|Luke 3:10-14 |
10 And the people asked him, "What shall we do then?"
11 And he answered and said to them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." [Share from your excess with anyone who lacks the necessities of life.]
12 Then the tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Master, what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, "Do not collect any more than you are required to." [Do not defraud anyone; be honest in your dealings; do not take advantage of anyone.]
14 And the soldiers likewise asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force, nor accuse anyone falsely; and be content with your wages."4 [Do not oppress anyone; don't lie; don't want more; don't complain.]
4 Putting John's instructions into the general sense, here is the beginning of repentance for all men starting on the journey of seeking God, which is the single purpose of life.
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14.
Also, note that the King James (KJV)says: "Do violence to no man."
But the New King James contradicts the KJV saying: "Do not intimidate anyone."
And the New International contradicts the KJV saying: "Don't extort money."
The Amplified contradicts the KJV saying: Never demand or enforce by terrifying people."
The New American Standard contradicts the KJV saying: Do not take money from anyone by force."
So the King James is wrong. Unfortunately Robert Barclay, an early Quaker writer, who admitted to not having arrived at a permanent perfection, chose to defend the Quaker refusal to bear arms, based on "Do violence to no man." This then became the basis for the modern Quakers incorrectly telling others that all armies were wrong. Yet remember, the Roman soldiers in Israel were the peacekeepers, the police. So John the Baptist was telling them to perform their duties, without oppressing anyone. They performed as the magistrate, who bears the sword against evil doers, to the benefit of those committed to good. They prevented criminal behavior. Clearly John saw nothing immoral in serving as a soldier; if he had thought so, he would have told them in no uncertain words to change jobs. He certainly had no difficulty addressing the Pharisees: But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, "O GENERATION OF SNAKES, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come." Mat 3:7. Jesus also had no criticism of a Roman centurion, (a Roman army commander of 100 soldiers), who requested Jesus to heal one of his dear servants; in fact, Jesus said about the Roman centurion, "I have not found such great faith, even in Israel." Luke 7:2-9. For more on the true early Quaker position of armies, see Isaac Penington's Protection of the Innocent, and see Submission to Government.