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Dr. Hipopótamo
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:47 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Here is a rephrasing of the question before us that might help clear the waters:

"Does the Bible specifically mandate that governments not build roads?"

If it does, then it is the end of the conversation, because any further discussion would then be in the scope of LL2 and not this forum.

If it does not, then it is probably up to the decision of each nation to figure out how to go about making roads, which is also in the scope of LL2 and not this forum.

So.

If the Bible exclusively limits what the government can do, and building roads in no way fits into that description, then the Bible does mandate that governments not build roads. Make sense?

O.K. Agreed so far.
But I don't think the Bible ever exclusively limits what anyone can do, except by saying what they can't do. We see a command that says not to commit adultery, so we don't commit adultery. We don't see anything in the Bible about the internet, so we assume that it's okay to use the internet. We still need to apply scriptural principles in our use of the internet, being careful that we don't use it for wrong purposes, etc. but anyone reading this post believes that it is not a sin to use the internet. Wink

Of course, if the Bible did say somewhere that Christians should not do anything that the Bible specifically says they can do, we would not use the internet, brush our teeth, play golf, or do anything that the Bible did not specifically say we could do. However, there is no such Bible verse. Nor have I seen such a verse about the government. You mentioned Romans 13 and 1st Peter 2:13-14, and I addressed both of them in an earlier post. Thus, I believe that the government may do anything that doesn't violate a commandment in the Bible.

You also said that it would be very inconvenient to list everything the government cannot do, and it makes much more sense to have an exclusive list of everything the government can do. Therefore, such a list must exist in Scripture.
I believe you're unconsciously making the assumption that there are way more things that the government may not do than things that it may do, or that what it may do can be summed up in a sentence or two and what it may not do cannot be summed up as easily.
Also, what we think is more convenient isn't what really matters. If we decide that Scripture must contain an exclusive list before we look at the Bible, then we are writing the list into Scripture. What we should do is look to see if there is such a list, and if Scripture clearly states that the list is exclusive. Otherwise, it's almost like we claim to have the final word on how Scripture should be written, and say that since God is perfect, He would have written Scripture the way we think it should be written, therefore He must have put that list somewhere in the Bible. We really don't want to think that way. (That's not to say I've never thought like that before, but I'm trying not to.)


One more example:
The Bible doesn't say the government can run a nation's health care system. But the Bible doesn't say that private citizens can do the job either. Why do we say then, that it's okay for private citizens to do it, and not for the government? Because of force, as Jay mentioned. If the government forces someone to buy a health plan they don't want, or not to buy a plan they want, that's stealing. If a citizens suggests that someone buy a plan they don't want, or advises them not to buy a plan they like, it's not stealing. Thus, the reason that government should not run health care is the commandment not to steal.

So that's why I would like to specifically discuss commands such as the command not to steal and whether or not the government building roads violates that command. Otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with it.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:58 pm

Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:05 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

Humorously, I distinctly recall posting that in here, but I also cannot find it extant. Oh well. Smile

Now, you say that government is not 'just' force, but is also 'organization, authority, protection, etc.' Leaving that rather vague 'etc.' to the side, if you look at your three examples, you will see that they are founded on the application or threat of application of force. Force is the source of authority (if you do not, I will). Organization is exactly the same as any other organization unless it is coerced upon the people. Protection (as we have concluded already elsewhere), is administered by the application of force (in the punishment of crime).

So we still have one, basic, fundamental qualitative difference between government and all other sorts of organizations. This is crucial to be understood before we go on to the concept of stealing. There are also some other things that need to be addressed as well, which are also predicated upon this basic fact.

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
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caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:09 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

Humorously, I distinctly recall posting that in here, but I also cannot find it extant. Oh well. Smile

It's all the way back on page 1 of this thread. (Down at the bottom, I believe.) Whew, I'm glad I didn't do the "edit" "quote" mistake again.

Jay, I'm getting confused with your questions and train of thought. Instead of asking questions, hoping we'll get the answers, could you lay out your whole argument for us? If you do that, then we can go through point by point to see the progression and determine if we agree or not. I thought that my post in the middle of page 3, with the sections of your post which I quoted, were enough to conclude this thread from Scripture. So, if you could lay out your full argument now, I would appreciate it.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:13 am

caleb wrote:
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

Humorously, I distinctly recall posting that in here, but I also cannot find it extant. Oh well. Smile

It's all the way back on page 1 of this thread. (Down at the bottom, I believe.) Whew, I'm glad I didn't do the "edit" "quote" mistake again.

