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Romans 13:1-6…?

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posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 11:12 PM
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Romans 13:1-6…?

A regular Ats poster in RFT section, brought this verse to my attention, a couple of months back…

I’m curious as what Christians make of these verses…



Romans 13:1-6
1 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.

2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3 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.

4 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.

5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.



Here are just a few of my own thoughts on this…

The authorities at the time of Paul, were persecuting and murdering Christians, for some 30 to 40 years, long before the Roman Christian church, was fully established.

Which means, the authorities of the day… those in power at that time, were not believers in Jesus at all. So how Paul can write that the authorities were established by God, at the time of writing, is a mystery too me, because they weren’t even believers back then.

And considering the fact that Paul must have been aware of the persecution taking place, and bearing in mind, he himself was once paid by Rome, to persecute Christians, before his conversion, means, he must have been aware of it.

And the fact that even after his conversion, Paul himself was persecuted and killed by the Roman authorities, because of his beliefs, means he must have known, leading up to his capture, that the authorities had not only rejected Jesus, and his (Paul’s) Christian beliefs, but God along with it as well.

So how can he possibly write, that they are “Gods servants” and that they “were established by God” when they were rejecting believers in Jesus, at that time, and killing them etc… just doesn’t seem plausible…IMO

And I really can’t see Paul writing those verses in Romans 13, from his Roman jail cell, just before his execution, by the Roman authorities…

Anyway, irrespective of my own thoughts, what do YOU make of Romans 13:1-6…?


- JC

edit on 9-1-2014 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 11:36 PM
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so the government only makes law for our own good (says God), then why are Christians against the new homosexual marriage laws? s and f



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 


Good question. Ive struggled with this in the past myself.

My answer is that God allowed man to establish the Roman empire as an expression of freewill. If he didnt want Rome to exist, He could have let the earth swallow it up beneith its foundation. For the most part, stealing, rape, murder and other violent crimes were prohibited and (to a certain extent) suppressed by the Roman establishment. Therefore, it can be said that even the corrupt government of Rome offered at least a marginal level of stability to law abiding citizens that out weighed the benefits of total anarchy.

Man is under the curse of sin, so any governmental body composed of man will be cursed, but even Jesus humbled Himself before the corruption of the Israelite leaders, and the Roman occupying forces.

The point is, when a nation is humble before God, it is blessed with prosperity and freedom, but even when it is corrupted, the masses are better off with a corrupt dictatorship than they are in a state of anarchy.

Thats my answer. It doesnt excuse poor leadership, but it does show how even the lowest level of existence is a blessing to a race guilty of sin.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 11:53 PM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 


In Matthew 22:20-21, Jesus said to render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When it comes right down to it, it's really pretty simple: obeying the laws of the land and respecting the authorities are not bad things, so long as doing so does not cause us to put man's law before God's law.

Ecclesiastes 12:13(AKJV)
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 11:55 PM
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Since the verses in question are clearly untrue there are 2 possibilities to their existence:

1. Someone interpolated them into the epistle after the fact.

2. Paul was hired by Rome to create sympathy and obedience to their authority and any authority who came afterward.

I personally do not like Paul or his writings because he brought entirely new concepts into the fold that Jesus never even hinted at. In my opinion he was a Roman spy hired to write letters in Jesus' name in order to obscure Jesus' true message.

His conversion is entirely hearsay on his part and no one can possibly know whether his conversion was legitimate or not unless they take his word as fact. Seeing as how he persecuted Christians for the Roman empire before his supposed conversion, I do not believe he or his teachings can be trusted, especially since Jesus warned of false teachers and said that bad trees cannot bear good fruit. Paul was the most rotten tree of all before his supposed conversion, so Jesus picking him as his mouthpiece goes entirely against his own teachings.

To add even more confusion to it, Paul says this in another of his epistles:



Ephesians 6
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.


He tells us in Romans 13 that the rulers and authorities are put in place by god for our own good and that they do not bear their swords for no reason, he then says in Ephesians that his struggle is AGAINST the rulers and authorities, the same ones he was commending in Romans.

Is Paul telling us that our struggle is against what god has established for our own good?

In my personal opinion, Romans 13 along with Ephesians 6 is the most damning evidence that the bible is in fact NOT the inerrant, infallible word of God as Christianity would have us believe.

Thanks for bringing this up again, I think it is vital to the discussion on the bible and its supposed infallibility.

