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Romans Chapter 13

Discussion in 'General Politics' started by HARK!, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member

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    Romans Chapter 13
    By Chuck Baldwin


    It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, "What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone." Or words to that effect.

    No doubt, some who use this argument are sincere. They are only repeating what they have heard their pastor and other religious leaders say. On the other hand, let’s be honest enough to admit that some who use this argument are just plain lazy, apathetic, and indifferent. And Romans 13 is their escape from responsibility. I suspect this is the much larger group, by the way.

    Nevertheless, for the benefit of those who are sincere (but obviously misinformed), let’s briefly examine Romans Chapter 13. I quote Romans Chapter 13, verses 1 through 7, from the Authorized King James text:

    "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 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: 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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

    Do our Christian friends who use these verses to teach that we should not oppose President Bush or any other political leader really believe that civil magistrates have unlimited authority to do anything they want without opposition? I doubt whether they truly believe that.

    For example, what if our President decided to resurrect the old monarchal custom of Jus Primae Noctis (Law of First Night)? That was the old medieval custom when the king claimed the right to sleep with a subject’s bride on the first night of their marriage. Would our sincere Christian brethren sheepishly say, "Romans Chapter 13 says we must submit to the government"? I think not. And would any of us respect any man who would submit to such a law?

    So, there are limits to authority. A father has authority in his home, but does this give him power to abuse his wife and children? Of course not. An employer has authority on the job, but does this give him power to control the private lives of his employees? No. A pastor has overseer authority in the church, but does this give him power to tell employers in his church how to run their businesses? Of course not. All human authority is limited in nature. No man has unlimited authority over the lives of other men. (Lordship and Sovereignty is the exclusive domain of Jesus Christ.)

    By the same token, a civil magistrate has authority in civil matters, but his authority is limited and defined. Observe that Romans Chapter 13 clearly limits the authority of civil government by strictly defining its purpose: "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil . . . For he is the minister of God to thee for good . . . for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

    Notice that civil government must not be a "terror to good works." It has no power or authority to terrorize good works or good people. God never gave it that authority. And any government that oversteps that divine boundary has no divine authority or protection.

    Civil government is a "minister of God to thee for good." It is a not a minister of God for evil. Civil magistrates have a divine duty to "execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." They have no authority to execute wrath upon him that doeth good. None. Zilch. Zero. And anyone who says they do is lying. So, even in the midst of telling Christians to submit to civil authority, Romans Chapter 13 limits the power and reach of civil authority.

    Did Moses violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew? Did Elijah violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he openly challenged Ahab and Jezebel? Did David violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to surrender to Saul’s troops? Did Daniel violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he disobeyed the king’s law to not pray audibly to God? Did the three Hebrew children violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to bow to the image of the state? Did John the Baptist violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity? Did Simon Peter and the other Apostles violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to stop preaching on the streets of Jerusalem? Did Paul violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those authorities who demanded that he abandon his missionary work? In fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail.

    Remember that every apostle of Christ (except John) was killed by hostile civil authorities opposed to their endeavors. Christians throughout church history were imprisoned, tortured, or killed by civil authorities of all stripes for refusing to submit to their various laws and prohibitions. Did all of these Christian martyrs violate God’s principle of submission to authority?

    So, even the great prophets, apostles, and writers of the Bible (including the writer of Romans Chapter 13) understood that human authority – even civil authority – is limited.

    Plus, Paul makes it clear that our submission to civil authority must be predicated on more than fear of governmental retaliation. Notice, he said, "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." Meaning, our obedience to civil authority is more than just "because they said so." It is also a matter of conscience. This means we must think and reason for ourselves regarding the justness and rightness of our government’s laws. Obedience is not automatic or robotic. It is a result of both rational deliberation and moral approbation.

    Therefore, there are times when civil authority may need to be resisted. Either governmental abuse of power or the violation of conscience (or both) could precipitate civil disobedience. Of course, how and when we decide to resist civil authority is an entirely separate issue. And I will reserve that discussion for another time.

    Beyond that, we in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. We have no king. There is no single governing official in this country. America’s "supreme Law" does not rest with any man or any group of men. America’s "supreme Law" does not rest with the President, the Congress, or even the Supreme Court. In America, the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.

    This means that in America the "higher powers" are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this is how Romans Chapter 13 reads to Americans:

    "Let every soul be subject unto the [U.S. Constitution.] For there is no [Constitution] but of God: the [Constitution] that be [is] ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the [Constitution], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For [the Constitution is] not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [Constitution]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For [the Constitution] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for [the Constitution] beareth not the sword in vain: for [the Constitution] is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for [the Constitution is] God’s minister, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

    Dear Christian friend, the above is exactly the proper understanding of our responsibility to civil authority in these United States, as per the teaching of Romans Chapter 13.

    Furthermore, Christians, above all people, should desire that their elected representatives submit to the Constitution, because it is constitutional government that has done more to protect Christian liberty than any governing document ever devised by man. As I have noted before in this column, Biblical principles form the foundation of all three of America’s founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.

