HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 1


The easiest thing to do is to make an argument and then quote a Bible verse that seems to support your thesis. That provokes various reactions.

  • A few people will see the scripture quotation and agree.
  • Some Christians will discount the quotation and refuse to argue on that basis, insisting upon keep the discussion secular, whatever that means.
  • Some non-Christians so discount scripture they will refuse to take scriptural quotations seriously
  • Others, both Christians and non-Christians, will either cite alternative passages or offer different interpretations.

This post is about that last option, a puzzling example of that last option. It is about a series of comments Lander7 made on the following post, IN THE LAND OF THOSE WHO STAND FOR NOTHING, HOW DO WE DEFINE RELIGION?.

How did the confusion begin? With this comment.

Lander7

You stated, “the Liberal Democrat house is not built with simple, harmless, playing cards; it is built with lies”

Is the Conservative Republican house built with truths?

quoted me from a comment I had made here. At first I supposed it rankled that I had express such a low opinion of Liberal Democrat ideology. Since most Liberal Democrats don’t even think they have an ideology — they are just right — many don’t take disagreement well. However, ‘s approach to this topic soon left me scratching my poor noggin. Instead of serving the usual heapings of verbal abuse, he starting quoting scripture with enough familiarity to indicate he was at least somewhat familiar with the Bible.

 

Lander7

The liberal Democrats in power are appointed by God. Your understanding is incorrect. If you are a person who believes the bible is true when men are wrong then repent of your words and side with the bible. If you are one who believes your understanding is greater than Gods then deny these passages and continue to debate what is true.

The founders were only human and didn’t even know not to have slaves so you can stop following their flawed understandings today.

Romans 13:1-6
Submission to the Authorities
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

Eventually, when said this, I began to realize I began to realize and I were debating very different interpretations of scripture. Then the actual debate began.

Lander7

I never stated for anyone not to vote but I can understand the confusion due to the nuance of the discussion.

Let me change the way I say this a bit. I believe that God puts leaders in place per his will, so to be clear, he decides who will be in charge not man.

From this perspective we can clearly vote for anyone we want as easily as we can pray for anyone we want to be in office. There is no conflict and either voting or praying are a positive action and convey a message to God and any other witness.

The issue is after a leader is put in place. This is where I hear people complaining, sabotaging, disobeying, etc. It is at this point that I can clearly see that people are resisting God’s will since he stated that he puts them in power.

Once the leader is in place there should be no more resistance only support per what God stated. There is a time to petition God (Prayer, voting) and then there is a time to obey and support.

When I see the negative comments about Democrats or Republicans I see the evil division that is in fact “disobedience”, rather than cooperation and peace as stated in the Bible.

I also clearly stated that we are judged by God so we do have responsibility with the government. The clear fact that it is currently not working in a peaceful way is our fault.

The people do not believe God, nor do they trust him and so they continue to fight each other over leaders that God placed in power.

I also see where the two parties argue over how to help those in need while at the same time not helping them. Clearly we see as believers how the needy are neglected. We know for a fact that we are tasked by God to help the needy and yet we use the leaders as a scapegoat to ignore our duties.

Again we are responsible.

What is the answer? How should I reply to ? Should I even bother?

Does God appoint our leaders like He obviously did King Saul and King David or do we have a role in choosing them? What is the extent of our responsibility? What answers does the Bible provide?

These are not trivial questions. In fact, they should make us quite uncomfortable for today we are tearing our country apart in ways that rival and perhaps surpass the period that preceded the American Civil War. As Christians, we must each consider what our Lord wants us to about the way our nation’s government works.

  • What is the role of a Christian in a constitutional republic?
  • How high a priority should a Christian give his role as a citizen of a constitutional republic?
  • What has our Lord called each of us to do? If a man or a woman says God has called them to serve as a politician, is it even possible for them to be telling the truth?
  • How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?
  • What is the difference between the obedience we owe to the governing authorities and the obedience we owe to God?

137 thoughts on “HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 1

  1. Phillip below offered the question, “Now, if under normal circumstances one should submit to authority. Is there other circumstances whereas one should rebel?”

    I like to shrink the issue of government down to something smaller so like marriage, husbands and wives. Submission is a heated issue these days, but the simplicity there is kind of easy to understand. Do you submit only to authority you agree with? But if so, is that really “submission?” Also, “why” do we submit? What are the fruits there? Basically one submits to preserve the family structure, to create peace, to cultivate harmony. Also, because one is in a relationship with God, one is working to preserve and protect what He has established. Even when the circumstances are “not normal,” we are still called to honor His design. When we “rebel” is when our leadership is asking something that is completely contrary to what God has designed. God is always the final authority when it comes to marriage and to our government. He is the head. As it says, “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    So we submit to our government authorities to preserve and protect the design, to honor what we believe God has established, all in ways that give glory and honor to God. We are also trying to create peace and cultivate harmony, to maintain and preserve relationship with one another. As a country we are obviously struggling with this issue, but if we wish to thrive together that’s what we’re called to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You make a distinct observation here. I would assert that the most basic form of government in the world is the family, which in the western world is being dismantled. So, there poses a question: If the family no longer exists, do other forms of government have legitimacy? I remember in my Soviet Union class, the goal of the state was to break down the loyalties of the family, the idea was that fundamentally a person could not be entirely loyal to the state with any sense of the familia bond. So, the state attempted to have children snitch on their parents and praised them as true patriots.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. You stated — “I like to shrink the issue of government down to something smaller so like marriage, husbands and wives. Submission is a heated issue these days, but the simplicity there is kind of easy to understand.”

