over.

            Liked by 2 people

          68. “I don’t blame you. If someone called me out on those kind of statements I would have run away too.”

            Respect for Citizen Tom is the reason I have stopped responding. When people get personal I tend to do the same thing, and it isn’t polite.
            I appreciate that you “can respect hot or cold” on an issue….so if I would, for instance, respond that we should just drown all children who show up at our borders you would respect that. Likewise, you might respect hand wringing and empty demands (but the children!) fueled by monumental ignorance.

            But attempting to place limited resources in context is lost with you.
            I get it. You’re not accustomed to difficult situations. You did say you were Canadian.

            Liked by 1 person

          69. No need to hide behind Tom, you can talk directly to me. As for your comments comparing children in detention cages being like your childhood playpen I still find it utterly absurd.

            We have the resources to treat those children with kindness and respect we just don’t have the resolve to do so.

            One thing I learned in the Navy, only cowards use children to prove a point.

            Liked by 1 person

          70. @Lander7

            anon is a lady. You are not a gentleman.

            anon does not have to hide behind me. If cannot treat her and my other guests with respect, you don’t belong here. I have an obligation to maintain a civil environment.

            One thing I learned in the Navy, only cowards use children to prove a point.

            When we cannot make our case logically, and we won’t give up, we shame people and start name calling. Evil people, by the way, do that even more readily than good people.

            Like it or not no one has to agree with you. What does a Christian do when that happens? He or she prays and strives to be salt and light. It is God who saves souls, not a bunch of rude bluster.

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          71. I’m not sure I have to state the obvious here but the cowards are those holding children in cages for political pressure not Anon.

            Not sure about the good people vs evil people reference since only God is good.

            I don’t have a case I just noted that it’s nonsensical to compare children in cages at detention centers to Anon’s childhood playpen. Which I absolutely still say was a ridiculous comparison. If you want to defend it you can.

            Liked by 1 person

          72. @anon

            I doubt Lander7 is representative of Canadians. However, we could start dumping Central Americans (and Mexican too) on their doorstep. Expect they would look at Sweden and start putting up a wall.

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          73. @anon

            I think Lander7 is frustrated. He is good at arguing, but he does not seem to care enough whether he makes sense. As far as I can tell, he does not think faith rest upon a foundation built with evidence and reason. Yet we just do what at first glance the Bible seems to be telling us, can you imagine the foolishness? Can you imagine responding to Ecclesiastes that way? Until I read a good commentary, I had that book upside down and backwards.

            Getting it wrong, by the way, is commonplace with Ecclesiastes and some other parts of scripture. The Bible requires study. Nothing worthwhile comes without prayer and effort.

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          74. “I think Lander7 is frustrated. He is good at arguing, but he does not seem to care enough whether he makes sense.”

            Agreed. Nor did he appear to learn much about resources or budgeting in the Navy. One can’t simply draw funds from the ether, they have to be budgeted in. When resources are scarce, that doesn’t mean resources aren’t possibly available anywhere, it means they are budgeted for other things. When Trump agreed to house parents and children together, he came up with a budget and it was large amount of money. Even if and when the funding becomes available it will take time to build those facilities…and we need to decide as a country how much we are willing to spend on people who have come over illegally.

            The point of my nursing home story (thank you Master-of-the-Obvious Lander, I will now call you Moto) was to illustrate what happens when resources (in this case staff) are low. Indeed, we had a management problem. I could go into a long explanation but it would be beside the point. There is no practical value in pointing to management (though rescinding some pointless regulations would have made life easier immediately) when there is a dearth of staff and resources. That isn’t going to get the immediate Jay Oh Bee done. Staff needs to be first approved, then vetted and trained. If more facilities are needed, they will have to be expanded.

            Cages, as mentioned, are a measure to protect. The same reason we have cages in daycare centers and schools. The old policy of simply releasing children to the care of “relatives” led to massive child trafficking.

            Liked by 1 person

          75. @anon

            Some of those children had a rough journey north. I suspect the cages looked good after they realized they were going to be fed, clothed, and sheltered.

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          76. You stated — “I think Lander7 is frustrated. He is good at arguing, but he does not seem to care enough whether he makes sense.”
            My response — I’m not emotional at all since we are just debating a topic, that would be a silly. How you or I feel has no bearing on the truth, so it would be a waste of time.

            I still say that your statement of comparing your childhood playpen to detention centers from children at the border is nonsensical. I haven’t changed my position and you clearly can’t justify your statement.

            You stated — “Nor did he appear to learn much about resources or budgeting in the Navy. One can’t simply draw funds from the ether, they have to be budgeted in.”
            My response — You are not being clear, are you saying that we must put children in cages because we don’t have resources or it’s ok since it’s just like your childhood playpen? Changing the “why” of something indicates you don’ believe it yourself.

            You stated — “Indeed, we had a management problem.”
            Moto’s response — That is a truthful response and it should end there and not trail into nonsensical excuses for why service was bad.

            You stated — “The same reason we have cages in daycare centers and schools.”
            My response — Show me daycares here in the US that use cages or pile on excuses why you can’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          77. @Lander7

            I’m not emotional at all since we are just debating a topic, that would be a silly.

            You are making a purely emotional argument because you are not emotional? In that case you are just cynically playing upon the emotions of others. In either case you are making an emotional argument.

            Your argument comes down to children in cages. So? There is nothing to discuss. Moreover, you don’t address anyone’s else’s points.

            Your behavior reminds me of any old joke.

            Question: Why did the ugly woman wear a bikini?

            Answer: To get attention.

            Trolls do the same sort of thing.

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          78. Now this is interesting, you see the issue with the border as an emotional issue where I see it as bad policy and against biblical scripture.

            This explains why you keep making excuses for bad behavior. You are emotionally invested and see this as an argument that must be won.

            I’m only waiting for the acknowledgement of the truth or for me to be proved wrong (which is possible).

            Liked by 1 person

          79. Case in point, the ICE recently shut down a sex trafficking ring in California. They were met with protestors demanding they leave. The protestors, it seems, support child sex trafficking. Or maybe they’re just useful idiots (Hanlon’s razor probably applies…I’ll go with that one).

            Liked by 1 person

          80. Anon you keep making the most ludicrous statements. First you compared your childhood playpen to the children detention centers at the border.

            Now you are stating that protesters are out cheering for child sex trafficking.

            Again this is nonsensical, such statements don’t connect with reality. I’m not even sure why you would say such a things.

            What point are you trying to make with this new comment?

            Liked by 1 person

          81. “Show me daycares here in the US that use cages or pile on excuses why you can’t.”

            https://www.collegestationfencing.com/does-your-childcare-facility-have-the-right-fence/

            https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/day-care-students-on-a-chain-link-fence-at-jose-marti-park-news-photo/814537626#day-care-students-on-a-chainlink-fence-at-jose-marti-park-picture-id814537626

            Really all you need to do is Google “child daycare” and “chain link fence”.
            Or just go to your neighborhood daycare center and you’ll see similar.
            (the CDS on base will do…far better typically than anything in the community and they all have what could be described as “cages” as well).

            Liked by 1 person

          82. Anon, do you know what a cage is?

            If so why are you showing me fences in school playgrounds?

            Is this silliness really the best you have to defend your ridiculous statements about children in cages at detention centers on the border being the same as your childhood playpen? Or do you really not know that a fence is not a cage?

            Liked by 1 person

          83. oops…not CDS,
            CDC (center for child development) that acronym always messes me up (since it’s the same as center for disease control).

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          84. “Anon, do you know what a cage is?”

            I think that question would best be answered by YOU.
            What is your means of distinction?

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          85. You asked — What is your means of distinction?

            Cage
            a boxlike enclosure having wires, bars, or the like, for confining and displaying birds or animals.
            anything that confines or imprisons; prison.

            I’m sure you will continue to associate childhood playpens with even this definition but you asked so I answered.

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          86. It may be worth pointing out that CAGES is the buzz word whereby the leftist propaganda machine is ordered to use to create an impression. Period. A house for animals!! That impression is solely designed to pit one against another, Dem against Repub, with the Dem being allegedly more compassionate, more caring, more HUMANE. B.S!!

            People have CAGES in their postage sized lots surrounding their homes. They are called FENCES. Nobody gripes about FENCES when the children play. It is their area, to track where they are, and to keep dogs and thieves OUT.

            Hope you agree that CAGES is pure PR. Fences are obviously needed. Hardly an explanation is necessary, but someone in the media should have the guts to say what I am saying here.

            Liked by 1 person

          87. Imagine the board room daily meetings: Use the word CAGES. Say it loud and say it often.

            Blitzer: ‘BREAKING NEWS NOW……….CAGES!!

            I would use the word media malfeasance, but its not strong enough.

            Liked by 1 person

          88. How is it possible for you to blame one side for causing division while at the same time using divisive speech? What is your point?

            What would you like for all the Democrats to do?

            Just curious.

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          89. Try to stay focused, and has been mentioned, this thread has said enough to chew on. The issue on the table here regards immigration and ‘cages.’

            A fair minded judge is not moved by the tears of children. For God’s sake I have seen worse tantrums in grocery stores by the ‘abusive parents’ who would not buy spoiled little Johnny a Reese’s cup. And they are free birds not even in ‘cages.’

            Even heard of Mike Savage? That brilliant mind sez liberalism is a mental disorder. Based on the cage thing, he may be right.

            Liked by 1 person

          90. I don’t mind a dodge on my question.

            You posted — “That brilliant mind sez liberalism is a mental disorder.”

            My response — Your last statement is more divisive than your first. I agree let’s stay focused since this is just a conversation on the Bible and Border and not on liberalism let’s leave it out of the conversation.

            You stated –“A fair minded judge is not moved by the tears of children.”
            My response — I will choose to side with God on this one against your comment.

