In Matthew 28:18–the next-to-next to last verse in the gospel–Jesus says,”All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth.” It is not recorded that any of His witnesses objected. No one said, “Except for the power of the Emperor in Rome.”
And when John and Peter were forbidden by the Temple authorities to preach Jesus, what did they reply? “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
I bring this up because we, all of us, are always looking for exceptions to this rule: we don’t like to think that “all power” means “all,” without exception. We inherit Original Sin; that’s why we seek exceptions. But there aren’t any.
This should take care of those who think the Epistle to the Romans, particularly in Chapter 13, teaches us to obey all worldly authorities, all the time. There are people who call themselves Christians but seem to believe that there are times when Caesar outranks Christ. Is it really necessary to say they’re wrong? But it gives them an excuse–they think–to go along with abortion, transgender, same-sex “marriage,” and other public policies that contradict God’s commandments.
I don’t know how many times we have to say this, but Romans 13 does not mean that every psychotic butcher, every slimy crook, every power-mad loon who slithers his way into public office has done so with God’s approval and is therefor entitled to unquestioning obedience. Only people who happen to be in power believe that–because they want to be in power forever.
“Nazi,” just for the record, was an abbreviation for “National Socialist.” Yep, Hitler and his boys were socialists.
Remember that the next time you hear Bernie Sanders or O-Crazy-O Cortez.
There are always Christians who insist Romans 13:1 means that whoever happens to be in power at the moment, even if it’s a bloodthirsty monster who murdered his way to the top, has to be honored and obeyed–because God put him there.
But Romans 13 goes on to describe what it is that God “ordains” the civil power to do. So when that power rewards evildoers and makes itself a terror to the innocent–sound familiar? or don’t you live in a Democrat city?–and actively makes war on God’s word and on God’s people… it’s a righteous thing to oppose that power. As the various Judges did, and David, and Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Ah! But Jesus didn’t rebel against the power, did He?
No, because He came here as a sacrifice. But when He comes again, watch out.
We do want to be careful about concluding that God in any way endorses the actions of tyrants–Ahab and Jezebel, Athaliah, Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Mao: one could use up a whole day just listing the blood-soaked tyrants of this fallen world–but we don’t dare say that anything happens outside the sphere of His sovereignty.
Remember: God gives us free will. It wouldn’t be free, if we couldn’t abuse it. Sometimes it’s necessary for God to intervene. If He didn’t, we’d wipe ourselves out.
Along with the power of the civil magistrate, the government, come various responsibilities. We are to honor and support any government that fulfills those responsibilities, even if it’s staffed by pagans. The trouble starts when the rulers ignore their responsibilities.
But to insist that God “ordains” every monster who rises to power by climbing over the corpses of his victims–well, that’s simply blaming God.
We can’t see everything that He sees, we can’t know but the most inconsequential sliver of what He knows–and there is a time to trust and obey.
We learn in Romans 13 that God ordained the civil government to keep the peace, to protect us from those who would do us harm, and to capture and punish, and restrain, evildoers. A government that does those things deserves our support, even if it’s not a Christian government.
Funny, though, isn’t it? Those who complain the loudest about God’s laws–against fornication, mostly–are always the first in line when it comes to cutting off other people’s freedoms.
For the Left’s definition of “freedom,” see North Korea.
Ya see, more regulation means more freedom. Somehow. And Zuckerberg only wants government to come down on “harmful content”–wonder who gets to decide what content is harmful–“election integrity” (so The Russians can’t steal another one from another anointed Democrat candidate), privacy (they just can’t help themselves, when it comes to collecting and selling users’ private information!), and “data portability,” whatever that is. One can almost hear Sessue Hayakawa telling Alec Guinness, “Be happy in your work.”
Meaning, the government in the United Kingdom has promised to stifle Twitter and Instagram if they don’t consent to stricter regulation.
No one has asked this question: Is government any more fit to regulate the social media than the social media themselves? Is it any more honest, any more wise, any more benevolent? Do the personnel of government even obey the government’s own laws–or just ignore or circumvent them every time?
Freedom is not natural to sinners living in a fallen world. God has given us laws which, if followed, would bless us with both liberty and security. The world hates God’s laws and refuses to abide by them. The state of the world is testimony to how good an idea that is.
There is an important role for civil government in God’s scheme of things–to keep the peace, to protect us from those who would do us harm, and to punish evildoers (see Romans Chapter 13). In our Constitution, powers not specifically granted to the central government are reserved to the states and to the people.
You won’t find today’s theories of government in either the Bible or the Constitution.
As I sat in the laundromat today, the TV nooze–you just can’t escape it–presented a story that distressed me.
It was the trial of a band of merry carjackers who killed a man because they wanted his car and whatever might be in it. We were shown the victim’s widow addressing the convicted trigger man in court: “You took away everything I had, all my hopes and dreams, because you decided to play God, deciding who should live and who should die, deciding you had the right to kill because you wanted something that you hadn’t earned.”
God has given the civil government the authority and the duty to avenge these wrongs, and yet the government all too often refuses to do that (see Romans 13). Instead, the court is expected to sentence the trigger man to 30 years in prison–three square meals a day, color TV, weight room, and the company of like-minded savages. That is not justice. Again, the civil government has failed to carry out its function. The victim is still dead; his wife is still a widow; his children remain fatherless.
Adam and Eve inherited Original Sin by listening to the serpent’s promise that they themselves would be “as gods” if they disobeyed the real God (Genesis 3:5), and we, their descendants, have been doing it ever since.
