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?

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

Add yours

  1. Sorry I have not read through all the comments, so I may be rehashing a previously stated point. Did God appoint Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Hussein? etc etc etc etc. Of course God didn’t appoint EVERY leader throughout Human history but He DID ANNOINT many.

    Does He actively annoint today’s leaders? I am not convinced. I believe we should be VERY active politically as Christians, you see how the SCOTUS will be shaped for next 20-30 years as a result of a Trump Presidency (and he will get two more appointments before his second term is up)…

    Oh yes he will be re-elected. Guaranteed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You stated: “Of course God didn’t appoint EVERY leader throughout Human history but He DID ANNOINT many.”

      My Response: Do you agree with this statement? “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. ”

      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.

      You asked: “Did God appoint Hitler?”
      My Response: No, he appointed Paul von Hindenburg.

      Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. He was placed in power per the process stated in the Bible.

      A party of people within the citizenship started complaining, sabotaging, disobeying, etc, much like we see here in the states. They rebelled against those God has chosen. They then moved to the last phase to force changes, kill opposition and dismantle the governing body.

      In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire (killings) on the communists and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties (force), a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests (force). Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934 (killings), Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (force), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had began voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial(killings), which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship (end of the government). This would make Hitler commander of the army as well (force). A plebiscite vote was held on August 19. Intimidation (fear of death) made him a full powered dictator. After this he continued the use of force and killing.

      Like

        1. a·gree
          əˈɡrē/Submit
          verb
          1. have the same opinion about something; concur.
          “I completely agree with your recent editorial”
          synonyms: concur, be of the same mind/opinion, see eye to eye, be in sympathy, be united, be as one man
          “I agree with you”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You misunderstand. I want to hear your clear understanding of the verse you provided, and I will tell you If I agree with your understanding.

            So a better question is place of … do you agree with this statement?

            Would be, do you agree with my understanding of this scripture…. which is “x”?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Seems fair.

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

            My understanding of this verse is that all authorities are from God.

            au·thor·i·ty
            a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.

            My previous question to you was: “Do you agree with this statement?” but since you have stated you will only speak to my understanding and not my question I will ask this:

            Do you agree with my understanding?

            Like

          3. In Constitutional Republics and democracies, are the people sovereign? And in what role does that play into the discussion? Should a Democrat Senator bow to the authority the majority of the Senate? Or should he continue to represent the people of his state or the general needs of his state?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Q—”In Constitutional Republics and democracies, are the people sovereign?”
            A—No. Only God is sovereign.
            Q—”And in what role does that play into the discussion?”
            A—It sets the tone on where we should start. In this case we are under God so we should listen to what he says and proceed forward in the way he commands.
            Q–“Should a Democrat Senator bow to the authority the majority of the Senate?”
            A—No. He too should only bow to God. He should go to work and perform the duties that the people of his state elected him for regardless of what party he is in or what party is the majority. He should vote in accordance with the voters that put him in office. He should not forget those in his state that did not vote for him by showing compassion and some compromise for their concerns and needs (peace). Every movement and release of the tongue should be in respect of all the people in his state and to the people he works with in office.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. It appears to be Semantics though? I would agree that God is sovereign but with language, I’m also attempting to formulate into the secular language of the government. So, let me rephrase, Are not the people the authority in a republic or democracy? I think you do answer this in the latter part of the comment by indicating that the representative should represent their people. However, in the United States Constitution, there is no religious test, so how does it play out in our particular government that an elected official does not have to accept God’s sovereignty?

            Liked by 1 person

          6. The devil is literally in the details. I believe God is the only authority , so this is not a case of semantics it’s a case of belief. If we feared God because we truly believed he was responsible for those in power we would see a dramatic change in politics.

            This change would immediatly have a profoundly positive effect on the nation.

            If they don’t believe in God what can we do with them? Can we work with them?

            The answer is yes we can work with them, we only have one US and regardless of belief we need to work together of fail together.

            So we don’t work with them by acting like them, we follow Christ so we act like Christ. We get the job done within the boundaries that God has provided and let others choose to do what they want to do.

