I did not “distort the truth”

Dear Editor,

Thank you Afamasaga Tole’afoa for your response to my letter.

Here are some points on which I believe you erred.

I did not distort the truth, nor quote Jesus or the Bible out of context. Your first response to my quoting Luke is to try to quote Paul as if to refute Luke, who wrote many good things about Paul in Acts. 

But make no mistake about this: Paul and Jesus had very different understandings about the Roman government. And that was a natural result of their different experiences with that authority. Jesus was humiliated, tortured, and hung on a cross to died an agonizing death by the authority of Rome. 

Paul, on the other hand, was a Roman citizen and retained his citizenship and his allegiance to Rome even after he became, as he claims, an “apostle” of our Savior knowing what Rome had done to him. 

And on at least two occasions, Paul whipped out his Roman citizenship card and on that authority of Rome got himself out of trouble. Once he was released from a prison, upon his claim of Roman citizenship, and even made those who had imprisoned him apologize for doing so contrary to Roman law, And on another occasion he asserted his Roman citizenship to save him from being flogged, and probably from being murdered by Jews in Jerusalem. 

As for his words in Romans 13:1-7, Paul was obviously speaking ironically, with his words meant to say the opposite of what they seemed to say. See: https://jesusontaxes.libert...

I certainly concur that one should read all of chapters 7-10 of 1 Samuel to see how the Jews rejected God as their lawmaker for a human ruler. And they should read the whole Bible to see what became of the Jews under their human rulers.

The warning of God and much worse resulted from their rejection of God as their lawgiver. The people suffered greatly under their own Jewish kings, and even more under foreign kinds who took them as captives. God never ordained nor sustained human government, and Jesus clearly did not either.

You are not acknowledging the truth when you deny, as I stated, that ALL governments are sustained by violence. Taxes are enFORCED by violence. 

Every human government taxes its citizens, and every tax law includes enFORCEment provisions whereby the state or other government authority relies on force, violence and/or coercion to sustain itself. Ergo, it follows as night follows day that all human governments are dependent on violence for their very existence. If you know of a government authority that doesn’t collect taxes, let me know about it, and I assure you it isn’t a human government.

The alternative, which Jesus consistently preached, is the Kingdom of Heaven wherein there is no “rule of law,” for Jesus’ Kingdom replaces the iron rule of law with his Golden Rule.

And speaking of distorting the truth, in the following quote from your letter you say about me, “He infers that Jesus refused to accept the offer by Satan of the world’skingdom because as he claims “they are the devil’s domain” Jesus said no such thing. 

These are Netterville’s own words and are a distortion of the truth. Jesus refused to worship Satan because that will have transgressed the Ten Commandments that he himself gave to Moses at Mt Sinai.

You say those are my own words, but that is a lie. In fact, as I pointed out, those are Saint Luke’s words as they appear in the Bible. See Luke 4:5-7”

“5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”” I did not misquote the Bible--you misquoted me.

As for Satan’s offer of all the authority and glory of earthly human kingdoms, he could have been lying, but if he was lying Jesus would have called him out on it, which he didn’t. Furthermore, if Satan didn’t have that authority to offer Jesus, it would not have been a temptation--as the Bible says it was: “” where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” lUKE 4:2

All of the other claims you make have been made by other people who are loyal to their state governments. I address them here:

https://jesusontaxes.libert... Also see the other essays here: https://jesusontaxes.libert...


Ned Netterville

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