            Psalm 56:8
            8 You keep track of all my sorrows.[a]
            You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
            You have recorded each one in your book.

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          91. For God’s sake lander you are lost as fog as to what the tears in a bottle mean. God is a God of law and order also. He is not the great uncle who gives you candy while you rape his wife.

            You do know it is possible to forgive someone while they meet their maker in the electric chair for murder…………

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          92. You stated — “He is not the great uncle who gives you candy while you rape his wife.”

            My response — Try to stay focused, and has been mentioned, this thread has said enough to chew on. The issue on the table here regards immigration and ‘cages,.

            With you rape analogy aside I find the treatment of children at the border to be lacking the compassion and resolve of our great nation. We can do better.

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          93. Final comment.
            Years ago, when the Irish, Polish, Slavs, Italians, etc etc came to America, they kissed the ground of USA looking for a better life. They learned ENGLISH, and willingly and gladly ASSIMILATED into America’s culture.

            They did not want a handout. They worked in coal mines, laying railroads, factories, etc etc, as immigrants. But one thing you are forgetting.

            They were not lawbreakers. And their children did not embarrass them in public. They raised families that were equally responsible, and their children’s children were not lawbreakers, so yeah,, everyone can do better.

            The ‘immigrants’ you try to defend are lawbreakers, secondly, they do not respect America, and this is a fact. If they did, there would be no border crisis, and you would not be trying to defend puppy dog tears.

            Liked by 1 person

          94. Children are worth defending and your argument isn’t persuasive enough for me to change my position, nor is it entirely historically correct.

            Your earlier analogy using rape is also not persuasive.

            Christ has set an example of how to love people that can easily be applied to those children and I as a Christian maintain that we can do better when dealing with them.

            Matthew 18:10
            10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

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          95. @Lander7

            Do better doing what? Putting on a show?

            You make a big deal out of Romans 13:1-7. Then when people insist upon an orderly immigration process, you drop Romans 13:1-7 like a hot potato. Yet you hold yourself up as devoted to the Bible. You care for the children? Laughable!

            Why did God call upon Christians to obey the men who ran the Roman Empire? The Emperor Nero loved children? That man was a pedophile. As bad as the Roman Empire was, the Roman authorities maintained order. In the midst of chaos the weak — children — suffer most.

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          96. “I don’t it is possible to convince Lander7 of anything he doesn’t want to believe”

            I’m not trying to convince him at this point, I’m just honestly curious how he’d answer that question.
            Not surprised in the least there’s nothing but the sound of crickets.

            Liked by 1 person

          97. You stated — ““I don’t it is possible to convince Lander7 of anything he doesn’t want to believe””

            My response — You can easily convince me of anything that is backed by scripture in service to the Lord.

            You could also convince me of something if it shows the Love of Christ to another human being.

            You stated — “I’m not trying to convince him at this point, I’m just honestly curious how he’d answer that question.
            Not surprised in the least there’s nothing but the sound of crickets.”

            My response — I wasn’t aware of any timers for a casual debate on morality, politics and faith but noted. I believe the question was answered about my definition of a cage. You may now continue to mock me because I believe we can do better in our service to children.

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          98. @Lander7

            All you do is repeat the word cage and tell us how devoted you are to the Bible. Do you seriously consider the ideas presented to you? Nope! Even Bible quotes don’t seem to get your attention.

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          99. I’m ok with that. If your biggest gripe with me is that I’m devoted to the Bible and stand up for children in cages, then I’m fine with it.

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          100. @Lander7

            You have not stood up for anyone but Lander.

            I can point to a pile of manure speak volumes of words about how that pile stinks and attracts flies. I can bemoan its potential to spread disease. However, I prefer to follow the example of the people who make toilets, run sewage treatment centers, and make fertilizer out of the stinking stuff.

            So far you have said nothing useful about helping those “children in cages”. All you have done is make noise and offend people.

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          101. You stated — “All you have done is make noise and offend people.”
            My response — I think I’m being clear enough. I’ve explained in detail my dislike of seeing children in cages at detention centers. I’ve explained in detail my position on scripture and the need to promote a relationship with God in our actions. I’ve also answered every question given to me in detail.

            The point of conversation, (for me), is to hear alternative views and adjust my understanding (if convinced). We then use our understanding to influence others and change the very makeup of government.

            That said, I really am uninterested in an argument about arguing.

            There is only one Judge who matters.

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          102. @Lander7 wrote:

            “I must admit you are one of the more fascinating people I have encountered in the blogosphere. You approach to information and understanding is interesting. The manner that you use to challenge a person’s position is pleasant and at the same time effective. You also don’t seem to fearful of opposing views (which is somewhat unusual), most people I encounter either become angry or intimidated, you seem more analytical (less emotional) and truly curious. Are you a polymath of some type?”

            Sorry, I have not responded earlier, but I thought the conversation had moved on. I appreciate the compliment. No, I am not a polymath. A polymath would be a master of many diverse things. I am a jack of many diverse skills, but a master of few. For example, I play a little guitar, badly though, but I enjoy the learning.

            I have been out of this discourse too long to add anything meaningful. The discussion of metaphorical verses literal interpretation is interesting.

            You want to say that you take scripture “as is”. However, have you ever read about the philosophy of “as if”? It was a precursor to logical positivism, and has been discredited as fallacious by many, but I think it still has some truth to it. The idea is that we judge the merit of statements, not so much by their truth or falsity (which in many cases may be impossible to prove), but instead by how well the statements work in application when we act “as if” the statements were true.

            I don’t think you can take either of the scriptural statements you have cited out of the context (the story) of time, place and manner, or, when the scripture is a metaphor (the Samuel cite), out of the difficult interpretive pedagogy of the symbolical, rather than just the literal, statements made by the heroes and villains within the story. We have to look at the larger symbolism, and ask, when it is possible, how our heroes in the story would act if placed in the dilemma we are faced with today. The question “what would Jesus (or Moses or Paul or the hero of one of Jesus’ parables) do” cannot really be pedagogically assertained outside the context of the actual story or the story of their times. You are applying scripture in question to history and to present circumstances “as if” there is no other context. I’m not saying that your application is wrong in any given case, I’m just saying that your application to some historical examples you’ve given is fraught with inconsistencies.

            That said, it would seem that in my absence the discussion has moved on and, unfortunately, devolved. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that you were trying to insult anon when you simply stated that comparing children in cages to children in play pens is patently ludicrous. It’s like saying that a Navy ship is the same as a prison simply because we don’t, for your own safety, let you jump overboard.

            Why Tom and anon saw your pointing out this obvious fallacy as an insult is beyond me because it is obvious from your tone that you were not being insulting. If the equation (we are putting children in prison) is too hard to justify, Tom and anon simply wish to change the terms of the equation – a cage is not s prison, it’s a playpen. And then they have chosen to feel insulted because you won’t accept their so unseriously changing the equation.

            Either way, this has gone as far as it can and has become too unworkable for me so I’m moving on.

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          103. You stated — “I appreciate the compliment.”

            My response — It was more of an observation but I’m glad you took it in a positive way.

            You stated — “You want to say that you take scripture “as is”. However, have you ever read about the philosophy of “as if”?….. The idea is that we judge the merit of statements, not so much by their truth or falsity (which in many cases may be impossible to prove), but instead by how well the statements work in application when we act “as if” the statements were true.

            My response — I don’t think “as if” is a good approach, it leaves to many avenues for cognitive dissidence. For example, I’ve listened to a number of preachers who no longer believe in God but still pastor churches. They pretend to believe to achieve a peaceful congregation where everyone is happy while secretly feeling dishonest and stressed out over conflicting beliefs.
            We should either believe and trust a source of information or not. It is either true or it is not true. The outcome of truth isn’t always smooth and pleasant, it doesn’t always fit.

            You stated — “I don’t think you can take either of the scriptural statements you have cited out of the context (the story) …. when the scripture is a metaphor (the Samuel cite), out of the difficult interpretive pedagogy of the symbolical, rather than just the literal, statements made by the heroes and villains within the story.”

            My response – This would be more of a secular approach to understanding the Bible. This approach is becoming more popular for people who believe in God but think much of the Bible is just a story. They don’t believe Adam and Eve are real or the Ark, etc. This one I found interesting for example, it reminded me of my earlier talks with you.

            You stated — “You are applying scripture in question to history and to present circumstances “as if” there is no other context. I’m not saying that your application is wrong in any given case, I’m just saying that your application to some historical examples you’ve given is fraught with inconsistencies.”

            My response — The application of scripture is correct, I think there are some assumptions being made when it comes to non-biblical history. We can easily have different perspectives on historical events and how they may or may not place us in a relationship with God. History is not perfect, and we only have our own bias and understanding to rely on (for non-biblical) content. I would also go one step further and state that much of history is still being rewritten due to how many factual events were buried for political and moral reasons. When it comes to history we can all be wrong for a given number of reasons. I’m not seeking a historical debate, but I did provide my understanding of some historical events.

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          104. “Why Tom and anon saw your pointing out this obvious fallacy as an insult is beyond me because it is obvious from your tone that you were not being insulting. If the equation (we are putting children in prison) is too hard to justify, Tom and anon simply wish to change the terms of the equation – a cage is not s prison, it’s a playpen. And then they have chosen to feel insulted because you won’t accept their so unseriously changing the equation.”

            The question was: “what its the advantage of placing children in cages?” (or some such…it’s been a while but that was the guist. My response applies on those grounds. One can call the chain link fences cages in either case. I would not call either a cage, but the fences/cages serve the same purpose (and are made of the same material, and the same size). Now…I think it is hyperbole in the extreme to call them cages, but I didn’t use the term. Yes, the children are kept in, yes it is for their protection.
            Perhaps I’m hyper sensitive but in my view being called a dishonest liar and coward are in fact insulting.