            It’s a choice, we are not being forced but I believe things will get better if we choose to believe what God is telling us.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. @Lander7

            Even when we don’t intend to sound that way, we can be perceived as a bit dogmatic. Hence Keith Mosher asked for some clarification on your understanding of Romans 13:1-6.

            Think about this. If Hitler had authority and all authority comes from God, then Hitler was appointed by God.

            Did Hitler have authority? Clearly, he did. Then Hitler was appointed by God. But whose fault was this? God’s? Not really. Just as God gave the people of Israel King Saul he gave the Germans Hitler.

            We can make everything God’s fault, but that makes the notion of freewill nonsense. So if I am going to err, I think it best to take responsibility for what it seems to me I can take responsibility for.

            Was Hitler elected Chancellor? Effectively, he was. We are talking about a parliamentary system. His party was the largest. Later, in a plebiscite vote, when Hitler merged the presidency and the chancellorship, he became a dictator. Sadly, because Hitler was already known to be ruthless and violent, the Germans had to know something about the character of the man they had effectively chosen to lead them.

            Therefore, when you point out all the evil things Hitler did, doesn’t that leave us in a bind? When our governing authority is a Hitler, how can we submit to submit to the governing authorities? When the Anti-Christ rules as described in Revelation, he will be the governing authority, and some will refuse to accept his mark, and they will pay a ghastly price.

            If I had been a German when Hitler ruled, what would I have done? When will I do if I am here when the Anti-Christ rules? All I can say is that the right thing to do does not involve very much submission to governing authorities. This problem arises when the governing authorities are not content with our money. They want us body and soul.

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          8. You asked: “Was Hitler elected Chancellor? ”

            Response–: They did not elect him. He was not placed in power, FACT: Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. He was placed in power per the process stated in the Bible.

            A party of people within the citizenship started complaining, sabotaging, disobeying, etc, much like we see here in the states. They rebelled against those God has chosen. They then moved to the last phase to force changes, kill opposition and dismantle the governing body.

            In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire (killings) on the communists and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties (force), a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests (force). Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934 (killings), Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (force), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had began voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial(killings), which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship (end of the government). This would make Hitler commander of the army as well (force). A plebiscite vote was held on August 19. Intimidation (fear of death) made him a full powered dictator. After this he continued the use of force and killing.

            The German people were wiped out and the false leader killed. Germany was shamed on the world stage. They abandoned God.

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          9. @Lander7

            Where does the Bible say the governing authorities must be Godly?

            Hitler had control of the government. He used the electoral system to gain a powerful position, and then he abused his position to seize complete power. When Hitler in charge of the government, was he the governing authority?

            Answer as you will, but I think the issues this question raises will be the subject of the next post in this series.

            Will address these two questions.

            1. How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?
            2. What is the difference between the obedience we owe to the governing authorities and the obedience we owe to God?

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          10. @Citizen Tom

            Q–“Where does the Bible say the governing authorities must be Godly?”
            A–It does not. Here is a good example.

            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.”

            Was Hitler put in place by God?
            Response–: They did not elect him. He was not placed in power, FACT: Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. He was placed in power per the process stated in the Bible.

            A party of people within the citizenship started complaining, sabotaging, disobeying, etc, much like we see here in the states. They rebelled against those God has chosen. They then moved to the last phase to force changes, kill opposition and dismantle the governing body.

            In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire (killings) on the communists and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties (force), a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests (force). Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934 (killings), Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (force), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had began voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial(killings), which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship (end of the government). This would make Hitler commander of the army as well (force). A plebiscite vote was held on August 19. Intimidation (fear of death) made him a full powered dictator. After this he continued the use of force and killing.

            They disobeyed God and suffered for it when they rejected the man assigned by God.

