Lord of a revolution? I think not.

July 4, 2010

in Links to good stuff, None of the Above

This post has nothing to do with marriage – if you want good marriage advice jump down to the links below.

Today, Sunday the 4th of July, is a holiday in the USofA. It is the day we celebrate our “freedom” from the United Kingdom. I enjoy a party with fireworks as much as the next person, but I have long had theological issues with “The War for Independence”. I am not a pacifist, I do believe in a military and in protecting one’s country. I also believe there are valid reasons to be proactive in defending one’s country. That said, I find no theological justification for the Declaration of Independence, or for the war that it caused.

The Bible is exeptionally clear about rulers:

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, “ [Romans 13:1,2,6,7a NKJV]

Some argue that the “crimes” of King George voided that Scripture, but if you understand the times and the people Paul was writing to, that claim makes no sense. The Jews, who made up the majority of the Christians Paul was writing to, were a conquered people in the Roman Empire. What they lived under was far worse than anything the “colonies” ever endured was.

Okay, but that was a long time ago. Why does it matter now?

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” [1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV]

God seems to take rebellion rather seriously. How then can a country founded on rebellion be pleasing to God? How can a country formed by violating the Word of God call itself a “Christian Nation”? Can a country repent and change how God sees it? Absolutely. Has the USofA done that? Sadly, I don’t think it has.

Finally, Paul had something to say about freedom:

“And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. “ [Romans 6:18 NKJV]

True freedom results not in the ability to do whatever one wants, but rather it results in great responsibility.

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Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

 

Journey to Surrender

The Body Image Battle : A woman’s body image article written FOR HUSBANDS. Great post, and some great links. I’m calling this one a *MUST READ*.


Happily Married After

How To Apologize: Kudos to David for an outstanding post about apologies (and a funny image too!).
How To Accept An Apology : David follows up with the other side of the above – also well done.
Just The Necessities : A post about something I learned far too slowly. Viva la difference!
Date Idea Monday #1 : David and Thea remind us that we need to date each other AFTER the marriage to be Happily Married After.
Tailor Made Needs : “A need does not have to be logical understood to be legitimate.” – David L Patrick I love this statement, and what David has to say about it.


Marriage Gems

For a Happier Marriage, Date Your Spouse : A very important subject, with a book recommendation.
Putting Kids First in Families Harms Children : Review of a new book that suggest that putting the kids “first” harms both your marriage and your kids. I agree 1000%.
Beware of Financial Infidelity : More on how money woes can and does lead to divorce. I confess I don’t feel this one, but I have read the stats and I know it’s true. Checkout Lori’s article, and the links – good stuff!
Oh No, I Married an Extrovert! : A great explanation of the important difference between introverts and extroverts, and the marriage difficulties that can arise. If, like the vast majority of couples, you are one and your bride is the other, I strongly recommend this article.


The Marry Blogger

God’s Talking. Are You Listening? : Stu with a radical (!) suggestion that God might speak to us through our brides.
Wives: How to Never Say No to Sex Again : This post, by thebeautifulwife should apply to far more than just sex. Where do you say no to your bride that you should instead make a counter offer?


Intimacy in Marriage

Making It To First Base : Julie has a great post about relearning to enjoy all aspects of sexual intimacy, not just “home base”.


Simple Marriage

The secret to a lasting marriage : This great post by Cory includes this spot on statement: “When you get right down to it, marriage is not about happiness. Marriage is about two people growing up and becoming better humans.” [Note: The Simple Marriage Site is down for maintenance over the long weekend]


Better Husbands and Fathers

Date Your Wife: Movie Night at Home : Great plan for a cheap date.
Date Your Wife: Kayaking! : Hey, why not? Have fun, make memories.


One Extraordinary Marriage

Dave Ramsey Saved Our Sex Life : Never underestimate how deeply financial problems can harm your marriage. A great post if you are having money problems.


Donald Miller

Your Most Important Business Partner May Surprise You: Donald Miller talks about a group of very successful business men, who say their bride is their most important business partner. Maybe your business would do better if you has the same perspective?


It Might Be Love

The Magic of Getting Away for an Ordinary Date : Another voice saying “dating your spouse is important”.


