God and Gun Control: A Discussion between David and Don
(c) 1996-2005 David C. Treibs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is a discussion between myself (David Treibs), and a friend of mine, Don. He found the God and Gun Control web site and wrote me a concerned letter. I responded to his comments, and interspersed them in his. The discussion took place in 1999.
DON: all caps
David Treibs: standard capitalization
To: DON Subject: God and Guns Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 21:35:21 -0600
Thank you for a well thought out response to the God and Guns website. Knowing you, I know your comments stem from genuine concern as a brother in Christ. For that, I thank you.
Please rest assurred that the info on the web site is not a hastily written compilation of reactionary thought.
I began the work while reading through the Bible. I decided to write down verses relating to gun ownership on the inside of my Bible cover. I had done this for several other subjects, and decided to add gun ownership also. I ran out of room inside my Bible cover, so I began to write the notes on pieces of paper, until the list was quite long. Certain themes, principles, patterns, and ideas began to coalesce from the verses as I read them, and I wrote them down. This was the beginning of what is now the Outline on the web site. The Outline developed from the Bible verses.
Before I respond to your message, I'd like to add that, I think the best way to solve this is for you to do what I did: read through the Bible and write down all the relevant verses, and then you will begin to see the complete picture.
DEAR DAVID, I WAS CONCERNED WHEN I READ THE GOD AND GUNS INFO. GOD HAS USED THE ARM OF HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL THROUGHOUT HISTORY TO CARRY OUT HIS WILL AND I CERTAINLY BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE ORDAINED IN EARLY TIMES TO TAKE UP THE SWORD TO CARRY OUT THE WIIL OF GOD AS LED BY THEIR KINGS LIKE SAUL AND DAVID.BUT DID THEY EVER TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST THEIR KING WHICH GOD HAD PLACED OVER THEM? THEY DID NOT!
Actually, they did, and they did it with God's divine help and blessings. A few examples are: Ehud assassinated Eglon, Jael assassinated Sisera, Gideon overthrew the Midianites; Jehu assassinated Jehoram king of Israel and Jezebel, Ahab's wife; Sampson killed thousands of Philistines, and quite a few more examples.
Overthrow of the government is not the main point of the web page. In fact, I don't think there is mention of overthrow in the outline. Most of what deals with the govenment is resistance of evil government, which translates into defensive action from government initiated attacks.
Recent examples of Christians resisting evil government include the southern Sudanese Christians resisting the northern Moslem government attacks.
Examples of resistance to evil gov't that you probably agree with include Jewish and other resistance to the Nazis, and American resistance to and overthrow of British rule back in 1776.
THEIR ARE FEW PARALLELS BETWEEN THE EARLY ISRAELITES AND MODERN CHRISTIANS.
Not that you are, but don't be too quick to dismiss the Old Testament. There are dozens and dozens of references to it in the New Testament, telling us how we should live.
Remember 2 Timothy 3:16--"All scripture (that's the OT) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...." Jesus fulfilled the law, and we don't live under it any more, but that portion of the Bible is quite relevant to us. 2 Pet. 1:20 also mentions scripture.
THE EARLY ISRAELITES OPERATED UNDER A FORM OF MONARCHY UNDER KINGS THAT GOD PLACED OVER THEM WHO SERVED AS RELIGOUS AS WELL MILITARY AND SECULAR LEADER.WE TODAY LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY WITH LEADERS THAT WE OURSELVES ELECT TO OFFICE FROM AMONG OUR OWN SORRY LOT.IN THIS KIND OF APPOINTMENT HOW CAN WE EXPECT ANYTHING BUT THE FLAWED SYSTEM WE HAVE?
One of the benefits of this system is to resist, by arms if necessary, the government. The Declaration of Independence makes this clear.
TAKING UP ARMS AGAINST YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED THROUGH THE WORD OF THE LORD.
If you will read the materials on the web site, I think you will see otherwise.
BESIDES, GOD'S WILL IS BEING CARRIED OUT RIGHT NOW AND
As we discussed at church, God's will, at least his ultimate will, will be done no matter what we do or don't do, even no matter what the devil does or doesn't do. For the devil, that's probably one of the most frustrating facts he has to deal with. No matter how much destruction he reeks on God's work, God's will will be done. For us, no matter how poorly we serve God, his will will still be done. Nevertheless, just because God's will will be done no matter what we do or don't do, we are still required to obey God's Word to the best of our ability. Additionally, we must know what it says so we can obey it, and if we don't read and study it, we won't know it, and thusly, won't obey it.
And, there are consequences for us and for others when we do not live by God's Word. Our lives will be worse than if we obeyed. We may even needlessly be destoyed, our families suffer, and our nation be destroyed or debilitated. Souls might be lost because we don't live by God's Word.
CHRISTIANS SHOULD REJOICE THAT CHRIST WILL SOON COME AND PUT DOWN ALL SIN AND REBELLION AND PUT THIS WORLD UNDER HIS HOLY, PERFECT DOMINION.
You are absolutely correct, but, until he returns, he has left our families, our nation, and our world in our hands, to make the best of it. We are to be "salt and light," to provide for our family, to help the poor and needy, to rescue the oppressed, to break yokes, to befriend the friendless, and so on.
Jesus told us to "occupy" till he returns, which is a military term, meaning to hold a place under military occupation.
HE WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS WITH HIS HEAVENLY HOST.HE DOES NOT NEED MAN'S HELP AT ALL!
True, but we as individuals are members of the body of Christ, and he uses us to accomplish his will on earth. He could do it without us, but he delights in using us to accomplish his will.
IN FACT IF HE WERE TO ALLOW MAN TO TAKE UP ARMS AND HELP HIM CARRY OUT HIS WILL,
He doesn't need us to establish his kingdom, but there's more to his will than that. His will is that we provide for our families, and that includes their safety and security. He can use us to do that. Part of his will is for us to have a righteous and lawful nation, and he can use us to do that. Part of his will is for us to put away the evil from among us, and he can use us to do that.
