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 Defining a Citizen

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caleb
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PostSubject: Defining a Citizen   Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:59 am

All nations have citizens. (At least to my knowledge they do.) Citizens are supposed to have special rights over non-citizens in a country. (One example is if a country's citizens are attacked by terrorists, the government usually goes to war against the terrorist group or the country from which the group operates. However, the country would usually not go to war if the victims were not citizens of that country.) So:

Who is a citizen? Or in other words, what qualifications must you meet to be a citizen?

Does age, place of birth, parent's nationality effect whether a person is a citizen or not?


To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:13 am

Maybe a definition from Webster's 1828 Dictionary will get things going here. He defines citizen as:

Quote :
CITIZEN, n.
1. The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as distinguished from a foreigner, or one not entitled to its franchises.
2. A townsman; a man of trade; not a gentleman.
3. An inhabitant; a dweller in any city, town or place.
4. In general sense, a native or permanent resident in a city or country; as the citizens of London or Philadelphia; the citizens of the United States.
5. In the United States, a person, native or naturalized, who has the privilege of exercising the elective franchise, or the qualifications which enable him to vote for rulers, and to purchase and hold real estate.
If the citizens of the United States should not be free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.

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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:25 am

caleb wrote:
Maybe a definition from Webster's 1828 Dictionary will get things going here. He defines citizen as:

Quote :
CITIZEN, n.
1. The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as distinguished from a foreigner, or one not entitled to its franchises.
2. A townsman; a man of trade; not a gentleman.
3. An inhabitant; a dweller in any city, town or place.
4. In general sense, a native or permanent resident in a city or country; as the citizens of London or Philadelphia; the citizens of the United States.
5. In the United States, a person, native or naturalized, who has the privilege of exercising the elective franchise, or the qualifications which enable him to vote for rulers, and to purchase and hold real estate.
If the citizens of the United States should not be free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

I think that the first definition is the one that applies best in general, but we still would need to discern what types of 'privileges' a citizen would have over a foreigner living in the nation. I see very few possibilities beyond voting. What do you think?

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:12 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
I think that the first definition is the one that applies best in general, but we still would need to discern what types of 'privileges' a citizen would have over a foreigner living in the nation. I see very few possibilities beyond voting. What do you think?

So you are saying that you are a citizen if:

1. You are born in the dominion of that country. and or
2. You set up residence in the dominion of that country.

I'm guessing that most of the privileges that differentiate between citizens and foreigners will need to wait until Liberty's Light 2, right?

I'm starting to see the need for two groups of citizens. This is seen in age with regards to privileges. Think of it this way: an unborn baby or an infant is a citizen in that it is a human, is residing in that country, and qualifies for all of the rights of a human. That means that they must be protected by the government. Anyone who commits a crime against them (see definitions on crime) is subject to punishment. However, the baby is not qualified for all of the privileges of a citizen such as voting. Which I guess is how things are done nowadays anyway. Does that make sense?

Finally, should parents' nationality influence someone's citizenship. If a couple who are citizens of France, visit our nation and have a baby, but then return to France, is our nation responsible for that baby? I submit that it is not, unless the parents move to our nation and become citizens themselves. A nation should only be responsible for protecting the younger citizens while they are in that nation's dominion. Does that make sense? Of course, now that I say that, I can think of situations that might make me think otherwise. I'm sorry if I'm being confusing. I haven't thought this out, so I'm writing my thoughts as they come to me. This is a harder topic than I originally thought. Some of it might have to wait until Liberty's Light 2.

I need some other's thoughts and ideas before we get to a conclusion. Can anyone muddle through this post?

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:08 am

Caleb,

Yes, the differences in privileges between citizens and foreigners is more of a discussion for Liberty’s Light 2.

I would agree with this definition of a citizen. However, I would like to add one more point to it in order to clarify some items regarding children.

I don’t think that we would need two different groups of citizens, but rather, when we expand the citizen definition to include privileges, we will just need to specify the age groups in which certain privileges are allowed. For right now, we can probably just leave it as a general definition of what the minimum requirements of a citizen are.

A way to protect unborn babies and infants (this is looking from the view point of when we write a constitution) is to write the definition of citizen using the word ‘person.’ Then, somewhere in the written law, state the definition of a ‘person’ clearly. Within this definition, word it to indicated that unborn babies are subject to the privileges of a citizen and such.

And your last question, I would argue that the baby is not within the responsibility of the said nation. If neither one of the parents are citizens and if neither one of them have a residence set up within the said nation, the baby is not protected by our laws according to your second point in your definition of a citizen. This is where my final point to add to the definition of a citizen comes into play.

Here is a third point that I think could be added to the definition of a citizen: Foreign-born children under a certain age (to be decided later), that live with their parents (one of which must be a citizen of the said nation) in the dominion of the said nation, are considered citizens of the US and are protected by the law. When this child reaches the said age, then they must go through the process to become a citizen (whatever that maybe), but up until that age, it would be the nation’s responsibility to protect that child.

Also, we put this definition into an actual constitution, point two will have to be clarified a bit. But, for just a general definition of a citizen, it is good as is.

So, in summary, I would say that the definition of the citizen includes these points:

1. A person born within the dominion of the said nation
2. A person who has set up residence in the dominion of the said nation
3. A foreign born child under a certain age, living with their parents (at least one of which must be a citizen) within the said nation.


Much of the points that much be dealt with in the definition are probably a better discussion for Liberty’s Light 2. So, this definition is probably going to end up being pretty generic.

Any other thoughts?

Blessings,
Hannah

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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:40 pm

Hannah Marie wrote:
Caleb,

I don’t think that we would need two different groups of citizens, but rather, when we expand the citizen definition to include privileges, we will just need to specify the age groups in which certain privileges are allowed. For right now, we can probably just leave it as a general definition of what the minimum requirements of a citizen are.

A way to protect unborn babies and infants (this is looking from the view point of when we write a constitution) is to write the definition of citizen using the word ‘person.’ Then, somewhere in the written law, state the definition of a ‘person’ clearly. Within this definition, word it to indicated that unborn babies are subject to the privileges of a citizen and such.

And your last question, I would argue that the baby is not within the responsibility of the said nation. If neither one of the parents are citizens and if neither one of them have a residence set up within the said nation, the baby is not protected by our laws according to your second point in your definition of a citizen. This is where my final point to add to the definition of a citizen comes into play.

Here is a third point that I think could be added to the definition of a citizen: Foreign-born children under a certain age (to be decided later), that live with their parents (one of which must be a citizen of the said nation) in the dominion of the said nation, are considered citizens of the US and are protected by the law. When this child reaches the said age, then they must go through the process to become a citizen (whatever that maybe), but up until that age, it would be the nation’s responsibility to protect that child.


Blessings,
Hannah

Hannah,

Great post. I appreciate the thought and effort you put into each writing. I like your first suggestion about specifying which privileges apply to which age groups. I think, to make things simpler, we could directly include the unborn child in the constitution instead of saying "person" and defining person through another law. I'm not sure about your third point (which is also connected to your second.) It almost sounds too American and less Biblical. Again, I haven't studied what Scripture says about citizenship, so maybe I shouldn't jump to that conclusion so quickly. Could you maybe do a Biblical study on citizenship opposed to foreigners? I agree, however, that most of it may have to wait until LL2, yet this Bible study may be able to give us a better general definition.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:09 pm

And when you say:

Quote :
2. A person who has set up residence in the dominion of the said nation

Will there be requirements? or just someone who decides to live there?
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:55 pm

Caleb wrote:
Hannah,

Great post. I appreciate the thought and effort you put into each writing. I like your first suggestion about specifying which privileges apply to which age groups. I think, to make things simpler, we could directly include the unborn child in the constitution instead of saying "person" and defining person through another law. I'm not sure about your third point (which is also connected to your second.) It almost sounds too American and less Biblical. Again, I haven't studied what Scripture says about citizenship, so maybe I shouldn't jump to that conclusion so quickly. Could you maybe do a Biblical study on citizenship opposed to foreigners? I agree, however, that most of it may have to wait until LL2, yet this Bible study may be able to give us a better general definition.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Caleb,

First off, I would still hold to the idea that we define 'person' in an actual constitution when we come to that point. This is to prevent the definition from being subject to change for different laws and to prevent loopholes in the law.

Secondly, I do realize that my post sounded a bit American. I added the last point because I was looking ahead to some things that it would be helpful for in the future. One of them namely was that the third point would be necessary when we look at adopting children within the said country. Without that third point, the adopted children would not be protected by the nation. Also, in Israel, I noticed the foreigners were allowed to live with the Israelites, provided that they worked with them for food (and other benefits), practiced and obeyed their laws, and participated in their ceremonies. I believe this is a helpful point to both children and adults being allowed to become citizens to a nation they were not born within.

Thirdly, I believe that both the first and the second definitions of a citizen are found to be Biblically accurate by using Israel as an example. Citizens of Israel were either born into the nation or lived within the nation, practicing their laws and ceremonies. While the third point is not found specifically in the Bible, I was basing this point off the treatment of Israel to foreigners and their policies for accepting foreigners as 'citizens.'

Peter wrote:
Will there be requirements? or just someone who decides to live there?

Peter,

Yes, there will most likely be requirements. But, these restrictions and such are more for a discussion on Liberty's Light 2 in the future.

