Archive

Archive for February, 2009

Understanding Our Times: Convergence Worship

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This week’s program features Rev. Michael Carl.  Michael is the pastor of the Greenwood Union Church (Wakefield, MA) and is no stranger to our listeners having been on the program several times in the past.  Our topic this week is convergence worship.  What is convergence worship?  Join us this week and find out!  This will be a live broadcast and your phone calls are more than welcome!

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, February 28, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Romans 13 Revisited

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Chuck Baldwin
February 27, 2009

It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, “What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone,” or words to that effect.

No doubt, some who use this argument are sincere. They are only repeating what they have heard their pastor and other religious leaders say. On the other hand, let’s be honest enough to admit that some who use this argument are just plain lazy, apathetic, and indifferent. And Romans 13 is their escape from responsibility. I suspect this is the much larger group, by the way.

Nevertheless, for the benefit of those who are sincere (but obviously misinformed), let’s briefly examine Romans Chapter 13. I quote Romans Chapter 13, verses 1 through 7, from the Authorized King James text:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

Do our Christian friends who use these verses to teach that we should not oppose any political leader really believe that civil magistrates have unlimited authority to do anything they want without opposition? I doubt that they truly believe that.

For example, what if our President decided to resurrect the old monarchal custom of Jus Primae Noctis (Law of First Night)? That was the old medieval custom when the king claimed the right to sleep with a subject’s bride on the first night of their marriage. Would our sincere Christian brethren sheepishly say, “Romans Chapter 13 says we must submit to the government”? I think not. And would any of us respect any man who would submit to such a law? I wouldn’t.

So, there are limits to authority. A father has authority in his home, but does this give him power to abuse his wife and children? Of course not. An employer has authority on the job, but does this give him power to control the private lives of his employees? No. A pastor has overseer authority in the church, but does this give him power to tell employers in his church how to run their businesses? Of course not. All human authority is limited in nature. No man has unlimited authority over the lives of other men. Lordship and Sovereignty is the exclusive domain of Jesus Christ.

By the same token, a civil magistrate has authority in civil matters, but his authority is limited and defined. Observe that Romans Chapter 13 clearly limits the authority of civil government by strictly defining its purpose: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil . . . For he is the minister of God to thee for good . . . for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Notice that civil government must not be a “terror to good works.” It has no power or authority to terrorize good works or good people. God never gave it that authority. And any government that oversteps that divine boundary has no divine authority or protection.

Civil government is a “minister of God to thee for good.” It is a not a minister of God for evil. Civil magistrates have a divine duty to “execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” They have no authority to execute wrath upon him that doeth good. None. Zilch. Zero. And anyone who says they do is lying. So, even in the midst of telling Christians to submit to civil authority, Romans Chapter 13 limits the power and reach of civil authority.

Did Moses violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew? Did Elijah violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he openly challenged Ahab and Jezebel? Did David violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to surrender to Saul’s troops? Did Daniel violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he disobeyed the king’s law to not pray audibly to God? Did the three Hebrew children violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to bow to the image of the state? Did John the Baptist violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity? Did Simon Peter and the other Apostles violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to stop preaching on the streets of Jerusalem? Did Paul violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those authorities that demanded he abandon his missionary work? In fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail.

Virtually every apostle of Christ (except John, who survived being boiled in oil, according to historians) experienced martyrdom from hostile civil authorities. In addition, Christians throughout church history were imprisoned, tortured, or killed by civil authorities of all stripes for refusing to submit to their various laws and prohibitions. Did all of these Christian martyrs violate God’s principle of submission to authority?

So, even the great prophets, apostles, and writers of the Bible (including the writer of Romans Chapter 13) understood that human authority–including civil authority–is limited.

Plus, Paul makes it clear that our submission to civil authority must be predicated on more than fear of governmental retaliation. Notice, he said, “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” Meaning, our obedience to civil authority is more than just “because they said so.” It is also a matter of conscience. This means we must think and reason for ourselves regarding the justness and rightness of our government’s laws. Obedience is not automatic or robotic. It is a result of both rational deliberation and moral approbation.

