April 19, 2014

God’s Law vs Man’s Law

Over the last two days in A Short Prepper Civics Lesson and in The Future of America. I have detailed that the founders stated what our God given rights are. I have also given some possible scenarios where those rights may be restricted, if not completely taken away. How then should a Christian respond?

Romans 13:1
A few years back I decided to read one chapter of the Bible every morning. There were some things I didn’t understand. I spent some time researching them. One of them was Romans 13:1. This verse differs greatly depending on the version of the Bible you have. I’ll post two.

King James:
“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.”

Many other versions are similar to this NIV version:

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

The reason this was difficult for me is that there have been some truly awful governing authorities throughout history. I questioned whether a loving God would want us to subject ourselves to their authority. Like I said, this didn’t make sense. On a side note, there have been bad governments that have used this verse to keep Christians in line, claiming your God tells you to submit.

I did a bit of digging and thinking and found an article called Spiritual Authority and Romans 13. I don’t agree with everything the author says but he does make it clear that Paul was not telling us to be subject to the worlds authority, that we were to be subjected to our spiritual authorities. That made this verse more clear for me, as some of man’s laws absolutely contradict Gods law.

But let’s say that the verse actually means that we should submit to government. Does that mean even when it goes against God’s law?

God’s law vs. Man’s Law

As a general rule, Christians make excellent citizens. By living as Christ did and loving our neighbor as ourselves, we tend to stay out of trouble. There are many times when man’s laws and God’s laws are the same. For example, many of our current laws are based off of the Ten Commandments. Until recently, they were displayed in many court rooms across the country. In some places they still are.

There are times when there is a law that man uses to infringe upon our Christian liberties, such as taking a cross down from a national park or a city stopping a church from ringing a bell. At times like these I am reminded of Mathew 5:41:

“If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”When a Roman soldier would ask a Jew for directions, Jews would often give them the wrong ones. To stop this, a law was created that said when a Roman soldier asked for directions, the Jew had to walk with him for the first mile.

When our Christian Liberties are infringed upon, I think we should still make a stand, do battle in courts, protest or by other means voice opposition. But in the end, I think, since it does not go against Gods law, we must accept it and “walk the second mile”.

But then there are times when man’s law absolutely goes against God’s law. What should we do then? Following are a few examples of when God’s people rebelled against man’s law and followed Gods.

Daniel 1:8
King Nebuchadnezzar has requested among others that, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah be put in his service. They are given wine and fancy foods to eat. Daniel and company refused to defile themselves with the royal foods and asked to be allowed to eat just fruit and vegetables for ten days.

Daniel 3:1
This is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar building a 90 foot tall statue of gold and demanding that everyone bow and worship it. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused, they were thrown into the furnace.

Daniel 6:7
There is a law passed that anyone who prays to any god or man for the next 30 days would be thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel prays to God and is thrown into the den.

Esther 4:11- 7:3
It is forbidden to enter the kings chambers without invitation. Violation of this is punishable by death. Esther enters and is welcomed by the king. She later asks for her people to be spared and the king grants her request.

Mathew 2:16
King Herod orders the murder of all male children, aged two and younger. Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt.

John9:19
Jesus tells Pontius Pilate he has no authority over Him, essentially saying God is permitting Christ’s death.

The book of Acts
There are many examples of the Sanhedrin telling the 12 apostles to stop preaching about Christ.

These are just some examples I was able to find. Thank you to Mike for the assistance. God’s law should trump man’s law every time. There is almost always a cost; loss of reputation, financial penalty and, for some, even to this day, martyrdom.

When man’s law contradicts Gods law, how you respond is between you and God. I am just here to point out that there is biblical precedence for going against man’s law and government to keep the laws of God.

 
This article is from a series of three, they are:

A Short Prepper Civics Lesson
The Future of America
God’s Law vs Man’s Law

 

Comments

  1. Margaret Kiemele says:

    Excellent research Ray
    He who is free is free indeed – If God is for us who can be against against us – In all our ways we acknoweldge Him and He directs our paths – everything all ties and works together Amen!

    The controlling religious spirit that unfortunately is at work in so many “churches” is also another aspect of learning how to discern the spirits and have the freedom to worship and follow Our Father , without the limitations imposed by man.

    We need laws for safety and proper functioning – agreed – however, there is a huge spirit of rebellion at work in the world today – which is not drawing us closer to God – but rather away. The American Founding Fathers had a sure foundation for success – and as you have researched – when we all build on that solid rock – we can be confident – of all His promises. I love Psalm 91 – it covers just about every scenario – and I continue to do my part to prepare – but make sure Hiding His Word in my heart – is the most important part of that preparation. Amen Blessings

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Margaret. You’re right, that which is built on solid foundation will stand, but I fear much of what we as a nation have built on is sand rather then bedrock.

  2. Great wrap-up Chris.
    May we be conscientious in following the law but even more so following where the Spirit leads, guides and directs.
    One of my greatest concerns as a Prepper though is what to do and how to do it when rule of law is no longer in place. There too I hope we can be around people that keep a civilized manner and follow God’s law. Decision makings in a WROL will be quite different than in our current state. I believe re-learning what our Founding Fathers intended and hoped for would be good preparation for times that may come.

    Good word Margaret. Thanks!

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Jim. I agree with you about what will we see when the rule of law is removed. I have a feeling we will see a revival of small house churches that form MAG’s and build community.

  3. Romans 13:1 was written to the Jews of the time. Remember, the first Christians were Jewish. For all of Jewish history, even in their exiles and imprisonments, Jews were always governed by their own leaders. Their captors allowed this.

    Now, in the time of Christ, the Romans were their leaders. Roman law protected Jews and Christians. This was the most peaceful time ever, the perfect situation for Christianity to grow, for Jews to listen and learn without fear of outside violence. Roman law saw to this. There were no invaders on Roman soil at this time.

    The probable Jewish/Gentile church that existed in Rome, was like many churches and Jewish people–they wanted to be free of Rome and just have God’s law. Paul advises them to be obedient to the powers in charge. He wanted this in order for Christianity to flourish.

    This passage is not written as general doctrine for all ages. It is like many passages in the Bible, written for a specific circumstance.

    Yes, I did attend a Bible College, studying theology

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