A Flawed Approach to Romans 13?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by righteousdude2, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I want to thank Zaac for bring in up the teaching of Romans 13:1-7, because it opened my eyes to a few issues that maybe Zaac needs to consider regarding the Scripture he quoted and how he interpreted it as being a "Sin to disrespect the POTUS."

    I wanted to point out to Zaac, that had NOT millions of Germans submitted to a madman named Hitler...millions and millions of life's would not have been lost!

    I do appreciate the many fine folks on the board, because sometimes what they start us out on, turns into a learning thing for me, and this is the case here. So, let me point out a few things about text he used, Romans 13:1-7:

    Paul writes, "Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. (1) - Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.

    Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, (2) - the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.

    That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders."

    I believe that Paul presented two exceptions to this, as noted above...

    1) Insofar as there is PEACE and ORDER. Granted we have peace [among all the killings in our neighborhoods, at schools, and malls], but "Order" is suspect, especially in the manner in which our government is now running!

    2) The government needs to be working for OUR ADVANTAGE! Again, is this government currently working for the advantage of the majority?

    According to Romans 13:1-7, as the author of the other OP wants us to believe, could be interpreted to mean that anyone who differs with or disrespects the POTUS may be committing a "Sin?"

    I ask these questions, because from where I sit, it sure seems like there is a rapid decay in how our government is following the Constitution and applying laws [and taxes to pay their bills]. In fact it appears to me, that the way our leaders [and remember, when it comes to being a leader - the "Buck stop in the Oval Office] are running this nation [as well as running it into the ground and deeper into debt], that it is more and more questionable as to whether this president, and the majority of our elected leaders truly have the best interest of the majority in mind when they change laws to appease the minority???

    So I ask:

    *According to Romans 13:1-7 is it possible that the majority has been overlooked when it comes to leaders changing laws and forcing same-sex marriage and amnesty for illegals down the throats of the majority who disagree. After all, doesn't majority still rule?

    *Are those who claim to be born-again believers not sinning when they come to and live in this country, knowing they are breaking the laws of this country? Is that not "rebeling against the authority God has instituted?"

    *Is it not a form of rebelling, when these same people, here illegally, set up housekeeping and have babies [under the Anchor Baby laws]? Or when they obtain illegal social security cards and drivers licenses, is that not rebelling?....Are illegals, according to Paul's terms in the text of Romans 13, NOT REBELLING against the government??? Are they not guilty of sin???

    *Should those who live here ILLEGALLY not be subject to this part of Paul's teaching? "But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason." Isn't our government failing to follow its own laws when the not only let these people remain in our country, but make it easy for them to get medical care [for free], education, and in Calitroronia, drivers licenses?

    *Is our government following what is expected of them as they FAIL to use the sword [of justice] to deport those wrongfully here?! And that leaves us one more reason not to OBEY the law of the land, and to call it on the carpet!

    I'd say the lawless approach to our own Consititution by those elected to defend it against enemies both domestic and foreign is a clear signal to rise up and demand changes for the good?

    I appreciated the opportunity to read and reflect on Romans 13, as it seems that this government is in violation of not doing its part, which brings into question the right for the majority to rise up and question, and disrespect, as you say, those in leadership of this once great nation!

    I'd have to say that those of us who are annoyed with the government have every right to be angry, frustrated and disappointed. How can that be sin, when it is the leadership that is not following the basic rules it expects the majority of us to follow and live by?

    I wonder what Paul would've done had he lived in our day and time of moral and political corruption! I'm sure his fiery spirit would be leveling the boom of judgement on the lack of social mores, and the decay of law and order! I'm sure he would be annoyed with the anarchy in America!
     
  2. annsni

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    I believe we are to pray for our leaders - good or bad. I believe we should submit to them as much as is right. When we choose to be disobedient, we need to do so carefully and in line with what God ultimately would have us do. So no, we don't murder but we might express our feelings in some civil disobedience, clearly ready for the ramifications of those actions.
     
  3. Zaac

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    And I will point out that there is no way for us to know that they would not have been lost. If God has intended for something to take place in order to bring about something else, there is nothing we can do to change that.

    God didn't call them to murder anyone. But they were called to obedience whether or not they liked it. But then again, that assumes that we are assuming that the folks who actually carried out the killings of millions were Christians and they actually gave a flying hoot about submitting to authority.
     