            Liked by 1 person

          105. You stated — “I think it is hyperbole in the extreme to call them cages, but I didn’t use the term.”

            cage
            noun [ C ] US
            ​a structure shaped like a box but with bars or wires as its sides, for keeping pets or for housing animals:
            A cage does not hermetically separate the contents from external environmental influences, which is one of its most important properties. In contrast to a basket, a cage is generally closed on all sides.

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          106. It’s like saying that a Navy ship is the same as a prison simply because we don’t, for your own safety, let you jump overboard.
            Analogy fails. The children at no point in either scenario have personal autonomy to go where they want. A more apt comparison would be a Naval brig.
            This is why children are used so often for propaganda purposes (as noted above).
            The children in this case often brought over by human traffickers and more safe than they’ve been in a long, long while.
            Are the conditions optimal? No. See above explanation as to why.

            Liked by 1 person

          107. You stated — “This is why children are used so often for propaganda purposes (as noted above).”

            My response — Now the most powerful country on Earth that claims to be a Christian nation is also using children for propaganda. This is the message you have refused to accept.

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          108. @anon

            Sorry, if I’m confused then. Like I said, I’ve gotten a little lost here in the diversity of the topics and the sheer scale of the number of replies. It is a tribute to Tom’s blog to have generated this much discussion. I hope that Tom can narrow the scope of some of this and pursue the individual topics further in other posts.

            I think that discourse that seeks truth relies on a certain amount of trust that the other person is being sincere, but it also relies on each side actually being sincere – meaning not too sarcastic or hyperbolic. That said, a little bit of a thick skin is also necessary to a point. Just because you say that I am wrong does not mean that you think I am not sincerely wrong. Your insulting me or my feeling insulted really doesn’t prove anything, but it sure ends a discussion real quick before anyone actually learns anything, don’t you think?

            You’re smart and your logic often cuts right to the chase in an acerbic way that is mostly light hearted, at least that is the way I take it. Your debate style is to often use analogies. I like that. Sorry if I sometimes, find your analogies to be inapposite. Questioning the analogy is not the same as questioning your intelligence or sincerity. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but couldn’t we just take it as a given that we respect both those things.

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          109. “Sorry if I sometimes, find your analogies to be inapposite. Questioning the analogy is not the same as questioning your intelligence or sincerity. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but couldn’t we just take it as a given that we respect both those things.”

            You point is well taken, TSalmon. Think you for the considered response.
            I’m also getting lost in the long thread.

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          110. “Cage
            a boxlike enclosure having wires, bars, or the like, for confining and displaying birds or animals.”

            By this definition, neither (illegal) immigrant children nor children in daycare are being held in cages.

            “anything that confines.”

            By this definition, BOTH are held in cages.

            Thank you for clarifying.

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          111. Anon I did provide a picture of the children in cages. Even the people there onsite described them as cages, the media agreed they are cages. What is the point of not acknowledging the truth of the situation?

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          112. “A cage does not hermetically separate the contents from external environmental influences, which is one of its most important properties. In contrast to a basket, a cage is generally closed on all sides.”

            Even better. This definition also applies to both.

            Liked by 1 person

          113. Just to add, it wouldn’t perform very well for the purpose if it were not “enclosed on all sides”. The photo provided looks like a temporary holding facility. Without context there is no way to know what is going on in that photo. Are they there for a few hours? Days? Months? Doesn’t look like a place they are kept for any length of time beyond the time it would take to process and move them on to other more permanent facilities.

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          114. Are you telling me at the last second that you don’t know the details of what we have been talking about? Is this the first time you’ve seen the children at the detention center?

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          115. The images are supplied by the US government to the press. US Border Patrol Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, on June 17, 2018. Children are separated into cages.

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          116. “Now the most powerful country on Earth that claims to be a Christian nation is also using children for propaganda. This is the message you have refused to accept.”

            The US government isn’t the one using children for propaganda purposes. That would be the people screaming about children in cases (with photos of “children” the size of grown men in holding facilities).

            At any rate, feel free to spew away personal insults about my “fleeing” “cowardice” and “dishonesty” again, this thread is too long and confusing for me to continue so I’ll let you throw the last personal insult and you can call it a day.

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          117. @Lander7,

            How ironic that this discussion has ended on the meaning of a word, “cage”, because the word itself is just a symbol that has both both an objective consensus of meaning and a subjective individual meaning, a picture, which the word invokes in the mind of each reader. To take a story like Adam and Eve “only” literally is to miss most of the profound universal psychological resonance and truth of that story. It is also to remain ignorant of how God created our minds to recognize and respond to such truth long before the Age of Reason convinced us to dismiss the deepest levels of thinking. Suffice it to say that ancient readers simply would not have rationalized away this most profound meaning of scripture the way we cannot help but do today.

            I would love to have a discussion on such scriptural interpretation. I think Tom’s and other’s scriptural knowledge here are better than mine and they would add the most to such a discussion, but I have perhaps spent more time than some here studying and contemplating the theological philosophy and psychology of knowledge.

            However, we will have to save that for another post at our host’s convenience as, has already been pointed out, this thread is too convoluted at this point.

            Liked by 1 person

          118. You stated – “How ironic that this discussion has ended on the meaning of a word, “cage””

            My response – Thank God it ended, I can only talk for so long on human compassion in relation to the Bible centered around one simple concept of how to treat child. I honestly look forward to seeing what the third post is about, I was stuck here given my time and number of projects.

            You stated – “To take a story like Adam and Eve “only” literally is to miss most of the profound universal psychological resonance and truth of that story. “

            My response – I disagree but like you said it would be an even larger discussion than this much simpler conversation. I provided a link to a post I made about a very interesting practice made by people who are creatively interpreting stories in the Bible. Given the power of religion and the nonsensical nature of the masses I find reducing the Bible to stories as a dangerous proposal.

            https://realitydecoded.blog/2018/01/03/jumping-over-babies-to-remove-sin/

            You stated – “It is also to remain ignorant of how God created our minds to recognize and respond to such truth long before the Age of Reason convinced us to dismiss the deepest levels of thinking. “

            My response — I think the Bible creates a ridged structure that forces us to use reason in a way that makes if much more difficult for ignorance to flourish in the secular world. The thing about interpretation is that it allows for a number of creative ways to use scripture to destroy lives.

            https://realitydecoded.blog/2018/01/06/the-loved-slave-ship-jesus-of-lubeck/

            Liked by 1 person

          119. @Tsalmon

            When you read a difficult passage, take the time to read multiple translations. That will both help you understand the passage and to understand whether the translators agree on the meaning. It is also useful to use more than one commentary.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “Bad people often attempt to use children to manipulate good and well intentioned people.”

          Just to be clear, the “bad people” I’m referring to aren’t here. I have no doubt people arguing about the care of children are genuinely concerned. Just as people are always genuinely concerned by other propaganda campaigns that use children. Saddam placed anti-aircraft devices around schools and hospitals for this reason.

          I worked in a nursing home with a ridiculous patient to staff ratio and know how difficult it is to be understaffed with a lot of people under one’s care. At any time, a photographer might have gone into this facility and taken pictures “proving” abuse that was not really there…but things looked bad from a still shot with no context. IN the meantime every caregiver (or the vast majority) were very good and caring people doing a very difficult job with limited resources.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Tom, I wrote a post to offer a suggestion for everyone pointing fingers at each other about children being separated from parents at the border.

    Frankly, its time to break up with chronic complainers and naysayers who shoot arrows instead of making decisions to solve the 35 year problem wrecking our nation.

    If interested,

    https://rudymartinka.com/2018/06/20/king-solomon-is-breaking-up-really-that-hard-to-do/

    Regards and good will blogging.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Interesting Tom,

    I don’t think you truly understand the definition of “normative” however. The way that you have defined is not the more subtle way that lawyers and political scientists use that word.

    When you read the word normative, think “should”. For example, whether the justice department should separate innocent children from their parents (and thereby cause undue suffering and trauma upon those innocent children) because those parents committed what is essentially a federal misdemeanor, is a normative (or essentially a moral) question. By comparison, the legal reality that nothing in the current law requires such a separation is a legal fact not even in question. Do you see the important distinction?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Utilitarians pretty much believed in providing the greatest utility (basically and nebulously defined as “happiness”) for the greatest number of people. You could also call it “the greater good” political philosophy.

      The inherent moral flaw of Utilitarianism was exposed in this hypothetical:

      Everyone in the country is prosperous and swimming in utility. However, in order for this to happen, somewhere in a deep, dark, sound proofed dungeon an innocent child must suffer by being brutally and continuously tortured.

      What do you think of this famous hypothetical in regard to Utilitarianism? Given your answer, what do you think of the utility of tougher border enforcement in which we all prosper, but which can only be done by traumatizing innocent children by separating those children indefinitely from their parents is?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Where did I advocate anything that even looks like what you are talking about? Look up the straw man fallacy.

        We make trade offs. They are unavoidable. We give policemen guns. Usually they use those weapons responsibly. Sometimes they don’t.

        We have borders. To prevent chaos, we enforce our borders to protect ourselves from people we don’t want here. That includes stopping poor, uneducated people in other nations from coming here and using “free” public services. It also includes stopping greedy capitalists from reaping profits off of hordes unskilled illegal immigrant laborers. Thus, different people have different priorities.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Where did I say that I wanted government to solve every problem? This is a very specific problem – an influx of refugee families from South of our borders that may have numerous ways to resolve (both at the source and here), but you are “too smart” not to realize that our government must be a major part of those difficult, imperfect solutions,and that the only “simple” solutions are fascist beyond what most Christians (and most Americans) are willing to stomach. Trump is not solving any problems. He is creating cruel chaos just to troll liberal anger (which you lust more than love itself don’t you?) and throw constant red meat at his cult-like tribe of followers.

