Do Christians Owe Unlimited Submission To Civil Government

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by poncho, Aug 25, 2004.

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Do Christians Owe Unlimited Submission To Civil Government

  1. YES

    95.2%
  2. NO

    4.8%
  1. poncho

    poncho
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    A holy God that hates evil sends His only Son to a fallen world to be brutely tortured and hung on a cross to die at the hands of the very same evil He hates in order to free those (who He loves) that have no way to free themselves from evil (sin) and to defeat that evil.

    Jesus defeated sin (evil) on the cross He completed His work! He set the captives free!

    Now being free from sin (evil) we are taught unlimited submission to civil government even if it is controled by the same evil (sin) that God hates and His Son Jesus has already died to defeat?

    Something just doesn't seem right about this. How can this idea of unlimited submission to civil government both come from the same freedom loving God?

    Did Jesus free us from sin just to make us slaves to sin?

    Quote taken from a letter from Darryl Eberhart to Jeffrey Bennet Sept. 29, 1999
    Psalms 94

     
  2. go2church

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    That might sound good in a fund raising letter or from the platform with an American flag waving in the background on the 4th of July while children hum "Glory, glory alleluha" but Daniel, Jesus, and Paul would not agree. They obeyed the government of their day which were all pagan. Any time they felt they could not obey, they disobeyed and willingly took the consequences, even to the point of death. That is not unlimited submission to a government but to God.

    So is the point of your post and that letter, that we should work to gain control of the government? If so I would argue that would be a giant waste of time! Instead we should be preparing ourselves to be martyrs.
     
  3. Johnv

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    It appears to me from scripture that Paul and Jesus both submit to the Roman government without exception. Sure, they may have questioned or criticized the governments, but they submitted to them.

    OTOH, you have OT examples of people refusing to worship false gods when the law required them to do so, so there's in the very least a scriptural fine line between the two. Not having a concrete answer myself on the topic, perhaps others can comment further.
     
  4. AVL1984

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    My answer was basically going to be the same as yours Johnv. I do believe though that if we were ever required to worship a President or world leader, I would have to decline to submit to the gov't. I have also found that I have not submitted in the areas of not praying on public property (Schools) in GA. So, it would be a mix.

    AVL1984
     
  5. Marcia

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    I couldn't answer the poll's question because of the word "unlimited." I would say that we should submit unless an attempt is being made to force us to do something against God, such as
    1. Worship another god
    2. Kill the innocent
    3. Speak against Christ

    If asked to do these things, we should refuse. However, this does not mean we can rebel against the rulers.

    Since God clearly tells us that He establishes the governments, rulers, kings, and ruling authorities, rebelling against such authority is going against God's set up. He allows evil regimes for His own purposes.
     
  6. poncho

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    1. Worship another god...like the state maybe as this unlimited doctrine seems to advocate?

    2. Kill the innocent...how are the innocent killed if not by our silence? How many abortions were performed today because we are acting in a "christian manner" and submiting to mans laws instead of God's as this doctrine seems to advocate?

    3. Speak against Christ...silence in the face of evil is to speak very loudly against Christ IMHO.

    Who will be martyred first? Those that dare speak out against and take a stand against evil in high places or those that obey evil in high places as this doctrine seems to advocate?

    I'll be somewhere near Jesus when you decide to show up go2church ;) .
     
  7. poncho

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    One thing I forgot.

    The control of our government was put directly in our hands by those that founded this country...they didn't seem to think it was such a waste of time to place control on government as in the constitution. Which is clearly intended to limit the governments liberty...not the peoples.

    Now that we ourselves have let these chains rust to the point of breaking (by silence) we are to just live with it because it's God's will that we should be submisive to higher authorities and obey all mans laws...even if those laws are in fact intended to usurp the rightful constitutional power of the people to govern themselves?

    How can this make sense?
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    The only time civil disobedience is permitted is when the state requires you to do something that would violate God's biblical command. Unlimited state power is of no concern to God. God's will for you is that you submit to the government. 1 Peter 2 explicitly uses those words. Anything less and you are out of the will of God. Don't buy this humanistic philosophy.
     
  9. poncho

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    Last I knew "Thou shalt not kill" is one of God's commandments, yet the government sanctions the murder of thousands in the name of pro-choice. So, the state in essence state requires you and I both you and I both to live by a law that violates God's commandment.

    Those who stand by and consent by silence or that teach silence is just as guilty of murder as those that abort a human life.
     