Jay, I'm getting confused with your questions and train of thought. Instead of asking questions, hoping we'll get the answers, could you lay out your whole argument for us? If you do that, then we can go through point by point to see the progression and determine if we agree or not. I thought that my post in the middle of page 3, with the sections of your post which I quoted, were enough to conclude this thread from Scripture. So, if you could lay out your full argument now, I would appreciate it.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Ah, thank you. Smile

What we determined from Scripture is indeed sufficient to prove everything we want to prove about utilities. Completely. However, some people (or one person) is not getting it. Smile So I am using a Socratic method to establish the fact that he actually does agree with us, as he agrees with a logical foundation for our conclusion. Therefore, I need to develop it question by question, getting 'yes,' 'yes' answers before I deliver my conclusion.

Of course I just gave away my strategy, but that is fine. The logic and the Scripture is still sound.

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Dr. Hipopótamo
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:24 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

Humorously, I distinctly recall posting that in here, but I also cannot find it extant. Oh well. Smile

Now, you say that government is not 'just' force, but is also 'organization, authority, protection, etc.' Leaving that rather vague 'etc.' to the side, if you look at your three examples, you will see that they are founded on the application or threat of application of force. Force is the source of authority (if you do not, I will). Organization is exactly the same as any other organization unless it is coerced upon the people. Protection (as we have concluded already elsewhere), is administered by the application of force (in the punishment of crime).

So we still have one, basic, fundamental qualitative difference between government and all other sorts of organizations. This is crucial to be understood before we go on to the concept of stealing. There are also some other things that need to be addressed as well, which are also predicated upon this basic fact.

I can think of a good example of something government can do without force. Building roads! I know, I'm using circular reasoning, but I’m not actually trying to prove anything. I'm just trying to show that unless you can show how building roads requires force, you're also using circular reasoning, because you're assuming that building roads does require force in order to support your statement that everything the government does uses force, which in turn is used to prove that for the government to build roads requires force.
So, could you either lay out your whole argument or just discuss the specific example? If you just post all your questions sequentially, assuming I'll answer yes, then I can look at the whole thing and either see that I would answer yes to all of them and thus I agree with you, or tell you which one I would answer "no" to. If you'd rather not do that, then we could just discuss the issue of roads, and whether or not it requires force for the government to build them, until I am completely ready to say “yes”.

Anyway, I suppose you're right that organization, authority, and protection all have to do with force. But my other post, where I addressed your arguments, still stands.

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
caleb wrote:
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Now this is funny. I just quoted Sir Emith Mimetes, but when I looked back, I couldn't find the actual post I was quoting. Did I make a mistake and reply to a post that was old or in another room? Jay, do you remember when and where you posted what I just quoted? Sorry about that, whatever happened.

Humorously, I distinctly recall posting that in here, but I also cannot find it extant. Oh well. Smile

It's all the way back on page 1 of this thread. (Down at the bottom, I believe.) Whew, I'm glad I didn't do the "edit" "quote" mistake again.

Jay, I'm getting confused with your questions and train of thought. Instead of asking questions, hoping we'll get the answers, could you lay out your whole argument for us? If you do that, then we can go through point by point to see the progression and determine if we agree or not. I thought that my post in the middle of page 3, with the sections of your post which I quoted, were enough to conclude this thread from Scripture. So, if you could lay out your full argument now, I would appreciate it.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Ah, thank you. Smile

What we determined from Scripture is indeed sufficient to prove everything we want to prove about utilities. completely. However, some people (or one person) is not getting it. Smile So I am using a Socratic method to establish the fact that he actually does agree with us, as he agrees with a logical foundation for our conclusion. therefore, I need to develop it question by question, getting 'yes,' 'yes' answers before I deliver my conclusion.

Of course I just gave away my strategy, but that is fine. The logic and the Scripture is still sound.