        Unfortunately, demagogues like Trump don’t realy care about complexity or facts or expertise. He only cares about creating chaos and stoking, yes, “tribalistic” hatred, fear, racism and grievance between Americans who otherwise would have such Christian values as welcoming the desperate stranger in common. That stunt Trump pulled in bringing in victims of immigrant traffic accidents and crime in order to justify our ripping children from their mothers is a disgusting example that the man and his acolytes have no shame.

        Fact: Immigrants (undocumented or not) are statistically far less likely to commit crimes than native citizens. (This only makes sense if you think about it for half a second). Despite Trump’s constantly lying about this, Germany’s and our crime rates are down.

        Fact: Over time, immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services.

        Tom, I would not normally use this term because it is so subject to theological dispute, but in this case, this is so shamefully clear that I will: Trump’s immigration policies are simply “not Christian” and defy everything that I believe about being a Christian for we as a nation to treat our desperate brothers and sisters this way.

        This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue (and I have voted for both and frankly could care less about your cultish Party tribalism). This is an issue of basic human decency.

        And no, it does not make me angry. It makes me sad and ashamed. I did not serve 20 years in the military so that the American values that I cherish could turn so blatantly and hatefully Fascist. And yes, I am willing to send my money, my thoughts and my time where my mouth is on this shameful Trumpian debacle.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Tony

          What you are calling facts are not facts. I suggest you check some other sources.

          Try using some commonsense. The first thing an illegal immigrant does is break the law. That is not a good sign.

          There are two ways people use to get into the USA illegally: overstay their visa or sneak across the border.

          Those overstaying their visa probably have at least a high school education and halfway decent jobs since most people don’t see anything to gain by turning them in. Even with Trump in charge the government does not want to do anything about most of the immigrants who are already in the country. However, these people are liars (admittedly, a common problem). They promised not to overstay their visas, and they did.

          Those sneaking across the border are more desperate, and most illegals seem to fall into this category. Sneaking across the border is a risky activity and more likely to be associated with crime. Coyotes are a class of criminals.

          What about statistical data? Illegal immigrants live in the “shadows” by definition. We don’t know how many people we are talking about. So you have these facts? From folks like CNN, no doubt. Is that funny or pathetic? I don’t know, but the chance that illegal aliens are good for the USA is almost nil.

          There always people who benefit from an illegal activity, but the reason that activity is illegal is that most people are harmed. That’s why we make some activates illegal. Illegal immigration is illegal BECAUSE we don’t want those people in our country.

          Consider what it means when you throw out terms like “Fascist”. You are being played for a fool by people who benefit from illegal immigration. Do we regulate who crosses our border by sticking people in concentration camps and systematically murdering them? Really? Don’t be an idiot.
          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/21/democrats-in-a-lather-over-the-good-news/

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    2. @tsalmon

      What I see is a lame excuse for catch and release.

      Normative behavior is a statistical average. It depends upon the set of people we choose. What is normative for people in an insane asylum and normative for folks in vacation resort in Hawaii are two different things.

      What is normative for border security? Before Trump? We didn’t have secure borders. We had a president deliberately undermining border security. We had catch and release.

      When we enforce our borders, we don’t have hordes of unaccompanied children trying to cross our borders — which is actually the much bigger problem. That is reckless behavior. But what do the Liberal Democrats focus upon? Oh the horrors! We are separating children from people who could be their parents, but we don’t know.

      If we don’t want hordes of people trying to break into our country, we have to reduce the expectation of success. If we don’t want the norm in the United States to become the norm we find in a third world nation, we have to detain illegal immigrants, punish them, and then send them home.

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      1. So given that you have continued to volunteer to be Trump’s apologist for this horrific policy, I’ll ask the question again: How many innocent children are you willing to make suffer in order for you to have the utility of feeling safe and secure?

        When even his evangelical Christian supporters balked at the horror of children in cages, Trump folded today. This is essentially the local equivalent of being arrested and having your children taken away because you got a traffic ticket.

        You’re the scripture scholar. Did Jesus say, “Don’t let the children in. Stop them and imprison them, along with their parents. For the Kingdom of God belongs only to the legal resident.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. BTW, I still don’t think you understand the word “normative” as it is applied at law and in political science. These areas separate rational questions of regular juris prudence and of fact from what “should” or “should not” be done. Think of it this way:

          “The evidence leads to the factual conclusion that John killed Bill.”

          Or

          “The law on murder has these elements.”

          Verses

          “John should not have killed Bill.”

          Don’t worry if this distinction is confusing at first. It took me until the second semester of law school to fully comprehend how lawyers distinguish normative arguments from legal and factual arguments. In an important sense, however, it is how the law remains secularly impartial. It is something that our lawyer Founders would have understood implicitly. It is basically the reason why John Adams successfully defended the British soldiers who were prosecuted for the Boston massacre even though his countrymen thought the British occupation immoral. And it is germane to this discussion in how authority under the law is or can be, I think, divine authority as Lander7 describes it.

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          1. Finally, with regards to the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, was it really necessary for all those people to uselessly suffer and die? For example, look at the Indians of India, the Canadians and the Australians. All were separated from Britain without wars. The South rejected the authority of the Union, and for what, slavery? Maybe Lander7 has a point. Personally, I never thought of it that way until he brought it up.

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          2. @tsalmon

            I think you are making this too complicated. I am not even certain what point you are trying to make.

            When we make laws based upon what is the norm, we make laws a statistical basis. We make laws based upon what most people think “should” be done or “should” be illegal.

            Frankly, the only reason most laws work is that most people don’t want to break them in the first place. Imagine how difficult it is to stop people from stealing when no one see anything wrong with stealing?

            We have a bunch of people crossing our border illegally because they want something on the other side, and they just consider our border a nuisance. Unfortunately, some on our side of the border also consider our border a nuisance. Those people have nefarious designs.

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          3. Tom,

            Like Trump, you fixed a good deal of blame for his cruel new policy everywhere else but where it belongs and you used many an ad hominem, but you still didn’t answer my question: How many innocent children are you willing to make suffer in order for you to have the utility of feeling safe and secure?

            When you get down to it, your answer to that question really is what this situation is all about, and what any migration law must resolve. How much of the suffering of our brothers and sisters can we wall out for the sake of utility (the greater good).

            Liked by 1 person

          4. @tsalmon

            You are not interested in discussing the problem. You could, but you are too busy trying to stay on message. What is pathetic is that your message is just a bunch of tripe.

            Trump took an oath to enforce the law. He is enforcing the law, one crafted by Democrats and certain Republicans to be as messy as possible. Liberal Democrats and Establishment Republicans want an amnesty. It is about power and money, not what is good for our country.

            Catch and release is not what Americans want. That’s just going through the motions. Consider who does and put your blame squarely where it belongs.

            When parents send their unaccompanied children to America or they bring them themselves that take huge risks, and that is where the blame belongs. When people encourage such risk taking, that is where the blame belongs. If you want America wrecked by hordes of poor and uneducated people who cannot speak English, then open our borders. We won’t be able to properly assimilate them rapidly enough. It will take a tyrant to run the place, but if you are interested in power….

            Is this about being against immigrants? No. It is about being against STUPID. There is a difference between immigrants who want to join us and invaders. If you don’t know the difference, then figure it out.

            You have a brain. Use it. Instead of pretending your party has this virtuous concern for children (everybody’s except ours), why don’t you admit the obvious? If Democrats had their way we would be aborting children for the sake of eugenics (and to some extent we are).

            The hypocrisy just reeks. It is okay for Obama put children in “cages”, but not Trump? It is okay for Obama to encourage illegals to send their unaccompanied children to America, but there is something wrong with discouraging such insanity? Has it occurred to your that there are sometimes “ad hominem” is not a fallacious argument?

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          5. “Would you mind putting in your own words what you think Lander7 brought up?”

            I’m not sure that I can. I’m still thinking it over and reading the other arguments here to see where the truth lies. I have more questions than answers at this point:

            1. From a scriptural perspective, when is it appropriate to rebel against sovereign authority?

            2. When appropriate, what form should that rebellion take? For example, when is violent rebellion appropriate and when is passive resistance required?

            3. Was the supposed tyranny of the crown really serious enough to justify the violent rebellion of our colony? Or could we ulitimately have achieved the same result (as Canada did, or as Zander7’s example of MLK did) through more passive means?

            The South’s rebellion against the Union is an even more heinous example of why Christians should avoid taking up violent rebellion.

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          6. @tsalmon

            Darn thing put your last two comments in moderation. Not obvious why.

            Even though both the South and the North used the Bible to argue for and against slavery, the South’s rebellion did not have much to do with Christianity. What mattered to Southerners is that they had convinced themselves that blacks were inferior. Even many of the Northerners believed that. In addition, the upper classes in the South enjoyed owning slaves.

            We will get to your first two questions in latter posts. Your third question? What was inadequate about the Declaration of Independence?

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          7. And another one which goes along with what Lander7 wrote, why is it assumed that we are not to, as Jesus did, suffer for our beliefs rather that inflicting suffering upon others who challenge those beliefs?

            Whether we ultimately agree with him or not, Zander7 has actually given us a good deal to ponder.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. @tsalmon

            I am not into virtue signaling. I have nothing against hard work, but I don’t see the point in working stupidly. If you know something is just going to create a mess, like open borders, why would you do that?

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          9. @tsalmon

            Consider this post.
            https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/boundaries/

            The focus is on this proverb.

            Proverbs 25:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

            28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
            Is like a city broken down, without walls.

            To exercise control our nation as a people, we have to have a shared sense of identity and purpose. If we let anyone who wants to come into our nation, in time the influx of immigrants will change and divide our country so much we will loose whatever love we left for it. It won’t be anything like the nation we once knew. It will just be another a banana republic, one where people eat bananas because they can’t afford anything else.

