The Authorities that Exist have been established by God

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by By Grace Alone, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. By Grace Alone

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    According to Romans 13....

    Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Vs1)

    Hmmmm..... let's have a discussion on this ! :type:

    ie: Hitler, Sadaam

     
  2. Andre

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    I would say that this is obviously not a "hard and fast" rule. Clearly, if the governing authorities command you to go out and participate in ethnic cleansing, such an order should be disobeyed. I would be really surprised if anyone argues that this edict from Paul is to be taken as anything other than a "general principle".
     
  3. By Grace Alone

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    Could God appoint rulers for His just purposes?

     
  4. Andre

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    He certainly could. However, I wonder whether you are pursuing a line of argument to the effect that we should obey unjust rulers simply because God could be using their "evil" for just purposes.

    I think that the answer is no. God will do what He will do and we cannot imagine what that might be. Subject to our limited view of things, we have the responsibility to seek a just world. So if any government orders us to do things that we consider clearly unjust and / or evil, we should resist. God asks us to live by certain principles - it is His responsibility to worry about using evil for good. We should never tolerate evil simply because we know that God can use it for good.
     
  5. By Grace Alone

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    I am not pursuing any argument.

    I am seeking to discuss God's Word.
     
  6. By Grace Alone

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    I believe that God's Word is very clear about following Him.

    The current government in the USA says that it is okay to kill babies in the womb.
    This clearly contradicts the Word of God.
    I will continue to uphold the position of My Lord.

     
  7. Andre

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    I think that we share the same view - Paul's edict should not be obeyed in all circumstances.
     
  8. By Grace Alone

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    Pharaoh

    One example of an evil, yet God-established Ruler.... is The Pharaoh of the Exodus.

    Paul quotes God as telling Pharaoh, "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Romans 9:17, Exodus 9:16

    God raised up this Ruler, so that He might display His Wrath in judging him.

    Did God know all along that Pharaoh would deny Moses' command to let God's people go? God is sovereign. Of course he did.

     
  9. By Grace Alone

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    So.... when God's Word says that "the authorities that exist have been established by God"...... what does that mean?

    Does it mean: only God fearing authorities...
    Is this what the verse is referring to?

    I believe it is referring to all authorities.
    And...
    within all authorities there are limits to Christian Obedience.

    Here's an example:
    Preaching the Gospel.
    .... when the US Gov't says it's illegal, I will still do it.



     
  10. JDale

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    Not sure where you're heading with this...

    Romans 13:1-7 is a general principle that instructs believers to reject the "governing authorities." Under the Roman Empire at the time, the Church had yet to face serious and systematic persecution -- and in fact Paul, as a Roman citizen, invoked his rights more than once to protect himself and his ministry.

    On the other hand, Paul includes a principle that far too many Christians miss in this passage. "For they are ministers of God to you FOR GOOD..." (Romans 13:4). When God ordained human government (Genesis 9:1ff) he created it for the protection and well-being of humanity. That man perverts the meaning of Government, misusing its "authority" or "power" not for "the good" but for EVIL.

    When this happens, believers are responsible to follow God, rather than men (Acts 4:19,20). That MAY mean passive resistance -- like protests outside abortion clinics, or other sorts of activism to demonstrate the heart of God in such matters. Remember, abortion, while a moral evil, is not something the US government COMMANDS we participate in. Our tax money isn't even used to pay for it for "poor people" these day -- though it was until the mid 1990's (and it will be again with the Congress we have now). At that point, perhaps more active approaches to resistance might become necessary.

    Only in extreme cases of last resort should believers participate in active, militant rebellions against "established governments." A couple of examples stand out in history: (1) The Nazi Regime in 1930's-1940's Germany -- in which Lutheran Theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer and Pastor Martin Neimuller entered armed resistance against Hitler, even attempting assassination of "Der Fuerher." They missed -- both were imprisoned in concentration camps, and Bonhoeffer was executed; (2) The Patriots of the American Revolution (1775-1783) who first objected to illegal search and seizure, imprisonment without a fair trial, "no taxation without representation," unfair high taxation, and confiscation of firearms, then when they could gain no audience with King George III, declared their independence, saying, " We have no king but Jesus!"