      I would like to open up a bit on how I and my wife obey this.

      My Wife — Submitted to me as head of the house:
      Ephesians 5:22-23
      22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

      Me — I agreed to take full responsibility for the relationship. There is no need to argue about bills, spending chores etc, because they are my responsibility. My wife loves me but if I come home and the dishes need to be done or dinner cooked or house cleaned, there is no argument because it’s my responsibility, so I get to work. She helps me with my life but she is not my maid or employee and even better it’s not her responsibility.

      Genesis 2:18
      18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

      She loves me and she does the best she can to maintain the house and a home business. I am ultimately responsible for everything and it’s not too much to handle. It makes me stronger to work hard with my job and my home. I would also like to note that I rarely need to do any work at home because she is a strong helper. (She even mows the lawn :D)

      I would also like to note that when God sends someone to help you they are, at the very least, your equal in the needs you have and, at best, better than you so they can help you get to the next level. They are strong, intelligent and capable. I think it’s sad when men demean the person sent to help them by God.

      I respect her because I need her input and advice.
      I take care of her like a precious resource that can’t be replaced.
      I lean on her for help because God knows I need it.

      If one does not keep a marriage peaceful and loving one will lose it. The same can be said for a nation.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. @Lander7

        I like the way you put this, in that husbands and wives are actually voluntary servants of one another, rather that only one (the wife) being either a voluntary or involuntary subject. That, I think, is the bigger picture to take away. The patriarchal customs of the Biblical times, on the other hand, are transient, and something that scriptural literalism could magnify beyond the divine eternal message given.

        Such literalism is an error of pride I think: pride by Christins who forget that service comes before authority, and pride by the sort of feminist who rejects scriptural patriarchy without understanding scripture’s deeper messages that transcend the “man made” cultural norms of the moment. I think that this is indeed a tragedy of our times in that both literalists are suffering from the gracelessness of their own loveless condemnation of the other.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would agree that in today’s world people are not reading the bible the way it was written. Men are guilty of being prideful when it comes to marriage and they often use the Bible in a very negative way to push authority. If they approached this the way Christ approached the rest of us things would change greatly and divorce rates would drop.

          I keep hearing how an evil world is destroying Christian marriages but I watch as they treat there spouses badly and it’s very similar to how they speak to opposing political parties.

          If people spend all day practicing how to be disrespectful and angry how do they hope to switch that mindset off when they get home?

          Liked by 2 people

        2. @tsalmon

          What people forget is that the Bible was written for us but not to us. We have to understand that each book was written to a particular audience at a particular time. The Bible describes men and women obeying certain cultural practice, but it does not approve them. In fact, some it explicitly condemned. Idol worship is a good example.

          Since women play important roles in the Bible, including the Old Testament, it would be silly to say God considers women second class. In fact, even though Proverbs is addressed to a young man, the book personifies Wisdom is as a woman.

          If you want to just how important sex is, consider how Jesus answered the Sadducees.

          Mark 12:18-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
          The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

          18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”

          24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

          Why is sex important now? The children we produce will be forever.

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  2. Great discussion. I have a question (not a disagreement) for Lander7. Given the scriptural premises with regard to authority that you have cited, what if a Christian sincerely believes that the authority in question is actually acting outside the discretion that that authority is granted by the sovereign government? For example, in the case of a President who exceeds or abuses the powers granted to him by the Constitution?

    Obviously, this is going to be an argument Christians of any political stripe might make – that if the respect that the Chistian must submit to such sovereign authority are clearly defined, is that sovereign definition also the limit of the Christian’s passive submission and respect?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Q– “What if a Christian sincerely believes that the authority in question is actually acting outside the discretion that that authority is granted by the sovereign government? ”

      A– Then you step forward and fight within the boundaries of the authority God put in place. Make no mistake, this can be a sacrifice. I will place two great examples. One from the Bible and one from the US. Both respect the authority of God and who he put in place but both also fight unjust laws that oppose Bible truth.

      Example From The Bible:
      One need only obey God at all times. As Daniel did at all times and it was noted by those who were jealous of him because he obeyed God and respected authority.

      His obedience to God and respect of authority:
      4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

      The authorities placed in power by God then outlawed prayer to God:
      7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

      Note: Did you see Republicans (in general) respecting the authority of Obama, like Daniel or Democrats (in general) respecting the authority of Trump, like Daniel?

      Daniel then openly did what was right in obedience to God without attacking the authority placed in power by God:
      10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

      The king rightfully punished Daniel because he disobeyed:
      16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

      God spared Daniel:
      22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

      Those who thought to test God’s authority suffered at the hands of the King:
      24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

      Example From The US:
      Martin Luther King Jr was a man of God so if you are looking for wisdom, from a man, on how to change a corrupt government then I would go with this one.

      Martin Luther King Wrote:
      “You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”

      Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. . . .

      Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. . . .

      In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law as the rabid segregationist would do. This would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly . . ., and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tell him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Gandhi called the the type of soft coercion through civil disobedience that you are describing as “soul force”. The practice of this coercion, Gandhi called Ahimsa. To quote Gandi, “Ahimsa requires deliberate self-suffering, not deliberate injuring of the wrong-doer. In its positive form, Ahimsa means the largest love, the greatest charity.”

