Don Merritt is steadily working his way through the Book of Romans. Recently, he realized a lack of “planning.”
Obviously I haven’t planned very well, for we have arrived at these verses at a moment in time where many of us don’t really want to hear this, at least many of us in the US. Like many of you, I am not terribly pleased with my government right now; I am looking forward to the next election, and I’ll just leave it at that. (from here)
‘s problem post is Lesson 4: Dealing with Government, and the subject is Romans 13:1-5. In that passage, the Apostle Paul says we should be subject to the governing authorities. Of course, preaching on that passage just after the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex “marriage” is decidedly unpleasant.
Of course, one thing just had to lead to the other. Nevertheless, instead of writing his own post, chose a reblog for his following post, Rabyd Opinion – A Little Rational Perspective on Gay Marriage for Christians (original post is here). Since it is excellent, I can see why reblogged Rabyd’s post. I have just one minor point of disagreement. That’s with Rabyd’s second point.
2) The Bible condemns homosexuality, not homosexual marriage specifically. We are acting like now that the state has to acknowledge the marriages of homosexuals that it has elevated homosexuality to some greater level. Such is not the case. The Bible simple say the existence of homosexuality is enough. Marriage in this issue is not relevant. (from here)
From a Biblical perspective, same sex “marriage” may not be an issue; however, as a practical matter, same sex “marriage” is a big issue. Why? Here are two major reasons.
- When government licenses same-sex “marriage,” government signals its approval of homosexuality. Because many people already have this foolish tendency to approve of anything that isn’t against the law, that makes the government’s outright approval disastrous.
- When they achieved the “right” of same-sex “marriage,” homosexual rights advocates and their many allies set the stage for an assault on Christianity. How far will this assault go? God only knows.
So what about Romans 13:1-5? When we read the Apostle Paul’s words, they can be quite confusing. When I wrote my take on the Christian’s obligation to be obedient to government (see WHAT IS SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER?), I did not claim to have a complete answer, and I still don’t. However, based upon history what the Bible says, I think these three observations relevant.
- Our first loyalty is to God. When the authorities insist we must do something in disobedience to God, we must refuse.
- Even a bad government is better than no government at all. Therefore, if we cannot replace a bad government with something better, it is sinful to rebel against the government. Note that although early Christians did not always obey their Roman rulers, they did not rebel. They simply chose to obey God first.
- The legitimate government is that government that has the support of the people. That’s why our Declaration of Independence is a moral document. King George had lost all legitimacy. Yet because we are our own worst enemy, we sometimes choose awful people to lead us. When the happens, we must remember the reason. Instead of trying to virtuous — as God wants us to be — we have chosen to do what seems right in our own eyes.