    As a result, Christians in America (for the most part) have not had to face the painful decision to "obey God rather than men" and defy their civil authorities.

    The problem in America today is that we have allowed our political leaders to violate their oaths of office and to ignore, and blatantly disobey, the "supreme Law of the Land," the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we truly believe Romans Chapter 13, we will insist and demand that our civil magistrates submit to the U.S. Constitution.

    Now, how many of us Christians are going to truly obey Romans Chapter 13?

    The Myth of Romans 13 - LewRockwell LewRockwell.com
     
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  2. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    The next time someone, anyone attempts to use Romans 13 as a weapon against your position , you can point them to the FACT The Colonials in 1776 REBELLED against the God Ordained Authority, King over the Americas.

    It doesn't quite fit into their belief system, there isn't any comeback to it and Romans 13 falls flat on it's face, you have effectively disarmed them of their weapon, against the truth.
     
  3. Jeshu

    Jeshu Bought by His Blood Supporter

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    Thank you for your well argued case, far overdue such debates. In my opinion our Lord commands that we uphold His word as ultimate authority. Any Government who makes rules that oppose the Word of God has lost its authority and places itself under a curse. It is our task to tell the Governments this.
     
  4. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member

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    Actually it was the King who broke the covenant. By law he was required to address grievances. Mercenaries, were living in the Colonists' homes, eating their food, and raping their wives. The king was afforded an allotted time, by law, tom respond to grievances. He was given twice the allotted time, with no response. A second letter was sent, again twice the allotted time, no response.

    A covenant works both ways.
     
  5. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Are you of the oppression that we, out of all the British Colonies under George were the only ones in that situation?

    Australia, Canada, and the like stayed under God's appointed Authority over them and eventually gained autonomy.

    What would make you believe we would not have gained the same as they did?
     
  6. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You raise a very important issue. Derek Prince pointed this out decades ago. America suffered greatly from becoming independent the wrong way. Rebellion is never good, no matter how "right" it seems at the time. Just check out the list of failed states that resulted from rebellion. Christians should be praying for their leaders. That way, God will effect change in a righteous manner that brings glory to Him and blessing to the nation.
     
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  7. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member

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    No!

    LOL!
     
  8. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    It's not Myth. I admit I don't follow any of the letters that do not have sufficient backing. Unfortunately for your argument, Romans 13 has 100% backing from many other scriptural sources. Sorry.

    And no, I've never, in any church or denomination heard of any support for Romans 13. But here is it, none the less:

    What Does the Bible Say About Government?

    What Does the Bible Say About Authority?

    And you can talk you way through a number
    of scenarios. But Jesus submitted to local authority
    and we have a savior as the result. I submit to Jesus first.

    John 19:11
    Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
    (Because Pilate was in government, following the law, and doing God's will.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  9. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member

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    Yahshua submitted to the King of Rome. This a country of the People, with a Constitution that limits the power of our public servants.

    “We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!” --John Adams
     
  10. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

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    I thought it might pertain.
    JOHN 18
    36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 3
     
  11. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Let us consider the supporting passages not provided by Profit John Adams:
    1 Peter 2:13-17
    2 Peter 2:10
    Titus 3
    1 Timothy 2
    Psalms 22:28
    Daniel 2:20-21
    Romans 13:7
    Deuteronomy 16:18-20
    Revelation 1
    Romans 13
    Proverbs 21
    John 19:11
    Mark 3:24
    Proverbs 29
    Proverbs 8:15
    Psalms 94:20
    Deuteronomy 28
    Daniel 2:21
    John 19:10-11
    Jude 1:8
    Colossians 1:15-17
    Ecclesiastes 10:20
    Acts 8:32
    Acts 23:5
    Matthew 10:38

    Exodus 22:28
    “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
     
  12. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Yes
     
  13. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    They responded that the church leaders had no authority over their legal actions.
     
  14. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    I prefer the labels "Scholarly" and "passionate."
    Let us consider the supporting passages:

    1 Peter 2:13-17
    2 Peter 2:10
    Titus 3
    1 Timothy 2
    Psalms 22:28
    Daniel 2:20-21
    Romans 13:7
    Deuteronomy 16:18-20
    Revelation 1
    Romans 13
    Proverbs 21
    John 19:11
    Mark 3:24
    Proverbs 29
    Proverbs 8:15
    Psalms 94:20
    Deuteronomy 28
    Daniel 2:21
    John 19:10-11
    Jude 1:8
    Colossians 1:15-17
    Ecclesiastes 10:20
    Acts 8:32
    Acts 23:5
    Matthew 10:38

    Exodus 22:28
    “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  15. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    John 19:11
    Jesus answered him (Pilate), “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  16. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    All governments of any type are included and mentioned.

    Romans 13:1-7
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.

    1 Peter 2:13-17
    Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
     
  17. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Yes, they did.

    If you're seeking permission to become a martyr, switch to the Koran as your Bible.
     
  18. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

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    Here Jesus was referencing the Jewish leadership as the authority from above given to Pilate
     
  19. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

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    One can be subject yet dissenting regarding law.
     
  20. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    There is no evidence that Jesus considered the Jewish leadership to be a higher standard.
     
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