Southern Baptist News & Opinion
July 4, 2014 by Dave Miller
Ever read it all the way through?
Rick Patrick says
July 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Thanks, Dave, for a very worthwhile ten minutes. Have a great Fourth!
dr. james willingham says
July 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm
Ever read how the African Americans kept that view alive and used it as an argument for their own freedom? Yes, they were very much aware of the political philosophy that was the foundation of our nation.
Michael Vaughan says
July 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm
I’ve been pondering this today and thought I’d conduct a little straw pool from people within my own tribe: was the American Revolution an act of sinful rebellion?
I ask because when confronted with the writings of Paul and Peter, there seems to be a clear “honor the emperor” and “submit to your authorities” message. What makes the American Revolution the exception?
Serious question. I’m not trying to ruffle feathers. Thanks all.
Joseph Spurgeon says
July 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm
I have done extensive research in this area and have written an article on some of this. http://theswordandthetrowel.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/romans-13-and-the-american-revolution/
I believe that the American Revolution was not a rebellion in the sense of individuals rebelling against God’s ordained government but was a war between two governments. The founders of the country were operating under the doctrine of the lesser magistrate as taught by Calvin. I do not think that they were violating the Bible but instead living up to its ideals.
Chris Roberts says
July 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm
The Declaration of Independence itself seems clear enough that the framers saw themselves as throwing off one government and forming another. The formation of a new government was to replace the one they thought corrupt.
Contrast that with Paul who wrote as a native of Israel, that which had been a sovereign nation until being conquered and assimilated. If anyone had a basis to argue for two governments, it was Paul. Instead, he taught submission, obedience to a government that had assimilated his homeland, even referring to them as God-ordained leaders.
In light of that, I’m hard pressed to see how anyone could argue that the Revolutionary War has any sort of biblical justification.
Chris Johnson says
July 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm
Actually, the Declaration of Independence formed a new way of thinking. This argument for biblical or not is really not the most interesting part.
It was the British or the other conquering European nations,…i.e France, etc. that were about the method of conquest within the burgeoning colonies, now to form into what we know today as the United States. The formation of the Declaration and Constitution to follow was a more Devine movement from the “typical conquests” by the eventual new Republic that would successfully oppose both European factions that only knew conquest as a way of power.
This makes America very unique in the sight of the world.
July 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm
You obviously did not read my article or have read much about the founding of the nation. The founders did not see themselves as rebelling against government. They were one government, the elected colonial government, establishing that they no longer held allegiance to a man who had usurped authority and called himself King. Paul was a Roman citizen and was talking to Christians who were not themselves magistrates or in political power. We as individuals can not rebel against God’s ordained authorities but what happens when one authority(the colonial elected representatives) is defending itself against another claiming authority? Which authority do we follow when both lay competing claims to governmental authority? When Rome invaded to take over Israel should the Israelites defended themselves or immediately given up and submitted to Roman authorities and what happens when the Goths invade Rome, do the Romans submit to the Goths or should they wait out and see which power is winning and follow them. The founding fathers and the signers of the declaration of independence were elected magistrates of the different colonies. These bodies of legislature existed prior to the American Revolution therefore they were a part of the governing authorities ordained by God.
This is called the doctrine of the lesser magistrates. The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine teaches that when the superior or higher ranking civil authority makes immoral/unjust laws or policies, the lower or lesser ranking civil authority has both a right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lesser authorities may even actively resist the higher authority.
God has established four realms of government to which He delegates authority. They are: (1) self-government; (2) family government; (3) church government; and (4) civil government. Each has its own role, function, and jurisdiction. The authority an individual possesses in any one of these four realms of government is delegated authority. In other words, they derive their authority from God. Their authority is not autonomous or unconditional. Their authority is God-given, and thus, they have a duty to govern in accordance with His rule. When someone in authority makes laws or decrees contrary to God’s law, they are in rebellion to God’s rule. Those under their authority are NOT to obey them when they do this. They may have to even actively resist them.
July 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm
Some mighty fine twisting going on there.
July 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm
How about engaging the argument Christ Roberts instead of just claiming i am twisting anything? I can site a ton of sources for my argument all from primary sources. I can site early church fathers, the reformers, and church leaders prior to, during, and immediately after the American Revolution. It is so sad that so many people have no clue about what led up to the revolution and are quick to jump on the deconstructionist train to criticize everyone and everything that came before them.
July 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm
But can you cite any sources?
As for engaging further, I very, very much doubt there would be any point. I already know I’m right and you already know I can’t change your mind, so we’ll save my time and move on.
July 8, 2014 at 7:56 pm
Yes lets point out a spelling error instead of engage the argument. Oh well have a good day.
July 4, 2014 at 8:02 pm
And that would be “poll…”
Jim Pemberton says
July 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm
Food for thought: this is used as an excuse by liberals to raise taxes, legislate pro-abortion and pro-same-sex agendas, promote socialism, remove Christian influence in significant sectors of society, etc.
Interestingly, the king at the time was doing little more than the Northern states were doing to the Southern states to cause them to attempt succession. The South was certainly culpable for slavery, but the colonies, and later the union, were complicit in the horrendous treatment of the native tribes.
No side is fully in the right. The same is true, by the way, in the Middle East right now. I like the Commander of the Army of the Lord’s response to Joshua when he asked if he was for them or against them: “No; but I am the Commander of the Army of the Lord. Now I have come.”