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Are All Rulers God-appointed? Romans 13, John 19

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Paintanker, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. calvin

    calvin Well-Known Member

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    Getting back on topic, I'd say all rulers are God appointed, but not all rulers are God honoring.
     
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  2. davelou

    davelou Member

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    Well, bless your heart. You just can't help yourself can you? Do you want my other cheek? You can have it. I'm not going to get down in the mud with you.

    God Bless America!
    And, Lord help Canada!
    May God bless you, and have His way with you. May His face shine upon you. May you increase in understanding.
     
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  3. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    I am increasing in understanding, but I'm still able to say the wrong thing to the wrong person. :speechless: I should explain myself: I'm probably to the left of everyone on ChristianForums, but I do not identify as Liberal. I'm not Conservative, either. My views and beliefs are all over the political spectrum.
     
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  4. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Being rebellious against authority by nature, this thread perked my interest as I have a hard time accepting authority by our governments. I cannot support a government/system, or be in subjection to such when our governments continue to promote and sponsor genocide of the unborn, pander to special interest groups and ignore the voices of the church, general corruptness in all levels of politics. I truly believe this is not what Romans 13 is telling us to be in subjection too. If that was the case, then how does it speak to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot cruel, evil men. Can you tell me those people under there rule had to be in subjection to them? I don’t think that was the case. But again, that may be just my rebellious nature speaking.

    Romans 13:1 “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.”

    At the time, Nero was the ruler of Rome and I don’t think one had to remind the Jew and Gentile believers of their obligations to the state. Matthew 22:21 “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God.” Nero was a brutalizer and a persecutor of believers, so to say this governing authority was established by God would have to be wrong. That would be a slap in the face to them. I would say these type of regimes are God willed, but to say they are ordained and established by God is a big error. Revelations 12,13,18 speak to the rise and rule of the antichrist. Are we really to be in subjection to this authority? I don’t think so. 1 Corinthians 2:6 “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;Speaks about the secular governments and not having the wisdom that will pass away.

    Romans 13:2 “Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

    Really? If I was in Germany and didn’t go along with what the Nazi’s were doing, I would be condemned? Again, this is completely illogical. Evil is evil whether it’s the genocide of Jews, or the genocide of the unborn. In one era or the other, I believe we are called to stand up for the vulnerable, not be in silent and passive subjection to it.

    Romans 13:3 “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.”

    If we are talking about secular governments and subjecting ourselves to their rule, this verse could not make sense. Nero was the ruler at the time, and persecuted believers ruthlessly. He was a ruler that murdered and tortured believers for his amusement. Verse 3 is stating with good behaviour, one does not need to worry about being fearful of the rulers. But with Nero, one had to be fearful of him whether you did good or evil. So again the context could not be about the ruling, secular government of the day.

    Romans 13:4-5 “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.”

    Minister of God could not be associated with servants of the Roman Empire who brutalized early Jew and Gentile believers. Why? Because they couldn’t be “rulers and servant of God” in verse 6.

    Romans 13:6-8 “For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

    How could Nero be classified as a “servant of God?” That is why I cannot accept the notion that the previous passages are talking about governments. I believe the previous passages are talking about the leadership and the authority in the churches. Specifically verse 6-8 is talking about the Jerusalem Tax that was imposed on the Jewish and the Gentile believers for the upkeep of the Temple. This did not sit well with new Gentile believers coming into faith of Jesus, as the Temple authorities would not allow Gentiles in to participate in Temple activities, yet imposed this annual tax on the believers. Both Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus attest to this custom, with the latter criticizing such gentiles as "people of the worst sort," who, "renouncing their ancestral religions, would send their tribute and gifts there (to Jerusalem) in heaps." (Tacitus, Histories 5.5.1)

    Rereading the above verses to instead of the thought of it being a secular government, to it being the church, and subjection to church leadership, make these passages clearer and harmonize the rest of the chapters before and after Romans 13. This is an oddity, as the chapters before and after speak to believer’s responsibilities in the faith and congregation. Then to put in passages about politics when Nero was a terrorizer of the day. That’s a pill I am having a hard time swallowing at the moment.
     