    There are many others -- and some might argue whether or not particular examples of rebellion against illegitimate governing authorities was warranted -- but the principles are there, and I think are supported by Scripture.

    JDale
     
  11. JDale

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    WHat? No response? No arguments? I can't believe everyone just let this go -- does that mean everyone agrees with me? I'm right then?

    Wow....

    JDale
     
  12. Andre

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    I certainly agree with you and that should not be a surprise given the content of my posts. Do you expect some to argue that we should obey a government "no matter what"?
     
  13. billwald

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    The authorities in Ai and Jerico were established by God but God told Moses to kill them. God should have done his own dirty work because murdering women and children would do psychological damage even if only following orders from God.
     
  14. Rufus_1611

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    Are you joking?
     
  15. Ralph III

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    JDale that was an excellent post for which I agree and have posted upon before.

    Yes, God says all powers that exist were established by Him. Though we cannot fully understand how He will use an evil empire, such as Hitler/Saddam/Pharoah etc, He will do such in order to accomplish His ultimate and greater goals. He does not simply establish and then condone evil empires.

    In addition, the Appostles continued to faithfully spread the Word of our Lord Jesus, though Christianity was outlawed and Christians killed for sport in Rome. So that verse is not absolute in meaning as God does not expect us to submit to evil in becoming evil. He has a plan and you see the great changes which took place in that region. Evil people and evil nations will ultimately receive the wrath of God, as assured and shown many times in the Bible.



    Jesus taught us to pray as such;


    continuing from Scripture




    God commands
    2 Sam 23:3 “….He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God”.





    Take care:jesus:
     
    #15 Ralph III, May 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2007
  16. billwald

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    not joking post#14

    Post traumatic distress disorder is not a recent invention. Moral people who kill others even if authorized by their govt are greatly effected in a negative way. Happens to the military and police officers.
     
  17. av1611jim

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    I have posted and argued this passage many times in the past on this web site in varying forums. I'll give it a go in this forum as well since I am passionate about this issue.
    1. Romans 13 is clear. We are to OBEY our government. There is no wiggle room.
    2. We are to OBEY God when our government and God's words come into direct opposition to each other.

    Example 1.
    Nazi Germany. The gov't decreed that all people within it's jurisdiction who harboured Jews would be guilty of treason. But to obey the gov't and turn Jews in would be paramount to contributing to their murder. This is/was clearly contrary to God's words in the Bible and the Torah. Case in point would be the harlot who sheltered the spies, and the folks who protected Paul by letting him down a wall in a basket. In these types of cases we are to obey God and protect life.
    Example 2.
    American Revolution/Rebellion. Athough King George was a tyrant and clearly not a 'nice guy', I find no historical documentation where he ever commanded the Colonies to violate Scripture. Taxes were high and we had no voice in the King's court but we had no right to rebel. Did the Rebellion lead to a temporary good thing? Sure it did. But the end does NOT justify the means. This nation was founded on REBELLION and we are reaping today what we have sown long ago. The rebellion of our society today can be directly traced to the original Rebellion against the Crown of England.

    Conclusion:
    God indeed did ordain government, yet we in our arrogance seem to constantly think we can do better than God Almighty.

    Obey your government and in so doing you will bring glory to God by your obedience to Him. But IF and when your Government commands you to violate Scripture, then obey God and suffer the consequences for it and paradoxically you will reap a great reward.

    In His service;
    James
     
  18. Alcott

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    Exactly where does scripture say this "direct opposition" citation of yours? Or is it a conclusion? an inference? an induction? a subjunction?

    And your other points... if 'our' country [USA] was founded upon rebellion against God by rebellion against God's established power [Britain], then is the power established by rebellion against a power a legitimate power? And if God established both these powers, did God's establishment rebel against God's establishment?-- virtually rendering prohibition against opposing the established power entirely subjective, so inherantly meaningless. But if this is not so, do you still obey the American government, an illegitimate power?
     