THEN OF COURSE MAN WOULD CLAIM HIS SHARE OF THE GLORY FOR HELPING PUT DOWN SIN.THIS IS A SAD FACT BUT TRUE.IT IS MAN'S SINFUL NATURE TO WANT TO DO THINGS HIMSELF AND CLAIM THE GLORY.MAN IS ALWAYS TRYING TO HELP GOD OUT.AND THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE WE SEE THE RESULT OF MAN TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL AND DO IT " HIS WAY". IT STARTED WITH ADAM AND GOES RIGHT THROUGH TO US TODAY.
True, but God gives us responsibilities that we are required to do, and God won't do them for us. If we don't do them, they won't be done. We don't help God, but we do what he commands us, and we do it in the way he wants it done, and if we do his will in his way, he will help us. We receive no glory for this, we are just unprofitable servants doing what we are commanded. God recieves the glory for whatever we accomplish.
THE ONLY WAY THAT THERE WILL EVER BE A "PERFECT WORLD" IS WHEN CHRIST COMES AGAIN AND MAKES IT SO.
Nobody I know is trying to make a perfect world. We are just trying to do what we can so that, for a little while, we will be a little bit safer, and our liberties will last a little bit longer, and we pray that God will help make it so. Maybe he will and maybe he won't. It's up to him, but we do as he has commanded us.
AND CHRIST DOES NOT NEED MANS, HELP AT ALL.IN FACT WE SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT "GOD IS GOD AND WE,RE NOT! HIS WILL SHALL BE DONE ON THIS EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.REMEMBER TO THAT IT WAS SAID OF JESUS THAT "NOT A REED DID HE BRUISE". HE WAS MILD AND MEEK AND WE ARE CALLED TO BE LIKE HIM.NOT WEAK,AS CONCERNS OUR FAITH
Correct. However, we can be meek and mild without letting someone attack our family or destroy our nation. Moses was the meekest man on earth, but he told the Israelites to "arm yourselves."
,BUT READY TO SUFFER FOR OUR SAVIOUR AS HE SUFFERED FOR US,EVEN UNTO DEATH IF WE ARE CALLED TO.
You have no argument from me on that point. Just because we resist evil with arms doesn't mean we won't suffer persecution. Read Foxe's Book of Martyrs (it's on the web in it's entirity), where sometimes they successfully resisted persecution with arms. Throughout scripture you will find resistance to persecution at all levels--some refused to deny Christ, some escaped, some hid, some fought back as individuals, and some organized entire armies to defend theirs and their fellow countrymen's lives and liberty.
JESUS WAS LONGSUFFERING AND HIS PATH WAS ONE OF PEACEFULL INSTRUCTION TO HIS LOST FLOCK.JESUS SUFFERED PERSECUTION,AFFLICTION,TEMPTATION, AND DEATH FOR OUR SALVATION.CAN WE DO LESS FOR OUR SAVIOUR? THE SCRIPTURE SAYS"JESUS WEPT". IT DOESN'T SAY JESUS CARRIED AN AR15.
Actually, he said:
Luke 22:36: "...he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Brother, I suggest you sell your garment and buy an AR-15.
BE PATIENT .THE TIMES OF TRIBULATION HAVE STARTED AND SOON GOD WILL DESTROY ALL EVIL AND CHRIST WILL PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS PERFECT AUTHORITY.THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL WE SEE A WORLD THAT IS WORTHY OF GOD AND HIS FAITHFUL SERVANTS.TAKE HEART,PREPARE YOURSELF,PRAY CONTINUALLY,AND STRIVE TO REACH THOSE LOST SOULS SO THAT THEY MAY BE SAVED AND GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED.
There is no reason why we can't work for souls and work to save lives and liberty at the same time, any more than we can hold a job, engage in sports and hobbies, all the while being a witness for Christ. They aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, just like we can be a witness for Christ and can use sports, jobs, hobbies to further the gospel, so too we can witness and defend our lives and liberty, and use that defense as a witnessing tool. The Founding Fathers of the USA did it, wy can't we?
Nehemiah is a good Bible example of being armed and doing God's work. While they were re-building the wall around Jerusalem, they had to arm themselves in case they were attacked. They had a weapon in one hand and a work tool in the other. Being armed was not the primary objective, but it enabled them to complete their main objective--doing God's work. If they had not been armed, it is very likely that they would have been attacked and killed, and the wall would have been in ruins for hundreds of years, and the temple may well have been re-destroyed as well.
WORK DILIGENTLY,THE HARVEST IS PLENTIOUS,THE LABORERS FEW.WE MUST WORK HARD WHILE IT IS YET DAY FOR THE NIGHT COMES QUICKLY WHEN WE CAN WORK NO MORE.
One of the ways to reach the lost is to ensure that we have a righteous nation that will not hinder the spread of the gospel, as they do in Communist and Moslem countries. This may require the use of arms.
MAY GOD,S PEACE AND WISDOM BE YOURS.YOUR CHRISTIAN BROTHER,DON.
Amen. God bless you also...
Blessed is the man...(whose) delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
To: DON Subject: Re: God and Guns Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 00:16:14 -0600
Subject: Re: God and Guns Date sent: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 19:55:46 -0600
By any chance, was this the message that you accidently deleted?
DEAR DAVID, I CANNOT SPEND A LOT OF TIME TO ANSWER YOUR MESSAGE AS IT IS NOT WHAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO DO IN THIS CLOSING DAYS BEFORE THE TRIBULATION FOR THIS NATION.
That's OK. Any time you wish to discontinue this discussion, that's fine with me, although I enjoy researching the ideas you present, and hope you keep up the discussion.
