Syria: Christians take up arms for first time

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Christians have a choice to make in the future, to fall back on the strategies we've been depending on for the pastyea 30 odd years rs of relying upon authoritarian governments to use military force to protect our interests as a community (which have seemingly only served in the long run to actually further alienate us from the local and regional community and appear as in cahoots with dictatorships) or to try for a new strategy which relies less on force and more on community outreach and negotiating

Quote above is from post #56


30 years? They have had little choice but to try to survive for over 1300 years under varying poltical systems within a culture of an implicitly hostile religion (fortunately most everyday people never lived up to its ultimate conclusions).
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Kerdy said:
It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation :(

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.
Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
 

podkarpatska

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

dzheremi said:
Syria as a whole is not as bigoted as the extremist who have hijacked the narrative, and when the fighting diminishes more rational voices will regain dominance
Just like what happened in Iraq, right? Oh, wait...

Habte, I'm sorry my friend, but the course of the "Arab Spring" in all the Muslim-majority countries so far has shown that what you have written here is really not realistic. I have Tunisian friends who are as pragmatic, peaceful, and friendly as they come (or else they wouldn't be my friends, I'm sure), but they tell me that now, they can't imagine going back. Ever. I've heard the same thing from Iraqi friends of mine (both Christian and non). With all the blood shed taking over these places, the Islamists will not give up their new powers for anything, and certainly not in negotiations with Christians and other minorities who they naturally think they are beneath them. But don't take my word or my friends' words for it. Listen to what the Salafi sheikhs themselves have to say about it instead. That is what the Christians are fighting against, because that is what they have to look forward to when Asaad falls. It's not pretty.
How much as brute force and military action quelled the violence in Iraq exactly? If anything, I fear you've only proven my point all the more about relying upon authoritarian Caudillos for our security. Security by force is only temporary, and what is worse, it only further provokes antagonism rather then stopping it. Did Saddam Hussein really benefit Iraqi Catholics by divide-and-conquer pinning the against other sectarian groups in Iraqi society? No, rather he made the arbitrary distinctions evolve into concrete divisions in civil society. As we've seen from this Arab Spring, folks have been waiting for decades to vent their frustrations with the authoritarian regimes that have controlled their countries.  While it is ugly, we have to understand that we have to explore new models and strategies for success, the policies of the past several years clearly didn't work, otherwise we wouldn't be having an extended Arab Spring in the first place.  All these uprisings and violence is a symbol of the collective discontent which has finally boiled over, and much like boiling water, trying to condense it by force will only increase the pressure, not decrease it :(

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Saddam and his fellow strong men across the region were hardly stupid men. They fully understood the tribal nature underlying the cultures and history of their 'nations' - mostly paper creations made by the west following Versailles and the end of the first war- and they exploited that history, with all of the blood feuds and jealousies inherent therein, in order to maintain power. Now that being said, one could argue that a century's worth of western miscalculation about the nature of those societies, the ability of 'democracy' as we understand it in the Greaco-Roman-Anglo context and capitalism to quickly transform those societies resulted in the stagnation in the development of a more modern sense of 'civitas' in the post world war two era. (Just to poke those of you who would think that this is unique to the mideast, I remind you of the false nations drawn onto the map of Europe following Versailles as well - one imploded with deadly consequences (Yugoslavia) while another (Czechoslovkia) failed as a state as well being at the vortex of the second world war and finally peacefully dissolving upon the lessening of the hand of political occupation by the Soviets.)

I think that the idealistic neo-Wilsonians who were the backbone of the so-called neo-conservatives could not get past the belief as first articulated in the west by Wilson that the grafting of our values onto that part of the world , coupled with selective military interventions, would somehow transform it more quickly and with less pain and suffering than the west itself endured as it transformed itself from a feudal, tribal set of competing cultures through the industrial revolution into our modern world. Frankly, if oil hadn't been so essential to the 20th century, I wonder if the west would have cared at all about Islam and that region.

Anyway, as the Bible tells us there is a time for war and a time for peace, and in the end it is the peacemakers who are blessed. Let us pray for all of the innocents caught in the maelstrom.
 

Kerdy

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Kerdy said:
It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation :(

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.
Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam
Which was the entire purpose of His being here.  Different situation entirely. 
 

Kerdy

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
And that is ok.  I respect that choice completely.  Let's also respect the choice others have made to defend their families.
 

psalm110

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St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
I too heard his story also and also agree
 

BoredMeeting

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HabteSelassie said:
...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.
When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Kerdy said:
It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation :(

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.
Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam
Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?
 

vamrat

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There really is no use trying to convince people, and in the end, it doesn't matter.  The people who must actually do the fighting and accept the consequences - they have already made their decision.  They that fight for their people, I ask that God be with them and keep them safe.  Those that are not Christian but all the same defend God's people, may He show his benevolence on them as well.

Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.  As smoke vanishes so let them vanish.  As wax melts before the flame so let the wicked perish.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.

“Everybody is fighting everybody,” said George, an Armenian Christian from the city.