            Germany was devastated for the hate they had for God’s authority. Thy had no joy just hate and bitter anger. We have seen this before:

            Deuteronomy 28
            47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

            48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

            49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

            50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

            51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

            52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

            53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

            54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

            55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

            56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

            57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

            58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

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          11. Is there wisdom in the actions and death of Claus Von Stauffenburg (if I’m spelling his name right?) He attempted to stand against Hitler out of submission to the ideals and patriotism of his nation Germany. After his plot failed and just before his execution, he yelled: “Long Live Sacred Germany!.”

            Are we bound to strictly rulers? Or is there more?

            Liked by 1 person

          12. The south is a great example of the price paid for rebelling against the authority of God and the leaders he put in place. I would even go one step further and state that without the death of Lincoln, race relations in the US would have been in a much better place, given the direction he was going in. So, the rejection of proper authority comes with a price that we all pay as a nation.
            Your thoughts on the south are spot on. I don’t know how I would classify them but I would say that the south hits closer to home and is more relevant to our culture.

            Liked by 3 people

  2. Tom.
    As for your ending questions, here are my answers for a person who has faith, in my opinion.
    • What is the role of a Christian in a constitutional republic?
    • To be a law-abiding citizen and make choices of leaders they would follow into a war, not of their making.

    • How high a priority should a Christian give his role as a citizen of a constitutional republic?
    • The same priority he would assign in his or her role to a brother or sister in his family.

    • 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?
    • Not wise to for anyone to state he knows for certain what only God knows.

    • How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?
    • Ditto not wise unless you are God.

    • What is the difference between the obedience we owe to the governing authorities and the obedience we owe to God?
    • We must obey the laws of God and Man unless the laws of man violate the laws of God.

    • Regards and good will blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I actually, after conversing with Lander7, do not think his position is wrong Tom. For example, let’s assume our government becomes tyrannical, I decide they no longer respect my conscience, therefore, I break the law, I go to court whether civil or military, I’m imprisoned and/or executed.

      I think what Lander7 is more or less advocating for is the practice of non-violence. Now, is there room for just-war doctrine? In this respect, it’s usually amongst nations, in respect to the philosophy of personalism, the Polish people culture survived not by resisting with guns but culturally.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. @Philip Augustine

        I am not a pacifist, but I don’t condemn pacifism. I just think pacifists overlook verses like this one.

        Matthew 7:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

        6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

        Since we have a tendency to excessive violence, pacifism is much of a problem.

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    2. @scatterwisdom

      Not sure whether or not some can rightfully claim the have a political calling. Sort of between the called and God, I think.

      How do we know whether our leaders have been appointed by God? If the vast majority accept the rule of a group of men and women, then we have to accept that God has made it so. However, that sort of thing can change quite quickly. The Declaration of Independence provides a good example.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom, Augustine

        To clarify my statement “to choose leaders we would follow into war” and both your replies that included wisdom love, and culture.

        In my opinion, there are culture wars we all face in our lives and our Nation every day that we are challenges our courage, wisdom and love. The bullets are not lead, they are words and thoughts.

        The Polish culture won over time because they never surrendered their faith and trust in God, in my opinion..

        Yes they surrendered when their wisdom realized their bullets could not win against bigger bullets of the invaders of their Nation. However, in time their love of God and the courage of one wise leader, along with courage to support him, they challenged authority at the right time won the war over communism.

        The USA has a culture war going on right now between secularism leaders, who because of their vanity, believe they know more than their Creator, and/or religious leaders.

        Thoughts and words are flying all around. Who will win in time in my opinion will be the same God who always wins in time over the last 3000 years.

        If only, we have courage, to stand up and speak words of our faith, and trust in Him.
        In other words, words and thoughts, wisdom and love, and courage to speak out for what we believe over time, will win the culture war going on in our Nation,

        That is, if we do not surrender to apathy and losing the only war that is worth winning in the short life span we humans have been blessed with by our Creator.
        y
        The war for our souls.. and, in my opinion, the right time is now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @scatterwisdom

          Great post and very interesting. I would like to unpack just one part of it.

          You stated: “The USA has a culture war going on right now between secularism leaders, who because of their vanity, believe they know more than their Creator, and/or religious leaders.”

          I believe there is a much larger problem in the US that includes what you stated but contains much more.

