Something bothering me

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by RunningOnMT, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    I've been troubled lately by several sermons I listened to regarding obedience to authority. These sermons were given by someone for whom I have always had a great deal of respect. I have never found anything this pastor teaches to be in conflict with scripture.

    Basically he says that all authority on earth, be it good or evil, is ordained by God. That as Christians we are to render strict obedience except where obedience would require you to violate the law of God. He uses a number of examples from both the old and new testement, of how God's people always obeyed even evil and unjust rulers, except when they were commanded to violate God's law, say for example by bowing down and worshipping idols.

    This is a problem for me as I've always been a bit of a rebel against authority I've thought was wrong; not just in a Biblical sense, but as a matter of civil justice. In these times, considering those presently in power, the need to participate in some form of civil disobedience at some point seems quite possible.

    Secondly, if obedience to God means obedience to civil authority, where would we be today had the founders followed this precept? We never would have had an American revolution. Therefore two things must be true; the American revolution was wrong and disobedient to God but yet was ordained by Him. If this is true would not a second revolution also be ordained by God? As another example; if I understand this correctly, it would have been wrong for German citizens to try to kill Hitler. That is hard for me to swallow.

    Have any of the rest of you struggled with the dilemma of wanting to be obedient to God but at times feeling the need to act in disobedience to the government? How do you resolve this conflict?

    I can post links to a few of these sermons if anyone would careto hear them but for now I just want to see how you all feel about this.
  2. lawdawg

    lawdawg Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    South Alabama
    Romans 13 (NIV)

    Submission to Governing Authorities

    1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
    6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    I have always understood that we are supposed to live in the world as pilgrims passing through a strange land; we adhere to its laws and authority, and try to make it a better place while here, but realize it is not our actual Home and our stay is only temporary. I think we all are guilty sometimes of getting too caught up in politics and forgetting that we are citizens of another Kingdom, one "not of this world". I believe it is OK to try and make ourselves a little more comfortable while here, but not so comfortable that we start to think we belong here. In the meantime, God is still on the Throne and everything, even world government, is subject to Him.

  3. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Very interesting and somewhat deep if you give it thought. Thanks guys!
  4. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    This is gonna be interesting. Very good question my friend.

    The Bible says 'render unto Ceasar what is Ceasars'.

    How is that defined and by whom? What are the rules? When is it our duty to ignore them?

    In my mind, the defining arguement is do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Does that imply that I should be a slave to the government? I should give so that I can get it back? Makes no sense.

    I donate when and where I can (and choose). I'm all for helping those that are truly in need. It's not the governments role to tell me who is worthy.

    Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.

    Too many societies today keep tossing the man a fish every day. It doesn't work.
    Our obligation is to help the man become self sufficient. Help him to teach others how to fish. How to Contribute.

    I'd be interested in the links.

    Givernment (sp) should be strictly limited in its powers. When they are usurped, it's the peoples right to protest.

    Jesus died on the cross that man would have the right to choose. I for one don't believe that act was limited to going to heaven or hell. It has far reaching consequences other than that.

    That's it for now. Carry on.
  5. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    This is my stumbling block. I find it almost impossible to believe god had anyting to do with the current clownship and I guess I will have to sort it out with him later. I have hit a wall. I cannot and will not ever be subject to this guys so called leadership. Not now, not ever. I guess I am outright going against what is written. Call it what you may. I am out of step and cant see it any other way.
  6. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    This quote from Jesus comes immediately after asking whose image is on the Roman coin. Caesar's image is on the coin, so we render that under his control.

    Where is God's image? We're told in Genesis 1.27 that we--man and woman--were created in God's image. It's on us, not the coins. We are to render ourselves to God's control.

    The only way I can answer a Christian's internal struggle in this area--and I think that every thinking Christian has this struggle at least occasionally--is by questioning our focus. Throughout the New Testament, we don't see any of Jesus followers attempting to change earthly government. Even when the governments violently persecuted and executed these people, the focus of the biblical Christians was never on this world.
    When Peter and John were unjustly locked in prison, the believers weren't planning a jail break. They were praying. When Paul was arrested and transported to Rome, he didn't attempt to escape; he instead preached the Word wherever the soldiers took him.

    Personally, I am very dissatisfied with our government. I'm basically a libertarian. But every time I start to get focused on making changes to the way this life operates, I find that I'm losing focus on leading others into the next, far more important life.
  7. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    The fact that your thinking about it tells me your trying to do the right thing.

    I dont care what anybody says or what someones interpretation of scripture is. It is my interpretation that is important and what I will be judged on.

    1. Is it right for the govt to confiscate your money and redistribute it to others? You have to answer this for yourself.

    2. Do you think it's right for govt to send you to war to fight a cause you dont believe in?

    3. Do you think it's right for the govt to kill certain people?

    Personally i dont believe there is a govt that is right and just anymore.

    Look around.

    Ok when Jesus asked if anyone is free of sin cast the first stone. This was ment to make you think instead of following the norm.

    Ask God what he wants you to do, listen to him when he speakes to you.
    Listen to man and you will certainly screw up. I am not telling you who is right. It is up to you and God.

