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Preparing For Divorce? Christians and American Empire
Clash Daily ^ | 14Sept13 | Jeff Wright Jr.

Posted on 09/14/2013 6:18:53 PM PDT by ReformationFan

Christians in the United States are witnessing a subtle but mounting transformation in our relationship with the American empire. Some would say the changes are not so subtle.

Believers have enjoyed an enviable status throughout the history of this country, largely due to our own efforts in helping to secure certain liberties during it’s founding decades. These “unalienable Rights” were seen, not as rights created by Government, but as gifts given to mankind by the Creator. The Bill of Rights, for example, was composed in order to impel the government to secure rights which already existed.

This climate of liberty has been both a help and a hurt to the Church. As we’ve seen in countries with an intolerant or oppressive bearing toward Christianity, repression and persecution counter-intuitively tends to have the effect of producing more serious,focused, and fervent believers. Freedom, on the other hand, has created the opportunity for complacency, self-indulgence, and pride to rise within the church. That being said, human freedom and religious liberty have been more of a blessing than a curse.

American churches, organizations, and individuals have taken advantage of this freedom to plant churches, send missionaries, create hospitals, translate the Bible into thousands of languages, establish universities, raise God-fearing families, supply innovations in science and medicine, and proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. All the while, Christians largely enjoyed a comfortable position within American life. We may merely be in the world rather than of the world but being in this world hasn’t been so bad.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: american; americanempire; christians; divorce; empire; jeffwright; jr; religiousfreedom; religiousliberty; religiouspersecution; wright
Those of us who are Christians better brace ourselves for persecution.
1 posted on 09/14/2013 6:18:53 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

We’re bitterly clinging to our God AND our guns. When they start the persecutions, they better make it count. I’m not politely standing in line to board my cattle car!

2 posted on 09/14/2013 6:27:57 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: ReformationFan
PG 107 of Obamacare Bill (DHIMMITUDE)
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

3 posted on 09/14/2013 6:33:35 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: ReformationFan

I think the title is fitting seeing as how one of the ways Christians and others will be probably be punished is for not buying into whatever impossible definition of marriage that state decides to use at the time.


4 posted on 09/14/2013 6:34:42 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Bryanw92; ReformationFan

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?

5 posted on 09/14/2013 6:37:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
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To: ReformationFan

Priests are already being prepared

6 posted on 09/14/2013 6:37:21 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: ReformationFan


7 posted on 09/14/2013 6:38:18 PM PDT by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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To: ReformationFan

Jesus is Lord, not Caesar.

8 posted on 09/14/2013 6:48:03 PM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.)
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To: ReformationFan
Just waiting for it to start. Bring it on, bi**hes!

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

9 posted on 09/14/2013 6:48:53 PM PDT by wku man (It's almost deer season, got your DEERGOGGLES on yet?
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To: ReformationFan
Any evil that comes upon us will be the natural and logical consequence of our many sins. I hate to say this, but God's just judgment so often consists of these consequences.

And we so deserve it. As a nation. As a Church. As me, myself and I. I fell like saying, "So judge us already. Judge us and get it over with."

10 posted on 09/14/2013 7:17:53 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." -- -1 John 4:7)
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To: yldstrk
Priests are already being prepared

As part of the general priesthood of all believers, who are all called to sacrifices and praise. Apart from this pastors are never called priests, a term only used for Jewish or pagan priests in formal distinction from the office of bishop/elder.

11 posted on 09/15/2013 6:04:51 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contritu damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212

I am Catholic so spare me your wierdness

12 posted on 09/15/2013 7:49:46 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: ReformationFan
The understanding in the piece is a bit off.

We are at a point of tension where civil rights laws continue to presume that Christians with traditional views of sexual and familial morals are in a super-majority status that makes it impossible for them to be oppressed, while the political reality has shifted to the point that such people are a tiny fraction of the elite and a distinct minority of the population at large.

This tension will be resolved as the political dominance of the secular and libertine philosophy becomes increasingly undeniable, and courts can come to regard orthodox traditional Christians in a similar light with orthodox Islam and Judaism as a minority that requires some degree of protection and indulgence for their practices.

Of course getting there is going to require that these Christians be willing to adopt that view themselves and abandon the rhetoric of a "Christian nation" and also cease to use the tools of political majority in places where they cling to it -- in other words, no one's right to refuse wedding cake business to a gay couple is going to be protected when the Lord's Prayer is still being broadcast over the PA on Friday nights at the high school football game.
13 posted on 09/15/2013 8:16:34 AM PDT by only1percent
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To: daniel1212
"Priest," the English word, comes from the Greek word for "elder". The dictionary will attest to that.

"Pastor" is a completely different word, and a different concept.

14 posted on 09/16/2013 6:35:02 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Campion
"Priest," the English word, comes from the Greek word for "elder". The dictionary will attest to that. "Pastor" is a completely different word, and a different concept.

Indeed it is, as "priest" "comes" from the Greek word by imputed theological function, that of formally entitling πρεσβύτερος/presbuteros as ἱερεύς/hiereus due to some functions uniquely ascribed to clergy.

As R. J. Grigaitis (O.F.S.) states while also trying to defend the use of priest - states:

"The Greek word for this office is ‘ιερευς (hiereus), which can be literally translated into Latin as sacerdos. First century Christians [such as the inspired writers] felt that their special type of hiereus (sacerdos) was so removed from the original that they gave it a new name, presbuteros (presbyter). Unfortunately, sacerdos didn't evolve into an English word, but the word priest took on its definition."