S&F



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by BELIEVERpriest
 





For the most part, stealing, rape, murder and other violent crimes were prohibited and (to a certain extent) suppressed by the Roman establishment.


Yet Rome still did all of those things and more for a thousand years. Suppressed? Far from it.

Rome conquered and pillaged for a thousand years all while worshiping pagan gods, they threw innocent people to the lions and executed them in the most inhumane ways possible. They were far from being humble or obedient to god, yet they were allowed to prosper into one of the biggest and most bloody empires in the history of the world.

Yet soon after they legalized Christianity and started worshiping the "true" god, their empire dissolved. That's pretty weird in my opinion. It's almost as if god granted them freedom to do whatever they wanted up until they started really worshiping him, once they legalized the "truth" he then dissolved the empire. Fishy!


edit on 3501000CST353 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:11 AM
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Perhaps such writings are part of Paul's message of Salvation, so whilst he is perhaps addressing Roman Authorities during such a tumultuous era of expulsions, persecutions and sometimes blending of beliefs, as well as addressing Jewish Law as in the Torah and followers of Christ and potential Christians.

It should also be noted that during such times there were many plays and interactions of factions such that makes today's schmoozing political machinations comparatively innocuous.

Manipulations of such scribes and their texts is also obviously a consideration.

Epistle to the Romans


Condemnation: The Universal corruption of Gentiles and Jews (1:18–3:20)[edit]
The judgment of God (1:18–32)[edit]
Paul now begins into the main thrust of his letter. He begins by suggesting that humans have taken up ungodliness and wickedness for which there will be wrath from God.[1:18] People have taken God's invisible image and made him into an idol. Paul draws heavily here from the Wisdom of Solomon.[31] He condemns unnatural sexual behavior and warns that such behavior will result in a depraved body and mind[1:26–27] and says that people who do such things (including murder and wickedness [1:29]) are worthy of death.[1:32] Paul stands firmly against the idol worship system which was common in Rome.
Paul's warning of hypocrites (2:1–4)[edit]
On the traditional Protestant interpretation, Paul here calls out Jews who are condemning others for not following the law when they themselves are also not following the law. Stanley Stowers, however, has argued on rhetorical grounds that Paul is in these verses not addressing a Jew at all but rather an easily recognizable caricature of the typical boastful person (ὁ ἀλαζων). Stowers writes, "There is absolutely no justification for reading 2:1–5 as Paul's attack on 'the hypocrisy of the Jew.' No one in the first century would have identified ho alazon with Judaism. That popular interpretation depends upon anachronistically reading later Christian characterizations of Jews as 'hypocritical Pharisees'".[32] See also Anti-Judaism.
Justification: The Gift of Grace and Forgiveness through Faith (3:21–5:11)[edit]
Paul says that a righteousness from God has made itself known apart from the law, to which the law and prophets testify, and this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus to all who believe.[3:21–22] He describes justification – legally clearing the believer of the guilt and penalty of sin – as a gift of God,[3:24] and not the work of man (lest he might boast), but by faith.[3:28]
Assurance of salvation (5–11)[edit]
In chapters five through eight, Paul argues that believers can be assured of their hope in salvation, having been freed from the bondage of sin. Paul teaches that through faith,[3:28] [4:3] the faithful have been joined with Jesus[5:1] and freed from sin.[6:1–2] [6:18] Believers should celebrate in the assurance of salvation.[12:12] This promise is open to everyone since everyone has sinned,[3:23] save the one who paid for all of them.[3:24]
In chapters 9–11 Paul addresses the faithfulness of God to Israel, where he says that God has been faithful to His promise. Paul hopes that all of Israel will come to realize the truth[9:1–5] since he himself was also an Israelite,[11:1] and had in the past been a persecutor of Early Christians. In Romans 9–11 Paul talks about how the nation of Israel has been cast away, and the conditions under which Israel will be God's chosen nation again: when Israel returns to its faith, sets aside its unbelief.[11:19–24]
In Romans 7:1, Paul says that humans are under the law while we live: "Know ye not...that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?" However, Jesus' death on the cross makes believers dead to the law (7:4, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye are also become dead to the law by the body of Christ"), according to an antinomistic interpretation.
Transformation of believers (12–15:13)[edit]
From chapter 12 through the first part of chapter 15, Paul outlines how the Gospel transforms believers and the behaviour that results from such a transformation. This transformation is described as a “renewing of your mind” (12:2),[33] a transformation that Douglas J. Moo characterizes as “the heart of the matter.”[34] It is a transformation so radical that it amounts to a “a transfiguration of your brain,” a "metanoia", a “mental revolution.”[35]
Paul goes on to describe how believers should live. Christians are no longer under the law, that is, no longer bound by the law of Moses,[36] but under the grace of God, see Law and grace. We do not need to live under the law because to the extent our minds have been renewed, we will know “almost instinctively” what God wants of us. The law then provides an “objective standard” for judging progress in the “lifelong process” of our mind’s renewal.[37]
To the extent they have been set free from sin by renewed minds (Romans 6:18),[38] believers are no longer bound to sin. Believers are free to live in obedience to God and love everybody. As Paul says in Romans 13:10, "love (ἀγάπη) worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of law".[39]
The fragment in Romans 13:1–7 dealing with obedience to earthly powers is considered by some, for example James Kallas,[40] to be a gloss incorporated later.[41] (See also the Great Commandment and Christianity and politics).