I posted the God & Guns web site to inform Christians of truth from God's word. If I'm posting error and you can prove it, you should do so. Of course, I've researched the matter quite a bit, so it might take lots of proving on your part, and then I still might be rather hard-headed ;)
I'm not trying to convince you to arm yourself to the teeth and run around in the woods with like-minded fellows. I'm hoping we can hash out what the Bible really says so the truth can be told, and we can then live by it.
ALSO DAVID,I DON'T THINK YOU NEED MUCH FROM ME AS YOU ARE ALLREADY DOING A GOOD JOB TAKING CARE OF YOUR FAMILY,STAYING IN GODS' WORD,AND REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN NEED.STAY STRONG IN THIS PATH FOR IT IS THE TRUE ONE THAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU.AND DAVID THERE IS NOT MUCH THAT I COULD ADD TO YOUR WALK WITH THE LORD.BUT PERHAPS THERE IS A LITTLE.
Why, thank you. Please do.
FIRST DAVID,I WOULD HAVE YOU KNOW THAT I DO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD HAS IN STORE FOR ALL MANKIND AND WHAT HE EXPECTS FROM HIS FAITHFUL AS THE AGE DRAWS TO A CLOSE IN PREPARATION FOR CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.YOU WILL UNDERSTAND BETTER DAVID, AFTER I FINISH MY WITNESS, HOW GOD HAS BLESSED ME AND GIVEN ME GREAT VISION TO NOW USE TO OPEN EYES,STRENGTHEN MY BROTHERS IN CHRIST AND HELP BRING LOST SHEEP INTO THE FOLD WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME.
I'm looking forward to it. Is this the work you told me about in church on the end times and the return of Christ?
AS YOU WILL LEARN THIS IS NOT SOME "GIFT" THAT I JUST RECEIVED THROUGH A DREAM,OR DIVINE REVELATION.IT IS A GIFT I'VE HAD ALL MY LIFE.IT HAS MADE ME SEVERAL FORTUNES AND DID SO BY ALLOWING ME TO SEE WHAT OTHERS COULD NOT SEE AND THUS PROFIT FROM FOR MY OWN GAIN.BUT THAT WAS ALWAYS THE PROBLEM,IT WAS FOR "MY" OWN GAIN,AND NEVER FOR THE GAIN OF THE LORD.NOW THE LORD HAS LED ME TO SEE HOW THIS GIFT OF VISION WAS SUPPOSED TO BE USED ALL ALONG.AND THAT IS WHAT I AM ALL ABOUT NOW. I AM CHARGED BY MY SAVIOUR TO USE THE GIFT HE GAVE ME TO BRING ABOUT A CHANGE IN THE LIVES THAT I TOUCH AND WITH HIS WILL AND UNDER HIS DIRECTION I HAVE AND WILL.
GOD HAS BEEN GRACIOUS AND GOOD TO ME AND HAS CARRIED ME ACROSS THIS WHOLE COUNTRY FROM EAST TO WEST.FAR NORTH TO FAR SOUTH,MEETING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE,GETTING TO KNOW ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE BOTH GOOD AND BAD.AND NOW HE HAS CHOSEN TO USE ME AND GOD KNOWS DAVID,I DIDN'T WANT TO BE USED.I DID NOT VOLUNTEER,I WAS DRAFTED.BUT SEEING AS HOW I NOW KNOW THAT I'M NOT GOING TO GET OUT OF MY ASSIGNENT WITHOUT INCURING THE WRATH OF GOD I'LL COMMIT MYSELF TO THE TASK HE HAS GIVEN ME AND DO IT TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.
Sounds interesting. I'd like to know more.
SO DAVID I WISH TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS WITH YOU; TO START WITH DAVID LET ME MENTION YOUR NAMESAKE, KING DAVID.HE WAS A MAN OF WAR,PERHAPS HOT TEMPERED AND ALWAYS EAGER TO USE HIS SWORD.
Yes, he was hot tempered at times, but on at least one occasion, the instance of Nabal, God kept him from doing wrong. However, you cannot forget that God used David's sword both before he was king, and when he was king, to accomplish his will and rid Israel of their enemies, so that peace and prosperity would be theirs for a number of years.
BUT WHEN GOD CHOSE TO HAVE HIS TEMPLE BUILT HE WOULD, NOT LET DAVID BUILD IT BECAUSE HIS HANDS HAD SHED BLOOD.
Correct, but David's bloodshed (of God's and Israel's enemies) secured the peace (I Chronicles 23:18) that enabled Solomon to build and reign without too much bloodshed. Also, David drew up the plans, procured the building materials and money for the temple, and selected the artisans for the task, so that even though God didn't let him build the temple, he did let him have a major hand in it.
Also remember that, in spite of the bloodshed, David was a man after God's own heart, and he was the "sweet psalmist of Israel." Solomon, peaceable fellow that he was, was never called either of these things, because militancy had nothing to do with either.
AND STILL AGAIN DAVID RAISED HIS SON ABSALOM TO LEARN HIS WARLIKE WAYS,WHICH ABSALOM DID WELL,
I looked in 1 Chronicles and II Samuel, and found no references supporting the above sentence.
Scripture does give a number of clues telling what happened with Absalom, and none of them happened because of David's militancy.
David's affair with Bathsheba was a poor example to the rest of the family. One of David's sons, Amnon, raped one of his half-sisters, Tamar (II Sam 13:22), perhaps because, from David's example, he learned to take what he wanted from a woman. Absalom hated Amnon for this, but David did nothing to punish Amnon. Finally, after "2 full years," Absalom did something--he killed Amnon.
In response to the murder, David did nothing again. After 3 years (II Sam 13:38) Joab devised a trick to have Absalom pardoned. David allowed Absalom to return to Jerusalem, but did not communicate with Absalom or restore their relationship. This angered Absalom, and he burned Joab's field after his attempts to communicate with his father were thwarted..
