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Africa grapples with Romans 13
UPI ^ | July 3, 2002 | Uwe Siemon-Netto

Posted on 07/03/2002 7:53:56 PM PDT by gcruse

Faith: Africa grapples with Romans 13

By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religion Correspondent

From the

Life & Mind

Desk

Published 7/3/2002 6:25 PM

WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- As evangelical Christianity is becoming the dominant force in sub-Saharan Africa, the key New Testament passage dealing with the relationship between church and state has taken on paramount importance.

At last weekend's international conference titled, "The Bible and the Ballot Box: Evangelical Faith and Third-World Democracy," no other Biblical text came up more frequently than Romans 13:1-7, which reads in part:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God ... Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed."

It's a troubling text because, depending on how you interpret these words, they might lead to the assumption that a Christian must not resist injustice.

At the conference in Potomac, Md., one presenter after another told the audience from five continents that in Africa this admonition by the apostle Paul had caused missionaries and old-style Evangelicals to take a quietist stance.

But this is changing, these scholars argued. They said that an African holism, which in the words of Oxford professor Terence O. Ranger "inseparably unites the 'secular' and the 'religious,'" always prevails in the long run.

"The question is... not whether Evangelical Christianity (in Africa) has been, is, and will be intensely 'political,' but how."

The issue here is by no means an exclusively African. The ugly ghosts of Christian quietism on the one hand and activist Christian enthusiasm on the other has haunted Europe especially in its darkest hours, the Nazi and Communist periods.

The operative term then was the same as in Africa now -- "two kingdoms," meaning a grotesque distortion of a Lutheran doctrine by that name. Its ghost, too, preoccupied the Potomac conference.

In reality, this doctrine describes God's two-fold reign in this world, where the Christian holds, in a sense, two passports. He is a citizen of the finite secular realm, where God acts in a hidden way.

Here natural reason is "the empress," according to Luther, and the governing authorities, though appointed by God, do not rule by the Gospel but by "the sword," the symbol of worldly power.

They need not be Christian as long as they act intelligently. It is better to have a "wise Turk than a foolish Christian" on the throne, Luther said.

But then there is also the infinite realm of the God revealed in Christ, of the Gospel, the Church, forgiveness, grace, faith and love. These two realms are not antagonistic to one another, as the doctrine's detractors would have you believe.

They serve each other. The secular realm assures good order so that the Gospel may be preached. And the spiritual realm admonishes and teaches secular rulers.

Far from preaching quietism, Luther called quietist preachers unfaithful pigs. "These are worthless, lazy preachers who do not tell the princes and lords their sins," he railed. "In some cases they do not notice these sins. They lie down and snore like swine, they take up the room where good preachers should stand."

Isabel Mukonyora, a Zimbabwean theologian, argued in an interview with United Press International that the pace of Evangelical growth on her continent has been too rapid for this kind of dialectical reflection to prevail in contemporary African theology.

She finds this troubling and fears that without theological depth the spread of evangelical -- and especially Pentecostal -- Christianity might in the end prove to be a straw fire.

History teaches us that while the bone-headed quietist misinterpretation of Romans 13, against which Luther thundered, proved disastrous, so did the utopian attempt of activist clerics to blur the distinction between the two realms.

Where this occurs, the devil is at work, said Luther. For Satan never ceases to "cook and brew the two realms together." In other words, the Church should speak up where secular rulers act contrary to Scripture. It should be a prophetic voice but not presume the duties of the state.

In Luther's rich language, a preacher "must grab into the princes' snouts but not interfere with their craft."

As the Potomac conference showed, Africa is far from immune from such interference by evangelical and other churchmen rightly rejoicing in their triumph. But Vinay Samuel, a Church of England canon who headed the Bible and Ballot Box project that was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, offered good news Wednesday.

"The problem has been recognized," he told UPI, "this is why we are churning out competent African theologians at an accelerated pace. We have already produced 15 African Ph.D.s." By "we," Indian-born Samuel meant the Oxford Center of Missionary Studies, an evangelical institution linked to the Universities of Leeds and Wales.

As a result, it is hoped that sophisticated Reformation and other doctrines on Romans 13 will give structure to the currently sometimes feral ferment of Christian growth south of the Sahara.

To this Luther aficionado, however, it is particularly gratifying that the Wittenberg reformer's often-maligned but immensely topical thoughts on matters of church and state will get a new hearing on what seems to evolve into the most Christian of continents -- Africa.

Copyright © 2002 United Press International
 


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1 posted on 07/03/2002 7:53:56 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: gcruse
Understanding Romans 1 would cure most of their problems. They should start there first.
2 posted on 07/03/2002 8:10:18 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Ping
3 posted on 07/03/2002 8:18:18 PM PDT by Lurker
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To: Lurker; rdb3; CCWoody; the_doc; RnMomof7
Thanks for the Ping, old friend.

I didn't know anyone else besides me took any interest in this subject (African Christianity). But it's true... "...evangelical Christianity is becoming the dominant force in sub-Saharan Africa".

And Calvinist Christians ARE moving... as fast as we can.

Unfortunately, Satan's Wolves (I am not ashamed to call false prophets by that name) are moving every bit as fast as are we...

Who will triumph in Africa? Christianity, or The Gospel of Candied Lies? Only God knows...

Thanks again for the ping.

4 posted on 07/03/2002 8:54:25 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: gcruse
"Luther called quietist preachers unfaithful pigs." He was such a nice guy.
5 posted on 07/03/2002 8:55:35 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: BlackVeil
Another memorable phrase was, and I forget to whom it was referring, "a foul bag of maggots."
6 posted on 07/03/2002 9:00:53 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: BlackVeil; gcruse
Luther was not necessarily a nice guy.

He did, however, enjoy the virtue of being Right.

7 posted on 07/03/2002 9:16:40 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: gcruse
I wonder if the Founding Fathers sinned when they resisted the authorities... namely King George III.
8 posted on 07/03/2002 9:23:45 PM PDT by Darth Sidious
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To: Darth Sidious
Evidently, 'cause 216 years later we reaped a whirlwind.
9 posted on 07/03/2002 9:30:57 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: gcruse
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God ... Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed."
<p.I don't know what the hoopla is all about here. Yes, God puts people in power and we are to pray for all BUT that doesn't mean that when government contradicts God's teachings that we ignore God and follow man. Of course not! When you rebel against ungodly laws there will be a consequence. You will please God and be rewarded by Him if your motivation is honest BUT you will be punished by man's laws. So, depending on what the issue is, one must decide who they serve; God or mere imperfect mortals.
10 posted on 07/03/2002 9:36:39 PM PDT by nmh
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To: BlackVeil
Thank God for Luther! He persisted and now Christians have the Bible to read. It is God's Word that is important not mere fallible mortals.
11 posted on 07/03/2002 9:38:43 PM PDT by nmh
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To: Darth Sidious
I wonder if the Founding Fathers sinned when they resisted the authorities... namely King George III.

"If you have not a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
Jesus was a adical of the period. He turned over the tables at the temple. 60 solders were sent to arrest him when it was time for him to fullfill prophacy. One prophet cut off a soldiers ear!
If Jesus was as timid as they say, why send 60 soldiers to get him?
Jesus was kind to his followers and taught his followers to be kind to one another and strangers, but Jesus was a threat to the powers that be because he preached worship of the father rather than the Priests and Pharoes. That made him a desenter. His priorities were heavenly, and publically spoke out against the rulers of the day.
"If your rightousness does not exceed that of the pharoes......"

12 posted on 07/03/2002 9:39:23 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: Darth Sidious; Demidog; nunya bidness; Jerry_M
I wonder if the Founding Fathers sinned when they resisted the authorities... namely King George III. 8 posted on 7/3/02 9:23 PM Pacific by Darth Sidious

No.

The "obey the Government" passage applies to a good Government... one which "punishes Evil" (Murder, Adultery, Theft, Fraud, Coercion -- Romans 13: 8-10), and respects Virtue.

Christians should obey that sort of Government... the Government which prevailed under the Equitable and Virtuous Seneca of Rome, who was the "Prime Minister" under Nero's early Government when Paul wrote that Passage.

Seneca was famously Constitutional and Just.

It is often pointed out, by "Submissive" christians, that the Government of Nero which followed Nero's coercive-murder of Seneca was indeed Tyrannical; and they seek to justify Christian Surrender on that basis. But there is absolutely no reason to apply Paul's words to that sort of Government. That was not the sort of Government which Paul was writing about at the time.

Paul was writing about Seneca. Besides Ron Paul, have you seen any hint of Seneca from your Government lately?

13 posted on 07/03/2002 9:43:10 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: concerned about politics
CONT"D...

He did not advocate throwing over the government, but the changing of hearts. The leaders lose their credibility and power when the people no longer respect them. It's like a peacefull rebellion, but following the law as you do it.
I believe he believed in self defence, though..."For there is no greater love than for one man to give his life for another."

14 posted on 07/03/2002 9:44:05 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: gcruse
Romans 13 was written at a certain time, for a certain place, under different conditions, when living Apostles directed the Church. One might make the assumption that if it was good enough for the members of the Church in Paul's day that it ought to be good enough for us, some 1900 years later.

But that may not be a valid assumption at all. If God still talks to man, the objective ought to be obtaining the mind of God today regarding the conditions that Christians in Africa find themselves in right now.

15 posted on 07/03/2002 9:45:28 PM PDT by CubicleGuy
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To: nmh; George W. Bush
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.

Ahhh -- a perfect example of why some of the Modern Translations are often crap. The "Governing Authorities" bit is NOT CORRECT.

The KJV is better -- "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers"; I.E., every soul is subject TO GOD. See #13.

16 posted on 07/03/2002 9:47:14 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: CubicleGuy; Lurker
Romans 13 was written at a certain time, for a certain place, under different conditions,

No, Romans 13 is Universal.

But see #13 for exposition.

17 posted on 07/03/2002 9:48:05 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Excellent reply. Thank you!
18 posted on 07/03/2002 9:49:47 PM PDT by Darth Sidious
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To: gcruse
Another memorable phrase was, and I forget to whom it was referring, "a foul bag of maggots."

I believe he called the established clergy "pig farts". Such insight! Where is Luther today, when we really need him again?

19 posted on 07/03/2002 9:49:59 PM PDT by PaulKersey
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To: Darth Sidious
Excellent reply. Thank you! 18 posted on 7/3/02 9:49 PM Pacific by Darth Sidious

My pleasure. ALWAYS nice to chew theology with an old friend. Do well.

20 posted on 07/03/2002 9:53:38 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
I can't argue with that.
21 posted on 07/03/2002 9:56:18 PM PDT by nunya bidness
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To: gcruse
Romans 13:3-4 says, "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."

In particular, Paul is assuming that "authority" is "God's minister to you for good." I think it is safe to assume that if any particular authority is NOT acting as God's minister for good--that is, the authority is an evil authority--then that authority is not legitimate. After all, government has basically only one purpose--to protect law-abiding citizens from those who choose to rebel against the law; that is, criminals. If we had no criminals, we would not need government (I know this flies in the face of most liberals, but tough luck, libbies :) ).
22 posted on 07/03/2002 9:56:18 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
That was not the sort of Government which Paul was writing about at the time.

Forgive me, The Elements of Style; I erred in Grammar.

23 posted on 07/03/2002 9:56:25 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: nunya bidness; Demidog
I can't argue with that. 21 posted on 7/3/02 9:56 PM Pacific by nunya bidness

Thanks kindly.

As you have followed my "Romans 13 Libertarianism" arguments on Free Republic, you probably know that I have several times had to face the counter-argument that "Paul says we should submit to Tyrants like Nero!!" as a contrived justification for Obedience to the State. (I have heard this argument primarily from Roman Catholics and Arminians, grumbles the Calvinist OP, admitting my religious partisanship).

I've finally gotten a little bit nauseated by that argument, and I don't intend to let it slide in the future. Paul wrote Romans 13 about Seneca. Seneca reduced Taxes and streamlined Regulation. And I am 100% in agreement with Apostle Paul and I will gladly cast my Christian Vote for a politician like that, even if he is Pagan. But I am sick and tired of hearing so-called "christians" appeal to Nero -- a thrice-damned Christian-killing Reprobate whom Preterist Eschatologists believe was literally the Beast of Revelation -- as "justification" for Obedience to the God-State. Paul was not writing about Nero. It is an affront to Fundamentalist Literalism to pretend that he was, when he wasn't.

Render unto Caesar only that which is truly his... not a Penny or a Freedom more. John Calvin said that if Caesar stepped one inch over that line, it was grounds for Resistance... or even Regicide. And may God Bless 'im for that watershed in Political History!!

24 posted on 07/03/2002 10:14:37 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: nmh; George W. Bush
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. Ahhh -- a perfect example of why some of the Modern Translations are often crap. The "Governing Authorities" bit is NOT CORRECT. The KJV is better -- "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers"; I.E., every soul is subject TO GOD. See #13.

By the way... let me exposit this a little bit further, since I know that my friend GWB is a "big fan" of the KJV. Personally, I like my beloved New American Standard, and I think it the very best of the Modern Translations -- although I do agree that the NIV is usually worthless, most of the time.

Let's examine the "Lines of Authority" here:

The Modern Translations, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities", only respect the Temporal Authorities. The Eternal Commands are lost!! The King might as well be a God unto Himself, for all the "guidance" that the Modern Translations provide. What dross is this!! Cast them on the fire.

The Old Textus Receptus Reformation Bibles (Geneva, King James, Old Lutheran) are better: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers". The Citizen is accountable and the King is accountable. Nothing of Paul's Meaning is Lost. Both the Temporal Command and the Eternal Command are perfectly preserved in one simple phrase: "Let every single soul be subject unto the higher powers".

There is no "Divine Right of Government" to be found herein -- only the Divine Right of God's Law.

"Let every single soul be subject unto the higher powers". The KJV is the ONLY Common English Translation which does the Apostle Paul justice here... period. I do admit that I like the easy readability of the other translations in their place... but they are worthless here.

25 posted on 07/03/2002 11:57:55 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: nmh
Thank God for Luther! He persisted and now Christians have the Bible to read.

LOL Yes, he wrote every single word of it don't ya know. However, give King James the real credit. He had it translated into the King's English that Jesus spoke.
26 posted on 07/04/2002 3:49:05 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: BlackVeil
"Luther called quietist preachers unfaithful pigs." He was such a nice guy.

Nice or not, it's obvious that some things never change. There are cowards and atheists in many pulpits, preaching a god of their own creation.

Luther was right.
27 posted on 07/04/2002 4:55:28 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; fortheDeclaration
KJV bump.

I'm not precisely an onlyist. I just strongly tend to trust far more the Bible that evangelized the English-speaking world and withstood centuries of scrutiny by orthodox scholars instead of these modernist Bibles, nearly all relying upon the work of heretics and unbelievers and whose text is guaranteed to change every so many years in order to retain their copyrights and profits.

So enjoy your current NAS for now. But don't bother to memorize it. They're going to change it several more times in your lifetime for the sake of publishing profits.

But I'll readily admit that I'll look to other sources when studying a key verse. I don't want to be ignorant of other translations or ignore the changes in the English language since the last revision of the KJV over 150 years ago.

Some of the argument over the 1611 bit are specious. All current KJV bibles (except a few specialty editions) are a revision from the early nineteenth century. But an 1828 Websters dictionary is enough to clarify archaic words.
28 posted on 07/04/2002 5:33:05 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Catholicguy
Posted by Catholicguy to nmh

On News/Activism Jul 4 3:49 AM #26 of 28

Me:"Thank God for Luther! He persisted and now Christians have the Bible to read."

You:"LOL Yes, he wrote every single word of it don't ya know. However, give King James the real credit. He had it translated into the King's English that Jesus spoke."

Me: Now why am I not surprised that a "catholicguy" would be so hateful towards Luther who only helped to translate the Bible into English so people could read it as instructed by God?

Me: The Bible was originally written in Greek and Hebrew. Even your Latin was a translation of the original writing. No, Jesus didn't speak Latin either. You need to get acquainted with unrewritten history that that satisfies an alterior agenda that is not psiritually healthy.

29 posted on 07/04/2002 8:57:26 AM PDT by nmh
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Thank you for going to the trouble of providing the history and better articulating what I should have said. You are right:

-- "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers";

I do disagree that George Bush puts into action what he claims to believe. He's more interested in trying to appease all with his zig-zag approach of left to right to sensitive issues like embryonic stem cell research. He caved into to allowing that to happen. I dare say tha Jesus would approve of using this, little human beings, for bettering ourselves in any way. The funny thing about it is that there has been NO success using embryonic stem cells but MUCH success in using ADULT stem cells.

30 posted on 07/04/2002 9:01:59 AM PDT by nmh
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To: nmh
Me: The Bible was originally written in Greek and Hebrew. Even your Latin was a translation of the original writing. No, Jesus didn't speak Latin either. You need to get acquainted with unrewritten history that that satisfies an alterior agenda that is not psiritually healthy.

Ahem, every single word of the New Testament was written by a Catholic. Put that in your polemical pipe. Nothing I said indicated hatred of Luther. The LATIN VULGATE translation was intended for the folks who read and spoke LATIN. Long before Luther, the Bible had been translated into various vernacular languages by Catholics. Luther was educated by the Catholic Church.
BTW, what language did you think Jesus used when He was speaking with Pontus Pilate?
31 posted on 07/04/2002 9:36:50 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
I have really enjoyed your posts. It may be time to invest in Zambia, if Mere Christianity is spreading to the population.

It was rare exceptions when God authorized rebellion against civil authorities, but it did happen (Jehu for example). I have always thought that when the people are corrupt, Christians should continue to submit to even a bad government- because you cannot impose righteous government on an unrighteous people- they don't want it. When corrupt leaders are over a people who are more righteous than they, God is more likely to authorize a Jehu-type to clean house.

32 posted on 07/04/2002 10:05:22 AM PDT by Ahban
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To: nmh
I do disagree that George Bush puts into action what he claims to believe. He's more interested in trying to appease all...

I've rarely been accused of trying to appease anyone. Oh, maybe you're referring to that other George Bush...

More info on Namibia, please. A long article would be very nice.
33 posted on 07/04/2002 10:53:00 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Ahban; OrthodoxPresbyterian
You might be interested to read this Yale author writing for Christianity Today on the colonial era:

How Preachers Incited Revolution

And I think OPie might have a few wee scraps of information to share on this topic...
34 posted on 07/04/2002 10:59:48 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
the key New Testament passage dealing with the relationship between church and state has taken on paramount importance.

Wrong. This passage has nothing to do with secular government but with church government.

To believe otherwise ignores the context of the chapter and requires one to believe that God endorsed Hitler, Stalin, etc. as His ministers.

35 posted on 07/04/2002 11:06:16 AM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: Ahban
Perhaps this Fourth would be a good day to post one of my favorite Presbyterian quotes, the final testimony of James Renwick just before he was martyred by the "Royalist/Episcopal beast of his day":

Dear Friends, I die a Presbyterian Protestant; I own the Word of God as the rule of faith and manners; I own the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Sum of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Public and Family Worship, Covenants, National and Solemn League, Acts of General Assemblies, and all the faithful contendings that have been for the Covenanted Reformation. I leave my testimony approving the preaching in the field, and defending the same by arms. I adjoin my testimony against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, against all profanity, and everything contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness; particularly against all usurpation and encroachments made upon Christ's right, the Prince of the kings of this earth, who alone must bear the glory of ruling his own kingdom the Church; and in particular against the absolute power affected by his usurper, that belongs to no mortal, but is the incommunicable prerogative of Jehovah, and against his Toleration flowing from his absolute power (John Howie, The Scots Worthies, 1781, p. 547).
Now there was a real old-time Presbyterian Scotsman! And we had a great many Presbyterian Scots just like him among our early colonists.
36 posted on 07/04/2002 11:23:04 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: George W. Bush
But an 1828 Websters dictionary is enough to clarify archaic words

When I was first saved almost ten years ago and delivered from king budweiser I was going to church and bible studies almost daily. I could not learn enough. I ran into a lot of false teachings that my spirit told me were wrong.

Then I ran into a old buddy who use to be in prison. He took me to a independant baptist church. I was grounded with IMO the truth about Gods Word. I got a 1828 Daniel Webster and I love seeing how the liberal media has perverted the english language. I pull it out all the time to get the real meaning of words. This is a great thread.

37 posted on 07/04/2002 11:26:13 AM PDT by winodog
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
" justification for Obedience to the State. (I have heard this argument primarily from Roman Catholics "

LOL Those pesky Catholics. They are so temerarious, aren't they? It is as though the Catholic Church wrote every single word of the New Testament and thinks it has the authority to explain what is the meaning of what it wrote.
"He who hears you, hears me" was, it appears, directed to you and not the Catholic Church established by Jesus.
BTW, when Jesus told Pilate that all authority (Pilate's included) comes from God, was Jesus wrong?

O.P. you are wrong in your personal opinions and the Bible itself forbids private interpretation.

Think of an analagous situation. Imagine that some "scholar" were to begin to assert that the writings of Gore Vidal prove that Abraham Lincoln was of impeccable character and his political ideology was irrefutable. Gore, the living authority of what he had written would simply explain the truth of what he had written and an objective observer could decide to beleive the one with true authority or the obvious usurper of true authority.

The Catholic Church IS the living authority of the New Testament she wrote every single word of. One can follow true authority or your personal opinion. It is obvious what my choice is :)
38 posted on 07/04/2002 12:32:37 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: winodog; Jerry_M
KJV isn't really at all hard to understand and the key doctrinal passages can be read by any child. And the language is so well-constructed it really is an aid to memorization. I always tend to suspect that people who claim that they can't read the KJV don't read any Bible at all, no matter how dumbed down it is. The modern versions are a lot more about publisher's profits and modernist revisionists trying to erode the traditional Bible content.

I kind of hate to even mention it but I have a KJV Bible program (called Bible Thumper) on my Palm PDA and it has the entire 1828 Websters built in (and Scofield commentary and Matthew Henry and John Gill and Geneva, Strong's numbers and Greek and Hebrew lexicons and several more). I can just tap any suspect word and instantly jump to the definition from the 1828 Websters.

Talk about an addictive tiny little Bible study tool, about the size of a small pocket calendar and a half-inch thick! I really neglect all my printed books after getting this thing. With my 256 meg expansion module, I'm planning to install a full version of Calvin's Commentaries along with his Institutes (already got them) and a ton of old-time Baptist writings I've already got (History of the English Baptists and the popular 64 volumes of Spurgeon's best sermons and Spurgeon's daily devotional Morning And Evening and some of the historic Baptist writings).

So easy to haul all this anywhere. Like to bed for late-night reading.

Egads. I'm totally hooked on this little thing! And I've been noticing increasing numbers of Baptists (especially Calvinistic Baptists) who are hooked on 'em too.
39 posted on 07/04/2002 12:45:42 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Catholicguy
One can follow true authority or your personal opinion. It is obvious what my choice is :)

Yes, it's obvious which you've chosen. ; )
40 posted on 07/04/2002 12:48:18 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Catholicguy
The Catholic Church IS the living authority of the New Testament she wrote every single word of.

I agree that the Universal (i.e., Catholic) Church was used by God to bring the Bible into the world...

But the private interpretation of many that the the Universal Church is centered in Rome, and is accoutable to the "authority" of the Pope, is a personal opinion found no-where in Scripture. Peter himself certainly did not believe any such thing, as Peter's most ancient biographers uniformly acknowledge.



