It is great to see you.
Thanks. It's great to hear from you too.
You said that if Christan's really embraced this, they would not kill other Christians during wartime. Do you think that when God said "love one another, he was only talking about Christan's loving other Christan's? Or do you think he was talking about loving all human beings, regardless of religion?
The Bible does teach that Christians are to love everyone, even their enemies. But in this instance it seems Jesus is speaking specifically about Christians loving one another since it says, "by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
If Christians are to love even their enemies then this is especially true about loving one another. This thought is expressed in Galations 6:10. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
Now it doesn't seem to me that this means you should love others outside your faith less. I think the difference lies in the fact that loving your enemy probably is a one way street, while loving a fellow believer should be a two way street. And this two way love should be such that it stands out. And of course, truly loving their enemies should make them stand out also.
The Bible asks Christians what good is their love if they love only those that love them. Even the wicked "tax collectors" do that, the Bible says. So yes I think overall you are right. But if someone is willing to kill their brothers and sisters in faith then what hope is there of such a person truly loving an outsider? They don't even do as good as the wicked tax collectors because they don't even love those that love them back. So if the tax collectors were wicked then what does that say about those that aren't even as good as the tax collectors? And why should their interpretation be taken as the correct one?
I could go on about this for a long time because I feel very passionate about it. I want to fully establish that war is very unchristian. The Jews themselves were expecting a warlike messiah. However, Jesus never instructed his followers to take up arms, not even against Rome. Why? "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." Likewise Christians are commanded to be "no part of the world" and they are said to be "ambassadors for Christ", and by extension Christ's Kingdom. While they live in this world like Jesus did, as ambassadors they should not take part in foreign wars, and they certainly shouldn't take up warring with each other.
In fact, during his arrest one of his disciples did draw his sword and struck one of the soldiers. Jesus instructed the disciple to put his sword away, because, "he that lives by the sword shall die by the sword."
One more point on this. The Bible says this.
In the last days
the mountain of Jehovah’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord."
Now notice this takes place in the "last days". Most Christians will confess to believing we are living in the last days and will point to the fulfillment of prophecy while doing so. So if this is true then this prophecy must be undergoing fulfillment along with other prophecies of the last days.
Is there anywhere that people of all nations can stream and learn about Jehovah and have their disputes settled such that they have "beaten their swords into plowshares" and do not "train for war anymore"?
Furthermore, the Bible says that in the last days the "good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all nations." So if we are living in the last days, as many Christians believe, we should be able to identify an international Christian brotherhood that calls upon Jehovah and that has beaten their swords into plow shares.
This is certainly true of catholicism. Traditionally, the Church is the authority. This is based on Matt16 where JC tells Simon he is the Rock on which the church is built. The church predated the bible by about 300 years. It had to. They were the authority that decided what was and was not to be part of it. there were many gospels floating around at the time and each promoted a parcular theological perspective.
No this is not actually the way it was done. Scriptures had to fit certain historical criteria to be included in the canon. And most Christian organizations today accept this criteria even if they do not believe the way of the Catholics. Furthermore, the Bible doesn't actually agree with everything Catholic. So if they did as you say then they did not do a very good job. Also I find that Catholics are not unique in their belief the Bible is not the final authority. And I find that many that do accept it's authority are unable to answer many questions about it's teachings.