Blessings,
Hannah

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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:09 pm

Okay, thanks. Just wondering because you guys left it wide open. Very Happy

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:06 am

So, can we conclude that a citizen is:

1. A person born within the dominion of that nation.
2. A person who has set up residence in the dominion of that nation through the process that that nation requires.
3. A foreign born child who meets certain qualifications, especially in regards to their parents, guardians, or adopting parents.


I added the clarification to point two because illegal immigrants come into a country and set up residence, but they should not be considered citizens. They must first go through any process that that nation requires of them before they can be considered such. Same goes for point three, only it has to do more with adoption or a baby born in one country to parents who are citizens of another. Make sense?

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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:44 am

caleb wrote:
So, can we conclude that a citizen is:

1. A person born within the dominion of that nation.
2. A person who has set up residence in the dominion of that nation through the process that that nation requires.
3. A foreign born child who meets certain qualifications, especially in regards to their parents, guardians, or adopting parents.


I added the clarification to point two because illegal immigrants come into a country and set up residence, but they should not be considered citizens. They must first go through any process that that nation requires of them before they can be considered such. Same goes for point three, only it has to do more with adoption or a baby born in one country to parents who are citizens of another. Make sense?

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Caleb,

The difficulty with this conclusion is that it focuses almost utterly on those things which are not necessarily transcendent and which can be applied everywhere, and less on those things which are part of the immutable duty of nations.

For my part, I see how a nation could easily have a Biblical government, and have in place none of those three criteria for their citizens. My view on the matter requires that a citizen be first defined in how he is different from non-citizens. This definition need not necessarily be exclusive of other differences (although some exclusions might be necessary), but merely a minimum of difference. How is a foreigner different from a citizen, and why?

I hope that does not make everyone mad at me.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:28 am

Ok, so how would you define a citizen?

-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:38 am

caleb wrote:
Ok, so how would you define a citizen?

-Caleb

I am not ready, for myself, to define a citizen. What is the purpose of having citizens? That is the first question that we should ask in this thread. What do you think?

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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: Defining a Citizen   Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:00 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
What is the purpose of having citizens?

The purpose would be best explained by and example using America. If our citizens are attacked overseas, we are obligated to do all we can to protect them and punish those who attacked them. They are still under the jurisdiction of our government. However, if visitors from another nation were attacked in America, we would be responsible to see that the law was enforced, but we would not go to extremes such as war to punish the attackers. We would simply put them in custody and send them to their country to be tried and punished.

Citizenship is important because it safeguards specific people who belong to that country instead of harboring anyone in that nation. Citizens know they are still under their country's protection even when not in that country. They always have special privileges as long as the keep the law.

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-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:18 am

Caleb,

Alright, although that by no means exhausts the reasons for having citizens, we can start with that. Taking your answer to be valid (although I would delineate the proper actions differently), I will reply with another question: what is the reason for being a citizen? As in, what is involved in the difference between foreigners and citizens that you mentioned? Why does the government defend its citizens in foreign lands? (By the way, that is all one question, said many ways so that it is clearer.)

What do you think? (Remember to study the Bible on this one.)

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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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: Defining a Citizen   Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:57 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Caleb,

Alright, although that by no means exhausts the reasons for having citizens, we can start with that. Taking your answer to be valid (although I would delineate the proper actions differently), I will reply with another question: what is the reason for being a citizen? As in, what is involved in the difference between foreigners and citizens that you mentioned? Why does the government defend its citizens in foreign lands? (By the way, that is all one question, said many ways so that it is clearer.)

What do you think? (Remember to study the Bible on this one.)

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

I haven't really done any Bible study on this one, but I had this thought: Based on our definitions of the purpose of government, crime, etc. A citizen would be someone who is born under or willingly puts themselves under the authority and jurisdiction of the government. This should answer your questions. The reason for being a citizen is that you are guaranteed to have your life, liberty, and property defended, protected, and rewarded by those who have the authority to do so. If you are not a citizen, you are only guaranteed these privileges so long as it affects citizens of that country. You still belong under the jurisdiction and laws of your native country.

The differences would be these (besides the aforementioned differences): Only citizens would be allowed to vote (if voting was incorporated in the system of government) and hold public office. Only citizens could own land or have a job in that nation. Only citizens would pay taxes. This is probably only a partial list, but it gets you started. The government defends its citizens in other nations because they are still under that government's jurisdiction.

My above proposed base for a citizen (being someone who is born under or willingly puts themselves under the authority and jurisdiction of the government) is kind of based off of Israel's use of citizenship. (Again, remember that the Pentateuch is mostly a descriptive passage of Scripture, not prescriptive.) When Israel left Egypt, some foreigners left with them. These foreigners agreed to abide by many of the laws of Israel though not all of them simply because of the special elements of a theocracy. Those who were under the government's jurisdiction were either born Israeli or agreed to submit under Israel's form of government. I hope this all makes sense. Again, what I've proposed is only a base for our definition of a citizen. I think that it is still too vague to be complete.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:05 pm

Caleb,

With what you said, all peple have to do is say, "Yep, I agree to your rules." Does this make them a citizen? Or is there more for them to do? Or what? I mean because just saying, "Yes I agree." doesn't mean that they mean it, or that they plan to obey it. So what do you have to say about these "problems"?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Alright,

Caleb, you bring up some interesting points, not the least of which is Israel's handling of immigrants. Foreigners were obliged to obey the civil laws of Israel, as well as some of the ceremonial and religious laws, although not all from what I remember. And when you remove the special restrictions that applied to Israel, there is no reason why non-citizens could own land or hold a job. At least not that I know of. Do you have any reasons?

As to the other differences that you delineated, I agree with you as far as they go. A government can only be justly instituted by the consent of the governed (biblical and American principle), and so if one desires to become a citizen, then all he need do is consent. That is in my view, and I think it is logical. The only objections that people come up with for that are either economical or religious. And both of those objections are unfounded in all of the research that I have done. Who cares if they do not mean it? They need to obey it anyways.

As for taxes, well, that is a different subject.

What do you think?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:15 pm

But if you don't mean it, then why would you follow what you "said"? For example, if someone said that they accept Christ, but don't mean it, then will they follow God? I would argue not.

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:42 am

Peter G. wrote:
But if you don't mean it, then why would you follow what you "said"? For example, if someone said that they accept Christ, but don't mean it, then will they follow God? I would argue not.

In Christ,
Peter G.

True, but what difference would it make in the matter of citizenship? True, there needs to be a few more constraints (maybe), but what do you mean by 'following what you say' in this case?

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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.
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mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:18 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
True, but what difference would it make in the matter of citizenship? True, there needs to be a few more constraints (maybe), but what do you mean by 'following what you say' in this case?

Well the fact that we could have Japanese (only for example purposes only, not trying to bear down on any, one country) come in, agree to our rules, but not mean it, and basically not obey them. One term that could be used would be "a wolf in sheep’s clothing". Almost like a terrorist, something like that.

What I mean by "following what you say" is just being honest and sincere about what you state. If I was to say, "Yes I agree to your terms and regulations for your nation." And meant it, then I will "be one with the law" per se. However, if I didn't mean it, then I'll have a criminal record because I wasn’t honest. Make sense?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:52 am

Peter,

The point that I am trying to make is that you will have to obey the law whether or not you are a citizen, so dishonest citizens would have little to gain. Not all citizens can vote either (unless you think it is somehow biblical for newborns to vote), so that is a separate issue. Basically the only advantage that I can think of is the possibility that you will be protected by the nation when you are in foreign countries, which means that you consider the nation's judicial system better than the judicial systems of other nations, which is a good thing. Make sense? Or am I missing something?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
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: Defining a Citizen   Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:30 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Peter,

The point that I am trying to make is that you will have to obey the law whether or not you are a citizen, so dishonest citizens would have little to gain. Not all citizens can vote either (unless you think it is somehow biblical for newborns to vote), so that is a separate issue. Basically the only advantage that I can think of is the possibility that you will be protected by the nation when you are in foreign countries, which means that you consider the nation's judicial system better than the judicial systems of other nations, which is a good thing. Make sense? Or am I missing something?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

Okay, I see where you are coming from. Although, people still disobey the law someway or another. (Hence sin. And the fact we have need of jails.) However, we are almost acting like America in the olden days where they would (for the most part) accept you and you could live under their government. Soon, we will have the same problems that America has today, Illegal Immigration. And that is a bad result. What about this? Or did I go wrong in my logic somewhere?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:36 am

Peter,

What is confusing you about my conclusion is that you are assuming that 'illegal immigration' is bad, and that it is the cause of America's problems. That is, at least, what you are saying. No amount of immigration hurt America in and of itself: that is a sophistry concocted by the bureaucrats to create a crisis in which they get more power (as always).

The question of immigration needs to be dealt with in that thread. Of course, both of these threads depend upon each other to a degree, so we will have to deal with it in both. So: in the immigration thread we will discuss whether or not immigration, or certain types of immigration, is a crime. In this thread we will discuss how the Bible treats citizenship for the NT. Make sense?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
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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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Defining a Citizen   Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:46 am

Jay,

Okay, I (think) understand what you are saying. And to some extent I was just trying to be a bit difficult. (:wink:) But I think I'll go and look at the NT and see what it has to say. How about if people posts some verses that they think apply to citizenship and we can discuss them as a group? What do you think of that idea Jay?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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