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Questions about Religion, politics, and morals

iamisaac

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Please dont read this unless you intend on finishing it, thanks:

I am writing this in an effort to find answers to some major questions about Christianity, morality and politics. I want to say that though some of what I say may sound sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek, I am being as sincere as I can be. I want to learn more about morals and Christian beliefs because, the more I look around, the more I think that I am misguided. I go to Church and I love my church family very much. However, it seems like a different world than the one in which I live. By that, I mean what is preached as moral values inside the church is demeaned by so many “moral” people outside its walls.

To understand better where I’m coming from, I must explain my current beliefs. I am under the impression as a Christian, that Jesus Christ was the embodiment of God and is the only perfect “human being” that ever graced this planet. I also was taught in church that, following this logic, we should do everything in our power to strive to be like Jesus. One example of this ideology that comes to mind is the saying “What Would Jesus Do?”
This is where I become confused. I don’t understand why conservatives act as the moral party, which by default makes liberals the immoral party. I see this in a number of issues. Firstly, I question the way in which conservatives are so quick to cut funding for welfare, healthcare and other similar government programs. I understand the notion that people want lower taxes and that giving “hand-outs” is an unpopular way to spend tax dollars. But why isn’t this a moral value. If I remember my church lessons correctly, Jesus helped the downtrodden and those who needed help the most but when the democrats strive to do the same thing, it’s discussed negatively. (I know many conservatives will reply to that statement with one that begins “Yes, but...”) Why is it any different?

I understand the issue of abortion is a profoundly difficult and important moral decision. I honestly am not at a point in my life where I know exactly where I stand on that issue. However, I don’t understand how someone can be “pro-life” and “pro-capital punishment?” I would explain this question but I wish not to insult the intelligence of this post's readers.

Another issue quite prevalent now is of course the war in Iraq. I can’t quite understand why this is not considered a moral issue. Why were none of the Christian rights groups protesting this war? What is morally correct about this war, which has no justification? Is this how Jesus would have handled the situation? If not, then what gives us the right as Christians to determine that our invasion of Iraq was justified? Is the issue of gay marriage a more important battle for Christians to be fighting than our “moral” president starting a war? Would Jesus support a president who is responsible for the deaths of over 25000 mothers, fathers, sons and daughters?

I would like to close by again stating that I am being very sincere in all the questions posed. I hope that someone could provide me with the answers I desire, because as I said, I am confused and though I have some strong convictions, I need clarification as to these Christian values and their place in society. I am still most baffled by the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” Would Jesus support this war? Would Jesus support war at all? Would Jesus cut aid to people living in poverty and to people without health care? With the money we spent on the war in Iraq, we could have funded world hunger relief efforts for seven years and saved millions of lives. Instead, we have destroyed countless thousands. Is this moral because the man who made the decision is a “devout Christian?”

Thank You for taking the time to read this lengthy post,
Isaac
 
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iamisaac said:
Please dont read this unless you intend on finishing it, thanks:

I am writing this in an effort to find answers to some major questions about Christianity, morality and politics. I want to say that though some of what I say may sound sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek, I am being as sincere as I can be. I want to learn more about morals and Christian beliefs because, the more I look around, the more I think that I am misguided. I go to Church and I love my church family very much. However, it seems like a different world than the one in which I live. By that, I mean what is preached as moral values inside the church is demeaned by so many “moral” people outside its walls.

To understand better where I’m coming from, I must explain my current beliefs. I am under the impression as a Christian, that Jesus Christ was the embodiment of God and is the only perfect “human being” that ever graced this planet. I also was taught in church that, following this logic, we should do everything in our power to strive to be like Jesus. One example of this ideology that comes to mind is the saying “What Would Jesus Do?”
This is where I become confused. I don’t understand why conservatives act as the moral party, which by default makes liberals the immoral party. I see this in a number of issues. Firstly, I question the way in which conservatives are so quick to cut funding for welfare, healthcare and other similar government programs. I understand the notion that people want lower taxes and that giving “hand-outs” is an unpopular way to spend tax dollars. But why isn’t this a moral value. If I remember my church lessons correctly, Jesus helped the downtrodden and those who needed help the most but when the democrats strive to do the same thing, it’s discussed negatively. (I know many conservatives will reply to that statement with one that begins “Yes, but...”) Why is it any different?

