I find that I want to take the postings in a specific direction and thought this post might lay some groundwork.
Reposting from one year ago, July 11, 2004:
In reviewing ideas from the past discussion with Parableman, Jeremy, I started to think about some of the main points. God is Sovereign in the affairs of men and in the universe, given. There are transfers of power and institutions of opposing governments in the history of man, including that recorded in the Bible, given. But how do these givens transpose into understanding the Will of God… and man’s duty to love justice?
Why I can’t come to the same conclusions that Jeremy does and defining my own conclusion:
Jeremy’s conclusion seems to be that revolution with arms (from the populace) is contrary to obeying God in His ordinance of a government. And the view that God’s Sovereign Will in a matter will be seen in how events unfold. (That is how I understand it. ) That leads to certain views of history based on that conclusion.
As I seek to reconcile God’s Sovereignty with man’s duty to respond to injustices, I find this conclusion that arises from Bible history: God takes detours with man’s mistakes and we end up on a scenic tour. While arriving at God’s intended final destination, we live through an illustration of just what God outlined for us in terms of consequences of our choices. We detour through the wilderness to paint a picture that the world can view.
My contention, due to God’s many remonstrances, is that this was not God’s original intention, but that He keeps His final outcome in view and works with us as He works out His plan. The Land of Promise was the plan, but the wilderness trip around the mountain for forty years proved the reality of what God’s Will is in each man’s life. Obedience of Faith was illustrated, in postive and negative aspects.
This is extrapolating something I found in the scriptures earlier and wrote on in The Lion, and The Honey. In order for God to accomplish His will and fulfill promises He bound Himself to, The Lord has often intervened in ways that are sometimes hard to explain. Like Samson desiring a Philistine wife,”But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD–that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines”. Like the persecutions of disciples at Jerusalem. God takes bad situations and evil things, and works them for good for His purposes and for those covenanted with Him ( God works all things for good to those who love Him).
God uses untoward events and circumstances . Yet, many times these are after human beings have settled into difficulties that require such detours. Delays to God’s Will, but never deterrents. But shouldn’t we see that such things are in…what Christians often call …. God’s ‘Allowed Will’ rather than His ‘Best’. Time and again we are faced with God expressing His best, but with a choice…. and the best being turned down. His Will shall still be done, but the destiny of the players can be very different. Witness Balaam. Israel was still to have the promise and the blessing, but there were some detours, and Balaam became a byword for the future.
Can we say that the American Revolution was unjust… or do we view its just cause in our methodology of what Paul has to say about God’s final authority in and through government? That view was our guideline. As Christians we are called to use spiritual weapons, not worldly ones. That in no way removes the sword from those authorities to whom God gives it. It does create a question of our moral duty. This isn’t new, there are pacifist sects within Christianity that have long contended that it is wrong to go to war, Quakers and Mennonites. As well as those who identify obedience to God in fighting war. And inbetween those who use war metaphors in spiritual quests: Salvation Army.
I say that if the powers that be keep acting in ways to thwart God’s plan that there will be anointed deliverances brought forth. Ordained and just causes that serve Truth, Justice, and Good.
Did it serve that to hold England to its own standard of representative rights? Was it necessary to throw off England’s authority in order to fulfill a specific destiny in a better expression of Truth, Justice, and Good? Capitalized to denote the highest form of their expressions.
It seems so. I suppose a case could be made on the basis of the transformation that England itself had to go through to arrive at a more equitable form of government. Could this have happened without the exchange of ideas and people between the two nations, both in alliance and in conflict?
It seems not. And here I intersect with Jeremy. Can we deduce with finality whether it was just to follow a certain course of action?
Probably not without some further revelation of God. Or closer digging into scripture… which -for this person at least- lays untapped.
But the conclusion that the U.S. is completely separate from what we term Christian? No. To be clear about just what is and is not “Christian” is probably the better path to take, that we may support those things which we know to be of lasting good and eschew that which falsely represents itself in our culture.
I feel that this is probably close to what Jeremy is calling for. If so, this is what I agree with… in taking the honey from the carcass of the lion.