Engaged Marriage

Green With Envy: How to Overcome Jealousy in Your Marriage : An excellent guest post by Thomas Warren.

Review of A Simple Marriage by Dr. Corey Allan : I have not had a chance to read Corey’s book, so I pass on this review for you to consider the book. Based on what I have read on Corey’s Simple Marriage web site, I would expect the book to be very useful.


Your Marriage Restored

Good Orgasm Bad Marriage : Michael and Annalea of remind us that having sex does not prove your marriage is good.

41 comments
Christina
Christina

Thanks Paul, I do agree with you, submitting to authority as long as they dont ask you to sin. Its the same with parents, you are still called to submit to their authority even when they're not saved un less they tell you to do something that God does not approve of.

marseille55
marseille55

3 quick thoughts: 1. There were Christians on both sides of the War for independence just as there were Christians on both sides on the Civil War and many other conflicts. Having the benefit of historical perspective is easier than making decisions in the midst of those situations with limited information. 2. As was stated in an earlier post, we cannot fully know the thinking and motivation of the founders, and therefore need to be humble about rendering judgments in any direction. 3. Humility and respect is needed in responding to one another when debating issues which do not have a clear-cut "Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not". We "see through a glass darkly" in this life; thus we need to be cautious about suggesting that we have the definitive interpretation of any event.

quercus
quercus

@Alistair--Welcome! That you are *choosing* to join us, despite our faults, speaks highly of what makes this a great country. @inredeemed--"I wonder what our country would look like today if we had chosen the more humble approach as Jesus did." Maybe a lot like Canada? ;-) @Kevin--"A ragtag nation with no army and barely any organization defeated the greatest military might in the world. The odds were absolutely insurmountable by men alone." To repeat this mythology is to ignore the extreme unpopularity of this war at home in England (sound familiar?) as well as the broader geopolitical context of France's entry on our behalf. In fact, without France driving back the British fleet at the Battle of the Virginia Capes (http://www.rsar.org/military/navy/va-capes.htm), Cornwallis likely would have prevailed and ended the war in England's favor.

Kevin
Kevin

To say the colonists "jumped the gun" shows a pretty glaring lack of historical knowledge. A little research into the time before and after our fight for Independence will reveal some things to you. The timing was perfect for this separation. And to suggest that God's hand was not in the war itself tells me you (and some of the others here) need to learn a little more about that. A ragtag nation with no army and barely any organization defeated the greatest military might in the world. The odds were absolutely insurmountable by men alone. It amazes me to see how many people think that adopting an opinion that is controversial (at least today) makes them "deep thinkers". The least educated among those who fought for our nation would put our brightest to shame. I see a lot of people here who have read a history book and perhaps heard other modern propaganda concerning our history, and have formulated opinions using that wealth of information. Don't count on what you learned in school or on TV. Try reading the founders themselves; you may learn something.

imredeemed
imredeemed

I totally agree with your post, Paul. It has been our view for a number of years, but as you found out today, to share it is controversial. I believe there was a vast difference between the old and new testaments concerning uprisings and wars. Jesus taught us a new way outlined pretty much in Matthew 5. The analogy of "what if David had killed Saul in the cave" was excellent. I wonder what our country would look like today if we had chosen the more humble approach as Jesus did. Jesus, who could have called a mighty army from heaven, submitted to authority and died by their hand. What humility! And the result was the birth of the New Testament church. If anyone ever had cause to rise up in rebellion, it was Jesus, but He didn't. I guess something that "proud Americans" always tend to forget about is what happened after the revolution. Christian nation, I wonder if the untold millions of indians that were slaughtered in the name of "freedom" would think we were a christian nation. And what about the millions of black people who were enslaved by our so called christian leaders. And what about the millions of slaughtered babies by abortion that our "christian" country has allowed. This list could go on and on. Rebellion breeds pride and a haughty spirit and this country is definitely reaping what it has sewn.

