Friday, October 5, 2007

Expecto Patronum!

It appears that I, too, have been bitten by the Harry Potter craze. But gee, they're just damn good stories!
But to the point. I love this spell. It means, "I expect a protector". The charm wards off the dementors by summoning a Patronus, a spirit of protection. It only works, however, with a great amount of concentration on a happy thought.
Which is a little like faith. You see, I think one of the most obvious reasons Christians choose not to be pacifists is because they are afraid. Afraid of what humans might do. How odd, though, that they also choose to place their faith in human weapons to protect them. Why fear those who have the power only to kill the body? Should we not rather fear God, who can destroy both body and soul? And should we not rather trust him, who can restore life to both body and soul? And not only this, but can he not convert the hearts of our enemies, as he did our own?
Millions of Christians have prayed this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. I wonder how many really believe it will be answered.
"O God, from all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen."
Expecto Patronum!


Me said...

It's not because I"m afraid of what humans might do that I'm not a pacifist. This article kind of sums up what I believe.

Sara said...

No, obviously fear is not the only reason why Christians are not pacifists. Incidentally, the article you linked precisely described the position I once held. The reason I became a pacifist was because I began to read the Bible as an unfolding narrative, with the Cross bringing an end to the death penalty for the people of God, because Jesus took the death penalty we deserved. It's not that God no longer demands the life of a murderer, it's just that it's no longer our job as his people to enforce it, since we will be judged by the same measure with which we judge. And God has changed the hearts of terrorists and reconciled them to himself- just look at the Apostle Paul! Thanks for reading my blog, btw.

Me said...
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Me said...

It may not be mine or your job to enforce it; however God has given that task to government.

Paul says clearly in Romans 13:3-4
"For rulers are not a terror to good conduct,but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.

For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."

I Peter 2:13-14
"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to
punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good."

Paul and Peter both taught after the cross that government is to punish those who do evil. God can change the heart of anyone he chooses to, but He has given government the duty to carry out his wrath on wrongdoers.

Sara said...

I try to read those verses in light of the situation the first century Christians found themselves in. They saw themselves as a holy nation of priests, called out from among the nations of this world. Yet they still lived under the heavy hand of Rome. It was a wicked establishment, corrupt and idolatrous, preaching Caesar's gospel of divinely appointed kingship and the rule of law. Paul's gospel subverted this idea, claiming that Jesus was the only true king. Yet his kingdom is not worldly in that it does not advance by the sword, as Caesar's, but by the peaceful, nonviolent behavior of the saints. Thus Paul teaches the first century Christians to submit to these wicked rulers because God has a use for them, too, to judge other wicked men. A good case in point is how God used Rome to judge the Jews of that day who were persecuting the Christians. It wasn't their duty, it was just God's way of letting wickedness defeat wickedness, which is really the sense of the Genesis passage ("He who sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed.") But nowhere is there any sense that the Christians were to participate in this aspect of God's judgment, rather Paul and Peter were giving them clear instructions on how to avoid getting mixed up in it, letting God work out all things for their good.

Me said...

Can you qualify this statement:

"I try to read those verses in light of the situation the first century Christians found themselves in."

I also try read those verses in light of their situation. But do you believe that they were applicable only to the original recipients?