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Resist Tyranny

Discussion in 'General Politics' started by tstor, May 19, 2017.

  1. tstor

    tstor Where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

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    [​IMG]
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    We know through Scripture that we are to obey and submit to governing authorities. This is highlighed by Paul in the book of Romans:

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrong doer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7; ESV)
    Yet what do we, as Christians, do when those over us are tyrants? Do we submit to the authority of tyrants despite their clear transgression against their God-given boundaries? Surely not! The reformer Theodore Beza spoke to this very issue in his publication De jure magistratuum:

    It now remains for us to treat of the other question which has not without reason been debated by numerous people in these present times; that is, what may subjects of good conscience do whenever their supreme rulers, who are legitimate in other respects, degenerate into manifest tyrants? Must the authority of the supreme rulers who have become undisguised tyrants remain so sacred and inviolate that the subjects are obliged in all circumstances to endure it so that they can in no way offer resistance to it? Or if indeed resistance is in some way allowable, may they go so far as to seize arms?​

    Beza goes on to define the "three kinds of subjects." There are "private citizens" that have no public duties. There are "subaltern or inferior magistrates," which are those who have a public duty but are subject to superior magistrates. The third "kind" is described in the following manner: "though they do not indeed hold the highest authority nor yet wield supreme and regular power, yet are placed in such a station that they are as it were the bridles and reins to keep the supreme ruler to his duty."

    Regarding a private citizen's right to resist tyranny, Beza states the following:

    Whether therefore those who are of private station have freely and openly agreed to the rule of an unjust usurper (as the Roman people of their own free will submitted to Augustus and his successors) or whether he who was their lawful ruler has become a manifest tyrants (as was Abimelech among the Israelites , the Thirty at Athens and the Decemvirs at Rome , and others elsewhere), I then maintain that (apart from a special injunction from God which I do not here discuss) no private citizen is entitled on his own private authority to oppose the tyrant with violence against violence, but that it in every way behooves him either to depart from the realm of that (ruler) and change his domicile or to bear the yoke of the tyrant patiently by taking refuge with God in prayer, provided only (as we have remarked from the beginning) he be not constrained to become the instrument of that very tyranny against someone or to refrain from performing any of those acts which are due to God or to his neighbor.​

    Regarding the inferior magistrates, he states the following (second and third "kind"):

    But since on the other hand those subordinate instruments of the kingdom have received this office from the supreme power as such that they may be on their guard for the observance and protection of the laws among those who have been entrusted to their care, and since they have bound themselves by oath to perform that duty in all faith — an oath from which they cannot be absolved by any fault of him who from a king has become a tyrant and quite openly violates those conditions upon which he was appointed king and the observance of which he undertook upon oath — would it not be just according to all law, diving and human, that by reason of the oath taken by them to ensure the observance of the laws, somewhat greater (liberty of action) should be granted to these subordinate magistrates than to those (citizens) who are of entirely private station and without any public office? I therefore maintain that, if they are reduced to such unavoidable compulsion, they are certainly bound, even by means of armed force if they can, to protect against manifest tyranny the safety of those who have been entrusted to their care and honor, as long as their public interests have been better consulted and fittingly provided for in accordance with the collective counsel of the States-General or the Nomophylakes, that is, of those with whom all the legislative authority of the kingdom or empire in question rests. This moreover is not to be factious or a traitor towards your supreme ruler, but rather to be a most faithful keeper of your oath towards those whose direction you have undertaken, against perjury and against the oppressor of a kingdom whose protector he should have been.​

    So while it is not up to the private citizen to determine when to resist tyranny, it is up to the inferior magistrates to determine this resistence. However, resistence becomes not an option to tyranny, but a requirement on the part of the conscious Christian. So I believe it is necessary to define what tyranny actually is. I touched on this in my post on another thread, which I will quote below:

    Modern magistarates are in a covenant with the people. The people give them power in order to receive order and protection. However, the covenant is broken when the political ruler becomes a tyrant. John Witte Jr., in his book entitled The Reformation of Rights, describes Theodore Beza's view of this:​