After trying to communicate with his father and failing, Absalom began his campaign to win the hearts of the men of Israel, but David again did nothing to stop him.
It was after all of the above that Absalom attempted to overthrow David.
The problems causing Absalom's rebellion that scripture hints at are:
David repeatedly refused to control his family; His family did not respect him, or behave properly; David set a bad example with Bathsheba and Uriah; David did not correct obvious injustices that he was responsible to correct, both as king and a father; David did not have a good relationship with his family members, both children and wives, which you can find elsewhere; David's kids did not feel their father's care and love, did not have a close relationship with them, and did not communicate with them.
To corroborate the above, Nathan the prophet, in pronouncing judgment on David for Bathsheba and Uriah, said that the sword shall never depart from his house because of Bathsheba and Uriah, not because of David's militancy (2 Sam 12:10).
Verse 11 is the prophecy that Absalom, David's son, would lie with David's wives, which he later did. Again, this was because of David's sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, not because of militancy.
AND THE RESULT WAS THAT ABSALOM TOOK UP THE SWORD IN REBELLION AGAINST HIS OWN FATHER. IT COST ABSALOM HIS LIFE AND DAVID HIS BELOVED SON WHOM HE GRIEVED OVER ALL HIS REMAINING DAYS.
...NEXT DAVID,YOU USED THE ARGUMENT THAT OUR FOREFATHERS FOUGHT AND SHED BLOOD FOR THE CAUSE OF INDEPENDENCE.BUT INDEPENDENCE FROM WHAT.TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.THAT WAS THE BATTLE CRY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION!
That was only one of them, and not all of them, and not even the major reason. The Declaration of Independence lists more reasons.
OUR INDEPENDANCE WAS NOT TO BRING ABOUT A CHRISTIAN NATION.WE WERE FOUNDED AS A CHRISTIAN NATION ALMOST THREE HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE.AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS? DO YOU THINK THEY WERE ALL CHRISTIANS? YOU SHOULD READ THE SIX VOLUMES OF JEFFERSON'S LETTERS OR ADAMS BIOGRAPHY OR PATRICK HENRY,S WRITINGS OR YOU CAN CHHOSE ALMOST ANY OF THE SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.I'VE BEEN A STUDENT OF HISTORY ALMOST ALL MY LIFEAND YOU COULD DO WORSE THAN TO LEARN THE THOUGHTS AND BELIEFS OF SOME OF THE MEN YOU MIGHT ADMIRE.
I've read several books on several of them, but not everything about them that would give me the ability to say for sure that they were Christian, although I think most of them were. Even those who weren't saved had a deep respect for the Bible and for the things in it, much more than many Christians today have for God's word.
When reading books about the founding fathers of our country, it seems the author's preconcieved notions decide whether or not they were Christians. Non-Christian authors say the founding fathers were not Christian, Christian authors say they were.
If you have any of the books you mentioned, I'd love to read them.
Below is something I found on the web concerning the involvement of Christianity in the American Revolutionary War. You might find it interesting. I enjoyed reading it. Sorry it's so long.
FROM THE WWW...
God tells us that His word is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness, in order that the man of God may be full grown, thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Tim. 3:16-17). There is no period in our nation's history which more clearly illustrates this than this period prior to the War of Independence. The word preached was mighty to the pulling down of strongholds and the building up of God's elect.
Though the fact of the "Revolutionary Pulpit" has been noted by modern historians, its true influence is often totally ignored. The preaching of the Word in Calvinistic churches (most prominently the Presbyterian church) had a widespread influence which ought never to be overlooked or forgotten. George Bancroft, historian of the eighteenth century, states,
"The revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster." (quoted in , Lorraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 383)
There was a tremendous influx of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians into this country in the fifty years preceding the War for Independence, "Charles A. Hannah estimates that about 200,000 Protestants, most of them Presbyterians, one-third of the entire Protestant population of Ireland, left the Emerald Isle during the disastrous period 1725-1768. . . . another thirty thousand came during the years 1771-1773. When the Revolution broke out, there were approximately 500,000 'Scotch-Irish' in America, one-sixth of the total population." (quoted in Douglas Kelly, The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World, p. 120) These people dominated the population of the Middle and Southern Colonies. They were staunchly anti-British in sentiment and would not only prove an invaluable aid to the military efforts but also would be quite influential in the form and structure of the new government.
Bancroft goes on to state, "Presbyterians supported the cause of independence; and indeed the American revolution was but the application of the principles of the Reformation to civil government." (History of the United States of America from the Discovery of the Continent, vol. VI, p.271) The entire idea of the covenant and the concept of the right of resistance to tyranny were most important in the fight for independence.
Presbyterians were not the only Christians who supported the War (Baptists, Congregationalists, and some few others did as well) but they were the largest single group and the most widely dispersed throughout the colonies. Because of the nearly unanimous support of the Presbyterians and the "high profile" opposition to Britain on the part of the pastors, Presbyterians were blamed for the entire incident.
One common designation of the War in Britain was "the Presbyterian Rebellion." An ardent supporter of the king in this country, wrote to his friends in England, "I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principle instruments in all these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchical spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere." (quoted in Boettner, Ibid.)
There were around 30,000 German mercenaries used by England in the fighting, one of them wrote home as follows, "Call this war . . . by whatever name you may, only call it not an American Rebellion, it is nothing more or less than an Irish-Scotch Presbyterian Rebellion." (quoted in Mark Noll, Christians in the American Revolution, pp. 51,52) When news of the War reached Britain, Horace Walpole the prime minister announced, "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson." (quoted in Boettner, Ibid.)