I understand the issue of abortion is a profoundly difficult and important moral decision. I honestly am not at a point in my life where I know exactly where I stand on that issue. However, I don’t understand how someone can be “pro-life” and “pro-capital punishment?” I would explain this question but I wish not to insult the intelligence of this post's readers.

Another issue quite prevalent now is of course the war in Iraq. I can’t quite understand why this is not considered a moral issue. Why were none of the Christian rights groups protesting this war? What is morally correct about this war, which has no justification? Is this how Jesus would have handled the situation? If not, then what gives us the right as Christians to determine that our invasion of Iraq was justified? Is the issue of gay marriage a more important battle for Christians to be fighting than our “moral” president starting a war? Would Jesus support a president who is responsible for the deaths of over 25000 mothers, fathers, sons and daughters?

I would like to close by again stating that I am being very sincere in all the questions posed. I hope that someone could provide me with the answers I desire, because as I said, I am confused and though I have some strong convictions, I need clarification as to these Christian values and their place in society. I am still most baffled by the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” Would Jesus support this war? Would Jesus support war at all? Would Jesus cut aid to people living in poverty and to people without health care? With the money we spent on the war in Iraq, we could have funded world hunger relief efforts for seven years and saved millions of lives. Instead, we have destroyed countless thousands. Is this moral because the man who made the decision is a “devout Christian?”

Thank You for taking the time to read this lengthy post,
Isaac
You have a lot of interesting questions. I will try to answer them by paragraph.

1. The reason for this is because we have a constitution which states that the federal government cannot favor one religion above another. Politicians are restricted to the constitution therefore what is considered immoral in the church might not be considered immoral by our laws. The Supreme Court said in the Lawrence vs Texas case that the government does not have the right to dictate morality through law.

2. Jesus and God are seperate beings. I know it can be confusing sometimes but Jesus prays to God, sit on the right hand of God, and recitates the laws and will of God therefore they are seperate beings. We can and should strive to be like Jesus but ultimatley we cannot be like Jesus because we are not perfect and are prone to sin. Jesus may have helped a certain number of people but politicians can't perform the miracles of Jesus and make money magically appear to fund these programs effectively. Again, they are restricted by the constitution. The reason we were given free will is so that we can choose on our own whether or not to follow God and his laws so politicians forcing us to do so is wrong.

3. This is an interesting question. As far as abortion goes the bible says that it is wrong but again if you make a law against it you are blockading free will which is also wrong. In terms of capitol punishment...God himself used capitol punishment and demanded it in some of his laws so it is not contradictory of Christianity.

4. God himself says in the bible that there is a time for peace and a time for war. And again, making any laws supporting a biblical law is not only against the constitution but is also interfering in free will. The issue of gay marriage isn't important at all because people will still be gay and still get married they will simply be denied the legal rights which go along with a marriage lisence. I'd say the genocide in progress in the Sudan would have been the more noble cause of the two but alas it was ignored.

5. I cannot say with any certainty because I am not Jesus. As I said before, the bible tells us that there is a time for peace and a time for war. A man can claim to be Christian but it doesn't mean that he follows the laws and teachings of Christ and God.
 
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Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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I have been greatly puzzled to this also as you are. I believe that these "christians" are really closer to being Jews than real "Christians". I say that being a decendant from russian maternal Jews. Wich makes me a Jew.
I dont understand that your only a Jew if your mother was a Jew. That is crazy to me.

I say that in complete ignorance of the Jewish religion and apologize to anyone who is possibly offended. From here on out if you are its your own fault. I am an American and I am expressing my freedom of speech. I write that as a disclaimer to our Nazi Oppressors and Satanic Church that may be monitoring my activity. (Just a sick sarcastic but not completly ruled out thought).

