Apologeet.nlRomans 13 — Thou Shalt Obey…
What to do with Romans 13:1-7
And here we are! The last episode of this series. I knew this one would come, and I have been thinking a lot about the applications of Roman 13. I am slightly nervous about making this video (only slightly). Most of what we have discussed until now was basically plain theology and common sense. But as soon as you come into the realm of telling people what they should do… Oh boy!
Paul is spending many words on how we, as Christians, ought to live life. It is all about looking forward to eternity. Yes sure, we live here and now, but Paul is taking us by the hand and showing us how we should view the world. The way God has transformed us should completely change the way we look at other people for instance. It changes the way we look at ourselves, our jobs, about how we get through the week, and even the way we look at our government. That renewal, that metamorphosis we went through during our re-birth has big consequences in our every day life.
Now, in Romans 13, Paul writes about a huge issue. That issue is the government. And let’s be honest, many of us have issues with the stuff our governments are doing. However, in the light of our Christian world-view, the earthly governments don’t seem to be so important any more. Your Kingdom-citizenship is tremendously more important! Your loyalty to the eternal God matters more than whatever else!
A little sidenote, when I talk about the Christian world-view, you can also say Judeo-Christian or Biblical world-view. Some would argue that there is a difference. Having said that, I believe we should take God’s complete word and see to embody the original Jewish story, truths, and principles upon which the Christian faith was founded. I also believe that there are many who do not identify themselves with Christianity but still treasure their freedoms. I have heard atheists say that we shouldn’t mess with our Judeo-Christian values. It is by no means that unbelievers are dumb just because they don’t believe in Christ. No, many of them realise what a huge blessing the Judeo-Christian values have been for societies.
In the Christian world-view we do not hold some sort of two kingdoms theology, in which we say that the earthly and the heavenly kingdom are kind of equal. Were we say that we have responsibilities in both, and we try to please both. No way! The Christian world-view holds to an ‘one Kingdom’ theology. Your loyalty, as a Christian, is to Jesus Christ! All our decisions, and all our actions ought to go through this filter in which we ask ourselves whether it glorifies God. “Is that what I am about to do or say building up God’s kingdom? Will it show love to others, will it promote the expansion of God’s Kingdom.”
This is first and foremost! A Christian should adopt this world-view. I believe Paul is trying to communicate this with us. All the other stuff is inferior. It might seem big. We can debate endlessly about dumb laws. We even fight each-other over these issues. But in the end, they are temporary, and they only stand in the way of the real Kingdom. It is like Paul wants to shout: “Don’t kill each-other about these matters! Think about God’s Kingdom, you are citizens of heaven!”
Is the Law Changing your World-view?
Okay, why did I emphasise the Christian World-view, you might ask. Well, in the previous episode I already said that we shouldn’t provoke the rulers unnecessarily. However, we’ve also seen that as soon as the rulers tell you to go against God’s greater law, we should obey God more. I hope we all agree on that.
Now, let’s look at the past year and what happened during the unrest concerning the virus. I have met several Christians who weren’t shocked about the measures the governments took. No, they said, it is an act of loving your neighbour by not shaking hands, wearing masks, keeping 1,5 metres distance and what not. But is it really?
Since when is it considered to be loving to stay away from the elderly? Telling them that you don’t give them a hug because they might drop dead to the ground. Mind you, it is not Ebola we’re talking about! We live on Madagascar were, in 2017, an outbreak of pneumonic plague tortured some parts of the country. It even reached the capital were we had to go to the visa-office. Yes, with a plaque like that, you better be careful. But to state that Covid-19 is of the same category as the plaque or Ebola is a blatant insult to all those people who suffered these horrible deceases. I consider it an insult to my own intellect, let alone to the intellect of those who are specialists regarding dangerous deceases.
So what are the results of these crazy rules? Thousands, or maybe millions of people have started to believe that the natural materialistic world is all there is. We do not see each-other as a precious creation of God. No, many have started to see others as a potential danger. A walking biological weapon.
