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" 'Clergy Response Teams' and Romans 13 "

    "Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are ordained by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will receive judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is Godís minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is Godís minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are Godís ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." (Rom13:1-7)
At [link] is an article of a similar name, and a VW subscriber asks:

QUESTION:
In light of Tuesday's extreme idol worship of the new President, I am wondering if you would 'recap' the meaning of Romans 13:1-3 for us.

The writer of the article uses the word 'liberty' ['the right to choose' or 'liberty of choice'] instead of 'authority' and warns [through the article] that 'the Bible is talking about the liberty of men under God rather than the subjection of the people under other men like Cain, Lemech, Nimrod, Pharaoh, and even Herod or Caesar."

    [vw: the article re-quotes the verses something like: "Let every soul be subject to the higher [liberties]. For there is no [liberty] except from God, and the [liberties] that exist are ordained by God. Therefore whoever resists the [liberty] resists the ordinance of God..." :]
Are you in agreement with his conclusions?

VW ANSWER:
In a word: NO

Scripture means what Scripture means. While it is true that the Greek word "exousia" -can- mean freedom and liberty, it also means power, authority, rule of government, judicial authority. The primary meaning is "power", with the included adjuncts: power of choice, mental/physical power/ability, power of authority, power of rule/government. And if a person takes those three verses in the context of the verses that immediately follow (with which we opened above), Paul also goes on to speak of the authority bearing the "sword" and the payment of "taxes". Sometimes those things are in the context of "liberty". But that was written to "Roman" citizens and subjects, under the Roman legal system. Roman citizens had certain 'rights', and others did not. Paul says to "render to all their due".

Jesus taught to "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mk12:17) That was said to Israel, living under the Mosaic Law, but under Roman domination and occupation.

When it came to the command to "not to teach in [Jesus'] name" the disciples responded, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Ac5:28-29) When Christians were ordered to bow allegiance to Caesar as "god", they submitted to martyrdom, because God commands, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Ex20:3) and are praised in the litany of "witnesses" (Heb11:38)

But just because a new 'black' president has been coronated, does not suddenly give blacks the right to stop paying rent, and other such things. The same day this article was posted, there was another at [link] telling about a black person who had been faithfully paying their rent regularly; but as soon as Obama had been elected, they stopped paying rent. When confronted, the response, "We have a new president now and some things are going to change." He replied: "Well, thatís fine, but you still have to pay your rent," to which she reiterated: "No, we have a new president now - and some things are going to change."

But there -is- a legitimate concern that I didn't see addressed in the "brother's" article in quite the way I might have. What is called "Clergy Response Teams" is a euphemism similar to "community organizer" and such things, that is intended to become an "arm" of the new government, in conjunction with the civilian security corps and whatever else the titles will be, to implement the coming new police state. When the government bought into the banks and major industries, it officially transformed this nation into a 'communist' state; by definition. Now, a marxist has been enthroned. We are now like Russia and Germany were before things got really ugly for them.

The whole point behind the "Clergy Response Teams" is one of the government's methods of -pacifying- the masses into conformity. Clergy are "trusted" by the laity. So if clergy are conned into encouraging people to "be calm" and "don't resist" (the government's shenanigans), it is hoped that such a 'relationship' with the masses, through the clergy, will make the transition into complete totalitarianism more 'smooth', without quite so many bloody uprisings and riots... when "we the people" finally realize that we were duped big time, and the nature of the "change". If you listen carefully, they are now talking about a "new way of doing things". It's going to become a "new kind of government". But they are neglecting to say: -totalitarian-.

And so, if "clergy" are buying into this new governmental roll as a "Response Team" member, they have left their Godly ordination and call, and are now -rendering- for "Caesar"... where (allegedly) God had called them to "render to God".

Rick Warren gave the opening invocation. On other occasions he likens the modern emerging church movement to "marxism", so we must assume he -is- a Marxist. The closing benediction was given by somebody else (I don't recall his name) who, among other things, I noticed invoked how: We are "building God's kingdom" on this earth. (Otherwise, how else will -the- 'one' claim of himself to be "god"!)

Clergy, and their churches, if they are incorporated, are licensed with the state, and are beholden to Caesar. Preachers and Elders? If you are a Biblical Christian congregation: Note this well. If your congregation has "tax-exempt" status, you are yoked with the state. A time will come when they will come along and command that you do this or that, or regulate what you can or cannot preach, and you will have to comply; or face confiscation of properties, and possible imprisonment. And while you may think it is 'persecution', ultimately it will be because you have yoked yourself with Caesar through the tax-exempt status and incorporation. They may come at you -because- of God, but their legal hold to enforce will be your incorporation as a "not for profit" entity. Mark my words!

If there is still a sizeable "church" where its members are really True Believers, it would behove you to dis-incorporate, and break up your 'large' group into smaller 'house' churches. From things people write to me of their experiences with "church", I'm guessing that change has pretty much happened (and is happening) already, anyway. Believers are realizing that the 'group' they are meeting with is not saved, and as they leave, the matter is being proven to them by the parting shots and attitudes.

If the state becomes completely totalitarian, do Christians still pay taxes? Of course. If we are brought before a corrupt judge, do we still address him/her respectfully? Of course. When Paul realized that the person he had just 'told off' was actually the high priest, he apologized, "I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people." (Ac23:5) A trial that had been a contrived farce, not convened 'legally'

On the other hand, at the citizen level... if in accordance with our Constitution as it exists right now (until they manage to get the Constitution Convention convened, where they will replace it with the one that was written in the 70s, that will eviscerate all private rights and weapons ownership), if armed militias begin to rise up... it could well-be that some Believers might join their local militia to stand up to the run-away rogue government. (That's what the 2nd amendment was about... NOT "hunting") Certainly, there were Christians in the Revolutionary armies, and who fought in WW1, WW2, Korea, Viet Nam, and today in the middle east. Each individual will participate in whatever way his conscience will dictate, or as the state drafts him. After all, Israel's history, before the days of Moses and Joshua, included armed confrontations, both during the time of Abraham and Jacob. Until Jesus returns to rule in righteousness and justice, there will be "wars and rumors of wars"; and some Christians will be involved in some of them. And such things are not necessarily in conflict with Romans 13. Jesus did also say...

    "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." (Lk22:36)
As the preacher says...
    "To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens:
    --A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to root up what is planted;
    --a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    --a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    --a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    --a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
    --a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    --a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." (Ec3:1-8)
So, while there are many angles to this topic, and matters of personal conscience, primarily to God's people we are exhorted:
    "And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be exiled, and pray to Jehovah for it. For in its peace you shall have peace." (Jer29:7)

    "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity." (1Ti2:1-2)

Amen!
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