Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The state's patriotic sheep

We're all familiar with those Bible verses that are so dear to a certain type of Christian, who claims special "patriot" status, that is, Mark's exhortation to "Render unto Caesar," etc., and, of course, Paul's call to be subject to the governing authorities. These are the people who wear Paul's words proudly on their sleeves, to excuse their compliant submission to the state. But, in a system of government like the U.S., who exactly are the people whom Paul refers to as the "governing authorities." Here are some reflections by Rev. Chuck Baldwin on Paul's words in Romans:

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It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, "What about Romans, Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone." Or words to that effect. ...

Do our Christian friends who use these verses to teach that we should not oppose President Bush or any other political leader really believe that civil magistrates have unlimited authority to do anything they want without opposition? I doubt whether they truly believe that.

For example, what if our President decided to resurrect the old monarchal custom of Jus Primae Noctis (Law of First Night)? That was the old medieval custom when the king claimed the right to sleep with a subject's bride on the first night of their marriage. Would our sincere Christian brethren sheepishly say, "Romans, Chapter 13 says we must submit to the government?" I think not. And would any of us respect any man who would submit to such a law?

Read entire article here for Rev. Baldwin's interpretation of Romans 13.

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