Magi Mike's Blog

Another WordPress blog about politics and religion

Soldiers, Servants of Death, are Guilty of Sin!

with 5 comments

Therefore, no longer love this world or its military service, for Scripture’s authority declares that “whoever is a friend of this world is an enemy of God”. Whoever serves as a soldier with the sword is the servant of death, and whenever he sheds his own blood or that of another, this will be his reward—he will be regarded as guilty either because he caused his own death or because of his sin.

S Paulinus of Nola (c 355-431 AD)

Paulinus was a very rich man, of the Senatorial class with large latifundia in Southern Italy, Gaul and Spain, who quite unlike most modern rich Christians, did what Christ told the rich they had to do to be saved, gave away his vast fortune when he converted to Christianity, except for enough to start an ascetic community. He was made Bishop of Nola (409-431 AD) in Campagna, Italy, becoming a senior bishop of the Church responsible for several important synods.


Written by mikemagee

12 April, 2011 at 10:54 pm

5 Responses

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  1. While I do not agree with S Paulinus of Nola’s interpretation of Scripture from the quote above, it is certainly respectable to be willing to give away one’s riches to follow Christ. However, riches are not the only idol vying for the throne of our heart. It’s an individual thing, I think, like everything else in Christ.


    12 April, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    • Precisely the trouble with Christianity is that it is whatever you chose it to be, or that is what everyone now thinks. It leaves Christianity without content at all, and that suits many people including preachers and prelates.

      Yet Christ’s morality as he lived it and taught it is not optional. Love of others just as if they were God Himself is obligatory. It cannot be greased out of, certainly not by anyone who takes the threat of hellfire seriously, as most Christians claim to do.

      Admittedly in this the world is not judged well, but there is a thick streak of Gnostic dualism throughout Christianity, and it is invoked by the clergy according to how it suits them. What is indubitable is that riches are incompatible with salvation… one reason rich converts like Paulinus gave away their wealth.

      Mike Magee

      13 April, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  2. This is not about riches but about being part of the world system.

    Whether “christ” commanded to give away riches or to share is moot point. It seems communal living was the first practical interpretation.
    The second was to form a commune and live separate from the world. This was only practical if the rich gave up there goods in sharing, and those who could work worked. Soldiers who could defend the commune would also be needed.

    So why the schizophrenia ? It just seemed right to do everything wrong!
    How do we explain the survival of such an anarchic counter culture?
    I think in your ask why site you have traced out reasons why, but the main reason is and was the demography. As jesus reportedly put it ” the poor you will always have with you”! A never ending supply of demoralised emotionally weak individuals that can be brainwashed by love and guilt.
    However it is more effective by being counter to expectations, hence the apparent rejection of soldiers. Later in history soldiers are used to effectively enforce christianity.


    16 April, 2011 at 5:42 am

    • Yes. When the original Essene Jewish communities became gentile Christian, the stricter communal requirements were diluted, and gifts of money were acceptable to the bishops, when before all wealth would have been shared. Equally, the Christian soldiers, following Essene tradition, were ready to fight the “good fight” a holy war, but would not fight for the “rulers of this world”. They were conscious of that Gnostic dualism. Now every Christian is certain that only their own nation is good and everyone else deserved to be murdered!

      Mike Magee

      16 April, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  3. […] The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s Additionally you can look at this related post: […]

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