The 20th century was a festival of murder. Think of Mao Tse-Tung, who killed at least 40 million people as part of his mad scheme, the Great Leap Forward, to transform China into a leading industrial power in five years. And that was only one of countless examples.
We haven’t learned a bloody thing. Today the Humanist Manifesto II declares there is no God, but that’s no problem–“using technology wisely,” we can do all those things God should have done: we can do His job. Paradise on earth. Just break a few more eggs, and we’ll have our omelet. Meanwhile, The Smartest People in the World wage war against reality itself while the Davos crowd, invoking Man-Made Climate Change as their warrant, works tirelessly toward a world government.
Like, we should trust them?
Our country’s founders were blessed with the wisdom to impose strict limits on the central government–limits which The Anointed of our day work ceaselessly to overthrow. If I’ve learned one thing from observing the nooze and reading history, it’s that the Original Sin, the will to be as God, features an insatiable lust for power over other human beings.
Which brings me back to the carjacking case. What was that, but an untrammeled will to power over the rightful owner of the car, and a decision to exercise it by killing him? You don’t have to bump off 40 million of your countrymen to be a little tin god: a single murder will do just as well.
God has a plan to heal the human race and regenerate His whole creation. He will do it in spite of us. For this cause Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born, and died on the cross, and rose from the dead… and will return.
Come, Lord Jesus, come. Because we are not fit to do God’s job; but you are.
When I heard the news last night, just before I went to bed, at first I thought it was referring to a terrorist attack in London several weeks ago. But no–it was a new one. Another one. In just eight minutes, before being shot down by police, three Muslim terrorists killed seven Londoners and injured 48 more in an attack on London Bridge. “This is for Allah!” they cried ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4569638/Car-ploughs-20-people-London-Bridge.html).
(Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2)
We already know, don’t we, what the response will be?
They will treat it as a criminal offense, not an act of war. Prime Minister Theresa May has already blamed it on the Internet (if only it were strictly reserved for liberals!). There will be pious poems. Candle-light vigils.
There will not be any admission that multicultural, value-neutral, Political Correctness hasn’t worked: has, in fact, been a hideous failure resulting in a host of violent deaths. No one in power in Britain will say, “We were wrong!” No one will demand a change of course.
Because leftids who run countries literally do not care how many of their own countrymen get murdered: they will never admit their ideology is fatal foolishness. And so another seven civilians, peaceably going about their business, have become human sacrifices to the idol of Political Correctness.
Some of us have been wondering just what is left of Christianity in Britain. St. Patrick’s birthplace is now the home of Richard Dawkins. Who needs Christ, when they’ve got the State and Science?
Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say [ to me], Arise, and save us.
But where are thy gods that thou has made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time on thy trouble… Jeremiah 2:27-28
Britain, if Science and the State could save you, they would have done so by now. But you have turned away from the living God who made heaven and earth, who sent His Son into the world to make atonement for our sins.
Ask the works of your own hands to save you. But don’t ask your leaders to admit that they’ve been wrong about their public policies. An idol will get up and walk, before that happens.
God ordained government for certain duties, chief among them being the duty to protect the people from those who would harm them, and to restrain and punish evildoers. A government that cannot–or rather, will not–protect its people has no reason for existing. Of the civil magistrate, St. Paul reminds us, “He beareth not the sword in vain” (Romans 13:4). But if he refuses to use the sword on our behalf, then he has no right to bear it at all.
I am an American, and I grieve for the suffering of the mother country, and her folly.
If you’re going to do Bible study without a Bible, you might as well throw in a seance. You’ll have more fun.
I’m beginning to think pseudo-Christianity is a bigger problem in our world than atheism.
Yesterday someone told me about her adult son’s Bible study group. She attended it recently, and was rather put off to see that no one in the group had a Bible. When they wanted to cite or consult a verse of Scripture, they looked it up on their smart phones. That way you can get the verse you want in total isolation from the rest of the Bible, and you can get it to mean what you want it to mean.
They didn’t bring a Bible, but they are currently studying another book in lieu of the Bible–something called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I haven’t read it, never heard of it, so I looked it up on Barnes & Noble and read some of the Customer Reviews. My friend described this book as “no substance, no current issues, no reality–just soft Jesus-loves-me stuff.” Some of the B&N reviewers were not so kind.
She added, “This week’s chapter is about giving away all your money, living below poverty level, and helping others.” She asked, “If everyone is poor, who will help the poor?”
We’ve been here before. In fact, we were just here a couple of days ago with GOP Presidential hopeful John Kasich saying that if you don’t support Obamacare, you’re probably gonna go to Hell ( http://leeduigon.com/2015/10/07/john-kasich-theology-superstar/ ). He backs this up by taking Matthew Chapter 25 in isolation from the rest of the Bible, to come up with a theology of salvation through good works that the government forces you to do whether you like it or not.
But pseudo-Christianities abound. You’ve got Planned Parenthood’s “Clergy for Choice” groupies, who think Jesus wants you to cut up unborn babies while they’re still alive, and sell the parts. There’s President *Batteries Not Included, whose bizarre version of Christianity moves him to empower sodomites to go on anti-Christian witch hunts, to break the laws he took an oath to enforce, and to urge others to do the same. And you’ve got that whole Romans 13 crowd, who isolate that single chapter of the Bible to justify doing anything “the powers that be” tell you to do, no matter how abominable. They’d make good guards at a concentration camp.
All of this comes from ignoring the Bible and substituting for it the opinions of fallible, sinful men and women. Cherry-picking the Bible is as bad–maybe even worse–than ignoring it altogether.
Ignorance can be fixed a lot more easily than willful blindness.
Do you sometimes get the impression that the Church in America hasn’t quite done its job?