Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Further thoughts

Marianne posted a blog today that was incredibly hard for me to read. In fact, I must admit to physically shaking after having read it. However, I really appreciate the spirit with which she wrote it - not as an attack on New Life, but with genuine questions that demand answers if we are to live out our faith in this current day.

First, a couple of thoughts. I feel that it is impossible to process a traumatic event the same way if you are connected to it, as you would being far removed from it. Therefore, even if Marianne and I both had perfect theology (wouldn't that be nice, Marianne? :), we could still come up with totally different answers and feelings. I'm not sure she would have said some of the things she did if she had been here, but my perspective is probably also somewhat skewed by the fact that I am here.

Second, I feel that there has been a ton of pacifist information out there among people of our age group, and that the concept of just war has not been accurately portrayed or defended using Scripture. As an aside, I don't know what to think of the war our country is currently engaged in. But I will submit to my governing authority (whoever that happens to be), and support them in the decisions God has them make. (Prov 21:1 "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.") There is a place for serving God rather than man, when man tries to prevent us from serving God, but I do not see that happening in our country right now. Therefore, I feel we should support our president.

I immediately needed to study this subject in depth, because I would have no peace until I did. I am asking God for guidance as I do it, especially because it's easy to believe something from personal experience and then look for Scripture to back up one's beliefs. I didn't want to do that. So, here are my thoughts, with the Scriptures I found.

1. God sets authority in place, no matter what their beliefs. This means if Hillary Clinton is elected president, I will submit to her authority, even though I personally disagree with her beliefs.

If she was in authority, her heart would be in the hand of God, as she would be our "king." Therefore the decisions she would make would ultimately bring glory to God because He would direct her. Pharoah and the plagues of Egypt come to mind. God demonstrated his power to the Egyptians by hardening Pharoah's heart. (well, first Pharoah hardened his own heart, and then God began doing it after Pharoah had made his decision, see Exodus 8-9)

Romans 13:1-4 (NAS, because it is a very literal translation)

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an
avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

I'm going to do this in several installments so I do not neglect my children in the meantime. :) What I'm doing with the next couple of posts is establishing the groundwork for my position. I'll come around to the point later. Please discuss, but because this is an especially intense subject, stay on subject - if you disagree, please attack logic not people. I won't post anything mean-spirited.

Let's work out the answers to these things together!

1 comment:

  1. This is great. This is the kind of dialog I was hoping for when I posted. I fretted for days about trying to make sure you would receive it in the manner I intended it.

    I am so glad we can embark on this conversation. I don't have time to respond right now, but I will post a reply soon. I am looking forward to hearing from other minds on this as well.

    Love to you in our common Christ,