Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sun. Nov. 11, 2012 (Rosie Perera)

Rosie Perera’s September 2nd justification for an Anabaptist peace perspective entrenched Mt. 5:9 (“Blessed are the peacemakers....”) as a spiritual touchstone. Last (Peace) Sunday, Rosie offered five scriptural responses to five common arguments for war, drawn from a book by Dr. Gary Staats entitled Biblical Non-resistance from a Historic Anabaptist Perspective. The first argument offers Deuteronomic commands to Israel to war against its neighbours until they are destroyed. These were designed by God to combat idolatry. Our NT instruction is to extend God’s love to all people including our enemies, so OT instructions to Israel cannot be used by the NT church to support warfare. The second response is to incomplete instructions in Romans 13 to covet the commands of governing authorities that God has constituted to rule over us. Rosie notes the longer passage conveys the context of Paul’s instructions to the righteous believer: “Do not repay evil for evil”, “Do not avenge yourself, leave wrath for God” and “Love your neighbour as yourself”. Even in those Roman times, Paul instructed believers not to bear Nero’s sword against neighbours, but instead to stand apart. In the third response, John 2 records Christ’s cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem. John suggests Jesus’ answer to defilement was violent. Rosie offered context, noting the moneychangers and the temple authorities had arranged a halachic barrier to pilgrims’ worship, which Jesus corrected. Rosie noted the text isn’t explicit, as it appears Jesus used the scourge only on the animals. Ultimately, Rosie says we are called to leave Messianic acts (Ps 69:9) like this in God’s hands and not to perform them ourselves. Fourth, Luke 22 calls the disciples to take swords on the road with them. In context, Rosie noted that all Jesus’ other instructions call the disciples to be armed for spiritual battle, not physical. Last, the rider of Revelation 19 with a sword in his mouth was addressed in its proper context as merely the herald of the King of the whole world - a lamb triumphant and matted with its own blood - not a pale rider to subdue all people and evil in the world by force. A lively discussion on the proper discernment of judgment and textual criticism followed. [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, November 11th, 2012 using your browser's preferred media player.



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