I suspect that that one person, whoever he may be Smile has read your arguments and replied to them. The reason he's not "getting it" is because he doesn't feel that he has seen a sufficient reply to his objections.
And I'm actually not sure that he does agree with the logical foundation to your conclusion. I’m not exactly sure what your logical foundations are, but I’m not sure that you and Caleb are totally in agreement on them either.

Basically, I think you believe that all Scripture means exactly what it says, even if it is completely taken out of context. Am I right, or am I misunderstanding you?
If I’m not misunderstanding you, then your conclusion, then, is that a remark in Romans about how the government isn't supposed to punish people unless they are evildoers can be put into the context of an exclusive job description for the government, meaning that the government cannot do anything but punish evildoers.

I don't believe Caleb agrees with this. He said earlier in this forum that it is very dangerous to build a whole doctrine on only one passage in scripture, especially if it is taken out of context.

Also, I think that you believe that it is wrong to do anything that the Bible doesn't specifically say it is okay to do, at least for the government.
Are these the logical foundations you’re referring to, or am I getting it wrong?

As for Caleb’s logical foundation, I believe it has to do with the fact that Scripture tells us everything we need to know, and a belief that we need to know whether or not the government should build roads.

Jay, if it seems that I disagree about a logical foundation that is a premise of this forum, and that we are supposed to already agree about, then I would be willing to not post anymore, as that would only be a hindrance to the discussion. It is your forum, and I understand if you don’t want people who disagree about the basic premises and hermeneutics. I've already dragged on this discussion about roads for several months and I can imagine that this may be frustrating to you and other members.

But before we go into any of that, I would like to see your full argument, and maybe a reply to some of mine.

In Christ,
Daniel.
P.S. Merry Christmas!
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:00 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
But my other post, where I addressed your arguments, still stands.

I suspect that that one person, whoever he may be Smile has read your arguments and replied to them. The reason he's not "getting it" is because he doesn't feel that he has seen a sufficient reply to his objections.

Dr.,
Which post are you referring to? Is it the one on page 4? If I know which post it is, I may be able to address your arguments better.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Basically, I think you believe that all Scripture means exactly what it says, even if it is completely taken out of context. Am I right, or am I misunderstanding you?


Well, yes, except that we work hard at not taking texts out of context. Context is very important.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
If I’m not misunderstanding you, then your conclusion, then, is that a remark in Romans about how the government isn't supposed to punish people unless they are evildoers can be put into the context of an exclusive job description for the government, meaning that the government cannot do anything but punish evildoers.

I don't believe Caleb agrees with this. He said earlier in this forum that it is very dangerous to build a whole doctrine on only one passage in scripture, especially if it is taken out of context.

Actually, no. This verse is only one which we are using for our argument. If you look at my post in the middle of page 3, you will see that I site a couple of others.

So, if you will point me to the post you are referring to, I would be happy to try to address your arguments.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:44 pm

caleb wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
But my other post, where I addressed your arguments, still stands.

I suspect that that one person, whoever he may be Smile has read your arguments and replied to them. The reason he's not "getting it" is because he doesn't feel that he has seen a sufficient reply to his objections.

Dr.,
Which post are you referring to? Is it the one on page 4? If I know which post it is, I may be able to address your arguments better.

Caleb,
When I said, "My other post" I was referring to the one at the top of page six.
When I said, "His objections" I was referring to that and the one on page four.
Sorry about my lack of clarity there.

caleb wrote:

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Basically, I think you believe that all Scripture means exactly what it says, even if it is completely taken out of context. Am I right, or am I misunderstanding you?


Well, yes, except that we work hard at not taking texts out of context. Context is very important.

You say context is very important. I definitely agree with you here. However, what I've understood from some of Jay's posts is that he does not believe context is important (sorry if I'm understanding you wrong, Jay).
caleb wrote:

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
If I’m not misunderstanding you, then your conclusion, then, is that a remark in Romans about how the government isn't supposed to punish people unless they are evildoers can be put into the context of an exclusive job description for the government, meaning that the government cannot do anything but punish evildoers.

I don't believe Caleb agrees with this. He said earlier in this forum that it is very dangerous to build a whole doctrine on only one passage in scripture, especially if it is taken out of context.

Actually, no. This verse is only one which we are using for our argument. If you look at my post in the middle of page 3, you will see that I site a couple of others.

