Tag Archives: romans 13

‘Are the Powers That Be Really Ordained by God?’ (2015)

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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.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/03/24/are-the-powers-that-be-really-ordained-by-god/

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.

And a time to cast out wicked rulers.

 


My Newswithviews column, April 11 (‘Here Comes the Internet Czar’)

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In the 19th century, the word “czar” was synonymous with “tyrant.” Today it’s just another goon set up by the central government.

So now Britain’s going to have an “Internet safety czar” to scrub away what’s left of freedom in that unfortunate nation.

Here Comes The Internet Czar

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.


Facebook Honcho: More Regulation Means More Freedom!

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In Nothing Studies you learn that “Wet wood burns the best.” Has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got a degree in Nothing Studies?

In the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre, and the governments of New Zealand and Australia threatening to clamp down on social media content, Zuckerberg has called for “more active” government regulation of all social media, including Facebook (https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/8756876/mark-zuckerberg-social-network-regulation-christchurch-watchdog/).

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.


June 27 – It Is Not Treason

From The River Walk blog, a lesson from history as taught by the Bible: we are not obliged to uphold and obey lawless, evil rulers like Athaliah.    —LD

THE RIVER WALK

When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar, as was the custom at times of coronation. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!” (2 Kings 11:14)

Read: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21, Acts 18:1-22, Psalm 145:1-21, Proverbs 18:1

Relate: The king is dead. Long live the king. This idea of the immediate transfer of power was still centuries away. At the time of King Ahaziah, the throne would normally pass to the oldest son, but he actually did have to be crowned first. There was a ceremony that would take place at the Temple. He would be anointed by the High Priest, given a copy of the Torah, and a covenant would be made between…

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The Will to be as God

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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.

 


Can Britain’s Idols Save Her?

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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.


Bible Study Without the Bible

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 ( https://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?

I’ll return to this topic another day.


Hymn, ‘Rise Up, O Men of God’

If the Church ever needed to rise up, that time is probably now. Before our glorious national leaders make sodomy compulsory, or set up an image of Obama to be worshiped.

I chose this little version of the hymn because it’s easy to understand the words, albeit not so easy to understand the pictures.

All right, those who favor a wooden-headed literal interpretation of Romans 13 (“If the Powers that Be tell you to slaughter all the babies, then you gotta slaughter all the babies”) won’t like it.

But for the sane people out there, it’s time we thought seriously about the best way to rise up against the purposeful wickedness of our own Powers that Be.

P.S.–Upon further examination, this video seems to be a Mormon production. But I will let it be. The hymn is a Christian hymn, and that’s a fact.


Are the Powers That Be Really Ordained by God?

The petulant gentleman in the picture above is the Roman Emperor Nero, a homicidal maniac and sadist who enjoyed absolute power until some dissidents got together and assassinated him. Nero was on the throne when St. Paul wrote these famous words in his epistle to the Romans:

“[T]he powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)

There are now, have always been, and probably always will be Christians who take that line to mean that whatever fool or criminal happens to be in power at the moment, he is entitled to respect and obedience because God Himself has put him in the catbird seat.

But is that really what “ordained” means?

Let’s go to Strong’s Concordance, an authoritative source. In the original Greek, the word translated as “ordained” is tasso, meaning “to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot)–addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set.”

There are a dozen different Greek words in the New Testament that have been translated into English as “ordain.” Most of these Greek words have to do with putting something into a particular place.

Tasso, the word Paul uses in Romans 13:1, does not mean to authorize, to endorse, or to deputize. Later in the chapter, we see that God assigns to the civil government–to the state, if you like–the responsibility to uphold the law and to protect peaceable, law-abiding citizens, and the power (and duty) to restrain evil and to punish evildoers.

In the world Paul lived in, the Roman authorities were perfectly capable of carrying out those functions, and usually did. Hence they were entitled to have their positions respected and their lawful orders obeyed, and so Paul advised Christians to do.

But suppose the powers that be break the law instead of upholding it, and plunder and terrorize peaceable, law-abiding folk while favoring and even rewarding evildoers? What if the ultimate power in the state belongs to a bloodthirsty lunatic like Nero?

The rest of the Bible, both Testaments, certainly does not teach us that God is with every power that succeeds in setting up shop in a fallen world: only that God is the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, and nothing happens without Him.

To say that illegal and tyrannical rulers are ordained by God, in the sense of being authorized by God, is as foolish as blaming the sovereign Lord for one’s own sins. Dude, God ordained me to steal hubcaps!

As Nero and so many others like him found out the hard way, God can get rid of a despotic monster whenever He pleases. He blessed the Maccabees when they rose up in rebellion against the  blaspheming tyrant, Antiochus Epiphanes. I believe He blessed the 13 American colonies when they rose up against King George III.

Not to write a book here, but how do we know which “powers that be” that God has blessed, and which ones He has allowed to exist, but not blessed?

The Bible has the answer, in the words of Jesus Christ Himself: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

If it were not so, every successful assassin and usurper could claim a God-given legitimacy.


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