Right to rebel?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by RLBosley, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. RLBosley

    RLBosley
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    At what point (if ever) do Christians have the right (or permission) to rise up against the established government?

    Jefferson said "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Obviously that isn't scripture but I wonder if anyone can support that? Personally I don't see anything that would allow it in scripture but I have been wrong before...

    I ask because with the current political climate some co-workers of mine and posters on other boards have discussed the possibilities of civil unrest/rebellion in the US.

    I am NOT interested in opinions of whether or not a rebellion in the US could ever succeed or even if it will happen, just wondering what kind of justification either side can use for Christians fighting or not in a rebellion. :thumbs:
     
    #1 RLBosley, Feb 26, 2013
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  2. Tom Butler

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    This is a really good subject to discuss. Let's start with Romans 13

    How do you read this passage? Can it be interpreted to prohibit rebellion against the established government? Does it mean that even the leaders we don't like are there because God put them there? Is President Obama's tenure ordained by God, therefore should not be opposed?

    Or, does this passage relate to the culture in which Paul wrote, where there were only kings, emperors and Caesars. Democracy, if it existed at all in the first century, was rare. (Some of you history buffs may know of one).

    Or, can it be argued that the American Revolution was ordained by God? It seems obvious that the occupation of the Promised Land, and the overthrowing of the established powers by the Jews, was, in fact, God's plan and will.

    Okay, what do you think? Release the hounds.
     
  3. RLBosley

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    I think those verses pretty plainly prohibit a Christian from taking up arms against his government.

    Where I start to have a problem with it though is with increasingly oppressive government; Say a government is for whatever reason systematically killing people but for the most part leaving Christians alone. Do believers have a right or even an obligation to stop that sins murder is sin or must they remain submissive?

    Was it right for the colonies to rebel against England? Well the American patriot in me says (Screams :laugh:) "You're darn right!" But did they really have Biblical support for their actions? I'm hesitant to say it but I don't think so...

    When it comes to the Jews conquering Canaan I view that as international warfare not rebellion for 2 reasons: 1, the Jews were not residents of the area so couldn't really be called rebels. 2, The Jews were already considered a nation by God (established as a country governed by laws at Sinai) just a country without a land.
     
    #3 RLBosley, Feb 26, 2013
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  4. Bronconagurski

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    I think it means that as a general rule, we obey the government and rulers that be. I think we see in the O.T., the three Hebrews, Shadrack, Mischack and Abednego (not sure of spelling), and then Daniel, obeyed God rather than the rulers that be and God blessed them. In the N.T. we find the Apostles doing the same thing when they were beaten and commanded not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus. The said it was better to obey God than man. I think the majority of the writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence thought that God would have them to do what they did.
     
  5. RLBosley

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    I agree that we should obey God and not follow any laws that would interfere with serving the Lord. However the examples of Daniel and his three amigos or the Apostles are only examples of ignoring/disobeying ungodly law. While that is Biblical and right it isn't the same as rebelling I don't think. Would you agree?
     
  6. Bronconagurski

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    Rebel means to resist, or rise against authority. So, yes, they resisted the King. He gave them a chance to their face to obey, and they would not. The Apostles were directly commanded to not preach in the name of Jesus, and they refused to obey. This, while not using force or involving using weapons, is rebellion. When daddy used to tell me to get my hair cut and I refused, I was rebelling against his authority.

    Whether one uses weapons to overthrow, or simply refuses to obey, those things have repercussions and they are rebelling against authority. That being said, if you want to talk only about the kind of rebellion that involves the rebels using force, then you have to go back to the O.T. when Joshua crossed over Jordan to take the land.
     
  7. RLBosley

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    Actually the dictionary definition of rebel is:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebel
    Not just refuse to obey but to directly, forcefully oppose. I see them as different anyway. Regardless, the question I asked was when, if ever, do Christians have the right to take up arms against the established government?

    I wouldn't consider Joshua leading Israel into Canaan as an example of rebellion. They were overthrowing the governments of the area yes, but that was international war - conflict between nations - as Israel was at that point a nation already just w/o a land. And even if we would consider that a rebellion, we are Christians in a new dispensation and not under the Old Covenant.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Then don't do it.
     
  9. RLBosley

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    Yep.. that was helpful.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Wasn't the revolutionary war a bunch of rebels fighting against England?
     
  11. Bronconagurski

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    I used dictionary.com. I went to the Original Websters and it does usually mean to take up arms, but is not limited to that.

    REBEL', v.i. [L. rebello, to make war again; re and bello.]

    1. To revolt; to renounce the authority of the laws and government to which one owes allegiance. Subjects may rebel by an open renunciation of the authority of the government, without taking arms; but ordinarily, rebellion is accompanied by resistance in arms.

    Ye have built you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord. Josh 22. Isa 1.

    2. To rise in violent opposition against lawful authority.

    How could my hand rebel against my heart? How could your heart rebel against your reason?

    Let's cut to the chase. Are you saying, like some Christians do, btw, that the
    American Revolution was a sinful act against God? If so, then were runaway slaves sinning against God? Did Abraham Lincoln, sin against God when he suspended habeas corpus two months after taking office? Is Obama sinning against God when he violates one of our most sacred documents that is the very rule of law that keeps us a civilized nation; that being the Constitution? I say he is, and if he takes it too far, then we are headed for another civil war, imo.
     
