Monday, 21 January 2013

Romans 13 - Truth vs fiction


 Romans 13, Infowars' interpretation :Link

What the Bible says:

"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority."


What does this say to you? Lets say you have lived your whole life believing in "freedom, liberty, the pursuit of happiness", you're necking your way through the bible and suddenly you come to this passage. Its a strange one to be sure, but in context it makes absolute sense. It brings into light the whole gospel, our mission on Earth, and where we should be looking to for our freedom.

1. We are not of this world, therefore the governments of the world are of no concern to us:
Everyone must submit to the government, in other words, do what is legal and expected of you, remember that Jesus said "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's", that which belongs to the government, is the government's. So where you need to follow the law, follow it. Simple!
Even if the government changes the constitution, you must still follow the law - as a citizen. I know its unpopular, but its the truth. Our mission is not to be freedom fighters, but to be citizens of a greater kingdom. Many today claim that Jesus was a freedom fighter, a revolutionary, but he wasn't, he was all for the status quo when it came to worldly events, his mission was for a greater purpose, for a greater Kingdom! What mattered to him was salvation, and a people that loved him, and served him. Fighting for temporary freedoms, against corrupt temporary governments is not for his people. Let the world fight for the world. 

Again, this is unpopular, but remember, this brings our mission into focus, pay your taxes, do your duty, follow the law insofar as it doesn't contradict biblical teachings. (Such as if a law came to pass that on the first Friday of every month we were to find the most attractive woman in our neighbourhood and kill her - we as christians would abstain; even unto death).

2. All governments are instituted by God himself:
God is in sovereign control, to resist is to rebel against God. This is not to say we must agree with every decision the government makes, especially when government itself is in direct rebellion against God. But remember, God allows this, he allows it to rain on the good and the bad - even allowing those who hate him to rule. William Tyndale was well aware of this, and he stayed on mission, his mission (as is ours) is to bring the good news to all worldwide. We are salt and light, we irritate and burn, not because we are rebels against the government, but because of the Gospel, because we stand for righteousness, and belong to a greater kingdom. Notice that Satan makes war with the saints, whilst the world (and Alex Jones etc) follows him. Why would this be if AJ and co were such a threat? Assuming of course that we are not far from the end. I won't answer this question because I don't know the answer. But I do know its not because we stand outside government buildings with a bullhorn screaming about 1776, and taking down the government.

3. The government is here for good?
Amazing isn't it, the government is here for good! As a long time truther, I find this a shock, but God doesn't lie. If our government (UK and US) is here for good, why do they promote so much that we see as bad? Abortion, homosexual marriage, legalized sodomy, ridiculous alcohol laws, legalized euthanasia etc. Well this is where we have to understand that there are two worlds, a pagan one, and a christian one. We must understand that there has NEVER been a Christian system of government in the world. It hasn't even been attempted. The US is not a christian nation (thats why it says creator and not the LORD in the declaration of independence) the UK is not a christian nation (if it were there would not be a human monarch as head of the church) although it (as well as US) has some christian values - they do not hold God to be sovereign, they hold themselves to be sovereign. 
They are the same as the governments of the past, and are no different. We should view them the same way as Paul did - irrelevancies, which occasionally can be manipulated to our advantage (such as using his Roman citizenship to protect himself). It cannot be stated enough, we will never build a Christian Kingdom on this Earth, only Jesus can and will do that. There is no point in resisting the government - unless they breach biblical principles, and then - WE DO IT PEACEFULLY. Anyone who presents civil war as a means of change is NOT a christian, they never have been. They have no hope in them, and no love. But are filled with pride, and desperately need to pray for salvation.

4. Government will punish those who do wrong?
There are many ways to punish, one is by having a legal system that reflects christian values (as most do, even muslim ones - although they go way too far). There you go, people are punished for wrong doing. Of course the second is to be a mirror, those who are doing wrong come in all shapes and sizes, God may just present an opportunity to show those so-called christians just whom and what they worship. Remember it says "Do what is right and they will honour you", and it is true, those who do right tend to be honoured within the system. But of course the honour we seek is not the government but from God himself. If you think in terms of worldly vs heavenly - even pagan governments have a good track record in enforcing a legal system that represents the 10 commandments. Do not kill, do not steal etc. Only recently was adultery declassified as a crime.

