Polyventure Publications

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Click on the authors name below for links to articles by them:

Articles by Stephen Anderson
Articles by Carl Mease
Articles by Steve Phillips
Articles by Matthew Truit
                                                                                                                                                                                       Articles by Chuck Carlson

Click on titles below for more miscellaneous articles of interest:

CHURCH HISTORY/EARLY CHRISTIANS (a link to numerous articles ) 

Understanding Evangelical's Prophesy of War and the End Times  

World War I veteran turns pacifist  

Jared Smith testimony      Mike Thames testimony              

War Prayer, by Mark Twain         Pledge of Allegiance       TheCrusades and 9/11                                   

THE AWAKENING: 15 years late for mankind;            Just Adultery;         

Why followers of Jesus should forego travel to Israel


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ARTICLES by STEVE PHILLIPS of West Africa

Click here to the Gospel for West Africa website to view and read the many articles and books by Steve Phillips (go to the publications page).

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Articles by Chuck Carlson

Abram in Egypt

    

     Genesis 12 records that when Abram left the oak of Moreh for Egypt, he had a promise from God.  “To your descendents I will give this land” (Gen. 12:7).  There is no record of the Canaanites going to Egypt, but we know that Abram left the land which the Lord had promised him because, “there was a famine in the land” (Gen.12:10).  Many see this as a time when Abram did not trust in the Lord, but rather in the power and strength of Egypt.  Nothing good comes from Abram’s sojourn in Egypt.  There is no record of him calling on the Lord from the time he left Canaan until his return to Canaan.  While in Egypt, his deceit to Pharaoh ended in his disgracing more than the name of Abram, but the name of the Lord God whom he served.

    So Abram, the man of faith of Hebrews 11:8-10, who obeyed when God called him, not knowing where he was going, and living as an alien in a foreign land, and dwelling in tents in the land promised to him, did not always “keep the faith”.  This is a time that Abram trusted in the security and strength of Egypt over the promises of God.  Egypt offered visible refuge, food, and security.  The land God promised visibly offered ruin and starvation.  Abram had the difficult decision of whether to walk by sight or by faith in this situation, as he contemplated seeing all that God had promised being destroyed because he didn’t use the brain God had given him and go to Egypt.

    All the above can be excused, short of a direct revelation from the Lord Himself.  If the Lord is silent, He very well is allowing us to decide how to access the temporary while plundering the bounty of Egypt.  But then there are the closed doors that lie ahead.  If it actually was the will of the Lord for Abram to go to Egypt so His name would be glorified, Abram did not catch the vision, as he deceived Pharaoh to save his own life.  At the point Abram was instructing Sarai to lie for him, he should have known that he was violating the very standards of the God of Truth; as it is not honoring to God to ever stoop to the ways of darkness; the end does not justify the means in the world view of those who walk by faith.

      By this time Abram was so intent on continuing on to Egypt he had obviously forgotten the very promise of God, “To your descendents I will give this land”.  If Abram’s descendents were to inherit the land of Canaan, Abram could not die at the hands of the Egyptians before he had a child.  Abram was obviously blinded by the need for survival, and working out the Lord’s plan for his life in his own way.

      We can be assured that Abram learned the hard lesson and discipline of the Lord, not only by his return to the altar and offering sacrifice (Gen.13:4) after he returned to the land the Lord had promised him, but in his future life of faith and being listed  in the faith hall of fame in Hebrews eleven.  There are many analogies we can make in our own lives concerning getting our eyes and focus off the Spirit and being led by sight instead of faith, and many sermons have been preached on this subject.   On the other hand, there is a subject involving walking by sight, on which as a whole even protestant denominations remain silent.  It is one of the few remnants of the Roman Catholic tradition that not only remains unchallenged by those whose battle cry has been “sola scriptura”, but some even promote this unbiblical tradition.