Alastair
Alastair

Paul, First let me say how much I appreciate your thoughts, and your willingness to say what you think. The original post, and your reply continue to demonstrate a willingness to challenge our thinking. I'm an immigrant to the US. I should be a citizen (all things at USCIS working as they should...) by the end of the year. Before making the decision to give up the rights I have as a citizen of New Zealand and throw in my lot with America, I spent quite a bit of time looking at the history of the country and the foundations upon which it was laid. I was particularly troubled by the view that the revolution and declaration of independence were somehow God-guided events. That made little sense to me, in part because as you pointed out, God calls us to defer to the authorities that He has placed over us (whether we agree with them or not), but also because such a viewpoint leaves open the possibility for a group of people who feel a) God guided, and b) disagree with the government, to decide to do the same thing again and separate from/overthrow the current government. Which in my view was in part what happened in the Civil War - the movie Gods and Generals is a fascinating insight into how both sides felt that they were on the side of God in what they were doing - though as with the Declaration, there were many who did it for purely non-spiritual reasons. I see great danger in ascribing divine intent to the actions of men, it leads to a view of how the world and politics should operate that has in general been very, very bad for people who disagreed with that intent - and opens it up for extreme mis-use. Our history scattered with these views leading to great sin, from the removal of the "heathen" Native Americans (a genocide by most modern definitions, or at least "ethnic cleansing"), to the Mexican American war - the US annexing part of another country for their own gain, to the Civil War, to the way that faith has been misused by some in the War on Terror. Despite all of that, I will soon be a US Citizen, and I will be proud of my adopted country - with all it's faults, but I will be very wary of people who tell me that historical events in one nation are via the direct guidance of God - with the implication that other countries are not guided and therefore lesser. Maybe as scripture says, God appoints all authorities to the glory of himself - dare I suggest that the communists in China came to power due to God's will - the result has been the largest explosion of Christianity in history. Again, thanks for challenging us, keep it up! Alastair

Dan
Dan

Paul, Thanks for the excellent post on the 4th of July. Although I do not always agree with your comments on sex, I do respect you and realize that you have a desire to please God and show people the true heart of God. I believe if we would look at our marriages somewhat in the way you looked at the 4th of July, this country would be a much more Godly place. l Godliness begins in the home, as it was the first form of community God ordained in the book of Genesis. Scripture teaches we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church" and then together be a part of a christian community, and then as a community trust God to change our country, if we will let it begin in the home. One thing that I did not agree with is you didn't go far enough, as I believe as many conservatives do, that the new testament teaches non-resistance. If we as husbands could as Paul taught "die to ourselves" and truly want all intimacy of our lives for the honor and glory of God the church and the government would either change, or we would have the choice of persecution for Christ or a changed country. Much like this country was founded on freedom to be greedy and control my own life, so it is in many of our marriages when it comes to the physical relationships, which I believe you are teaching us to want to submit to God in. The 4th of July post has given me a chance to communicate that I believe if you can help to teach us to have right priorities in our life, starting with the spiritual, our marriages could be almost perfect. This is something that has been on my mind ever since I started reading your posts about 2 months ago.

Knight_of_God
Knight_of_God

I thought a lot about this one yesterday. I'm an American and a patriot, so I balked at much of it, but I also am a humble Christian prepared to let God's word change my thinking. So, here are some thoughts: 1) When you look at the history of it, the American Revolution was a complex situation with a lot of issues. To boil it down to a matter of sin or not sin is difficult. We have to be careful neither to judge nor exonerate too quickly. 2) To say that the Founding Fathers weren't Christian men or that they weren't founding a Christian nation goes too far. It's possible they were misguided, it's possible they were sinning. But we all are misguided at times. We all sin. Does that make us no longer Christians? And while not all of them were Christian, many, perhaps most, of them were, and they did have in mind that America would be a nation created by Christians for Christians built under Christian ideals. 3) God has always used the sinful actions of sinful men to accomplish his own purposes. While he doesn't condone the sin, he nevertheless turns it to his own glory. So, if our Founding Fathers did sin, God nevertheless used it to bless us with a nation where his church could grow and his Word could flourish. Praise him for his gifts! 4) This far removed in history from the Revolution, I don't think it's useful or profitable either to spend a lot of time trying to justify the actions of our Founding Fathers nor condemn them. I think it is wise to simply say that what happened happened, and God has blessed us through it. We can celebrate our country without feeling a need to take sides with the Colonies or England. Let's simply leave it at: God has been good to us here in America.

karl
karl

James 3:1ff. Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly... I simply suggest that, as you teach on one subject in which you have justifiably earned the right to speak, perhaps you should be more circumspect about areas where your education is not as comprehensive. The comments above regarding non-revolutionary separation, which nonetheless required support of military action, are correct. The British king of the time was a criminal, as defined by the laws under which he was due to operate. That is why the DoI contains the long list of complaints of his "abuses and usurpations." Since they were in no position to place him on trial, the only solution was to separate into an independent entity. Consider Acts 15:36ff: A disagreement arose of sufficient magnitude that two of the most prominent Christian apologists then known to the world had to separate. If that was not fatal to the church, then neither is separation of mere governmental systems, consequent to the illegal operation of one, fatal to obedient faith. "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." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/usurp "To seize and hold ... by force or without legal authority." Without legal authority. They asserted the king's criminal nature. Do you not see that it was proper to redress that?

thartf
thartf

It's so sad that you and many of the commenter s have missed the main point of the War for Independence. Revolution is wrong. You are correct there. In a revolution, the rulers are overthrown. Our founding fathers did not overthrow the government; They separated from it. Why? As British citizens, they had certain rights granted to them. King George bypassed these rights. The Founding Father primary grievance was that they were not being treated as the British citizens they were. The King was breaking the rules. Look at their first grievance in the Declaration, "He has refused his assent to laws..." I can say more but it this gets too long, nobody will read it.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

This is a one shot response to the comments on this post. Because this topic is well beyond the usual scope of this blog, I will resist the urge to reply to the many points made. I say resist because I love a good, honest debate, and what I learn from engaging in such debates. I do honestly appreciate the many comments. The responses were pretty much what I expected, although not as nasty as I had feared (a pleasant surprise). I would note I have not said, and do not believe, some of what has been suggested – I’d appreciate being judged for what I have actually said. So why did I post this? Understand that I have spent my whole life seeking for the truth. Not the truth according to historian, politicians, theologians, or public opinion, but the real truth. I fully acknowledge that it’s a goal we can never reach in this life, but I still feel compelled to try. My thoughts on this issue started, as is often the case, with the Bible. I was reading Romans 13, and what it said about taxes and rulers made me think of the American Revolution – and what I understood of what the Founding Fathers did, did not seem to fit with what the Bible said should be done. I’ve studied both history and the relevant Scriptures off and on since then, and I still see a disconnect. But why share that here? The reality is I am transparent about who I am and what I think. Most of what I think bleeds through here in bits and pieces. I like to be honest with folks, which means not hiding anything. This is a part of who I am and what I currently think. As with most things I believe, (most, not all) it’s subject to change. I’ve done some pretty major 180s in my life – when I see that I am wrong, I change. I also think that posting a dissenting opinion on July 4th is very much on the topic of the day. Out freedom to say “I don’t agree” is very rare, even in today’s world, and not something any of us should take for granted. Am I worried, as Eleutheros suggested, that this might cost me some financial support? Again, I am honest about who I am, and I will take any consequences of that. I have never held back because of what it might cost me in readership or donations, and I never will. Does it bother me that some will be slower to accept what I say from here on out? In truth, I find that a very good thing. I am human, I am fallible, and I will from time to time write something that is not right. I won’t knowingly do that, but I know it will happen. Frankly, it scares me to think anyone would read me and not carefully consider my words. No one is without fault, failure, error and bias – PLEASE think and pray on all that you read, starting with me. Along those lines, my goal here has never been to get others to do what I do, or think what I think. My goal is to make men think about their relationship with their bride, to challenge within themselves their preconceived notions and their default behaviours. Doing this allows us to keep what is great, improve what is good, and change what is bad. If my words make someone think, then I’ve done what I set out to do. Regardless of whether they agree with me or not, I believe that the thinking makes them better. Finally, on the issue of the USofA – my personal belief is that God did in fact call this country into being. I also think that the colonists jumped the gun, trying to do in their power what God wanted to do in His power. To me it is as if David had killed Saul in the cave. Any time we take over for God we make a mess – even if what we accomplish is what He wanted to happen. This applies to all areas of life, including marriage. It’s not just about God’s will, but also about how and when God wants it to happen. I’ve made some major messes in my life in general, and my marriage in particular, by trying to accomplish God’s will in my time and/or by my strength.

Alan
Alan

Paul, A good read on the subject would be some of David Barton's works. Especially as one of the comments here states that a lot of the founders were "deists". Too be sure there were some but not as many as some have said. (Please read their own words from history). Also read, "Who fired the First Shot". This address the question of who actually began the hostilities. While there is no definitive answer the eyewitness accounts give ample cause to believe that the Brits may have begun the war by being the initial aggressors. It might be good to read up on the lengths that the colonists went to to appeal to the king in order to prevent war.

Tim
Tim

I guess this should not come as a surprise that some have posted objections to this posting. While I can applaud an "outside the box" type post, parts of the above don't feel right. Take for example the quote from 1 Samuel. As another commenter has said, it's clearly taken out of context. The rebellion that's quoted was a rebellion against God, not man. God told Saul to wipe Amelek, his people and his belongings off the face of the earth (vs 3: "Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.") Verse 9 says that they only partially obeyed: "But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction." When you don't do as God commands, clearly you're saying that your way is better than God's...and that's rebellion...the rebellion that's talked about in verse 23. Whether the decree from those in what's now the USA was 'right' or 'wrong', God has used it for His purposes. No one...I repeat, no one...can thwart God's supreme will. Take for example Nazi Germany. You'd think that the slaughtering of millions of Jews would be 'hard' to have something good come from it. Yet out of it came the fulfillment of biblical prophecy: the nation of Israel was born (Ezekiel 36:24 :" I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land."). To sum up...God rules.

Josh W
Josh W

You are wise in the ways of marriage. However, this post, as so many others have pointed out, is simply fallacious. To say that you should not be working to better your government, which our founding father did, is rebellion is untrue. They looked at every other option when imploring the king to change, just as Moses did to Pharoah, but the King would not. The Bible says a lot about the oppression of the rich and how God will judge their unfair ways. To me, the founding fathers decided that it was time to "dissolve the political bands" because they were understanding oppression. So, on this July 4th, which you may not celebrate, I will celebrate and thank God for people like my father who risk life and limb to protect the freedom others have died for and too many of us are not grateful for.

quercus
quercus

I think it is VERY difficult to draw firm conclusions about government and civics from a Bible that is primarily written in the contexts of a) a semi-nomadic agrarian people relating to a pagan theocratic empire, b) a relatively small theocratic kingdom that briefly flourishes during a Middle-eastern power vacuum, and c) a dispersed community of believers struggling to relate to a worldwide hegemonic empire. For me, I choose to accept the privilege of having been born, through no great achievement of my own, as a citizen of the United States of America. I learn its history, vote in its elections, pay its taxes, and petition my elected representatives when I feel the need. I also believe that to designate America as having some kind of special relationship to God, and to equate patriotism with piety as many do, both disrespects our brothers & sisters in other cultures, and places us in an idolatrous relationship with respect to our country.

jedijohnjohn
jedijohnjohn

My wife's 10 cents: If Moses was in rebellion to Pharaoh, Then Moses was in rebellion to God, in retrospect of the verses applied. So how can Moses be obedient and rebellious toward God at the same time? Me: What we have here is the "Traditional Bible Thumping Misapplication of a verse out of Context". Of course every verse on it's own is in fact "Out of Context". That is the foundation of every single Christian Denomination!

jedijohnjohn
jedijohnjohn

Ahhh! The Theology of Freedom (Independence)! What is Freedom (Independence)? Where does Freedom (Independence) come from? Who has Freedom (Independence)? Is Independence and Liberty the same as Freedom? All of these questions really divide people... the sheep... and the goats. Ultimately... who do you serve? Do you submit your life to Christ... ultimately to God? or do you rely on the power of men to determine your outcome in life? This Life (Primarily) is about One thing and Only one thing... A relationship with God! (Secondarily... Relationships with others) A relationship that was lost in the Garden... A relationship re-established by the death and ressurection of Jesus. God is FREE!!! He IS Completely INDEPENDENT. Our freedom and independence comes from him when we place our FAITH in HIM! When we no longer look to God for our Freedom, Independence, and Liberty, we become subjects to the World!!! Life IS about GOD!!! Freedom is about God! Independence is about God!!! We have the freedom to accept God or to reject God. Woe unto those who reject Him! It doesn't matter what you believe... God still Rules! Liberty... Is My Cup of TEA! I am sure glad I didn't have to submit to Hitler's governing authorities. I would have been in rebellion. Is Christianty rebellion against the World??? That was a last moment thought.