If we do wrong we should fear the government. Well, lets think in terms of what I said above - worship. If you hate the government, its all well and good, but would you start a civil war to get rid of it? Who will rule? You?


You see where I am going with this? Its idolatry, you are idolizing yourself, viewing yourself as a better man for the job, you are jealous and covet the position. Or you at least view yourself in higher esteem. You want the guns to overthrow the government, which is of course wrong, therefore you fear the government will take away the guns. Its a vicious cycle. Of course such thinking will lead to punishment. The best thing you could do is throw your cares onto God and get on with his work.

Remember, you must submit to them to keep your conscience clear!! Not because they are christian but because Christ himself appointed them for YOUR good.

5. Pay your taxes.
Christ paid his taxes, Paul paid his taxes, Alex Jones pays his taxes, Bill Cooper didn't pay his taxes. 
I love Bill Cooper okay, I love his work - whether it has any basis in reality or not (I dunno, who knows, I can't claim to know). But I love Bill Cooper. But he claimed to be a christian too, and it makes me uneasy as to how easily one can twist the bible to allow you to do things it says not to do. The bible says "no tax evasion", so what do you do? You twist Romans 13, you go to the constitution - you put the constitution in preference over the bible and boom you've rebelled against God, because you are more important than Him.

Yes folks, the truth movement, as it is, is in rebellion against God, many Christians are in there, and are deceived, Romans 13 says what it says, you can either follow it or disobey it, but what is more important, your well-being, or your love for Christ.


Conclusion

It sadly is open rebellion, we do our best to justify it, but denying Romans 13 is not really a viable option - so we can accept Romans 1-12, but 13 becomes figurative? Our mission is not to change governments but hearts!
This is the true point of R13, its to get us to realise our position in the world, to be beacons for true freedom, not fighting for a false one. We need to pick up bibles, not guns, change hearts not presidents. We must leave the world to its politics and represent OUR kingdom. I hope someone listens. 

view it from this point of view and see how it fits the truth movement and its leaders:


“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." (Luke 6:27-28)

Even if the government is our enemy, we have no biblical precedence for messing in politics. Any attempt would be a clear violation of what Jesus said in Luke 6. Now, get your eyes up into heaven and not down on the earth worrying about this stuff. Worry about those who are in bondage to sin, worry about those who willfully sin. Spread the gospel, hand out tracts instead of anti-govt propaganda. Get the real truth out there, join the REAL TRUTH MOVEMENT.


"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)




---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Answering Infowars:

Teaching in any way shape or form that churches preach that Obama is doing the work of God, or is Christ in human form is not only erroneous its a downright lie. Its also wrong to lump all German churches together, many churches closed down, and many gave their lives rather than serve the Nazi state. They did not preach Romans 13 as it is stated in the bible, they simply said the Hitler was the Messiah, and would not have needed to use Romans 13.

"It is more than interesting that some 95% of the 14,000 evangelical churches that graced the German landscape during Hitler’s rise to power bought into the identical misinterpretation of Romans 13 that the vast majority (probably at least 95%) of the 300,000 evangelical churches that grace America’s landscape have bought into today."

- Where did you even get these figures?

 "Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, was even more direct. He said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battle fields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Mr Baldwin attempts to use Martin Luther to support his case against Romans 13 (I don't know what case he is trying to make as of yet- other than the church in America is neutered?), apparently churches that are tax exempt now have to preach what the government says? Which makes little sense to me, does that mean that Amnesty International has to agree with torture? Close down Amnesty International quick before you get taxed!

Sadly Romans 13 isn't being attacked by anyone but Baldwin, its a verse that truthers don't like therefore it has to be reinterpreted. Martin Luther would have been defending the "orthodox" view, which is not "government does God's work", but that the government is established by God for our good - and our bad. Submit to government (Do what is required of you by law) is not the same as agreeing with everything they say, or attaching the same reverence to them as many do the pope. I could point you to "The obedience of the christian man", which is the book that changed my opinion on ruling authorities, I will not say how, but I suggest you read it. Its a very cheap book to purchase, and it is written by none other than William Tyndale (who has interestingly not been quoted by Baldwin in this article, despite his affiliations with Luther, and his bigger hand in the English reformation).