          When Gandhi spoke before a judge who was about to sentence him to prison for his civil disobedience, Gandhi testified: “Nom-violence requires voluntary submission to the penalty for non—cooperation with evil. I am therefore to invite and submit cheerfully to the highest penalty which can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime.”

          This is, however, a different problem, don’t you think, from when it is asserted that, unlike Daniel’s accusers and Gandhi’s judge, a potentate is arguably acting outside the descression of his authority that the law allows? The is the argument that political rivals would make against Obama and Trump. In such a case, I cannot see how your examples above have much real application, as long as such condemnation of either Trump or Obama is a matter of fat

          Liked by 1 person

          1. (Sorry, accidentally hit “post” too soon).

            …matter-of-fact and done with a sentiment of good will toward those who disagree and respect for the humanity of the erring authority.

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          2. A more recent example of what you seem to be describing is the case of quarterback Colin Kaepernick . Whether one agrees or disagrees with Kaepernick ‘s peaceful protest, he has paid a price for it that should provoke our empathy and understanding, if not our admiration.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. @tsalmon

            I have no idea what was in Colin Kaepernick’s head, but the best I can say about him is that he has an extremely confused understanding of the flag. The flag represents what he says he wants. The flag represent our nation’s unity in our quest to protect each others God-given rights.

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          4. @Lander7

            An important distinction for the Christian to make, I think, is between authority that attaches to the person and is absolute, as in a monarchy, and authority that is derived Institutionally, as in a constitutional republic. The Christian who disagrees with a specific politician is not really disobeying authority in the same way as a subject who disobeys a king.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. @tsalmon

            Your statement is interesting: “The Christian who disagrees with a specific politician is not really disobeying authority in the same way as a subject who disobeys a king.”

            God makes it clear to us that he places all authorities in power thus removing doubt. He is also aware of the different forms of government throughout time. This is a case of faith, do you believe he knows about your type of government when he made the statement or did he not know and now we are in an awkward situation where what he said does not apply.

            This is one of those moments where you either lean on the Bible or lean on your own understanding.

            “…..For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God….”

            To be fair this may also not be a problem since we are not told we need to “agree” with each other. We can easily disagree with politicians, kings, and leaders. We were told to love one another, follow the law of the land, and obey God.

            So when we disagree (and we will) are they disagreeing in peace, respect, and love, under obedience in God? OR Are they spewing hate, anger, and discourse (both parties by the way).

            Liked by 2 people

          6. @Citizen Tom

            You stated — “All authority comes from God, but which is the proper governing authority doesn’t always seem to be obvious.”

            My Response — God addressed this so that we would know.

            Samuel 8: 7
            7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

            God made it clear that he is the best authority, but mankind has chosen to reject him. The only authority that satisfies all sides is God and he made this clear multiple times throughout the Bible.

            But we are now here stuck with leaders that are as described in (1 Samuel 8:10-18, takers), liars, greedy, crass, the list goes on. They are what we wanted, and they are what we must deal with. Obama and Trump for instance do not fit the bill as what you would expect for those who follow and obey God, but I would bet you money that Christians will line up in the streets to vote for both of them tomorrow if needed. Have you noticed that both of them have a cult like following?

            It’s not a hopeless situation, we could all agree to appeal to God for someone better but if we wanted to obtain God himself it most likely would need to look something like this:

            Jonah 3
            5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

            Think about it this way, when was the last time you stopped sinning? Sin is a direct rejection of God’s commands (his authority).

            Which politicians do these verses describe?

            There are six things the LORD hates,
            seven that are detestable to him:
            17 haughty eyes,
            a lying tongue,
            hands that shed innocent blood,
            18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
            feet that are quick to rush into evil,
            19 a false witness who pours out lies
            and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

            Didn’t the people vote, pray and beg for them to be in office?

            Liked by 1 person

          7. @tsalmon

            This is a great set of questions tsalmon.

            Let’s start with the source of authority:

            You stated– “Gandhi called the type of soft coercion through civil disobedience that you are describing as “soul force”.”

            My Response– So I am posting information from the bible that God is describing since this is his writing, I’m not saying this to be smart but rather we need to elevate the perception of what’s being described away from a resource of little status (myself), up to a feared resource (God). I would also note that my second example is from MLK, I don’t want to take credit for MLK’s mindset on this subject but I do believe he followed God in his battle with unjust laws.

            You noted — “The practice of this coercion, Gandhi called Ahimsa…. (Gandhi) “I am therefore to invite and submit cheerfully to the highest penalty which can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime.”

            My response — Nuance. Daniel did not do the same thing Gandhi did. Gandhi was fighting evil in culture and saw suffering as a reward for being pure in heart. Daniel was trying to obey God and talk to him in prayer. It may have been an evil law or even a war with evil but for Daniel, it was simply a Tuesday and he prays daily to God. From his perspective, he is still obeying God by praying (Nothing has changed). If they want to punish him for it he will accept the punishment since he must be obedient to God and respect the King. Below is a scripture that may help.