So, if you will point me to the post you are referring to, I would be happy to try to address your arguments.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb


I wasn't actually trying to address the specific scripture here, but the method Jay uses with all scripture, which is to take it out of context and still treat it with authority. Again, sorry for my lack of clarity. I wasn't trying to say this is the only scripture that Jay is using, but that he believes it is okay to take it out of context. (Although I can only really think of two verses that I have seen either of you use in your argument.) Jay has referred to the passage in Romans and another in 1 Peter. The other scriptures that you used in the middle of page three were used to establish a context for the command to "prepare thee a way" in order to figure out to whom the command was directed. So these do not prove the point, but only cancel out a previous attempt to disprove the point. Also, this shows that you place a high value on context, as do I.


So in summary,

A) My main arguments are at the top of page six and in page four.

B)While I do not believe you are founding your argument on only one Scripture, I have only seen two, and both of those seem to me to be taken out of contest. I explained this in further detail in my main arguments.

C)Also, it seems to me that Caleb believes that context is important and crucial to understanding the meaning of a verse, and Jay believes that it is not important, or at least not crucial. Am I right, or is this not what you two are saying?

Hope this helps.

In Christ,
Daniel

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:03 pm

Greetings,

I am observing several pertinent facts.

1) We are repeating ourselves (all of us), and are not getting anywhere.

2) I am constructing a thesis which answers all of the esteemed Dr.'s assertions adequately (I think), yet due to many pressing responsibilities, I am being slow in completing it. Sorry.

3) The esteemed Dr. is assuming that I hold context as unimportant because I have not responded to his attacks on my position yet (reserving it for my thesis). If you want to know what I believe about context and hermeneutics, read this article and its sequel on my blog. I can assure you that I apply the principles that I outline in those articles in my thesis.

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Dr. Hipopótamo
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:03 pm

Jay,
I read those posts on your blog, and I see that you definitely do not think that context is unimportant. It was very interesting to look at your blog --I didn't even know you had one. I liked what I saw, and I am sure you do not deliberately disregard context.
Like you said, one of my reasons for thinking you did was the fact that you had not responded to my post about the context of the verses you mentioned.
Like you said, one of my reasons for thinking you did was the fact that you had not responded to my post about the context of the verses you mentioned. That, combined with these two posts, made me think you believed context was unimportant.
Sir Emith Mimetes in the "Sufficiency of Scripture" discussion wrote:

Something that we can now discuss here is the degree to which inferred and deduced instructions in the Bible are binding to us. If the Bible mentions something in passing when discussing something else, which thing mentioned connects with another side note elsewhere, both working together to logically construct a definition of something, how binding is that definition? If it is not binding, then I submit to you that we are not trusting the inerrancy, validity, and supremacy of God's Word.

Maybe the issue here was a misunderstanding of what you meant by "in passing". What exactly do you mean by this? I don't believe there is any place in the Bible where something is brought up that is irrelevant to the surrounding context. Do you? Or do you mean something else, like that a premise that is brought up to support a conclusion in one passage can be used by us to support another conclusion, because the premise is true?
If you were referring to the passages you mentioned in Romans 13 and 1 Peter, I don't believe that your conclusion is a proper use of hermeneutics because it takes them out of context. I interpreted this post to be an explanation of why it's okay to take these out of context. But apparently it was not, and you do not actually believe that you have taken those verses out of context, and you will explain why in your thesis.
Caleb wrote:

First of all, (and I'm surprised Jay didn't catch me on this) my argument used a very dangerous hermetical ploy. I built a doctrine off of one, and only one verse in the Bible. This is very dangerous to do, and one which usually leads to wrong conclusions or heresies. (Don't worry, I'm not condemning my past self as a heretic.)

Sir Emith Mimetes wrote:

I actually did notice that hermeneutic error, but I decided not to focus on that. I knew that every verse must work in harmony: there can be no schism in the Bible. Therefore I set myself to see how the verse that you brought up fit in the context of all the other passages.

I believe that the danger in building a doctrine off of one and only one verse is that it is so easy to take that verse out of context. Looking at your reply, combined with the other things I mentioned, I assumed that you did not believe taking a passage out of context was such a big deal. I see now that you were not saying that.

So, I apologize (again Embarassed ) for misunderstanding you, and look forward to seeing your thesis.

In Christ,
Daniel

P.S. Yes, we have all been repeating ourselves a lot. Sorry for my part in that. I'll try to stop posting in this room now until you post your thesis Caleb replies to my "objections".

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:07 am

Dr.,

Thank you for liking my blog. Smile I am also glad that you now agree that I hold context in the utmost regard. Very Happy

I will get to work and answer your questions in my thesis. Smile

Basically, my view is that a certain passage can make certain statements of fact that can be applied to other contexts than the one it is used in, if it remains within the limits of the meaning which it holds when taken in context of the passage at hand. If that didn't make sense, just wait until I write my thesis. Haha. Smile

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:30 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Basically, my view is that a certain passage can make certain statements of fact that can be applied to other contexts than the one it is used in, if it remains within the limits of the meaning which it holds when taken in context of the passage at hand. If that didn't make sense, just wait until I write my thesis. Haha. Smile

Emeth,

I've reworded your statement two different ways for clarity.

"A statement of a fact presented in a certain passage can be applied to a different intention than is intended in the context, if it remains within the limits of the meaning it is given in the context."
or
"A statement of a fact presented in a certain passage can be applied to a different purpose than is intended in the context, if it remains within the limits of the meaning it is given in the context."

Are either of those correct?
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:27 am

Jordan,

Actually, both of those are accurate. Smile But I think that the second is closer to precision. Thank you.

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:59 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Jay,
Thanks for the references. I looked them up, and it seems to me that they were both written to Christians about government, and not written to government as a complete outline of their duties (although they can be used for reference). Here are my comments on each one individually:

Romans 13...

The important thing here is to look at context. This is the place in Romans where he is briefly covering several different aspects of the Christian life, and encouraging believers in how they are to live in view of God's mercy. In a more immediate context, this portion of the letter is not written to government workers about what they should do, or even to Christians about what the government should do. It is written to Christians about what Christians should do, and that is to submit to the governing authorities. It tells Christians not to resist authority, and this is where it mentions that the government punishes evil and praises good, using this as a point to show that those who do good have nothing to fear from the government. I don't see anything here that indicates that this is an exclusive command for everything that government should do.


You're right Dr., the main intent of this passage is about how Christians are to respond to the government. It is not written primarily to outline how the government is to be run. However, these verses do tell us what the job or purpose of the government is. It does this as a reason for us to submit to it, however, in doing so, it also tells us what the government should be doing.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
1 Peter 2: 11-17...

This passage, like the other, is addressed to Christians, and not to the government, and couched in the middle of a laying out of several Christian responsibilities and exhortments. Also, verse fourteen is about governors, and not the whole government. So I don’t think we can apply it to everyone in government. It’s only talking about the king sending the governors, not about God sending the government. If we take verse fourteen to be an exclusive job description for governors, then it would be an inconsistancy not to take verse thirteen as a job description for the king.


Yes, you're right. Again, this is written primarily to the people in regards to how they should react to the government, but in doing so, this passage does briefly outline the responsibilities of the government. This passage is showing us the responsibilities of the government so that we know why we are to submit to it. Thus, if we recognize the intent of the passage, we can safely use it to show what the government should be doing.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
It seems like your main argument for your that these are exclusive lists is that it would be impossible to list everything the government can’t do. (Am I correct here?) But why would it be impossible for the Bible to list everything the government can’t do? The government is bound by the same laws that the rest of us are, except that they have the responsibility of oversight and the right to punish criminals. The Bible lists everything we can’t do (do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, etc.) There is no exclusive list in the Bible of things that we can do, so why should there have to be one for government?

Keep in mind that these aren't the only two passages that outline the role of the government. These give us a general overview of the government's responsibilities, but the Law and other passages detail certain areas specifically to show how this general overview is played out.

Here's one of the reasons why I believe the Bible gives a list of don'ts for people and dos for the government. God has designed the life of Christians to be freeing and walking in a liberating relationship with Him. Much of the Law isn't even prescriptive to us, however, that which is, is there to bring us to the cross so that we can be saved and walk in a relationship with God. This means that it is simpler to gives us the don'ts of the law rather than all of the dos. (Even though there are several passages which give us dos.)