You see, in the Christian world-view we believe that humans have a body and a soul. These two are intrinsically interwoven, they can not function without each-other. By avoiding other people’s proximity, we basically deny that spiritual side of our lives. We focus mainly on the physical part without taking into account that by doing so we abandon the idea that human life is sacred because we received the breath of life from our Creator. He who created us in His image.
We have been taught in the last year that we can control the natural by keeping our distance, wearing masks and avoid physical touch. In other words, people are to be approached as objects. Avoid that object and you might stay healthy. Like in the old times, when your mother told you to wash your hands when you touched the toilet seat of a public restroom. This behaviour, no, not that of washing your hands after you’ve been on the toilet but avoiding people, is directly impacting the Christian World-view.
The Christian world-view acknowledges other people, even the sick, old, young and disabled ones, as precious. Yes, humans are image bearers of the most High. Worth our full attention and affection. Jesus gave the example! He discarded the idea that some people weren’t fit to be part of the community any more. He approached the lepers with open hands, ready to bless them. Didn’t Jesus know that leprosy can be contagious? Of course He did! But, Jesus, compassionate as He is, honoured God more than the established rules. A rule by the way, which was set by God in Leviticus, but was carried out by the people without much grace. Nevertheless, this rule was not set in stone, but it was meant to be carried out with the most important rule in mind: Love your neighbour as yourself.
These are not Just Dumb Laws
As I said, I believe we should fully adopt the Christian world-view. That means that even if governments go crazy, we shouldn’t panic! Our eyes are fixed on God, right? However, when I said we shouldn’t fight each-other over dumb laws, I didn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to say anything.
Concerning the tax for dog owners, which I used as an example in the previous episode, it might be appropriate to remain calm. But how about the laws pertaining to abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage. Laws that tell you that you can’t talk about creation in public schools or even start the day with prayer in the same public schools. Laws that make it possible to drag a baker before the judge if he refuses to bake a same-sex marriage cake. And as mentioned, laws that can potentially cost you a fine or worst, when you shake hands, come too close to someone else, or when you are not wearing that dratted mask. Masks, by the way, that only prevent spreading bacteria since the holes are not tiny enough to stop a virus. To stop a virus you’ll need very special masks which are pretty expensive.i
You might know that the European football cup has started, and I’ve heard that supporters are only allowed in when they can show a negative corona-test or when they are vaccinated. In Holland, test will cost you about 125 Euros… Vaccinations are free. Think about it! How clever is that. So, now the Dutch are re-introducing the system of Apartheid, only this time not based on skin colour but on one’s physical status.
These are not dumb laws in the sense of a dog owner tax. No, these laws take away freedoms that were considered to be normal under the Judeo-Christian world-view. The Judeo-Christian world-view Many of the laws in the western democracies were based on the Judeo-Christian world-view. Now, the very freedoms, that we believe are given by God as an inalienable right, are being used to take away our freedoms. These laws seem to be specifically designed to cut away the roots of the Judeo-Christian world-view. They seem to nibble away bits and pieces, and in the end drag us into a complete opposite direction. Away from the classical world-view, towards a humanistic naturalistic view of life.
Wow! Hold on a minute! What is that about, you say?
You’ve heard me right. We are marching towards a humanistic naturalistic world-view. Humanism should not be confused with humanitarian works. The latter should be embraced by Christians, the first one denied!
Modern humanism considers human beings as the starting point for serious moral and philosophical inquiry. So, please don’t confuse this humanism with the classical humanistic thinking in which one still believed that God was the final answer for ethical questions.
In modern secular humanism we are called to believe that the natural is to be preferred above all else. It is all about me and how I feel about things. It is this view that contributed to the abortion laws. Scientifically human life starts at conception. Human life used to be sacred but not any longer. Now, a mother can ask for an abortion because she might be unhappy with the child, or she might not be able to take care of the child. A mother may ask for an abortion because she doesn’t want to be confronted with that memory of the rapist every time she sees her child. The Christian world-view still upholds the sacredness of the unborn, but humanism teaches that ending the life of a baby should not be seen as a murder because it might ease the mother’s feelings. Her own hedonistic feelings determine the life of another human.
