Romans 13:1-7 Obedience to Civil Authority : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Romans 13:1-7 Obedience and Respect to Civil Authority was the subject of discussion at a recent Bible Study. This topic came as a result of the strong feelings generated among the members as a result of the re-election of President George W. Bush. For example, President Bush has been mocked by some high level church officials in pulpits in our nation. I fear that, we as Christians and as a Christian church have not shown proper respect for the authority of the federal government because we disagree with some or all of its policies.

One member of the group suggested that this passage also emphasizes that we must be active in our government by Voting, Attending City Council Meetings, etc., in other words, be a participant rather than a critic.

What are you thoughts?

Be Blessed

rev. al paris

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2004


Rev Paris I agree with you on this one. My pastor has taught this over and over and often includes those who are in authority over us,the President, state authorities and Church authorities in the Mourning Prayer every Sunday. I also agree that we must participate. Democracy takes work. Decision makers should hear all views if they are woth their salt but in the current climate, opposing views are seldom welcomed. We still have to get the views and positions out there. Bob McCain

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2004

That was a yes but. . . .

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2004

Sorry for the lack of posts; I'm working on a new web site that I'll announce Sunday Afternoon. Please visit it and give me private feedback.

Back to the topic... I agree that we should be active in local, state and federal politics. Joseph and Moses are good examples. But...IMHO, civil obedience is warranted as long as the government is not in conflict with God's law.

Ask Shadrach, Meshach and A-bad-negro about civil disobedience. They followed all the the king's law except one, and God delivered them from certain death.

So I think the problem we've had is that we as the church and as the Black community are afraid to, pardon me, call a spade a spade.

We have brothers on the DL, sisters on welfare, children in foster homes or failing in school, ministers on the take, and we don't do anything about it, or we pretend it isn't there.

Until we are willing to go the distance like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we cannot expect God to, either.

Our vote did matter, but we forgot to take it one step further. We didn't encourage another person to vote our way. If each of us could have swayed one more person's vote (and I'm speaking for the Kerry- ites), we'd have a new President.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2004

Thank you Reverend Harper for quoting this passage in the context it was written rather than proof texting it. More often than not, I have found that those who have delusions of power, and self- aggrandizement, quote this passage for all to hear, thus seeking some form of elevation above the rest of us. But God is no respecter of persons and neither should we be.

There is no way that God would ask us to give blind allegiance to a Herod, an Ahab, or a Rehoboam—who literally slit a nation in two parts, yet unsuccessfully attempted to force all to give allegiance to him.

However, since we have been led into quoting Scripture here, the Prophet Jeremiah once asked the question, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? (then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”)--Jerimiah 13:23. The answer of course is a resounding NO, neither the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard its spots.

If one has a proven track record to deceive, lie, cheat and steal, a deceiver, liar, cheater and thief that person will continue to be, no matter how loudly he or she screams and convinces others he or she speaks for God--except he or she commits daily to the saving power and grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Additionally, when I reflect on the passage from Jeremiah, I am reminded of another passage as well. My Bible tells me that one Thursday evening about two thousand years ago, the people were asked by Pilate to cast their votes. Thus, those who claimed to be must pious and speaking for God persuaded the people how they should cast their vote. So they cried out as if one voice saying, “Away with this man, Give us Barabbas, but as for Jesus, CRUCIFY HIM!"

Oh, how often in the past twenty centuries we have been reminded over and ovwer again that the Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor can the leopard, in any form or fashion, ever change its spots.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2004

Parson Harper: A few points.

1. The three young men (including the bad negro) did receive the punishment the law required; justice under the law; they were thrown into the fiery furnace. NOTE: The law didn't say burn them up or even kill them.

2. They did not demonize the king or the "bad" law. They just did what they had to do accepting the full consequences of their actions. They did not "judge" the king or his motives or the motives of those instigating the "bad" law.

Bro. Matthews:

See item 2 above.

I did not understand how your references applied with respect to the Roman Scripture. I think the Roman scripture gives us the choice of either obeying the Authorities or not obeying. We just have to accept the consequences of the choice we make. God judges the nature of the law and applies mercy as He sees fit. Note that the three young men considered themselves delivered from the king, whether they lived or died. This is consistent with God's redemption by grace.

Be Blessed

al paris

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2004

Parson Harper opines -

"Our vote did matter, but we forgot to take it one step further. We didn't encourage another person to vote our way. If each of us could have swayed one more person's vote (and I'm speaking for the Kerry- ites), we'd have a new President."

This is certainly news to me. Across urban America the messeage was consistent and persistent - "Bush must go and by any means necessary". This message was clearly articulated by Democratic apparatchiks like the Congressional Black Caucus, virtually every mainstream black denomination (including ours), leading black social action organizations like the NAACP & The Urban League and practically all black media outlets (e.g. Tom Joyner, black press, BET, etc.). Bush was portrayed by his opponents as a dangerous diabolical dimwit who would lead the nation and this world to utter destruction. We believed the hype and voted accordingly.

Many of us have adopted the smug and condescending position of the counter-cultural elites who dismiss any support for Bush as evidence of voters suffering from low IQs and myopic political savvy. We refuse to admit, as alluded to by Harper, that we too have moral issues in our communities. Our only response to the moral issues is a continued dialouge about the ravages of racism and insufficient government funding. In the meantime we continue to descend in the quicksand of denial and black well-being deteriorates. Our biggest fear is change. Change is not welcomed in our churches, schools, community organizations and favored political parties because that means individuals who favor the status quo will find themselves expendable. So, in order to preserve the legitimacy of the status quo we choose personalities over principles. It's a Faustian contract that in the long-run leads to inefficiency and ruin. Parson Frank Madison Reid III essentially argued the exact same point in his manifesto released in the July 2004 General Conference. QED

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2004

The black vote counted all right. I just finished the Jet magazine, pre-election issue. Every black leader of every stripe was screaming to be sure and vote. But no one said who to vote for. The assumption was to vote Kerry. The assumption also was that ALL black folk would vote for Kerry.

How do you know that these newly registered voters didn't go in the booth and reject the hype and vote for Kerry. Some will say the Exit polls is how they measure. The Exit Polls said Kerry was winning. They were wrong.

Did anyone interview you in an exit poll? I think they just assumed the black vote would=d go to Kerry because Jesse said it would.

Be Blessed al paris

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2004

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