edit on 10-1-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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turboneon
so the government only makes law for our own good (says God), then why are Christians against the new homosexual marriage laws? s and f
Well that didn't take long.Why does any topic to do with Christians immediately make you think "damn Christians should support gay marriage whether they like it or not!"?
That little word-Christians is like a red rag to a bull to some around here.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by BELIEVERpriest
 




but even when it is corrupted, the masses are better off with a corrupt dictatorship than they are in a state of anarchy.


You're speaking from a 21st century perspective. I'm pretty sure the people who had to live under the regimes of Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler and too many others to list might disagree with you just a bit. Personally I'd choose the anarchy any day over those corrupted dictatorships, probably live a lot longer IMO.
edit on 303am3131am122014 by Bassago because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:17 AM
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Yet soon after they legalized Christianity and started worshiping the "true" god, their empire dissolved. That's pretty weird in my opinion.


I would offer that evolved into a new beast, wouldnt you say? purple and red robes, standards, consuls even an emperor exhalted by the people.
Its still the Empire just a different name



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by PLAYERONE01
 


True, it morphed into Byzantine Empire but was still Rome for all intents and purposes. Either way, they were allowed to prosper into one of the biggest empires in history for a thousand years while worshiping false gods and committing countless crimes against humanity.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:34 AM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 


It seems to me that Jesus did not submit to the authorities in his day...

He did say give to ceasar what is his... but that did not include giving ourselves over to their will

There isn't a single non corrupt government on the planet... So according to paul "Gods authority" on earth is corrupt...

Though I would agree if the OT god is the so called "god" hes referring to... Since he/she/it is just as twisted as our governments

Once again, Shows what Paul knows...



edit on 10-1-2014 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:35 AM
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Good question, but the answer is quite simple, really.

Paul wrote that every authority is instituted by God because every THING was instituted by God before the world began. God knew our entire history even before it began. He created everything in the universe to be exactly as it is for a specific divine purpose.

When Paul called Christians to be complicit and unafraid of the ruling authorities, he was well aware of the fact that the authorities did not have the best interest of Christians in mind. Rather, Paul knew that God had the best interest of each Christian in mind before He, in His infinite divine wisdom, decided to place them before the empire as martyrs, witnesses, prophets, or even as liars and traitors.

Paul simply took the word of Jesus at precisely its face value. "If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn him the other as well." He was not telling Christians to love the empire and what they were doing. He was simply telling them not to rebel, because it's better to die for a cause than to kill for one.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:35 AM
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You are misunderstanding the verses. It is important to know whom Paul was writing to, verse 7 tells us he was writing to only believers. He does not mean rulers of the secular world, he means the ones God has placed in authority over Christians.

If apostle Paul was advocating obedience to secular authorities, then Caesar would have no cause against him. Why would Caesar have Paul beheaded if he was promoting obedience to Rome? If Paul belonged to Caesar, Caesar would not want to kill his own. If Paul was promoting "be subject to Caesar," then Paul would be Caesar's friend. You would not kill your own. You don't destroy the very instrument that advertises for you.

The truth is that Apostle Paul was beheaded for promoting a rival government known as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. Already this new government was turning the world upside down. Caesar had Paul killed to help stop this threat to Rome's power.

