Have We Misinterpreted Scripture In regard To Obedience To Government?

January 2001 President Bush established, by executive order, compassionate conservatism to provide funding to faith-based and community organizations. Its purpose was to provide federal funding for social services to areas of need.  President Obama renamed it the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  U. S pastors have been called to become a part of a “Clergy Response Teams” to placate and control citizens of the U. S. in the event of local and national emergencies.  They are also being asked to push global warming, climate change and green initiatives on America’s churches.  We are being told the faith-based organization is being used more to spread his environmental warnings rather than helping churches and others feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

Romans 13:1 – 5 – “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

I have always believed the above Scripture that stated “The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  Whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.  It has been brought to my attention some of the religious changes administrations hve made and I question if these verses above were correctly interpreted. It seems there are theologians that do not believe this is what Paul truly meant.

For example,   Acts 5:20 – “Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”

I Samuel 8:4 – 9 – “So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’ But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

My question is: Does God allow someone to be president knowing that it would not be best for that country?  Under Hitler, Stalin and others is it true: “The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  We know that God has established marriages as well as government hierarchy.  We know he does not necessarily pick out who we shall marry or who would be the best dictator.  If a nation chooses a bad ruler we realize God may have just allowed it.  Reading God’s reply to Samuel, if a nation has rejected and forsaken God, will He not let them do whatever they want?

If we believe the Faith-Based Organization is not being used for its intended purpose should ministers feel obligated to participate?  Just what is our obligation to any administration that we feel is not seeking God’s guidance and is rejecting Him?  I happen to believe we have had more that have rejected God than have submitted to His guidance.

Have we misinterpreted Scripture in regard to our obedience to Government?  Keep in mind God established governments to institute rules and regulations for the good and security of its people.  Biblically he gave the guidelines for all governments to follow, but most often they are ignored.

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