#1. The ‘a-ha moment’ #9-– http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/07/aha-moments-biblical-scholars-tell-their-stories-9-anthony-le-donne/
I’m not claiming that my 16-year-old exegesis was all that sophisticated. But any way you slice it, Ezra 9-10 is deeply troubling—especially so to folks with an owner’s manual view of the Bible.
My salvation during this crisis came from a fellow evangelical who pointed me to Jeremiah 29. In this passage, the Lord seems to command intermarriage as the Israelites find themselves in Babylon.
An owner’s manual view of the Bible might see this as a contradiction. But I found Jeremiah’s exhortations to be comforting. The prophet commands Israel to be culturally integrated within a milieu of religious and ethnic pluralism.
This wasn’t my only “aha” moment, but it was a significant realization in my life.
In doing these dissections of the different ‘a-ha moments’ one starts to see an interesting pattern or two emerge that are consistent throughout them all. First, one sees how scholars and other unbelievers let certain words influence their judgement, their reading and their understanding of the text in question.
Words like, child, maiden, slave, slavery and in the above cause, the word ‘foreign.’ For some reason these scholars fixate upon these certain words and forget everything else that is said in the passage or the Bible and let their misguided reading of those words lead them to unbelief.
The mistake made by the scholar above is that he failed and fails to realize that there is more to the meaning of the word ‘foreign’ than he thinks. He lets the obvious meaning, people from a different nation, influence his thinking and forgets to apply another part of Ezra 9 to its use. That part reads:
10 “Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity. 12 So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever. (NASB)
The word foreign was not just referring to the people of other nations but it refers to their being spiritually foreign from the people of Israel. This makes God’s word here consistent with God’s word in 2 Corinthians 6:14 where it talks about being unequally yoked together with unbelievers.’
Now just down a few sentences is more clarification about the use of the word ‘foreign’
14 shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples [f]who commit these abominations?
Ezra is not talking about physical international marriage but the marriage of people who are to obey and follow God with those who do not and who practice sin. This does not contradict Jeremiah 29, and if I have the correct passage, because LaDonne decides to generalize at this one point, it reads
4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their [a]produce.6 Take wives and [b]become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease.7 Seek the [c]welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its [d]welfare you will have [e]welfare.
I see no instruction here to intermarry with sinners. God is simply telling his people to continue their lives as they did prior to captivity. Marry and multiply but no permission is granted to break His commandments.
How LaDonne twisted that passage into a contradiction is not hard to see. He let his reading and understanding be influenced by another key word or two–Babylon and captivity. This influence coupled with scholarly strategies on how to read the Bible was his undoing. There was no following the Holy Spirit to the correct answer. Instead he did it on his own with no protection, was tripped up and led astray because he did not humble himself and follow God’s instructions on how to read the Bible.
He let key words dictate how he should approach those passages, ignored key passages that gave the correct clues on what was being said and went down a path he could have avoided if he simply considered everything that pertained to the point he was studying.
The warning of Ezra still holds true today–do not intermarry with those who practice sin if you want to be strong, eat well and have an inheritance for your children.
#2. Jesus and Gun Ownership— http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-jesus-didnt-command-we-own-weapons/
The issue comes up often, and is a predictable comment that ends up in any thread where I discuss nonviolent enemy love… “But didn’t Jesus command that his disciples carry swords?”
If there is a verse where one can use to justify one’s actions this is it. No Jesus didn’t command that the disciples carry swords nor did he command that all believers go out and buy lots of guns.
It may look like I am agreeing with the owner of Formerly Fundie but in reality I am not for no where does either God or Jesus ban gun ownership. There are other reasons to own guns than to practice violence but those reasons escape the owner of that website. he is focused solely upon his own pet ideology and ignores everything else.
A couple legitimate reasons to own weapons are hunting and protection. Then as we scan down to verse 50 of Luke 22 we read of the lopping off the ear of one of the servants of the High Priest. Did Jesus command that his disciples not own weapons at that time? No. For it isn’t the ownership of guns and swords that is the problem
Every believer should know that the problem with guns is the sin nature in each person and whom they serve. It is not the ownership of weapons. The logic in that article gets absurd and has nothing to do with what the Bible says about owning weapons:
As Jesus sends her on her way, he says “where are your accusers?” to which she answers that they had all left. Jesus issued the well know reply: “neither do I condemn you.”
Now, what if I argued that Jesus thinks it’s okay to commit adultery based on this passage?
To make this absurd point, he leaves out a key phrase spoken by Jesus
11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.
We know Jesus didn’t think it was okay to commit adultery from the bold words. He continues:
The final thing Jesus says to her is “go, but don’t do it again”, but if one were to leave off this final statement, it may appear that Jesus endorsed adultery.
BUT WE DON”T leave those words out. They are as important to the situation as the words preceding them. You can’t leave them out for that would be changing what was done in that situation. No one in their right minds would leave them out for they clarify what Jesus thinks on this issue. It is absurd to even contemplate such a maneuver and then use the passage to justify one’s anti-gun ownership stance with them.
The verse in total isolation certainly makes it appear that Jesus was a hypocrite by contradicting his previous teachings on nonviolence
I disagree because at no time in that verse, standing alone or not, does Jesus say to use the weapons to inflict damage upon someone else. It is a travesty to use scripture in this terrible manner.
That whole article is a prime example of how not to use scriptures to support one’s pet ideology. If that author doesn’t want to own guns then he doesn’t have to. There is no biblical command compelling him to own a weapon.
But he also does not have the right to deprive others of owning weapons because there is no biblical command banning such ownership. Nor is there any verse giving him permission to interfere with other people’s rights to own weapons.
This is one of the problems we have in this world today. People have forgotten their boundaries and have forgotten how to mind their own business. They butt in where they do not belong and try to force their ways upon others without even knowing if their ways are spiritually correct or not.
Many parents will experience this in child raising. The thinking is not different. Too many people forget that they are not charged with the raising of other parents’ children and rush in where they do not belong and ruin too many innocent families.
This includes the definition of ‘abuse’ and other supposed crimes against children that have been distorted in order to pry vulnerable children away from good parents. Sadly, the world is going to get worse on these issues not better as no one has the courage to stand up and put a stop to this interference.
Being biblical means one obeys God humbly. They do not force their ways upon others but sets the biblical example.
The verdict is in: there is absolutely, positively no possible way to use Luke 22:36 to support the use of violence
One last thing. The title to that piece was on gun ownership but that author has changed the topic to violence. He is not talking spiritually here but forcing his own personal ideology on others. Being consistent is important and being misleading is wrong.
If he stuck with his intended topic he may have been able to use scripture better but as it stands, he baited and switched which isn’t biblical either.