The government, on the other hand, is to be limited and small. This means that it is more efficient to list the dos rather than the don'ts. Government is not a main function or sphere of life. In fact, it is to be one of the smaller. This is why we are given mostly dos for the government (though, again, we are given some don'ts.)

I hope that answers your objections. For the main topic of this thread, however, see my post in the middle of page 3. This is where I do bring up other passages addressing the topic at hand along with a careful context study.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:58 pm

I think the discussion thus far has neglected to recognize that there is a "do not" inherent in every "do", and likewise a "do" inherent in every "do not".

Exodus 20: 13 says "Thou shall not kill." This verse is a "don't" command. However, the verse also implies "Thou shall respect life." This is much clearer in verse fourteen, which says "Thou shall not commit adultery." Therefore, "Thou shall be faithful to thy spouse."

These statements are logically equivalent. All that I'm doing is stating the logical implication of the sentence. Here's another example.

If "All S is P," then it is true that at least "Some P is S," and possibly "All P is S."

Taking into account Sir Emeth's conclusion that, in my words, "A statement of a fact presented in a certain passage can be applied to a different purpose than is intended in the context, if it remains within the limits of the meaning it is given in the context," I have decided that I agree with the statement created earlier in the discussion, on page three:

caleb wrote:
The government is not to participate in any "utility" but only to protect people's life, liberty, and property, and to punish those who threaten or harm others' life, liberty, or property. Utilities are outside the jurisdiction of the government and are biblically, efficiently, and best left to private companies and individuals.

Considering that I cannot find a definition of "utility" anywhere on this message board, I intended to post a dictionary definition, but I discovered that "utility" is a service provided by a group which is called a "public utility" and is regulated by the government. Since we are technically trying to determine whether or not public utilities should exist, I would like to put forward the term "private utility" as a group which supplies a utility and is not regulated by the government.

The above paragraph taken into account, I think that perhaps we should define what exactly we mean by a "utility" going further, unless we agree that utility's definition is evident enough that we don't need to define the word.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:39 am

Very good observations there. Thank you.

As for the definition of Utilities, I am thinking that we need to define them. How about this (this is kind of what I have been thinking):

Any service provided to a large group of people as a whole instead of to individuals, therefore also called 'public' service.

Basically what we are saying is that these sorts of services provided for the public are fully capable of being supplied by private umm.. suppliers, and are also prohibited from the jurisdiction of government. Make sense?

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:19 am

I think that's a good definition.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:12 pm

Greetings,

Been a long time since I've been on here... Smile

Anyway, Jay,

I do think that definition is pretty good, however, it seems pretty vague to me. Do you think you could make it a bit more specific? Or if you made it to specific then you couldn't encompass all that you want to encompass?

Also, I'm thinking that somethings may fit into the definition that you may not want in the definition. (Though I can't think of any right now.) And I believe you are just trying to include only services like water plants for cleaning our water, the electric companies, roads, things like that correct? Or am I missing something?

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:17 pm

Peter G. wrote:
Greetings,

Been a long time since I've been on here... Smile

Anyway, Jay,

I do think that definition is pretty good, however, it seems pretty vage to me. Do you think you could make it a bit more specific? Or if you made it to specific then you couldn't encompass all that you want to encompass?

Also, I'm thinking that somethings may fit into the definition that you may not want in the definition. (Though I can't think of any right now.) And I believe you are just trying to include only services like water plants for cleaning our water, the electric companies, roads, things like that correct? Or am I missing something?

In Christ,
Peter G.

I made it vague on purpose, yes.

Those are good examples of what I am talking about.

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:01 pm

Ah okay. But do you think we should make it less vage?

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm

It probably could be made more clear, Peter, but it sounds like Jay would like it somewhat vague, at least at present. Smile

By the way, I think this is a good definition for utilities.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:34 pm

Well, I think your right Duchess, but still, I think it should at least become more specific...

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:48 am

Peter,

If you can come up with a more specific definition that does not exclude anything more than is now and which does not include anything that is not now, let me know. Smile

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:22 am

Would 'public services' or 'utilities' then include things like Medicare or Medicade?

-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:52 am

caleb wrote:
Would 'public services' or 'utilities' then include things like Medicare or Medicade?

-Caleb

Hmmm... that seems more like welfare and charity than utilities.

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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