Saturday, November 13, 2010

Biblical Separation of Church and State

Java Asks

Can you please explain the following:

All authority, including political, is from God.
  • We are to obey that authority.
  • But that authority hates us.
  • We are to disobey that authority.
  • we are now disobeying God when we disobey political authority.

All of these are found in the bible. How are these points reconciled?

All explained by Peter and exemplified by Jesus:

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men....For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps...Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 1 Peter 2:13-15,21. 3:13-15
[our submission to the leading of God includes submitting to the earthly authorities, just as Jesus did---making us "model citizens" and earning the praise of those authorities.]

But "even if" we suffer at the hand of the authorities due to hostility toward righteousness, including false accusations by others, our defense and hope is set, not in the earthly legal system, but in the hope that is in us.

Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."John 18:35-37
[Jesus proclaims the hope that is in him as He sanctifies the Father's will in His heart]

If ever God leads believers to suffer at the hands of earthly authorities for righteousness sake, It is for reasons of eternal glory.

And he said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they kept shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!". When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves." Matt 27:23-24
[through submission to unjust suffering at the hands of earthly authorities, the world's salvation came]

At no time did Jesus, or are we, to rebel against gov't authorities---they are there because God has put them there for His purposes..

So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?" Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." John 19:10-11
[Government authority over God's people is an extension of God's authority over us, therefore we are not to be rebellious toward it]


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