21

Technically, the first ecclesiastical authority to say that heretics should be persecuted was Pope Gregory IX in 1229. The first Church Father to say that heretics should be compelled to recant would be Augustine around 400 AD. The first heretic actually put to death (385AD) was killed by the Emperor - and the Pope was very annoyed at the development. It ...


16

I think we need to deal with 3 cases: The government's laws are consistent with God's laws, like laws against murder and stealing. This is a simple and obvious case: the Christian should obey these laws. The government's laws are debateable applications of valid moral principles. For example, I think U.S. copyright law, which gives the author's heirs rights ...


15

Some Protestant groups, like those represented by the conservative R.C. Sproul Jr and the Acton Institute, believe that even if the government does nothing but evil, one nonetheless is obligated to pay taxes to support it, because what the government does is not the responsibility of the people supporting it but the fault of the government itself. This is ...


14

Survey of Roman law A now deleted (near) duplicate of this question asked if a claim that the Roman law forbid the crucifixion of thieves, so I'll start with that question, which is highly relevant to our exegesis of the Gospel accounts. There are a lot of claims on the Internet and in popular-level books about Roman crucifixion. Some common claims ...


13

Wikipedia's article on this topic is a pretty good place to start, and for in-depth treatment, you'll want By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed (Feser and Bessette; in favor of the death penalty) and Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition (Brugger; against). Also useful is Laurence's "He Beareth Not the Sword in Vain," a 2003 article on the subject....


12

I tend to agree with Marc Gravell's answer on this, but I would like to add that I don't think that any religious influence or moral framework could make a true democracy work. True democracy, history has shown, always degenerates into what Lord Acton described as "the tyranny of the majority" in which the rights of the minority get trampled by the opinion ...


12

Yes, if the candidate was voted for because they were pro-abortion Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) succinctly summed up the Catholic Church's teachings in the memorandum "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles": A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy ...


12

What lies below is certainly not the only way to interpret this scripture, but it is one way I find extremely compelling, and to my knowledge, provides a reasonable historical understanding. This passage in scripture is built on a long foundation of culture and history, which is largely lost on a modern audience. First, a reminder about the immediately ...


11

While many Christians are against the death penalty, there is also biblical sanction for it. Genesis 9:6 commands the killing of those who commit murder- He who sheds a man's blood, by man shall shall his blood be shed. For many fundamentalists, such a clear case for the death penalty means that the death penalty should thus be supported. The key ...


11

Summary: Rahab is widely praised for protecting the Hebrew spies, despite her betrayal of her countrymen, but opinion among both church fathers and modern commentators is divided with respect to her false report. Hiding the spies Church fathers such as Gregory of Elvira and Cassiodorus praise Rahab's protection of the spies and see in her an image of the ...


11

In Revelation 22 it says: Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” Christianity is not by nature a conquering faith. In 1 Corinthians 5: I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral ...


10

I agree with your assessment. You really answered your own question - don't do it. That's as far as the civil disobedience can go in that case - not participating yourself. Anything else (speaking out against the activity, protesting, etc) isn't civil disobedience, it's merely exercising your first amendment rights. The only way that I can see such ...


10

Catholicism does not keep a comprehensive list of what does and does not constitute a sin; there are too many actions with moral consequence to allow for such a list. Although the Catechism of the Catholic Church does point out several actions (including procuring an abortion) as sins, even grave sins, it says nothing specifically about voting for candidates ...


10

Foundations: Taxation and private property are in tension The commandment (Exodus 20) "Thou shalt not steal" implies the right to private property, and this is everywhere assumed in Scripture (even in Acts 5). If princes had the unlimited right to tax, to any extent and for any purpose, there could be no private property. All would belong to the state, or ...


9

My understanding is that the passage quoted does not forbid all oaths in general, but in specific was addressing the practice of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were invoking the name of God, or heaven in their oaths, and breaking them. I don't see myself where the Scribes or Pharisees are mentioned specifically. I'd have to study it out further, but I do ...


9

Christianity does not hold a "church and state must be separate" view at all; that might be part of the US constitution, but : not universal - and to all intents and purposes it is not even correct in the US, since it is quietly acknowledged that you don't stand much chance of election if you are openly non-Christian (regardless of your actual views). Indeed,...


9

The Church of Scotland is not a state church. It is recognised as "national church", but it is independent of the state in matters spiritual. The Church of Scotland and the Church of England have very different histories - it is not a question of one trying to imitate the other. The Scottish Reformation of 1560 took place when Scotland was still a separate ...


9

No, no and no. But it doesn't matter. He was guilty of what he was charged of. Blasphemy. Claiming to be God. The thing he was guilty of did carry a death penalty under Jewish law. The Jews couldn't actually administer the death penalty, they had to get something to take to the Romans to get clearance. The Roman governor (Pontus Pilate) operated the trial ...


9

Q. Why do Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to pledge allegiance or salute the flag? A. The answer is found in the very definition of what the words "pledge" and "allegiance" mean and on what God's word the Bible states / shows to Whom we are to pledge our allegiance. pledge noun \ˈplej\ a serious promise or agreement a promise to give money ...


9

It's special because the PLO is not a sovereign body, that is, it is not a national or supra-national body like other countries or the United Nations or European Union. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is headquartered in Rome, and is "widely considered a sovereign subject of international law" [according to a quote in Wikipedia]. Although the ...


8

I think this has to do with whether biblical laws should apply to non-Christians or not. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV) 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." So, we should not seek to judge outsiders. Not even by ...


8

Quakers are considered one of the "peace churches" who oppose war of any kind, and typically refuse to participate in it. However they are also not a denomination which expects everyone in it to do exactly what the church says. See this article for more information. The biblical basis for pacifism is discussed here. I believe that some Quakers have indeed ...


8

In the Bible one of the 10 Commandments says "Thou Shalt Not Kill". However the belief is based on many other references too. Quakers also refuse to swear oaths, on the basis that they always tell the truth and will not swear in God's name or any other. The Quakers formed unarmed pacifist units to supply relief to refugees and ambulances to drive in ...


8

No, there is no Biblical imperative for us to participate in government in the way you describe. The New Testament doesn't say much about our relationship with government, because the emphasis is on our membership in Christ. We are to be less concerned with things of the world, and more concerned with the things of God. Here's what the Bible does say ...


8

Can Christians be judges? Yes. We are told to judge others within the church. (1 Cor 5:12) As @CecilBeckham said, we are told not to judge people's hearts/righteounness. (Mt 7:1-2, Lk 6:37) We are also told not to be hypocritical in our judgment (Ro 2:1) Paul endorses the idea of governmental authority in Romans 13, and says Romans 13:4 (NASB) But if ...


8

To be clear, the Church Fathers were specifically against rebellion. This being said however, some Church Fathers have in fact rather bluntly suggested that the affairs of the state and the power struggle involved in such activity is often times contrary to the Christian faith. Tertullian I owe no duty to the forum, the election-ground, or the senate-...


8

The requirement to obey government laws is based on the Book of Romans, chapter 13, where the Apostle Paul writes: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling ...


7

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 seems to tell Christians not to use man-made laws to force non-believers to live or behave according to Christian beliefs. Instead, it tells them to disassociate themselves with those WITHIN THE CHURCH who behave immorally, and to leave those outside the church to God's judgment. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 King James Version (KJV) 9 I ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible