Constitutional Emergency

God's Word Does Not Support Obeying Evil Government...............

http://www.newswithviews.com/guest_opinion/guest297.htm

A BRIEF CONSIDERATION OF ROMANS 13:1-5



By Pastor Mike Spaulding, Ph.D.
September 7, 2015
NewsWithViews.com

Noah Webster had much to say about the role of government and the responsibility of citizens to administer such government. In addition to the quote above Webster also stated:

“If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes.”
“If the government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Law.”
“The Bible must be considered as the great source of all the truth by which men are to be guided in government as well as in all government transactions.”

I have been teaching through Psalms for the past 1.5 years and have made it as far as Psalm 35. I have spent the last 5 weeks in this chapter talking about the role of governments (see 35:20). Of course when you begin speaking about the role of government American Christians almost without exception state that people are to obey them completely with only minor exceptions such as when they might attempt to make you do something God commands otherwise. They don’t really believe that at all. They merely say that in order to continue to live their lives without any cognitive dissonance.

Romans 13 actually has much to say about the authority, function, and place of government that many Christians are clueless about. Given that we are in another election season it is good timing to be discussing this idea of government. I have heard people say that they are not voting because the system is rigged anyway (a belief I share) and still others say that it doesn’t matter who you vote for because they are all the same (again I agree with that perspective). Very few get to the heart of the matter by saying that the current government America has in place is not described in Romans 13 but is described elsewhere by the phrase “spirit of antichrist.”

So let’s jump into this brief survey. How many times have you heard a Christian say, “God put the President in office so it is our duty to obey him”? I hear that a lot but is it really true? The only passage in the NT that someone who holds this view can point to is Romans 13 but it is my opinion that this passage says nothing of the sort concerning who gets elected to what office. Romans 13 is not concerned about that in the least.

Please take the time to read Romans 13:1-5 now before you continue reading.

Now if as some Christians say, “God puts people in office and it is our duty to respect and honor them” then it follows that God has placed every despot, tyrant, murderer and psycho in office and it is our duty to honor and respect them. There is a Greek word that is used for this mental disease of uncritical and unbiblical thinking – baloney. (Think of Hitler, the Ayatollahs of Islam, Mao, Stalin, every murdering psychopath who has rested power from their people)

Some people try to use a couple of OT passages such as 1 Chronicles 28:4 where David says, “The Lord, the God of Israel chose me from all the house of my father to be King over Israel forever.” Daniel 2:21 is another verse that people sometimes point to: “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes Kings and establishes Kings;”

Are these passages teaching that God raises up leaders and puts them in place and therefore validates the common Romans 13 understanding? They are not teaching doctrine at all. They are anecdotal in nature and show that God was involved in raising up Israel’s Kings and sometimes those of her neighbors. No doctrine can be derived from these examples.

Are there any NT examples to support the common understanding of Romans 13? No not one. We cannot say biblically, “well God raised up this President or these nine Supreme Court Justices, or these Senators, etc., so we must obey them.”

The NT introduces us to the doctrine of grace and free will. We do not live in a theocracy. And this is no more true than when we are exercising our freedoms to vote and try to effect public policy. You see we as a people can choose to make God-honoring decisions concerning public policy and the people we elect to office and the opposite is true too.

When we make God-dishonoring decisions we end up with God-dishonoring leaders and laws. We can’t say “well God put the nine Supreme Court justices in place who forced sodomite marriage upon America so we’ll just have to live with it.” God didn’t do that. We the people did that through the Presidents we elected to that office.

Now how does all this relate to Romans 13? Note verse 1 – God establishes order in His creation by establishing government. Government is nothing more than the framework by which people govern themselves. It is a mutually agreed upon pact between people of a nation who establish their relationship to one another through what they will and will not allow.

God does not dictate democracy, socialism, or any other manmade system of political theory. He merely states there should be order concerning nations. There are three interesting words used in this passage: (1) subjection – verse 1 and 5 (2) resists – verse 2 (3) ordinance – verse 2.

All three of these words have the same root in the Greek – taso. Taso means “to appoint.”

Thus subjection is hupo-taso. We get hyper from this word meaning under the skin; hypodermic for example. So subjection is to be under authority.
Then resist is anti-taso; meaning against the appointment or authority.
Finally we have ordinance and that is dia-taso. This word means thorough or complete. Think of diagnosis – which means thorough knowledge. So that which is ordained is something that is thoroughly appointed – dia-taso.

