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With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

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AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Riddle Me This (My Rant on Greg Boyd's 'Kingdom People' Philosophy)

In the past, I have appreciated Pastor Greg Boyd's responses to John Piper and Boyd's explanation of evil. But I sure wouldn't want to be Boyd's wife when evil comes knocking.

In Boyd's recent blog post, Boyd explains how he feels about "Kingdom people" (a big doctrine of his in many aspects) and asks if the Christian security guard at New Life Church in Colorado was a "hero" for shooting and killing the gunman who attacked the church. You can read the post for yourself if you want...I don't feel like restating his points here, probably because I disagree with many of them. Instead, I'd just like to ask a few questions myself. Feel free to answer if you'd like.

1. What would Boyd have preferred New Life Church do in response to the gunman? Lay down their weapons (or rather, not have weapons to begin with), line up their members in firing-squad style, and let the gunman open fire?

2. I doubt thieves, vandals, rapists, and murderers read Boyd's blog, but if they do, they now know a great target to hit: mega-church pastor who will let them have their way.

3. I wonder how this makes Boyd's congregation feel? Knowing their pastor won't protect them if attacked. Knowing there's likely no emergency response system or security personnel in place. Aren't shepherds supposed to protect the sheep?

4. Is this REALLY what Jesus meant by "turn the other cheek"? Did He mean for husbands to allow their wife and children to be attacked, raped, beaten, killed? Did He mean for us Christians (Kingdom People) to stand idly by and watch evil triumph?

5. What about when Jesus said that there's no greater love than to lay down one's life and that husbands are to give their life for their wife as Christ gave His for the Church? Where's the giving of one's life when you just stand there like a patsy and let evil have its way?

7 comments:

Pascalian Awakenings said...
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Pascalian Awakenings said...

MLM, I totally understand where you are coming from. I had a similar reaction to other blogs who posted similar views, only in my view they were not as gracious as Boyd's. He
had the sense to acknowledge she was a hero, and he was courteous enough to wait a period of time before writing. I was very bothered when other bloggers were writing about pacifist and gun issues within a day or two of the tragedy. How would the family and friends of the victims and the church members feel? From my perspective, that lacked compassion and was irresponsible.

That being said, I can't really argue against them biblically. I would like to, but I am not aware of a NT basis.

To be perfectly frank, I would probably be able to be killed easier than I would be able to stand back and do nothing if a family member or friend was threatened. I may be wrong to do so, but I know myself. I wouldn't let someone I love be hurt if I could help them. If I needed to use violence, I would. I don't know what it says about me. Maybe I need to grow more; maybe I need more faith, but that's what I would do.

Yvette

Nathan Talbot said...

I think Boyd misses it on this one. As I think he misses it on patriotism and war (from the little I have read about his ideas of it).

I think he misses it for a couple of reasons. One, she was not confronting her enemy on her own. She confronted an enemy who was seeking to kill many innocents. This decision was not just to save herself by killing her enemy, but to save others. He takes examples of scripture instructing us in our personal lives and more importantly RELATIONSHIPS and applies them to a much broader situation, the lives of others who she had the capability to protect. Secondly, I think he uses scripture in an application they were not meant for, even if it was defending just herself (more on that in a sec.).

The security guard committed the ultimate act of loving her neighbor when she put her life on the line in their defense. She lived out to the fullest the "second greatest commandment".

I don't think Jesus, Paul, or Peter intended for us to die needlessly at the hands of our enemies, and to not protect the innocent.

The biggest problem with the use of most of the versus Boyd uses is the definition of enemy. I believe Boyd in most cases is making a big leap between those who persecute us and curse us, or you could say treat us badly, to those who are actually trying to take our lives. Most of these versus read to me that we are to walk in love. We are to help those who do not, and would not help us. For it is easy to help and love those who return the favor or people we like, but not so easy to walk in love toward those who are mean and hateful to us or persecute us because of our faith and preaching of the Gospel.

I also think that we "Kingdom people" should strive and are instructed to be more Christ-like, but it is prideful to think that our life can be laid down as His was.

For instance, we are to lay down our life for our wife, but even if I did would it accomplish anything? Only if in doing so I protected her. Now I am not saying it is wrong to lay down your life for your wife (that would be unscriptural). Quite the contrary, I believe wholeheartedly that I would do so in an instant. In fact, I am instructed that my love for her should be so great that I would give my life for hers, as Christ did for the church. I read this to mean that my love for her is so great that I value her above myself, even more so than my own life. Just the act of dying could not purchase her life, and certainly has no bearing on her soul. I can not redeem her or anyone else with the shedding of my blood. Jesus laid down His life that we might have Salvation. He atoned for the sins of man. His life was the ultimate sacrifice because of what it bought and paid for.

Lastly, this was not a situation of anyone laying down their life for the sake of the Gospel or the sake of Christ. This was a situation of an evil man seeking to kill innocent people.

Meems said...
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Meems said...

mlm: Thanks for pointing out Boyd's recent post. I agree with all your points in response to his remarks. I also wonder how Boyd thinks America became America. Does he think we haven't had to defend (many times with military) our heritage and freedom? And what would have been the fate of the New Life "kingdom people" had some brave soul not taken down the murderer?

NT: It baffles me how Christians take scripture written in context and mix it all up to fit what we want it to fit many times “out” of context.

You have taken the time to recognize this in your response re: the relationship scriptures used by Boyd to condemn the security guard's actions.

The security guard DID lay her life on the line for thousands of others not yet harmed by the shooter.

I especially appreciate your observance with your statement here: Most of these verses read to me that we are to walk in love. We are to help those who do not, and would not help us. For it is easy to help and love those who return the favor or people we like, but not so easy to walk in love toward those who are mean and hateful to us or persecute us because of our faith and preaching of the Gospel.

And lastly, I further appreciate the way you have pointed out the differences in laying down one’s life in love vs. laying down one’s life for the sake of the gospel. TWO totally different journeys, pathways, effects and results.

Christians need not suffer the same as Jesus already suffered --as He did for reasons of salvation. WE CAN'T SAVE ANYONE with any amount of suffering we do in our bodies- He already paid that price. But what we can do is walk in love, lay down our self-serving behaviors, give up our own agendas, do the right & honorable thing in every situation, become more like Jesus... this is the suffering our flesh will endure on this earth if we so choose to live out a sanctified life.

The shooter - in this case - had already proven his evil-ness by shooting innocents. This is assuredly NOT what Jesus meant when He said to turn the other cheek!

Anonymous said...

None of you who disagree with Boyd have cited one Scripture verse. Sure, you disagree with his interpretation and say that can't be what Jesus meant by "turn the other cheek." But your appeal to rational argumentation and consequentialism is not befitting for Christians. "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." - Isaiah 8:20

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jesus said lay down YOUR life. Not the life of ANOTHER.