          – The USA has a culture war going on right now between secularism leaders, who because of their vanity, believe they know more than God
          – The USA has a plethora of religious leaders who are deniers of Biblical truth and believe they know more than God.
          – I believe greed distorts both science and religion, specifically the greed for money.
          – I believe we are currently in a culture that is not effective in addressing the needs of the people in a way that reflects how Christ would address the needs of the people.

          Like I said before I wanted to unpack your statement and add some of my own ideas.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. @Lander 7 You stated,

            “The USA has a plethora of religious leaders who are deniers of Biblical truth and believe they know more than God.”

            Your above statement can be related to the main cause of the failing of King Solomon, 3000 years ago, in my opinion.

            Seems each new generation keeps repeating the same failings over and over again according to these Bible verses written 3000 years ago..

            Ecclesiastes 1:9,,10

            9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

            10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

            Unfortunately,

            These verses will keep being read every new generation, but never discerned, until we all wise up, in my opinion.

            Thanks for your kudos. I agree my statement needs to be unpacked, discerned,, along with a lot of other Bible verses by everyone including myself.

            Why we all never seem to manage to wise up, only God knows?

            Regards and good will blogging.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. In regards to Culture war, I find it ironic that we have a media that tells us more or less that the war is over and they have won. Yet, they are stunned when movies and tv entertainment that celebrate their culture perform poorly to general audiences and are canceled.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. In fact, Tom, let’s bring in this entire section of Act 5 into the discussion of Romans 13:

    And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

    In accord with Romans 13, a government so long as it protects the welfare of society is owed all of which Romans indicates. However, If a government, institutes laws that go against scripture, against The Word then we are obligated to follow the already existing Word of God. Roman 13 doesn’t override the rest of the deposit of faith. As Peter claims here, we’re obligated to resist, now if that also means we’re obligated to submit to the punishment, well I would say, so did Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tom,

    In my opinion, when a person lacks faith makes statements to interpret Bible verses, he or she lacks the necessary Spiritual Wisdom to discern the verses.

    Faith is a recognition that we cannot comprehend the mysteries of God, yet we believe.

    Faith is knowing we have been given a blessing of life and the capability to make choices. Wisdom is the understanding of the fear of Lord, the belief that we will be judged for the choices we make in life.

    Without faith, we have nothing to guide or strengthen us to avoid evil temptations we are certain to experience, along with the positive and negative seasons in life described in Chapter Three of Ecclesiastes.

    In other words, without faith, everything interpreted in the Bible is just words without comprehension of the true meanings of the verses.

    Regards and good will blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @scatterwisdom

      I don’t exactly disagree. I just think there is more to it. I also think you will agree.

      Although I think some refuse to understand scripture because they refuse to trust God, I don’t think faith (or trust) is required to understand scripture. To understand scripture, we have to be able to love someone else as much as we love our self. Such love is required to appreciate the wisdom found in the Bible, the Wisdom of God.

      The love of God is a fearful. The Four Gospels contain a horrifying story. How do we get past the terror, the shame of knowing “my sin” put Him up on that cross? Faith is not enough. Love is required. Hope as well. We have to believe that one day we will be humble enough to allow our joy in Him to overcome our shame.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Christ did not rebuke him for quoting scripture instead he responded with scripture. Do as Christ does and do not abandon scripture.

      I post these scriptures so that others can see the truth. They can open the Bible and verify what I have posted and see for themselves if it is true. Those who read the Bible can know the truth and respond with it.

      If I respond without scripture, then I have responded with my own words. Why should you trust me over God?

      2 Timothy 3:16
      16 For the whole Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to convince, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness,

      Proverbs 30:5
      Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

      Proverbs 30:5-6
      Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Philip! This is a great example, thank you!

          You clearly show that the Apostles did as they were commanded by God to do:
          “an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” ”

          The priest confronted them directly:
          “Now when the high priest came……“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name…. 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. ”

          The enemy even acknowledged God:
          “a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders………So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” ”

          The Apostles took joy in their suffering to serve and obey the Lord.
          they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

          Note how they did not have hate in their hearts.

