Christians still need to have a say in what our government does. We must continue to vote and be aware of legislation. I know it is overwhelming and mostly frustrating because we sometimes don't get the vote we want. I know....I live in California and I'm always frustrated with legislation. California is always trying to be the FIRST to pass a legislation that usually is not morally correct. BUT with the help of two great organizations who spend hours upon hours keeping up and sending us into action, we can do our part.
Scroll down below and you can see the two organizations I speak of. www.frc.org and www.savecalifornia.com . If you are not local, you will need to find a local organization who helps you locate legislation for your state!
Those not in this camp could get sucked into finding their outlook reasonable if the Word of God wasn't present to say otherwise. As understandable as all of these explanations may be, if you choose to agree with those who defend themselves by saying they are "just doing the best they can with the lot they've been given in life," the bottom line truth is that God still calls this sin. And He graciously offers a way out if one chooses to take it.
God's perspective, however, does not need to be delivered in veiled disdain or judgmental fervor, but rather with love and an understanding that the outward mode of behavior covers a deeper need and a level of pain that surpasses normal discernment. Speaking the truth in love and compassion is important. No one questions the love of a parent when he or she corrects a child. Everyone understands that the parent doesn't want the child to indulge in anything that would be harmful to her. To cite a wrong does not imply that the person is unaceptable, just that their mode of behavior is not conducive to victorious living. Sin is sin to God, period. From homosexuality to adultery, fornication to lying, stealing to you name it, He hates it all. Why? Because He doesn't want us to hurt ourselves or one another, and He knows the bottom line---though it may be pleasurable for a season, sin ultimately produces physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
But herin lies the problem because sin is rooted in self-centeredness and rebellion. Sin says, "I want it my way and I want it now!" When people violate the Word of God, they can choose several ways to work it out. One, they can repent. Or they can cast blame, go into denial, or find a way to justify their behavior. Notice the closing statement of a passage from Romans: "They encourage others to do them too." If everybody's doing it, then it must be alright, no? Sounds like the beginning of a movement to me! The more people you get to go along with you, the less resistance you'll encounter. Everyone knows that the majority rules. The greater the mass of followers grows collectively, the more the movement is empowered to solidify its position, economically and otherwise. Pretty soon you have an immovable institution in place that uproots and overthrows the foundation of godly principles. And while people who never took the time to understand those who were hurting, or to offer them effective healing, stand wondering how things got so out of control, these same wounded soldiers, numb to their own pain, limp away, dusting off their hands and proclaiming they've won the war.
If you would like to read this in full, please purchase the book The Power of Femininity by Michelle McKinney Hammond.
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. Romans 13:3,4.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Romans 13:5
For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Romans 13:6
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 13:7
The government is to maintain law and order. When it does not do that, it has failed. I feel that a Christian should be opposed to the breakdown of law and order. We are to respect our rulers that are enforcing the law. I have great respect for our army, although it is honeycombed with corruption. I have great respect for police officers, although I know they make mistakes.
Christians are to obey the law not only because we'll be judged and have to pay a fine if we don't, but obey for conscience sake.
Although we may resent the way our tax money is being used, we are to pay taxes anyway.
The word for minister is one from which we get our word liturgy. It is strictly religious and is the same word used of angels in Hebrews 1:14 where they are called ministering spirits. This means that the ruler occupies a divinely-appointed office. He has no religious function, of course, but he holds a God-appointed office. That makes me pay my taxes, although I resent doing so.
Although there may be unworthy men in the office, we are to respect the office. We are to show respect for authority. A Christian will be the best citizen although his citizenship is in heaven.
In other words, anyone resisting the authority is resisting the ordinance of God. And those resisting shall receive for themselves judgment.
The principle stated in verse 1 raises many questions which the following verses amplify and explain. This verse seems to preclude the possibility of a believer having any part in rebellion or revolution. What about it? The believer has opposed bad government and supported good government on the theory that good government is the one ordained of God. The believer is for law and order, as over against corruption and rank injustice. At great moments of crisis in history-- and that's where we are today --the believers have had difficult decisions to make.
Christianity never became a movement to improve government, help society, or clean up the town. The gospel was the power of God unto salvation of the individual. Paul never went around telling about the deplorable conditions of Roman jails -- and he knew them there. It is very difficult to say that we are to obey a corrupt government. There is corruption in government from the top to the bottom, and it is not confined to one party.
What is the Christian to do? My business is to get out the Word of God, and my business is to obey the law. That is what Paul is saying here. Christianity is not a movement to improve government or to help society clean up the town. It is to preach a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation which will bring into existence individuals like the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and gave us a government of laws. There is nothing wrong with our form of government; there is something wrong with the individuals who are in positions of power.
"America is int he hands of those who do not understand the spiritual heritage that we have."
Romans, Vol II, J Vernon McGee
We are to submit ourselves to governmental authorities for the very simple reason that tehy are ordained of God. It is true that the kingdoms of this world belong to Satan, and injustice and corruption abound in all governments; yet God still has control. History is the monotonous account of how a government flourished for a time in pomp and pride and then was brought to ruin and rubble. Why? Because corruption and lawlessness became rampant. As it did, God brought the government to an end. God still rules --even over this earth. God has not abdicated His throne; He is riding triumphantly in His own chariot. Neither is He disturbed about what is happening on this earth.
