Romans 13 And Interventionism.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, May 5, 2012.

  1. poncho

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    I've wondered about this for a while now. There are those who tell us that according to Romans 13 we must obey our government officials (public servants) because God has appointed them over us as ministers of good.

    Okay, let's say these people are right. How does that work in other countries? Does God appoint their government officials too? Does Romans 13 apply to them too? Musn't they also obey those that God has raised up to govern them?

    If so then should we as Christians support regime change and humanitarian interventions?

    How does Romans 13 square with the just war theory, regime change and so called humanitarian interventions, like Libya?

    There are those that argue the American revolution was an act of disobedience to God. If liberating ourselves from the King of England was an act of disobedience to God then how much more so is liberating others by force of arms or political/economic manipulation (sanctions) from those God has appointed over them?
     
    #1 poncho, May 5, 2012
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  2. HeirofSalvation

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    This is a quandry that has bugged me for a long time....It does seem (on the one hand) that we should obey our Government authorities, and at the same time that one must fight to defend liberty/justice etc...Especially when you look at the American Revolution...It was not as though we were fighting for Religious Freedom of expression, and it is not as though the monarchy was strictly requiring disobedience towards God....He wasn't commanding the colonists to fornicate/murder/steal/worship Buddha or anything else....He was quartering soldiers, siezing firearms, and taxing (in order to meddle with laissez-faire economic principles) in lieu of merely raising funds....

    Taken as a whole: I would simply say that I generally agree with the principles of just war theory...Sounds as reasonable as anything...and better than I could answer it....It passes the smell test for me so-to-speak.
    As far as the liberation of "others" I would suppose there is no over-arching principle: It sounds nice to think that a "super-power" or signifigantly influential nation might easily avoid "interventionism" but History seems to suggest that that is often not really feasible...The economic freedom or liberty for instance of a nation's sovereign citizens (who require the protection of their government) might be threatened if they have been legitimately engaging in fair and honest international trade...Barbary Pirates War for instance... or Falklands War, would seem to be a legitimate excuse for Regime change. It seems more of a case-by-case scenario, wherein the "liberating" nation has a personal stake in their "peace-keeping" operations.

    Libya (for example) might have been the worst blunder ever perpetrated by our State-department...They were no threat to us whatsoever, nor really anyone else...I think Obama simply wanted radical Muslim terrorists in charge of the counrty because he warms to them, hates Christians, hates Jews and Hates the God of the Bible.... Ditto Egypt.
     
    #2 HeirofSalvation, May 5, 2012
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  3. billwald

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    Did any NT Christian ever bad-mouth the Roman Government?
     
  4. HeirofSalvation

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    Yes. The apostle Paul, at least, exposed a legal injustice perpetrated on him by Roman Government.
     
  5. billwald

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    >>Did any NT Christian ever bad-mouth the Roman Government?

    >Yes. The apostle Paul, at least, exposed a legal injustice perpetrated on him by Roman Government.

    Requesting that an administrative error be corrected is bad-mouthing the government?
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

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    The Romans left the Pharisees & Saducees in their positions of authority over the Jews. You may remember Stephen had some not-so-nice things to say to them.
     
  7. billwald

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    >The Romans left the Pharisees & Saducees in their positions of authority over the Jews.

    In the same way that Hitler let them control the Warsaw Ghetto? You would equate criticizing the Ghetto Jewish leaders to criticizing Hitler?
     
  8. saturneptune

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    Maybe one could argue that the American Revolution was rebellion against the Lord since He raised up the leaders of England. I do not know. That was over 200 years ago, and has nothing to do with today. Today, we are a free country that the Lord has richly blessed. We enjoy freedom, liberty, and basic human rights. We are governed by the Constitution, and it is quite clear about sticking our nose in other countries. When we are attacked, or there is a threat to our national security, Congress declares war, and we go into a nation with all we have, fight, win, and make a quick exit.