          Full scripture post:

          The Apostles Arrested and Freed
          17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

          Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

          27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

          33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

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          1. There is some added nuance to what I am saying.

            1) I am stating that God wants man to obey him.

            2) I am stating that God placed people in power and gave them authority. (not man)

            3) I am stating God wants man to respect that authority since it belongs to him.

            4) I am stating that you must obey God even if the authority asks you to disobey God. This last one is very granular because it is not an open pass to disrespect the authority put in place, hate anyone, or rise up against said authority. There are many examples in the Bible for this.

            I sent a much more detailed response with scriptures in the other reply.

            Liked by 2 people

  5. Scripture must be read within the deposit of the entire faith. Should we entirely obey our rulers based on Roman 13 in a vacuum? Of course, this is why I think using other scriptural sources does help; it also helps to read all within their context and within the context of the entire deposit of faith.

    So, if we take a look at Daniel, doesn’t he reject Cyrus edict? What leads to Jesus’ comments to Pilate about his authority in John? Doesn’t Paul meet the end by a sword? Accordingly, all resisted the civil authority, so we do have to put Paul’s passage here within the proper context of the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You stated: “Should we entirely obey our rulers based on Roman 13 in a vacuum?”
      My Reply: Do as you wish but speak clearly, why not say, in truth – with boldness, “Should we obey God in a vacuum.” We can see what is said in scripture so ask what you want clearly.

      Romans 13 New International Version (NIV)
      Submission to Governing Authorities
      13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

      You speak of Daniel, Jesus, and Paul as to state that they conflict with or change the narrative of “Romans 13:1-6” but I see no evidence that they do. All that you have mentioned support the words of God fully and nothing has changed and there is no conflict.

      Luke 23:3-4
      JESUS BEFORE PILATE
      3 g Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” 4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, h “I find no fault in this Man.”

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      1. You stated: “Should we entirely obey our rulers based on Roman 13 in a vacuum?”
        My Reply: Do as you wish but speak clearly, why not say, in truth – with boldness, “Should we obey God in a vacuum.” We can see what is said in scripture so ask what you want clearly.

        The above statement is nothing but a mixture of tautology and a strawman. The rest has nothing substantive in the text. If you can’t connect the dots that Daniel disobeyed the Civil Authority to offer prayers then I can’t help you when you’ve abandoned your reason. Your position on Roman 13 asserts that Daniel, no matter what, needed to obey Cyrus because God planted him as an authority above him. Attempting to wiggle out of it is attempting to have your cake and eating it too.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I suppose it boils down to this, are you saying that Daniel is required to obey Cyrus because he is the authority over him instead of God or does Daniel disobey him and accept the punishment? We may actually agree if it’s the second point and we’ve been talking past each other.

            For example, if the government decided that I must do something against my faith, I often say, “then put the chains around my wrist.” My view is that philosophy has always spread the gospel more effectively than say the revolt that led to the destruction of the temple.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. @Philip Augustine

          You Asked– …are you saying that Daniel is required to obey Cyrus because he is the authority over him instead of God or does Daniel disobey him and accept the punishment?
          My Answer: 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.

          I don’t have a role here and I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, we are simply having a discussion. I have beliefs and scripture is my evidence for what I believe.

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          1. Lander, we know for a fact that Christianity was spread by the blood of martyrs. Peter, Paul, John the Baptist, et al. Romans fed Christians to animals for entertainment purposes. They were executed for acting contrary to the governing authorities.

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          2. We could go much further than that and use Christ as the example since he fits this narrative even better. At the end he was crucified for his obedience to the Father.

            Yet Christ advocates for us to submit to the authorities placed in power by God and he advocates for hearts that are willing to be a sacrifice for the same God in the face of opposition from all authorities that disobey God.

            If you suffer for his sake you will not be forgotten.

            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.

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          3. I think it should be made clear that Landry is not advocating that disobeying the government is contrary to God. But rather, we’re responsible for those actions under the authority that God has established over us.