  19. JDale

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    Well, I'll bite. I take issue with your interpretation of the American Revolution. Was it a "rebellion?" Yes. And sometimes, in rare cases, rebellion is a GOOD thing.

    George III and his parliment were practicing tyranny over the colonies -- not merely in charging high taxes, but also the forced support of the Church of England via taxes regardless of personal conviction or religious practice, as well as illegal search and seizure of private property, imprisonment (in some cases execution) without a trial, and the confiscation of firearms from colonial citizens (which is what set off the battles of Lexington/Concord). I think most if not ALL of those are justifiable reasons to resist government -- and possibly even full blown rebellion.

    Historically speaking, the USA has been greatly blessed by God, and has been used in a more profound and and powerful way in building the Kingdom and preaching the Gospel to the whole world than any other nation in history. Yes, the USA is imperfect and has terrribly disobeyed God during that times past and present -- the fact that we are still here demonstrates God's grace and mercy more than any other event or preservation of the nations (save Israel of course).

    I do agree that our sins as a nation are egregious -- and that God WILL judge us. That day is coming. But to contend that our existence since the inception of the nation is due to rebellion and not God's design and plan, is IMO a distortion of History and of God's hand at work.

    JDale
     
  20. Ralph III

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    Well, as it has been pointed out to that poster, America was already greatly independent of England. We had established our own laws with elected officials and culture over time. The King of England sought to re-establish His authority through tyrannical means; which included suppression, unlawful imprisonment, and at times murder of Colonists etc., starting some ten years before the Revolution and to its eventual undertaking.

    This as historically noted of which would have been sinful against God. As God has brought down many a sinful leader and nation, as shown in the Bible. 2 Sam 23:3 “….He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God”.

    Not to mention, there were many living in the Colonies who were never "subjects" of the King or even English in the first place. The English soon after the Revolution revolted against the authority of the King themselves, as he was indeed a tyrannical and demented leader.

    This does not even touch upon the fact; many saw him and the Church of England as having become self righteous and usurping the Lords authority.





    The Founders and Colonists understood their undertaking and it was as much a religious undertaking as anything else. They understood the Bible and possible sin with consequences, if God were against their endeavor. This is clearly shown throughout the Declaration of Independence itself, as they ask God to protect them in the unwanted but necessary endeavor, as they saw. "...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,..."



    Not only did they see such as being necessary at that point, but they saw it as being incumbent upon them to do so as they, which included Religious Leaders of the day, based such upon the Bible.
    "...But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government...."
    They go on to state their case publically against the King of England in the Declaration of Independence, not only for the people to see but also in placing it before God.





    This of course is a long time Christian debate with many differing opinions, as to whether rebellion is ever justified in Gods eyes. It was no different then. However, the fact is God has justified or sanctioned rebellion at times as shown in the Bible.

    King Solomon turned from God and His ways thus; 1 Kings 11:14 "Now the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite..."
    He then invoked a servant to rebel against King Solomon 1 Kings 11:26 "Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king".

    This rebellion was sanctioned and blessed by God. 1 Kings 11:31 " And he(prophet) said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you... 33 because they have[a] forsaken Me,..."

    God blessed this rebellion of Jeroboam as stated, 1 Kings 14:7 “...‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel..."
    Of course Jeroboam did not walk in the ways of God either and thus God also brought "disaster" upon him.




    There is no doubt God hates rebellion but He has at times sanctioned and blessed it.
    This is something however av1611jim will deny. As he, I, and others already had an extended debate over this with his ignoring and basically refuting Scripture. http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=33517
    He would never acknowledge God has santioned and blessed rebellion, though the Holy Bible states emphatically otherwise. In bringing down or leading people away from evil Leaders or Nations, such as with Moses/Pharoah.



    As it stands, God says He establishes the powers that be. America is an established power one in which God has blessed from its inception. However, if we continue to allow our Leaders and Government to stray from God, it will be a Nation lacking of any Blessings.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    Take care, in Christ.:jesus:
     
    #20 Ralph III, May 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2007

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