     I am speaking of the Roman Catholic tradition of the aptly called “just war theory” or “just war tradition”.  Like most traditions, it has absolutely no New Testament foundation and is followed and referred to as an addition to scripture and even over riding scriptural mandates.  All this relates to Abram’s sojourn to Egypt in the sense that to advocate a “just war”, is to trust in the strength and provision of Egypt over the power and provision of the promise of the Lord.  If Abram would have truly had faith in the promises of God upon entering Egypt, he would have known that the king could not have killed him prior to their having a child.  For the promises of the Lord in their entirety were based upon Abram having a child.  Likewise, the “just war” advocates seem to forget that in order to have even a remnant of saints referred to in the last days of the present earth age, would mean that God will preserve a remnant throughout history.

     Christian leadership often advocates war (going to Egypt) when non-believers (Canaanites) do not even see the need (to go to Egypt).  Many times it is the Christian leadership who lead the cry that there is a “famine in the land”, and the only help is to rely upon the power and provision of Egypt instead of the promises of God.  Even the standards set forth in the “just war tradition”, do not protect anything whatsoever spiritual, but only those physical things, which we otherwise are taught are of no use in the eternal kingdom.  Like Abram’s sojourn in Egypt, nothing eternally good comes from the believer’s involvement in physical war.

     As Abram fell into sin (deceit), so the established church today has fallen into the sin of advocating a tradition of men above the Word of God.  Church leaders today continue in the Roman tradition of an unholy marriage of the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom of God, which has never produced godly fruit in seventeen-hundred years.  As Abram turned a blind eye to his calling, mission and witness while in Egypt, so too those who advocate a “just war” turn a blind eye to the clear new testament teaching of loving our enemies, doing good to those who persecute us, and even the great commission of making disciples.  All this from a fear of losing what we will not keep, and maintaining and further accumulating wealth, prosperity and a desired lifestyle.

      Like Abram disgraced the name of the Lord, those who teach war in Jesus name also disgrace His holy name. Those who advocate war are not only returning evil for evil, but are spreading death, destruction, misery and hatred; when they should be witnesses of life, love and reconciliation.  Just War is the tradition of men that is not spoken of by those who otherwise teach “sola scriptura” and pro-life.  War is not pro-life and is not sola scriptura.  Just War was not the Old Testament standard and is totally opposed to New Testament teaching.  Revival will not come until those who call themselves by the name of Jesus truly teach and live ‘sola scriptura’, become consistently pro-life, and become ‘full gospel’, by rejecting the false tradition of ‘just war’.  Then, like Abram, we can return to the land which the Lord promised, and once again offer sacrifice.  For us that sacrifice is the sacrifice of Romans 12:1,2; i.e. presenting our bodies to him and being transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Traditions of Men

TRADITIONS OF MEN

 

“They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”  And He said to them:  “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Mark 7:7-9.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. - COLOSSIANS 2:8

 

 

The subject of the traditions of men is well covered on the internet with two and a half million entries on the subject.  The subject covers everything from holidays, orders of worship, church discipline, and even Catholic links defending tradition over scripture.

Most sites are pretty specific, but the most comprehensive site I found was http://www.lostkeysrevelation.com/effects.html.  Obviously I have not been able to research all the sites, but the lost keys would seem to cover more than most people have even considered tradition (I don’t necessarily agree with all written, just that it covers so much). 

 

I bring up the extensiveness of coverage because to date I have been unable to find a website which covers the Roman Catholic tradition of men which was not even covered in the great days of “sola scriptura” of the reformation.  Yet the totally unscriptural tradition of ‘just war”, or for that matter Christians joining the military at all, has gone relatively unchallenged.  The best concise writeup I’ve seen is in Alvin Carpenter’s book From Missionary to Mercenary which can be found on the Polyventure Publication website.  The entire book is excellent, but chapter two, The Just War Theory and its Fallacies, is the concise explanation I’m talking about.  I also have a section on pages 35-39 in my booklet, God and Country from a Christian Perspective on the subject, which can be read free in the Freeread section of the Polyventure Publications website.  Also a click to the Just War article here on the Polyventure website will reveal another excellent article by John Howard Yoder.

