Buddies, Beer, and Bibles

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Trending on social media the last few days is the controversy raised by a campaign and a conversation. This was a conversation that involved Buddies, Beer, and Bibles. The Bible Society of Australia is celebrating their 200th Anniversary and in commemoration of this occasion, Coopers Brewery will produce a special batch of limited edition light beer cans. A part of this celebration from the Bible Society’s end is the launch of a campaign called “Keeping it Light”. This was to be a series of “light discussions on the heaviest topics. Starting with the topic of same-sex marriage”. Continue reading Buddies, Beer, and Bibles

The Christian and Government

Parliament

What is a Christian’s responsibility to their governing authorities? In we will observe three realities regarding the Christian and the Government. When it comes to this relationship, the Christian has an obligation to display the behaviour of one who is being transformed by the renewing of their mind ().

This passage begins with a clear-cut command, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” (13:1a). There is no qualification regarding the political persuasion, equity or even competence attached to this command. At the time of writing this, Paul’s governing authority was the Roman Empire. It is possible for a Christian to disobey when it comes to matters that go against the Word of God (cf. ). However, on such occasions this is to be done in such a manner that the attitude of submission is still evident (cf. 13:7). Let us now consider the three realities regarding the Christian and the Government.

The Source of the Government’s Authority (13:1b-2)
Why should we submit to the government? Because governing authorities are placed in the position of authority by God (13:1b-2). The fact that God has ordained and instituted governing authorities doesn’t mean that every authority is morally good or economically sensible. In His sovereign plan there will be varying reasons for their appointment – whether it be blessing or judgment. Regardless of the authority, the duty of the citizen remains the same. 

The Sphere of the Government’s Authority (13:3-4)
How far does the government’s authority extend and what is their duty granted by God? God has appointed government to reward good and restrain evil. The reward is seen in protection and the promotion of peace, whereas the restraining of evil is seen in the application of just punishment.

The Submission of the Government’s Subjects (13:5-7)
As citizen’s that are commanded by God, it is our duty to subject ourselves to the authorities. This is displayed by our attitude and actions. Paul provides the specific example of willingly paying taxes (13:6). Christian’s may not agree with the amount required in taxation nor may they agree with the government’s use of taxes. Nonetheless, the Christian is to “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (13:7).

Government is an institution ordained by God and for this reason the Christian is to willingly submit. Such conduct is a reflection of an individual that is not conforming to this world but being transformed by the Word of God.

Here are some questions to carefully consider:

  1. Why should a Christian willingly obey the government? When should a Christian disobey the government? See ; ;
  1. If an occasion arises in which a Christian out of necessity must disobey the government (provide some examples), in what manner should this be done?
  1. What are some benefits of governing authorities?
  1. How can we pray effectively for our government? See also

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.

12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

A Prayer for Australia Before our Federal Election

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Our Father, the Creator, Sustainer and Sovereign of all things. Blessed be Your Name forever and ever, to You belong wisdom and might. You alone are the Lord, the great, the mighty, and awesome God. By Your power You change times and seasons; and remove kings and set up kings. You are the One who gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. Continue reading A Prayer for Australia Before our Federal Election

A Reply to Mr. Rudd’s Unbiblical Answer

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Monday evening on Q&A, a Christian pastor asked a few questions concerning the Prime Minister’s changed view on homosexuality and asked “why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?” Mr. Rudd (who identifies himself as “a devout Christian”) gave his reply, “Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition.” He went on to state that homosexuality is a normal condition. An examination of his eisegesis can be considered another time. After listening to Albert Mohler’s Briefing on 3rd September, I thought I would share with you some of the things he had to say (emphasis in the quotation is mine): Continue reading A Reply to Mr. Rudd’s Unbiblical Answer

Civil Authority and the Christian

Civil Authority and the Christian

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. ()

Continue reading Civil Authority and the Christian

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

The Lord is King

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Things around us can change quickly. Various changes can unsettle people and cause unrest, fear, disillusionment or even disappointment in the behaviour of others.

In Australia there has been a lot going on the political scene concerning the leadership of our nation. It is important that even at times like this – regardless of what happens on the political front – we are to remember that the LORD is King. Nothing can alter, change or prevent that from happening. Many years ago, king David declared, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers” (). Continue reading The Lord is King

24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Louie Giglio and the Presidential Inauguration

Louie Giglio

About one week ago, evangelical pastor Louie Giglio rejected President Obama’s offer to pray at the presidential inauguration. The reason? Pressure groups made a big fat deal about some very faithful comments he made about homosexuality. He made the comments some time ago, but that is beside the point. He made them. The politically correct world hates them. He felt the pressure, and withdrew his participation. It is likely, I would suggest, that the Obama camp also had a say in his withdrawing, as they made a statement saying that Giglio’s views contravene the President’s on homosexuality.

There have been lots of insightful responses from various people, and I encourage Continue reading Louie Giglio and the Presidential Inauguration

Presidents, Prime Ministers and Messiahs

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With Tuesday’s US Presidential Election having been conducted, we have an opportunity to reflect on the rhetoric and hubris of the politics of the 21st century. Keep in mind that I am a political science major, I am passionate about political theory, and I love investigating the cross section of religion and politics. I like politics. I just think it needs to be placed into perspective. Lets consider some recent political rhetoric.

Obama’s campaign slogan in 2008: “Change we can believe in.” Perhaps. If by change he meant committing to place his nation further into crippling debt then, yes. Change. Perhaps not the kind “we can believe in.” Depends upon where you stand, I suppose.

Rudd’s 2007 campaign: “Kevin 07.” John Howard was the bogey man, and after the election, some second class rapper wrote a song along the lines of “The King is dead.” I think that gives Howard far more credit than he deserves. Rudd also; Rudd did not slay a King. He won what now amounts to a glorified popularity contest. Continue reading Presidents, Prime Ministers and Messiahs