Even though they are a straight-shooter, I rarely visit #DatPostmil, as they are more geared at getting the basics of Postmillennialism across to the general public, while I’m more into getting deep in knowledge and (finally) into some application.
But sometimes, I can use a refresher in the basics.
The rebels are the usurpers of Gods law and authority, not those who stand against them.
The qualifier is “he is a MINISTER of God to thee for GOOD” and “IF thou do that which is evil” then “be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain” because “he is the MINISTER of God” to execute His wrath upon him that does evil.
The title “minister” implies that he has been given his office by God and has a duty before God who is the ultimate authority and law giver to obey and enforce His law against the evil doer for your good.
If they cross the line they usurp their God given power and are unjust law breakers that wield the sword in vain.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. -Romans 13:3,4
It is clearly a prescriptive passage not a descriptive passage describing the current authorities.
It’s that bit, “it is clearly a prescriptive passage not a descriptive passage” that applied the required 2 x 4 between my eyes. It’s practically a “Once I was blind, but now I can see!” moment.
Look at what the Scriptures say about what proper, God ordained, government is supposed to look like. We know that God is perfectly holy, righteous and just, and He has His ministers in different spheres of life.
We have families in which God has placed the Father as the head with his wife as his help mate, we have our churches in which God has His ordained ministers that we are to submit to, as the ones who are to watch over our souls as under shepherds, held accountable to the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Then we have the civil magistrate who is Gods minister to us for good.
Now in any one of these spheres we can have rebellious man in the position of leadership and they can seek to lead autonomously instead of following Gods law. That is when we have tyranny and oppression.
And this murky, filthy water about “always obeying a godless state, just like the apostles always obeyed Rome” is flushed out.
(“Did the apostles really obey Rome? REALLY? I don’t think so…” saith a triumphant little child, probably a close relative to the boy who pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes…)
Now look at Romans 12 and 13 then I Timothy I, in light of this.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. -Romans 12:17-21
Paul is stating that if it be possible live peaceably with all men and to not avenge yourself but give place unto wrath. Then immediately following in chapter 13 Paul tells us who is to be the revenger of God’s wrath on those evil doers.
This is not far from North’s view on the judgements of God, in his fine book that I’ve been reading. The Church is to be a continual, pure blessing, expanding and filling the Earth…
(“…as a good start!” I say: see the title of this blog)
…as God provides the judgements, breaking His enemies and their high places (and their governments and thrones and palaces), discontinuing their growth.
With that said we must be wise in how we deal with tyranny. We must also be ambassadors of the King in all interactions with other image-bearers of God. I will speak the truth of God’s law to whoever I am dealing with in all situations. I am not a pacifist by any means. But our defense must start with verbiage, and Lord willing that verbiage can diffuse the situation.
As far as the “big picture” standing against tyrannical systems, interposition plays a key role. And until then we must weigh the factors in wisdom.
For example, I pay my taxes because it is wise to do so in the situation we live in. If I can stay free from being kidnapped by the state by paying my taxes at 20-30% then even if it is an unjust law and theft by the state, it would be a worse sin to not provide for my family because of being imprisoned. But there may come a time for the people to rise up against the tyrannical rebels and the best way to do that is the lesser magistrate interposing with our support.
Don’t forget: we have this pagan, godless tyranny fastened on our necks explicitly because of our own rebellion, and the wickedness and lawlessness of our ancestors, and the craven spineless of our ministers – especially the religious ministers we chose.
Slavery to godless masters…
- from Israelite slavery into Assyria and Babylon and Rome (due to their rebellion against God), right up to the smashing of the Temple and the end of Old Israel (as they rejected their rightful King, Jesus Christ),
- to African slavery under numerous American Christian masters (godless men and women, sold by their godless brothers),
- and the sadly inevitable enslavement of the Southerners to Babylon (as their oppression of their slaves and refusal to free them brought God’s Wrath on their heads),
- to our current humiliation and slavery under today’s laughing atheists & secularists (empowered by our taxes and our love of centralized power, as we sold our birthright for some socialist pottage – Marinov’s recent podcast on immigration being just the sliver of a tip of an immense iceburg)
…is God’s punishment for rebellion. And it is unwise, to rebel against God strict and needed punishment for His rebellious sons.
AFTER we repent, THEN freedom will naturally flow, as surely as it came for Eastern Europe. Not before.
I am not advocating for revolt as an individual. Romans 12 clearly states what I am to do. Romans 13 explains the duty of the magistrates.
We as individuals are to call upon the lesser magistrates to interpose against the higher magistrates when they try to impose tyrannical laws.
If and when the lesser magistrate interposes, then we are to rally behind them in support against the usurping higher magistrate.
We must be wise and weigh the options as we endeavor to change our society and bring it under conformity to the law-word of God as His ambassadors.
When we repent in our own hearts and invite the Holy Spirit to govern ALL our actions, freedom and liberty will come out of our lives and envelop our nation – and then the world – in an unstoppable tide: slowly at first, and then with greater and greater strength.
But repentant, and obedience to God, comes first.