The local chapter of the Sons of Liberty in New York went by the name of the "Presbyterian Junto." (W. P. Breed, Presbyterians and Revolution, p. 50) "The Presbyterian Church occupied indeed a highly respectable position. Its ministers had been chaplains in the army. Its leading man, Dr. Witherspoon, had been a leader in the General Congress. It was, in fact, the only denomination which, from position and influence, could be considered in light of a candidate for special favors of the State." (Ibid., pp. 49-50) Mr. William B. Reed an Episcopalian from Philadelphia, wrote, "A Presbyterian royalist was a thing unheard of. The debt of gratitude which independent America owes to the dissenting clergy and laity never can be paid." (Ibid., p. 56)
Because of this involvement, the British destroyed more than fifty Presbyterian churches and defaced many others (Archie Jones, "The Christian Roots of the War for Independence", The Journal of Christian Reconstruction, vol. III, no. 1, Summer, 1976, p. 17) W. P. Breed points out, "To the privations, hardships and cruelties of the war the Presbyterians were pre-eminently exposed. In them the very essence of rebellion was supposed to be concentrated, and by the wanton plunderings and excesses of the marauding parties they suffered severely. Their Presbyterianism was prima facie evidence of guilt. A house that had a large Bible and David's Psalms in meter in it was supposed, as a matter of course, to be tenanted by rebels." (Breed, op. cit., p. 97
When the colonial forces assigned to defend Boston arrived in that city, they were shocked to find what the British had done:
"The Old South Church had been desecrated, wantonly and calculatedly. Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne had turned it into a riding academy for the cavalry of his regiment! The pulpit and all the pews had been taken away and burned for fuel, and many hundred loads of dirt and gravel were carted in and spread upon the floor. The south door was closed, and a bar was fixed, over which the cavalry were taught to leap their horses at full speed. A grog shop was erected in the gallery . . .
"Nor was this an isolated incident; throughout the northern Colonies, dissident (i.e. non-Anglican) churches were systematically abused, in a spontaneous manifestation of anti-Christian feeling. The Presbyterian church at Newtown, Long Island, had its steeple sawed off, and was used as a prison and guardhouse. Later, it was torn down completely, and its boards used for the construction of soldier huts. In New Jersey, the church at Princeton was stripped of its pews and gallery for fuel, and the churches at Elizabeth and Mount Holly were burned. In New York City, the Presbyterian churches were made into prisons, or used by British officers for stabling their horses." (Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, p. 301)
Many Presbyterian ministers lost their homes and property. Bancroft describes one incident, "One Huck, a captain of British militia, fired [i.e. "set aflame"] the library and dwelling-house of the clergy man at William's plantation in the upper part of South Carolina, and burned every Bible into which the Scottish translation of the psalms was bound." (op. cit., p. 271)
The prominence of Presbyterians in the Revolutionary army is noted by historian J. R. Sizoo: "When Cornwallis was driven back to ultimate retreat and surrender at Yorktown, all the colonels in the Colonial Army but one were Presbyterian elders. More than one-half of all the soldiers and officers of the American Army during the Revolution were Presbyterians." (quoted by Boettner, op. cit., p. 384)
The leadership and manpower of the colonial forces, both political and military was largely supplied from the ranks of the Presbyterians and the Congregationalists. Congregationalists furnished a large portion of the leadership in the New England area and Presbyterians did the same in the Middle and southern colonies.
The secretary of the Continental Congress, whom John Adams called, "the life of the cause of liberty" was the Presbyterian minister, Charles Thompson.
The Mecklenburg Declaration, which was approved in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, on May 20, 1775, is another document which had a tremendous influence in this country as well as in England. Bancroft notes that the assembly which adopted this declaration was composed of, "twenty-seven staunch Calvinists, one-third of whom were ruling elders in the Presbyterian church, including the President and Secretary, and one was a Presbyterian minister." (quoted by Boettner, Ibid., p. 387,388) The man who drafted the Declaration, Ephraim Brevard, was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church and a graduate of Princeton.
Dr. Thomas Smyth writes in regard to the crucial battles of Cowpens, King's Mountain, and the skirmish known as "Huck's Defeat," that Presbyterian elders and laymen made up the leadership and the majority of the forces. "General Morgan, who commanded at the Cowpens, was a Presbyterian elder. General Pickens, who made all the arrangements for the battle, was a Presbyterian elder, and nearly all under their command were Presbyterians. In the battle of King's Mountain, Colonel Campbell, Colonel James Williams, Colonel Cleaveland, Colonel Shelby and Colonel Sevier were all Presbyterian elders, and the body of their troops were from Presbyterian settlements. At Huck's Defeat, in York, Colonel Bratton and Major Dickson were both elders in the Presbyterian church. Major Samuel Morrow, who was with Colonel Sumpter in four engagements and took part in many other engagements, was for about fifty years a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church." (Breed, Presbyterians and Revolution, pp. 82-83)
The vast majority of the Anglican clergy were Loyalists and fiercely opposed to the War efforts. The majority of the members of the Church of England in this country were of a completely different mind however. There was a mass defection from the established church. Norine Campbell notes:
"The defection from the established church was so great, and the growth of dissenting bodies so rapid, that at the time of the Revolution two-thirds of the populations were members of the dissenting churches, mainly of the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Quaker denominations." (Patrick Henry: Patriot and Statesman, p. 187)
The prominent involvement of Anglicans such as George Washington is illustrative of this. George Washington would later donate $40,000 for the establishment of a Presbyterian college (the college is today Washington and Lee University).
What accounts for the amazing support of the Presbyterians and Congregationalists for the move for independence? How was it that when as many as 40% of the population in this country was pro-British, the Presbyterians and Congregationalists were almost unanimously supportive? The explanation is found in the men who filled the pulpits of these Calvinistic congregations and the things they preached.
AND THEN DAVID,YOU SAY WE NEED TO HAVE A RIGHTOUS NATION TO ALLOW THE WORSHIP OF GOD FREELY UNTIL CHRIST'S RETURN.WELL FIRST OF ALL NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIME OF THE CHURCH THAT THERE WASN'T OBJECTION TO AND SUPPRESSION OF THE HOLY WORD.