Romans 13 means, "Remember them which have the rule over you," as you will also find at Hebrews 13:7. Since Paul was addressing the saints at Rome, it is logical that he would instruct them to submit to those who look after their souls. It is a reminder to be obedient to the authorities God has placed over His people. For they are truly the "ministers of God to thee for good." Unlike worldly rulers, God's ministers are not a terror to good works but to the evil. Therefore, "do that which is good and thou shalt have praise of the same."


Romans 13 is probably the most devastating thing to a Christian in the hands of the secular world. It sounds so convincing to obey those who appear to be in power. For too long, secular governments have used Romans 13 as a club to beat Christians into obedience to them. It is one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the bible.

Hope that helps bring a little more clarity.

Pax



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 

You highlighted a very good example of the writings attributed to Paul (Saul) that indicates further distortion to favour the 'elitist' Anunnaki 'rebel gods' slave-master agenda instituted through their various initiated 'religious' practices. There are several contradictions in comparing those writings with those attributed to Jesus also. A simple google search can uncover the contradiction listings.

So many deliberately twisted agencies of confusion within Bible texts, in which I am moreso understanding that the assembly of the Bible was also intended for 'mystery school' adepts to be given it's 'keys of knowledge' in all it's deliberate coding via these supernaturally inspiring 'gods' (that loved being worshiped with sacrificial offerings).

The Bible is one of the most dangerous books ever assembled (it's verses have been used to justify all manner of evils), and yet can be the most enlightening if and when one is willing to filter through the rot to apply the sparks of Light Truth within in Good Spirit.
edit on 10-1-2014 by PrimeLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:02 AM
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I think some people are missing the issue here.



Romans 13
1 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.


There is no governing authority that wasn't or isn't established by god. That means any governing authority that has ever existed was established by god.



Romans 13
4 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.


Taking verse 1 in context with verse 4, we see that Paul is saying that any governing authority in history has been god's servant for OUR good.

Were Roman authorities killing and persecuting Christians for their own good? Were they torturing them for their own good? I think not. All of these things were happening as Paul was writing this letter, so either Paul was completely oblivious to what was happening around him or he was lying for certain reasons.

Also, if god establishes ALL authorities on Earth (as verse 1 states), wouldn't that mean any war throughout history was a direct result of what god established? If all authorities are god's servants, why have they constantly been fighting and warring with one another for thousands of years?

If Iran's government is serving god and was established by him and so is Israel's, why do they hate one another so much? If they both serve god and are agents of god, does that mean god is deliberately pitting his servants against each other in some kind of blood sport?

The implications of this passage are pretty deep if you look at it objectively instead of just accepting it.
edit on 3501101CST353 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 



He tells us in Romans 13 that the rulers and authorities are put in place by god for our own good and that they do not bear their swords for no reason, he then says in Ephesians that his struggle is AGAINST the rulers and authorities, the same ones he was commending in Romans.


You make a valid point! That said, is it possible he was speaking of Rome in one instance and Jewish leaders in the other?
That could still mean he was planted by Rome... if his intent was to submit to Roman authority but denounce the Jewish leaders.

Come to think of it... he pretty much 'campaigned against' Jewish Law, telling folks it couldn't save them (only Grace could now) and that knowledge of The Law (Jewish) actually increased sin by keeping concepts like 'coveting' and 'adultery' at the forefront of their minds.

Also, it would make sense that the authorities with 'the swords' mentioned in ROMANS would be Roman authorities.

Hmmm... you people have got me thinking.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:25 AM
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Ephesians 6
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.



He tells us in Romans 13 that the rulers and authorities are put in place by god for our own good and that they do not bear their swords for no reason, he then says in Ephesians that his struggle is AGAINST the rulers and authorities, the same ones he was commending in Romans.


He's obviously talking about struggling against the rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm-which is spelled out in the verse you just quoted



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:27 AM
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Were Roman authorities killing and persecuting Christians for their own good? Were they torturing them for their own good? I think not.


Persecution does help Christians to improve, and God allows it. This is one of Paul's central messages.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by new_here
 


Well he did support the idea that Jesus was Yahweh incarnate and Yahweh is who the Jews did and still do worship. He was a Pharisee before his conversion as well and used the OT as a basis for his teachings so I personally don't see him separating the Jews from the Romans.

Besides, he says that ALL authorities are established by god, that means even the Jewish ones.



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