    Again, like private contracts of marriage, political covenants that were freely and properly entered into might eventually end through divorce for cause. In a marriage, where one party spiritually and physically deserts the other or betrays the essence of the marriage by committing adultery or inflicting mortal abuse on the other, the innocent party may sue for divorce. Similarly in a political community, Beza continued, where the magistrate deserts his people or betrays the fundamentals of his political office by becoming a tyrant, the people may properly seek to divorce him.​

    But Just as the dissolution of a private marriage contract through annulment or divorce requires orderly procedures, so does the dissolution of a public political covenant. Disgruntled spouses may not simply walk away from their marriages, and declare themselves divorced or declare on their own that their marriage is annulled. By reason of its consecration by the church and registration by the state, the marriage contract has become a public institution. It transcends the interests of the couple themselves, and implicates the interests of the whole community. The disgruntled spouse must thus file complaints before the appropriate authorities, seek the authorities' intervention and protection if they are being abused, and request a public judgement that the marriage has ended by annulment or divorce, that the guilty spouse must be punished, and the innocent spouse has been liberated. Until such public judgement has been rendered, the parties are bound by their marital contract, which they had entered into "for better or worse."
    That is to say, a covenant is entered into between a the population and the magistrate. However, God is also involved in the covenant. If the magistrate becomes a tyrant and breaks the political covenant, then the covenant is now void and rebellion/revolution is permissible. But it helps to define a tyrant. Althusius defined a tyrant as one who violates the fundamental laws and rights (lex et jura fundamentalis) of the nation, country, territory, etc. or the natural laws and rights (leges et iura naturali) on which the fundamental laws and rights are based. I would say this is a rather universal undersatnding of what a tyrant actually is.​
     
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  2. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    All of that and none allows us to ignore what Paul wrote and rebel against those places in power.
     
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  3. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

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    So when does the revolution begin?
     
  4. tstor

    tstor Where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

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    Read Paul's words carefully. Look at how he defines "governing authorities." If a magistrate breaches the boundaries outlined by Paul, they become a tyrant and are no longer to be viewed as a legitimate authority.

    EDIT: Also note what John says in Revelation:

    After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living."

    Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Revelation 18:1-5; ESV)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  5. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    I think that you should be the one who reads these words from Paul again and not only the ones you provide but those that precede them.

    You provided 2 pictures in the OP. I assume the 1st is the Continental Congress and the 2nd the Confederate States leadership. Neither of these were in situations which allowed them violate God's authority and the government which they were in.

    Paul calls for all Christians to be good citizens and if they were, they had no fear from government. He told them to pay the taxes and to not resist authority or face judgment by God.

    The American Revolution was about greed and rich people angry about taxation which flies against what Paul said. England didn't fit into a tyrannical state and neither did the US government prior to the Civil War.

    About 35,000 to 40,000 soldiers died during the AR, needlessly. Another 750,000 people died during the Civil War, also needlessly, and those who were guilty will have to face God's judgment.
     
  6. tstor

    tstor Where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

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    That does not at all come close to being a meaningful response to anything I said. Romans 13 describes an ideal situation when it comes to governing authorities. I cited Revelation 18, which obviously describes the opposite of ideal (i.e., worst case scenario). I would also point you to what is written in the Pslams:

    Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! (Psalm 72:1-2; ESV)​

    I disagree strongly, as did many who were involved. Regarding the American Revolution, I will point you to the writings of John Witherspoon:

    There is not the least reason as yet, to think that either the king, the parliament, or even the people of Great Britain, have been able to enter into the great principles of universal liberty, or are willing to hear the discussion of the point of right, without prejudice. They have not only taken no pains to convince us that submission to their claim is consistent with liberty among us, but it is doubtful whether they expect or desire we should be convinced of it. It seems rather that they mean to force us to be absolute slaves, knowing ourselves to be such by the hard law of necessity. If this is not their meaning, and they wish us to believe that our properties and lives are quite safe in the absolute disposal of the British Parliament, the late acts with respect to Boston, to ruin their capital, destroy their charter, and grant the soldiers a license to murder them, are certainly arguments of a very singular nature.