As long as the devil and sin are around, that will be the case.
IT WAS THROUGH THESE CATASTROPHIC TIMES THAT GOD DID HIS BEST WORKS THROUGH HIS CREATED BEING MAN.MY WIFE IS DESCENDED FROM THE FRENCH HUGENOTS.THEY SUFFERED MORE FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST THAN ALMOST ANY CHRISTIANS HAVE SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF ROMAN RULE OVER 100,000 OF THEM WERE KILLED IN ONE NIGHT! THEY WERE PLACE D ON SCAFFOLDS IN WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE BOULEVARD OF MARTYRS,IN PARIS WHERE THEY WERE BURNED TO DEATH AS THE POPE AND KING OF FRANCE PARADED BY.THE CHURCH IN ROME HAD A COMMERATIVE COIN STRUCK TO COMMERATE THIS EVENT.A FRESCOE WAS PAINTED THERE AND REMAINS THERE TOI THIS DAY.IT WAS CALLED THE ST.BARTHALOMEWS MASSACRE AND IT CHANGED THE FACE OF THE CHURCH AND BROUGHT ABOUT A CHANGE IN RELIGION THAT WAS FELT THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.AND THROUGH IT ALL THE HUGENOTS NEVER RAISED AN ARM BUT DIED AS MARTYRS WITH THE SONGS OF JESUS ON THEIR LIPS.
I haven't read enough to be able to argue this definitely, but according to what I found on the web, there were a number of instances where the Huguenots resisted with arms.
Whether or not the Huguenots resisted, I know a number of other Christian groups did offer armed resistance, including the Waldensians. You can read about it in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which is online.
Below are three sources, indicated by all capital letters. Each one seems to indicate that the Huguenots offered organized, armed resistance. Again, I don't know enough about the subject to be able to argue definitively, but read these.
THIS SOURCE SUGGESTS THAT THERE WAS ARMED RESISTANCE BY THE HUGUENOTS...
The Huguenots: the definition Huguenot - A French Protestant esp. of the 16th and 17th centuries; a member of the French Reformed Communion.
The Raw Facts
The Huguenots were the protestants of France between 1560 to 1629
Protestantism was introduced into France between 1520 and 1523
It was accepted by the members of France when it first started
When it first started, they had royal protection
However, King Francis persecuted the Protestants towards the end of his reign
Nevertheless, the French Protestants increased in numbers
More and more people wanted to go against the Catholic Church
But, during Charles' reign as King, the Huguenots were severly punished
Finally, civil war broke out.
Between 1562 and 1598 eight bitter wars were fought between French Roman Catholics and Protestants
In the last civil war, the Catholics suffered a crushing defeat at Coutras.
The next King was Catholic, and he gave both sides equal religious freedom
The Huguenots started to become a strong force in France, and the future Kings and Monarchs didn't like this. In 1628, the Huguenot leader, La Rochelle, was kidnapped .
Louis XIV, persecuted the Huguenots mercilessly, and on October 18, 1685, he overturned the law of equal rights within religions.
Finding life in France untolerable, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, the 13 English colonies in North America. The total emigration is estimated to be 400,000 to 1 million.
Thousands of Protestants moved to the Cevennes mountain region in France and became known as the Camisards.
During the 18th century however, the Huguenots were not persecuted and there was religious tolerance in France.
After 1787, Protestant marriages were declared legal, and so too were Protestant baptisms.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, French Protestants have played an important role in education, law and in finance, taking a liberal stand in social reform.
ANOTHER SOURCE THAT INDICATES ARMED RESISTANCE....
A term of derision given to French Protestants in the latter part of the Sixteenth Century by French Roman Catholics, possibly taken from the name of Swiss reformer Besancon Hugues. Huguenots generally believed the teachings of John Calvin, and therefore were members of the Reformed Church. When Protestantism first came to France soon after 1520, it was embraced by the noble and intellectual classes. This initial presumption of acceptability permitted it to spread, but it's growth eventually aroused jealousy from French Catholics who looked for ways to reverse it's popularity. Hostilities grew into civil war.
There were eight bitterly fought wars between 1562 and 1598. Catherine de Medicis, widow of King Henry II, feigned peace with the Huguenots and signed a treaty to lull them into a false impression of security. On August 24, 1572, St. Bartholomew's Day, they were massacred all over France, beginning in Paris where thousands were drowned. This started the eighth and final war. Henry of Navarre led the Huguenots to victory with a crushing defeat over the opposition which genetically ended the Catholic house of Valois. Henry of Navarre became Henry IV, the first of the Bourbon line of French kings. Since he was Protestant and most of France was Catholic, he feared that he could not successfully rule, so he conciliated and became a Catholic to keep peace. In 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes that gave complete religious freedom to the Huguenots.
Thirty years later, Louis XIII wanted to rule France with absolute power and with the help of statesman and cardinal Richelieu, he defeated the Huguenots. Life in France under the next king, Louis XIV, became intolerable for Protestants, especially for Huguenots when he revoked the Edit of Nantes on October 18, 1685. He persecuted them mercilessly, and perhaps as many as 800,000 left for Britain, Germany, Switzerland, or colonial America.
ANOTHER SOURCE INDICATING BOTH THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ARMED RESISTANCE
During the 16th century a bitter civil war was fought in France between Calvinists (Huguenots) and Catholics, in the course of which many French Calvinists abandoned Calvin's doctrine of non-resistance and adopted the doctrine common among Catholics, that in some situations resistance or rebellion might be justified. During the seventeenth century most French Protestants again accepted the doctrine of non-resistance; the English puritans who cut off King Charles's head obviously did not accept it. It was abandoned again by some French Protestants in the 1670s, when the government of King Louis XIV began to persecute them. Their ideas were much like Locke's, and were derived from earlier Catholic writers (See Dodge, The Political Theory of the Huguenots of the Dispersion (not in Macquarie library) and Skinner, Foundations of Modern Political Thought (JA81.554), vol. 2, pp. 16-19, 303 ff.. Compare Ockham: regulariter the emperor has a right to rule, casualiter he may be deposed. Compare also Thomas Aquinas: "If to provide itself with a king belongs to the right of a given multitude, it is not unjust that the king be deposed or have his power restricted by that same multitude if, becoming a tyrant, he abuses the royal power"; On Kingship, p. 27, in vol. 3, Supplementary Readings, p. 93.)