 

If the average pastor would speak out against the “just war tradition” from the pulpit today, it just may be his last sermon in that church.  Of course this would be a result of other traditions such as being hired and paid by local church leaders; which are not the subject of this article.  The bottom line is; not only is going to and/or promoting physical war diametrically opposed to all New Testament teaching, but was not the practice of the Early Church.  “Christians” only started joining the military after the time of Constantine’s combining church and state.  It was not until 100 years later when Augustine adapted the pagan practice into the “Christian tradition”.  The other Catholic traditions which Augustine taught have rightfully been rejected by most groups, i.e. conversion by force to Catholic doctrine, Purgatory, intercession of departed saints, salvation only through the Roman Catholic Church, and more.  These traditions have rightfully been rejected, but not the unscriptural “just war tradition”. 

 

Just War is a tradition of death, which is not even found in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament wars which were under God’s direction were not “just” by definition, they were acts of obedience to the Lord God which He spoke through His messengers.  Yet with the multiple thousands of websites purporting “sola scriptura”, where can condemnation of this ungodly tradition be found?  There are long dissertations on how water baptism is not necessary for salvation, BUT your salvation is somewhat in question if you do not go through this “first act of obedience”.  On the other hand a follower of Christ is somehow excused from the acts of obedience of loving neighbor, enemy, and those who persecute, IF the cause is declared “just” by a secular authority.

 

True revival will not come to America as long as the American Church continues to place the “just war tradition” above the scriptures; for surely this is “thus invalidating the Word of God by your tradition which you have handed down...” Mark 7:13.

 

WAR PRAYER

 by Mark Twain.  This very short work was never published as it was considered too controversial to be included in Women's Day Magazine which held exclusive rights to his writings at the time.  An excellent satire on how Christians can be decieved and led astray, which is just as relevent today as it was during the Spanish-American war when it was written.  Click on War Prayer to read. 




 

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

by Carl Mease

 

It was back in ‘73 when I was editor of the Friends University newspaper that I wrote an editorial concerning The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  My concern at the time, and now, was the audacity of poet Julia Ward Howe using the terminology of God’s judgment in the Revelation of John, as if the armies of the Potomac were God’s instrument in “trampling out the winepress where the grapes of wrath are stored”.  The song speaks of the troops, “They have builded Him an altar in the morning dews and damps…His day is marching on.”  “Let the hero born of woman crush the serpent with his heal, our God is marching on.”  And on and on the sacrilege of attributing the Union army with “Our God is marching on”. 

 

But you say the tune is so triumphant, and can’t we spiritualize it all and make it appropriate regardless of its sordid past?  Well, maybe so.  We could make it more the ilk of Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.  But then even the tune was borrowed from John Brown’s Body, which was a rally call of both the blue and the grey.  You can read about the history and the various changes in the lyrics at (http://womenshistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa013100a.htm).  This song was simply written to give the North their own song to energize the war effort.  As you can learn from the above website, Julia Ward Howe was a Unitarian and Transcendentalist, and for what that means theologically see (http://www.scvcamp469-nbf.com/battlehymnofrepublic.htm).  The Unitarians themselves have since taken the song from their hymnbooks, while it remains a favorite in the patriotic section of most evangelical hymnbooks today. 

 

The uniting force of the 1860’s between this Unitarian, Protestants and Catholics was the still virtually unchallenged Roman Catholic “tradition of men” called the “just war”, that unholy marriage of the kingdoms of the earth and the kingdom of God.  After all, she was encouraged to write the poem at the encouragement of “a man of the cloth”, James Freeman Clark.  Mrs. Howe effectively diverted the idea of taking vengeance, to a war with a just cause, i.e. abolition.  Although the emphasis was changed to abolition of slavery, that was not the purpose of the war, but only a moral justification to convince the masses the war was “just”.  Read another view on  the reasons behind the American Civil War at http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/southernsidecondensed.htm, and fallacies and unbiblical position of the just war tradition used by both sides, are found in chapter five of Alvin Carpenter’s book From Missionary to Mercenary.