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          10. Tom,

            Have you considered that everything is not dualistic? Your Republicans are not the “good” party and Democrats are not the “bad” party. And no, I make no claim to great wisdom, but I am not some confused child who doesn’t know the difference between good and evil any more than you are really as grown up as you would like to think.

            Like a teenager who wrecked the family car, you are avoiding the question that I posed because you know that that question turns a mirror on the cruelty of Trump’s new policy of cruelty to desperate families.

            Why would a parent risk such a dangerous journey with their children? Because they want to bask in the luxury of those mythical welfare benefits you are possessively enraged about? Do you really believe your own propaganda?

            If you favor Trump’s policy of walling out suffering families by promising them even more suffering, then please own it. Quit trying to demonize everyone else for our own sins. Does calling them dirty or uneducated or some version of “the other” dehumanize them enough to assuage our guilt? Does blaming Democrats for everything under the Sun really wash clean the dirty hands of the current wickedness of the Party that now controls all the levers of government?

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          11. tsalmon

            I did not demonize anyone. I defended Donald Trump and enforcing our borders. I called people who lie habitually liars. I called people who are okay with a policy when their guy does it and down on the same policy when Trump does it hypocrites.

            Instead of arguing for open borders — which is what you want — you have made an emotional argument against separating parents from their children when we lock up illegal immigrants. I have called that BS.

            So now you are finally arguing for what you want, and you are still trying to guilt-trip me. When you open up your house to every homeless soul and vagrant, I will take you seriously. I will still think you addled, but I will have to admit you are at least willing to practice the stupidity you preach.

            Why would a parent risk such a dangerous journey with their children? Because they want to bask in the luxury of those mythical welfare benefits you are possessively enraged about? Do you really believe your own propaganda?

            You really don’t know much about people, do you? Some people will sacrifice anyone on the alter to their gods. You do realize just how many unborn children are aborted every year. The Canaanites sacrificed their infants on red hot alters. We are not that much different.

            Milton Friedman, the economist, is famous for this observation.

            As It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state

            This article claims to observe Friedman’s thoughts in more detail.
            => https://openborders.info/friedman-immigration-welfare-state/

            I suppose the authors of that post would consider me a xenophobe of some sort, but I think the paradox Friedman observed too typical of busybodyism.

            It is often good to have visitors come into our home. Still, we put locks on our doors. Too much of anything becomes a problem. We need water to survive, but too much and we drown.

            How many immigrants should we allow? Which immigrants? Well, we do need to think about that, but we also need to be honest about what we want. Good to see you are making progress getting to that point.

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          12. Where did I say I wanted open borders? Or are you just propping up the straw man of your extreme opposite number so you can pretend to knock him down?

            You know that there is a whole world of albeit imperfect, but more civilized, humane policies somewhere between completely open borders and imprisoning children. Does it always have to be all or nothing with you good brother? If you don’t destroy desperate latin families, then America collapses from a plague of brown mooches? Don’t you think that is just the sort of Trump demagoguery that eventually leads to final solutions?

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          13. Where did I say I wanted open borders?
            You just did. Your criticisms of Trump’s policies and what you just said amount to the same thing.

            Why don’t cut the BS? Why don’t you just admit what you want won’t work? If you cannot honestly defend an idea, then it is a bad idea.

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          14. What did I say that won’t work? What exactly wasn’t working before Trump trumped up his own cruel crisis? If our society was on the verge of imminent collapse from some massive influx of freeloading lazy Latin American Barbarians at our gates, I must have missed it. Are you hold up in your compound somewhere, and I didn’t get invited in? Is perfection your only criterion for what “works”? If so, then just shooting them as they cross the border is your perfect solution.

            When are you going to realize that these are complex priblems requiring complex, imperfect policies that often have negative unintended consequences, particularly if we are trying to live up to our best ideals.

            You are not a child brother who expects to have his cake and eat it too. You know better than to believe that following Christ is without suffering, without risk, without compromise.

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          15. When are you going to realize that these are complex priblems requiring complex, imperfect policies that often have negative unintended consequences, PARTICULARLY IF WE ARE TRYING TO LIVE UP TO OUR BEST IDEALS.

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          16. @tsalmon

            When are you going to figure out that government does not have the solution for the vast majority of of our complex problems? Would you use a hammer to cook spaghetti? Well, it is just about as dumb to use government to educate people or to solve the problem of poverty. In the end you just create more problems.

            Why are you making such a fuss? You want to help the people of Central America? For the sake of argument, let’s take you (and your political party) at your word. Of course, it is fine and noble that you want to help people, but opening our borders and giving bunches of foreigners freebies is not the solution.

            You have the right to strive to live up to the YOUR best ideals, but not at somebody else’s expense. We each are entitled to pursue our own happiness, but only at our own expense.

            There is nothing particular wrong with that landscape we call Central America. The people who live there, however, don’t know how to maintain law and order. Until they figure it out, if we care about our children, we would be stupid to invite large numbers of them here. That’s like pouring water on a grease fire.

            Frankly, you are smart enough to know all this. That’s why I am angry with you. We are not talking about unintended consequences. You are deliberately ignoring the “unintended consequences”.

            Like

          17. Where did I say that I wanted government to solve every problem? This is a very specific problem – an influx of refugee families from South of our borders that may have numerous ways to resolve (both at the source and here), but you are “too smart” not to realize that our government must be a major part of those difficult, imperfect solutions,and that the only “simple” solutions are fascist beyond what most Christians (and most Americans) are willing to stomach.

            Trump is not solving any problems. He is creating cruel chaos just to troll liberal anger (which you lust more than love itself don’t you?) and throw constant red meat at his cult-like tribe of followers.
            Unfortunately, demagogues like Trump don’t realy care about complexity or facts or expertise. He only cares about creating chaos and stoking, yes, “tribalistic” hatred, fear, racism and grievance between Americans who otherwise would have such Christian values as welcoming the desperate stranger in common. That stunt Trump pulled in bringing in victims of immigrant traffic accidents and crime in order to justify our ripping children from their mothers is a disgusting example that the man and his acolytes have no shame.

            Fact: Immigrants (undocumented or not) are statistically far less likely to commit crimes than native citizens. (This only makes sense if you think about it for half a second). Despite Trump’s constantly lying about this, Germany’s and our crime rates are down.

            Fact: Over time, immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services.
            Tom, I would not normally use this term because it is so subject to theological dispute, but in this case, this is so shamefully clear that I will: Trump’s immigration policies are simply “not Christian” and defy everything that I believe about being a Christian for we as a nation to treat our desperate brothers and sisters this way.

            This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue (and I have voted for both and frankly could care less about your cultish Party tribalism). This is an issue of basic human decency.
            And no, it does not make me angry. It makes me sad and ashamed. I did not serve 20 years in the military so that the American values that I cherish could turn so blatantly and hatefully Fascist.

            And yes, I am willing to send my money, my thoughts and my time where my mouth is on this shameful Trumpian debacle.

            Like

          18. @tsalmon

            I am not certain why you felt it necessary to post virtually the same comment twice but here is me previous response.
            https://citizentom.com/2018/06/19/he-is-quoting-scripture-at-me-now-what-do-i-do-part-2/comment-page-1/#comment-81635

            Is Trump’s response to the immigration problem fascistic? When you have to go there, either your opponent is so evil there is no point in talking with him, or you are too desperate to win the argument. Since you are still trying to win the argument……

            I am more concerned about your knowledge of both the situation and the Bible.

            You are obviously listening to way too much fake or pseudo news. So that explains your lack of knowledge about the situation. As I pointed out in that other comment, even your “facts” don’t make sense.

            What about the Bible? Did Jesus tell us to be stupid? He told us to love our neighbor, not to commit national suicide by being absurdly generous. There is nothing in the Bible that requires us to be self destructive. Yet you are so ridden with guilt that is what you are advocating.

            A Christian is supposed to mourn over and repent of the sins he or she actually commits, not to make stuff up so we can feel guilty and signal how virtuous we are.

            We have borders. To protect our country, we have a responsibility to enforce them. Protecting our country includes protecting the integrity of our culture by controlling who comes here. Helping the people in other countries does not required us to open our borders to everyone who wants to come here. If we did that, it would not be long before our government became even more unmanageable than it is. Yet is what you are arguing for, and it is silly. What good does it do anyone if we destroy our own country by refusing to protect it?

            Does God sometimes require great sacrifices? Yes. To pay the price for our sins, Jesus died on a cross. None of us can do that.

            Does God sometimes require sacrifices from us? Yes. We are required to spread His Gospel, and some pay a price for that. These become martyrs. Our obedience to Him must be more important to us than our lives.

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          19. “You are obviously listening to way too much fake or pseudo news. So that explains your lack of knowledge about the situation.”

            Ok Pope Thomas, so you elected the conspiracy theorist who spread the lie that Obama was born in Kenya, that your Ted Cruz’ dad helped assassinated JFK and that tells somthing like five verifiable lies per day, and that’s where you get all your supposed superior information?

            Perhaps you’re right though. Although the term is generally defined in terms of extreme Right Wing nationalism, ethnocentrism xenophobia, and that certainly fits the bill from the Trump Party’s immigration policies, because Trump is less competent than Hitler or Mussolini and because most Americans are not either stupid or cruel enough to fall for his demagoguery, let’s just call Trumpism “wanna-be Fascism”.

            As for your supposedly more informed theological nuances on how it is ok for Christians to rip children away from their parents because they had the audacity to hope for a better life for said children, I think I’ll stick with the real Pope’s theology on this.

            As for the two posts, I accidentally stuck it in the wrong string at first. Apologies.

