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We Do Not Murder in the Name of God

It is commonly claimed today that the Bible is a book “full of violence” that supposedly incites its followers to individual or vigilante acts of hatred and violence.  This claim is false.  Those who follow the Bible alone as the basis of their faith (ie. truly Protestant Christians) are among the most peaceable people on earth.

Here is a quote from a Catholic author, who considered Protestantism to be a pernicious heresy,* illustrating this point.  It is taken from a book about the Huguenot wars in France.  Consider how the Protestant Huguenots behaved even in times of war:

“What does this mean, you rascals!” he shouted angrily as he entered.  Then he stopped petrified with astonishment.

“It means this,” Philip said, levelling a pistol at him, “that if you move a step you are a dead man.”

“You must be mad,” the president gasped.  “Do you know who I am?”

“Perfectly, sir.  You are president of the infamous Parliament of Toulouse.  I am a Huguenot officer, and you are my prisoner.  You need not look so indignant; better men than you have been dragged from their homes to prison and death by your orders.  Now it is your turn to be prisoner.  I might, if I chose, set fire to this chateau and cut the throats of all in it, but we do not murder in the name of God, we leave that to you.”

~G.A. Henty, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, Robinson Books:2002, page 122.

*In the preface to the above-cited book, Henty refers to Protestantism thus: “The great organization of the Church of Rome laboured among all classes for the destruction of the growing heresy.”

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Not Under the Law Except as a Rule of Life

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 19, Section 6:

Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.

The Doctrine of Joy

Why Christians Do Not Apply Old Testament Sanctions (ie. The Death Penalty) To Sin

Thirdmill:

John Frame has noted that the New Testament church “fulfills the Old Testament theocracy” (Barker 1990, 95). In applying the Old Testament laws to the church, Paul did not apply them exactly as they were applied in the Old Testament. For instance, In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Paul addresses a situation where a man is living with his father’s wife. According to Old Testament law, the man and the woman should receive capital punishment (Leviticus 20:10). However, this was not recommended by Paul. Rather, the proper punishment of this crime for Paul is excommunication (vv. 2, 13). Furthermore, Paul’s statement in verse 13 is a quotation of a formula found in Mosaic penal sanctions (Deut. 17:7, 12; 12:19; 19:21, 21:21; 22:21, 24: 24:7).

Dennis Johnson has noted that “in the Deuteronomy contexts this formula, whenever it appears, refers to the execution of those deeds ‘worthy of death’: idolatry, contempt for judges, false witness, persistent rebellion towards parents, adultery, and kidnapping” (Barker 1990, 181). These crimes were to be punished by purging the offender from the covenant community through his execution. Johnson continues, “Paul applies the same terminology to the new covenant community’s judging/purging act of excommunication– a judgment that is both more severe (since it is ‘handing this man over to Satan,’ an anticipation of the final judgment), and more gracious (since it envisions a saving outcome to the temporal exercise of church discipline, which may bring about repentance that will lead to rescue from eternal judgment)” (Barker 1990, 181-182). Therefore, it may be safely said that the proper application of those capital offenses of the Mosaic law are properly applied in the church today as excommunication. 3. Conclusion In 1 Timothy 1:8 Paul claims that “we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully.” Theonomists take this to mean that the law should be applied largely as it was in the Old Testament, without using it as a means of salvation and taking into account the explicit statements in the New Testament where certain laws have been abrogated. However, it appears that Paul’s statements concerning the end of the law are somewhat more inclusive than this. The law, in its ministry of condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9), has been abolished and has replaced with the “ministry of righteousness” by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:9-11). The law has been written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. As we walk in the Spirit, we fulfill the law. This does not mean that the Mosaic law no longer applies to the Christian as a rule of life. Rather, it means that the law can no longer condemn us (Rom. 8:1) because Christ has satisfied the demands of the law in His life and paid for our sins on the cross, and He has sent us the Holy Spirit, by whom we are empowered to fulfill the law (Rom 8:2-4).

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/witch-burning-puritans.17870/, Comment 24

Ignorance the Mother of Irreligion

B.B. Warfield, “Faith and Life” (found in Selected Shorter Writings, vol. 1.):

Convictions are the root on which the tree of vital Christianity grows. No convictions, no Christianity. Scanty convictions, hunger-bitten Christianity. Profound convictions, solid and substantial religion. Let no man fancy it can be otherwise. Ignorance is not the mother of religion, but of irreligion. The knowledge of God is eternal life, and to know God means that we know him aright.

A Curb, A Mirror, and A Guide

Hostivař, zrcadlo u kostela (01)

“What purposes does the Law then serve?”

First, the Law helps to control violent outbursts of sin and keeps order in the world (a curb).

Second, the Law accuses us and shows us our sin (a mirror).

Third, the Law teaches us Christians what we should and should not do to live a God-pleasing life (a guide).

The power to live according to the Law comes from the Gospel.”

Source: Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1991), qtd. at http://theaquilareport.com/three-uses-law-luthers-catechism/

Does Matthew 17 Require Self-Mutilation?

Ligonier:

The Lord is not telling us literally to maim ourselves. After all, the Apostle Paul condemned “asceticism and severity to the body” (Col. 2:23). But our Lord’s point is this: we must resolve that, whatever the personal cost, we will follow the upward call of God in Christ (Phil. 3:14).

Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/cut-off-hand-tear-eye/