            I thought Landry was arguing against any disobedience to the civil authority, which I couldn’t square with the scripture. This isn’t his position.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I would go even one step further, without disobedience to unjust laws or unjust actions we would collapse as a nation.

            At the same time disobedience must look like Christ and not like entertainment or anarchy.

            I can get behind Martin Luther King Jr but I can’t get behind FOX News and MSNBC.

            I can understand Jesus but I am confused when it comes to Obama and Trump.

            I know what the Bible says and it doesn’t line up with the Republican party and it doesn’t line up with the Democratic party.

            We can be in the world but it doesn’t mean we have to bow to it or join it. We can however change it but not by our wisdom and not by our power alone.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. There are many things we can do. Prayer is great. You can also take action like boycotting companies that lobby representatives. Both parties agree that money in politics is an issue. Both parties keep telling me how bad lobbying is. As a member of society we can put peaceful pressure on companies to leave politics.

            Just a thought but you have options on how to obey God and provide peaceful change.

            If MK can change a nation then why can’t others?

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  6. Q–What is the role of a Christian in a constitutional republic?
    A–Our role in a government is always the same regardless of what type of government it is, obey God.
    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.

    Q–How high a priority should a Christian give his role as a citizen of a constitutional republic?
    Every person is unique and can choose to create any number of roles and priorities for the country they live in. If one wants to be effective in a relationship with God then one must first obey God and second live the life they choose.

    Q–What has our Lord called each of us to do?
    A—The Bible was provided by God and is clear on what every person should do. To ensure we understood this fully Jesus provided all of us with a perfect example of a person’s life. Be like Jesus in all his ways and mercy. How did he treat people? How did he treat government?

    Q–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?
    A—God made it clear that no one can know the thoughts of another person so it is impossible for you to know if someone is telling the truth. With that said you can easily see if a person is following God by seeing for yourself if they do that which God told them to do. Do they feed the hungry? Do they clothe the naked? Do they tend to the widows? Do they show mercy? Do they listen and are slow to anger? Do they tend to the sick? These and many other attributes have been provided so you will know who serves God and who does not.

    Q–How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been 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 is the difference between the obedience we owe to the governing authorities and the obedience we owe to God?
    A—You owe nothing since there is no way for you to pay. You can choose to obey God and server those he tells you to serve. We are not just talking about the government. We are subject to server the poor, the sick, the needy, the authorities of the land, and our family. You don’t have to do anything it’s a choice. If you want, you can choose to do what you want and ignore all the authorities.

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

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Take your time there is no rush we are just having a discussion to learn from each other. Thanks for expanding on the conversation and providing an opportunity to sharpen each other.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Tom, I’m just inserting ideas more or less; I’d suggest that Landry7 doesn’t have the proper understanding on how our government was designed. Take Thomas Jefferson here:

        The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.1 Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.”

        Landry7 makes some comments in your post that the opposition should more or less concede after the election; however, the republic system of government would cease to exist at that point, as it is designed to in a sense “overthrow” the existing government peacefully if need be. And you can’t do this with concession during the “off” season.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You stated: “I’d suggest that Landry7 doesn’t have the proper understanding on how our government was designed”
          My response: There is no way for you to know my current level of understanding given such a small sample of my own words, so your statement is nonsensical.

          Let us for a time leave each other out of the equation:

          You stated: “Landry7 makes some comments in your post that the opposition should more or less concede after the election”
          My Response: I never said that. You can obey God and change a government without disrespecting the authority he put in place and without trying to overthrow what he put in place. Anarchy is not the solution. We must move forward in the peace, love, and mercy of God for all our sakes.

          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 3 people

          1. I do agree with your sentiment here. The American political system is created in the respect that it seems to encourage disagreement that more or less is part of the system from the earliest days of the republic. The Anti-Federalist, The Federalist and the Republicans, the Whigs, the Democrats etc. If one side simply laid down their arms in the period before election, I think the system would fail.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “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. . . .

            Well, this is very well said. I can’t disagree with this.
            But don’t you understand that you’ve defeated your own argument? If there can be unjust laws there can also be, by extension, unjust governments which are the enforcement arm of the law.