Remember, too, that we are all subject to Natural Law. No human authority has the right to demand that men surrender their submission to God’s law “written in their hearts.” When any human authority attempts to do this, it becomes tyrannical, because, again, it challenges the Lordship and Sovereignty of man’s Creator.

As William Blackstone (as studied and devoted a Christian scholar as there ever was) wrote, “This law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.” (Source: William Blackstone, “Of The Nature of Laws in General”)

Therefore, there are times when civil authority must be resisted. Either governmental abuse of power or the violation of conscience (or both) could precipitate civil disobedience. Of course, how and when we decide to resist civil authority is an entirely separate issue. And I will reserve that discussion for another time.

Beyond that, we in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. We have no king. There is no single governing official in this country. America’s “supreme Law” does not rest with any man or any group of men. America’s “supreme Law” does not rest with the President, the Congress, or even the Supreme Court. In America, the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme Law of the Land.” Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.

This means that in America the “higher powers” are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this is how Romans Chapter 13 reads to Christians in America:

“Let every soul be subject unto the [U.S. Constitution.] For there is no [Constitution] but of God: the [Constitution] that be [is] ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the [Constitution], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For [the Constitution is] not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [Constitution]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For [the Constitution] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for [the Constitution] beareth not the sword in vain: for [the Constitution] is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for [the Constitution is] God’s minister, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

Dear Christian friend, the above is exactly the proper understanding of our responsibility to civil authority in these United States, per the teaching of Romans Chapter 13.

Furthermore, Christians, above all people, should desire that their elected representatives submit to the Constitution, because it is constitutional government that has done more to protect Christian liberty than any governing document ever devised by man. As I have noted before in this column, Biblical principles form the foundation of all three of America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

(See: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2005/cbarchive_20050630.html )

In addition, if Christians (and others) had been properly obedient to the Constitution (and Romans 13), they would also have submitted to the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which recognizes the authority of the States in matters not specifically ceded to the federal government. In other words, the Constitution intended that the authority of the federal government be small and limited, with most authority residing within the States and among the people themselves.

As submission to the Constitution and Natural Law have provided a haven of peace and prosperity in these United States, Christians (for the most part) have not had to face the painful decision to “obey God rather than men” and defy their civil authorities. However, as it is obvious that a majority of our government leaders currently have almost no fidelity to their oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution, it is becoming more and more likely that we–like our forefathers–will need to rediscover Benjamin Franklin’s declaration that “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” (Of course, this effort, too, must be accomplished within the scope of law, both divine and civil.)

The problem in America today is that we have allowed our political leaders to violate their oaths of office and to ignore, and blatantly disobey, the “supreme Law of the Land,” the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we truly believe Romans Chapter 13, we will insist and demand that our civil magistrates submit to the U.S. Constitution.

Now, how many of us Christians are going to truly obey Romans Chapter 13?

P.S. I invite readers to listen to my interview with Dr. Greg Dixon regarding Romans Chapter 13 at:
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/Interview_Dixon.html

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/donate.php

© Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Dr. Baldwin is also the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show  “Chuck Baldwin Live” and was the Constitution Party nominee for President in 2008. 

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: www.chuckbaldwinlive.com. When responding, please include your name, city and state.

Categories: Theology

Random Thoughts on Bobby Jindal’s Repsonse

February 25, 2009 Leave a comment

This speech sounds a little too rehearsed.  But I guess that is to be expected.

Something is wrong with the Fox News signal – choppy audio

Nervousness seems to have subsided, communication skills showing through.

Ok, this guy could be the next Ronald Reagan.

“The spirit of our country does not come from government.”  Yes!!! 

“Empowering, you, the American people…”  This is what our country is all about.

It’s about time someone told the people exactly what’s in this 1,100 page stimulus package.  Way to go, Bobby!

Cutting the budget, cutting taxes – let’s elect this guy as President in 2012.