Catholic writer Greg Dues in “Catholic Customs & Traditions, a popular guide” states,
"Priesthood as we know it in the Catholic church was unheard of during the first generation of Christianity, because at that time priesthood was still associated with animal sacrifices in both the Jewish and pagan religions."
"When the Eucharist came to be regarded as a sacrifice [after Rome's theology], the role of the bishop took on a priestly dimension. By the third century bishops were considered priests. Presbyters or elders sometimes substituted for the bishop at the Eucharist. By the end of the third century people all over were using the title 'priest' (hierus in Greek and sacerdos in Latin) for whoever presided at the Eucharist."

Yet it is understood that “the Latin word presbyter has no lingual or morphological relationship with the Latin word sacerdos, but only an inherited semantical relationship.” As a result of this change, “presbyter soon lost its primitive meaning of "ancient" and was applied only to the minister of worship and of the sacrifice. “(;wap2z

Likewise Raymond Brown (Sulpician Father and a prominent Biblical scholar): "So far as i know, it was only ca. 200 that the term “priest” started to be applied to the bishop and only still later was it applied to the presbyter. This observation explains why some Protestant churches which insist on using New Testament language alone refuse to call their ministers priests. When in the post-New Testament period the language of priesthood did begin to be applied to the bishops and presbyters, it brought with it a certain Old Testament background of sacrificing Levitical priesthood. The introduction of that language was logically tied in to the development of the language for the eucharist as a sacrifice. (...I think there were sacrificial aspects in the early understanding of the eucharist, but I have no indication that the eucharist was called a sacrifice before the beginning of the second century.) When the eucharist began to be thought of as a sacrifice, the person assigned to preside at the eucharist (bishop and later presbyter) would soon be called a priest, since priests were involved with sacrifice." — Raymond Brown, Q 95 Questions and Answers on the Bible, p. 125, with Imprimatur.

However, NT pastors are not engaging in making expiatory sacrifices as a separate priesthood, and thus the Holy Spirit makes the distinction which Rome ignores by never referring to NT pastors by the unique title for priest, except as part of the general priesthood of believers, who are all called to sacrifice.

In contrast to the broad use of presbuteros, hiereus and archiereus (high priest) is only used for priests (collectively over 150 times) and is never used for NT pastors, except spiritually as part of the general priesthood of all shown here

Presbuteros means “old” or older/senior, and thus it is used to refer to an “elder son,” (Lk. 15:25) or the oldest, (Jn. 8:9) or old person (Acts 2:17; 1Tim. 5:1; 1Pt. 5:5) or even older women, (1Tim. 5:2) as well as episkopos (superintendent/overseers) and priests as it denotes their position.

Unlike hiereus and presbuteros or episkopeō, the latter two titles can be used interchangeably without distinction, as one denotes the position (senior) and the other the function (overseer). Titus was to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders [presbuteros] in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop [episkopos] must be blameless...” (Titus 1:5-7) Paul also "sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church," (Acts 20:17) who are said to be episkopos in v. 28. Elders are also who were ordained in Acts 14:23, and bishops along with deacons are the only two classes of clergy whom Paul addresses in writing to the church in Phil. 1:1.

Note that the argument is not that you cannot call a presbyter a priest, as you can because he does engage in priestly functions, but so do all believers (below), and the contrast is between the priesthood of all believers and formally entitling what the Holy Spirit calls presbuteros and episkopos, as constituting, along with the apostles, the pastors (poimēn=shepherds: Eph. 4:11) over the church.

Jewish elders as a body existed before the priesthood, most likely as heads of household or clans, and being an elder did not necessarily make one a Levitical priest, (Ex. 3:16,18, 18:12; 19:7; 24:1; Num. 11:6; Dt. 21:2; 22:5-7; 31:9,28; 32:7; Josh. 23:2; 2Chron. 5:4; Lam. 1:9; cf. Mt. 21:13; 26:47) or a high priest, offering both gifts and sacrifices for sins, (Heb. 5:1)

From the the web site of International Standard Version:

No Greek lexicons or other scholarly sources suggest that "presbyteros" means "priest" instead of "elder". The Greek word is equivalent to the Hebrew ZAQEN, which means "elder", and not priest. You can see the ZAQENIM described in Exodus 18:21-22 using some of the same equivalent Hebrew terms as Paul uses in the GK of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Note that the ZAQENIM are NOT priests (i.e., from the tribe of Levi) but are rather men of distinctive maturity that qualifies them for ministerial roles among the people.

Therefore the NT equivalent of the ZAQENIM cannot be the Levitical priests. The Greek "presbyteros" (literally, the comparative of the Greek word for "old" and therefore translated as "one who is older") thus describes the character qualities of the "episkopos". The term "elder" would therefore appear to describe the character, while the term "overseer" (for that is the literal rendering of "episkopos") connotes the job description.

To sum up, far from obfuscating the meaning of "presbyteros", our rendering of "elder" most closely associates the original Greek term with its OT counterpart, the ZAQENIM. ...we would also question the fundamental assumption that you bring up in your last observation, i.e., that "the church has always had priests among its ordained clergy". We can find no documentation of that claim. (

15 posted on 09/17/2013 8:46:53 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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