  4. poncho

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    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] In America, the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.

    [/FONT] [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]This means that in America the "higher powers" are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Therefore, this is how Romans Chapter 13 reads to Americans:[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]"Let every soul be subject unto the [U.S. Constitution.] For there is no [Constitution] but of God: the [Constitution] that be [is] ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the [Constitution], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For [the Constitution is] not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [Constitution]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For [the Constitution] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for [the Constitution] beareth not the sword in vain: for [the Constitution] is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for [the Constitution is] God's minister, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]
    Dear Christian friend, the above is exactly the proper understanding of our responsibility to civil authority in these United States, as per the teaching of Romans Chapter 13.
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif][FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]by Chuck Baldwin[/FONT][/FONT]
     
    #4 poncho, Nov 13, 2013
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  5. JonC

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    I don’t know. I think that it is less “cut and dry” on both sides. We stand for Christ regardless of civil authority and law. But at the same time, I think that we need to look at the civil leadership at the time Paul wrote this passage (I wouldn’t call it a godly authority – although looking back I certainly think that that government was placed there by God). I am not sure that we can state that the this verse implies the government needs to be working for our advantage (I don’t see this in the Roman government nor do I know this to be a common principle outside of our time).



    My 2 cents – we respect the authority and acknowledge that God placed those in power in accordance with his sovereign plan. We obey insofar as our obedience is not disobedience to God. When we disobey in order to obey God, we should accept the consequences of our obedience and count the outcome as gain.


    Of course, an interesting question is whether or not our founding fathers were in direct disobedience to Romans 13. It seems that righteousdude would indicate “no,” while the comments of annsni and Zaac seem to support that they were disobedient in their actions (correct me if I’m wrong). I’m not sure how I would deal with that issue – certainly God’s hand was in our independence, but God does work through the disobedience of men…
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    Obama is an abortionist and a liar and cannot be trusted. He is as deceitful as the day is long. He is bypassing congress with his excessive presidential orders. He is trying to legislate from the oval office. He does not care for the constitution or the rule of law. He only cares about his Marxism. There is nothing about him to respect. Not even according to scripture.
     
  7. HankD

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    And therefore also the God given rights of Freedom of Speech and the Redress of Grievances.

    With grievances aplenty, I will therefore as a citizen legally exercise these gifts from God.

    HankD
     
  8. poncho

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    What was Roman Law when Romans 13 was written?

    Early Roman law was drawn from custom and statutes, but later during the times of the empire, the emperors asserted their authority as the ultimate source of law.

    Their edicts, judgments, administrative instructions, and responses to petitions were all collected with the comments of legal scholars.

    "What pleases the emperor has the force of law." As the law and scholarly commentaries on it expanded, the need grew to codify and to regularize conflicting opinions.


    http://www.unrv.com/government/laws.php
     
    #8 poncho, Nov 13, 2013
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  9. JonC

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    The government of Paul’s day was not remotely composed of leaders we would consider ideal. Perhaps President Obama and his administration may one day be described as fiddling while our nation burned, but I don’t know that he is worse than Nero. The early church existed under a distinctly ungodly civil rule. Yet Paul wrote, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Romans 13 prescribing obedience to civil authorities.

    I do not see where we have a “God given” right to the freedom of speech and the redress of grievances (outside of the Church, anyway) – I’d like to be pointed in the right direction here (where is this derived in Scripture). I am also curious as to how Romans 13 is interpreted by those who think it does not apply to our present situation. In a way it seems more applicable when the government is not in accordance to our expectations.
     
  10. poncho

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    The Law Of Necessity

    Most of us are taught from childhood to respect and obey the law. On the whole, Americans are law-abiding people. This is only fitting for a nation that was built on the principles of law. Remember, at our core, this is supposed to be a “nation of laws, not men.” This is one reason that our Founding Fathers bequeathed us a republic and not a democracy.

    Unfortunately, it has been over one hundred years since America’s teachers (both secular and sacred) have taught the principles of Natural Law. This has created a vast ignorance that has blinded people (especially Christian people it seems) from being able to properly understand, evaluate, and judge the law.


