Notice to whom this passage says Christians will be delivered: kings and governors. The Bible is replete with stories of earthly rulers being in fierce opposition to Jesus and the church, persecuting them, and ultimately putting Jesus himself to death. In the Old Testament, God tells Samuel that Israel’s appointment of a king is a rejection of Him and His authority. And there is story after story of Christians disobeying the government edicts to which they are subject. And yet, Romans 13 crusaders love to defend the state and its commands on what they purport to be Biblical grounds, which seems odd.
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.
There have been men before who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God himself… as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist. There have been some who were so preoccupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.
How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Israel of the Old Testament was more of a tribe than a nation, and was being protected in order to preserve the line that Jesus would come from. There was a lot of threat concerning annihilation back then, and they were commanded in ways that would save them and keep them true to their lineage, whether those actions were offensive or defensive. After Jesus was born, his teachings strictly prohibited violent acts by Christians and salvation was made available for everyone, not just those belonging to Israel.
America is not chosen by God and its actions are not of God. Its actions are oppressive and imperialistic, rather than necessities to national defense. I’m not saying America shouldn’t have a military, I’m saying Christians shouldn’t serve in it and that America is no different from any other nation, but often guilty of many more crimes against humanity.
If we rendered unto God all the things that belong to God, there would be nothing left for Caesar.
We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty— the Lord Jesus Christ. Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us.
Ever since I served as an infantryman in the First World War I have had a great dislike of people who, themselves in ease and safety, issue exhortations to men in the front line.
Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian charity.
The profession of true Christianity not only excludes the possibility of recognizing government, but even destroys its very foundations.
To prophesy is to have the courage of the biblical prophets to speak out loud in public about the idolatry of nation worship, about the hoarding of wealth at the expense of the poor, and about dependence on military strength and violence for security.
Christian anarchism is a deeper and more literal look into Jesus’ teachings of peace and loving your neighbor. It holds that government is force and is actively against the teachings of Jesus and against the Ten Commandments as well, and therefore Christians shouldn’t take part in it but work outside of it. There’s really no cherry picking when it comes to Christian anarchism and because of this many Christians find the philosophy harder to follow in life than your typical church lesson. That’s not to say that Christian anarchists aren’t flawed and sometimes cherry pick other views regarding Christianity, but there’s really no arguing that Jesus was against government when you read the Gospels since it is an earthly system and run by worldly (sinful) people.
I grew up in a Christian school that taught me apologetics and gave points on Christianity’s historical accuracy. I’ve just never been really fond of the church as an institution so I’ve had to study things myself, working with historical and scientific fact rather than against them, and counseling with a few people that I trust when I have issues on developing my understanding and reading of the Bible. So my belief isn’t blind, it’s just much different than what most people are used to when they think of Christianity.
Refusing to vote can liberate Christians from the America myth of voting-as-voice, can free us to speak in new ways, and can liberate us from seeing the ballot box as the most effective way to promote God’s shalom in the world.
How can a man be master of another’s life, if he is not even master of his own? Hence he ought to be poor in spirit, and look at Him who for our sake became poor of His own will; let him consider that we are all equal by nature, and not exalt himself impertinently against his own race on account of that deceptive show of office[…]
I think that being in positions of power doesn’t always correlate to being an evil person. It does put you in a good position to help those in need, though it isn’t the only way to do that. Politicians generally make good money, and some of them can use that and their positions of power for good. Ron Paul is a good example of this, I think. He’s a Christian and is against most forms of unwarranted force and his intentions are pure.
But the point is that the system is corrupt and that the majority of those in power are corrupt as well. I can only honestly think of a handful of politicians having the purest of intentions when it comes to their views on government, so it’s pretty rare. Good people can work within the system, they’ll just never bring the system down, nor will they ever be given enough power to ever change how the system works.