11009Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political Dissidence
- Sep 3, 2004Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:
for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are
ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth
the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to
Who/what qualifies as the "ordinance" of God? The texts seems to
imply all in power without exception.
"Tyranny being a work of Satan is not from God, because sin, either
habitual or actual, is not from God: the power that is, must be from
God; the magistrate, as magistrate, is good in nature of office, and
the intrinsic end of his office, (Rom. xiii.4 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.) for
he is the minister of God for thy good, and, therefore a power
ethical, politic, or moral, to oppress is not from God and is not a
power but a licentious deviation of a power"- Rutherford
But...Rom 13:1 For there is no power but of God: the powers that be
are ordained of God... The power, or "licentious deviation of a
power", reigning/tyranizing over the recipients of Paul's letter was
Caesar. Why would Paul instruct the Romans how to behave under a
power (Rutherford's strict definition) when Nero was a tyrant? Is he
inciting them to rebelion? More likely, he's saying, Nero, however,
wicked he seems, being providential given the reins of power, is the
ordinance of God and he is good for keeping order. My thoughts.
Alexander Shields couldn't even convince himself (joining the
Revolutionary Church). Probably later he saw a deficiency in his own
arguments you don't.
--- In email@example.com, "gmw"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Peter"nay,
> <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
> > I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.
> Sure, that's ok. I think it might be good to lay out some
> principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can
> discuss it as they deem fit.
> I'll post some sections from Alexander Shields,
> http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html ,
> one point at a time, presenting the Covenanter position. Here's
> point one:
> "1. The ordinance of magistracy, which is of God, is not to be
> resisted, no, not so much as by disobedience or non-obedience,
> not so much as mentally, by cursing in the heart, Eccles. 10.20,but
> a person clothed therewith, abusing his power, may be in so farGod's
> resisted. But tyrants, or magistrates turning tyrants, are not
> ordinance; and there is no hazard of damnation, for refusing toobey
> their unjust commands, but rather the hazard of that is in walkingkept.
> willingly after the commandment, when the statutes of Omri are
> So that what is objected from Eccl. 8.2-4, "I counsel thee to keep
> the king's commandment," &c., is answered on Head II [not yet
> available online --gmw] and is to be understood only of the lawful
> commands of lawful kings."
> Discuss away!
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