“Never again should we pass a spending bill the congress hasn’t read and the people have not seen.” – Again, I am glad someone is saying this.

“They believe in strengthening the government, we believe in strengthening you. “ – Yes, President Jindal is sounding pretty good right now.

Way to call Republican down on the carpet! 

This is my first exposure to Governor Jindal, but already I could see myself voting for this man.

Categories: Current Events, Politics

Random Thoughts on President Obama’s Speech

February 25, 2009 Leave a comment

(Quotations mentioned below are not exact, but to the best of my recollection.)

Why can’t we just call this the State of the Union Address?  I understand the President has not been office very long, but it is a Constitutional requirement… 

The President is late – is that really the first impression he wants to leave us with?  Even more importantly, the dominant issue tonight is about the economy  – the very issue we are told we have to act right now on because any DELAY could be costly!

I wonder how long these Congressman have been camping out on the House floor just to get a seat on the center aisle so they can be on TV.

Charles Krauthammer (columnist and Fox News analyst) is absolutely correct – one of the most remarkable aspects of tonight is the fact that an African-American is speaking as the President is now so common place that it is no longer remarkable. 

Another formal occasion messed up by someone jumping the gun! – President Obama began his speech before Speaker Pelosi could formally introduce him.

“Regulations were gutted …”  – Government regulations are the reason why our economy has clasped!  Get the government out of this mess!

“I don’t believe in bigger government” – WHAT!!!  Please explain how your stimulus package does not increase the size of government?  Explain how nationalizing the banking system does not increase the size of government!

“Nobody messes with Joe.”  Someone tell that to Sarah Palin.

“The flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy .” – I think this may be part of the problem.  Isn’t it credit that leads to more debt?  I’m probably alone on this one, though.  But more importantly, why is it the job of the federal government to make sure I can get a loan?

How is the government going ensure more people can get loans or better mortgage rates without the government taking more control?

“The full force of the federal government…” – That’s a scary phrase…

“Significant government resources will be need, even more than what has already been allotted.” – Aren’t we already trillions of dollars in debt?  What government resources are you talking about – there are none!

Why is it your job to solve the problem, Mr. President?  What Constitutional authority do you really have to do this?

Nancy Pelosi has never looked happier.

We will have to sacrifice some spending – Thank you, Mr. President.  Someone had to say it.

“I reject the idea that problems will just take care of themselves.”  I agree.  However, I don’t know anyone who is saying that problems will take care of themselves.  Who is suggesting this?

“Three areas absolutely critical… energy, health care, and education.”  Again, Mr. President, where in the Constitution is the federal government allowed to spend one dime on health care or education?

I don’t like the fact that Fox News is not showing who is standing and who is sitting during these standing ovations.  I want to know which Republicans have the courage to “sit for their convictions.”

“The nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

Why am I not seeing anyone sitting during these ovations!!!!

Wait, finally, I see some folks not afraid to sit.  Thank you, Fox News camera man.

“Democrats and Republicans will be called to work together on health care.”  Just once I would love to hear someone mention a third party.  It would shock everyone.  Maybe someday…

“…Expand the promise of education in America.”  Here comes more big government!

“Education is important for those first few years of life.”  Are these early years so important?  Then why do you insist on killing children through abortion in their earliest year of life?

I think it is interesting to see Senator Joe Lieberman sitting with the Democrats, the very ones who voted him out in the primaries.

“Responsibility for a child’s education must begin at home.”  – AMEN!  Here is one area that the President and I agree on.  Now, could we work together to recognize parental rights in education?  How about the rights of parents to now if their children are cross state lines to receive an abortion?

“We must not leave our children with a debt they cannot pay.” – If only you really believed this…

“We passed a recovery plan that is free of earmarks.” WHAT???  Did the President not read this bill before he signed it?  Thank you, Republicans, who were proud enough to actually boo at this statement.

