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Not so Forceful ...

Reader comment on item: When Conservatives Argue about Islam
in response to reader comment: The nature of religion including Christianity and Islam

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Jul 8, 2007 at 23:56

Hello Ralph - God bless you,

During the period of the Roman Empire - Emperor worship was the expected mode of religious devotion of the citizens of the realm - it was the official State Religion. While it wasn't enforced with an iron fist, any time something untoward occured - well, it must be the fault of those pesky non-worshippers of the Emporer - public 'demonstrations' were allowed against these non-conformists which frequently resulted in the deaths of a number of these unfortunates. Jews and Christians were the primary 'targets' of these demonstrations but after the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD the brunt of the 'Force' fell upon Christians. Let me make it clear - Christians did not respond 'tit for tat' - they did not meet Force with Force - they accepted these acts of violence as a way to bring glory to Him in whom they had placed their Faith and as a way of sharing in His sufferings to bring others to the true Faith. Force was never a part of the Christian Faith.

When the Roman Emporor Constantine declared 'Christianity' the State Religion, he literally destroyed the Christian Faith, from outward appearences at least. Thousands of once Emporer worshippers, fearing the potential reprisals that they once administered upon the Christians, made a 180 and flocked within this newly established State Religion. It was at this point when Force became a prominent feature of Faith (in Christ). Force can never be a part of the true Christian Faith.

True Christianity is in fact a 'reasonable' Faith - when the Church Fathers had to deal with disciplanary matters within the fellowship, they used reason and disassociation to affect a response - not Force. What history has witnessed as the 'Forceful Church' was not evidence of true Christianity. Force will never be a part of the ture Christian Faith.



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