A tough commandment

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Our church has been going through a study that certainly qualifies as a hard teaching. It deals with authority and submission. Through this study we've learned of one of the largest ways Chistians disobey God and give the devil footholds.

Rom 13:1-2 says "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. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

Paul wrote during a time when the authorities in government, church, and the family were absolutely tyrannical. I think we'd be hard pressed to find a time when authorities were harsher and more unjust than in Paul's day, yet observe what he writes.

Submission to authority is more than obedience. Submission deals with our attitude. Call it joyful obedience. Did you know that we can be obedient and fail to be submissive at the same time? The small acts of insubordination, the foot dragging, the bad mouthing, the grumbling, all point to an unsubmissive attitude.

When you think of that unjust government official, that boss, that teacher, that pastor, that deacon, that husband or parent, can you find it within yourself to submit? Do you find yourself recoiling at the idea even now? And yet how clear is the Word in this passage. What a huge problem area for the Body of Christ, let alone society at large! We're looking at a major shift in thinking.

In our class we've learned some revolutionary concepts. 1. Obedience to every command except those instances where we're commanded to sin. 2. Allowing God to be our defender. 3. Obedience in even the smallest areas. 4. Whole new speech patterns. 5. Above all, we've learned the very serious spiritual price that's paid when people are not submissive to their authorities.

Each one, including Pastor, has had to admit that God has pointed out strongholds of rank sin in in our lives due to a lack of submission. It's very serious, yet the reason it's passed off as a small matter is because it's so widespread.

What we see when submission is finally learned is a quiet spirited person. You have someone who's extremely calm in the midst of a storm, and someone with a huge amount of grace to endure. You have a person who has been supernaturally transformed to do what most people never learn to do. Miracles also occur in this person's life as their enemies either cross over into the Kingdom or are destroyed at the hand of God.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002



I don't know where you live, but Paul's times had nothing on the United States in the 21st century. This government is systemically contributing to genocide by way of sub-standard housing, sub-standard education, drugs, and AIDS. Its children can't be guaranteed that someone won't shoot at them on the way to or during school. It denies meddling in the affairs of other countries (until the outgoing president reveals that we were). With all of our technology, it can't find Osama. It can't find Chandra. With all of our food and energy reserves, more than half of the world goes to bed hungry.

The US consumes 90% of the world's resources, but make up only 6% of the population.

There isn't anything you can't see or television (or cable). All things are permissible" has been taken to Babylonian, Roman, and Sodom and Gomorrah-like extremes.

Submission? I will follow Daniel.....I will only obey when it does not conflict with God's law...

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2002

Rev. Harper:

Your opinion about the quality of life in America perpetuated by the "government" leaves one with the impression that our lifestyle is tantamount to a 3rd world country. While populist-stlye comments of this type makes for great journalistic quotes, unfortunately the rhetoric tends to stray from reality. Contrary to your opinion, the facts about the government's resolve to assit in ameliorating the societal problems you cite is clear. Fiscal expenditures are committed from the Federal, state and local levels to ensure affordable housing and public housing (HUD-Section 8), improvements in primary and secondary education (Head Start) and eliminating the scourge of coccaine/crack drug trafficking (mandatory sentencing guidelines). Let's not confuse the observable outcomes with an affirmation that the "government" of the US is indifferent about making a change in our society. QED

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

The teacher pointed out that Paul lived under some individuals that we'd hate to have to live under today. The Romans, who would eventually be throwing Christians to hungry lions for sport; the Jewish Sanhedrin which crucified Christ, and sent Paul himself out on a mission to round Christians up. Then there was Herod, and numerous other local officials who were were involved in Paul's stoning, flogging, etc.

I don't face that type of environment, and very few in the west today do. There are places overseas where it exists, but in my world, no way. What most readers of this board will face are parents, husbands, bosses, pastors, elders, police, and the IRS.

Sooner or later you'll receive a command you don't like from someone like this. As long as they do not command you to sin, and as long as it's within their authority to make such a command, can you not only obey, but submit? Tough, tough, tough commandment, and a real test of Christian maturity.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

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