Ok, Mr. President, please explain how you can keep claiming that 95% of tax payers will receive a tax cut when you refuse to renew the Bush tax cuts which means taxes will go back up to previous levels.  That is an increase in what we are now paying in taxes, Mr. President, NOT a decrease!

“We haven’t agreed on every issue… and we will part ways in the future…”  I would to have seen some applause here.

Again, I do have to admit, it is nice to see a President with excellent speaking abilities.

02-18-09 Missions Chapel with 2009 RCCS High School Missions Team

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

The high school missions team was invited to talk to the elementary students about their upcoming missions trip to Cedar Rapids Iowa.

Categories: Uncategorized

Understanding Our Times: Remember the Poor

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

What is our responsibility toward the poor?  Liberals would tell us that it is the job of our government to provide for the needs of the less fortunate.  Conservatives would say the individual is responsible for his own fate.  Question we want to address is what does the Bible tell us?  Christians have historically been known as a charitable people, but is it really the churches job to help those who don’t seem willing to work for themselves?  Join us as we hear from our host, Kevin Thompson, as he preaches a sermon entitled, “Remember the Poor.”
 
Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, February 21, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 45 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

02-13-09 Spiritual Emphasis Chapel with Pastor Bob Bixby

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This is the final of our week-long spiritual emphasis week chapels. Our theme tis year has to do with relationships. This message focuses on our relationship with the local church and is preached by Pastor Bob Bixby of the Morning Statr Baptist Church in Rockford, IL.
Categories: Uncategorized

Wanted: A Few Radicals

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

As my wife can testify, sometimes I can get very frustrated.  Today is one of those days.  Earlier this afternoon I taught my US History class as I do each day after lunch.  We are covering events leading up to the Civil War (or depending on how you look at it – the War of Northern Aggression).  I began lecturing about abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.  I began describing Garrison as a radical.  Here was someone who saw slavery as so evil that no compromise would suffice.  His goal was not merely to reduce the number of slaves or improve the way they were treated.  Instead he saw to utterly and ultimately abolish this abdominal practice forever.  I went on to explain that behind great movements are found radicals with the passion to make history, even if their goals were never seen as plausible. 

What began to bother me is when I compared this issue of slavery to the issue of abortion today.  Where are the radicals?  Where have they gone?  I began to grow frustrated.  Where are the crusaders who stand for principle and not merely political expediency?  Where is the passion?  Where is the outrage? 

Now, I understand some will say it may be better to reach out to women in need.  Go out and volunteer at pregnancy crisis centers.  Show God’s love and little by little we will begin to see things change.  While I agree with this sentiment, I think limiting ones self to only these actions ignores the seriousness of the issue.  Lives are being slaughtered.  During the Holocaust, would it have been merely enough to befriend the Germans, show them sincere love and attention, and then one by one hope you make it all the way to Hitler and then shut down the concentration camps?  Again I ask, where is the outrage!!

Its time someone said something.  I can already hear other fellow believers begin to warn me of allowing this one issue to eclipse more important issues such as evangelism and discipleship.  Let me be brutally honest for a moment.  Most of the time I heard this object from those who have done nothing in this area.  This is the mantra of the man to cowardly to speak up and hides behind his church.  Not acceptable. 

I think of the example of John the Baptist.  What was this man executed for?  Preaching the gospel?  No.  He had the audacity to call into question the morality of Herod’s marriage. Here is a man’s main purpose in life was to point the world to Christ, but still found time to speak up against societal sins.  It would cost him his life.  When was the last time I saw Christians willing to take that same risk?

I’m looking for radicals.  Anyone with me?

Categories: Abortion

02-04-09 Prayer Chapel with Mr. Thompson

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

RCCS Bible teacher Kevin Thompson speaks to the High School and Middel School students about the power of prayer.  The theme for chapel this month was "Breaking the Mold of Spiritual Immaturity." 

Categories: Uncategorized

A Quote from the Late Dr. Adrian Rogers

February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

My mother-in-law sent me this interesting quote.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

- Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 – 2005

Categories: Quotations
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers