Monday, July 23, 2012

Psalm 2

Psalm 2
1 Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand 
And the rulers take counsel together 
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying

3 "Let us tear their fetters apart 
And cast away their cords from us!"

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs
The Lord scoffs at them 

5 Then He will will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying 

6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King 
Upon Zion,My holy mountain."

7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You. 

8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, 
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession

9 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, 
You shall shatter them like earthenware.' "

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.

11 Worship the Lord with reverence 
And rejoice with trembling.

12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!    

Monday, July 16, 2012

More on Biblical Submission to Authority

 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." 

(Declaration of Independence)

Our nation, our very identity as citizens of America, is founded in revolution against oppressive governments. Ever since our founding, we have encouraged revolution against oppression throughout the world. As was once said, "rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God."

What does God say about this? Well, let us turn to His Word.

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 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: For 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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:1-7)

This is extremely blunt and easy to understand. All authority is given by God. He chooses all the leaders of all governments. That means He has chosen everyone from Reagan to Stalin, Washington to Hitler, Bush to Mao. Furthermore, because He has appointed the powers that be, we must obey the authorities and not resist them. If we revolt against human authority, we revolt against God Almighty Himself, and as a result earn damnation.

Many people in America, including many pastors, do not like this idea of submission to authority. Therefore, they come up with highly complex arguments that "disprove" submission. Chuck Baldwin is one of these men, and I strongly encourage you to read his reply to Romans 13.

Let me be blunt with you for a moment. This is a perversion of the Biblical doctrine of submission to authority. Let me explain:

First off, he claims that people who believe that we must submit to the government and not rebel are ignorant sheeple, or "just plain lazy". Not only is this insulting to me, it is a direct insult against God Almighty, the One who made this passage. Now, let me move on to specific Theological issues with this man's arguments.

He brings up a good point that our obedience to Man and human institutions is limited. However, he does not define this limit according to the Bible, and here is where he goes wrong.

Mr. Baldwin says that this passage says that all true rulers are not a terror to good, but only to evil. Therefore, any government that punishes good behavior is no longer legitimate and must be defied and/or overthrown by Christians. Is this true according to the Bible? 

First of all, the Apostle is here teaching that the government which was then in power over Rome should be obeyed. Since this Epistle was written somewhere in around early to late 50 A.D., we know that the Apostle must be talking about the government in that time. This was the same government that murdered the Apostle James in A.D. 44 (Acts 12), allowed the murder of Stephen, and instigated the killings, jailing, beating, and otherwise harassing of the followers of Christ. The worst travesty that this government had done was to murder the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, the Lord and God of all. 

I must say, this government was definitely not a terror to good works, which is why the Apostle said that Christians should obey it. 

Let us further expound upon this argument.

 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Peter 2:13-17)


 "And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.      Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
 And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”
 Then Paul said, “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.’"(Acts 23:2-5)

Could it be any more clear for us? Here Paul was slapped, and followed Baldwin's advice: he reviled and slandered the Authority which God had placed above him. Guess what, when Paul was rebuked, he repented, saying that he had disobeyed God's command just by slandering the Sanhedrin. 

If Paul's mere slander was sin, how much more terrible is the idea of revolting! 

Now, what is our obedience limited to?

 "Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.

 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:25-29)

There we are. If the Government tells us to disobey God, then we do not disobey God.

Another thing needs addressed. Baldwin's argument here rests upon the idea that any government which harms people for doing good is not recognized nor chosen by God. It is thus not God's Agent. 

Not only is this impossible to prove using the Bible (notice how Baldwin does not use the Bible to defend this), this teaching is a slap in the face of God, for it defies His Absolute Sovereignty over everything including governments. All things, ultimately, are agents of God. He has put every single government and authority in place, and nothing can have any power without His Sovereign decision to give that power. THAT is what this passage is saying, and what Baldwin is denying.

How does Mr. Baldwin get to these conclusions? He takes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence as if they were decrees of God Almighty. They are his substitution for the Bible, Natural Law Philosophy is his Theology, and America is his Heaven on Earth. 

That, sadly, is the state of many people today. Make no mistake, I love this country. I am patriotic, and supportive of the government. However, this nation is not my Home, this government is not my Lord. Heaven is my ultimate destination, and God is my King. 

As leaders in the Church, let us remember to look forward to what lies ahead, obeying the human authorities for Christ's sake.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Obeying Wicked Leaders for the Glory of God

    I think that it is important to note that God recognizes a leader as a leader to be obeyed and respected despite the leader's wickedness.
Matthew 23:2-3
(Jesus) "Saying ' The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." 

    Is it just me or is that pretty clear? Here is Jesus' opinion on how to respond to wicked and hypocritical leaders. God said that those who have seated THEMSELVES in authority, we MUST recognize their authority. Notice that these scribes and Pharisees seated themselves to a position of authority, they did not gain the position through inheritance nor any good merits of their own but interjected themselves into the seat of Moses, but despite how they got to sit in the position of leaders, they were there and were to be obeyed. We, slaves of Christ, must not rebel against our authority because we think that the individuals or group of individuals do not belong in the seat of a leader. Ultimately God Himself placed those people to be authority. So if we think that we can rebel against Obama because he isn't an American citizen or that he president due to fraud and he asserted himself, we must still obey him because, despite how he rose to presidency, God placed him there.
    We, slaves of Christ, must obey those in authority despite their wicked actions and hypocrisy. The scribes and Pharisees that Jesus is referring to is the same group that Jesus called white washed tombs and serpents. Despite that the authority is corrupt and is hypocritical we must obey their words, we cannot disobey. Their wickedness does not give us an excuse or license to rebel. Where in the Bible is that commended? I know how wicked the current governments are, they all hate God, all kingdoms of the world lie in the lap of the evil one and that has been true since the beginning of time! The governments have always been wicked, and America is no exception, America is not the new promise land or God's new people. The whole world is wicked, but what has God said? 
Mark 12:14-17
"They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “ Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. 
    Though the main reason for asking this question to our Lord was to trick Him, the question was one that the Jews struggled with. The Jews hated their Roman rulers and they disliked paying the Romans taxes because they said, and rightly so, that paying taxes to Rome encouraged and financed many wicked practices that was prolific in Roman culture, including idolatry. Despite all that, though, Christ still commanded the people to pay their taxes.  
     Though we are to obey the word of our leaders do not do what they do, for most earthly rulers do not adhere to their very own laws, not to mention the very moral laws that God has placed within their consciences. Do not become twice the son of hell as they are.
    So why do we obey those who are in authority, even the wicked ones? It is not about obeying the government because the government is something special but because we obey and are slave of God and citizens of His Kingdom, which is eternal. God has placed those men in authority Himself and He Himself directs the king's heart to do whatever He wishes. Is He not sovereign? We obey the government because we obey God, and that is why when man's laws contradict God's laws, we observe God's laws. If a government official came and said "deny Christ or die" I will choose physical death, for I cannot blaspheme and disregard His name. "Fear God and give Him glory", and that is a command (yes God can and does command men).
    So if you call yourself a Christian then obey the government, not for the government's sake but because you love God. You are not of this world.      

Sunday, July 8, 2012

An Introduction to an Author

    Hello, I have been asked by the blog's totalitarian dictator to write an introduction to myself, so here is a little about me... (I was kidding about the dictator part BTW, he really isn't)
 I am a fellow contributer of The Leaders of Tomorrow. My name is Charles A. Frederico Jr, am, at the moment, sixteen years old and the first of a family of eleven. Do  not ask me where I am from because that is kinda a difficult question to answer. I reside in Kalispell, Montana. I have lived in the following states Missouri, Montana, California, Idaho, Illinois, Tennessee, and now Montana in that order. My father is the pastor of Berean Bible Church of Kalispell. I cannot say that my views is 100% consistent with my fellow blogger, (I don't know 100% what his views are) though I would rather have my views 100% consistent with the Bible (despite the fact that I do not know the Bible 100%). My interests include art, anatomy and osteology, basketball, canoeing and kayaking, hunting, and my list could continue but those are the ones that come immediately to mind. So Christopher what more do you want me to say?  As far as doctrine and theology I am a Calvinist, and hold to Lordship salvation and Dispansationalism (did I spell that correctly (-: ) or in other words, the truth...
Thank you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Servant Leaders

 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

(Matthew 20:25-28)

If we are to be Godly leaders, we must understand and apply Servant Leadership. 
The concept is quite easy to understand. We are called to be a servant of God and the Brethren whilst leading the Church. This is quite a difficult thing for many of us who are leaders (myself included). We tend to puff up with pride and lord over others. We put our interests ahead of the interests of others, doing all that we can to further our influence and perceived dominion. This is extremely evil, and we cannot lead according to God's commands if we do this. 
Therefore, we must not, "look out for (our) own interests, but also the interests of others". Our leadership should bring help to those in need, bring chastisement to those who need chastised, and equip the Brethren for the battle which rages on. 
However, we must remember that our purpose as leaders is not just to serve and strengthen the Church. Rather, our Supreme Goal is to, "do all for the Glory of God." 
Brothers, let us move forward as future leaders of the Church and eternal Servants of God. All glory to His Name.

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son, 
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
Kingdom without end.