    Would I have taken out hilter? Dam straight, would not loose any sleep over it.

    Good question and many will have to search their souls in the future I fear. It is better to have these questions resolved before God presses the reset button.

    You know what is right and wrong. GOd made you that way. Your choice. I think things are gona get tuff for some people, real tuff.

    Our founding fathers gave us freedom. Freedom is required for salvation. What Jesus did on that day was his free will. He walked up to Calvery and freely choose to let his supernatural power go. He could have stopped what was to happen but if he did then people would have followed him out of fear. God doesn't want stupid people. He wants your heart and soul from your free will. He endoured whipping, a crown of thorns, carried that heavy cross up the mountain, got nailed to it and suffered a stabb in the side and died a horrable death in the sun. He could have stopped it but he didn't. For one brief moment he cried out to God "why have you forsaken me". At that moment God had to turn his back on Jesus and let him go. Can you imagine the hurt God must have felt? Jesus said forgive them Father for they know not what they do. None of this could happen without free will.

    That is why it is so important that we fight for freedom. Freedom is the foundation by which God will build his kingdom. Those people in the middle east dont have this. Many people in the world dont have this.

    I want to take this time to thank you God for your grace. In return I will uphold God's will, whatever is required.

    Peace to all.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  8. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Well-Known Member

    ..... and, this thread is why I'm refered to as a "agnostist or deist" . My belief in God is absolute, my belief in organized religion is non-existent . Organized religion "requires" that I believe in things and/or engage in activities as "acts of faith" that are completely un-justifible according to what I have observed of human life .

    When the "preacher" sez' "Do you believe ?" I answer "In the Creator, yes .... in your
    version of reacting to Him, no" .
  9. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008

    Not picking on you JH. You bring up good points.

    Faith is something you have or you dont. You must have the option to freely choose it.

    Do you believe Jesus rose Lazarist from the dead?

    Do you believe Jesus healed the sick, healed the lepper?

    Do you belive he rose from the dead?

    Do you believe the apostiles?

    Do you believe in every day miricles? Read the thread 254 in this forum. They happen every day.

    Man can certainly muff things up when it comes to religion. But dont let that deny your faith or salvation.
  10. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008

    A farmer does this with his tractor. He uses GPS to get the letters readable.
    He has done this every fall for several years now.

    Here's the view from the flight pattern into OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE
    Bellevue , NE., just south of Omaha .
    This is what our servicemen see when landing at Offutt AFB.
    Hat tip to the Bellevue farmer who made it happen!

    Attached Files:

  11. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Well-Known Member

    You answered your own question .... "Do I believe that Jesus did various things ?"
    I believe in God, the Creator .... I have no thoughts on Jesus, one way or another. So, it follows that I do not react to the dictates of ANY organized religion. I'm not just referring to various Christian versions of religion .... I mean all organized religions .
  12. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    I don't think it is difficult to follow Bible teaching here.
    Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, and to God that which is Gods.

    If you have a leader spending your tax money in a way you do not agree with, you work within the system to change that tax law or replace that leader.

    If you have a leader that is killing people, he has earned the biblical punishment of death.
    ergo, Hitler could be assasinated without breaking God's law.

    We cannot have an effective armed forces if each individual soldier decides when and where he wishes to fight. When you enlist, you take an oath to obey all lawful orders, and that is exactly what a Christian should do.
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    John, if your belief in God is absolute, you are NOT an agnostic.

    In fact, if you simply do not KNOW if God exists or not, you are STILL not an agnostic.

    An agnostic has a very specific belief:
    God is beyond knowing. I don't know if He exists, YOU don't know if He exists, and no one knows if He exists; such positive knowledge is impossible.

    I know many people that simply don't know if God exists; they are merely undecided, not agnostic.

    From your statements, you are a Deist.

    I would pose this question to you, though.

    IF God exists, AND he is all powergful, why would he not find a way to tell us what he expects from us?

    I was EXACTLY where you are, and through study and investigation I came to the conclusion that He DID tell us, in the collected books in the Bible.
  14. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Well-Known Member

    "IF God exists, AND he is all powergful, why would he not find a way to tell us what he expects from us?"

    Since He is all powerful why would He expect anything from such comparatively insignificant creatures as we are ? Aren't we just a parasitic life form on a minor fringe near the edge of His creation .... why / what could he expect from us ?
  15. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Good question.

    I believe he expects a kingdom where satan types are not around.

    You see if he comes out of the sky and preforms supernatural things you would follow him out of fear. Then someday a smart butt like satan will challange him. Which is what is happening. So he has to give you the free will to choose right from wrong. He can not interfear in your choice. You must come to him free of fear.

    What could he expect from us? Companionship, a kingdom, beyond that the sky is the limit. Who know what we are ment to do in the future.

    Parasitic life form? Come on. He gave us the breath of life.

    Ok. Everything around you is dirt. YOu car, your computer, your kitchen table and so on. Next time you sit in your car remember its dirt. Everthing that made that car came from under your feet. Man can make these things but only God can breath life into a creation like our bodies.

    The fact that we are given free will to choose means we are not insignificant, he has alot to loose and he will loose many of us. Those that follow him are really gona make his day.
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