It may sound like I am using "Jew" to denote something bad. I am using it to denote their belief that Jesus was a Prophet. I am a Christian in belief and a Sinner by trade. So please dont use the fact that I hate so many of you and say Im not a "Christian". You can say Im not a "christian". I do not know how someone can say Jesus was just a great man and a Prophet of God. To me, following that logic I would say he was an Evil Heretic and deserved to be put to death (for that was the punishment of the past) because he sure was preaching herasy by those standards (him being a great man and a Prophet of God).

As far as I am concerned, the "christian" movement in this country (let me add that this is the only "christian" country (or should I say civilized hmm maybe even any country) that believes it was moraly right to bomb baghdad.
They seem to detest the New Testament of Jesus Christ completly. Perhaps they dont believe in it at all. I really think they believe in the Old Testament only and that Jesus has not come yet. I believe they think the New Testament ought to be BURNT or better yet (obviously) just used out of context to further brainwash people and pass out tickets to hell. I add this stuff for emphasis and sarcasm.

It further leads me to believe that they have an ill-agenda if they are saying they believe in a man whos teachings they obviously pretend dont exist. They go on like he never came and all that was written about him never happend. That is the conclusion I have come to. I Feel like perhaps the loud boisterous "christians" on tv and your "holy" (un - depending on your point of view) leader are but part of a tainted church. Full of decievers and Wolves.

I had to quit going to church because it is full of wolves in sheep clothing. I do not here the "Word of God" when I go anymore. All I here now is "Thank you for your limited grace god that I may not have to burn in hell becuase your not strong enough to give me true grace and I can not quit smoking or loving my next year old same sex neighbore or thinking sexual thoughts of my childs married 19 year old lesbian teacher and quit smoking.

I do believe that there are 2 different churches. One is lost and believes in the old testament (you can tell because they quote it often) or the ones who believe in the New Testament. Im part of the later group. I share your confusion about how its ok to kill billy who raped cops and beat women, bomb the neighborhood abortion clinic and kill 75-100 thousand Iraqi CIVILIANS because they wont bow to my "god".

I am just telling you you are nto alone. Maybe you should just go with your gut. Its ok to be brandished weak traitor satanist terrorist bastad etc etc etc because you dont believe Christ (THE only son of God born through immaculate conception who died on the cross that you can be saved if you accept his FREELY given GRACE) tought its ok to kill people.

I dont know following my sleep deprived sarcasm, the Bible does warn against his followers being persecuted. I dont feel that bad to be on the wrong side of the fence. If I where you I would sit on my rooftop and wait.
I dont really believe half of this although it is my hypothesis. I have not really looked into it but everything points that direction. Your not alone. If you ever think that your the minority in the "christian" community, DONT there is a LARGER "Christian" community all over the world, you just dont here them because the devil owns the media stations. We are all over the world and we are just a bit unorganized. We cant see that there are more of us.
 

iamisaac

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Thanks for the well thought out replies, though I favor the latter one. Personally, the response posed by Napoleon left me with some of my same questions such as why then does the right-wing nation have the right to claim that they are the "morally correct Christians."
Also, I was left with some feelings expressed by the second response: I don't need to remember that Jesus and god are two different things; if were talking about Christianity, then we cannot only deal in the word of God before Jesus. Jesus CHRIST is the basis of CHRISTianity and to forget about him and point only to quotes in the Old Testament before his time is not a way to justify our actions and morals as Christian. More specifically, self-proclaimed "CHRISTian morals," even if justified by a quote in the Old Testament, are not Christian morals if Christ himself would not support them.

By the way, that was an interesting point about "christians" being more like Jews than Christians based on their belief of old testament ideals.
 

nope

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I would go that far to say the New Testament ist the only important testament for Christs. The Old is just to understand the beginnings. A Christian shouldn't justify his actions with the old but the new testament.

I don't know if there exists any quotes of Jesus where he condemns homosexuals.
 

Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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nope said:
I would go that far to say the New Testament ist the only important testament for Christs. The Old is just to understand the beginnings. A Christian shouldn't justify his actions with the old but the new testament.