    We have been in nation after nation without a declaration of war from Congress. How many American lives have been lost because we sent ground troops to a country that was not a threat to us, such as Libya, Panama, Cambodia, Croatia, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, etc, etc, etc. What does history tell us about the wars in Korea and Vietnam? One thing that it tells us, is when we commit troops, we go there to win, not limit ourselves to be nice about the matter. Without a declaration of war, we have no business there anyhow. We surely have no business being part of a UN force. The men who served in those countries deserve the highest of gratitude. It is the politicians of the given time that should be held accountable for the lives in conflicts we had no business in.
     
  9. HeirofSalvation

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    WHAT???? how did Hitler get involved in this? I may want to read some more posts by you before I jump in and decide whether I should attempt to engage in future conversation.

    Bro. Curtis is not equating.....you are. see here:
     
  10. AresMan

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    The "powers that be" during Paul's time were definitely occupied by pagan Roman rulers. I believe Paul is specifically referring to the functions of government that God established to enforce matters of equity. Obviously Paul was not saying that Christians had to cease proclaiming their message in the face of persecution from rulers.

    Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
    Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
    Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.


    If the government suppresses Christianity where Christians cannot be who they are in good conscience without violating the law of the land, then they should be prepared to endure persecution.

    Nevertheless, I believe many Christians mistake what Paul was talking about; otherwise, Paul would have been a hypocrite. Paul is specifically referring to the matters of equity that should be common in any nation.

    Gen 9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
    Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.


    The "powers that be" are the institutions established by God to handle cases of aggression: murder, theft, rape, etc.

    Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    These good works (benevolence to others) and evil works (aggression against others) are (usually) recognized by ANY government but not perfectly. These are what Paul is talking about, not any little thing a tyrant wishes to persue outside God's boundaries.

    Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.


    If one looks closely, Paul's concern here is about equity. The government's role here is to "bear the sword" and be "a revenger." The role of government being discussed is punishing acts of aggression. A Christian should be subject to any government whether pagan or religious in matters of not aggressing against others. If a Christian steals from someone, he has no right to think himself free because the governing authority is an adulterer. He is justly punished under any scheme for stealing or murder, and he cannot claim that corruption in the government gives him an excuse not to be punished for his evil acts of aggression.

    Paul says that this submission is "for conscience sake" because we are to be a testimony before the world of being good and not hypocrites in our faith.


    Romans 13 is neither talking about "Christian government" nor about letting a pagan government trample all over you with anti-equitable tyranny. It is about the role that God has established for any government (religious or pagan) to avenge acts of aggression. This is compatible with libertarianism.
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    I didn't mention Hitler. Nice try.
     
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Where do we find that principle in the scriptures?
     
  13. blackbird

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    Yes-----Jesus did!!!

    When He made reference to Herod being a "Fox"---------get you some books together and study the meaning of the word phrase used here by Jesus
     
  14. General Mung Beans

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    I don't think sanctions apply here. For example if everyone in a country under the rule of an evil tyrant were Christians and refused to serve in an army that waged brutal wars of aggression and as a result the government fell peacefully without rebellion that would not be a violation of Romans 13 in any way IMO.

    However I've been wondering about Romans 13-if self-defence for yourself, your family, or your neighbours are justified what if you ended up fighting against government officials for self-defence? What if you ended up overthrowing the government not out of intent but out of self-defence?
    I am not a supporter of President Obama but its absurd to think of him as some sort of a "Manchurian candidate" whose policies are delibrately designed to be anti-American. Not all the Libyan or Egyptian rebels were Islamists (although there are some among them) and Qadaffi was a dictator who murdered American soldiers and citizens in Lockerbie and the Berlin discotheque bombing.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    Thats where Fox News got started.
     
