Friday, June 30, 2006

Conflating the Two Kingdoms

...is what you get when you distort Scripture to suit your agenda. From the comments here, in response to Mark Call:
Vote fraud: Several good sources for this exist; see the book...
Since Hazim was questioning whether any vote counted, I suggested that rather than agitate, he do something about that fraud of which he was personally aware.

I was in no way suggesting that electoral fraud never occurs.
I was merely "trying to point out that your responses seemed to be aimed at something other than what I had written."
No, you responded to me based on what you had written elsewhere, as you admitted.

My comments on your post were addressing...your post.
...Or why Romans 13 doesn't mean 'obey Adolf, Vladimir, Slick, or W'.
Romans 13, written while under the reign of Caesar, states in part:
"Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself....they are God's servants working for your own good....They are God's servants and carry out God's punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey the authorities---not just because of God's punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfill their duties. Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honor for them all.
Peter stated, "Respect everyone, love other believers, honor God, and respect the Emperor."

Christ Himself said, "...pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God."

Jesus also declared to the Roman governor judging Him, "You wouldn't have any authority over me if it hadn't been given to you from above."

Paul, Peter, and Christ all speak of obeying and honoring the government over them even when that authority was Nero. They all submitted to the governing authority, even when that submission meant vile humiliation and brutal death. Unless you have Scriptural evidence of God making exceptions to His command and example--apart from when an authority requires a Christian to sin--you are contradicting God.
Otherwise, start learning what it means when He says "Come out of her..."
Revelation 18 states in part:
"...Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a prison for every evil spirit, every unclean bird, and every unclean and hated beast. All the nations fell because of the wine of her sexual sins. The kings of the earth had sex with her. Her luxurious wealth has made the merchants of the earth rich."

"I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of Babylon, my people, so that you do not participate in her sins and suffer from any of her plagues. Her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Do to her what she has done. Give her twice as much as she gave. Serve her a drink in her own cup twice as large as the drink she served others. She gave herself glory and luxury. Now give her just as much torture and misery."
Since Babylon fell a long time ago (and because the Biblical text actually says it), it seems that here God is admonishing His people to avoid sharing in the world's sins.

Your earlier posts in this thread suggest you interpret "Come out of Babylon" to mean that Christians should have no participation in any way with man-made government.

If this is what you mean, what would you say of Christ telling His people to pay their taxes and honor and obey the authorities? What would you say of the Roman centurian to whom Christ gave praise rather than correction? What would you say of God's people who served in human governments over the millennia like Joseph, David, or Daniel? What would you say of Christ's encouraging those believers under actual slavery (not like us in our present condition) to serve their masters as they serve Him, knowing that they are truly free men?

It seems more in line with the rest of Scripture to understand Revelation 18's "Come out of Babylon" in these terms:
"You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God" (James 4).

"Don't love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don't have the Father's love in them. Not everything that the world offers-physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles-comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who does what God wants lives forever" (1 John 2).

"I have given them your message. But the world has hated them because they don't belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. They don't belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Use the truth to make them holy. Your words are truth" (John 17).