I don't know if there exists any quotes of Jesus where he condemns homosexuals.

There is....

Let he without sin throw the first stone
Love everyone.
The most important thing is love

His biggest point is that if you want to live by the law you can. I believe the law was put down to show you you can not live by it. accept the fact. accept his untainted grace. If not I dont think you got the message of the new testament. I think Christs words fall on deaf ears.
 

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iamisaac said:
“What Would Jesus Do?”
Get crucified.

Am I religious? Yes. Am I a moral person? Yes. Does my sense of morality originate from my spiritual beliefs? Heck no.

Honestly, if you need a religion to tell you what's right and wrong... you can't be a very ethical person inside. :(
 

iamisaac

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Am I religious? Yes. Am I a moral person? Yes. Does my sense of morality originate from my spiritual beliefs? Heck no.

Honestly, if you need a religion to tell you what's right and wrong... you can't be a very ethical person inside.

I'm not sure what your talking about. Sure, many of my and other people's moral decisions are made based on our own convictions and not on a religion but how can you say you're religious and say that it doesn't affect your morality. Its an oxymoron. Is what you mean you go to church on sunday but the rest of the week you don't care about what God would want you to do. Seriously, elaborate about how you can be "religious", yet not allow your religious beliefs to have any affect on your ethics.
 

vergiss

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iamisaac said:
I'm not sure what your talking about. Sure, many of my and other people's moral decisions are made based on our own convictions and not on a religion but how can you say you're religious and say that it doesn't affect your morality. Its an oxymoron. Is what you mean you go to church on sunday but the rest of the week you don't care about what God would want you to do. Seriously, elaborate about how you can be "religious", yet not allow your religious beliefs to have any affect on your ethics.
:lol: Not on Sundays, and especially not in a church, sweetie.
 

iamisaac

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Not on Sundays, and especially not in a church, sweetie.
One, don't call me sweetie in an effort to make yourself seem better than me.
Two, I don't care when, where or if you worship, sunday and church were my example.
And Three, I don't think you answered my question; no matter where, when or if you worship, how can you consider yourself religious if your religion plays no role in the ethics in your life.

BTW

[Honestly, if you need a religion to tell you what's right and wrong... you can't be a very ethical person inside.[/QUOTE]

HONESTLY, if I were to live my life by the teachings of Jesus Christ and make all my decisions based on what he would want me to do, I'm pretty sure I would live a very morally and ethically sound life.
 

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Who decides what the Christian thing to do is? The church? The Pope? The Government? No, the only person who can truly decide what is “right” and “wrong” is you, the individual. Jesus can’t make all your decisions for you, it’s up to you to know what you do and don’t believe in, and what you should and shouldn’t do. Set aside what the church tells you and ask yourself how you feel about certain things, not how God feels about them. If you disagree with what the bible preaches don’t worry God will still love you.

Before I go further I think what you need to realize before all other things is the type of country in which you live. Just because something is “moral” does not mean it is “ethical”, at least not in America. In America people have rights, the right to marry a person of the same sex, the right to abort a baby, and the right to decide if they want to pay for welfare. Will they use these rights to do the moral thing? Probably not, but the point is that they have a choice. I know your question was about the morals of people but the fact is “moral” people want to disregard the constitution when it comes to their principles, how is this fair? You’re making Jesus an oppressor of rights, all in the name of your particular beliefs.

This is why we have separation of church and state, because there are too many different beliefs. All we can do is what is fair, and moral is not fair. It is fair for hard working people to have to pay for people who do not work at all? Hey that sounds a bit like welfare! The majority of people on welfare are abusing welfare; they live off their checks and refuse to look for jobs. This is why many people have a problem paying for it. Its not that they are heartless it is because they feel that it is in vain. To know that the money that I make as a provider for my family is going to another family whose provider is to lazy to find a job kills me. There is a line between charitable and appropriate. Would you give a beggar who reeks of alcohol money to buy beer?

To quote the Pledge of Allegiance, we are a “nation under God…” not of God. God should influence our decisions but not make them for us. We are a nation which promotes liberty and justice for all, not just those who live “moral” lives. So readers, what I have meant try to explain is that it is not that people are immoral, it is that they are constitutional.