AND AGAIN DAVID,YOU SAID THAT WE NEED A RIGHTEOUS NATION TO PROTECT FREEDOM AND WORSHIP OF GOD.WHICH NATION ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?IS IT THE ONE THAT TOOK PRAYER OUT OF THE SCHOOL OR MADE HOMOSEXUALITY THE LAW OF THE LAND.OR IS IT THE ONE THAT MADE ABORTION LAW OR GOD ILLEGAL IN OUR PUBLIC BUILDINGS?OR MAYBE THE ONE THAT HAS SURRENDERED OUR SOVERIEGN CONTROL UP TO TH U.N.WHICH IS THE POLICE FORCE OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER THAT THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS WARNS OF.OR IS IT THE NATION THAT IS CURRENTLY WAGING WAR ON A CHRISTIAN MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA IN SUPPORT OF A MUSLIM MAJORITY. WELL DAVID TAHT COUNTRY IS THE U.S.A. AND IT IS A FAR CRY FROM THE RIGHTEOUS NATION I THINK YOU MEAN.
Obviously. I'm well aware of the evils of this nation and have no excuses for it. We have to fight against each one of the evils you mentioned, and try to turn our nation back to righteousness, or we will be destroyed, both as a nation and as individuals. I understand that gov't cannot make people righteous: it must begin in the hearts of each person, or there won't be any at the gov't level. However, we have to work on the top as well as the bottom, and not leave one or the other undone.
OR PERHAPS YOU MEAN SOME NEW GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD BE SET UP BY MAN.
If we can't make the present gov't work, nothing in it's place will work either. The people of this nation are much more ingnorant and evil than our forefathers, and if they ever try to form another gov't, it will be worse than the one we have now. There aren't enough good people left to make a good gov't.
THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT TELL OF SUCH A NATION AND IF ITS NOT MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE THEN ITS SURE NOT GOING TO COME ABOUT.THE UNITED STATES IS MENTIONED IN PROPHESY BUT NOT SOME AS YET UNMENTIONED NATION.
ANYWAY,WHAT WOULD THAT NATION BE,WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT WOULD THEY HAVE?WHAT FORM OF RELIGION WOULD THEY PRACTICE?WHO WOULD BE ITS LEADERS?I DON'T KNOW BUT I HAVE STUDIED WORLD HISTORY.EVERY FORM OF GOVERNMENT,RELIGION,CUSTOM, AND ONE THING I'M SURE OF.NOTHING MAN HAS EVER TRIED HAS EVER WORKED BECAUSE MANS HEART IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE "DESPERATELY WICKED" AND AS FROM NO EVIL FRUIT CAN GOOD FRUIT COME SO CAN NO GOOD AND LASTING FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM MANS' EVIL HEART COME.
Quite true, and even if a perfect gov't were set up, it would soon become evil, because the people forget God and turn from his ways of doing things. Nevertheless, that does not excuse us from making the best of what we have. God didn't give us a Bible full of principles for gov't just so we could ignore them and let the gov't be run by those who hate God.
THE U.S. GOT AS CLOSE ASMAN CAN,BUT IN THE END IT HAS FAILED BECAUSE OF MANS' WICKED MIND.MAN LOOKED TO HIMSELF FOR THE AMSWER AND IT WASN'T IN MAN TO FIND.NOW WE HAVE A COUNTRY THAT HAS BECOME AS THE REST OF THE WICKED WORLD THAT DENIES GOD.AND WHEN THIS NATION FALLS GREAT WILL BE THE FALL.
Unless the people of this nation repent. In the meantime, we can't just sit around and let the wicked take over everything. If it is in our power to stop them and we don't, then we are party to what they do, and God will hold us accountable, and will judge us.
Also, I don't believe it is inevitable that the USA must go into perdition and destruction. I think God is making available to us the principle of: as a man soweth, that shall he also reap. If we sow enough righteousness, and enough people repent, our nation will continue in liberty and prosperity. If not, we will go the way of tyranny, debachery, persecution, and destruction.
ONLY CHRIST CAN NOW PUT THIS WORLD IN ORDER AND HIS COMING WILL BE SWIFT AND SURE .I REJOICE IN THE FACT THAT MY DELIVERER WILL SOON COME AND RESTORE THIS WORLD AS HE WISHED IT FROM THE BEGINNING BUT UNTIL THEN I WILL REMAIN PATIENT AND HUMBLE TO WAIT ON HIM WHO HOLDS THE KEY TO HEAVEN AND EARTH.
We wait for him to bring perfect justice--and he is the only one who can do that. Meantime, God holds us accountable to defend the innocent, and to carry forth the gospel.
FINALLY DAVID,I WILL ANSWER YOUR MESSAGE WHERE YOU QUOTED CHRIST IN ST.LUKE22;36 TO SELL YOUR GARMENT AND BUY A SWORD.DAVID,YOU ERR IN QUOTING THIS PASSAGE OUT OF THE CONTEXT IT WAS WRITTEN.IN.IT WAS COMANDED BY CHRIST TO FULFILL PROPHESY AS HE GOES ON TO TELL THE DESCIPLES IN VERSE 37.FOR I SAY UNTO YOU,THAT THIS THAT IS WRITTEN MUST YET BE ACCOMPLISHED IN ME".AND HE WAS RECKONED AMONG THE TRANSGRESSORS;FOR THE THINGS CONCERNING ME HAVE AN END."
Being numbered with the transgressors has nothing to do with them carrying swords. Mark 15:27-28 clearly points the two thieves as the transgressors.
The sword wasn't symbolic any more than was the purse (money), or the garments, or the scrip--according to Strong's Concordance, the scrip was a leather bag for carrying provisions, like a back pack or butt pack or knapp sack.
Jesus was saying, prepare yourselves (purse, scrip, sword) for the end of things concerning him is at hand.
When he said "this has yet to be accomplished: 'he was numbered with the transgressors,'" he was telling them that he was going to be crucified, and die, and be gone from them ("the things concerning me have an end").
He wanted them to be prepared when he was gone (I won't be here any more), because at that point, after his departure, they would need a purse, scrip, and sword, whereas, when he was still alive, they didn't need any of them (Matt 10:9-11, Luke 22:35), nor did they need shoes (do you wear shoes? ;) ).
What Jesus said is still true today: we need a purse (money or job), a scrip (provisions), and a sword (defense).
If I could paraphrase what he said in verses 35-37, it would be something like: When I sent you out without money or provisions or shoes, you didn't lack anything. But now, you need money, provisions, and a sword, because I'm going to be crucified, and will not be with you any more in body.
AND TO FURTHER ILLUSTRATE THAT THE SWORD WAS JUST A SYMBOL TO SUPPORT WHAT WAS WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESY CHRIST CONTINUED IN VERSE 38.AND THEY SAID ,LORD,BEHOLD,HERE ARE TWO SWORDS,AND HE SAID",IT IS ENOUGH." DAVID,CHRIST DID NOT CALL HIS DESCIPLES TO ARMS.TO THE CONTRARY HE MERELY REQUIRED THAT THEY HAVE AT LEAST A SWORD AMONG THEM TO FULFILL THE SCRIPTURES.
"Fulfilling scriptures" refers to his crucifixion, not anything else.
IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW WE FIND THE MIND OF CHRIST AND GOD THROUGH HIM REVEALED AS THE FINAL ANSWER AS TO WHETHER WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD BEAR THE SWORD OR TAKE THE ROAD OF UNARMED PASSIVITY THAT CHRIST AND THE DESCIPLES TOOK. BY HIS OWN WORDS HE SHOWED THAT NOT ONLY COULD THE SWORD NOT BRING ABOUT GODS PLAN OF REDEMPTION FOR MANKIND BUT THAT TO THE CONTRARY,THAT THE SCRIPTURES COULD NOT BE FULFILLED IF THE SWORD WAS USED.
If they had managed to fight off those coming to take Jesus, then the scriptures fortelling of his crucifixion would not have been fulfilled, and we would have no forgiveness of sins.
MATTHEW 26;51 AND ,BEHOLD,ONE OF THEM WHICH WERE WITH JESUS STRETCHED OUT HIS HAND,DREW OUT HIS SWORD,AND STRUCK A SERVANT OF THE HIGH PRIEST'S AND SMOTE OFF HIS EAR. VERSE 52; THEN SAID JESUS TO HIM, "PUT UP AGAIN THY SWORD INTO HIS PLACE: FOR ALL THAT TAKE THE SWORD SHALL PERISH WITH THE SWORD."
Notice he didn't say turn it in to the police, or throw it away. He said put it back into it's place, which was the sheath on Peter's waist.
Recall that, just because Judas, the fellow who had the money bag, was a thief and betrayed Jesus for money, Jesus didn't tell them to never use money or have a money bag, any more than he told them to have no further doings with swords because of what Peter did.
VERSE 53;THINKEST THOU THAT I CANNOT NOW PRAY TO MY FATHER,AND HE SHALL PRESENTLY GIVE ME MORE THAN TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS?
He spoke the world into existance, he could easily have spoken them out of existance. He was God. He didn't need any help. He didn't even need any angels. He surely didn't need 12 legions of them, since, if you recall, one wiped out huge armies of men, and the fellows coming to take him were a few wimpy temple guards and such coming with swords and staves.
VERSE 54;BUT HOW THEN SHALL THE SCRIPTURES BE FULFILLED,THAT THUS IT MUST BE?
If they had fought, Jesus would not have been crucified for our sins. This is an instance of an improper use of arms, but it doesn't make all uses wrong.
DAVID,IT IS THIS PASSAGE ALONG WITH HOW CHRIST TAUGHT US TO LIVE BY HIS EXAMPLE THAT WE MUST PATTERN OUR LIVES ON.HIS WORDS AND LIFE SAY IT ALL.
I do my best to understand and to do what Jesus said. Carefully read and re-read the passage in Luke, and look up the other verses I referenced. Especially consider the reference in Mark, there is no doubt that the transgressors are the two thieves, not the disciples carrying swords. I think you will see that what I'm saying is correct.
I PRAY THAT THIS WILL REACH YOU WITH SOME MESSAGE FOR YOU TO DELIBERATE ON AND PRAY ON. I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE TO HELP YOU IN ANY SMALL WAY I CAN.
Hopefully our discussions won't change your mind. Some day I may be the one needing support and encouragement.
YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH DAVID,BE PATIENT,THE TIME OF TRIBULATION IS SOON UPON US AND WILL REQUIRE US TO STRUGGLE TOGETHER AND ALONE TO DO OUR PART TO FULFILL OUR ROLE TO GROW MORE LIKE CHRIST..MAY THE PEACE OF CHRIST BE WITH YOU AND YOURS ALWAYS.
Amen. By the way, we don't spend most of our time teaching our children cover-fire-advance techniques, and marksmanship, and disassembly and cleaning of rifles. We spend most of our time teaching them to know, love, fear, and obey God. We try to make them people with strong character, to educate them, to make them obedient, etc.
YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST,DON