Daniel P. Barron

Achieving greater freedom in this finite doomed world.

March 30, 2016

Jason Peirce published an article on Voices of Liberty, whatever that is: some shared wordpress blog for libertarians. Sure beats farceb00k, although that’s where I found the link. He asserts: Romans 13 Not the Pro-Government Passage Statists Claim It to Be. There’s surely some perverted logic arising from a misinterpretation of this chapter. Are Jason and I of the same mind on this one? Or are one or both of us hell-bound? The following quotes are from the linked article and preceding my own commentary thereon.

It’s also a problem for Christianity in that the belief in obedience to the State subverts the message of Jesus, which in short, is the Golden Rule – the law of love.

No. Even Jesus said that He intentionally withholds knowledge so that some people may not repent.i All things are of Him, even the tyranny of the state. The Bible says the governing authorities are only a terror to evil. If you believe, what do you care what happens to you in this world? We already know it will be destroyed.ii

The Golden Rule is the law of love: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule — the law of love — is the law of Christ. It’s the root of the world’s systems of ethics.

Again, no. The world hates Christ;iii it is not rooted in Christ, or else it would be unshakableiv rather than doomed to destruction. Nonetheless, Christ has created the world in a precise way. Where there are governments, Christ has put them there. Where there are evil men, idem.

Seems pretty clear on the surface. But again, it’s Paul writing here, not Jesus. Paul often lacks the clarity of Jesus as he seemingly contradicts himself at many points throughout the Bible. Why? Perhaps because Paul wanted to be “all things to all people.”

Jesus didn’t write any of The Bible, so no surprise there. But here we have some unknownv bloggist questioning the clarity of Paul, the guy who renounced his whole life to preach the Gospel. And with no citations I might add. God said that He will preserve His word;vi not let contradictions in. That it’s “seemingly” whatever to you, Jason, is because you don’t believe. To answer your question, you should compare scripture rather than make unfounded speculations. Paul wanted to be “all things to all people,” why? That very verse goes on, “so that by all possible means [he] might save some.” Since God cannot lie,vii and since God does not change,viii it follows that Paul taught the same Gospel no matter the means.

Indeed, Paul’s words have been used to justify countless wars and attacks on Jews, homosexuals, and women for millennia. This indeed amounts to an assault on both love and liberty.

Quoted is the end of a paragraph dedicated to defamation of Paul’s character, which is ultimately the purpose of the article in general. We’re supposed to believe that had it not been for this Paul fella, The Bible would have been some sort of declaration of anarchy. Except that the old testament agrees with him. Homosexuality has always been evil, and women have always been expected to remain submissive.

Many versions of the Bible read closer to “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities” to head off Romans 13. The early Greek text does not. It reads: “Let every soul be subject to the superior powers.” Since Paul in Romans is addressing how to live a Christian life, not a secular life, is he not referring to the “governing” and “superior” authorities in the Body of Christ – in the church, not the secular governing authorities of the State? After all, just prior, in Romans 12: 2, Paul instructs: “Do not be conformed to this world.”

Indeed do not be conformed, but be subject. If there is a governing authority or “superior power,” it is from God and you shouldn’t resist it. For that matter, you shouldn’t resist an evil person either; Jesus saysix that you should turn the other cheek.x

Scholars such as R.W. Carlyle have noted the “anarchical tendencies” of early Christians. Does this explain Paul’s preaching of obedience to the “superior powers” of church leaders?

Who is this Carlyle guy? And why are you quoting him? All this explains is that you get your information second-hand from scribes rather than directly from The Bible.

Casey also points out that arkhones is the word translated into “rulers” in Romans 13. Everywhere else in the New Testament it refers to Jewish religious leaders, but in Romans 13 are we to believe it refers to secular leaders?

This is the solitary good point in the whole article, if it is indeed true. By that I mean, it’s good to compare one verse to another for the purpose of determining what each word means. It isn’t, however, much of a point in favor of Jason’s position. Even the “Jewish religious leaders” weren’t held in high regard by Christ.xi

All in all, the greater point here is this: there are no two things that cause as much heartache and suffering when compromised as love and liberty. But if we simply aimed at one in the present– liberty — we’d certainly have a much greater chance of getting the other thrown-in in the future.

Suffering, like everything else, is caused by God. God is love. Aim at that first and foremost. Any other aim, like that of achieving greater freedom in this finite doomed world, is sure to head away from God. That isn’t to say, forbid liberty as a consequence of some greater purpose; after all, a Godly kingdom is also one which enforces only the most good and just rules.

  1. Matthew 13:

    10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
    11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
    ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
    And seeing you will see and not perceive;
    15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
    Their ears are hard of hearing,
    And their eyes they have closed,
    Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
    Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
    So that I should heal them.’
    16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

  2. 2 Peter 3:

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

  3. John 15:

    18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

  4. Hebrews 12:

    25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
    28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

  5. Not in the WoT.
  6. Psalm 12:

    6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
    Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
    Purified seven times.
    7 You shall keep them, O Lord,
    You shall preserve them from this generation forever.

  7. Titus 1:

    1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
    4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith:
    Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

  8. Hebrews 13:

    7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

  9. Really the whole Bible is Jesus a.k.a. God saying whatever, but this time it’s “red text” ooOOoo!
  10. Matthew 5:

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

  11. Matthew 23:

    Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
    13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
    15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
    16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
    23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
    25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
    27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
    29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
    31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

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