Thursday, July 22, 2010

As Political As I’ll Get

The “Tense” posts are going to be continued, but I had a topic laid on my heart recently that I felt needed to be said.  Some say that this is a no brainer, others  will fight you on this until the day they die. I feel it should be said regardless. It’s Romans 13:1-2.

“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.”

So put it simply: Obey your government and leaders. Obey the laws they make.  Pray for your leaders. The leaders are there because God has put them there, good or bad.
I think in a society today that finds it cool to buck authority at every chance, this causes many Christians to flinch.  I have to listen to those idiots? They can’t fix this, they can’t fix that, they lie etc. Doesn’t matter. We are told to submit to them. 
Submit in this translation is based on the Greek word: “hupotasso”, which literally means place under in an orderly fashion.  Submission.  This is a huge thing.  It’s about listening to those above you because you choose to and want to.  It’s about the heart. It’s about your attitude. Are you willing to listen to them?
Many people aren’t, because they miss the part of this verse where it says “The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Meaning God is behind them, There is a Boss behind the boss.  Thus, we should obey them, by extension because they are there on the Lord’s behalf. 
Look at Pilate as an example. He crucified Jesus, yet Jesus made it clear:
"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"
Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
 There is a not a single ruler who has come to power, without the hand of God making it so.
What am I trying to say? You don’t have to like what your boss/pastor/parent/mayor/representative/president says and does, but you do have to obey him, and with a submissive heart.  God has put that person in leadership above you purposefully. It’s not just to watch you suffer, God made that point in Romans 8:28.
If you want to show “resistance”, you do it with Godly living and preaching of truth. Not with violence, demonstrations, sit-ins and similar techniques.
There is only one exemption to civil obedience. When the authority in power, tells us to be in direct defiance to God’s Word.  Then, we do not obey.
What does all this mean for you? Well first off, let me start by saying that it’s something I struggle with daily to keep in check, but nonetheless I do fight it. It means that you obey the laws, no matter how stupid, trivial, or obnoxious they are. Traffic laws, speeding, city codes, illegal music downloading, illegal drug use, drinking underage, helping minors drink underage, and so forth.  When you break a law that isn’t in defiance to the Bible, then you commit a sin. End of story.  Sin is sin is sin. 
Why should you care about those “little” sins?
Sin is not to be ignored, nor minimized. It is the most patent fact in life, the darkest experience in the history of the race. It is the root of all the world's tragedies. It is that which makes "conscience a thousand swords," "the torture of an inward hell," "the worm that doth begnaw the soul." -James M. Campbell
That’s why. Because it cost Christ his life and it costs many a human’s connection with their Creator. Sin isn’t a joke. Don’t reason it into one.
So begin working on this in your life this week. See the areas where you don’t put yourself under the authority of those in power, and make a change. You will be blessed in the end for it. Finally, I leave you with this quote that sums it all up exceptionally well:
“We’ll all have to contend at times with unsaved husbands, mean-spirited parents, cranky bosses, and teachers who can’t wait for the end of the semester. Sometimes we’ll work for people we can’t stand. Or live with people who treat us cruelly. Or suffer under a government that consistently promotes evil. What do you then? Actually, you have many options. You can rebel. You can fight back. You can suffer in silence. You can complain to others. You can get angry and try to get even. You can appeal to the authority over you asking for a redress of your grievances. The most important thing is the attitude of your heart. You must submit to the one in authority in the sense that
you must believe that God has put that person in your life for a purpose and that God’s will is somehow being done in your through that person even if you don’t see it and don’t understand it. God says, “By me kings reign.” He takes responsibility for raising up one leader and pulling down another. He stands behind the ballot box and behind the armies that march and the navies that sail. He is Unseen Hand at work in the nations of the world.” – Ray Pritchard
Much Love,


Ray said...

Thanks, Luke, for including the quote. God bless you--and Keep Believing! Ray Pritchard

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