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Thread: Is Putin the world's best ruler?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    We have different ideas then what Christianity is and the relationship between the Church and the State. I’m okay with that. I hold to the ancient and traditional view that they are indeed separate but work together for the good of the faithful and the state.
    Good to hear from you, brother. Hope your fast is going well.
    I would add "can" or "should" in your statement:
    "they are indeed separate but can work together for the good of the faithful",
    and I would drop "and the state",
    because even in Russia we see cases of persecution that are unChristian, and in the end I simply do not trust states to work for the good of anyone or anything other than itself... so I frankly don't care whether the state is healthy (as I don't think it should exist at all).
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.



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  3. #32
    I think Putin is very knowledgable. I think very few people could have turned Russia around like he has. He always strikes me as a rational well informed logical thinker. I say he is a badass. It is an amazing feat for a country to go from collapse to prosperity.



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  5. #33
    When people from Russia talk about him it sort of reminds me of how north Koreans talk about their leaders. I don't pretend to know anything about the internal affairs of Russia but they seem to love him. I hope people aren't forced to act that way...

  6. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Source?

    The vast majority of Christianity (denominations) are not ‘outlawed’.

    The only ones I am aware of are Jehovah Wintess and Scientology being listed as cults (they are not Christian religions, btw). Not sure how ‘illegal’ it is to practice privately, if at all.
    That's pretty disappointing and scary.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/w...witnesses.html

    So Putin will ban Christians that aren't "Christian enough" but allow for Muslims? I can understand in a way because if he started imprisoning Muslim Imams then the Chechen war would start up again and other Muslim regions of the Russian federation would explode, but still this is disappointing. I don't agree with the JW faith, but I don't know of any JW terrorists.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  7. #35
    "Sawing Off the very Branch they're Perched On."
    The End of the Dollar is Coming - Lavrov
    Mar 15, 2019




    Sergei Lavrov, at the 12th March meeting with his Austrian colleague, states that modern US diplomacy consists predominantly of threats and sanctions. This economic manipulation is giving rise to alternative measures being adopted by other countries. "They are undermining the very branch they are perched on - the Dollar."


    The US administration is busy working on the 2020 budget - which will include funding for countries around the world in helping them to combat "Russian influence". This is despite the fact that Trump has previously been accused of not actually using any of the money allocated for this purpose internally. Is it because said Russian danger is fictional? With trust in media at an all time low - there appears to be no consensus from the US president himself, or he may be appeasing several opposing interests at once.
    Last edited by goldenequity; 03-17-2019 at 08:40 AM.

  8. #36
    T.S. Elliot's The Hollow Men

    Only on Ron Paul forums will you find someone who espouses a belief in the Non-Aggression principle and then proceed to display the most intense measures of passive-aggressiveness of anyone you will ever meet.

  9. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    That's pretty disappointing and scary.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/w...witnesses.html

    So Putin will ban Christians that aren't "Christian enough" but allow for Muslims? I can understand in a way because if he started imprisoning Muslim Imams then the Chechen war would start up again and other Muslim regions of the Russian federation would explode, but still this is disappointing. I don't agree with the JW faith, but I don't know of any JW terrorists.
    Let us agree how terrible this is. What other gripes do we have against Putin or Russia? Seems like a small list compared to any list we could make about any American President or the USA.

  10. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    Let us agree how terrible this is. What other gripes do we have against Putin or Russia? Seems like a small list compared to any list we could make about any American President or the USA.
    TBH that is the first real problem I have had with Putin. I'm not a Putin basher. I'm don't see his meddling in Crimea as any worse than our meddling in Venezuela. In fact his meddling in Crimea actually makes more sense because of the large Russian enclave. And I'm thankful for his intervention in Syria. Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Syrian Christians were saved by that. That said, religious freedom is high on my personal priority list. I don't think we should invade or even impose economic sanctions on Russia on behalf of the JWs. But before this thread I didn't realize the severity of their persecution.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  11. #39
    I cannot think of any other president better than Putin. Not saying that Putin is perfect or that I agree with everything he does but relatiely speaking, he is the best president ALIVE(that I know of). One think I like about him is that he seems to genuinely care about Russians

    If i was a statist who believe in the need for a govt who protects while allowing the people to flourish, I would really like him. I see some people complaining that some religions are banned in Russia, well business orgs like pryamid schemes are also banned in the US and I don't see anyone psuhing for the unbanning of this type of business. I don't support either bans but I also won't lose sleep over it. Shame on me
    You can maintain power over people, as long as you give them something. Rob a man of everything, and that man will no longer be in your power. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyEagle View Post
    Trust principles; not people.
    My Che avatar is my unique way of giving a big middle finger to the, the neocons, the globalists, imperialists and most importantly to the left and right political establishment who hate his guts till this day. My admiration for him ends where his anti imperialist pro communism ideology starts.

  12. #40
    Feb 6, 2019
    Danish Jehovah’s Witness in Russia jailed for 6 years in first case of its kind






    dindu nuffin






    Countries where the JW Watchtower Society is or was banned

    Last edited by goldenequity; 03-17-2019 at 08:37 PM.



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  14. #41
    BROADCAST DATE: January 26, 2010 on Russia Today






    Reasoning Discussed

    Last edited by goldenequity; 03-17-2019 at 08:48 PM.

  15. #42

  16. #43
    Ukraine Nationalists/Russo Phobics attempting to seize (again) an Orthodox Christian Church property (cuz Russian patriarchy)


    https://twitter.com/TamrikoT/status/1107355434703216640
    Last edited by goldenequity; 03-18-2019 at 08:36 AM.

  17. #44
    What is the difference between a woman deciding after birth that she wants to abort her child and a woman deciding to withhold lifesaving blood to her child that would surely die without it?

  18. #45
    LIVE: Putin meets locals during Crimean reunification celebrations in Simferopol (ENG)


  19. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    Good to hear from you, brother. Hope your fast is going well.
    I would add "can" or "should" in your statement:
    "they are indeed separate but can work together for the good of the faithful",
    and I would drop "and the state",
    because even in Russia we see cases of persecution that are unChristian, and in the end I simply do not trust states to work for the good of anyone or anything other than itself... so I frankly don't care whether the state is healthy (as I don't think it should exist at all).
    +rep

    And I would point out that the statist position advocated by later Church Fathers, while perhaps ancient when viewed from today, didn't arise until the 4th century. The more ancient fathers, like the apostles and Jesus before them, were enemies of the state. Jesus suffered crucifixion for this, and calls his followers to take up their crosses and follow him. This innovation and departure from the apostolic tradition that had been passed down to them was a failure on the parts of those who did so to uphold their duties as the Church of the Living God, pillar and foundation of the truth.

    Yes, God uses the state for good, just as he uses all things, including Satan himself ultimately for good. But God's providential superintending of the sins of wicked tyrants (which is what the state is in its very essence) does not render them any less sinful. Jesus refused Satan's offer to attain political power over the kingdoms of this world and his followers must as well. God has tools for the Church to use in its war against false doctrine, but the flesh-and-blood weapons of this world used in violent acts to ban false teaching are not among those tools, whether they be wielded by a king or anyone else.
    Last edited by Superfluous Man; 03-18-2019 at 09:44 AM.

  20. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    Good to hear from you, brother. Hope your fast is going well.
    I would add "can" or "should" in your statement:
    "they are indeed separate but can work together for the good of the faithful",
    and I would drop "and the state",
    because even in Russia we see cases of persecution that are unChristian, and in the end I simply do not trust states to work for the good of anyone or anything other than itself... so I frankly don't care whether the state is healthy (as I don't think it should exist at all).
    Greeting my brother, I hope your fast is going well.