            “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.”

            I think there is a bit of excluded middle fallacy here. What you are describing is essentially what Gandhi would advocate. Which made sense when the enemy was British. If they had been Soviets we’d have never heard of Gandhi.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You stated “I think there is a bit of excluded middle fallacy here. What you are describing is essentially what Gandhi would advocate. Which made sense when the enemy was British. If they had been Soviets we’d have never heard of Gandhi.”

            But this is only true if there is no God to protect you. We showed that the Bible easily addresses this.

            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.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. @Philip Augustine

          Enjoying your discussion with Lander7.

          What I think it comes down to is how do we recognize the legitimate governing authorities. It is fine to say God appoints the governing authorities, but how do we know whom God has appointed to govern us. The Prophet Samuel anointed King Saul and King David, but I don’t think we have any prophets these days with the credibility to anoint our leaders.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. A good point with which I started a new thread. What role does Free Will, If one holds this theology, play in regard to elections? If we can choose to sin, cannot an elected official be a result of our sin? In regards to one party submitting to the other in power, my point is that a republic doesn’t operate in such a fashion. A Republican/Democrat is elected to represent the will of their constituents, which may be at odds with the executive government. The system of checks in balances is suppose to be a bit rough around the edges.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @Citizen Tom
            @Philip Augustine

            What was stated: “What I think it comes down to is how do we recognize the legitimate governing authorities.” , “…….how do we know whom God has appointed to govern us”

            Answer: This is addressed in the Bible in many places but I will just re-post this one verse so we can get to the more complicated question.
            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.

            Philip asked a very good question: “What role does Free Will, If one holds this theology, play in regard to elections? If we can choose to sin, cannot an elected official be a result of our sin?”

            I’m going to provide verses to address this that show the wisdom of God and the folly of our choices in respect to what we ask for. I’m going to try and keep it short but I think you will see where this is going and you can verify in your own bible.

            First: 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.”

            My thoughts on this: The Bible has told us where to keep our heart and mind but we do not want to obey, we have already been warned. But here we are, begging for leaders who do not serve God. People are loyal to parties not biblical truths. So, we get what we ask for. 45 presidents later and people are still focused on the parties and not the hearts or God.

            We cannot escape the fact that God makes the decisions and grants authority as he sees fit to do so. Once we have the ruler we must respect that authority or be in conflict with God.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha! This is an incredibly complex matter, Tom. IMO, we are to pray for our leaders because good or bad, they have authority over us. Our own well being is also going to be related to their success or failure. Like it or not, bad leaders take us all down along with them. We’re praying they have wisdom and don’t go down the drain because we’re all along for the ride.

    I also really like Romans 13:1-6, in relationship to bad cops. You comply, you thank him for his service….you memorize his badge number and go up the chain of command later if you have any complaints. That’s wisdom, submit to your authorities, live to tell the tale. Guy could be wrong six ways past Sunday, but that’s really not the point.

    Get’s even more complex in a democracy where we actually do choose our leaders, where we have the freedom to actually disobey under certain conditions and even to go on to chose new leaders. IMO, Romans 13:1-6 is speaking of submission to authorities, rather than submission to overall leadership. Authority is “power,” who holds the power. We try to respect our congresscritters not because they are moral or right, but because they hold the office and the position,they have been assigned the job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @insanitybytes22

      Not about to say it is simple, but I think we make it awfully complicated.

      The first five books of the Bible are the Mosaic Code. Much of the Old Testament relates to the history of the prophets, judges, and kings who led Israel. Jesus was executed for being a rebel. Yet there people who still say with a straight face that the Bible says nothing about government or that we have no responsibility for who leads us.

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    2. You stated: “IMO, Romans 13:1-6 is speaking of submission to authorities,”
      My Response: Clearly you are correct and the scripture verifies your statement, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities”

      Following authority does not mean you sit quietly when evil is done, it means you respect the power put in place and work within the means provided. This is very true in the police analogy. You do not rebel against the person sent to do the job he was assigned, even if he does a bad job. At the same time you absolutely report that person and file complaints but within the means provided by the authority put in place. You also can pray for changes.