    #11 Bronconagurski, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2013
  12. Revmitchell

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    America is founded on the idea that when the government has become tyrannical then it may become time to revolt. Because that is the founding of this country and the core of our very existence then we can understand that in our Republic our government does not get to rule in a tyrannical way. This idea is seen in the 2nd amendment.

    Therefore because this is how our government works and is set up any Christian who revolts when the American government becomes tyrannical and there are no other options then we are good.

    It is the very reason Obama and his ilk want to make useless the 2nd amendment.
     
  13. MB

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    This country exist because of Revolution. We have the right to bear arms just in case our leaders do not hold to the constitution. If we allow change to come to the constitution we are allowing rebellion against our country and values. It is our responsibility to protect our country and our ideals. This could not be called a rebellion. It is merely protecting our country from our enemies.
    MB
     
  14. Gina B

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    For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.

    There's your blue paw print clue. If the rulers ARE a terror to good works, then these verses don't apply in that situation.
     
  15. Bronconagurski

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    :thumbs: Nail on the head.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    Didn't the founders state though that IF the US became another King, that would be fully justifed to rebel/overythrow/restablish a republic again?
     
  17. Benjamin

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    First, I wouldn’t expect to find direct wording from Jesus such as, “Rebel against the government if they _______?________ !” The Pharisees were obviously waiting for Him to walk into or be lured into that trap. Yet, I personally come away from reading the scriptures that Jesus certainly did have His ways and methods, for those times, to rebel against the rule of men who thought of themselves as gods and to achieve His goals which in fact ended up using their own violence against them and meanwhile His death went to solidify that Rome had no power over God’s ways. So although, He didn’t directly speak of rebellion against the government He left no doubt that He had ways to rebel.

    Heb 13:6-7
    (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
    (7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    Jesus came to be King and He was, but not in the ways of men. As we are told, times change and there is a season for all things. I never see God’s people being told to accept things as they are indefinitely or to remain as second class citizens, but rather not to fear what men may do unto you and to consider the end of the conversation. We have many guidelines and examples to follow throughout scripture regarding how men and God deal with things. Although we are told of peace and love for our enemies we are also shown that God’s ways of love often can involve strong resistance or even aggression against those who would do evil and pervert His ways.

    Even in considering the end of the conversation, Jesus’ passive ways of being here and examples of accomplishing His purposes we should not forget that we are told He is coming back and in doing so that we better not get caught “in bed with the Devil of this world” and He will be meaning business!

    I ramble, but the end of the conversation for me is that Jesus didn’t give undue respect or obedience to the rulers in this world and neither should I. There could come a point, for me (not only by right but by obligation as a good servant), that after prayerfully considering all things that I would be inclined to take whatever measures necessary to stand against the oppressive tyrannical ways of spreading evil in this world for the good.

    :type:
     
    #17 Benjamin, Feb 26, 2013
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  18. RLBosley

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    Good point. That'll teach me to just use one source :D

    I don't know honestly. As I said yesterday, the patriot in me (Military service and all) wants to say without reservation that the revolution was right. But scripturally can it be supported that's the question. Regarding Abe - I haven't thought about it. I'm not a Lincoln fan, personally I think he's overrated and the closest thing we ever had to a king - present dictators aside...

    And I agree that if Barry keeps pushing we may see rebellion or civil war. I'm just wondering if it would be justified for a Christian to be a part of it. Still not sure.

    I understand your reasoning and I really want to agree, but can you back it up with scripture?

    But then would allowing amendments be considered allowing rebellion against the constitution and values? You have to remember that as many people oppose BO or any other president there are still many that support him so what about there values?

    That is an interesting point of view. You may be on to something there. But at the same time when Paul wrote that the Roman Empire and the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were terrors to good works. They were actively trying to stop the preaching of the gospel, but Paul still said to obey in as much as was possible. The apostles never rebelled (with force I should say since as Bronconagurski showed rebelling can be civil disobedience) but but ignored laws/commands and were criminals in a sense but still peaceful.

    More or less yes, but (and I'm not trying to sound like a jerk or anything) the founders weren't inspired and aren't our final authority.

    Great post and I think pretty similar to me. I agree that Christ and the apostles never really gave overt respect or obedience to the government. To me they seem pretty indifferent to who was "in charge". But I think for me that is the strongest argument against Christians taking up arms against their government, Jesus and the early Church suffered terribly under the Romans and yet they never fought them. The one time Peter took a swing at a Roman soldier Jesus rebuked him (of course I understand that it was intended that Christ be betrayed).

    I just think that looking at the church under Roman rule there was much more cause for the apostles to lead an open rebellion against the establishment than we could here. Especially since the apostles were persecuted for their faith directly. We really have no idea what that is like in the US. People make a snide remark about us or church and we think it's persecution, we honestly don't have a clue. I really don't think we have an 'excuse' just by saying BO or whoever the next unpopular president will be is "taking away our country/constitution".

    So yeah... hope i didn't put anyone to sleep with my rambling... :sleep:
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    I suppose you missed the over all point. Since this was the founding of our country then it is the premise on which we view government. Any verse on how to respond to government supports this.
     
  20. RLBosley

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    You're right I did miss the point... It's early and I haven't had enough coffee :D

    I now see your point and it is interesting. I'll have to think on that. Thanks!
     

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