You will recall that when Uzziah, king of Judah, died, Isaiah was disturbed and very much discouraged. Uzziah had been a good king, and Isaiah thought the government would disintegrate after he was gone. So Isaiah went into the temple, which is a good place to go at a time like that. He came into God's presence, and he saw the Lord sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up. In other words, God had not abdicated. Uzziah was dead, but God was not dead. God was still on the throne.
Now the allegiance of the Christian is to that throne. And his relationship to his government on earth is submission.
Romans, Vol II, J Vernon McGee
As we come to chapter 13, we still are talking about the service of the sons of God. We are going to see that the believer has citizenship in heaven, but he also is a citizen in the world down here, which gives him a twofold responsibility. If there is a conflict between the two, always our first responsibility is to our Lord in heaven.
The Lord Jesus made it very clear that we have a responsibility to human government. You remember that He was asked by His enemies, "Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, or no?" He asked them to show Him a coin. He asked them whose superscription and whose image was on that coin. They said, "Caesar's." Then He made this significant statement, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's" (Luke 20:25).
Governments are ordained of God, and He gave them certain authority. We live in a day when evil is called good, and good is called evil. However, believers have responsibility to human government. In fact, Paul said to a young preacher, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour (I Timothy 2:1-3). By the way, we are to pray for those in authority, not leave it to the preacher on Sunday morning.
The duty of the believer as a citizen of heaven is spiritual. The duty of a believer as a citizen under a government is secular. These two are separate functions, and to combine them is to fail to keep church and state separate and distinct.
The Jew in Paul's day was reluctant to bow before the proud Roman state. Jewry had fomented disturbances in the city of Rome, and as the result Claudius had banished them on one occasion. The proud Pharisees rejected the Roman authorities in Palestine in their desire to restore the government to the nation of Israel; it was they who masterminded the encounter with Jesus and raised the issue, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" The implications smacked of revolution, as you can see. It is well to remember that the authorities in Paul's day were mad and murderous. Nero was on the throne of Rome, and there was Pilate and Herod --all a bunch of rascals, yet he said that believers were to obey those in authority.
Romans, Volume II, J Vernon McGee
Another site that you should check out is http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-02mar2009.htm
This is a way for the government to control what we buy and how we buy. Remember the 666 mark on forehead or top of hand, the way of buying and knowing what you are doing at all times. But as Christians we know it is coming but we do have the promise that the Lord will take care of His own. Also this is to take place in the Tribulation period. I believe that we will be raptured before this occurs. Why? Because the tribulation cannot come unless the Holy Spirit is removed. The Holy Spirit is keeping Satan at bay. The Holy Spirit was promised to us. So I believe He will rapture us and then the Holy Spirit will be removed and then the Tribulation can occur.
Remember to not fall into Satans trap of FEAR. Yes you are right when you said..."It is comforting that we accepted Christ into our heart." For God will take care of His own no matter what comes our way! He will protect us...that is awesome! The closer we get to the end times this world will have less common sense. So it will be frustrating for us.
There are two organizations that I am a member of and I do recommend that you do too. We must stay on top of these bills that our government is trying to force on us. We can fight for our rights and we should. Don't get discouraged if it does not go our way all the time...because I feel that the Lord has allowed that bill to go through for a reason but He will protect us and provide for us. These organizations are Christian based and they keep us informed of the bills that are going through and they let us know right away who to contact in our government and how to contact them (email or phone). It helps because there is too much going on and we cannot spend all our time on these issues, so they simplify it for us. They will email you.
Nationally I belong to www.frc.org
Locally I belong to www.savecalifornia.com (you should find someone local for your state).
Remember most importantly, determine how the Lord leads you!
Have you ever felt this way? Well, this was my life for many, many years. The alarm clock would go off and I would begin my marathon day, racing against time. Then one day I shared my frustrations with a close friend. I opened my heart about my life revolving around my work and blurted out, "I haven’t had a devotion in months!"
As I was speaking those words, the thought hit me: Work is my life. As a single woman striving for professional status, I had abandoned my first love, God, in pursuit of a fast-paced career in human resources. After listening to me, my dear friend Lina responded with something so simple yet profound that it changed my life. She said, "The only thing that keeps me sane is spending time in the Word of God. I am committed to devotional time every day!"
We talked about the importance of spending time in the Word of God and the blessings, refreshment and intimacy that came from this time. She encouraged me not to be so consumed with the days events that those things took higher priority than my relationship with God.
God commands, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Deuteronomy 5:7). He knows that when we place things before Him, like our career, our focus gets blurred, foundational truths get uprooted, faith turns to fear and a close relationship with Him is something we can only reminisce about, leaving a deep void in our heart. Pursuits outside of God are meaningless. Psalm 127:1: "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain."
Having a career is great but placing it before God leads to a lonely road, often requiring us to forsake family, friends and most importantly, our fellowship with God. The choice is so clear. We can either labor for the Lord and receive the blessings He has in store for us, or we can work our fingers to the bone, placing God on hold, striving aimlessly to be fulfilled by the false god called work.
God loves us so much that He beckons us to place Him first so we can experience a relationship with Him and reap the blessings and benefits of knowing Him in our day-to-day commitment. Only as we place God in His rightful place, above all else, we are able to overcome the devil’s schemes to keep us in workplace captivity.
Taken from Thank God It's Monday by Kim Hackney, © 2003 by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission of publisher.