How would we feel about a woman who killed her ten-year-old boy? Well, that depends, right? If the mother killed the boy because she felt tired of having to work hard and taking care of the boy at the same time. It made her sick, she felt it every day. She almost faced depression. Well, I hope we all agree that this is wrong! So what is the narrative around abortion? The child is no person yet; it is just a little blob of cells; it is like a parasite. And so forth and so on.
Are we Surprised?
Are we surprised that these laws came about in just a few decades? We shouldn’t be. You see, these laws are just symptoms of something bigger. We’ve let it happen right under our noses. The passing of these new laws were and still are considered by many Christians as a hiccup in our peaceful society. Yes, that’s the way it just goes right? We have ungodly rulers and with them come ungodly rules. What can you do?
Keith Green sang:
“The world is sleeping in the dark, that the church just can’t fight, cause it’s asleep in the light.”
What did he know back in the 70s… And Francis Schaeffer, a hugely smart philosopher who also mostly preached in the 70s and 80s. Schaeffer already warned the Christians about these changes! Did we listen? No, sadly enough we’ve let it ran through our fingers.
The rise of humanism was already in full swing back in the 70s and 80s. Many Christians, back then and today as well, are strongly influenced by this view. Humanism, in which we are encouraged to develop our own personal peace. A view in which prosperity has to be celebrated.
A little example about ‘personal peace’. Just recently there was a poll among the Dutch. The question was whether people were in favourite for the vaccination of teenagers. Most singles, people without partner and children, were happy about this idea. Yes! Let’s vaccinate those teenager in order for me to be safe wherever I go. No surprise that most parents were against as they still lived a life in which personal peace is hard to achieve.
These two things, personal peace and affluence, are also abundantly present in modern day church.
You want examples? How many Christians have voluntarily closed their doors for visitors during the lockdowns and even long after the lockdowns? How many Christians rather see everybody being vaccinated so that they can walk safely in their favourite supermarket? How many Christians urged others to wear a mask if they came too close? It is all about your personal peace. I want to feel happy, save, comfortable. No matter the costs others have to make.
I’ve also heard Christians say that they wouldn’t mind being in quarantine, as long as they have their laptop and smartphone by their sides, as long as they can be entertained during their confinement. Other Christians, spend a fortune on their dogs or cats but have no money to sponsor missionaries. They are prosperous yet not willing to share it on stuff they can’t relate to. I mean, that dog will be there when you come home, right? Nah! Those missionaries will be fine! Should I go on, or do you get the picture?
Back to Obedience
I read one comment on a video with the following question:
[…]what about rules that are not against God’s rules but just neutral? For example (hypothetically) a law that you can only wear a red hat and not a green hat. Should you obey rules that don’t make you do anything immoral, but are just bad for you?”
Seen from a Biblical point of view one can not say that there is something like a neutral law. Rules mostly fit in a greater picture of a specific society. Is this society predominately humanistic? Then you can count on it that the rules are leaning towards that view as well. In the example of the red or green hat the question arises why one isn’t free to choose. Nothing neutral there!
I guess that the second part of this comment is likely talking about the masks. They seem not to be immoral but are definitely not good for your health—especially not when you consider how many use them. But again, to force entire populations to wear a mask was unthinkable just two years ago. But now everyone is duped into thinking that they really work against viruses and thus everyone assumes that you must wear them. Talking about personal peace right?
I truly believe that Christians should stand up for the truth! Paul did not write Romans to make us into government obeying zombies. Far from that, he specifically explained what our proper responsibilities are! We ought to live according to God’s standards. That means we have the holy duty to resist governments that go crazy. No, I am not calling for a violent revolution! Absolutely not! We, at least in many countries, still have legal ways to counter these changes. Many of you who are watching come from democratic countries in which you have all sorts of possibilities to stand for that what is good.
Micah 6:8 says:
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
So, as soon as you find yourself in an unjust situation you are reminded by Micah to do justly! Or in a situation in which you can not show love and mercy—in the case of dying elderly people who are not allowed to have visitors because they might die with Corona—you have the holy duty to go against such ludicrous rules. And how about walking humbly with your God? How can you walk humbly when you are pushed into a different world-view?