            1 Peter 2:20
            For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

            We never see a good example where politicians are punished for feeding the poor in America. I see hate-filled words on tv between Democrats and Republicans. I also see accusations of wrongdoing. But what I do not see are Republicans or Democrats moving forward and doing God’s will and then suffering for it against the other party. Both parties go to church on Sunday (I see them) so where is the outrage from the below scripture not being addressed.

            James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

            Colin Kaepernick was standing up for a cause he thought worthy and may suffer for but right or wrong he did this based on a personal concept of justice and morality. This is not a Biblical fight but it is a fight worth having and he didn’t oppose God’s authority when he did it. It is not required by law to stand.

            Colin Kaepernick — “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

            Liked by 2 people

          8. @Lander7

            I whole heartily agree with all of your last two comments, even your nuanced distinctions. Thank you – you have granted me a good deal of truth today to mull on for a while. That’s how discourse should go when they are productive.

            My own nuance here is not really a disagreement. Yes, I agree that God of course knows every possible type of governing authority throughout time, and God’s Will as given to us through scripture eternally applies to them all.

            What is the authority that God establishes that must be obeyed in a Constitutional Republic? It is that of its citizens rather than its political leaders. It is its citizens that God must therefore give power through the institutions of government and the rule of law. This doesn’t change the truth in anything you wrote above, but it is an important matter of perspective on that Truth I think. I think it makes some difference, when say, a politician is violating the law or is corrupt, that we understand that that politician is the one who is actually disobeying those who God granted the authority, not the other way around.

            That said, I applaud what you said about disagreement. Very wonderfully put. I’m as guilty as perhaps anyone of doing just the opposite though.

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          9. @tsalmon

            You asked — “What is the authority that God establishes that must be obeyed in a Constitutional Republic?”

            You also answered your question with — “It is that of its citizens rather than its political leaders. It is its citizens that God must therefore give power through the institutions of government and the rule of law.”

            My response — Where the nuance in differences exist between what you and I believe about or unique government — Governments come from people, this is something that God revealed to us and it makes the understanding clear that the people are not the authority but rather the catalyst.

            1 Samuel 8:6-7
            6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

            God shows us that we can have what we have asked for but only through his authority.

            22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.”…..

            Once what is asked for is in place, they then become the authority that he instituted. You can also see here that the people are not the authority because they are the only ones who can resist it or submit to it.

            Romans 13:1-6
            13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

            This begs the question, why would we resist that which God puts in place? Because we seek to be ruled by people and people are sinful. The answer to this is revealed to us:

            1 Samuel 8:10-17
            11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you:…….
            14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants.
            17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.

            Now, this brings us to the dilemma of unjust laws and what to do about them: Will God fight this battle for us and against those we choose to lead us?

            1 Samuel 8:18
            18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

            You stated — “I think it makes some difference, when say, a politician is violating the law or is corrupt, that we understand that that politician is the one who is actually disobeying those who God granted the authority, not the other way around.”

            My response — It would seem it is now time for us to do what is right and take responsibility for our choices. We reject God and we ask for leaders as a nation, so we need to sacrifice to make a change. This is something Daniel understood, Samuel understood and in modern day times, MLK understood.

            That change cannot oppose God if we want to succeed. We cannot be agents of anarchy, hating our brothers and rejecting our leaders. We must simply show, the love of Christ to those who are corrupt while we remain obedient to God during the process of positive change.

            Liked by 2 people

          10. @Lander7

            I can’t say that I understand all that completely. It is similar to something that I recently read in a book by Reinhold Niebuhr. I think Niebuhr anticipated and informed MLK. At the level of application, MLK also took a lesson from Gandhi, as I mentioned earlier. I too am a fan of MLK.

            I hope we read more from you here. It may be just me, but I’m a little confused on who you think God wants in charge at the working level. (And yes, I agree that God is always in charge). I am a great believer in institutional progressivism. I look forward to hearing more of your ideas on this.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. @tsalmon

            You asked — “It may be just me, but I’m a little confused on who you think God wants in charge at the working level.”

            My Response — If the “working level” is where you and I are (let’s say average citizens of a nation), not leaders granted authority at the top of the said nation. Then we are by far the most powerful force within a said nation because we have no restrictions guidelines or oversight. We can be Christ-like in our actions or anarchists by choice. (note how similar the word anarchists looks like AntiChrist). We are in fact individuals and we make our own choices.

            Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then
            choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….

            An individual is much different than an authority. An individual has no authority itself, but it generates authority through action. An individual is a catalyst for events.

            in·di·vid·u·al
            single; separate. of or for a particular person.

            cat·a·lyst
            a person or thing that precipitates an event.

            e·vent
            a thing that happens, especially one of importance.

            1 Samuel 8: 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say……

            An individual can act alone or gather with more individuals, acting in a way that they desire whether it be right or wrong. We can choose to do what we want but where that leads is still controlled by God.

            Proverbs 16:9
            9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD
            establishes their steps.

            Not everything is on such a big scale. Individuals make small decisions that have big impacts on other single individuals.

            Luke 10
            30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

            36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

            37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

            Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

            We have so many instances of what we should do that we should only be asking at this point, “Why are we not doing it”.

            In my own life, there was a time when I did nothing and asked what should I do? So, this verse applied to me easily.

            Proverbs 6
            6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

            But now I take action and it spreads.