Kim
Kim

Wow. I'm a little taken aback at this post on the celebration of the birth of our country. I typically think that Paul (the post's author, not the apostle) is a deep thinker and quite educated on many topics, but I think he is way off on this one. I went to a private, Christian school and when we studied the War for Independence (we were taught that was a more accurate term than the "Revolutionary War") we spent a great amount of time learning why it was NOT A REVOLUTION! The key is in the Magna Carta and the King's non-compliance with his own binding laws. In essence, the colonists were placed in a position of self-defense. Here is an article that does a fairly good j0b explaining the concept: http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2008/08/was-american-revolution-unbiblical-by.html (I hope that link works as I'm not sure how to properly link it). I do not believe that our country would have been able to survive had God not had his hand of blessing upon it. In fact, I unabashedly believe that God intervened and established the United States of America for a very special purpose in history. Have we strayed from that purpose?...yes, I believe we have, but that is an argument for another time. Having said all of that, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I just think it is a rather sad opinion.

1GoodMan
1GoodMan

I run into this problem once in a while. You find someone who provides some pretty interesting biblical perspectives. Then suddenly, they come up with something far off base that you have to question whether it's correct to trust in anything they believe. I still don't know how to resolve this predicament. I do know that if I continue to read your advice it will be with a great deal more skepticism. This may seem unfair. Let's say for instance I was following someone's advice on Godly parenting and then suddenly found out that they don't believe the holocaust happened. This example is a bit more extreme, but you can see how something that completely undermines your trust in a person's thought processes can make you question their advice in even completely unrelated areas. I love you, brother and I pray you will see the truth a little more clearly in the future. God knows I have areas where I'm mistaken.

Annalea
Annalea

Thanks for the shout out Paul! Happy 4th to you and your generous wife! Michael & Annalea

Gary
Gary

I think your post is extremely bad taste today. Your thought process is not one that I would have. If someone were to come to your house and beat your wife, would you defend her, or would want to submit to the authority of the British? Soldiers were allowed by the King to come and take your possessions and quarter in your home? If we are to support our wife, would you not lay down your life as Jesus did for us?

Kevin Wade
Kevin Wade

Wow! There is so much wrong with that I don't know where to start. It looks like you missed a little history. Maybe find some good books that will show you God's hand throughout our fight for Independence. Perhaps you should find a place where God can "choose" your rulers for you. I am happy to live somewhere where God uses his people to choose their "rulers" and even to rule themselves. This is far closer to the self-governance system God had in place for the Israelites prior to their demand for a king. If we were under the Roman government or even King George's England, I seriously doubt that you would be doing the things you are doing now. Please stay on topic with these posts. I think you have violated the trust of some men who have subscribed. Some of your marriage advice has less biblical basis (and occasionally even biblical agreement) than our nations founding. I fear your credibility will suffer considerably.

Dean
Dean

So to "repent" we should join back with England? This is a surprising post and quite unpatriotic to be published today. However, you have the right to say whatever you want which is a freedom you would not have if still under the dictate of England. Also, by this line or reasoning Israel was wrong to leave Egypt in the exodus. We exist as an authority so is it not possible that God brought the authority of America into place by His own will as stated in the text. And lastly most all modern day governments in the earth have broken off from other sovereign nations. By your reasoning none would be legitimate (including England) and how do we know when God stopped appointing them? Just some things to think on.

quercus
quercus

It always alarms me how quickly American Christians are to adopt the "Christian Nation" fallacy. Were the writers of the Declaration and Constitution nominally Christian? Yes--but the chief thinkers among them were philosophically Enlightenment Deists, and economic interests were far more seminal to the break with England than was some divine ideal of Freedom. I'm tired of my faith being illegitimately appropriated to prop up political agendas.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

Hey! You know, I'm sure, that you are expounding on a logical conclusion, derived from scripture (which makes it a truth in your heart), that will be unpopular, even angering to many American Christians, some of who donate to your ministry- which is centered around marriage and sex not politics, strange bed-fellows that they are. So, I'm just curious, why did you feel the need to write this, besides today being the 234th 'Birthday' of The United States of America? Like I said, I’m just curious (and mischievous :) ). ‘Cause I know that you’ll keep being good, just as you were created to be!