But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there.
“The FSA were hiding in Farhat Square in Jdeideh. The Church committees stormed in and cleansed the area. Then the Syrian army joined us. They claimed the victory on State television,” said George,
OP article posted

See, this is hardly "self-defense" and we shouldn't be condoning Christians getting involved in civil war in the forward operation sense.  By taking weapons from the government they've chosen sides, and this is dangerous.  By taking government weapons our people or no longer civilians, they are open combatants and in a war zone that makes them fair game to be targeted :(  THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT IS DANGEROUS ABOUT ARMING OURSELVES, WE MAKE OURSELVES TARGETS.  If folks were arming themselves to protect themselves that would be one thing, but for folks to form government armed and sanctioned militias to go out and fight? Lord have His mercy, how can we support that?

podkarpatska said:
Saddam and his fellow strong men across the region were hardly stupid men. They fully understood the tribal nature underlying the cultures and history of their 'nations' - mostly paper creations made by the west following Versailles and the end of the first war- and they exploited that history, with all of the blood feuds and jealousies inherent therein, in order to maintain power. Now that being said, one could argue that a century's worth of western miscalculation about the nature of those societies, the ability of 'democracy' as we understand it in the Greaco-Roman-Anglo context and capitalism to quickly transform those societies resulted in the stagnation in the development of a more modern sense of 'civitas' in the post world war two era. (Just to poke those of you who would think that this is unique to the mideast, I remind you of the false nations drawn onto the map of Europe following Versailles as well - one imploded with deadly consequences (Yugoslavia) while another (Czechoslovkia) failed as a state as well being at the vortex of the second world war and finally peacefully dissolving upon the lessening of the hand of political occupation by the Soviets.)

I think that the idealistic neo-Wilsonians who were the backbone of the so-called neo-conservatives could not get past the belief as first articulated in the west by Wilson that the grafting of our values onto that part of the world , coupled with selective military interventions, would somehow transform it more quickly and with less pain and suffering than the west itself endured as it transformed itself from a feudal, tribal set of competing cultures through the industrial revolution into our modern world. Frankly, if oil hadn't been so essential to the 20th century, I wonder if the west would have cared at all about Islam and that region.

Anyway, as the Bible tells us there is a time for war and a time for peace, and in the end it is the peacemakers who are blessed. Let us pray for all of the innocents caught in the maelstrom.
I'm not promoting a George Bush II style Democratization in the Arab world. I study Africa, and her history is parallel with Arab and Middle Eastern countries whose maps were arbitrarily  drawn by Europeans.  Further, I understand that "democracy" in the Western sense is incompatible with the cultures and climates and attitudes of such regions.  Lord have His Mercy, I'm not quite sure its been working out too well in Europe or America either ;)  However, my criticism is the sheer use of pure and lethal force to quell civil unrest and societal variation.  There are more culturally relevant mechanisms of negotiating, community development, and inclusion which can be implemented rather then simply crushing your opponents.  Saddam was not stupid, but he did make many criminal and genocidal evil mistakes, and he is dead and his country is in shambles because of it.  Iraq survived the Iran war, and yet didn't survive its own civil war in the 2000s.  Saddam had held to many pieces of the country together by force, in reality Haile Selassie's Ethiopia was very similar by the 1970s.  However force was no HIM sole objective, as it was with other caudillos we find in the Arab world today. These folks are not just working within a cultural system of war-lords which they inherited, they are playing the game cruelly at that.  We rightfully say you reap what you sow, and if you try to crush your own nation, even if divided they will temporarily unite to crush you.  We as Christians need to then be even smarter about the long arc push and pull factors going on.  We can't side with the strong man with sincere loyalty.  For example, here in Syria we sided with them for years, and it worked out, fine and well, but NOW the situation has changed and we can see that it won't work.  In Egypt it is the same.  No one is saying they like the Brotherhood, but lets not kid ourselves, we didn't really like Saddam or Mubarek or Al-Assad either.  We always knew they were crooks and war-criminals, we just looked the other way for our own security.  These folks no longer provide our security, its time to reevaluate our strategy. This is no philosophical or political matter, this is a pragmatic reality, at this very moment people's live are on the line :(

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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Ergib said:
OrthoNoob said:
Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?
???
this discussion has nothing to do with that...
I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.
 

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OrthoNoob said:
Ergib said:
OrthoNoob said:
Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?
???
this discussion has nothing to do with that...
I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.
Ever read anything Hiwot's written on the subject?  FWIW, I tend to take her views on the subject much more seriously.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.
 

dzheremi

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OrthoNoob said:
Ergib said:
OrthoNoob said:
Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?
???
this discussion has nothing to do with that...
I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.
I'm OO and I am not entirely in agreement with Habte or Gebre on this (certain aspects, sure, but I would not describe myself as a pacifist). I think you'll find a wide variety of opinions on these matters, just as you would among the EO.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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serb1389 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...
St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam
 

OrthoNoob

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
serb1389 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...
St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam
How about when there is certainly a death coming, and you can choose whether your enemies or you and your wives and your children will die? Can you turn not just your own cheek, but theirs as well?
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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OrthoNoob said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
serb1389 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Kerdy said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
BoredMeeting said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
And are not all human beings icons of Christ?
Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.
What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.

Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...
St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam
How about when there is certainly a death coming, and you can choose whether your enemies or you and your wives and your children will die? Can you turn not just your own cheek, but theirs as well?
I have repeatedly explained that pacifism is not passive-ism. Of course we should intervene and confront evil, but we should do so with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the weapons of the flesh. And if you accuse pacifists of allowing the innocent to be slaughtered, then you condemn Christ Himself. Certainly Our Lord knew that many of His disciples would be brutally tortured and killed, and certainly He had the power to stop it. But in laying down His own life, He saved the world. So, it's a matter of perspective. Did Christ allow the innocent to be killed, or did Christ save the entire world? Do we analyze situations from a temporal perspective, and thus kill in order to preserve our own lives or the lives of others? Or do we analyze situations from an eternal perspective, and then fight nonviolently with the realization that even if we are killed we will gain eternal life through our martyrdom?


Selam
 
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