It's all God's lawgreenspun.com : LUSENET : encouragement : One Thread
"Law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God.... Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine. ... Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other." --James Wilson
Would it not be wonderful if all government authorities recognized this truth?
-- Anonymous, January 30, 2002
Well, in a word, no. Let me explain: First of all, read Ezekiel 28:1- 19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9. Second, read Job 1:6-12; Proverbs 27:11. Third, read 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15. Fourth, read Matthew 6:10; Luke 22:42; John 5:30; Ephesians 5:17; Colossians 1:9. Will it not be wonderful when our Creators will is accomplished?
-- Anonymous, February 03, 2002
Kevin, I'm a bit slow, so just citing groups of passages doesn't help me much. I don't know what you want to say with them. What the Lord wants is that all men recognize his sovereignty. Civil authorities will best govern when they recognize him. Perhaps a good example is King Neb in Daniel. Bad example would be Herod whom the Lord struck for taking on divine prerogratives and not giving praise to the Lord (Acts 12).
Anyway, you're welcome to come back and explain what you'd like to say.
-- Anonymous, February 04, 2002
There is a distinction to be made between those rulers who have been annointed by God, and those rulers who have not. The former does not exist on earth today; Prophecy says that the latter will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:24). I eagerly await the fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus did not advocate secular government at all; in fact, he spoke approvingly only of his Father's Kingdom (Matthew 6:10). I believe that God desires all to recognize his Kingdom as the true Government (Jeremiah 10:23). If men could appoint themselves kings, and govern themselves acceptably in the manner that you describe, then perhaps Satan has proved a point. I, for one, am truly grateful that my God has allowed mankind to see the results of these attempts (Ecclesiastes 8:9). God's will is soon to be accomplished, and it is his Government that will succeed. Now, I humbly ask that you be careful what you wish for (James 4:4).
-- Anonymous, February 04, 2002
You are correct that God desires all to recognize his government, in the person of Jesus and in the church. But you offered only affirmations and no demonstration of your main point, that, first, a distinction exists between rulers appointed by God and those not appointed by him. and that, second, the former do not exist today. Paul said in Rom. 13.1, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Your affirmation directly contradicts this.
It is not clear when you say that Jesus did not advocate secular government. He certainly did not advocate it as a means of preaching the gospel or bringing salvation to the lost. At the same time, Jesus in fact did recognize the need for civil government and submitted himself to its claims, if not its abuses. He instructed Peter to pay tax, and when Pilate reminded the Savior of his power to set free or crucify him, the Master responded, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above" (John 19.11). The Greek word for power here is exousia, "authority, right," and by it Jesus reminds Pilate that he has power, but it has been assigned ("given," Gr. didomi*) him "from above," that is, from God himself, and must be exercised recognizing that there exists, as our original quote above insists, a natural law or higher principle which must be respected. (That is, God's laws which rule creation and mankind.) Pilate could not abuse this power with impunity, for he has been entrusted with it to punish evildoers and commend those who do right (see Rom. 13.1-7).
The latter passage is most instructive in this regard, for in it Paul affirms, not once, but twice, that the civil authority is "God's servant" to do good to the just and to punish the wrongdoer (Rom. 13.4). Paul says this to Romans who knew close at hand the corruption and abuse of the government, but these still did not remove Christians' obligation to submit and pay taxes (vv. 5-6).
Paul himself accepted the role of the civil government in Acts 25.11, "If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I donot refuse to die." He appealed to Caesar as a valid means of settling the accusations against him.
Scripture shows that there are two types of rulers: those who recognize that they were given their authority by God, and those who do not. Those who do not will be destroyed at the end of the world. So it is God's desire and that of his people that all recognize his sovereign law, be it called natural or divine. So it seem hard to imagine anyone not desiring that all men everywhere -- including government authorities -- recognize the truth that all law, both natural and divine, comes from God.
* According to the Greek lexicon of Bauer, Gingrich and Danker, "The pass[ive] occurs ver oft[en] in this sense" when used of God or Christ, to "grant someone the power or authority, give someone the right, etc." Mat. 28.18, where Jesus affirms that all authority has been given to him on heaven and earth, is parallel to John 19.11. There is no doubt that Pilate's authority as governor was divinely sanctioned and approved. What use he made of that authority is another question.
-- Anonymous, February 05, 2002
Things like this are often confusing to me. I think that if God places a ruler that is different than allowing the ruling to occur without intervention.
Like Hitler for instance, if God actually placed him in a position to rule and then he committed all of those horrible atrocities it seems like that wouldn't be right. But if Hitler rose to power all on his own, and God allowed him to continue ruling despite his evil tendencies, it is a little more understandable to me.
I do think we have governement for the purpose of maintaining order. However I just can't believe that God with his infinite wisdom and justice approves of all of the governments on this earth. Even our own often does things that probably aren't approved by God.
I normally do not get overly involved in state and national polotics for this very reason. I feel like my leader is God almighty in heaven, and that people who live in every nation, and in every part of this world will be saved and proved worthy. I don't agree with the premise that certain nations are looked on more worthily, because I think that God loves all people!
Not trying to start a debate, just some observations.
-- Anonymous, February 05, 2002
Opinions, especially on the subject of religion, generally do result in debates. Jesus himself engaged in debates. If we truly are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, then we will not shun such debates (Luke 12:8, 9). Human nature has proven less than desirable in God's eyes (Genesis 6:5, 6). The apostles themselves continued to make serious mistakes, even after being taught by the Son of God himself (Luke 9:51-55). Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to rely on the Scriptures (Matthew 4:8-10). Yes, let us return to the Scriptures. Randal, I ask you to read Acts 5:29 and John 17:16. Melissa, your viewpoint certainly sounds very reasonable to me; you should have no trouble backing it up scripturally.
-- Anonymous, February 07, 2002