            Matthew 13:23
            23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

            1) Decide who to serve. God? Man? Self? Satan? We have choices.
            2) Take action within the boundaries of your position, available resources, your capabilities, and your belief.
            3) Accept the consequence of your actions and watch what fruit it bears good or bad.

            Liked by 2 people

          12. @Lander7

            To be fair, I think that you may find that the problem with us here on this blog is not one of wanting to take action (particularly political action) to follow the Will of God,. It instead is a strong disagreement on what is the Will of God with regard to the role of government in furtherance of God’s Will on Earth.

            My brother, Tom, is cynical that a sinful man can ever be ruled by anything but a sinful government so more government naturally leads to more sin. I, on the other hand, agree that man is fallen, but have a more optimistic view that institutional progress in creating a more Godly government, although not guaranteed, is both possible and has happened in our history. I assert that the size of government is less important than the Godly or unGodly character of that government, that we get the government that we deserve whether We drone on in a massive Orwellian collective or we suffer the anarchy of the failed state.

            I don’t think either Tom or I disagree with your excellent big picture views or your call to action. Your thoughts are enlightening (at least to me) and well put, but to some extent you are quite elegantly preaching to the choir.

            This is not a dismissive. I am really enjoying your thoughts and hope you will keep going.

            Like

          13. @tsalmon

            You stated — “To be fair, I think that you may find that the problem with us here on this blog is not one of wanting to take action (particularly political action)”

            You also said — “My brother, Tom, is cynical that a sinful man can ever be ruled by anything but a sinful government so more government naturally leads to more sin.”

            My Response — I agree with you 100% in your view. “institutional progress in creating a more Godly government, although not guaranteed, is both possible and has happened”. With that said it’s not likely that we agree for the same reasons.

            A government is not a person and thus it does not sin. The people sin, leaders sin and groups made of people can sin together. When people do the right thing a nation gains from it but when they do not do the right thing the “people” suffer.

            Proverbs 14:34
            34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.

            Let’s say we stop looking at the big picture and just look at one town.

            My town is small and has over 100 churches. We have plenty of righteous holy people. We have a town full of people who stood up to Obama and now the other half is standing up to Trump. They love America and argue every day to save it. My town fills the churches every Sunday and they pray hard for a better America with less sin and more people who come to church. My town raises a great deal of money to help others. My town is really good at pointing out those who do evil in the world and why the way they live their lives is an abomination to God. So, I can tell you right now that I live in a holy town that may know more about God than your town does.

            On the other hand, my town is not good at feeding homeless children that live in it. My town is not good at providing a place for women who are beaten by their husbands to hide. My town is not good at churches fellowshipping together (Sunday is, in fact, the greatest day of segregation in my town). My town is not good at knowing scripture when you bring it up. My town is not good at peace, you won’t feel welcomed everywhere in my town depending on where you are and what time of day it is (and that’s ok) because my town likes it that way. My town is not really good at seeing anything they do as “that bad”, we have the best excuses for our behavior and our bad habits. (little white lies not big ones)

            The people in my town want to make America a better place, a place like my town.

            Do the people in your town also want to make America a better place?

            You stated — ” …I cannot see how your examples above have much real application…”

            My response — Everything I have posted can be summed up quickly in these few words. Obey and trust God regardless of the situation or environment and move forward and do what is good in his sight.

            We are not living in Daniel’s time and we are not living in Gandhi’s time. For every person the price for doing what is right is different. What does doing the right thing look like now?

            What’s the price for standing up in church when scripture is twisted by the preacher?
            What’s the price for backing Obama for doing something right in a red zone or Trump in a blue zone?
            What’s the price if someone brought homeless people into a restaurant to eat?
            What’s the price for marching to demand free healthcare for children under 5?

            There are so many things that are wrong that demand a price to be paid, I know because I see it in scripture when Christ talks about it.

            Being a champion for politics and doing what is right, are not the same thing.

            Matthew 25
            31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

            34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

            37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

            40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

            Liked by 2 people

          14. @Lander 7

            Interesting.

            For the most part I don’t disagree. I don’t know your town, but I guess most of us are hypocrites. When I consider the prospect of trying to meet the standards I want others to meet, I cringe. I know I cannot do it. That’s the lesson of the Sermon on the Mount, I think.

            When I read 1 Samuel 8, what do I see? I see a God who did not want His people to give over to government things that each individual should give to God.

            What’s the price for marching to demand free healthcare for children under 5?

            When we demand ” free” healthcare for children under 5, we have not made anything free. It sounds virtuous, but this is actually a cop-out. We have just empowered politicians to steal from some people (the “rich”, of course) so that they can give “free” stuff to some supposedly deserving group.

            What do politicians usually do with their redistribute powers? They buy votes by giving “free” stuff to their adherents. That sort of thing just leads to corrupt government.

            Charity is a personal responsibility. What God has given each of us, we have a duty to use as He would have us use it in His work.

            Look at Romans 13:1-7. Government “charity” is not there. Because government “charity” does not exist, it is not in the Bible.

            Government is justice, and justice is not something human governments do well. So it is pointless to complicate matters by giving government even more to do.

            Like

          15. @Citizen Tom

            You stated — “When we demand ” free” healthcare for children under 5, we have not made anything free. It sounds virtuous, but this is actually a cop-out. We have just empowered politicians to steal from some people (the “rich”, of course) so that they can give “free” stuff to some supposedly deserving group.”