Side Note: On your confusion about the war in Iraq:

The reason why the war in Iraq is not a moral issue is simply that… it is not a moral issue. It is an oil issue and it is a globalization issue. People are dying for it yes but looking pack in history when was war about anything except globalization? People have been dying in war for centuries, this war is nothing new. As long as those who go feel they are doing what is just and are willing to die for it, you and me have nothing to say about their deaths, because if we do it will have mad e them die in vain. The sad thing about war is that it is inevitable, acceptance is bitter but realistically there is no other answer to it.
 

iamisaac

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You make some good points, timequake. I feel the same way that people have to stand by their convictions even if it means defying their church, their church leader or whomever. My one point earlier was only that you can't say that religion plays any kind of role in your life if the teachings of that religion don't have any influence on your set of morals.
Also, my original question about morals and ethics and christianity was basically about how so many "Christian" people in this country can justify certain things we do in our government morally and have the nerve to talk about who has morals. I do understand the seperation of church and state and if christianity was obsolete in our government, I wouldn't have even had a reason to post. However, lets face it, church and state are intermixed in this country and conservatives in particular have made government matters a moral issue in order to appeal to right-wing Christian organizations. Thats why I say, how can these same Christian people who wear bracelets on their wrists that say "WWJD?" fight so hard to keep gay people from gaining rights and yet not stand up against other much more important issues that for some reason are not "moral issues."

Also, I know some war is necessary but why was this war inevitable, also why is this not a moral issue. I do support the troops( I'm 18 and I have close friends and family over there), but what right do we have to invade a country and reak havok on innocent people because we feel threatened? Its funny because they have it worse than we did. We felt threatened by them. They were actually attacked by us. Think about that for a second, who is the bad guy-- they never attacked us and we attacked them.

I'm sorry Im ranting and i sound stupid and scattered. Oh well If you can make sense of that rant I'd like to hear your thoughts.
 

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Hopefully i made sense of your rant...

Ah now Isaac you’ve got me started. You’re right… we had no God given right to invade Iraq, but hell we did it anyway and not because we were threatened but because we could. 9/11 was the perfect opportunity for us to invade Iraq, here we were appearing vulnerable to the world and all we had to do is point the finger at who did it. Was it Sadam? No, but he was a domineering dictator and an easy scapegoat thanks to the Gulf War. We’ve been trying to take out Sadam and place democracy in Iraq for decades basically to obtain cheap oil. Is it right… no, of course not, but it is politics and inevitable. It’s how things have been done for centuries, maybe the playing field has changed a bit but still it is essentially the same.

I like to compare Bush to Columbus simply to prove that globalization has been a part of our economic society since transportation first reared its innovative head. More to the point man feels it is their right to take what can be taken. Just think of the old saying “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” What was Columbus doing? He was exploring, looking for new land to claim for his beloved country, in other words a land to benefit his beloved country. Columbus was an ambitious man; globalization was his calling, though he preferred to call it “Spreading the word of God.” ( funny huh) If people inhabited this new, precious land when he arrived, he would still declare it his. With that known, think about this saying (which I made up in moments so bear with me) “In 2003 Bush invades the Iraqi’s” What exactly is Bush doing? Some say he is liberating the Iraqi people, others say he is killing over a thousand soldiers for personal gain. I say, it’s fundamental politics, and that’s why Bush is merely a modernized Columbus.

Though not famous for it, Columbus was definitely a politician. He oozed with propaganda, and managed to fool an entire nation into liking him. Only a true politician can do that, right? Looking back at the goals of the first colonist and explorers, one can’t help but see the similarity between theirs and our own. After claiming America, colonists planed to Europeanize, Christianize, and govern the natives. Supposedly it was for their own good; to the Europeans natives had no sovereignty. The goals President Bush strives for in Iraq are eccentrically the same. We want to establish our own government in place of Iraq’s, we want to spread Christianity because Islam and Judaism is considered destructive, and while doing this we also want to incorporate American ideals into the Iraqi lifestyle. Of course these goals appear to be honorable; Americans are helping the Iraqi just as Columbus helped the natives. But then again when are politics ever honorable? Greed is the root of all interest. Columbus would have never sought such interest in America if he hadn’t seen the gold around the Indians necks and if Iraq had no oil, well do you think there would be a war in Iraq right now?

The only thing that truly distinguishes Columbus and his discovery of America between Bush and his “discovery” of Iraq is time. I hope this comparison helped you see that this is a political issue rather than a moral issue. This war, or any other war for that matter, isn’t about morals so it’s can’t be a moral issue… going to war and partaking in war as an individual, that is a moral issue but only for those who actually participate and the moral issue is with themselves. If war were a moral issue far few people would be willing to take part. Just remember, we live in a political world, politics never change, and politics will never be moral .
 

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good post, although there may be reasons other than oil, you basically got the point.

No country EVER fights another country unless there is some economic motive or a power struggle. To say that our government sat around a table discussing ways to save the Iraqi people is stupid. I'm betting that what we hear in Bush's speeches about spreadin freedom and democracy and compassion is not what is discussed behind the curtains.
 

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Oh, I agree with you whole-heartedly about how this war and any other is started because of greed in some capacity. Basically, the point I was trying to make is that almost every other issue recently and before the election was turned into a morality argument. Right-wing Christian groups played such a huge role in Bush's support and election. What I'm saying is why while Christians are all bent out of shape about other issues in the past election, why does nobody care about the fact that scores of thousands of people died because of a decision made by an administration that has no justification. I mean, honestly, why don't they care about that I why didn't they try to fight that. And I mean that only to this war in Iraq. Going into Afghanistan had clear justification and we knew what we had to do in that siituation. In other words, I'm debating the fact that people tend not think at all about "What Jesus Would Do" in this situation where as in others they do. I actually feel as though many wars are inevitable and morality should be set aside when the person in charge makes the decision; but this is different in my mind because it wasn't inevitable.

When you say...

"we had no God given right to invade Iraq, but hell we did it anyway and not because we were threatened but because we could.

I say, why doesn't this bother the same Christians that can't sleep at night knowing somewhere a fetus is being aborted? They do all they can to make abortion legal, but they don't care that because of us so many thousands are dead.

By the way.. I enjoyed the Columbus comparison. Very interesting.
 

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iamisaac said:
One, don't call me sweetie in an effort to make yourself seem better than me.
Two, I don't care when, where or if you worship, sunday and church were my example.
And Three, I don't think you answered my question; no matter where, when or if you worship, how can you consider yourself religious if your religion plays no role in the ethics in your life.

BTW

[Honestly, if you need a religion to tell you what's right and wrong... you can't be a very ethical person inside.

HONESTLY, if I were to live my life by the teachings of Jesus Christ and make all my decisions based on what he would want me to do, I'm pretty sure I would live a very morally and ethically sound life.
I'm Jewish. I don't believe God is so anally retentive as to want to control every intricate detail of my life, therefore I, and I alone, decide based on logic and reason what is morally right or wrong.

If you're attempting to imply that I'm a failed Jew just because I don't blindly believe and do everything my that rabbi instructs, quite frankly you should go shove a Bible up your backside. Dear.
 

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I would agree that using religious values to determine your moral stance is not the correct train of thought.

For starters you may wish to ask why you believe in your religion. is it because that was the way you were raised? If so, does that mean that people not raised in your religion or those of non-religious beliefs are any less moral than people of your religion.

Bear in mind that religion didn't exist before humans did. But ask yourself at the same time if morality did. Figure out the answer to that and your struggles to understand events in terms of right and wrong or religious icons may have some enlightenment shed on them.
 

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Greetings to you, iamisaac. Although I got started a few years later than you, I have been asking your kinds of questions for over thirty years ... and today, I have some answers. Not every answer, mind you, for more questions typically accompany each answer that does come. However, it is by driving us to keep on looking that even those new questions can help us better see “the big picture”.

As you suspect concerning yourself, I also used to be “misguided” by sectarian religion, and at least in my own case, that included the belief that the “good ol’ land of ‘US’” is/was a righteous nation with a just government and some kind of “moral responsibility” or whatever for bringing the remainder of the world up to par.

What a sham.

(Side note: Democracy (essentially “mob rule”) is but one notch above and a deceptively-used “cover” for the anarchy that is *really* going on in this world at the moment, and anarchy can only be ended by monarchy, I have heard.)

Along the line of “WWJD”, you have asked:

“... support [the war in Iraq]?
“... support war at all?
“... cut aid to people living in poverty and to people without health care?”

As to war: No, The Messiah does not participate in this world’s divided-house, religious, political and/or economic king-of-the-hill battles. The day is coming, however, when He will completely end all of that – all the “mountains” will be cast into the sea – by exercising His Father-granted authority over all such principalities, kingdoms, rulerships and the like ... including so-called “democracies”. And of course, His rule is over His Father’s entire monarchy.

Concerning people in need: He tells the rich (the providers) to give all they have to the poor, and He tells the rest of us (the distributors) to be sure there is no one in need among us. Today, of course, all of that is quite backwards!

You have written, “With the money we spent on the war in Iraq, we could have funded world hunger relief efforts for seven years and saved millions of lives.”

I would say that is at least one good reason to have nothing at all to do with that war.

“Instead, we have destroyed countless thousands. Is this moral because the man who made the decision is a ‘devout Christian?’”

Certainly not, and the real problem there is the arrogance of sectarian religion ... and here are some thoughts along that line:

Timequake has written, “... the only person who can truly decide what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is you, the individual ...
“... ask yourself how you feel about certain things, not how God feels about them. If you disagree with what the bible preaches don’t worry God will still love you.”

Yes, YHWH’s love is not dependent upon anyone’s particular agreement (or even disagreement) with anything at all – mere beliefs guarantee neither salvation nor destruction (as some sectarian religions nevertheless seem to claim) – but that fact does not override His sovereignty and right judgment concerning “right and wrong”. In other words: No man or men (and not even The Messiah, Himself, or even His “body”) has any “right” to pronounce what is either right or wrong. Rather, all such matters have already been “announced” by YHWH, Himself.

For example: Many years ago, I carelessly veered from my traffic lane (while eating a Whopper) and ended up catching (with my bumper) and pulling the left-rear fender off a nearby Volkswagen. Already knowing the right thing to do, I had the other driver follow me to my insurance agent’s office where I told him what I had done and that he (as my agent and on my behalf) was to process and pay her claim against me. Then just a few years ago, I learned that “Torah” (Genesis through Deuteronomy) already teaches (in principle) all about that kind of thing even though that other traveler that day had not actually been riding an ox for me to bump into a ditch.

At least in part, I share that anecdote in response to this you have written:

“... if we’re talking about Christianity, then we cannot only deal in the word of God before Jesus. Jesus CHRIST is the basis of CHRISTianity and to forget about him and point only to quotes in the Old Testament before his time is not a way to justify our actions and morals as Christian. More specifically, self-proclaimed ‘CHRISTian morals,’ even if justified by a quote in the Old Testament, are not Christian morals if Christ himself would not support them.”

We could easily spend hours posting many pages in discussion of all of that, and I would gladly do so. For now, however, I would first say there is no conflict between the so-called “old” and “new” writings, and that anyone who says there is has yet to truly understand either. However, and just as His followers then did for the remainders of their own lives, The Messiah only ever spoke of the “old” – there was no other – and He *never* – no, not even once – spoke against it. Truly, He obeyed “Torah” completely and taught/teaches His followers to do the same. He did, however, end up being killed for speaking clearly and loudly against sectarian religion.

Thank you, Parmenion, for this thought:

“... religion didn't exist before humans did. But ask ... if morality did. Figure out the answer to that and your struggles to understand events in terms of right and wrong or religious icons may have some enlightenment shed upon them.”

Ultimately, and as before the beginning, righteousness rules!

Shabbat Shalom.
 
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