            Like

          20. @tsalmon

            You have not offered a solution. All you have done is whine about the fact you don’t like Trump, accused him of starting something that has been going on for years, and cited “facts” you cannot support. Then you add charges of fascism? For doing something we do every time we send a parent to jail? You do realize what happens when the military deploys soldiers? And these days we have military families where both parents are in the military.

            That fact is that these immigrants traveled to the USA from Central America that is no picnic, particularly for children. At least when they reach our “concentration camps” they have a safe place to sleep and three square meals a day.

            I am not worried about the pope. I could not care less what he thinks about this subject. Given you vote Democrat, you don’t much care what he thinks either.

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        2. @tsalmon

          Do I enjoy seeing children separated from their parents? No. Of course not! So stop spouting off like an idiot. This entire argument is STUPID! Large numbers of UNACCOMPANIED children started coming into the United States during the Obama administration. Even the pictures of children in cages occurred during the Obama administration.
          https://nypost.com/2018/05/29/trump-jabs-dems-after-obama-era-immigration-photos-go-viral/

          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/29/trump-slams-dems-after-viral-photo-children-in-cages-from-obamas-term-backfires.html

          You have voted for scoundrels who set up situations like this to serve their own purposes.

          The Liberal Democrat hysteria over the children is just a cover for their own malfeasance. They want open borders, but they cannot directly advocate open borders. The public is not that STUPID.

          This whole thing is based upon a legal loophole. Because these illegal immigrants are not from Mexico, our law does not allow us to send them straight back to Mexico. Nuts! If these people want political asylum, then they already have it. They are in Mexico. They are Mexico’s problem, not ours. If Mexico doesn’t think they need asylum, let Mexico send them back where they came from. Instead, Mexico dumps them on us and does so deliberately and maliciously.

          Don’t give me your hysterical nonsense. Fix the damn law!

          Of course, it does not stop there.
          https://www.dailywire.com/news/32091/utter-hypocrisy-and-stupidity-illegal-immigrant-ben-shapiro

          Government exists to maintain order. That order includes border security. When rules that are not enforced, that encourages rule breakers. Hence, even children now think they can break into the the United States. Blame Obama., not Trump. Blame the illegal aliens, not Trump.

          The news media you trust is full of hysterical and lazy liars. Before you form an opinion and start demanding I join you on your Liberal Democrat guilt trips, would you mind doing a little research first?

          Please remember. It does not take a genius to tell lies. When we tell lies, we can even take the time to plan them carefully. When we are part of a large and vile clique, our “friends” will even help us bully the righteous into silence. Unfortunately, the truth is often hard and unpleasant, more difficult to explain. It confronts us with grueling work and painful choices. When their parents break the law, we have to figure out what to do with their children. When we know the adults will run and hide, are we supposed to put children in jails for adults? Are we supposed to pretend problems don’t exist? That is your sick, cowardly, and devious Liberal Democrat solution.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. @Citizen Tom

        Why I think you are going back and forth with tsalmon

        You stated to tsalmon — I did not demonize anyone.

        My observation — You said the following to tsalmon :: “What is pathetic is that your message is just a bunch of tripe.”
        You also said — “If you don’t know the difference, then figure it out.” You said this to indicate that you are smarter and more educated on the topic. I would say from observing that the two of you differ on a hard topic, but you took the low road with a negative comment.
        You also said to tsalmon :: “You have a brain. Use it.” I’m sure that this was not meant in a positive way, so I can clearly see a pattern of demonizing.

        You stated – “I called people who are okay with a policy when their guy does it and down on the same policy when Trump does it, hypocrites.”

        My observation — When you told this to tsalmon you said it in a way that indicates that Donald Trump is not a hypocrite. This is purely dishonest since he clearly has been caught in hypocrisy but the fact that you emphasize one side as honest and the other as dishonest clearly shows bias when it’s not necessary and does not move the conversation forward. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been caught in some hypocrisy (we are human).

        Both Obama and Trump are dishonest on certain topics and we should simply acknowledge that instead of dodging it like you often do when referring to Democrats and Republicans.

        You stated — “Instead of arguing for open borders — which is what you want — you have made an emotional argument against separating parents from their children when we lock up illegal immigrants. I have called that BS.”

        My observation — When you told this to tsalmon you clearly created a strawman of tsalmon wanting an open border where anyone could just run in and kill the Republic. LOL this is not only dishonest but nonsensical, clearly, tsalmon is focused on one aspect of the existing border enforcement process and how families are treated. Whether you agree or disagree with how families are treated there is no need to attack tsalmon for not liking what is seen happening to children under our authority.

        You stated to tsalmon — “So now you are finally arguing for what you want, and you are still trying to guilt-trip me.”

        My response — If someone disagrees with you on a moral basis why does that have to equal you being guilted? Why can’t it mean tsalmon doesn’t agree with you for personal moral reasons?

        My observation — You stated:: “When you open up your house to every homeless soul and vagrant, I will take you seriously. ”

        My response — That is so over the top it doesn’t make sense. How is this type of response beneficial to anyone who doesn’t understand or believe your position?

        Summation — If your argument doesn’t work then you resort to this level of interaction. The problems on the border require everyone understanding all sides of the issue without dismissing anything. If people like tsalmon don’t understand your perspective, then you will suffer when they take office (and they will). Wouldn’t it be better to stop putting them down now so they can help you later to solve a complex problem that is larger than party lines?

        Maybe this can help:

        Titus 3:1-15
        Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lander7

          As a matter of full disclosure here, you should know that Tom and I are brothers. To be exact, Tom is my big brother by about five years, but we are both old men now. I love him dearly, and we both love to argue, particularly about politics. Perhaps my brother Tom knows too well that my love for him is never in jeopardy when he figuratively hits below the belt occasionally. I’m genuinely trying not to, but to be fair to Tom, I sometimes have been guilty of a low blow on him too when I get carried away.

          When positions are strongly held, it is hard to see past them far enough to even comprend what the other is saying, and we end up talking past one another. I agree with you that this sort of rhetorical boxing, although it may get the audience on one’s side, it is not really conducive to learning each other’s truths and correcting our own fallacies.

          That said, I really am uninterested in an argument about arguing. Instead, I’m glad you’re back because I’m intrigued by your scriptural interpretation on God given authority. Right now, I’d rather just soak in yours and Tom’s views on this.

          I do have some questions however:

          1. You stated that all authority is God granted, but then you make a distinction with Hitler that I’m not clear on. You seem to be saying that Hitler’s authority was not somehow systemically legitimate under the German system, sort of like a King would be if he murdered his brother and illegitimately assumes the throne outside the line of succession. Could you expand on this further?

          2. You seem to also be saying that we must obey either proper or improper authority unless it requires us to negatively disobey God or prevents us from positively obeying God. You also seem to imply that, whether obeying God in either the positive or negative sense, our civil disobedience should be passive and respectful, or as Niebuhr would say, done with “goodwill”. Am I getting this right? What are the instances in your mind when such resistance can be more than passive?

          3. What about foreign authority? Can that be aggressively opposed? What about when confronting a occupying foreign conquerors?

          4. What sort of distinctions do you make for a representative government that at least purports to be of the people, by the people and for the people. For example, when I was in the military the president was my Commander and Chief, but my ultimate oath as an officer was to the Constitution. The Constitution is mostly a process document that sets up our institutions of government. The institutions (including the Presidency) have derivative authority from the Constitution. As long as my opposition to any given authority is within the systemics of the Constitution, or in other words within the Constitution and the law, (for example, peaceful protest and public criticism) is it still disobeying God granted authority in your way of thinking? What if the authority, such as a president, is acting outside the Constitution and the law? At what point is armed rebellion justified, or even required?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Answer to Q1 — Let’s break down the verse and see where Hitler comes in.

            First the Authority is put in place:

            Romans 13:1 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.

            Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office.

            Paul von Hindenburg is the Authority put in place by God.

            The question now is the election. Can people elect a leader or does God just use power to put them in place? The people can vote or pray or demand who they want but it is granted via authority from God. Once in place that authority must be respected for the time that it is in power. At the very least this prevents anarchy. At it’s best it provides guidelines for respect and cooperation between people within a nation.

            1 Samuel 8:19-22 
            19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

            Second we have the rejection of Authority:
            Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

            In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire (killings) on the communists and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties (they forced him), a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests (Act Of Rejection by ignoring the law). Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934 (most likely murder – Rejection ), Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (Force Rejection), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had begun voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial(Murder Rejection), which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship (end of the government – Rejection).

            Hitler and his followers rejected the Authority and killed the oppostition. They then dismantled the existing government and it’s laws and put in place what they wanted (not authorized). This was a rebellion against authority and they suffered because of it.

            If you resist authority then you are not valid. Hitler resisted authority.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Answer to Q2 — No one has to obey any Authority. (Adam / God / Tree). The Bible is saying that obedience to God is the best path for a relationship with God. So, when I’m saying to obey it’s not for a better government or even a better world it’s only for a better relationship and that’s where I think some people get confused.

            As for civil disobedience. I was in the Navy for eight years and they follow the same line of reasoning as the bible when it comes to this subject. You may remember the movie, “A Few Good Men” as an example. This is how it works, the Navy has a chain of command, you must respect and follow you direct authority in the chain but if you do something that goes against the principles of the Navy (Even though it was a direct order) you will be held accountable for committing an act against the Navy. At that point they expected you to perform civil disobedience. They do not expect you to take over the ship or kill the captain.

            In those cases where you are told to do something that goes against God or his word you can actively resist that single action (Not the entire system).

            4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
            7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
            10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

            Q — What are the instances in your mind when such resistance can be more than passive?
            A — Anytime you want and as violent or as passive as you want but keep in mind what your goal is. Do you want a relationship with God and do your actions reflect that passive or otherwise?

            Can you kill like Hitler? What does God say?
            Can you hate Obama in your heart? What does God say?
            Can you threaten Trumps life? What does God say?