            My Response — I can amplify your argument even higher. Why feed homeless children under 5? There is no free food.

            The government has no use for children. They do not work and they do not pay taxes.

            Politicians have no use for children since they don’t vote.

            I also never said to use the government but I did say to march for those children to provide free healthcare. You do not need the government to help children stop suffering from lack of healthcare but you do need a heart for it and there will be a price to pay.

            Others have helped children without the government:
            Celebrating 35 Years of Giving
            Newman’s Own Foundation celebrates 35 years of giving. Thanks to our founder, Paul Newman, who started Newman’s Own in 1982 with a single salad dressing and decided to donate 100% of the profits to charity. We continue his legacy today and recently reached a milestone of $500 million in donations, helping thousands of charities and millions of people around the world. http://newmansownfoundation.org/

            What does the Lord say?

            Deuteronomy
            “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

            If you can only afford to feed one will you then keep your mouth shut and not try to rally the people to feed 10 more?

            If you see children in your town who need healing and you have no healers but only physicians, should you then pass by on the other side of the road and ignore them. And if you stop to help one and provide for that one should you then keep silent for the next 10 down the road?

            What rewards are explained in the Bible about electing great politicians?
            What rewards are there in heaven for ensuring nothing is given away for free?

            I see these rewards for giving:
            Matthew 25

            34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

            37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

            40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

            Liked by 1 person

          16. @Lander7

            I favor private charity. If we give joyfully, others will follow our example. The Bible gives examples of how we should go about asking others to be charitable. Are there other ways. I suppose so, but government charity is not one of them, and that is the only point I wish to make.

            Like

          17. This is why I find Paul Newman so fascinating, he found a way, not only to provide for those in need without the government, but on top of that he provides jobs for people and healthier products for consumers.

            This is the good work that the bible talks about, where we do unto others.

            We need more of this and less of that opposition to God and his decisions.

            Let me ask you something Tom, what would happen if every corporation were bought out and then reshaped to do the same thing Paul did? What would America look like then? What would they do without all those lobbyist? How many kids would be saved?

            Newman’s Own Foundation celebrates 35 years of giving. Thanks to our founder, Paul Newman, who started Newman’s Own in 1982 with a single salad dressing and decided to donate 100% of the profits to charity. We continue his legacy today and recently reached a milestone of $500 million in donations, helping thousands of charities and millions of people around the world. http://newmansownfoundation.org/

            Like

          18. @Lander7

            I am not that familiar with Paul Newman’s philanthropy. So I won’t comment on it.

            Bought out by whom? I assume your hope is that all the “good people” would buy out the greedy people, and then we would have a wonderful world. Given human nature, unless a bunch of demagogues rob them, nobody is going to buy out all the corporations and reform them.

            During the Age of the Enlightenment, we saw two examples. In France the demagogues took over. That resulted in the Reign of Terror. In England and America, those in power allowed God to reform them. I suspect that had something to do with the First Great Awakening.

            What the Bible suggest is that we are supposed to spread the Gospel. God changes hearts. Hell is for the hearts of those people who refuse God’s offer of salvation. The Kingdom of Heaven is for those who accept Jesus as their Savior.

            Where people have accepted Jesus we see evidence of the Kingdom.

            Like

          19. You stated — “Bought out by whom? I assume your hope is that all the “good people” would buy out the greedy people, and then we would have a wonderful world.”

            My response — I actually don’t believe anyone is good. People do good things from time to time but there are no good people.

            Mark 10:18
            18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

            You stated — “What the Bible suggest is that we are supposed to spread the Gospel.”

            My response — The Bible suggests lots of things. My earlier reply was meant as an opportunity for the verse below. What does this verse from the Bible suggest to you?

            James 2:14-18
            What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

            Like

          20. @Lander7

            Good works result from faith in the Gospel.

            Romans 10:14-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

            14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

            “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
            Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

            16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

            To some extent I am just saying what you have said with different words. Politics is important. Politics even provides a vehicle for performing good works, but all we can do to get people to perform good works is spread the Gospel.

            Like

          21. @Lander7

            “My town is really good at pointing out those who do evil in the world and why the way they live their lives is an abomination to God. So, I can tell you right now that I live in a holy town that may know more about God than your town does.”

            Seems a little presumptuous. I live in a relatively small town in the Deep South, also where churches make up a major share of the gross local product, but I get your point.

            “Do the people in your town also want to make America a better place?
            You stated — ” …I cannot see how your examples above have much real application…”
            My response — Everything I have posted can be summed up quickly in these few words. Obey and trust God regardless of the situation or environment and move forward and do what is good in his sight.”

            The answer to your question is “yes”. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and have been part of that initiative in my own flawed way throughout my life. As for your big picture, I agree completely. But, as you may have noted from Tom’s comment, the systemics of carrying out what each person thinks is “doing good in His sight” has frozen believers to the point of argumentative chaos, and our less than Christlike example serves to further alienate potential believers from the good news of love that Jesus proclaims.

            Like you said, the devil literally is in the details, and that is what the more Godly people in my town spend all their time fighting about. It is what the whole country is fighting about, while the homeless go unsheltered and the vast prison population grows further.

            Like I said, however, big pictureswise, you’re preaching to the choir here, and I am singing “amens”.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. @tsalmon

            Now, I think we see eye to eye:

            I said — “I can tell you right now that I live in a holy town that may know more about God than your town does.”