    Therefore it follows, that the great object of the approaching Congress should be to unite the colonies, and make them as one body, in any measure of self-defense, to assure the people of Great Britain that we will not submit voluntarily, and convince them that it would be either impossible or unprofitable for them to compel us by open violence. (Thoughts on American Liberty)​

    Regarding the American Civil War, more accurately called the War of Northern Aggression or War of Southern Independence, it also was not in violation of Romans 13. You can read the full list of reasons declared by South Carolina as to why they left the Union here, but let's just take the first part:

    The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.​

    A governing authority that violates their own constitution, covenant, or agreement with the people which they govern is an act of tyranny. However, it should be noted that the succession of South Carolina and other states was not what started the war. South Carolina succeeded on December 20, 1860. Jefferson Davis was sworn into office on February 9, 1861. The first shots were never fired until April 12, 1861 after the refusal of President Lincoln to remove northern forces from Fort Sumter (which was now within Confederate territory) and the act of Lincoln sending warships to the fort despite there being no provocation. A lot more can be said, but the simple act of succession and forming a confederation is not against Romans 13 in light of it being peaceable and Constitutional.

    This is true so long as the ruler obeys God. Rulers can and have rebelled against God's anointing. Again, I would point you to Revelation 18: "Come out of her, my people..."

    The American Revolution was not about greed. Or at least not in the minds of those fighting. It was a reaction to tyranny. The Confederate States were reacting in a peaceable and Constitutional manner as to percieved tyranny. Neither events were in violation of Romans 13.

    In response to your last statement, I look forward to long and roaming discussions with Jefferson Davis in the presence of our Lord.
     
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  7. abysmul

    abysmul Board Game Hobbyist

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    Dare one ask... what specific tyranny is being inflicted upon you by what government?
     
  8. tstor

    tstor Where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

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    None. I am not saying that any of this is relevant to my current situation. I am just discussing it in a more general way.
     
  9. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    Incorrect. Nothing in what Paul writes in Romans 12&13, gives an indication of an ideal situation. Paul's discourse gives Christian a discription of how they should always behave, whether they are persecuted or not.
    QUOTE="tstor, post: 71287057, member: 397740"]
    I would also point you to what is written in the Pslams:

    Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! (Psalm 72:1-2; ESV)[/quote]
    Yes, justice is God's not ours.
    QUOTE="tstor, post: 71287057, member: 397740"]
    I disagree strongly, as did many who were involved. Regarding the American Revolution, I will point you to the writings of John Witherspoon:[/quote]​
    I could care less what he said. I stick with scripture. There were ministers on both sides of the issue. King George was not a tyrant. He worked within a parliamentary system to rule all of the kingdom.

     
  10. tstor

    tstor Where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

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    You are painfully incorrect then. Paul does not at all suggest that Christians are to endure tyranny. This is declared quite clearly from the Old Testament and the New. Again, look at Revelation 18 and actually take the time to understand what the Bible has to say regarding political covenants (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

    And what if a governing authority is not just? Does your view not take this possibility into account?

    No, you don't stick with Scripture. All you have done is misrepresent Paul's words in Romans 13. Unless you are willing to meaningfully engage what I am presenting, this discussion will be fruitless.
     
  11. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    Evidently you don't read all of what said. Look back at Romans 12.

    First off, Paul was living in far worse conditions than the Colonies. Roman was killing Christians but Paul tells them to endure in peace. Not rebel.

    QUOTE="tstor, post: 71287392, member: 397740"
    look at Revelation 18 and actually take the time to understand what the Bible has to say regarding political covenants (2 Samuel 5:1-3).[/quote]
    What part of British was pagan? They were a Christian kingdom.
     
  12. jgarden

    jgarden Senior Veteran

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    I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command... Die to the world, repudiating the madness that is in it.
    — Tatian's Address to the Greeks

    Whatever Christians would not wish others to do to them, they do not to others. And they comfort their oppressors and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies…. Through love towards their oppressors, they persuade them to become Christians.
    — The Apology of Aristides

    A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded, and to refuse to take an oath. If he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected for baptism. A military commander or civic magistrate must resign or be rejected. If a believer seeks to become a soldier, he must be rejected, for he has despised God.
    — Hippolytus of Rome

    One soul cannot be due to two masters—God and Cæsar ...
    — Tertullian, On Idolatry Chapter 19: Concerning Military Service