" Without a doubt, tyrants of all stripes love to exploit this asinine attitude of these sheepish, slavish preachers who idolize the state! Lutzer quotes Hitler as saying, “The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes.”

Wow, I could rip Baldwin to shreds using 1 Corinthians 13 here. But I won't. But what a hateful attitude. What standard does he use to declare the US government as tyrannical? Second what right does he have to declare hard working pastors who have given their lives to serve their congregation's asinine and slavish? Also what right does he have to use a fully Christian and honorable word (sheep) as if it is a bad thing? Is not Jesus Christ himself "the lamb"? I could easily get very angry by this so called Pastor's statements. But the Lord shall judge him by his own words. He may have used the word 'asinine' but he knows that it really means "foolish". He was trying to cleverly say that church Pastors are fools.

Onto the statement quoted by Lutzer. From the article I found here, it says the Parsons will be MADE to dig their own graves. Which is somewhat different from them willingly giving up their God, but they will be forced to do it to keep their jobs. But even so, to call them foolish, sheepish, slaves is a little over the top. Especially to call your own brothers and sisters that. The guy is bringing his fellow church into disrepute, taking an opportunity to give the gospel into a sideshow to make every new ager listening or reading guffaw and say "Church is controlled by government, well, that must be a load of rubbish, so glad I'm not a sheepy christian har har". Thats the saddest part of all this.

1. He assumes 501c3 means control by government
2. He assumes a Pastor would willingly preach heresy and damnable blasphemy.
3. He assumes this happened in Germany, when what evidence there is is shaky at best (especially in reference to evangelicals)
4. He brings his own church family into disrepute (which is condemned even by Paul himself! 1Cor 6)
5. He insults his fellow preachers calling them fools (Matt 5:22) which is punishable by destruction in the lake of fire.


I also find it most odd that he is quoting Presidents?

"Our second President, John Adams, put it this way: “It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted. For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality are predominate, ought they not to warn their hearers against those vices? If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue? If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, howmuchsoever it may move the gall of Massachusetts?”

To me this makes no sense, why quote presidents on matters of biblical doctrine? I pointed people to William Tyndale's book earlier, but I most certainly did not use it to make a case. I have no need to because the bible speaks for itself here. I also may not be the most eloquent blogger on the face of the Earth, but I trust you can see my point. Perhaps on the interview he made his point that "its okay for us to rebel against government", and still be a christian - whilst also putting all your eggs in the basket of worldly affairs instead of preaching the gospel (as I would hope most churches do). I can understand a church standing against abortion, because babies have no voice. But when it comes to actual politics and trying to overthrow the US government, thats not where the assembly of believers should be pointing its attention. You see, what the truth movement is trying to do, is reinterpret biblical verses - whilst condemning the church for not doing so (or having done so).  Trying to quote Martin Luther as well, its kind of crass - Luther didn't overthrow the German government, he argued about biblical doctrines that the church had usurped - he defended the bible, he didn't fight a civil war (Which Jones threatened recently in an interview with Piers Morgan). Basically, these folks have no justification, they also have little in the way of evidence. Try to find a church that calls Obama the Messiah

Here, I've done the work for you

Nothing.

Here is a search for Baldwin's claim that the government does the work of God

Again, nothing

So, where is the evidence?

They are simply trying to justify outward, consistent rebellion against the governments of the world. When there is no reason for any Christian to - we know that all these things must come to pass (Matt 24, Luke 21) there is no changing them. To resist in any way other than by preaching the gospel, is pointless. It shows a lack of hope and a lack of faith.

Mr Baldwin you need to look at the bible, and tell me, where in the bible does it say anything about infowars, anything about Jones and his ilk overthrowing the government? Tell me the point of all this? Even if we have a socialist government that comes in and dominates everyone, where does the bible say to take up arms?

In everything we must use the word of God as our guide.

"And it was given unto him (the beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Rev 13:7

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Rev 19:20

Thats who you let deal with this stuff...>>>>GOD!!

No comments: