Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Democracy and God's establishment of authorities


S: Romans 13:1-7 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honour you. The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God's servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honour to those who are in authority.

O: This passage is one of those which caused faithful Christians to unquestioningly support the ruling king of their day even though the kings were evil. An example of such a Christian was Thomas Moore (1476-1535), who served under the evil king of England, Henry VIII, who, for totally selfish reasons of his own, declared the Church of England independent of the Catholic Church.

Moore was the Chancellor of England under King Henry (something like Prime Minister, but since Henry was an absolute monarch rather than a constitutional monarch, he had to obey whatever Henry decided, and he was appointed by Henry and not democratically elected.

However, he could not with clear conscience abide by King Henry's claim to be the head of the Church of England instead of the Pope. King Henry also kept murdering his wives so that he could marry other women, which Moore could not approve of.

Thus, Moore was faced with a dilemma: he believed that the King was divinely appointed and as a good Christian, he had to be subject to him. On the other hand, the king commanded him to do something which is against God! So how could he resolve this?

He tried to come to some kind of accommodation -- he tried to resign as chancellor, to retire from politics, etc. However, eventually, he had to recognise what Peter and John had recognised way back in Acts 4:9: "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God."

As a result of his principled stand due to his faith, he was convicted of treason and executed.

Even though I am not a Roman Catholic and do not have allegiance to the pope in Rome, Thomas Moore is nonetheless one of my heroes of the faith as a result of his principled stance according to his conscience even unto the point of martyrdom as best as he understood what it meant to follow Christ.

A: Romans 13:3-5 clearly states that a God-established authority is supposed to punish evildoers and commend people who do good. When a government ceases to do that, it no longer has the divine right to rule.

In a real democracy, we the people have the responsibility to choose the government. Therefore, as Christian voters, we must vote for those who will do what is right. We must not continue to support evildoers just because we will personally benefit even to the detriment of the country at large.

Therefore, as believers, we cannot support a corrupt and evil government.

P: Father, as we face the upcoming elections in Malaysia, we pray for people who will do what is right to be elected, and for the corrupt and evil to be brought down. We pray against the vote rigging and cheating that the ruling BN always does, that in spite of their total control of the TV, radio and newspapers, enough people will realise what is going on and vote for a change anyway, in big enough numbers that we can overcome the cheating. 55 years is too long for any one party to control the country. We pray for our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, and pray that we may have the courage to take action to bring about a more just government in our country. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

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