            You replied — “Seems a little presumptuous.”

            You are so right and that’s the point.

            Matthew 7:3-5
            3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

            I used my town to make a point and I think you get it.

            You stated — “…”churches make up a major share of the gross local product…”

            — “….frozen believers to the point of argumentative chaos, and our less than Christlike example serves to further alienate potential believers from the good news of love that Jesus proclaims….”

            — “the devil literally is in the details, and that is what the more Godly people in my town spend all their time fighting about. It is what the whole country is fighting about, while the homeless go unsheltered and the vast prison population grows further.”

            My response — You are so right! That’s why I made radical changes in my life.

            First, I left the fight. It’s not my fight. No more arguments, no more justice, no more need to control the outcome.

            Exodus 14:14
            14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

            You would be surprised how freeing it is.

            Second, I started listening to God. I started really reading scripture without trying to change it to fit my broken narrative. To be honest, it always bothered me when preachers would say “It means this, or it means that” when I could plainly see it didn’t say that. So, I learned a new skill, “Ask Questions”, lots of questions.

            Like, Why? Why doesn’t it mean what it says? Why do you think that? Does it mean the same thing if I swap out one word with another? Then I started to see the truth…. impatience, anger, rage, hate, and lack of answers. People revealed a much darker side of themselves to me just from a few questions (eye-opener). So, I don’t waste time anymore arguing, I just ask questions and really listen to the answers because I have a hunger for understanding now.

            Last I started doing my own thing to see how it worked. My own projects because that’s the point. I started seeing things completely differently. When you break from the pack they get a bit nasty.

            The enemy isn’t far off in the white house making the world a mess, the enemy is knocking on our door making us feel like we are doing the right thing when in fact we are rarely doing anything. So, I stopped doing everything I was doing and built it back up from scripture and then just focused on one thing at a time (at my level) despite how people around me felt about it.

            I started with a month off from everything to get the ball rolling. I let my mind settle. I watched as people came and went trying to figure me out and the panic in their faces was sad. So much urgency for me to do things and none for us all to do the right things. (eye-opener)

            That is all I can say about it. It was nice talking to you, I learned a lot from you. Maybe there will be more to talk about another time in another post. 😀

            Liked by 2 people

          23. @Lander7

            I consider working for good government like working for a charitable cause. When we don’t have a good government, people suffer.

            Still, the solution to good government is a secondary effect of saving souls. Our first task must be to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When anyone accepts Jesus is between each individual and God, but God has commanded us to spread His Gospel.

            Like

          24. I see the government as something that needs to be trained by example. If it does not see what we can do, it will not changed.

            1 John 3:17-18
            17 But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him—how can God’s love be within him? 18 Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.

            Like

          25. I think we are supposed to use the resources in our own wallets. There is this commandment about stealing.

            Because we are taught so little about philosophy and not encouraged to think critically, we don’t examine our assumptions. Here is an example. When does the government have the moral right to tax us and spend our money?

            Liked by 1 person

          26. My response — The government has no agency so it is not related to morality. It doesn’t think (it has no mind), it doesn’t feel (it has no emotions), it doesn’t see the divine (it has no soul). The government has no moral compass. Government is power and authority (nothing more or less).
            The only reason I’m stating the (obvious) is that we tend to say things that lead to deceptive thinking practices. I don’t believe it’s safe to think of the government as a moral agency on any level. It tends to either put you in a position that let’s your guard down or makes a person hyper sensitive.
            The government has the power to tax you so it does. They have policies to spend money so they do. You can change the policies but not the power since it is given by God. You can never diminish the power level and even if you thought you could they would surprise you with a new law or policy when you least expect it (because they have the power to do so).
            You stated — “I think we are supposed to use the resources in our own wallets. There is this commandment about stealing.”
            My response — The government is comprised from the money in your wallet. Use it in any way you see fit that is allowed under the law.
            For me personally I wouldn’t use the government to solve these needs for the people because they are to sluggish and greedy. Use your critical thinking skills to rally the people and provide solutions locally or like Paul Newman did nationally.

            Liked by 2 people

          27. @Lander7

            I sort of agree. Government is amoral, but government is made up of people. We form into factions to advocate our interests. We make moral decisions when we choose our interests. What we do as members of a faction to advocate our interests consists of either moral or immoral acts. Hence each of us is responsible to some degree for what our government does either right or wrong.

            Liked by 2 people

          28. Lander7,

            Have you considered that even Pail Newman’s nonprofit corporation is a creature of government? As an entity, it is a legal fiction, a creature of corporate governance laws. I it keeps all the profits rather than donating as it was chartered to do, it is subject to government prosecution and suits in a governmental court by private citizens.

            I don’t think government is amoral, as Tom states. Government, like Paul Newman’s charity corporation, is as moral or immoral as we the taxpayer, citizen, voters decide to make it to be.

            Liked by 1 person

          29. You stated — “Have you considered that even Pail Newman’s nonprofit corporation is a creature of government?”

            My response — Not only do I think such possibilities, I expect them. Sometimes people do good and then sometimes they don’t. As a human being, we can only know so much. Have you ever wondered if you were the only true believer in a crowded church? Life can be tricky, but God keeps it simple for us.

            We can choose to do what’s right as individuals. My suggestion to Tom was to do “Like” Paul’s charity, help those in need. In the end, it comes down to just two, God and the individual. My recommendation is simple and consistent.