  16. saturneptune

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    My first question would be, how many in this thread have ever experienced war? It is not a video game. Nations rise and nations fall, and God put everyone of them in place for His purposes. We are commanded to obey prevailing authority, but that has nothing to do with God choosing to bring down a nation or two in His sovereignty. First of all, obeying the law of civil government means acting like a decent human being, usually at a local level, not promoting thugs to stay in power. God will keep thugs in power as long as He sees fit. In relation to the American Revolution, no doubt our founders were law abiding citizens. The Revolution itself would not have suceeded if God had not wanted it to be successful. How did the our leaders know it was the right thing to do? Maybe some inward soul searching about liberty and freedom. It really is immaterial today. We live in the United States, and best nation on earth, and I would serve again whether it be Obama or Reagan in office. We have more liberty, freedom, self destiny and imagination than anyone else in history. It may have eroded somewhat, but where are you going to move to do better? There is certainly no justification for revolting against our present government. That is what the ballot box and grass roots movements are for.

    My second question is, how many have ever been politically involved beyond writing on Baptist Board? As far as a just war, we as a nation seem to stick our nose in conflict after conflict that has nothing to do with us. WW 2 was the last real war of survival we engaged in, and the last war that was declared.

    How many thousands died in Korea (still a problem), Vietnam (Communist today), Somalia, Croatia, Lebanon, Panama, Iraq, etc, etc, etc? I have missed some, and some may have been vital to the security of the United States, but not most. What was the purpose of the Spanish-American War, the Mexican-American War, all the Indian Wars, our Manifest Destiny? Actually that is the most ridiculous concept ever invented.

    This is just my opinion, but the wars that were justified in our history were the Revolutionary War, Civil War (a mess of our own making), WW1, WW2, and as of late, certain limited engagements to take out terrorists.

    Where will we stick our nose next? Who will have to die for some politician? We are entangled in so many treaties that anything could happen.

    I truly believe our only true allies on earth are England, Australia, New Zeeland, Israel, and maybe France. The others would let us rot if it came down to it.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    Did God put Herod, and Pilate into their position? I think that is what scripture suggests. Did Christ say to obey them? I think that is what Christ suggests. The only time we are free to go against government is when government try's to get us to go against God and His precepts. I find it interesting how easy it is to believe and obey the things that we find palatable, but those things that go against our grain we seek to find a way of escape so they become of no value.

    I would add that although they be put into power by God, they are responsible to rule as God would rule and if not they stand the judgement.
     
  18. freeatlast

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    Good point! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. billwald

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    Doesn't anyone on BB understand plain English? This forum is like trying to reason with 2nd graders.

    Do any of these definitions infer that Jesus was criticizing the Roman government by calling Herod "cunning or crafty?"

    Note the 3rd meaning,



    www.dictionary.com/mobile
    fox, verb
    noun
    1.
    any of several carnivores of the dog family, especially those of the genus Vulpes, smaller than wolves, having a pointed, slightly upturned muzzle, erect ears, and a long, bushy tail.
    2.
    the fur of this animal.
    3.
    a cunning or crafty person.
    4.
    ( initial capital letter ) a member of a tribe of North American Algonquian Indians, formerly in Wisconsin, later merged with the Sauk tribe.
    5.
    ( initial capital letter ) the Algonquian language of the Fox, Sauk, and Kickapoo Indians.
     
  20. Havensdad

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    Not exactly. You cannot look at an ENGLISH dictionary to find out the meaning of a GREEK word... LOL!

    From Robertsons:

    "This epithet for the cunning and cowardice of Herod shows clearly that Jesus understood the real attitude and character of the man who had put John the Baptist to death and evidently wanted to get Jesus into his power in spite of his superstitious fears that he might be John the Baptist redivivus.


    Jesus was badmouthing Herod (the Jewish King who was over the area...the Romans actually did very little).

    Moreover, you misunderstand how the Roman Empire worked. The local government was not Roman government...it was Jewish. If you want to see how Jesus and Paul and the apostles referenced the government, you must look, not at Pilate and the Romans, who had almost no dealings with them, but at their local rulers; the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Jesus and the apostles were constantly attacking them.

    As far as the op; the Bible clearly teaches the Golden rule. Thus, we have an unjust, ungodly, and aggressive "defense" (offense) policy in regards to our interventionism. Thus, we have an obligation to stand against that which is against God's word, namely, interventionism.
     

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