Submission to the Red, White, and Blue

When Paul issues the command for all believers to willingly submit to the established authorities in their lives (Romans 13), he did so with the acknowledgement that these authorities were not given their position to bring fear to those desiring to do good, but to those who chose to break the law.

So then, what is the right response of the Christian when this authority passes laws that are in direct violation of biblical commands? How about when the ratio of biblically adherent citizens decreases to a minority status, leaving them unable to democratically change laws?

Do we simply realize it is out of our control, and make the best of this life, turning a blind eye to issues such as abortion? Many would shudder at such a thought, as does the author of Eternity Matters.

Do we adopt a Bonhoeffer approach? During Hitler’s reign of terror, Deitrich Bonhoeffer believed to ‘not speak’ is to speak loudly and to ‘not act’ is to act indeed.

Should we urgently resign ourselves to prayer… and what should be the petition of our prayers? Here’s a great call to do this offered by Drusilla Mott.

Do we remain confident that our God is sovereign and always in control… even when nothing makes sense? Barb, over at Blogsense, offers a position of encouragement here.

How should our response be influenced by the understanding that these Paul wrote to were suffering great persecution for their faith? Do we see our necessary involvement (or no involvement) as primarily in the interest of others… or for self-preservation? As Karin would rightly say… hmmm!

… am I overlooking something here? Am I over-analysing? Could it be that I need to look a little closer to home for an answer? Could the writer over at A Disciple’s Life be on to something significant with the statement, “Turn on the Light” …?

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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6 Responses to Submission to the Red, White, and Blue

  1. Food for thought here, especially if/when our country decrees against us.

    I live in what is classed by some (even though there is no such thing) a Christian country, but the Christian attitudes and practices are disappearting at an alarming rate. Policies are being introduced that undermine our basic beliefs.

    What do we do? Firstly, of course, we pray, but we write to politicians (always respectful, logical letters) letting them know our concerns. We encourage those in office who uphold our values. We use every lawful means to influence decisions, but we don’t step outside the law in doing so.

  2. isaiah43123 says:

    Great Quotations That Shaped The Western World, by Carl H. Middleton, includes this quote by our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, “You must remember that some things that are legally right are not morally right.” (in refusing to take a $500 case against a widow with six children)
    Keep the Faith!

  3. isaiah43123 says:

    Oh dear, I am saying more than hmmm… Wow! This is not the average feel good post but something to sink your teeth in to. Yes, we are to honor the authority of this country… with a clear conscience out of obedience to God as we answer to Him not man, while shining the light of His truth in everything around us.

    Because of the controversial topic involved here, those specified and those that are not, I am curious to see how many respond and how. Thank you for your courage. May God give you the strength to continue.

    Keep the Faith!

  4. Clark Bunch says:

    We are told to submit to rulers in authority over us except when those rulers contradict the Word of God. Drive 55 mph, file your taxes by April 15th, must be 21 to buy alcohol; all laws that Christians should live by. If the laws of our land forbade Sunday worship, that would be a case of serving God rather than thrones established by men.

    Paul most definitely operated in a world in which Christians were the minority. In all of those Greek cities that he built churches in, public bathhouses were the norm. Homosexuality/ bisexuality would have been common place, but we don’t see Paul carrying signs protesting gay rights. Instead he is planting churches, training pastors and proclaiming the gospel. (He lays down a little Romans chapter one, but that’s written to believers in the church at Rome not on the sidewalk on a sandwich board.) I question how involved we should be in the culture war.

    Obey the laws of the land when there is no conflict with God’s law. We are also told, as much as possible, to live peaceably with all people. Westboro Baptist, yeah, they’re doing it wrong. We may not be able to set policy – such as abortion or gay marriage – if we’re the numerical minority, but we are each still responsible for how we act and how we use whatever sphere of influence we do have control over. Our charge is to live righteously regardless of what happens in the legislature.

  5. loopyloo305 says:

    We are told give to God what is His and to Cesaer what is his, we must stand for God in all things that are in conflict. To give way to the state and accept them as the final decision is to cede them power over God. Perhaps to some this sounds like a hard choice, but is it really? Take abortion for instance, we know this is direct conflict with God, if we accept in the least, we are ceding that power to the state over God. As Churches, I personally believe that we have a direct obligation to educate and discuss all issues. As well as to point out who fills the role that fits us best. Not to instruct people who they must vote for, but who fits our beliefs.
    For those that think that this is a violation, I firmly disagree. We are not responsible to the state, we are responsible to God, and that is part of our role, to teach and lead.
    Never should we submit to the state if it is in violation with what God desires. Everything else, then within the laws of the land we give what is their due, no more, no less. Respect and follow all laws, but when a leader becomes lawless, we are still required to obey the laws.

  6. granbee says:

    We are very simply to Turn on the LIght of Christ’s love and His life example to all around us. Period.

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