So how does all this fit together? We are to be hypo-taso (subject to), not anti-taso (opposed to) that which God has dia-taso (ordained). What has God ordained? God has ordained government as a structure of order and nothing else.

Now let’s look at the most overlooked part of this entire passage – the qualifiers.

Verse one every soul (KJV) is to be in subjection (hypo-taso) to the governing authority of God. There is no authority but from God. In other words God establishes governments to represent Him – to exercise authority based on His character.
Verse two: “Therefore” (because God has ordained that mankind live an orderly life under His authority) those who resist God’s authority (when rightly present) will receive condemnation.

Very clear here – obey whatever government is over you? No! Obey governments that demonstrate God-honoring laws and conduct toward its citizens. Verses 3 and 4 provide further clarification on what authority must look like if Romans 13 is to apply.

Verse 3: “For” or because, properly functioning, God-ordained authority rewards good (Godly) behavior – good as it lines up with what God calls good.
In other words God-ordained authority rewards God-honoring people and punishes evil – God-dishonoring behavior.
Verse 4: “For” or because God ordained authority is meant to be a minister to equip citizens to lead a God-honoring life while recognizing that all will not (free will).
For those who resist (anit-taso) God’s authority rightly wielded by God-honoring governments, the sword is justified.

So God does ordain government as a role to manage order, but He does not ordain individuals or even forms of government. Thus God does not require submission to governments that have left their God-honoring moorings and have turned evil into good and good into evil.

For governments to operate as God’s ministers, to be identified as God-ordained they must function as they were designed to function and when they do not they have shown they are not entitled to submission.

Therefore God did not establish Hitler, the German people did that.

To say that God-ordains covenant breakers, liars, murderers, and all forms of evil perpetrated by governments is to make God unworthy to judge the world.

If man’s laws are evil and ordained by God how do you reconcile God’s holy nature with unholy authority?

If government is truly a minister of God they will act like a minister of God.

Therefore friends the prevailing interpretation of Romans 13 is clearly wrong based on a study of the text. Tyrants love it when Christians resign themselves to supporting evil conduct. Don’t be deceived folks. Honoring the authority behind the office is right but to translate that into honoring the person is clearly wrong-headed and unbiblical.

*The best treatment of this passage that I have found is James M. Wilson, Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7. This treatise is found here.

Photo credit – Political Velcraft

© 2015 Pastor Mike Spaulding – All Rights Reserved

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Mike Spaulding was ordained to the ministry in 1998. He is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Lima and is the host of the Soaring Eagle Radio, a news, commentary, and interview show from a Christian worldview.

Mike holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management from Bluffton University, a graduate degree in Theological Studies from Logos Graduate School, and a Ph.D. in Apologetics from Trinity Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles including, “Leadership and Organizational Vision,” “Servant Leadership,” and “The Ministry of Teaching” all published by LifeWay Publishers. He is a contributor to the "Baker Dictionary of Cults," Wayne House, General Editor, by Baker Publishing Group (Anticipated release date 2016). Mike has written for several apologetics ministries including Got Questions? (www.gotquestions.org) and the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (www.carm.org) and maintains his own blogs – The Transforming Word (www.thetransformingword.com) and Dr. Mike Spaulding (www.drmikespaulding.com).

His teaching ministry is featured on the radio program “The Transforming Word." In 2013 he launched The Transforming Word Bible Institute and serves as its President.

Mike’s professional memberships include the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, the International Society of Christian Apologetics and the Evangelical Political Scholars Association.

Mike has been married to his lovely wife Kathy for over 32 years. They have four daughters and five grandchildren.

Follow Mike on Twitter - @ccpastormike and @soaringeaglerad

E-Mail: pastormike@cclohio.org

E-Mail: soaring@woh.rr.com

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Replies to This Discussion

Michael M. Regan and @Robert A Kaufman BOTH of you stated a KEY TERM and FACT.  A Candidate WHO FOLLOWS the Moral Principles of The Bible.  You have to have one BEFORE you can VOTE FOR THEM.

Jesus says in Matthew 12:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

If one isn't wiling to yoke their souls to another because of their "FRUIT" do you honestly think I would sacrifice a vote for them?  I voted for Mitt Romney when many balked just because of DOGMA and DOCTRINE.  There are far more registered christian voters as you cited, but if WE as Christians cannot produce RIGHTEOUS, BRAVE and INTELLIGENT, what good does it do to vote for more CORRUPTION, RECKLESSNESS, and IGNORANCE?