Peter himself did not believe in "Petrine Supremacy"; rather, Peter reported to James (Acts 12:17) and Peter obeyed James (Acts 15: 13-22) and Peter deferred to James (Acts 21:18) and Peter feared James (Galatians 2:12). What kind of Petrine "Papacy" is this!!

In fact, not a single verse of Scripture suggests any kind of "Petrine Succession", and such a dogma was NOT the practice of the Early Church:

Your entire religious superstructure is founded upon an erroneous "private interpretation"... a Lie.

41 posted on 07/04/2002 1:29:14 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: Eagle Eye
Wrong. This passage has nothing to do with secular government but with church government. To believe otherwise ignores the context of the chapter and requires one to believe that God endorsed Hitler, Stalin, etc. as His ministers.

No, Romans 13:1-10 is about Civil Government, and it certainly does not endorse Hitler or Stalin. Why? Because the Government is a minister for the punishment of Evil and the respect of Good. What is "Evil"? Murder, Adultery, Theft, Fraud, Coercion. The Civil Government is to punish these things.

A Government which does not punish Evil and respect Good, is not a Romans 13 "Good Government" and therefore does not enjoy the Romans 13 authority Paul recognizes for "Good Governments".

42 posted on 07/04/2002 1:35:44 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: George W. Bush
Oops!! Ping to #41.

Of course, #41 raises the side issue of just what sort of Elected Authority the bishop James enjoyed over the other Apostles. I suspect that a Presbyterian would read Acts 15 as a Presbyterian Synod, while a Baptist might counter that it is quite obviously a Baptist Convention... minus the egg salad.

43 posted on 07/04/2002 1:44:04 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
I suspect that a Presbyterian would read Acts 15 as a Presbyterian Synod, while a Baptist might counter that it is quite obviously a Baptist Convention... minus the egg salad.

I'd already read and enjoyed your #41.

And it ain't a Baptist Convention without the egg salad and the potluck.

Did you know the Last Supper was something of a potluck?

44 posted on 07/04/2002 1:52:17 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God."

This doesn't give any indication that good powers are of God, but bad powers aren't. All powers, good or bad.

Again, look at the context. You seem to know womething about the Bible, so tell me where the verse and chapter divisions are in the 'originals'. Going from chapters 10 through 15 the context is NOT about secular or civil systems, but those of believers, iow, the church.

To say that all powers, including Hitler and Stalin, are of God is absurd. To say that all ministers (governing authorities in the Body) are of God makes perfect sense.

45 posted on 07/04/2002 1:52:30 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: Ahban
I have always thought that when the people are corrupt, Christians should continue to submit to even a bad government- because you cannot impose righteous government on an unrighteous people- they don't want it. When corrupt leaders are over a people who are more righteous than they, God is more likely to authorize a Jehu-type to clean house.

Agree totally.

46 posted on 07/04/2002 1:53:57 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Your posts are compellingly informative and well-reasoned, even if a little triumphal.

Oliver Cromwell bump! ;^)

(THE precursor of the American Revolution, imo).

47 posted on 07/04/2002 1:54:27 PM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes
Your posts are compellingly informative and well-reasoned, even if a little triumphal.

A "little" triumphal.... lol.... I'm afraid that's putting it kindly. ;-)

Oh well, we all have our stylistic foibles.

48 posted on 07/04/2002 1:59:39 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: George W. Bush
Wonderful stuff - and the only way we know the "faithful contendings" we ought to get involved in is through the perfect work of the Holy Spirit!
49 posted on 07/04/2002 2:06:23 PM PDT by 185JHP
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To: gcruse
Very interesting post. I think most American Christians embrace one extreme ("quietism") or the other (Christian utopianism). Too many Christians are wrapped up in a detrimental belief that the "spiritual" is all that matters, and that most events and actions on earth are not "spiritual." Many others believe that there is a political solution to sin. Both are horribly wrong.

Chesterton: "The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right."

50 posted on 07/04/2002 2:11:43 PM PDT by agrandis
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