            Do what you can where you can to obey God and help others. What a person does is more important than the obstacles or the limitations in this world.

            Like

        2. @tsalmon

          I guess Lander7 is something of what you would call a literalist, but I am puzzled. By cul-de-sac, I assume you mean he has boxed himself in. Exactly what did you mean by that?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tom,

            I guess you would have to define literalism and ask Lander7 if he mistakes the eternal message for the transient details (such as local custom) in the scriptural metaphor. It does not appear so to me, but I’m not going on much here.

            I can tell you that I am learning a good deal from Lander7’s more positive and humble approach to scriptural interpretation so far. I fear that we Christians all to often bash people over the head with the Bible, as if we or our identity group own even its most mysterious truths personally.

            As you have said on occasion, we sometimes assume to know things we can’t know for sure. There is also the wise comment made earlier (I think it was Scatterwisdom) about the difference between what we know ourselves and what we know by the revelation that only God can grace each one of us to know, and the distinction between belief through seeing (as in the “Doubting Thomas” and a more mystical and mysterious spiritual belief we have through faith.

            As for the cul-de-sac comment, I withdraw it and apologize. When Lander7 answered my question by mostly repeating what he said earlier, I thought we were at an end going in circles. I liked the neighborhood we were circling in so I didn’t mind, but I thought others might. Now that Lander7 has explained further, I now know the snark was a mistake, that we are far from circling here.😊

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I don’t mind sharing a bit about myself.

            I am a Christian Polymath Philosopher

            To these definitions only:

            A Christian: is one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

            A polymath: is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.

            A philosopher: is a person who is not wise, but possesses the self-awareness of lacking wisdom, and thus pursues it.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. @Lander

            It would appear that you are dealing with a number of Christian polymaths here. Your host, Tom, included.

            I like your definition of a philosopher. Given that definition, we would all be wiser to aspire to be philosophers.

            Liked by 2 people

    1. @Professor Taboo

      I paid the extra money to avoid posting advertisements.

      I considered comment deceptive and your intent malicious.

      If you want to make a comment germane to the post, I am okay with that. If you just want to redirect my readers to a smugly anti-Christian rant on your smugly anti-Christian blog, I don’t see the point in leaving up your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We do live inside a country that protects and nurtures free expression, however, that does not carry over to privately managed WordPress blogs. You are welcome to censor and do as you please CT. My comment was clear and respectful. 🙂

        Like

  3. I will say that we have to explore this question a bit deeper. Now, if under normal circumstances one should submit to authority. Is there other circumstances whereas one should rebel? Does theology allow regicide? Are democratic official appointed by God? What role does Free Will play in the election of these officials? Can God cosmologically be separated from Free Will?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. @Philip Augustine

      Your comment sounds like the pretext for one of the posts in this series. The logical thing to do would be to take each of those questions and consider them separately. However, instead of taking them in the order I asked them, I think I will reverse the order.

      Lander7 has posed a fascinating difficult problem. We live in a relatively sane nation, but we risk tearing ourselves apart. Still, Roman 13:1-7 should be relatively easy to obey. In many nations around the world, what Roman 13:1-7 demands seems almost absurd.

      When we look back at some of the most heinous rulers or into the future to the Anti-Christ, Roman 13:1-7 seems absurd.

      Like

    2. Q–“Is there other circumstances whereas one should rebel?
      A– Yes but within the boundaries of authority and with respect to God. I provided a number of examples where people of God rebelled against unjust laws that oppose the biblical truth. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in great detail about this and I posted his words.

      Q–“Does theology allow regicide?”
      A– No.
      1 Samuel 26:9-11
      9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed….

      Q–“Are democratic official appointed by God?”
      A–Romans 13 “….For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God….”

      Q–“What role does Free Will play in the election of these officials?”
      A— Matthew 7:7
      7 “Ask, and what you are asking for will be given to you. Look, and what you are looking for you will find. Knock, and the door you are knocking on will be opened to you.
      Second:

      Here is a clear example of people asking for the leader they want (vote).

      Samuel’s Warning Against Kings

      10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men1 and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

      The Lord Grants Israel’s Request

      19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

      Q–“Can God cosmologically be separated from Free Will?”
      A– Yes but simply for two reasons.
      1) He was before he created everything. (Since there was no time and space)
      2) Because he has no limit in what he can do in respect to what we know or have the ability to ask for. This is to say that he created all that we know and has full control over it so any question we have falls within that bubble.

      This is a different subject.

      Like

  4. This is a fascinating discussion, Tom. One thing I think is really wrong with our world right now is our rejection of authority and our inability to understand power. As a people we seem to be rejecting the systems of authority put in place by God, marriage, family, kids, government. Many of our current political divisions stem from that same issue.

    I just want to respond to one of your questions, “How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?”

    We know this because the bible tells us so, and I think it is speaking as a reference to God’s sovereignty. Our leaders are not necessarily anointed by God and good. We often get the leaders we deserve. Even really bad leadership is still under God’s authority and sovereignty. Caesar for example, served a vital purpose in God’s plan, creating a census which fulfilled prophecy so that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. We think of government as “good” if performs in a way that makes us happy, but actually there’s a much larger story being written that we don’t always fully understand.

    Liked by 3 people

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