Authority – Not of this Realm (part 1)

Recently, as I meditated on a scripture passage commanding subjection to governing authority (Romans 13), I realized that I needed to do some diligent accounting work as to my attitude about the same. My own apologia on this subject is anything but settled. Anyone who has read this blog over any significant span will know that I maintain that much of the force currently being applied by those in government is in violation of law. Both the Constitution and natural law are regularly ignored for some political expediency or the advancement of a contrary agenda. The principles that our founders wrestled with and forged into the Bill of Rights (ratified near the end of 1791) are still supposedly treasured by the people, but found inconvenient by our leaders. Certainly, the spiritual laws and precepts that we Christians attempt to follow are being maligned while governing authority rides roughshod over our convictions, even as we decline in numbers and apparent influence.

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Iowa Privacy Fence – July 20, 2014

While my most charitable view is that many of the openly-stated aims of one political party tend toward evil, I am forced to admit the other party is actively complicit in that same evil. They posture conservatism while actually engaging in artifice and pretense. Their actual ends are indistinguishable from those of the party of the first part. Conservative Christian believers want to believe the subterfuge that claims to oppose the evil of the openly stated aims of the “progressives”. We have often resigned ourselves to following wrong shepherds, thinking them the lesser of two evils. These “leaders” seek only their own befit, at our expense. We the people are loathe to admit that the two parties are effectively one.

Looking around, the other sheep seem as bewildered and disillusioned as I. Some have succumbed to an attitude of fatalism. Now, fatalism is a doctrine which has adherents who are blessed with a self-fulfilling terminus. I was astonished this week to hear sometimes-comedian, sometimes-wise, and indisputably-intelligent Dennis Miller openly espousing fatalism on his radio program. The government holds all the power, he said. There is nothing you can do about it. You can’t fight city hall. If you do, they can make your life hell with IRS audits, inspections, and trumped-up legal charges ad-infinitum. Resistance is destined to go down in flames. His recommendation: don’t worry about it, hug your kids; eat a nice meal with your loving spouse. Enjoy your life. I think all of these things are fine and right, as long as society holds up, and you are able. But I don’t think they answer the question of what to do about government run amok.

What will I do, then, with the injunction to be subject to the governing authorities, with the assurance that there is no authority except from God? I am unconvinced the fatalist is correct and unwilling to be found to be working at cross purposes to the Almighty. I am just as sure that incessant complaining about the status-quo is activity that is ineffectual, and probably harmful. Therefore, I am determined to explore authority from a Biblical perspective. I have looked into the scriptures on this subject enough already to know that this is a hard row to hoe. If you share these questions, I invite you to come along. I pledge to give this inquiry as much time as I am able. I also commit to give full consideration to questions, comments, and suggestions.

(I am writing from my own experience as a citizen of the USA. But, this country has no monopoly on governing authorities who seem to be failing to carry out the stated purpose of opposing evil. I think we are going to find in the scriptures a balm for wounds worldwide. I hope we recognize a plan of action along the way.)

 

 

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One Response to “Authority – Not of this Realm (part 1)”

  1. DM Says:

    sign me up! 🙂 Since the 2012 election, I stopped listening to talk radio, especially the stuff on the current political stuff. It left me in a constant state of agitation. To be salt and light in a secular culture without loosing my peace and joy is no small trick, not sure I have it all figured out either…what I’m doing currently IS working on a personal level, but would love to hear more.

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