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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Tyrranical Authority and God

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Joined: 2003/10/16
Posts: 63

 Tyrranical Authority and God

I have a question...and this is not meant to stir up anything. Forgive me if I am not clear. I know it's hard for us (Americans) to understand true tyranny. I just watched a TV show that portrayed an African General of a fictional country who was a violent dictator. He ruled with fear, terror and violence. There were people in opposition toward him, planning his assasination. By the end I was sympathizing with the opposition. I felt this way because I have been to Africa...several countries and I have seen the oppression, the persecution. My question is as follows...the Bible clearly states that we are to obey authority because all authority is instituted by God. As a solid Christian I understand this. Having been all around the world though, I see the other side and wonder what should we as Christians do in situations like this? I mean theoretically I know, but what I am wondering is what opinions do some of you regular members/visitors have to say on this. My human urge is to say down with the General (or other tyrannical dictator.) But I believe God wants more of us as Christians. So what should we do? I mean, if we were to encounter someone from a particularly oppressed country and they asked as a new Christian...what would you tell them? I hope I am clear...I know what I want to say, but am not quite sure how to go about saying it. I appreciate anyones insight... :)


 2005/9/8 23:12Profile

 Re: Tyrannical Authority and God

I'd say, just stick with the New Testament.

Someone else on here, said it well the other day, about our role in Politics ... there's no evidence of "involvement" in the New Testament.

Except from Zealots, but they, you know, weren't saved.

There's no mention at all about overturning the oppression and occupation of Rome in Israel by any of the Apostles, and of course not from Jesus ... so where else can we find the answer ?

God puts the good or bad leaders over countries ... that's one thing I know. And we're even supposed to pray for them :-? , now that's a hard one sometimes.

Can't say much more than what's already been written in the N.T., that's for sure.

 2005/9/8 23:23

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Thoughts on earthly power for a Christian

Someone else on here, said it well the other day, about our role in Politics ... there's no evidence of "involvement" in the New Testament....There's no mention at all about overturning the oppression and occupation of Rome in Israel by any of the Apostles, and of course not from Jesus ... so where else can we find the answer?

Certainly the church is not a political organization per se...however the New Testament does list those who became part of the apostolic church and yet were involved in the political and military events of their day. (edit: My comments may not speak directly to rebelling politically but rather to participating politically.)

Consider the centurion of Capernaum, who said to Jesus "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it." When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you according to your faith. And the servant was healed in that hour...then the Pharisees and some of the Scribes came to [Jesus] saying he was deserving for he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue."

Also consider Cornelius the centurion, "a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel" to send for Peter into his house, and to hear the Gospel."While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word."

I know there is at least one report in the Fox book of Martyrs of centurions giving their lives to be counted with the saints, but I don't think there is evidence that the officers depicted in the New Testament resigned their commissions, or went awol from their reponsibilities to Roman government which involved oppression and occupation. (I may be wrong...) It's even possible that there were Christians among the ranks of those Roman soldiers who sacked and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. One can only imagine the sense of conflict a Roman Christian must have felt...

I'm not being quarrelsome and I am certainly not advocating military power as a device for Christian goals! Hear me please! (If someone wanted to quote me out of context, here's your chance!) I'm just pointing out that although the church is thankfully not a military or political body, Jesus does accept those who continue to be a part of military and political bodies.

As such, without ever confusing earthly power for the Kingdom of God, why not try to influence those earhtly bodies for good? We know the law is only a teacher, but who will teach the law? Wouldn't abdicating influence be falling short of both our earthly service to our rulers, as well as our spiritual service to the Lord?



Mike Compton

 2005/9/9 1:39Profile

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