Romans 13:3

Discussion in 'Politics' started by billwald, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. billwald

    billwald
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    From another thread: "Romans 13:3 Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same."

    (someone)Justify this in terms of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.
     
  2. JGrubbs

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    Romans 13 is one of the most abused chapters in Scripture! This has been debated many times on the board.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, it has been debated many times and greatly abused. We have seen some people add words to limit the teaching of the passage. It is interesting to see the lengths that some will go to promote their political beliefs over Scripture.

    Justify it in terms of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot? Justify what? The Bible doesn't need to be justified. It needs to be obeyed. What happened to the attitude of hte apostles who willingly suffered shame for the name of Christ and counted it honor?

    Obey the authorities God has put in charge. That's pretty simple, it seems to me. MOdern politics has clouded it because people don't believe in radical Christianity anymore. It's a shame, IMO.
     
  4. JGrubbs

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    While there may be some who believe that God put Hitler in charge in Nazi Germany, I believe the few Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood up to the tyranny of Nazi Germany and paid with their lives believed in radical Christianity more than the majority of the Christians in pre-Nazi Germany that supported Hitler, and used Romans 13 to claim that Hitler was ordained by God.

    It's not God's will that Christians submit to evil and satanic leaders who abuse their powers to persecute those who are under them. God has ordained certain leaders to do go to those who they rule over, those leaders who do not do good, like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were not ordained by God!
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    Thanks, JGrubbs for a perfect illlustration of my point. I feared someone was going to ask me to prove that people were changing the text and going to great lengths to avoid Rom 13. You saved me the time.

    Here are your problems.

    1. The Bible doesn't say that only good governments are ordained by God. V. 1 says the governments that be are ordained by God. So, yes, God put Hitler in Charge of Nazi Germany, just as he put the far worse and more gruesome Assyrians in world domination, the Babylonians after them, the Romans, and countless other godless governments. They are all ordained of God.

    2. To say that it is not God's will for you to submit to government is explicitly contradicted in Scripture. God says we are to submit. He makes no distinction between kinds of governments. He specifies only that we obey him first. The context of Rom 13 is a vile, wicked, persecuting Roman government. It was as bad an any of the three above, and in that very context, God says omit. You should hardly say otherwise.

    BTW, Bonhoeffer was probably not a believer, given his theology. But that's a different issue.
     
  6. JGrubbs

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    This is just a matter of interpretation. In Romans 13 God tells us what a government ordained by God is and does. A debate that will still be around when the Lord returns.

    You believe God ordains evil government leaders, I believe God allows them to come to power, but doesn't ordain them. You probably believe God is the author of sin and created Adam and Eve to bring sin into the world. There are many areas of Scripture like this that will be debated as long as there are Christians on earth.

    Bonhoeffer was probably not a believer?? I can honestly say, you are the first person I have ever heard make that statement. His book The Cost of Discipleship is one of the greatest Christian books ever written!
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    No, not really. Notice how you have to add words to make your point stand. It won't stand from what God said.

    Yes, it exists.

    Romans 13:1 For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

    Notice that the only requirement to be a government ordained by God is to exist.

    Then you have to deny Scripture. God tells us that he ordains evil leaders. It happens all through the OT. He ordained Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, evil kings of Israel and Judah, Roman emperors. This is the clear teaching of Scripture that can be disputed only by disregarding Scripture.


    Nope. He is not the author of sin.

    Nope, He created them for his glory.

    But there are many passages like this that should not be debated.

    There is much about Romans 13 we could discuss, such as the line of "obeying God rather man" exists. But this is cut and dried.

    Then you should get out more and learn more about him. He was an existentialist and a neo-orthodox with a faulty Christology. He probably questioned the virgin birth, denied the diety of Christ, believed in baptismal regeneration, and rejected the inspiration of Scripture. These are not minor issues.

    This issue has been debated for a long time. I am certainly not the first to say it, nor the last. I honestly don't know. That's why I said "probably." Can someone be saved with an unorthodox view of major tenets of the faith? I don't see how.

    Bonhoeffer did some admirable things, and showed courage. But those don't make one a Christian.
    '
    But let's not get off topic about Bonhoeffer. I really don't know and so I can't comment in depth.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    In the Book of Jeremiah, I think it is, God tells His people to meekly submit to the rulership of Babylon. To live life as if they were in Jerusalem, give sons and daughters to marriage, plant, reap, so on.
    There was no command to rebel, to rise up against tyranny, or to protest.
    This is in line with the principle of Romans 13:3 and of 'living peaceably' with those around us.
    We are Christians and not earthlings.
    We are just passing through, and therefore not here to stir up the water, or to rock the boat.
    Our true citizenship is in heaven, and the kingdom of our King is not of this world.
     
  9. JGrubbs

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    So it was God's wil that Hitler be elected by the people of Germany, and it was God's will that Hitler killed millions of Jews, and the Allies in World War II were wrong because they were trying to take God's leader out of power? I guess you believe the founding fathers were sinning by rebelling aginst England, and that our nation was founded in sin?

