Bible Discussion Thread

  • Richard on Romans 13
    Should we trust in the government
  • T. Levis - in Reply
    Richard, my answer NO! Jeremiah 17:5, Jeremiah 17:5-8,

    Chis & Richard, to add if I may.

    1 Samuel 8:5

    1 Samuel 8:7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18, 1 Samuel 8:20

    We do not have a King over us, except The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY we are a Christian nation. Here in the United States of America, We are one nation under GOD. "We the People" we are the "People" we're the only Nation on Earth that was & is established under the Power & respect of GOD ALMIGHTY. Even the California Constitution, Preamble says: "We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure & perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.'"

    We need to remember & not forget, we are not, nor have we been a nation that crys to failed & flawed man to be "our king" no, we are the people & Our Declaration of Independence of The United States of America states: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, & to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate & equal stations to which the Laws of Nature & of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator... "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,-- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles..." "...experience has shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." "But when a long train of abuses & usurpations...Duty to throw off such.."
  • Rick - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hi Richard Something to keep in mind Romans 13 is written to the church of God, so the powers that be are the powers within the church I.E. leadership. It doesn't say obey the any government, the ordained powers are the powers ordained within the church of the body of Christ.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hi Rick. I have re-read Romans 13:1-7 & tried to read it inline with your understanding. However, to do so, doesn't make sense. I've never encountered the Church (elders) bearing the sword against their congregations or an avenger to execute wrath, or even demanding tribute (taxes).

    Is that how you read it?
  • John Zindel - in Reply on Romans 13
    Just wanted to ask that we've never seen the church demand tribute or bear the sword? They asked Peter if his master payed temple tax . And the Roman church demanded money and executed people for not obey their religious law.. in fact till Napolean arrested the pope and stripped him of his crown the church ruled for 40 and 2 months . Exactly 1260 yrs.. now the beast of the earth the one having 2 horns like a lamb . Who's the lamb? Jesus Christ .2 horns with no crowns..horns will symbolize precepts of power to govern . The 2 precepts of Christ.. love God love your neighbor.. protestantism and republicanism.. seperation of church and state .
  • David - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hi John Explain to me how the book of Romans is an Epistles written to the church of God born again believers and the 13 chapter is sandwiched between 12 which talks about being not conformed to this world and 14 talking about not judging other believers in the body of Christ. According to Ephesians the sword of the spirit is Gods word which is a terror to those who choose to do evil, in context the 13th chapter of Romans in my understanding is talking about leadership in the church the body of christ and paying tribute to those who teach Gods Word.
  • Rick - in Reply on Romans 13
    Chris That is not my understanding.
  • Rick - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hi Chris It does not say demand tribute or taxes, and the sword is Gods word. Verse 4 For he is the minister of God for good that cannot apply to any government of man, and once again this is written in the context of the church epistles, I.E. apostles prophets evangelists pastors and teachers. Also the sword you mention in the immediate context is against those that do evil.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Thank you Rick for that explanation & I've tried to read those verses accordingly. However, Paul's phraseology & general context, even in verse 7, just doesn't allow me to entertain that interpretation. We'll have to leave it that & allow others who want to read & meditate on this passage, decide whether it speaks of Church leaders or governmental heads. Blessings.
  • Rick - in Reply on Romans 13
    Chris One thing that amazes me is when someone says this is what paul wrote or Isaiah wrote or Luke wrote, they all wrote what God wanted written, its His Word. Just an observation.
  • Earl Bowman - in Reply on Romans 13
    Amen Brother Rick, I don't know why man has such a had time understanding this.

  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hello Richard. Like most things in life & people we meet, trust & respect go hand-in-hand when the object is deserving of them. Personally, I don't believe any government is worthy of our complete trust, simply because they are composed of generally unregenerate folk who uphold ungodly standards. Even those who may be believers within the govt. & may be doing their best to bring about changes, ultimately have to submit to their party's policies. And those parties that uphold (some) biblical values, are often too 'minor' to defeat the majority (people's) vote.

    Yet, the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter 13, that we have to be subject to the govt., as one who administers the Law, protects society, & of course, receives our taxes. How that Law is made & applied, or how well society is protected, & how well our taxes are used, has to be the determination of the individual at the ballot box. So, my understanding of Paul's reference to this, knowing that the govt. that he was subject to was one of the worst in history for the God-fearing, is to still follow the laws & requirements that they put on society. And generally, they do a fairly good job, but from a biblical perspective, not so well.

    Then the question: can we trust our govts. to do the right thing when our faith & Christian way of life are being eroded? We can never trust anyone on Earth in that regard, for none seek after the Will & honour of God, but after their own vain imaginations trying to please as many as they can. We can extend to them our trust, respect & obedience as far as our faith in God & knowledge of His Word allow us - but if that line that we set is crossed, I don't believe that they should be obeyed or respected & are to be treated as enemies of the Cross, with our obedience first to the Lord, & being ready to suffer under their hands.
  • Carleton - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hello Brother Chris Thank you. There remains a distinction between pacifism and non- resistance on the side of the Word. Even certain Governments may try to understand this line, why?
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Thank you brother Carleton. That would indeed be a fine line in my understanding. The child of God must refuse that which is evil, yet not render evil for evil. Maybe you could expand your thoughts as time permits, that we may learn.
  • Carleton - in Reply on Romans 13
    Good morning/evening Brother Chris, that grace, peace and love can be multiplied in our short walk to Jerusalem by the knowledge of the living Word. Non- resistance is it not the essence of the Gospel and life of our Savior? The presentation of Jesus as the Lamb of God is awe inspiring. That God selected the meekest man to handle the Word of God. The presenter of the Gospel handles the Word of God within and without in meekness, in love and mercy and in non- resistance. Non-resistance the life there of is not for another day (time) nor another people it is today if our hearts stay soft at the Cross. God has always made away for the meek to inherit the earth while time remains.

    Not many weeks back, certain lower high school educated Christian brothers were asked to a meeting by the US Selective Service to state their beliefs on non- resistance vs pacifism and how those beliefs include not participating in war activities and how they could offer alternative service to their own young men and soon women and possibly others in the event of a draft to war. It was explained to these brethren that there is a line in the Government provisions to make a way of escape from active war duties for the truly non- resistant professing Christians and Christians that are more involved in active participation in government policies that are against war, they named these people pacifists which may have to do limited war duties.

    We think of God's great Providence making a way for the Christian to live and teach the Gospel. So here is a superpower country making provision and protection for non-resistant believers to live. Freedom from fear is apart of this doctrine and life of Jesus Christ in non-resistance.

    Can Grace and peace and love can be multiplied in the earth now? Yes is the answer, by faith there is away of escape where meekness may rule in earth.

    Thank you Brother Chris for your steadfastness in faith.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Page 2.

    "A way of escape from active war duties". I think conscientious objection has always been allowed by governments, at least those in democratic societies & who are allied to others (e.g. NATO). It still had to be proved that one was indeed objecting for conscience-sake, & not to dodge the draft. I was in line to be drafted in Aust., but the war in Vietnam was near its end, with troop withdrawals commencing. I nevertheless opted to join the Air Force in administrative duties: dodging the draft (Conscription, as referred to here), & a self-guarantee that I don't have to kill anyone. I don't think they clearly defined the difference between an objector by conscience & a pacifist. It seemed to be one & the same. The line would be very thin in their reckoning, not caring about any biblical injunctions in that regard.

    Thank you again brother Carleton for engaging our minds in that direction & to consider our stand before God & Country.
  • Carleton - in Reply on Romans 13
    Hello Brother Chris, I am a poor choice to edge myself into the subject of Non-resistance but I see how without its presence in the life of a Christian one can wander into preparations or arming themselves for the punishment and or destruction of Babylon. It will be heathen hands as Jeremiah preached that overtake Babylon. Jeremiah 51:11, 28-29. The Christian must not interfere in God's vengeance against all unrighteousness in spiritual Babylon. The sword of opposition is not Bible doctrine. Revelation 17:12-13 Summarized- Power is give to the kings and in one mind and strength to the beast. Revelation 17:14 Summarized- The war is with the Lamb. The Lamb will overcome as he is Lord of lords and King of Kings. His followers who are with him are chosen and faithful. It is the non-resistance of these believers that they can be with the Lamb as he overcomes spiritual Babylon that great city, which is the complete opposite of New Jerusalem.

    Likely there will arise those whom may riot and gain followers but they will eventually be scattered as they are resistant to submission. I am certain that repeating the vision and revelation of the Lamb may be tiresome. However another happening as "I Stood" by the Lamb was it would have been near impossible to make myself lower than He. That is how we are, how I am and how we must completely surrender to His testimony of Peace.

    By faith and love. We can write more together in this short walk if time allows.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Thank you again brother Carleton for those deep & engaging thoughts. Indeed, our whole attitude & presentation to all must be as seen in our Master. He knew all men & yet withheld Himself from using their devices of carnal attack & judgement. He always did the Will of His Father ( John 6:38), always replicating the Father's Words & Acts in His Life & Ministry ( John 5:19).

    His powerful, yet succinct Words to us are, "to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" ( Matthew 10:16), for indeed, we as Christ's Church are in the "midst of wolves", & we are not to be ignorant of the evil one's devices in urging those wolves on & upon us. Yet, when under attack, & they come from a myriad of sources, our response needs to be one as was written of our High Priest: "One who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" ( Hebrews 7:26). As even the apostle urged us, to "be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" ( Philippians 2:15).

    Our light can only truly shine when Christ's Light shines through us. If there's only a flicker, the world will never be moved, they remain in darkness & our flicker of light might even be extinguished. As the world sees us in full submission desiring only that the Lord's Name be lifted up, they might also see how Jesus submitted to His Father's Will going the full distance to the Cross for them. That joy & peace that was the Lord's continual possession even to enduring the Cross, must be our portion as well, even in manifold trials & exercises of faith - and thus we can always follow peace with all men. Every blessing brother.
  • Carleton - in Reply on Romans 13
    Good morning Brother Chris, Thank you for your walk and sharing to me and others including some of your experiences in the walk by faith. I am at physical work and will have to wait to write more. In the meantime I wanted to clarify my thought on pacifism as non- violence and non- resistance as a quality of Jesus that we must know in our lives to know Him. I am interested in hearing more about the Gospel tract distribution work in Pakistan too!
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 13
    Page 1.

    Thank you brother for sharing those worthy & compelling thoughts. I think of Matthew 5:38-42, & specifically, "resist not evil", or, 'don't respond with the same evil that was dispensed to you'. This has been one of those instructions that have troubled many believers, as it cuts across the boundaries of responding offensively to a challenging & dangerous situation and defending oneself (or, another), which may require meting out 'evil'. I believe that when we are close to the Lord, walking daily in the Spirit, then all situations we face are under His Gaze & Control. If to be harmed is our lot, then He will give us Grace to stand with joy (remember martyr Stephen) or the Lord can even alter the course of another's evil intent.

    If I could share a personal encounter whilst doing tract & book distribution in a shopping area in Karachi, Pakistan back in 1989. One young Muslim cleric took exception to our work, screaming at me & taking me by the throat. Crowds gathered to see what would transpire while he took centre stage. In giving God the Glory in sharing this now, I stood there & calmly took in his hate-filled gaze, all the while the Lord kept me in peace, to not retaliate, with Proverbs 15:1 controlling my thoughts: "a soft answer turneth away wrath". He finally let go but followed my fellow-brother & myself out of the area. I asked the Lord to hold his eyes from seeing our van, as if our licence plate was made known to the police, this would jeopardize our work there. We crossed the street towards our van & we turned about face to see the man - he was still there on the other side looking around for us, but he couldn't see us - we were in plain sight without any obstacles. He finally left while we stood there, probably perplexed how we could disappear from his view so suddenly. To God be the Glory when we trust Him with our lives & even if evil befall us, we can remain joyous in being in His Will & for His great Love to us.
  • Carleton - in Reply on Romans 13
    The CAM missionaries and families were visiting our Church run orphanage and had just left when they were kidnapped.

    Let peace be multiplied this day in our hearts and lives.

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