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  5. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    @Ryan Lepko

    How can you submit yourself to God if you are rebellious by nature? The angel Lucifer started a war in Heaven and was cast out because of his pride and disobedience.
     
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  6. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Submitting to God's will, and as evidenced by our current government and political systems, is completely different then submitting to our governement's will and agenda. I am talking about being in rebellion to our current world system, and realizing this is the lawlessness that is at work today. When I said being rebellious, at no time did I ever mention or hint at being in rebellion against God. I said "rebellious against authority by nature" meaning I've always had a hard time swallowing what has come out of varied government's mouth. So I guess, it's just become second nature to be distrustful of what comes out of various western and overseas government mouths. So when I used "rebellious by nature," I meant it in the context of our political systems, not towards God. That would be foolish and an eternal consequence.
     
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  7. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    Yes, it would.

    But did Christ Himself speak approvingly or disapprovingly of lawlessness?


    Lawlessness here on earth would have prevented the Church of Christ from ever taking root. How could the Church function in a world of unceasing and all-encompassing chaos? How can a seed take root inside a whirlwind of dirt and sand? However dissatisfied with life you may be now, in the world depicted in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, life would be even nastier, even more brutish, and much shorter. No protection from anyone or anything, no property (apart from what you can defend by killing others), and worst of all, no rights. No Constitution.

    All Americans seem to yearn for the violent dissolution of their United States. Why? :unsure:
     
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  8. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    LOL, I don't know whether serious or not? :confused: Of the 17 times lawless or lawlessness came up on Bible Gateway in the NASB version, all of them were in a negative connotation. So not sure what you were getting at.


    Was not the world surrounding Israel, and Israel itself mostly apostolic at the time of Jesus's coming? Do some research on the word lawless and start with Strong's G#458. Lawlessness can be defined as the absence of God's laws.


    I'm not American, but the reality is this will most likely happen in the US and other nations. Not yearning or wishing for those days, more like preparing properly.
     
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  9. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    It can also be defined as an absence of secular government laws. That's the kind of lawlessness I was referring to.
     
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  10. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Nowhere in the context of the 17 times in the NASB, "lawlessness" is used is ever referencing secular goverments. That's the lawlessness I was referring to, the biblical definition.
     
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  11. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    Since there are two kinds of law (secular and Divine) it can be said that there are two kinds of lawlessness. They tend to overlap, since one who rebels against the laws of the land is most likely rebelling against biblical law, as well. I won't let you justify anarchy using the Gospel.
     
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  12. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Really? Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935. Think that was biblical? Roe vs. Wade? Biblical? I am purely talking about laws that are in direct contradiction to the Word of God. No it cannot be said government laws are most likely biblical laws. Rebelling does not have to mean picking up a sword and fighting. Rebelling I mean is in the context of Hitler's laws and helping Jews and Christians, which was agaist the law, at the risk of being arrested themselves and facing severe consequences. That is what I was referring to. Do you disagree with that logic?
     
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  13. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    I've lost track of what this thread is about. :LOL:
     
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  14. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Bottom line for me. If I had a choice to obey a commandment of God at the expense of breaking a law of my country, I will break the lay of our country anyday. If the law of the country is neutral or not in opposition to God's laws, I will obey that countries laws. Is that definition clear?
     
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  15. Ryan Lepko

    Ryan Lepko Member

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    Me to. Romans 13 is not about governments I stated, it's about the churches authority. Those passages make much more sense when looking at it through that definition.
     
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  16. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    Yes, that's clear.

    If that was all your were trying to get across, I apologize for being so dense!
     
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  17. davelou

    davelou Member

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  18. davelou

    davelou Member

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  19. davelou

    davelou Member

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    Theo Fane said:
    Living in a society means comforming to authority.

    In America authorities are public servants, and are expected to conform to the will of the people.
    1 Peter 2:18

    Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear
    Colossians 3:22

    Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;
     
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  20. Theo Fane

    Theo Fane Active Member

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    1 Peter 2:18

    New International Version (NIV)
    18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

    @davelou
    The Bible does not mention the word "America."
     
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