That was very good.I wish all the other end-times "millennial Madness" folks had your view.
How do we determine then what is an important doctrine? Even more to the point, as Randal Rauser asks, How Will Christians Know When to Commence the Killing? http://randalrauser.com/2012/11/how-will-the-christians-know-when-to-commence-the-killing/
Jerry Shepherd is doing a dandy job of responding to Rauser.
to TAM:The execution of criminals is something the state has the God given power to perform (cf. Roman chapter 13). During the Old Testament the nation of Israel was a theocracy. At that time the church and state were intertwined in a way that doesn't occur at the present time because God is not currently the direct King of a physical nation through covenant (like Israel was). So, the church doesn't have the authority to be executing criminals like OT Israel had from God.“When I see Christ himself riding the white horse.”was Jerry's answer to Randal's question. It's a legitimate (and perfectly adequate) answer. The standing order of Christ is to love our enemies and (through the Apostle Paul) "never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” " (Rom. 12:19). The direct public judgment of sinners by God on earth is reserved for the 2nd Advent of Christ as can been derived from various Biblical passages. For example 2 Thess. 1:5ff. 5This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.The question then is not whether the Church will ever have the right to wield the sword before the return of Christ (it won't), but whether one holds to theonomy (not to be confused with "theocracy") and whether it's appropriate for Christians to elect leaders and legislators to write and execute laws against things like adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft, blasphemy etc.Christian scholars disagree on the issue of theonomy. But even theonomists believe in a bottom up change of society and governments. Not a top down imposition of theological beliefs written into law contrary to the majority of the citizens of a nation. Btw, I don't think the pro-life movement is a counter example since one can argue against abortion based on natural law (or even biology) apart from Special Revelation. Same thing with capital punishment for crimes like murder etc.
Oh, btw, I'm not a pacifist. I believe Christians have a right to defend themselves and their dependents when attacked unjustly by evildoers (e.g. serial killer, rapist, etc.).
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I'm no longer dogmatic about Premillennialism, but last time I was I had moved to the Pre-Wrath view of the Rapture. Makes a lot of sense from a Premil. point of view. I'm glad it's a position that's becoming more mainstream among Premillers.I don't rule out Premil, but for now I'm more of a preteristic Amillennialist (or possible Postmillenialist) who's open to an end of the age anti-Christ (in addition to the 1st century anti-Christ, Nero). I agree with Steve, Riddlebarger (et al.) that there are probably multiple manifestations of anti-Christ leaders.