    ..... learned from His teaching and His laws that evil ought not to be requited with evil, that it is better to suffer wrong than to inflict it, that we should rather shed our own blood than stain our hands and our conscience with that of another, an ungrateful world is now for a long period enjoying a benefit from Christ, inasmuch as by His means the rage of savage ferocity has been softened, and has begun to withhold hostile hands from the blood of a fellow-creature.
    — Arnobius, Adversus Gentes

    Consider the roads blocked up by robbers, the seas beset with pirates, wars scattered all over the earth with the bloody horror of camps. The whole world is wet with mutual blood; and murder, which in the case of an individual is admitted to be a crime, is called a virtue when it is committed wholesale.
    — Cyprian of Carthage

    Those soldiers were filled with wonder and admiration at the grandeur of the man's piety and generosity and were struck with amazement. They felt the force of this example of pity. As a result, many of them were added to the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and threw off the belt of military service.
    — Disputation of Archelaus and Manes

    How can a man be master of another's life, if he is not even master of his own? Hence he ought to be poor in spirit, and look at Him who for our sake became poor of His own will; let him consider that we are all equal by nature, and not exalt himself impertinently against his own race ...
    — Gregory of Nyssa, Homilies on the Beatitudes
    ***************************************************************
    Early Christians took Christ's words literally - they rejected nationalism, military service, holding government office or loyalty to any secular institution.

    They would be shocked for what passes as modern day Christianity, whose proponents glorify military and government service and where taking a human life in the name of nationalism is now morally acceptable.

    Christian pacifism - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  13. more4less

    more4less Active Member

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    They only way to stop these tyrants, is to do what Gadaffi wanted the world to do, and that is to go back using gold as the world currency. No more I.O.U's or C-notes (Paper money). Oooops, but look what has happened to him. Them tyrants!!!!
    I always has said, that the establishment should never introduces indigenous people to our ways. But the establishment wanted to capitalizes off of everyone. And now they are leaving their lifestyle in the jungle and coming over here dressing like rappers. The bush tribes of Africa are now becoming like us, wanting to learn how to rap and wear gold necklaces in order to have a bunch of naked tramps pressing their bodies against them all day like in those rap videos.
    We all needs to rise up against Soros and the rest of the establishment, and take all of their possessions from them and use it to recondition these natives into loving their own traditional ways that their ancestors had once live. Like the way we reconditions wild animals from being domesticated, so that they can go back and live in their own natural habitats.
     
  14. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    What tyrants? You must not know what the word means if you think that it applied to the US.
     
  15. more4less

    more4less Active Member

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    Well I do not know... But this guy describes it a lot better than I...

    “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
    [​IMG] Thomas Jefferson quotes (
     
  16. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    I guess but sadly Thomas Jefferson never said that nor did anyone else. What you provided is a fake mime which began appearing in the 1990's. They took a statement which Jefferson wrote against a government regulating morality and found in Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia". There was no mention of tyranny in that book.

    For your information, as long as the government that we live under is a Constitutional Republic with the checks and balances which are afforded through the 3 branches of government, there cannot be tyranny.
     
  17. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The governing authorities, of St. Paul's time, was Nero. The same Nero who blamed Christians for the fire that raged in Rome, and who took it as an opportunity to round up, torture and execute the followers of Christ, in some cases covering them in oil, hanging them up on wooden posts and igniting them on fire in order to light his private palace gardens. Nero wasn't just a tyrant toward Christians, the Roman people despised him, many believed he himself had began the fires, and when Nero died, nearly the whole of Rome rejoiced.

    Also, if there was ever a time for the Christian to take up the sword against brutal oppression it was during the reign of Diocletian. And yet none did. Why? St. Martin of Tour's words nearly a century after Diocletian gives us the reason, "I am a soldier of Christ, it is not permitted of me to fight."; the Christian does not pick up the sword, but is armed instead with the peace and gentleness of the Gospel.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  18. more4less

    more4less Active Member

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    A paraphrase:

    Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the era of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food. Thomas Jefferson on Medicine
     
  19. more4less

    more4less Active Member

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    This is true tyranny..

     
  20. more4less

    more4less Active Member

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    This is true tyranny..

     
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