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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : What Does God Say About Christians and Politics? (continued)

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AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 4002
Louisiana

 What Does God Say About Christians and Politics? (continued)

APRIL 29, 2022

What Does God Say about Christians and Politics (part 4)



In the final post of this short series regarding government, I want to mention what is a confusing passage to many, Romans 13:1-5:

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” (Romans 13:1-5; NASB)

This passage is often used to convince Christians they are not supposed to criticize people in government, that they must obey government unconditionally, and that everyone in a position of governmental authority was put in that position by God. That is not what the passage is saying.

Let’s first look at the contention regarding everyone in government being placed there by God. This belief is built around the doctrine of God‘s sovereignty. He is sovereign, of course. The problem, however, comes from mis-defining what sovereignty means. It does not mean “to be in control of everything.” (I shared a post [October 11, 2021] on this subject which you can see here.)

The word “sovereignty” means “all reign or authority.” God is sovereign, or has all authority, but He is not responsible for evil. He certainly is not in favor of wicked people in government and did not place them there. To contend that God puts people like Hitler in their position of power for some unknown reason, is an insult to God’s character.

God confirmed that He doesn’t set up evil governments in Hosea 8:4, “They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval." This could not be clearer. Actually, God’s judgment of wicked rulers and removal of them in scripture is overwhelmingly obvious. At times He raised up leaders to overthrow evil governments, such as Moses, Ehud, Jephthah, Samson and Deborah. Hebrews 11:32-34 says, “For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises... became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Obviously, not all who are in positions of government were placed there by God.

So what does this passage in Romans 13 mean? Paul was simply instructing believers in Rome to respect the institution God had raised up: government. When combining this passage with the remainder of Scripture, which we must always do, it becomes clear that our first responsibility is to obey God. When laws and commands of government contradict His laws, we do not obey them. Consider the following passage:

“When they had brought them (Peter and the apostles), they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:27-29; NASB)

David Howard, of Foxhole Ministry, states, “Christians are to follow what is lawful under God and to be subject to the authorities that God has established. When it comes to worldly institutions or governments, we submit so far as is lawful under God…God created the righteous concept of the institution of government and directed the people [under Moses] to create a representative government to honor God's laws and prevent disorder and anarchy. The caution is that Christians ‘…must (always) obey God rather than men.’ Therefore what is legal under man is not always lawful under God. Today, what is unlawful under God in America are abortion, gay marriage, political corruption, pornography, restricted prayer and the display of the Ten Commandments. Nothing made legal by government, which is unlawful under God, should Christians condone, hide or fail to expose. We are not silent, apathetic, struck down or delayed in our representation of Christ as ambassadors to the world. This is our appointed time to be the light and salt that speaks the word of God into the world. We have no fellowship with darkness, but we shrewdly expose it. (Paraphrased from Ephesians 5:11) We expose it by putting on the full armor of God to be Christ’s Ambassadors into the world so we may speak boldly, as we ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)”(1)

History is filled with examples of this passage in Romans 13 being used inappropriately to silence good people, including Christians. Consider the following examples:

“In July 1933, during Hitler’s first summer in power, a young German pastor named Joachim Hossenfelder preached a sermon in the towering Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin’s most important church. He used the words of Romans 13 to remind worshippers of the importance of obedience to those in authority. The church was festooned with Nazi banners and … flags, its pews packed with the Nazi Party faithful — including men in the brown shirts of the [Stormtroopers], the Nazis’ paramilitary movement.”(2)

“Those upholding the Fugitive Slave Law in the 1840s and 1850s insisted that escaped slaves be returned to their masters, based on Romans 13.

“Frederick Douglass, escaped slave and renowned orator during the Civil War once said, ‘I appear this evening as a thief and a robber. I stole this head, these limbs, this body from my master, and ran off with them.’”(3) Wow!

“Beloved, I hope that as Christians we can all agree that the life of Jesus is one of freedom in Christ, not servitude to human powers. I hope we as Americans can agree that no particular iteration of our government is such a bearer of God’s will that its actions cannot be questioned. When an official of any government uses Romans 13 in this way, they claim divine authority in a way that is incompatible with both our freedom in Christ and the proper functioning of democracy. When this interpretation goes unchallenged, human tragedy always follows.”(4)

Speak up, fellow believers, speak up.



Pray with me:



Father, our enemy will use anything possible to create passivity in the church, including our theology. We ask for You to bring understanding to us regarding any and every belief we have that creates passivity or complacency. Awaken the church to our high calling and privilege of partnering with You on earth, to accomplish good and stop evil.

Through our prayers, decrees, and voices, we stand against evil in our nation. We oppose that which would try to remove You from our America’s government, education and public life. We bind the coordinated efforts of hell to bring down this nation. We ask You to continue shifting - and create an even greater shift - in our nation by continuing to expose ungodliness and impure motives. Arise, and see Your enemies scatter!

And we remember to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world. We continue to ask for an end to the bloodshed in Ukraine. We ask You to work this for the good of revival and righteousness. We ask You to end the evil reign of Putin and free the people of Russia from the oppression there. We pray for worldwide revival in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, Central America, and every island of the sea. We ask all of this in Christ’s name. Amen.



Our decree:



We decree that Jesus Christ is Lord over all other governments.



Click on the link below to watch the full video.

https://youtu.be/dFw8e6nSovA



For more information on this prayer and our sources go to www.givehim15.com


_________________
Mike

 2022/4/29 8:37Profile
MrBillPro
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3419
Texas

 Re: What Does God Say About Christians and Politics? (continued)

Mike I don't have the time to read all that at the moment, but I wanted to voice a quick "opinion". "Some" Christians have been complacent on politics for WAY to long, and are part of the problem this country is in the shape it's in today. I'm not big into politics at all, but I will voice an opinion if need be. I will not just stand around with my hands in my pockets, while our freedoms are being slowly taken away. I'll read what you posted later, Thanks Mike.


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Bill

 2022/4/29 15:37Profile
murrcolr
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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1632
Scotland, UK

 Re:

I found these nuggets by John Calvin

They who rule unjustly and incompetently have been raised up by him to punish the wickedness of the people.

A wicked king is the Lord’s wrath upon the earth Job 34:30, ; Hos 13:11; Isa 3:4; 10:5; Deut 28:29

We can get all stirred up against our rulers who rule unjustly and incompetently but that is not the answer.

We must see our error and humble ourselves and cry out to God, if we don't that unjust and incompetent leader will only get worse.


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Colin Murray

 2022/4/29 17:38Profile
AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 4002
Louisiana

 Re:

"We must see our error and humble ourselves and cry out to God, if we don't that unjust and incompetent leader will only get worse."

The unjust and wicked leaders in our nation are a result of the Church neither being salt or light. When the light goes out the darkness comes in, and when we are not salt that is meant to be the preservative, we get the corruption. "If the foundations are being destroyed, what shall the righteous do."? (Psalm 11:3). Another translation says "if the foundations be destroyed, what have the righteous done?"


The only way out of this mess is not political, but it is through the Church obeying (2 Chronicles 7:14).

We are admonished in scripture to pray for our leaders. Pastors must preach the uncompromised Word of God, and Christians should not remain silent as long as babies are murdered in the womb, and now in California there is a bill that would make the killing of babies legal even after birth.

There are hard times coming to this nation, but there is a remnant that is praying and interceding, and we are expecting a turnaround, but it will not come without costs.


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Mike

 2022/4/29 20:43Profile
MrBillPro
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3419
Texas

 Re:

Kind of a bit off topic here, but does anyone believe if the Churches paid taxes, do you think our country would be in any different shape today?


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Bill

 2022/4/29 22:07Profile
brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2131


 Re:

That's true in essence, but then the question arises what truly is the gospel that needs to be preached and what does it mean to preach the gospel. Is the gospel of Christ also what Jesus Christ taught which is the gospel of the kingdom and the principles that he laid forth in all his teachings. If it is true that the gospel of Christ is everything that Jesus taught then that's a major issue because many churches are not really teaching the gospel of the kingdom they have whittled it down and reduced it to an evangelical message and then Bible study on a Sunday and a Wednesday. And in reality that doesn't come close to what Jesus taught or what the apostles taught, the apostles doctrine being an extension of the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel that Jesus Christ preached. And the second issue what does it actually mean to preach the gospel? If we look at other parts of scripture in all truth the preaching of the gospel meant what Jesus said when he said go and make disciples of all the nation's. So the preaching of the gospel literally means teach the good news of the kingdom and training them up till they can do what Jesus did, and teach that and preach that to every creature making disciples of all the nation's. Now in reality that's not what many people think the gospel is In a lot of different denominations. So we need a reformation that is brought on through revival and an awakening that permeates every sphere society. The apostle Paul said God Wills all men to be saved even Kings and governors, that's how much the gospel needs to go into politics,
but politics must be controlled by the anointing if it's going to be working Under God's favour.

 2022/4/30 0:40Profile
deogloria
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Joined: 2020/2/12
Posts: 200


 Re:

Hebrews 11:13 "All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."

Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;"

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh,

"strangers" means "foreign set-tiers, dwellers in a strange land." The second word translated "strangers" means "visitors" who tarry for a time in a foreign country, not permanently settling in it ( Pulpit Commentary )
"As strangers and pilgrims" it implies no journeying, but simply residence in a foreign country. Here it represents the same Greek word which is rendered "strangers" in 1Peter 1:1,(Ellicott)

If I would come and live in your country I would be a "foreigner" and therefore probably wouldn't get much involved in your politics.
I would have to obey the law of your country, unless it is against the Word of God.
Daniel couldn't always obey the King.

Laws are necessary, but they can't change lives. Only the supernatural power of the Gospel can change a person, to become a "new creation"
We are now part of God's Kingdom. The Gospel can change lives and changed lives can transform a society.

In Christ alone our hope is found

Markus

 2022/5/1 6:24Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2131


 Re:

When we get born again we enter into the kingdom of heaven because the kingdom of heaven enters into us and the church the ekklesia is the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven on the earth that's why Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is in your reach, at your hand, that's why he said if I cast out demons by the finger of God then the kingdom of God has come upon you and that kingdom we are citizens of. Because we have been taken out of the kingdoms of this world through the linage of adam and we've been brought into the heavenly man's kingdom through the new birth. Making disciples of all the nation's and preaching the gospel to every creature is about bringing that kingdom and manifesting it on the earth it's not to become part of Satan's kingdom, but it's to take part in dissolving his kingdom through being the salt of the Earth and the light of the world rather than leave our lamps under baskets and get everyone to come under the basket and sit in a little box so to speak with our light shining. We are to release that light to the dark crevices of the Earth Jesus says he has overcome the world and it was our job to manifest that overcoming of the world through the proclamation of the gospel and through taking the power of the anointing received through the gospel into every single Sphear of society that Satan owned. It's about receiving the kingdom that Adam lost back into our hands because Jesus now has the authority over the evil one. That's why Jesus said I have been given all authority in heaven and on the earth now therefore you go cast out demons you heal the sick you make disciples of all the nation's you preach the gospel to every creature and that's why our citizenship will be on the earth through the millennial reign and then through the New Jerusalem coming down to the Earth the kingdoms of this world eventually become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ revelations says that. You have to also remember the all the apostles maybe bar Peter believed that the Lord would return in their life time which they were sorely mistaken. Now as Christians have gone past that day in thinking Christ was going to return in the first century and now that we've gone to a period of coming out of the Dark ages now Christians realise that the kingdom of heaven is really being established on the earth and will be established in a great way. The light of the glory and the knowledge of the glory of the lord will shine upon this Earth and all the nation's will see the great power of Jesus Christ manifested through his bride before he returns. That view was also a common view with the men and most protestants in the first and second great awakening it's not an uncommon viewpoint when it comes to interpretation of scripture, Jonathan Edwards believe the same thing as did John Wesley. It's really only since Darby and the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture that men started to really believe in a big way that things were going to get bad and we should just give up and really not bother trying to change the world because we can't the church is always going to be week that's a lie of the devil. The church is not going to be too weak, this is coming into the time of the strength of the church when she will rise up in the glory of god for the spotless bride she will become before the Lord's return. The apostle Paul's teachings and you could say prophecy that the five fold ministry was given for the perfecting of the saints until we all come to the Unity of the faith to the knowledge of the son of god to the perfect man to the measure of the statue of the fullness of Christ. We will see this take place in the next 20 to 30 years.

 2022/5/1 8:09Profile
brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2131


 Re:

Brother Markus 1 Greetings from Peter
1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the elect who are exiles of the Dispersion throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, peter was literally written to exile Jews . And if you closely peter is saying don't get involved with pagan practices , consider yourselves like pilgrims, even though you are exiles. 11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

 2022/5/1 8:43Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 4002
Louisiana

 Re:

The problem arises when Christians believe that because we are of another Kingdom, that we keep our mouths shut while evil reigns in our land, we don't vote because that is political, and we allow the ungodly to make the laws of the land.

I agree with Dutch Sheets. We should not get involved with a political spirit. Neither Republicans or Democrats have the answer to the problems we are facing in our nation, but Christians, especially pastors have had a fear of addressing issues like abortion, homosexuality, and now even sex change where children have the right to make the decisions.

The National Day of Prayer is on May 5th. I wonder how many of you that are critical of Christians being involved in government will participate in this event. The city that I live in was doing little or nothing in praying for our city and nation, so I organized a prayer event and invited intercessors, pastors, and the mayor to come. The most difficult thing is to get pastors and intercessors together for a time of corporate prayer, and the problem is not with the intercessors who are willing to pray, but it is with the pastors that are too busy to pray. There is still much division in the Church, and the Lord is not pleased with it. The Ekklesia has been given Kingdom authority on the earth. We are waiting for God to do something, but the Lord has already given us the authority to bind and to loose, and we have been called as Kings and priests to execute God's will on earth as it is in heaven.

The Church is called to occupy until the Lord comes, praying for revival and awakening, praying for our leaders and those that are in positions of authority, and being led by the Spirit of God to release the Word of the Lord against the powers of darkness. The problems that we are facing in this nation are not political but spiritual. The battle is not against flesh and blood but against the princes in the second heaven that are over regions that rule because of sin and iniquity. We cannot bind up these powers of darkness until the sin is repented of and the legal ground of the enemy has been removed. Intercessors that know their authority in Jesus Christ and are exercising that authority have been used by God to bring revivals and reformations and to change the course of history. Reese Howells and the college of intercessors were given strategies which literally changed the course of WW2. God has given His Church mighty weapons to the pulling down of strongholds.


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Mike

 2022/5/1 15:34Profile





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