            Can you protect the borders by locking them down? I don’t see why not.
            Can you put children in cages and say they should have known better and then expect God to be happy? I wouldn’t think so.

            This is about having a relationship with God not pleasing people or teaching lessons to children crossing borders. Everything we do has to be reflected in what we think it will do to that relationship.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Answer to Q3 — Foreign authorities are not in place over you in your nation and thus have no power over you that must be followed. If you are visiting a Foreign land you are asked to obey the authority in that land while you are there. Again, you have choices for resistance but keep in mind your relationship with God. If your Nation sends you to attack another Nation, then do your best to be victorious.

            It’s not easy to think morality issues, political issues, economic issues, etc. but it’s easier to understand what my friend Jesus would think if I did the following.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Answer to Q4 – This should be answered by now with my reply to the first 3 but I will add a bit to it.

            Q — What if the authority, such as a president, is acting outside the Constitution and the law?
            A – They almost always are on some level and it can be rightly protested within the boundaries of the authority without disobeying God.

            Q — At what point is armed rebellion justified, or even required?
            A – Anytime you want but if you use force to reject God’s authority how can you have a relationship with him? How can you be with someone you reject?

            Martin Luther King Wrote and I agree:
            “You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”
            Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. . . .
            Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. . . .
            In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law as the rabid segregationist would do. This would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly . . ., and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tell him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”

            Liked by 1 person

          5. @Lander7

            Much to think about here shipmate (I was in the Navy as well).

            I think I get what you are saying. For the most part, it seems a simple proposal (obey God’s Will) , but it can be incredibly complex and subject to much ambiguity, reasonable disagreement and rational compromise when applying that simple proposal to the actual situations and impossible dilemmas of a fallen and finite world. The family separation issue is a case in point. Both sides are invoking scripture and purporing to be the one following God’s Will. Both sides wush to claim that applying God’s Will in this situation is as clear as the nose in your face.

            So far, as much as I think that I am understanding you, I agree with you completely in general principle. I would even go a few steps further than you have developed thus far:

            1. In this finite and fallen world, for every one of us, our lives will be characterized by some level suffering and then death. Goodness or badness does not change this formula, and in fact, it is more likely than not that the most good and innocent will suffer more than the most evil.

            2. Following God’s Will provides the exclusive, ultimate meaning to that inexorable suffering. “Meaning” is defined by the unselfishness of our motives. Finding meaning in following God’s Will is its own reward. We do not follow God’s Will to avoid inevitable suffering or in expectation of a reward, but if we are doing God’s Will, we have good reason to embrace our suffering in so far as it makes our life meaningful. Furthermore, in practice, we will make situational mistakes and be forced to compromise, even though we are trying to do what is right. And the mistakes and compromises in the sincere effort done with “goodwill” to obey God’s Will gives our lives meaning as well.

            3. God’s Will is love.

            Other than that, I would like to sit back and see how you develop this further with others, and then I may have more to say and ask.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. @Lander7

          As a general rule, I try not to defend myself. Since I am imperfect, it is not a winnable argument. I am dependent upon the grace and mercy of our Lord. All I can do is thank Him for His Word and try to learn from it. How does that work? Read James 1:22-25. The Bible shows ourselves, and it provides us the wisdom to become better.

          How sinful am I? Well, I suppose that is debatable, but if someone wants to read what I wrote, it is all still there.

          Anyway, as tsalmon observed:

          That said, I really am uninterested in an argument about arguing.

          There is only one Judge who matters.

          Like

      1. @marmoewp

        Our border agents don’t know these people. Some of them are even human traffickers. If they are released and a court date is set to evaluate their claims for asylum, the vast don’t show up. So you want to put children in adult prisons? Who does that?

        If she did not want to be separated from her children, why didn’t the lady seek asylum in Mexico?

        Like

        1. Adult prison? False dichotomy! You can have holding facilities designed to detain families, where you can take time to determine, whether the group of persons is familiy or not. In Germany we even have special prison sections for non-violent mothers with children, where the mother does not want to delegate care of her infant.

          Thank you for explicitly acknowleding the child separation to be a deterent policy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Actually, what I said is that the prospect of being separated from her child did not deter the lady in question.

            Instead of trying to prove how evil I am, why don’t you just argue for what you want? You would make more sense? Well, I guess you don’t think so.

            Like

        2. @Citizen Tom

          You stated to marmoewp — “Instead of trying to prove how evil I am, why don’t you just argue for what you want?”

          My observation — marmoewp clearly stated:: ” In Germany we even have special prison sections for non-violent mothers with children, where the mother does not want to delegate care of her infant.

          My response — I’m not sure why you didn’t catch that this was his argument. I can see if you disagree with him but your response seemed to ignore his statement.

          I find it to be an interesting solution but I don’t know if I support it since I don’t know the details of it. It’s worth looking into.

          Like

          1. @Lander7

            When someone crosses our border and asks for asylum, we should be more concerned about efficiently adjudicating their case. Instead, we have Democrats trying to tie the process up in knots. That’s not honest.

            We have a situation where open borders advocates are trying to use children as “human shields” in order to force open the borders. This is fairly obvious,

            Because we can get very emotional about children, we need to step back and put the matter in perspective.

            When we send American citizens to jail, we separate them from their children. Nobody thinks jail is a place for kids. When we apprehend illegal aliens crossing our borders, we don’t know who these people are. Are those children their children? Maybe. Maybe not. Therefore, unless a child is still nursing or a baby, keeping that child with the “parents” may or may not be in the child’s best interests.

            Anyway, Trump issued an executive order. We will see how that works out, but I think Democrat’s want the issue. They want to force Trump to choose between releasing the parents or separating the children from the parents.

            Like

          2. Tom,

            Being undocumented is a federal misdemeanor, the equivalent of a parking violation. Although I’m sure that arresting parents and separating them from their children would have a dramatic deterrent effect on parking violations, we don’t do that because that sort of ends/means rational is unjust – the due process is punishing beyond what the crime merits.

            Keep in mind what the crime here mostly is: someone essentially is trespassing onto our property with their children fleeing (in many cases, life threatening) crime, corruption and poverty in order to get a better life for those children. If someone flees onto your property to excape a murderer, do you prosecute them or slam the gate in their face, or instead, do you walk the difficult line of trying to help them while still protecting your property rights? Just because the just answer is not easy or simple, is no excuse for participation in blatant injustice.

            Similarly, who ever said due process is simple, easy or cheap? If you follow the history of the 5th and 14th Amendments’ due process clauses, American prudential values demostrate a willingness to pay a high price to afford due process over what might be more expedient. In any event, the crisis that Trump fabricated isn’t even cheaper than what was being done most recently until he violated due process by his so-called “zero tolerance” policy.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. @Tsalmon

            The first pictures that came out showing illegal immigrant children in cages were taken when Obama was president. So quit the silly posturing. It is not helpful. It just shows you don’t care enough to know what is going on.

            The reason we have a problem is that we have a bunch of businessmen who want cheap labor. We also have an bunch of politicians who want votes they can buy cheaply. So they have connived to make our immigration laws extremely difficult to enforce. So blaming Trump for problems that predate him by decades is not right. The hysteria about NAZIS is completely irresponsible.

            Like

          4. Tom,

            So it is your position that there was nothing different in regard to separation of families in what Trump terms his “zero tolerance” policy. If that is true, why did Trump and Sessions both say that it was necessary as a matter of deterrence? Furthermore, if there is no new family separation policy, why, after lying that he had no choice under the law, did Trump rescind his own policy by Executive Order?

            What you are saying makes no sense and yet you want to believe it so bad that you are willing to ignore every obvious truth.

            Obama had an actual crisis of children unaccompanied at the border. The Obama administration officials admit that the made mistakes and were overwhelmed in the early stages of the crisis. Humane programs and judicial agreements were put in place, one of which Trump discontinued and the other of which he is ignoring. There is no new crisis at the border that Trump did not himself create.

            Perhaps it is you who should care enough about the suffering the man you elected is fomenting to stay informed.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. @Tsalmon

            Trump reversed the policy. You are not happy even when you get what you want.

            Obama made a mess. Then he made it worse, and where were you?

            Like

          6. tsalmon

            I wish you would stop listening to people who make stuff up.
            =>https://www.christianpost.com/news/trump-dhs-separating-immigrant-families-border-denies-deterrence-motive-223269/

            =>https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-family-separation-policy-is-meant-to-deter-immigration-that-could-make-it-illegal_us_5b194b89e4b0599bc6e17605

            =>http://www.businessinsider.com/parents-separated-from-children-in-trump-zero-tolerance-immigration-policy-2018-5

            When these people get into Mexico, commonsense dictates they are Mexico’s problem. It is no secret Mexico is pushing these people into our country, and we are stupid to let them do it.

            The law requires Trump to separate the children from the parents.
            =>https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/5/jeff-sessions-donald-trump-blame-bad-law-for-separ/

            =>http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/28/trump-critics-on-right-over-separating-illegal-immigrants-from-children/

            Odds are some Democrats will find a judge to overturn Trump’s EO. Then you will have your issue again. Ain’t that great? Not!

            Like

          7. Tom,

            You seem to be just parroting anti-Obama talking points to defer blame, and without actually saying anything substantive either for or against the moral crisis that Trump created. What exact policy did you object to? What exact policy do you favor? As best as I can tell, your arguement simply come down to “your tribe sucks and mine is great”. That makes for great sloganeering but it says little about the practicality and scriptural morality of our migrant policy.

            I don’t claim to know all the answers to this difficult and complex problem. However, I do know that spitting up desperate families and/or putting them in concentration camps or prisons is impractical and immoral no matter what tribe does it.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. @Tsalmon

            I think you are projecting you own behavior onto me. I have made my views on immigration clear.