 

To Mrs. Howe’s credit, she had a totally different position concerning war by 1870 when she wrote Mother’s Day Proclamation, http://womenshistory.about.com/od/howejwriting/a/mothers_day.htm.  After 970,000 dead and wounded Americans, devastated lives and property, the Reconstruction era of abuses, Mrs. Howe now writes “Disarm, disarm”.  Unfortunately, this too is my experience a century later.  It took seeing the carnage of Viet Nam to understand there are no “just” wars, and killing those we are called to disciple is not loving our enemy (see pp. 42,43 in my book, God and Country from a Christian Perspective).  “Devout” Christian Abraham Lincoln fighting a just cause against “devout” Christian Robert E. Lee, who was also fighting a “just” cause, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God, righteousness, peace, or joy.

 

So what about The Battle Hymn of the Republic?  It is only a song to be used as a battle cry for those who hold to the unscriptural “just war tradition” of the Roman Catholic Church.  As for me, I will hold to “sola scriptura” and denounce such a song as sacrilege, heresy and “tradition of men”, which holds to a different Jesus than of the Gospels.

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HUMAN GOVERNMENT IS A REJECTION OF GOD; A brief study of 1 Samuel exploring why God viewed Israel's establishment of human government as a rejection of His governance.

HarmlessAsDoves.Com
Matthew 10:16: ...be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Human Government is a Rejection of God

The Mosaic Law described in the Old Testament that governed the nation of Israel did not, in any aspect, resemble the human-run governments of the modern world. The scriptures describe this system of laws as one directly dictated by God to Moses. Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, the Israeli people reject God and His laws in order to worship other idols. One example of this is rejection of God is when the Israeli people request human government. The following passage from the book of 1 Samuel tells the story.

1 Samuel 8:4-22: All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."

But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."

God wanted Israel as a "peculiar people unto himself" (Deut.14:2) but instead Israel wanted to be "like all the other nations.” Two chapters later Samuel would again scold the Israeli people for their decision.

1 Samuel 10:19: You have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, "No, set a king over us!" Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans.

The Israelis who rejected God by asking for a king would soon admit their error.

1 Samuel 12:19: And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.”

From these passages we can see that the rejection of the divinely-inspired governmental organization in favor of a human-run government “like all the other nations” is seen as a rejection of God and is equated with “serving other gods.”

Why was the request for a king a rejection of God? To find the answer, we turn to the Garden of Eden. Adam eats the fruit, although it is forbidden, so that he can gain knowledge of good and evil, and consequently become capable of declaring what is good, and what is evil. According to the scriptures, however, it is God who declares what is good and evil. Rather than relying on God and putting full faith and trust in Him, Adam decided to place his faith and trust somewhere else.

Israel, by asking for a king, is guilty of this same crime. They asked for a king, someone who could have the authority to make laws, judge what is right and wrong, and in short, declare good and evil. Rather than putting full trust into the laws God had handed down to Moses and other chosen leaders, the Israelis wanted to “be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us.” Rather than putting full trust into God for protection, the Israelis wanted a king “to go out before us and fight our battles.” Israel, by asking for a human government, rejected God’s governance.

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EARLY CHRISTIANS WERE ANTI-WAR AND ANTI-STATE; An examination of the writings of early Christian church leaders concerning the appropriate Christian attitude towards war and government.