    Jesus made it clear that there are greater laws and lesser laws, that the Natural Law of saving life was a superior law to even the Law of the Sabbath. This law of nature can be called “The Law of Necessity.”
     
    #10 poncho, Nov 13, 2013
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  11. Zaac

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    Interesting. But THAT is NOT what Scripture says. Scripture explicitly says HE. It is referencing PEOPLE, not documents.
     
  12. Don

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    The problem with that response?

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    One thing you can count on Zaac for is he is going to stick to his argument no matter how bad he knows it is.
     
  14. Zaac

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    He may be a lot of things, but we're still called of God to treat him with honor and respect.

    There's a principle in God's word that centers around Matthew 24:12. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.

    As goes the church, so goes the world. Wickedness in the world is increasing because the wickedness coming out of the Church is increasing.

    And like this poster, so many in the Church refuse to acknowledge their disobedience as wickedness.

    Yet we wonder why the wickedness in the "secular" is increasing. We are in denial and the wickedness is testified of by our lack of love for anyone who does not abide by our politics or our beliefs.
     
  15. JonC

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    I agree. Obedience to God is the priority (and obedience in spirit and truth – true worship – rather than a legalistic adherence to rules). Obedience to God over obedience to men is a biblical concept (and I believe covers the “law of necessity”). But I do not see the light that this sheds on how Romans 13 is to be interpreted by those who do not think it applies to our current situation.

    When all is said and done, Christians funded pagan authorities through their taxes. To an extent, they funded their own executioners. They were to be obedient to civil authorities – as long as that obedience was not contrary to obedience to God. I do not see, however, where a stand for truth culminated in explicit disregard or disrespect for the civil authorities of that day. Rather than conquering the worldly it seems that they were commanded to stand for truth within the sociopolitical system of their day.

    Perhaps it is just me, the dull tool in the box, but I am having trouble reconciling Romans 13 in any other way than but obedience to worldly authority insofar as it is not disobedience to God. (I don’t mean this to be following blindly and not voicing opposition to policy – or using our rights to combat immorality; but there seems to be an attitude of disrespect to our civil authorities that appears to me in contradiction of this passage).
     
  16. Zaac

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    One thing we can count on is wickedness defending itself. And as the church continues to defend its wickedness, the world outside the church becomes more wicked in correlation to the increase in wickedness inside the church.
     
    #16 Zaac, Nov 13, 2013
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  17. Zaac

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    Jon I believe you are absolutely correct. And as those in the church continue an increase of this wicked behavior and other wicked behaviors while unrepentantly trying to justify it, expect the condition of the country and the world to get worse and worse, not as a result of what the lost are doing, but as a direct result of what God's people are doing because they've set their politics up as an idol.
     
  18. Bro. Curtis

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    This sounds like a Monty Python skit.

    You're funny.
     
  19. poncho

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    Right. Rome had an emperor who was considered "the source of all law" so "he" was the "higher power" at that time. Fast forward to today in the USA, we do not have an emperor who is considered "the source of all law" so neither the president nor congress are the "higher power" here. The U.S. constitution is the "higher power".

    The only time any duly elected magistrate in our system of government has the legal authority to do anything is when it is in accordance with the constitution. The law governs the government. If a magistrate acts outside of his legal authority he or she is usurping power that is not rightly their's. That's called tyranny and it is a crime against all of us.

    What is the greatest commandment?
     
    #19 poncho, Nov 13, 2013
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  20. HankD

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    If abortion is not the epitome of tyranny then nothing is.

    It is against the law of God as well as the law of nature and until 1973 the law of the land.

    An aborted child is denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in one act of the shedding of innocent blood.

    There are other abominations which have been made legal in our country but I'll not go into that.

    Rather than single out the president I prefer to say "this administration".

    When we practice our freedom of speech and/or redress of grievances we are obeying the scriptures because we are legally using the tools provided us by our government and these gifts can be exercised without speaking evil of the man but his deeds.

    Poncho is 100% correct, our heritage is from a group of men, the founding fathers, who knew tyranny and oppression and developed a government which provided tools to legally supress and eliminate these men and there deeds.

    In order to do that, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, redress of grievances and the right to vote were provided as tools to defeat the very form of tyranny and oppression that this administration is committing.

    Actually, NOT using these tools is the greater wrong.

    HankD
     
    #20 HankD, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

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