    I prefer not to get into a debate at this time, but there are many resources available within the writings of the Church which touch upon this particular matter. I would simply respond by pasting below a writing of a contemporary martyr of the Church, Father Alexander Men, in his patristic elaboration regarding Romans 13. This is from a man who lived under the yoke of communist USSR and its severe persecution’s of Christians. https://www.fatheralexander.org/book...mans_e.htm#n24

    My only personal points I would bring up at this time is that, unlike what Superflous Man has posted, the Apostles themselves understood and taught that the state (or the reality of civil rulers in a society) is a given in this world, and that anarchy is not the solution. Both Sts. Paul and Peter write to this effect, as well as the Apostolic Fathers St. Clement and St. Ignatius, who were both martyred for the faith along the two great Apostles mentioned before.

    Not one of the Apostles, nor any of the Church Fathers, promoted Christians to seek the dissolution of the State or to promote anarchy. The Christian is a sourjouner in this world, of course, and must live in the world, even as they are apart of the world. But living in the world means to respect the civil structures which society has adopted, even as they are full of worldly problems. The State (nation, etc), like many things in this world, is a necessary evil this side of heaven, and the Apostolic way, as expressed by the Church Fathers and Saints who continue the Apostolic preaching (kerygma) and shepherding of Christ’s flock, have always seen that although a monarchy is the closest to what the Kingdom of Heaven is, no State structure is perfect and is rather a pale imitation of what awaits in the age to come. But nevertheless, it is our goal as Christians, and especially with regards to the Church rulers, to work with the State whenever possible in order to allow the fullness of the faith to flourish amongst the believers to the extent possible. Not at the expense of the doctrines, of course, which are unassailable, but in symphonia and cooperation in order to bring peace and justice in whatever degree possible by the will of God. If you prefer more sources aside from the what I have pasted below, please pm me. There are many writings, including from Saints who themselves were persecuted or martyred by a tyrannical State, which express the same apostolic belief.

    :

    Obeying civil authorities

    (13:1-7).

    Every society — be it family, commercial enterprise, organisation or country — is naturally made up of seniors and juniors, executives and subordinates, rulers and citizens. Without such a pyramid structure, no society can exist. That is why no prophet or Apostle ever ruptured any existing societal structures. Instead, they condemned anarchy and rebellion.

    Apparently, the Apostle writes here about obedience to civil authorities because to the Jews of his time, having lost their national independence, this was a very sore point. It is known that the Roman rulers frequently abused their authority over the Jews by wounding their national-religious feelings, without any need for it. Undoubtedly, with the obvious contrast between the elevated Christian teachings and the teachings of the dissolute ruling class, not only Jewish Christians but also those of other nationalities could have been concerned with the question of whether or not it seems to be a betrayal of God to obey those that legalise profane and heathen practices and do not acknowledge His authority. In his Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul explains that the very principle of authority has been established by God and, therefore, civil rulers have to be obeyed even when they are non-believers.

    Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour (13:1-7).

    We find similar instructions in the Apostle Peter's writings: "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men — as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God" (1 Peter 2:13-15).

    Of course the Apostles' description of civil authorities is more of an ideal than what is realised in practice. Nonetheless, it is known that legislature — of ancient and subsequent times — was established on principles that attempt to reflect equality, justice, and concern for the good of its citizens.

    The ruler in Rome during the writing of this epistle was Nero, who a few years later initiated a savage persecution of the Christians. As a result of this, thousands of believers died (including the Apostles Peter and Paul) in Rome and its neighbouring lands. It is difficult to visualize such a cruel and depraved ruler like Nero as a just servant of God that encourages the good and punishes the wicked. Nonetheless, in accordance with Christian teachings, in spiritually neutral earthly matters, all legal rulers have to be obeyed — even those that are hostile towards the Christian faith. One has to remember that Jesus Christ and His Apostles taught this not only in words, but through personal example. When Pontius Pilate boasted to our Saviour that he had the authority to either crucify Him or set Him free, Christ calmly replied, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above" — i.e., at this given moment, God has allowed you to control My destiny (John 19:10-11); and immediately added: know this, that "the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." meaning that the Jewish leaders are guiltier than you because they are committing this evil deliberately. But you too will answer to God for abusing the authority that was given to you.

    So as not to be perplexed over the need to obey unjust authorities, it is necessary to remind ourselves that we are citizens of the Heavenly King. Earthly life is but a path toward the Kingdom of Heaven. Here, we are temporary wanderers and there we will be permanent citizens. In this light, the words of the Apostle become clear: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 3:1) — i.e., the important thing now is to draw closer, without any impediments, to our ultimate goal. So let us beseech God to enlighten our rulers that they may maintain the necessary order and lawfulness in our society.

    The only time a Christian is allowed to disobey his rulers is when a spiritual conflict arises, i.e., when the demands of civil authorities contradict the teachings of our faith. Thus, for example, when the members of the Sanhedrin demanded of the Apostles that they cease preaching Jesus Christ, Saint Peter and the other Apostles boldly replied: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). In occurrences of religious conflict, a Christian must remain faithful to God right up to giving up his life, as the Lord taught: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Consequently, the general rule is: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17).

    The Apostle concludes his epistle with a call to have respect for every person — corresponding to his position, rank and age — as well as to have consideration for existing laws and societal order.
    Last edited by TER; 03-18-2019 at 08:21 PM.
    +
    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  21. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    +rep

    And I would point out that the statist position advocated by later Church Fathers, while perhaps ancient when viewed from today, didn't arise until the 4th century. The more ancient fathers, like the apostles and Jesus before them, were enemies of the state. Jesus suffered crucifixion for this, and calls his followers to take up their crosses and follow him. This innovation and departure from the apostolic tradition that had been passed down to them was a failure on the parts of those who did so to uphold their duties as the Church of the Living God, pillar and foundation of the truth.

    Yes, God uses the state for good, just as he uses all things, including Satan himself ultimately for good. But God's providential superintending of the sins of wicked tyrants (which is what the state is in its very essence) does not render them any less sinful. Jesus refused Satan's offer to attain political power over the kingdoms of this world and his followers must as well. God has tools for the Church to use in its war against false doctrine, but the flesh-and-blood weapons of this world used in violent acts to ban false teaching are not among those tools, whether they be wielded by a king or anyone else.
    As with many things related to Christianity, we have profound differences in opinion, especially on what the Church Fathers taught and the role they play in handing down the deposit of the faith of the Apostles through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    A quick internet search led me to this blog which I thought you might find interesting. It is a review by an Evangelical of a book written by a Baptist who actually read and studied the writings of the Church Fathers. To summarize:


    In his response in the final chapter Gordon Heath looks at the attitude of the early church fathers towards empire. He approaches the issue not as a biblical scholar but as a historian—and I would suggest, on reflection, that a major part of the problem with New Testament interpretation at the moment is that it is being done by theologians and not by historians.

    Heath thinks not only that the anti-imperial orientation of the New Testament has been overstated but also that there is a strong element of support for the empire in the writings of the early fathers that must call into question the view that Constantine was a massive aberration.

    The typical “decline paradigm” in church history is that the church lost its pristine purity after Emperor Constantine’s profession of faith and the subsequent Christianization of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. As noted above, contemporary scholars assume and claim that the New Testament writers were opposed to empire. But were the earliest Christians as anti-empire as recent scholars claim? And was the supportive posture towards the empire after Constantine that much of a shift from the attitudes of the earliest church fathers about the empire? This response argues that, if the church fathers are any indication, in both cases the answer is no. (262)

    He suggests that the widespread use of military metaphors in early Christian writings indicates that “there was not an outright rejection or condemnation of Roman imperial military life” (264). The early church fathers appear to have been in two minds about military service—and in any case, the refusal to shed blood was not a rejection of empire as such. There is plenty of evidence that they believed the emperor to have been ordained by God. Irenaeus argued—against the Gnostic demonization of worldly powers—that earthly rule as they knew it “has been appointed by God for the benefit of nations. Cyprian prayed for the success of imperial armies. Origen argued that Christians exercised a “priesthood”, engaging in spiritual warfare on behalf off the empire. “In this regard,” Heath remarks, “there was a co-ordination between the pax Romana and the pax Christiana” (267).

    ....further:

    But the clearest resistance to empire in the early church came in the form of martyrdom, and here Heath accepts the leading conclusion of the preceding chapters: “the New Testament writers challenged the imperial authority’s claims of ultimate loyalty, and in this regard were successful in inculcating convictions that would lead to the martyrdoms of the second, third and fourth centuries”. But the point to grasp is that it is idolatrous imperialism, not imperialism per se, that provokes this extreme form of Christian opposition.

    What is noteworthy is that while we may see these refusals to confess Caesar as Lord as examples of anti-empire sentiment (and certainly the Roman authorities did), the church fathers did not. As Swift notes, the critical issue for the early Christians was not imperial power, but the issue of idolatry. And when “the issue of idolatry was solved at the time of Constantine … the principal source of opposition to the state was removed.” (275)

    From his survey of the early fathers Heath draws four conclusions regarding the relationship between church and empire (275-79).

    The church fathers “continued the trajectory of the New Testament writers when they unanimously refused to worship any Lord but Jesus”, but this should not be “confused with an anti-empire attitude”.

    The fathers express a “remarkable degree of sympathy for the empire”, though this was always in tension with their rejection of violence and idolatry. Heath comments here on the tendency of modern interpreters to read “late twentieth century anti-imperial sentiments” back into the New Testament writings.

    With regard to Paul’s notorious exhortation to submit to the governing authorities in Romans 13:1-7 Heath suspects that the church fathers “would have been quite surprised at our inability to see the relative benefits of Roman rule”.

    Contrary to the prevailing post-Christendom view that Constantinianism amounted to a disastrous reversal of early Christian ideals, Heath suggests that the conversion of the empire “was not so far-fetched or such a radical departure from earlier years”. Again quoting from L.J. Swift’s The Early Fathers on War and Military Service, he writes:

    In fact, much of what was necessary for a Christian empire was expressed long before Constantine: belief in a divinely appointed emperor, obedience to the state expected, support for imperial victories on the battlefield, and the conviction that there was a providential role for the state to benefit the church. As Swift notes, “The change that occurred [with Constantine’s conversion] represents a major shift rather than a reversal in Christian thinking, a shift that was made possible by earlier ambiguities and disagreements concerning the use of coercion and made necessary by the altered political circumstances in which Christians now found themselves.” (278-79)

    This general argument, I think, lends some support to my contention that in historical effect the main arc of New Testament eschatology lands at the conversion of the empire.

    https://www.postost.net/2011/11/what...s-think-empire

    (TER- with a little more diligent studying, this author my convert to the Orthodox faith, which happens quite a lot to those humble Protestants who seriously consider history and actually read the patristic writings when learning about the Christian faith. Those who make a tendency to read “late twentieth century anti-imperial sentiments” back into the New Testament writings or who start with their own modern presuppositions which runs counter to the faith handed down by the Saints could probably learn a lot from reading this book, or even better, by reading the writings of the Christian Saints.)
    Last edited by TER; 03-18-2019 at 09:28 PM.
    +
    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ



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  23. #49
    He definitely seems to be the best world leaders as of the present moment. Careful when saying that though. People will accuse you of working with the Russian government.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  24. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    ...Obeying civil authorities...
    When the founding fathers actively engaged in rebellion against their rightfully ordained civil authorities, they established that a foundational principle in the United States would be altering or abolishing civil authority at will.
    This is a land where disrespect for authorities is a given, and even codified. If I respect civil authorities here I am disrespecting the primal authority by which they got into power.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  25. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    When the founding fathers actively engaged in rebellion against their rightfully ordained civil authorities, they established that a foundational principle in the United States would be altering or abolishing civil authority at will.
    This is a land where disrespect for authorities is a given, and even codified. If I respect civil authorities here I am disrespecting the primal authority by which they got into power.
    I don’t believe disrespect for authorities is a given here in this nation, nor codified. What the Freemason Deist founding fathers of America did (note their spiritual affiliation and philosophical and theological understanding of the nature of God, which is completely antithetical and foreign to the apostolic Christian understanding) was replace one primal authority with another, namely the Crown was replaced by a Constitution. Respect for the Constitution and the laws of this nation are what is now codified. Respect for these institutions and the civil authorities in this republic are a given and necessary, if we are ‘to keep the Republic’ as Benjamin Franklin said. So your point that “by respecting the civil authorities here you are disrespecting the primal authority by which they got into power” does not make sense to me. They did not destroy civil or state power, they simply replaced it, and while they did demonstrate disrespect to the ordained authorities by their revolution, what they insisted upon and expected was respect and allegiance to the Constitution and other charters of the early Republic.

    Now we can argue the merits of the Constitution and a democratically elected Constitutional Republic versus other forms of governments (all have their own advantageous and disadvantages, and most definitely some are better at producing lasting peace and justice than others), but as a Christian, our main goal as I know you would agree is seeking and entering the Kingdom of Heaven, even as we struggle in this fallen world, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, freeman or slave. No one should believe for a second that an American citizen living with many civil freedoms and liberties and living a prosperous American dream has an advantage in getting into Heaven over, say, a persecuted, poor citizen suffering under a tyrannical authoritative regime. Indeed, I would say it will be much easier for the latter than the former before the judgment seat of God. (this is probably straying from our topic however).

    What no Church Father ever taught however was anarchy, which is antithetical to the will of God. Nor constant rebellion cause of muh’ rights, as if the state is what will lead us to the fulfillment of life which is found not in this world but in a much higher realm.

    That doesn’t mean we should necessarily be passive sheep and silently take unjustified abuse (even though that is in fact the divine way as demonstrated by the Suffering Servant and Innocent Lamb of God Jesus Christ). But it is not easy being a Saint and to follow this higher path, especially when our egos and pride constantly seeks self-serving satisfaction and human justice. But God knows we are weak, and, thankfully, He is merciful, and oppossing tyrannical regimes and occupiers can of course blessed by God when done for righteous and selfless reasons, such as protecting the faithful and the innocent.

    Government is a force, a tool, which can be used for good or for bad. It is not de facto an enemy of the people nor the Church, and can very well be an ally in the protection of the faithful and in fulfilling the admonition of Christ to spread the gospel and baptize the world in the Name of the Holy Trinity. We pray every Divine Liturgy that God enlightens our civil authorities to make good use of such worldly power and authority, for peaceful and just purposes. All the Church Fathers exalted the good aspects of civil governing forces, while castigating the particular bad aspects, especially those which were unjust or idolatrous.

    Thus we live our lives the best we can, balancing between obeying those over us and the laws which have been established while rebelling when unassailable doctrinal points require such action (such as to withstand idolatry or blasphemy, or cold blooded murder), knowing that our civil worldly freedoms and physical bodies may suffer on account of such martyrdom. Our trust and allegiance is fully in God above all else. So of course, in comparison, the State and their civil authorities come (far) behind. But that doesn’t mean that the answer is anarchy or lawlessness or constant rebellion on every single issue, such as what this tax is or what this ordinance stipulates, less we lose sight of the Christian goal and become distracted from the greater things, such as repentance, prayer, and living the life in Christ. Can we balance the two, possibly, but it is not always easy. Let others then pursue such constant political battles (and those people, like the poor, will always exist) or contend with the State (countless Bishops have been martyred doing so to protect the flock) while we simple Christians concentrate on obtaining the grace of God through the Holy Spirit by living a humble Christian life centered on repentance and selfless love.

    This is my understanding, from my own personal studying. I may of course be wrong.
    Last edited by TER; 03-19-2019 at 10:27 PM.
    +
    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

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