HarmlessAsDoves.Com
Matthew 10:16: ...be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Early Christians Were Anti-War and Anti-State

In The New Testament Promotes the Absolute Love of Enemies it is concluded that Jesus meant His "love your enemy" and "turn the other cheek" literally, and the Apostles understood these teachings to be literal. Lastly, an examination of the beliefs of the early Christians prior to 300 A.D. will show that they too, unequivocally, interpreted the teachings of both Jesus and the Apostles literally and applied them to daily life. Furthermore, these early Christians, as will be seen below, held a radically anti-war and anti-state belief system, based on the teachings of Christ.

Tertullian, 160-220 A.D.:

"I owe no duty to forum, campaign, or senate. I stay awake for no public function. I make no effort to occupy a platform. I am no office seeker. I have no desire to smell out political corruption. I shun the voter's booth, the juryman's bench. I break no laws and push no lawsuits; I will not serve as a magistrate or judge. I refuse to do military service. I desire to rule [govern] over no one--I have withdrawn from worldly politics [from the life of secular society]! Now my only politics is spiritual--how that I might be anxious for nothing except to root out all worldly anxieties and care."

"Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword? And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law?"

"Shall he who is not to avenge his own wrongs be instrumental in bringing others into chains, imprisonment, torment, death?"

"Inquiry is made whether a believer is able to turn himself into military service... But how will a Christian war, indeed how will he serve even in peace without a sword, which the Lord has taken away? ...The Lord in disarming Peter, unbelted every soldier."

Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition, approx. 200 A.D.:

"The soldier who is of inferior rank shall not kill anyone. If ordered to, he shall not carry out the order, nor shall he take the oath. If he does not accept this, let him be dismissed. The believers who wish to become soldiers shall be dismissed, because they have despised God."

Marcellus the centurion, 298 A.D.:

"I am a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal king. From now I cease from this military service of your emperors, and I scorn to adore your gods of stone and wood, which are deaf and dumb images... I cast down my vine-staff and belt... and I refuse to serve as a soldier ... I threw down my arms; for it was not seemly that a Christian man, who renders military service to the Lord Christ, should render it also by inflicting earthly injuries."

Origen, approx. middle of the third century A.D.:

"We have come in accordance with the counsels of Jesus to cut down our warlike and arrogant swords of argument into plowshares, and we convert into sickles the spears we formerly used in fighting. For we no longer take sword against a nation, nor do we learn anymore to make war, having become sons of peace for the sake of Jesus, who is our leader."

"We do not indeed fight under him [the emperor], although he requires it; but we 'fight' on his behalf, forming a special 'army'-an army of piety-by offering our prayers to God . . . Christians are benefactors of their country more than others. For they train up citizens, and inculcate piety to the Supreme Being; and they promote those whose lives in the smallest cities have been good and worthy, to a divine and heavenly city. . . . And it is not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a divine and more necessary service in the church of God-for the salvation of men."

The Martyrdom of Maximilian:

Maximilian from Numidia, a Christian, appeared before an African proconsul named Dion for induction into the army. Maximilian refused induction, however, stating simply, “I am not allowed to be a soldier, for I am a Christian. Dion replied sharply, "Get into the service, or it will cost you your life." Maximilian replied, "I do this age no war-service, but I do 'war-service' for my God." No amount of threatening could budge him from his simple confession, "I am a Christian and I cannot do evil. . . .I shall not perish, but when I have forsaken this world, my soul shall live, with Christ my Lord. … I cannot fight, if I die; I am not a soldier of this world, but a soldier of God." Later he refused the royal badge that had the sign of the emperor on it, saying, “I do not accept your mark, for I already have the sign of Christ, my God… I do not accept the mark of this age, and if you impose it on me, I shall break it, for it is worth nothing.” The consul said, “You must serve or die.” Maximilian replied, “I am not a soldier of the world but of God. It is Christ whom we serve, all of us who are Christians.”

The outcome was that on March 12, 295, Maximilian was executed. Maximilian's father returned home, "giving thanks to God that he had been able to bring such a present to the Lord.” Later, as a special honor, his body was brought to Carthage and buried near the tomb of Cyprian, a great leader in the church, who had also died as a martyr.