      This is not what is happening within the two parties fighting each other. On top of this, there is hate in the hearts of those rejecting the authority put in place rather than using peaceful civil means of exercising their voices.

      We are judged by our actions and our hearts in relation to obedience to God.

      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.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh, Tom! What excellent questions! I can’t wait to read part 2. This is undoubtedly an extremely important question for believers regarding government and our current political systlem! Thank you; thank you! I so appreciate your tackling this! God bless you greatly!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is the reason the Reformation was so bloody.
    I cannot agree that bad government is ipso facto correct, and I don’t understand Lander’s reasoning about Hitler as there is no Biblical criteria that government require a vote to obtain “legitimacy” in the first place…
    History is replete with examples of successful overthrow of the governing bodies either from within or invading force….Rome case in point, took over just about all of the world.
    That “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s” needs to be taken in context, in my opinion.
    Biblical scholars can study their whole lives and still disagree on the details.
    And I am not a Biblical scholar or even close.

    Just to make the point:
    Under the “absolute” reasoning on government authority, Pontius Pilate was doing the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @anon

      Not sure where the guy is coming from. One of the things that is frustrating about life is that some people have a knack for arguing their case, whether they believe what they say or not. That can make our choices very confusing.

      Does Lander7 believe what he is saying. I don’t know, but he is good at making his case.

      Unless we take the time to understand how each book of the Bible was suppose to be understood by the people who first read it, we can get very confused. That is one of the major reason we have so many Christian sects.

      Did Paul, who wrote Romans, blindly accept government authority? No. He just accepted the fact that Roman Empire did more good than harm.

      We always need to remember the question Jesus asked before He to told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. When they showed him a coin, He asked: “Whose image and inscription is this?” We must always remember we were made in the image of God. We must render ourselves unto to Him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You stated: “Does Lander7 believe what he is saying. I don’t know, but he is good at making his case.”

        I’m not sure it’s healthy to focus on believing people, let alone strangers. This is another reason I think it’s important to refer to scripture as a source for truth and guidance. Whatever my truth would be is irrelevant to the truth of God.

        If someone brings a discussion to the table that I am not familiar with I see it as an opportunity to learn more. I don’t trust my thoughts enough to think they are 100% correct. There have been times in my life that I was wrong and when I was wrong it was because someone showed me in the Bible where my ideas were in conflict with biblical truth.

        When this happens I abandon my thoughts and cling to those that are written.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. @Lander7

          When this happens I abandon my thoughts and cling to those that are written.

          I suppose clinging to the Bible is a way of clinging to God.

          I was not certain how you would take that comment, but what I want to do is put the focus on what you are saying, not some person we think would write what you are writing.

          We have a tendency to take a sample of dialogue and fit each other into some stereotypical box. Once we do that, we tend to stop listening carefully. Instead, we jump to conclusions. I am guilty of that. I suppose most of us are, but as Aesop pointed out we need to look before we leap.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. You stated: “I cannot agree that bad government is ipso facto correct”
      My response: I never stated that government is correct. We get what we knock on the door for but make no mistake, what we get is under the authority of God and put in place by his command.

      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 ato 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, cbut 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 dthat 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, e“Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

      You stated: “History is replete with examples of successful overthrow of the governing bodies”
      My Response: The Bible shows where God sends nations to conquer other nations. There is no disagreement there since God is still the authority making the leadership changes.
      Where we differ in the agreement is with discourse within a nation as they reject the authority put in place by God. They then suffer. We clearly see historical examples of this.

      You stated: “That “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s” needs to be taken in context, in my opinion.”
      My Response: I made a video that addresses that. https://youtu.be/Oj2cYIoFK1U

      You stated: “Just to make the point: Under the “absolute” reasoning on government authority, Pontius Pilate was doing the right thing.”
      My Response: You are correct because prophecy had to be fulfilled, whether we understand or not.

      Liked by 2 people

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