  10. go2church

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    poncho,

    The problem is not our silence

    Examples:

    1. How many God-fearing evangelicals are pro-life, jeering those who dare enter an abortion clinic and at the same time pro-death penalty, cheering when the needle is stuck in the vein of convicted criminal?
    2. We demand the Ten Commandments hang or stand in our court houses, yet most evangelicals couldn't name over half the Ten Commandments when asked.
    3. We proclaim the life giving liberty found in Jesus Christ and yet won't allow women the "right" to serve God as pastor's, because we men have decided it isn't their "role".
    4. We cry loudly about gay marriage, even wanting to change the constitution to outlaw it, yet have a divorce rate the same or higher (depending on what stats you use) then that of the secular world.

    These are just a few there could be many, many more. No, the problem is not our silence, the problem is that we won't shut up!
     
  11. poncho

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    Well ok go2church, if that's what you believe. As for me...as long as God will see fit to put breath in my body I not shut up about evil in high places.

    Isaiah 58:1

    Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

    Proverbs 31:8

    Open thy mouth, for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

    Ezekiel 33:6

    But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and taKe [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

    Proverbs 24:11, 12

    If thou forbear to deliver [them that are] drawn unto death, and [those that are] ready to be slain;

    If thou sayest, Behold, we knew not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it]? and he that keepeth the soul, doth not he render to [every] man according to his woks?

    Men and women become accomplices to those evils they fail to oppose.

    When freedom is at stake silence is not golden-it is yellow. (Note: Yellow means cowardly in this context)
     
  12. go2church

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    Is it cowardly to turn the other check, it is cowardly to love our enemies, is it cowardly to love others more then ourselves, is it cowardly to "live at peace with others as long as it is up to you", is it cowardly to "patiently endure" the persecution of this world, is it cowardly to be a peacemaker? If so, then paint me yellow! I contend it takes more courage and strength to live as Christ lived. I'm afraid that you have confused Christianity with democracy.
     
  13. Johnv

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    OTOH, in the days of slavery, many Christians didn't have a problem violating commandments.

    Another commandment forbids us from taking the Lord's name in vain, yet I would not be in favor of the government making it illegal for a person to do so in the privacy of his/her home.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    Last I knew, the government did not require me to kill anybody. There is no law for me to disobey. If the government requires my wife to have an abortion, then I would certainly disobey. But as of now, the government has required nothing unbiblical from me or from you.

    I am not standing by and consenting by silence. I certainly speak about it when I have opportunity, as should you. But I am not guilty of murder in any sense at all.

    Again, realize that the issue of civil disobedience is applicable only when the government requires me to violate God's law. Until then, we are to submit, whether we like it or not.
     
  15. JGrubbs

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    We are not silent about the issue in America's churches, we have the "Scantity of Life" Sunday every year in January. Besides, we should only be outraged enough to spend the time, money and resources to fight to save those who are being persecuted and killed in other countries, it's best to just sit and wait for the right people to be elected and pass the laws needed to save the thousands of babies that are butchered daily in America, it's been working for the past 30 years hasn't it? There are more improtant issues to be concerned with like education, medicare, free trade, etc. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  16. poncho

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    I commend you for speaking Pastor Larry.

    Go2church, I will most gladly take your advise on turning the other cheek just as instructed to do so by Jesus, as any Roman citizen at the time of Jesus would have correctly identified this as an act of defiance and not of submission.
     
  17. go2church

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    From Webster's Student Dictionary copyright 1999 Barnes and Noble edition
    Defiance = noun - acting against (law/ authority); adjective - very proud and antagonistic

    Your interpretation of "defiance" doesn't jive with the rest of Jesus' life and teaching as a suffering servant or the rest of the scripture passage for that matter. It is a message of meekness and humility that you have twisted to suit your own needs.
     
  18. HankD

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    Roman citizens paved the way in this area. They refused to pay tribute in the form of a worship ritual to Caesar and usually lost their lives through crucifixion, lions, burning at the stake, etc.
     
  19. poncho

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    Your dictionary is correct go2church.

    Mat 5:39 If someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Why The right cheek?

    Who was Jesus speaking to when He said those words? 20th century preachers in three piece suits? No he was talking to common folks and slaves in a time and under conditions far different than we live in go2church.

    He was speaking to a conquered people well aquainted with humiliation and abuse at the hands of their conquerers, masters, and self proclaimed superiors.

    Slaves and common folk were not treated as equals by their "masters". Slaves were repremanded by a slap with the back of the right hand to the right cheek.

    But to strike a peer someone of your equal, you would use your fist and hit directly, usually to the left cheek.

    Now Jesus cames along and tells his listeners to turn the other cheek...imagine that. No wonder they were astonished at His doctrine.

    That forces the hitter to hit you as an equal, alerts the hitter that they are treating you as a loser, and allows them to see they are abusing their power over you and to consider changing their behaviour.

    We live in far different times and under far different conditions than Jesus' listeners. To just assume we can interchange those times and customs with the present just doesn't work.
     
  20. poncho

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    Who has done the twisting here?
     

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