Testament of Our Lord, from Syria, approx. 220 A.D.:

“If a soldier or one in authority wishes to be baptized in the Lord, let them cease from military service or from the post of authority. And if not, let them not be received.”

Ignatius of Antioch, approx. 110 A.D.:

“Do not avenge yourself on those who injure you… let us imitate the Lord, who when he was reviled, reviled not again.”

“Nothing is better than peace, by which all war of those in heaven and those on earth is abolished.”

Lactantius of Bithynia:

“When God prohibits killing, he not only forbids us to commit brigandage, which is not allowed even by the public laws, but he warns us not to do even those things which are legal among men. And so it will not be lawful for a just man to serve as a soldier - for justice itself is his military service - nor to accuse anyone of a capital offense, because it makes no difference whether thou kill with a sword or with a word, since killing itself is forbidden. And so, in this commandment of God, no exception at all ought to be made to the rule that it is always wrong to kill a man, whom God has wished to be regarded as a sacrosanct creature.”

"Thou shalt not kill... It is always unlawful to put a man to death."

“How can he be just, who injures, hates, despoils, kills? And those who strive to be of advantage to their country (through taking part in warfare) do all these things.”

Justinus Martyr, approx. 150 A.D.:

“We, who were formerly slayers of one another, not only do not make war upon our enemies, but, for the sake of neither lying nor deceiving those who examine us, gladly die confessing Christ.”

“We who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness, have each one - all the world over - changed the instruments of war, the swords into ploughs and the spears into farming instruments, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for men, faith, and the hope which is from the Father Himself through the Crucified One.”

“We who hated and slew one another, and because of differences in customs would not share a common hearth with those who were not of our tribe, now, after the appearance of Christ, have become sociable, and pray for our enemies, and try to persuade those who hate us unjustly, in order that they, living according to the good suggestions of Christ, may share our hope of obtaining the same reward from the God who is Master of all.”

“As to loving all men, he has taught as follows: ‘If ye love only those who love you, what new thing do ye do? For even fornicators do this. But I say to you: Pray for your enemies and love those who hate you and bless those who curse you and pray for those who act spitefully towards you.’ … And as to putting up with evil and being serviceable to all and without anger, this is what he says: ‘to him that smiteth thy cheek, offer the other cheek as well, and do not stop the man that takes away thy tunic or thy cloak. But whoever is angry is liable to the fire. Every one who impresses thee to go a mile, follow for two. Let your good works shine before men, that seeing them they may worship your Father in heaven.’”

Athenagoras, approx. 180 A.D.:

"We have learned not only not to return blow for blow, nor to go to law with those who plunder and rob us, but to those who smite us on the one side of the face to offer the other side also, and to those who take away our coat to give likewise our cloak."

"We [Christians] cannot endure even to see a man put to death, though justly."

Clemens of Alexandria:

“[Christians] are an army without weapons, without war, without bloodshed, without anger, without defilement.”

“We are being educated, not in war, but in peace.”

“Man is in reality a pacific instrument.”

“We have made use of one instrument, the peaceful word only, wherewith we honour God.”

Cyprian, who died as a martyr in 258 A.D.:

"[Christians] are not allowed to kill, but they must be ready to be put to death themselves... it is not permitted the guiltless to put even the guilty to death."

Arnobius, 310 A.D.:

"If all without exception . . . would lend an ear for a little to His [Christ's] salutary and peaceful rules . . . the whole world, having turned the use of steel into more peaceful occupations, would now be living in the most placid tranquillity, and would unite in blessed harmony, maintaining inviolate the sanctity of treaties."

Church Regulations Against Military Service:

In addition to the writings of various church fathers, we may also observe that a number of local church regulations -- ancient church orders and canons -- officially forbade military service. The soldier, and the magistrate "with the sword," "let him leave off or be rejected [as a church member]." "Let a catechumen or a believer of the people, if he desires to be a soldier, either cease from his intention, or if not, let him be rejected."

Links To Online Sources Which Helped Provide The Preceding Information:

Peace and Faith: Antiwar Activism and Christianity Have Been Hand-in-Hand for Centuries
On the Line for Peace: Christians in the Army?
Pacifism and Biblican Non-Resistance

Books Concerning The Early Christian Attitude Toward War and Government:

It Is Not Lawful for Me to Fight: Early Christian Attitudes Toward War, Violence, and the State by Jean-Michel Hornus
The Rejection of Military Service by the Early Christians by E.A. Ryan
The Early Christian Attitude Toward War by C.J. Cadoux
The Early Church and the World by C.J. Cadoux
The Fall of Christianity: A Study of Christianity, The State and War by C.J. Heering

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

When considering the Lord our God is a jealous God, and the Lord Jesus Christ has demanded all our allegiance to be His disciple, pledging allegiance to a flag of an earthly nation has always appeared wrong.  This was further brought home when attending a community-wide worship gathering, I noticed the majority of men removed their hats for the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, and then returned their hats for the following prayer. 

I really thought I was some sort of "Lone Ranger" in this department of Kingdom living, and then I ran across the following article which expresses the same concerns and has other links of interest.  Click here for the link to procinwarn.com which has pledge concerns, in addition to the Masonic Order connections.     

 

THE CRUSADES and 9/11

This article is a part of a longer piece by Jim Baumgaertel on his provocative website.  Jim pulls in the relationships between The Great Crusades of the Middle Ages and the modern War on Terrorism between the East and West, the New World Order, Patriotism, the Pope and Freemasonry, but most importantly - our calling.  Click here to read.

Understanding Evangelical's Prophesy of War and teh End Times: finding Hope in an Era of the Neo Crusades

Article by Charles E. Carlson
Charles Carlson refers back to one of the many books written in the 1970's which interpret the "rapture" of the church happening in 1988.  As a used christian book reader myself, I resently read a 1980 book in which the author's careful calculations pinpointed 1996 as the time of this event.  These false prophesies are now re-popularized  in today's evangelical circles by the Left Behind book and tape series.  Charles Carlson makes the point that this is a non-biblical twist which is propagated by "Judaized Christian Dispensationists".  But Carlson connects this interpretation to why today's evangelical leaders are the primary enablers of America's serial wars.  He says, "How can anything be so inconguous as Christians enabling serial wars?...We who call ourselves by Christ's name and did nothing to stop it, are guilty of shedding innocent blood".  Fortunately, he gives believes there is Hope int an era of the neo-crusades.  Reading the entire article is a must for any follower of the Lord who is interested in deceptions within the church.                                         
 
Click here to read.

THE AWAKENING: 15 years late for mankind

by Charles Carlson
Click here to read why the oft heard question; "Why do they hate us?" is often asked after the 911 terrorist attacks.

CHURCH HISTORY/ EARLY CHRISTIANS

Click here to an excellent free-read web page from Scroll Publishing, with articles on key persons, places, and movements associated with the history of the church.  Including articles on early Christian beliefs, Kingdom movements, the Reformation, and biographies of well-known "heretics".

Rick Warran's Global P.E.A.C.E Plan vs. Scriptural Teaching on Peace

by James Sundquist, director: Rock Salt Publishing

The Gospel of the Kingdom is most definately the Gospel of Peace, as you can read in articles and books on this website.  On the other hand James Sundquist points out that all that is presented as peace is not scriptural.  Although the author of the best selling The Purpose Driven Life is using peace as an acronym, Sudquist point is well made.  Click here to read the article that may open your eyes to some of Rick Warran's teaching.

Why followers of Jesus should forego travel to Israel

Click here for Charles Carlson's good reasons not to travel to Israel at this time.  His reasons have nothing to do with your personal security, but everything to do with ethics and morality.