            I don’t see much value in being anti-anybody. I think it more important to stand for something, and I have no idea what you are standing for except being against Donald Trump.

            Consider. You don’t favor open borders, but you also don’t favor enforcing our borders

            Like

          9. Republicans control all three branches of government. However, it just makes sense that Republicans and Democrats are going to have to work together and compromise if we are to have a migrant policy that is humane, practical and adaptable to changing global demands. It also just makes sense that any policy that is humane will compromise some practicality and any policy that is perfectly practical at stopping the flow of desparate migrants will, at some level, sacrifice compassion. Neither the extreme bleeding hearts ir the rapid isolationists are likely to be happy with any viable compromise, but that is the way life works for democracies as well as individuals in a complex, fallen world. We all compromise, we all make mistakes, we all try to not make perfection the enemy of better.

            The trubalistic blame game may be cathartic, but it just puts off and exacerbates a problem that has gone on for decades, unless we just enjoy the game of mutual hatred and internecine tribal warfare more than we want to actually solve any problems.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. @Tsalmon

            I don’t see anything to be gained by working with Liberal Democrats. They have to be defeated.

            I wrote on tribalism on June 22nd. Why don’t you read it?

            Like

          11. Tom,

            Did you even read the articles in the links that you provided? They all factually support everything that I have been saying. DHS says that there is no “official” policy of separating families for deterrence, and then Sessions essentially says that that is indeed the purpose of what Trump claims is his “new” “zero tolerance” policy. There is s good deal of lying and blame gaming going on here, but there is little doubt that Trump exacerbated a decades old immigration dilemma that goes back to Reagan.

            Why did Trump do this? Like the DACA kids, is Trump holding these children hostage in order to get Democrats to concede on his Wall and on a more draconian immigration policy that even most Republicans don’t favor? Don’t you think that it says something that Trump needs Democrats at all since Republicans control the house and Senate? Or is Trump’s “new” “zero tolerance” policy designed to throw red meat at his isolationist, anti-immigrant base? Why did Trump retreat when the policy backfired and provoked natural moral outrage, including from his Christian followers (yourself excluded obviously)? Was he lying before when Trump said he had no choice but to separate families or is he lying now that he admits that he does indeed have a choice? Why did his justice dept officials have no answers for the judge when questioned as to their legal motives and precedent for violating the children’s and oarent’s due process? Why is Trump ignoring the judge and his own EO while continuing to still separate families? Do you really think Americans are going to stand for WWII style Japanese concentration camps either?

            The truth that this policy is a practical and moral disaster of Trump’s own making, done for nefarious purposes and defended by a series of blatant lies, stares you in the face brother.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. @tsalmon

            I am bored with this. You want to demonize Trump. When I look at your “evidence”, my eye roll be so hard I do back flips. I could not care less what you think of Trump. Your FEELINGS are not rational, and there is nothing I can do about that.

            Like

          13. “Consider. You don’t favor open borders, but you also don’t favor enforcing our borders”

            Where did I say that I was not in favor of enforcing borders? I’ve done a little border enforcement in my time. At one point in my military career, I commanded and flew missions that tracked drug smugglers for the purposes of arresting or let’s just say “stopping” said smugglers.

            As I said before, I think that one can try to protect his property from criminals without shooting or walling out every family who trespasses there out of desperation.

            I think that I have been pretty clear, especially if you read my comment right after yours here, that I favor a a policy crafted by people who (unlike you and I) are expert enough to know what they are doing. There are thousands of issues involved in protecting borders. An extensive policy should be vetted and approved by Congress.

            Complex practical and humane compromise solutions are imperfect. Simple solutions brutalize the desperate and the innocent or, like open borders, are impractical.

            Trump is quite obviously shooting from the hip for purposes of political theatre, not to be either compassionate or practical.

            Like

  8. I’m always fascinated by these kind of philosophical discussions,Tom. The American Revolution versus the Civil War, where we violating Romans 13? I don’t know! But something I’ve always felt certain of,the French Revolution was clearly a violation. Perhaps it is because they seated the goddess of reason on the throne and spent a great deal of time rebelling against God and slaughtering their leaders?

    Something you haven’t really mentioned is tribalism. Is our innate tribalism “sin,” or is it part of our God given design? Morality can get a bit fuzzy when we are talking about the divine right of kings and our own tribalism. If America were suddenly invaded, I have no doubt that 80% of those hating on President Trump right now would immediately flip, take up arms, and fight back. It’s kind of like family, we can say anything negative we want about them, but if someone else starts cutting them down, tribalism often kicks in. The attack on 911 is a good example of sudden unity and tribalism in the country. Even people who hated President Bush, at least temporarily saw him as their leader.

    Ephesians 4:3 comes to mind, we are called to, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” I think that same spirit applies to Romans 13 when it comes to our leaders because what we’re trying to create is stability rather than anarchy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. insanitybytes22

      Both the French and later the Russian revolutions were catastrophic messes. I expect the reasons they failed were much the same.

      What is sad is how much the Russian people suffered for decades, and it really has yet to end.

      Like

    2. insanitybytes22

      I suppose I should say something about “tribalism”, but I am a bit confused about the word. It is one of those words Liberal Democrats have weaponized. I don’t like the way they use it. So I think I will tackle that one in a post.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. You stated — “American Revolution versus the Civil War, where we violating Romans 13?

      My response — American Revolution, no we did not violate Romans 13. Civil War, yes the south did violate Romans 13.

      The south is easy because they rejected the authority in place and all authority comes from God.

      The colonies in America were founded by companies and countries. They were fought over for control by both local and foreign powers (including British authority). Consolidation of the colonies lead to a war between local allies and foreign powers.

      A new nation was formed that then was appointed an authority. This comes from God.

      Several English colonies were established under a system of Proprietary Governors, who were appointed under mercantile charters to English joint stock companies to found and run settlements.

      Between 1584 and 1589, the English attempt to establish Roanoke Colony failed, and in 1590 the colony was found abandoned.
      In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia was founded by the London Company (also known as the Virginia Company).
      In Newfoundland, a chartered company known as the Society of Merchant Venturers established a permanent settlement at Cuper’s Cove, from 1610.
      St. George’s, Bermuda was founded by the Virginia Company, in 1612.

      The US was a new country and given a new level of authority.

      You stated — “I don’t know! But something I’ve always felt certain of,the French Revolution was clearly a violation.”
      My response — I agree.

      You stated — Is our innate tribalism “sin,” or is it part of our God given design?

      My response — God designed us so we are partial to things but our actions are on us.
      Do we label and create groups? Sure.

      Genesis 2:20
      So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

      Does that make bad behavior between groups ok? No.

      Numbers 12
      12 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
      5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
      8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
      9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.
      10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

      You stated –“Ephesians 4:3 comes to mind, we are called to, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” I think that same spirit applies to Romans 13 when it comes to our leaders because what we’re trying to create is stability rather than anarchy.”

      My response — Well said and I agree 100%

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how how Paul is quoted in Romans, as you point out as the existing gvt. etc. WE really have a problem with that, don’t we? Insomuch Christ didn’t even address government, we can believe two worlds exist in which we are to operate. One is in which there is authority for this earth, and then again, authority for God’s kingdom. Christ made it clear His kingdom was NOT of this world. We must live in BOTH worlds and be subject. Too, I don’t believe Paul would have had us believe what he said was the last word on it; meaning, he held other beliefs on it and simply didn’t say. As for we, the Christians, we say we trust God and then build our missiles. We believe James and the prayer cloth and oil and then run to the doctor or hospital. IN some ways we are dual in our minds in our approach. I say, we should just be honest about it. In fact, we desire our government to be more moral, more responsible than the church. This is true because we don’t want to do His will; albeit, we say what others should do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @T. F. Thompson

      In fact, we desire our government to be more moral, more responsible than the church. This is true because we don’t want to do His will; albeit, we say what others should do.

      That is an interesting observation. Never thought of it that way, but I think you are right. Few of us idolize the church, but there are many of us who idolize government. Therefore, we want government to be perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You stated — “Few of us idolize the church, but there are many of us who idolize government. Therefore, we want government to be perfect.”

        My response — This is so true.

        I would also like to add that people follow “Obama and Trump” like they are holy leaders. Pure idol worship is going on in America. No matter what they do they are loved by one party religiously and then rejected like false prophets by the other.

        It’s not natural, people are becoming fanatics. If you say something against Trump or Obama it’s like you said something against someone’s religious leader.

        Like

        1. I don’t equate Trump and Obama. Trump is not advocating a Socialist State. Obama is.

          Do some people idolize Trump? Probably, but lots of us voted for Trump out of desperation. He just seemed like the lesser of evils. If men were angels we would not need a government. Government is just what we do to make the best of a bad situation.

          Like

    2. You stated — “we can believe two worlds exist in which we are to operate. One is in which there is authority for this earth, and then again, authority for God’s kingdom.”

      My response — There can be hundreds of worlds and hundreds of authorities but there is only one who grants it and that’s what we see in scripture.

      You stated — “I don’t believe Paul would have had us believe what he said was the last word on it; meaning, he held other beliefs on it and simply didn’t say.”
      My response — We were told what we need to understand. So we need not dwell on things not said.

      You stated — As for we, the Christians, we say we trust God and then build our missiles. We believe James and the prayer cloth and oil and then run to the doctor or hospital. IN some ways we are dual in our minds in our approach.

      My response — I disagree. We simply don’t trust God, why make it complicated with duality.

      You stated — “I say, we should just be honest about it. In fact, we desire our government to be more moral, more responsible than the church. This is true because we don’t want to do His will; albeit, we say what others should do.”

      My response — We desire the government to do what is best for us at the expense of others in defiance of God’s word. Politicians talk about God until it’s inconvenient, then they talk about the devil and how he runs the other party as a distraction.

      Liked by 2 people

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