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God commands subjection

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22.FEB.11

Editor: I welcome the debate that is taking place in the nation, as to what should be the Christian’s response to civil authorities. We will be a wise people if we do not just express our opinion of what we think it should be, but rather to examine and see “what saith the scriptures”.{{more}} We also have a divine obligation to not only obey the commands of God, but to pass them on to our children and grand-children and therefore make the nation strong and virtuous.

Quite a lot is said on this subject throughout the Bible. We must understand that God never contradicts himself; he is not a God of confusion. His clear will for us in this age (what he wants us to do) is found in the New Testament. That being said, it must be noted that we can certainly learn from instructions and examples anywhere in the entire Bible.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. This command is found in Romans 13:1, 2. It is not a suggestion, but a clear command of God. It was written at a time when disturbances led by insurrectionists were not unknown. Disciples of Christ must however be different.

Just prior to this command, Paul had just written that Christians are to love their enemies, return good for evil, and leave vengeance in the hands of God. God has ordained the government [Daniel 2:21; 4:17; John 19:11]. Being subject means to be under obedience or to submit self unto. This will include: observing the speed limit; obeying the hunting laws; paying taxes; obtaining marriage licenses; not driving uninsured vehicles; not littering and keeping the peace. Once a law does not involve us disobeying a stated law of God, we should obey it. To do otherwise is to resist the law of God.

To those who think that this is stupidity, I ask:

A) Can a woman who is not in submission to her husband be pleasing to God?

B) Can a child who will not submit to his parents be pleasing to God?

C) Can a member of the Lord’s church who will not submit to eldership of his congregation be pleasing to God?

D) Can a Christian who will not submit to the government under which he lives be pleasing to God?

This in no way means that a Christian cannot point out error, rebuke sin or appeal to a higher authority. There are examples in the scriptures where Christians and other god-fearing people took such actions; even though in some instances at severe personal consequences. Cases in point: Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s den; Micaiah was sent to prison and fed bread and water only [1 Kings 22: 27] and John the baptizer was beheaded.

The obedient child of God in this age will pray for and not speak evil of those in authority, but will submit himself to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, for so is the will of God; by so doing they will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men [1 Peter 2:1; 13-15]. The real fool is the one so called by God and it matters not what man thinks.

Joel H. Jack

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