19 thoughts on “Sojourner Citizens

  1. If our Founding Fathers would have had that attitude…there never would have been a United States! There IS a balance!

    “Those who trade Liberty for Security, deserve neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

  2. Our government is “by the people & for the people”. The church is the people. Leadership of either is a position of servitude, not royalty. Barry is no more the government, than the pope is christianity. We the people, as well as the body of the church have for too long accepted the manipulation and reinterpretation of the constitution and the scriptures. When both are applied faithfully, we are commanded to follow those principals faithfully. When they are not, we must not. However when we reject a different set of either prinicpals we can return to the pure text to see how that is done. I ask you to remember your experience in the crazy church.

  3. Looking forward to this ( I think). I guess the question for me is, what doesn “submit” and ‘honor” mean? Does that mean that German Christians should have turned in their Jewish neighbors that were hiding? Should Northern White Christians have shunned their feeling that slavery was wrong, even before the gov’t decreed it so? Does it mean that you must agree with and accept whatever the current policy coming from Washington (or Paris or London or wherever your emperor happens to live) seems to be?

    From what I know of history, it does seem that the early church did not bow a knee in submission and acceptance to Rome — they were hunted and outlaws for a reason. So, what is Peter trying to say?? Was it just to try to stay below the radar, don’t show any aggression and maybe the Roman Eagle will leave you alone? Surely there is more there than, “try to hide in plain sight”. Can’t wait to hear your take. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I’m not looking forward to this afterall.

      • kerry — maybe another question is where is the balance between “patriot” and “follower of Christ”? Or is there a balance, can the one be intermingled with the other without coming up with something monster that looks like neither. I think we Americans have taken the Constitution and placed in on the same level as Scripture. Also, much of what I hear from folks is about protecting “God given rights”, while Jesus basically says, “rights, you don’t have no stinkin rights”. I don’t know, again, looking forward to hearing Rob’s take.

      • @ John…Yes, it can. Look at what our Founding Fathers did – it has been PROVEN that it can! As for the “God Given Rights” portion of your argument,it holds NO water…if God did not want people to be free (within certain constraints, of course), He would have left the Jews in Egypt FOREVER,…as it was, however, God cared so much for his people to be free, that He sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt, AND He, Himself stayed with Moses while leading them BOTH out,…so yes, God cares very much about freedom…& you’re forgetting that Christ DIED to set us FREE from Satan…& no, the problem is NOT that we respect The Constitution too much…the problem is we don’t respect it at all, AND I am NOT talking placing The Constitution on the same level as Scripture…don’t even go there. I’m saying the Founding Fathers BASED The Constitution on The Bible…The Bible being the “Ultimate Template” if you will…& the template is ALWAYS the greater of the two. One more issue on FREEDOM…God used Abraham Lincoln to what? FREE the black man! So, don’t tell me God cares nothing for freedom! He cares very much!

  4. I think here as in every situation Jesus is our example. Jesus did what Peter said..respected the authorities even to the point of allowing them to crucify Him. He did so not fearing what man would do to his body but trusting His Father’s much bigger plan. I think that is the deal here. We have to trust that God is the one who allows people to be put in positions of authority for whatever purpose they are serving. We can also trust that as Proverbs says the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord and He can turn it however He wills. So, when we willingly obey God’s word and submit, respect, etc., those over us, at home, work or as a citizen of a government where we’re not always in agreement with the leadership our trust must lie in our God no matter what that means. (He suffered and so will we but not without hope!) He will intervene or walk through it with us as we trust in Him…One thing is for sure when He is in control it will be a Great adventure!! I’m reminded of how He “took care” of the Egyptians with the Red Sea…Let’s trust and see what the Lord will do!!!

  5. kerry-
    While I understand what you’re saying, I think you’ve missed my point. First, I am a veteran. I remember the day I raised my hand “to defend the constitution….”. So I understand what you’re saying. But let’s talk about freedom, for instance. What is it, really? When Paul was chained up with Titus doing their rendention of “when the saints”, were they free? It would seem not, but didn’t Jesus say if he set you free, you are really free? To use a more Eastgate-like example, in Braveheart, when William Wallace screams “freedom” as he dies, is he free? I think that in both examples, the answer is yes — they are all truly free.
    One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is, with Jesus, nothing is as it first appears. His love is different, his grace is different, everything is different. His is truly an upside down, inside out kingdom.

    • @ John, I AM saying that THERE IS a balance, & the Founding Fathers KNEW that. Which is what we don’t SEEM to understand today. If someone came into your house (God forbid) & started taking everything you had, against your will, you don’t mean to tell me that you would just sit there & turn the other cheek!?! By that account, the Nazis should be ruling the world by now!!! You wanna use Braveheart,…ok, let’s use Braveheart…Wallace understood likely that he would not survive, he was not a “dumb barbarian” as most would have us believe….now, if he knew he would most likely die, why did he continue to resist? Because he knew that future generations were yet to be born, he did it not for himself (as Hollywood would have us believe), but for future generations of Scotsmen. Furthermore, If God does not believe in freedom…then Christ’s death on the cross meant nothing! Remember also, that God opened the door of Paul’s Jail cell,… now Paul knew that God had GREATER things for him in store, so he did NOT leave, but, the point is, Paul was given a choice by God! Much as you were when you CHOSE to serve in the military, & by the way, if God hadn’t used America to stop the damned Nazis in ’42, there would be NO Jews now, & the whole world would ALL be speaking German & singing praises to Hitler now, instead of God. By the way, in Paul’s day, there were basically only 4 ways to get rid of a bad ruler, 1.) succession by death, 2.) murder, 3.) armed insurrection…OR 4.) takeover by another kingdom…there was no such thing as the general populace voting for their leaders, hence the word “KING-dom”. Now, I understand that we are members of the KINGdom of Heaven, & I’m all for that, but God has ALWAYS fought for freedom…ALWAYS,…but the way people are stating it, there should be NO America, NO Britain, & NO Israel. Again, The Bible is the TEMPLATE FOR The Constitution – NOT the “other way around”…& the template is ALWAYS GREATER.

  6. .Kerry,
    Thanks for continuing our little discussion. But again – I am starting to wonder about the American Church’s mixing of patriotism and theology. Everything is “for God and country”, and I don’t know if God really wants (or needs) that. I do believe that without God’s hand in our history, this American experiment would’ve ended in chaos and failure. I’m all for the government doing whatever it can to do good and fight oppression throughout the world. However, that’s something the gov’t does, and usually with very mixed motives. But again, as I stated in last post, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since finding Eastgate is that most of what I thought was wrong and nothing is as it first appears. Didn’t the disciples make the same mistake many of us make? Didn’t they think that Jesus was here to overturn Rome and set up his kingdom? He actually did, but not the way they thought. He didn’t change it by sending divisions of angels to pummel the Legion; he changed Rome from the inside out. That is the beauty of the gospel. See, we all think we are wise, but the Gospel is constantly showing us how foolish we are. We are all like the guys on the Emmaus road. We think we’ve got it all figured out but actually we know very little. Peace.

    • John, don’t you think the Founding Fathers were wondering the VERY same thing?…if I made you think that they took it lightly, that was not my intention…they struggled with this same issue long & hard… but finally came to the conclusion that “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” Now, I realize that is a HUMAN saying, but that can’t be so when you realize that when the British tried to burn Washington D.C,, God sent a storm in to squelch the fires that the Brits set (historically accurate, look it up).

  7. Wonderful teaching on these verses, thank you. I am reminded once again that Jesus may be simple but He isn’t always easy.

  8. Rob, I was glad to see someone tackle this question with a spirit of humility and grace, two things that are sorely lacking in today’s political arena.

  9. Chill folks, God is in charge.
    I just finished reading 1and 2 Samuel and can see where submitting does not mean always agreeingand following lock step. A wise leader, such as David was, adjustes his thinking when given good duidance from the people. A fool, such as Saul was, looses support. That applies to both sides of the aisle. In the meantime, we will be ok if we concentrate on God, his kingdom, and our place in it, and will not be if we do not, just like Israel.

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