Monte
Monte

This one caught me by surprise I must admit. Personally, I believe ALL Freedom and liberties are a gift from God. God gave us our Free Agency. I don't think it is EVER right to choose to follow man before God. Yes we live as a society goverened by laws and rules, but when Man infringes on or outright takes away our God given liberties, then I think it is not only correct to rebel, it is required. I agree that the current state of our country is not all that pleasing to God, but I also believe very strongly that God saved this land for a specific purpose to do a very specific work in His great plan for this world. Your scripture from Samuel is talking about Saul when he rebelled against God's specific directions, not because he rebelled against man or opression, so in that case, absolutely it is a sin. Second the scriptures in Romans that are quoted, are from teh 'New King James Version" of the bible. IF you read the original King James (the most wideley accepted version in all Christendom), there is a different meaning very clearly. The government/leaders talked about in verse 1 is the leadership of God's church, not a government like we think of today. Second in verse 6 "paying tribute" refers to tithes and offerings to support the leaders of the church so they can minister the gospel, not so they can get rich or abuse those offerings. Verse 7 reads "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whome tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." I do enjoy your comments on creating a good marriage, and have learned many things, but I have to respectfully and completely disagree with you on this one. Have a great Indepence weekend.

rz
rz

I think we can all agree that there is a time to refuse to submit. The only question is how unGODly does it have to be before we can properly do so.

rz
rz

This is something i have struggled with. Rom 13 does seem clear, but it is one chapter out of the whole. Our founding fathers were devoted Christians and had their view on the issue, which they didn't give us enough details to totally understand. The religious oppression of the Church of England was part of it. It is clear that they were fighting for Christian freedom, not just freedom. Their view was that the king was taking away GOD given rights and therefore they were justified in their actions. Were they right? I am not 100% sure but I think so. The US and freedom under CHRIST ushered in a time of prosperity the world has never before known, that is not proof they were correct but it is evidence. The gospel has spread to many places due to the prosperity and for many years after 1776 the US was a very CHRISTian nation, and in some ways still is.

Ryan
Ryan

So the Declaration of Independence was a mistake? That doesn't make sense to me, seeing as a lot of our founders, albeit not as staunch Christians as some may think, had at least Biblical principles guiding their actions against the Crown. At what point is it 'better to obey God than man'? At what point do you stop submitting to authority to worship freely?

David
David

God is our ultimate authority, we can only obey the authorities over us when we they are in accordance with Gods laws. Remember Daniel? There are times when not only is it correct to rebel against authorities, but its a SIN NOT to.

David Patrick
David Patrick

Thanks again for the shout out to Happily Married After this week!! .-= David Patrick´s last blog ..Funny- Tori -amp Dean See Dr Goode =-.

Kevin
Kevin

2. I fear that some here have not even attempted to know the founders' motivations. If you can assume that most of them were not liars, their motivations were very clearly laid out in the multitude of written material they produced. All I ask is that folks actually look into the available information before voicing uninformed opinions to the world. Hopefully noone here would recommend learning God's intentions entirely by reading various commentaries and books about him and the Bible.

Kevin
Kevin

Mythology? A little more study may be in order on your part. The people in England had little influence over the King in the matter of our war for Independence. On the contrary, it was quite important for England to prevail over her own subjects. I can only make guesses about your 'sound familiar' parenthesis, but we today have fought no wars in an attempt to keep our own subjects in line, so there really is no modern comparison. France, on the other hand, had much to lose if she could not help the U.S. achieve victory. A reading of the writings of the day as opposed to analysis by modern 'thinkers' will not only put that in perspective, but also reveal God's hand on a day to day basis throughout the war.