Where do you Stand in Romans?
As we have seen in the previous episodes, Romans 13 cannot mean that we should obey unconditionally. This chapter is embedded in a tutorial about Christian life and how to live it. It is good to have a government above you, but your Christian world-view should always prevail! When the government negates the laws of God, it nullifies its authority. God has given different offices to prevent chaos in our fallen world, but they are by no means sovereign in themselves. Realise this, if you are not allowed to disobey the government, that same government has just been made into a false god.
Throughout history, we see that Christians have always challenged morally corrupt governments or institutes. There is a moment in time in which it is the duty of a Christian to go against his or her rulers. That is not only a duty, no, you might even see it as a privilege. The reformation could only be successful because of disobedient people. Read and learn from our history and see what our forefathers had to go through to make it possible for me to even say all this.
Where do you stand?
My biggest question is: Where are my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Where are the Christian businessmen and women? Are they just doing their thing? Making more money? Or do they dare to speak out. Why do we hear so few Bible teachers speak out against these unbiblical developments? Where are the Bible believing lawyers to fight on behalf of their brothers and sisters who are dragged in front of the judge because they refused to marry a same-sex couple? Why are the Christian lawyers not standing at the frontline to challenge the humanistic laws. Why are the Christian politicians so mild in their opinions. Are they afraid of the establishment? Where are the Bible believing doctors when it comes to issues concerning abortion and euthanasia? Are they afraid to lose their jobs? Where are you? Where do you stand in the discussions on the work floor? Do you really stand for Christ and with that for real freedom?
I know it’s hard! Tell me about it. As missionaries, we depend on donations. I actually know that some of our supporters blocked me on social media. They don’t like ‘conspiracy thinkers’ they said. How many blocked me and didn’t say anything? I don’t know and honestly, I do not want to know. Does that mean I should stop talking truth? Maybe I should start making videos about wildlife on Madagascar? No way! For me, this is the best way to do something. When we were in the Netherlands last year I could speak out in my sermons. I could talk with individuals and try to make them think again.
Doing nothing is not an option! A Christian has not been called to live life for his or her own pleasure. The world around you might teach you that it is all about your personal peace and materialistic stuff that make you feel happy. If you think in terms like that, you should scratch yourself behind the ears and think: “Am I really a follower of Christ? Or do Titus’ words apply to me?”
What did Titus 1:16 say: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
Good, this was the last episode and honestly, the most difficult one to make. Again! I am not calling for a violent revolution. Let that be real clear. We have enough legal possibilities to use. The least you can do is find out what your rights are! For example, in the Netherlands the government has no say about church services. They can give advice on how many people you allow in and about keeping distance, but that is just it, just an advice. Also, in the Netherlands the government has no right to command you how many visitors you receive in your house. None of their business! It is all based on advices. Knowing these rights make it much easier to find your way.
Anyway, I can go on about this topic for hours. I guess the video is long enough already. I am curious about your ideas, remarks or initiatives. Let me know in the comment section below. Please consider to make an account on Odysee and write your comments there. You’ll find an invitation to Odysee in the description below. When you accept that invitation we both receive some free LBC. But also, it is easier for me to answer on Odysee as I have a hard time opening YouTube and Bitchute.
YouTube isn’t my favourite channel anyway. I just received a message that I have been demonetised… Again! I only upload to YouTube because that way I might reach some more people. It is certainly not because they have freedom of speech in high esteem. No, for that you really have to go to alternative platform like Odysee.
I will post some interesting links about, what I thought to be remarkable, events concerning the battle against unjust laws and unjust decisions. Just take a look in the description of this video below.
In that same description you’ll find ways to support me… You don’t have too! But I would appreciate it!
Okay, like always, thank you for watching. The next one might take a while because I’ll be busy travelling the coming weeks. Let me know if you have ideas about topics we can tackle!
God bless you, and we’ll see each-other in the next video!