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Snowman. I believe if the Church would do its duty God would raise up a righteous leader. He has do so in the past as soon as Gods people repented and returned to Him. Their are some Christians in office but I think the reason we lack men of character is because we as a nation have turned from God. Just my opinion but it seems consistent with scripture.

Understand Michael, but how does the Church do it's duty when it is busy subverting the Word of GOD and being internally DISPUTATIOUS?  The Church is in just as bad of shape as the Country because of DOGMAs and DOCTRINEs.  We have denominations that can't even comprehend that Jesus Christ started His Church on the Cross by shedding His Blood for OUR Sins.  The Apostles taught ONE Church and rebuked ALL False Teachings.  Paul even REBUKED Peter, the cornerstone of the Church.....because he fell away from what Jesus taught.  

“Christianity is not consistency to conscience or to convictions; Christianity is being true to Jesus Christ.”  Biblical Ethics, 111 L

I do agree with you, as a Nation----WE HAVE turned from GOD, because of the ABOVE.  I agree that we lack men and women of character, because households have failed to TEACH their Children as mandated in Deuteronomy 6; and as stated in Titus 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 4:6-7; 2 John.

Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate; their political character must soon follow.” ― Elias Boudinot

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

 

Yes Snowman, the "church" in America has subverted the Word and will continue to be a very bad witness to what the Messiah taught when He walked among His own. His own rejected Him and those that proclaim they believe in Him today have rejected His Father's Torah.

I obey Torah because I am redeemed by the Blood of Messiah first and wish to show my love to YHVH because He sent Him to save me from my transgressions of His Standard for Righteousness.

Let me interject a few thoughts since we're on this subject.... I would like to ask these questions to the Church as a whole but I'll start her. Since God has called us to be active and not passive for those of you who don't vote, do you think you bear some responsibility that has allowed ungodly people to be put in places of authority in our Nation? Do you think you bear some responsibility for what's happening to your fellow Believers who are being persecuted and those who you have allowed to come to power do nothing? Do you think you bear some responsibility for the loss of our religious freedoms by your silence. Remember the Maxium of the law is that "Silence equals consent". Remember you will be judged not only by what you have done, but also by what you failed to do. "Sins of omission". It reminds me of how the religious Jews acted when Hitler came to power, they refused to believe and alot of them looked the other way. Would that I could grab the Church by the shoulders and shake it. In my opinion you have no right to sit in your pews and complain and blame the devil while you do nothing. News flash: Prayer is not enough!!
Remember when Neiamiah built the walls he had the workers take a brick in one had and a sword in the other. How do we wake the silent do nothing majority up?

And we can start by forcing the Senate to do the right thing with the Iran Nuclear Agreement, https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/its-not-too-late-...

The curse on a nation becomes Communism. People dictated and ruled over by a currupt political government who are not recognizing God's rules along with ethics or morals. A god ruled society is one of freedom and a right for possession of private property

Learn and stand up now.

Snowman. What will awaken the church, what will cause his people to turn to Him is calamity, persecution and suffering. The Church in America is lukewarm at best. In the past when Gods people were not obeying God he raised up cruel rulers who would persecute Gids people so the would cry out to God and so they would return to Him. Maybe that is the reason we have rulers like Obama over us in this time. I am convinced that the reason evil is gaining strength is because the Church is not about Gods business. But in His faithfulness He will Chastize His own. "Judgement starts in the House of God". It is up to the leaders of the church to awaken their flock. The leaders of the Church need to remember that they will be held to a stickter judgement. When the church is silent evil abounds. Hopefully those who lead Gods people will see the obvious and be faithful to their calling.

Absolutely Michael, we shouldn't think that BHO isn't a Gift from GOD.......just as the Philistines, Assyrians and the Babylonians were used against a rebellious Israel.....BHO's administration IS BEING USED against a rebellious and PRIDEFUL America.  We all know where PRIDE leads........

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Your ABSOLUTLY right Snowman. Can you imagine how frustrating Satan must be knowing that everything he's doing is actually accomplishing Gods perfect Will?! "ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes". Obama and instrument of Satan can do nothing that God does not allow.

REMEMBER

WHILE KIM DAVIS IS IN JAIL FOR STANDING UP FOR THE 1ST AMENDMENT

OHITLER WHO IGNORES THE US CONSTITUTION AND DOES NOT ENFORCE THE LAWS NEEDS TO THEN BE IN

PRISON YES?   

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