    It is simply a matter of interpretation, just because you believe Romans 13 to mean something doesn't make it so. There are thousands of theologins who would disagree with you.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    Yes. IT clearly was. Just like it was God's will for Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Rome, etc. Do you read the Bible? Are you familiar with these people and the horrible things they did? The Bible clearly declares that God raised them up.

    No, I think God raised them up as well.

    That is a concern I have voiced before. I have read a number of different perspectives on exactly what was involved. To be honest, I don't really know. I am uncomfortable with it at this point, but I also firmly believe in the sovereignty of God in history. He raised our country up.

    And yes, it is clear that God sometimes uses sin to accomplish his will.

    I have yet to read one who disagrees on what the text says. You add words to the text. That is clear. There may be thousands of theologians who disagree with my particular view, but the basic principle that you are denying it clear in Scripture. Second, truth is not up to majority vote. So if thousands disagree with me, it is irrelevant. Romans 13 says what it says, and you have continually changed it to fit your political stripe.

    What in the world do you think v. 1 means? LEt's start there, since it is the beginning of the thought.
     
  11. JGrubbs

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    Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (please read vv. 2-7 also). Statists are accustomed to appeal to this text as if it supported an unconditional and uncritical subjection to any and every demand of the state. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Pastor Larry, in another thread you said, "Piper's handling of Scripture is mostly solid". I found some teachings from Piper on Romans 13 that help break through some of the semantics in this debate.

    Many use Romans 13 to say that we must obey all authority that is over us because it is "ordained" by God. While others say that only authority that is doing good is "ordained" by God. I think the question shouldn't be wether the government is "ordained" but rather, is that governement to be obeyed.

    From Piper:

    "As long as authorities punish only what is evil and praise only what is good, submission to God will always conform to submission to the authorities. But if the authorities ever begin to punish the good and reward the bad (as has repeatedly happened in church history) then submission to God will bring us into conflict with the authorities. So the command to be subject in verses I and 5 is not absolute, it depends on whether subjection will involve us in doing wrong."

    "We can sum up in several sentences. 1) There is no authority except from God. The greatest human ruler should humbly confess he is where he is by virtue of God's sovereign appointment. 2) Nevertheless, some rules and governments are good and some are bad. Some reward the right and punish the wrong. Others do the reverse. Most do a little of both. 3) Therefore, the demand for subjection is relative, not absolute. It depends on whether the demands of the governing authorities require us to disobey Jesus. If they do we will not be subject at that point but will say with Peter, "We must obey God rather than men." We will honor God above the state. But if the demands of the state do not require us to disobey Jesus (as with speed limits, stop signs, income taxes, curfews, building codes, fishing licenses and many other laws) we will be subject for the Lord's sake (1 Peter 2:13)."

    Source: http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper81/070581m.htm

    So going back to the OP of the thread, with cases like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Just because God had allowed these leaders to be put in place, or "ordained" them doesn't mean that the Christians under their rule are required to blindly submit to their authority and obey them. When those leaders started going against the Scriptures and started acting as tools of Satan, the Christians were right to opposed and disobey them.

    I am glad we were able to once again have this debate, because it helps me to question or challenge my beliefs and dig deeper to help solidify what and why I believe what I do. Sometimes the problem with debates is not the opposing views, but how these views are presented. I think Piper does a great job of interpreting Romans 13.

    We may disagree on issues from time to time, but we are still brothers in Christ! Hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!!
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    I agree with Piper. I think he said it well. When the government asks us to disobey God, we must refuse. Other than that, we must submit. Too many read their own personal preferences as mandates of obedience. I can't see that. When we disobey government, we need a clear statement of God to base it on.

    I asked a previous thread about God-given rights and no one responded that I saw. What rights did God exactly give? Until we know that, we don't have much of a starting point. I contend that in the NT our lives are so bound up in God and his gospel that these little political issues are far beneath the Christian. Why be concerned that someone might tap our phone? Talk about Jesus on the phone. I think there are much bigger issues than this piddly stuff that too many are concerned about.

    I hope you and your family have a great holiday as well. It is probably warmer there than here. The bad things is that the snow is a week old and it isn't white anymore.
     
  13. StefanM

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    Question: You're in Nazi Germany, and you are required to report on the presence of Jews. You're hiding a Jewish family in your house.

    Do you submit to the law, or do you rebel?
     
  14. JGrubbs

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    I believe one of the first God-given rights is the right to life, so if they government in Nazi Germany is looking to take away a Jewish families right to live, then as a Christian it would be my responsibility to rebel and not obey the government and report the presence of the Jews.
     
  15. billwald

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    Isn't the bottom line that no one in their guts wants to go the Heaven to be with Jesus? If we "believed in" Heaven and Jesus would we be satisfied to let ourselves be killed in hope that it would lead to a conversion of the Moslims?
     
  16. billwald

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    "I believe one of the first God-given rights is the right to life,"

    Solid Rabbinical teaching.
     

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