imredeemed
imredeemed

Kevin, how about try reading the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 and then try to line up any of what took place concerning the founding of this country. By doing so, the right approach would have been humility and submission with much prayer as apposed to rebellion and pride. As christians, we should line up our thoughts according to the Word of God, not the words of men.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@karl - Your cite of James 3:1 got my attention because I take that scripture very seriously. I do believe that we are held responsible for what we teach, and to a point for sins others base on what we teach (that in addition to the blame each person has for their actions and choices, regardless of what anyone has taught them). My post Sunday was not this meant as a teaching, but as an opinion piece. I have studied this more than some here suggest (that I have rejected something as wrong or irrelevant does not mean I am unaware of it), but I certainly don't have the amount of study and experience with this that I have with marraige, sexuality, and brain function. Looking back at it, I could have done more to make that clear at the outset to say "this is my opinion". I will be mindful of this in the future, and have modified the "rant" tag to this end as well. One aspect of this I wish I had focused on in my post is that we reap what we sow. Your comments about "separating" would seem to fit this example - we sowed that with the British, the reaped it in the Civil War. Funny how our history says the first separation was right and good, while the second was bad. The winner does indeed write the history.

Marc S.
Marc S.

@ quercus. You are mistaken. I'm not sure where you picked up this "deist" theory but it is absolutely false. I encourage you to read the actual words of the founding fathers in their letters and speeches leading up to the Declaration. There are many good books out there with compilations of these writings and the conclusion is UNEQUIVOCAL. They were in fact guided not by "some god", or ethereal "deity", but by the one God-man Jesus Christ who is referenced by name REPEATEDLY. And as for the assertion that money was the driving force? "economic interests"?!? My friend, you have been lied to, plain and simple. Once again, the ACTUAL words of these men positively overflow and gush forth of a commitment to the noble, just, and yes, "divine" cause of self-governance and personal freedom. It alarms ME how little research is done by those attempting rewrite history. You have some homework to do.

Kevin
Kevin

You would do well to keep the WHOLE Word of God in mind when suggesting lines of thinking. Christ Himself said he did not come to abolish the law. He also didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. If we wished to follow bibilical examples, we might have immediately obliterated the pagan peoples in the land, rather than evangelizing and discipling them. Fortunately our liberty has already been earned for us by those who heard God in the midst of their circumstances. Unfortunately it is still within our power to lose it by our complacency, and much of it we have. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend. Thank God for those early Americans who I count as friends for laying down their lives.

karl
karl

"Funny how our history says the first separation was right and good, while the second was bad." Um... Let's be really clear on something. While the motivations (notably, abolitionism) for the War Between The States were good, rather a lot of people, myself included, believe that the wrong side won. The agricultural South was overwhelmed by the industrial North. Slavery as practiced in North America was a deep evil, but that would have run its course elsehow, as it had already done in Europe and Britain beforehand, and was already doing so in the US anyhow (or there would not have been abolitionist motivation for the war to begin with). And had it been allowed to finish running its course in a civil manner, I suspect the long-term ramifications (e.g. Jim Crow laws) would not have been nearly as bad. At least as important at stake was the legitimate power of the several States to declare their RE-separation of themselves into a new, independent confederation. Considering the post-war abuses to which Reconstruction was found to be prone (e.g. the commandeering and compulsion of southern legislatures at swordpoint to agree to terms for re-admission to the Union)... oh my the words we could expend on this. The fact of most states' original constitutional ratifications having included explicit reservations of their power to withdraw from the union into which they then had entered was utterly abrogated by the North. Please do not imagine inconsistency where there is none.

Marc S.
Marc S.

In agreement with Husband: Yes there were many factors in the Civil War, but the effort and cause to end slavery trumps ALL. An injustice of that magnitude was worth not allowing the "re-separation", the destruction of southern hierarchy that perpetuated it, and refusing to simply agree to disagree on the matter. The war was horrific, but only because it was necessary to overcome an evil that was even more so.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@karl - I have not studied the Civil War since high school, so that this with that disclaimer. I would agree that the members of a free republic should have the right to leave. On the one side you have those, then, who said the war was about slavery, and that it was thus just. IOW, they did not attack because of succession, but to free slaves. On the other side, I recall reading that the war was really about economic issues - the feeling of the South that they needed slaves economically, and the fear of the North for what the loss of the South would mean to the country economically. If ever there was a just cause for a war, ending slavery is that cause. I wonder, however, how much that was just a cover for what folks were going to do anyway? Regardless, I still see a reaping of what was sown here.

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