July 22, 2009
ANOTHER WRONG INTERPRETATION OF ROMANS 13
Pastor Chuck Baldwin of Pensacola, Florida was a candidate for President of the United States in the election of 2008. He was the candidate of the Constitution Party. In fact, U.S. Congressman of Texas, Ron Paul, voted for Chuck Baldwin. I find Chuck to be a very politically savvy person. He stands four-square for the Constitution. I have been impressed with his stand on the issues. He recognizes that we are on the brink of disaster.
In his weekly column on www.chuckbaldwinlive.com, he covers his interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 in his July 15, 2009 essay. He equates the “higher powers” of Romans 13 to the Constitution of the United States of America. Bless his heart; not knowing the Divine principle of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth,” he makes a valiant effort to defend those who believe that have the God-given right to oppose the “powers that be,” to wit, the civil authorities. He points out that many Christian ministers think that his political activities and aspirations are out of the will of God because he is doing that which is contrary to Romans 13:1-7.
I have noted, over the years, that most of those in “the political class” despise folks who they term as “Evangelical Christians.” According to them, the “Evangelicals” have no place in politics, and, even, the “political class” will even quote Romans 13 in order to scare-off the Christian “simpletons.”
Notice what Brother Baldwin writes as he grasps for reasons to enlist Romans 13 as his marching orders to engage in politician “warfare:”
“ …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.”
Pastor Baldwin continues, “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 Americans:
“‘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, according to the teaching of Romans Chapter 13.”
Nice try, Chuck. I must, vigorously, deny your assertion that “the above is EXACTLY the proper understanding (i.e., interpretation) of our responsibility to civil authority in the United States, according to Romans Chapter13.”
Pastor Baldwin makes the classic mistake by mishandling the Word of God. I say this with as much kindness as I can muster. He is a sincere man of God, but he is sincerely wrong. He does not have to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the meaning of Romans 13 to find his Biblical platform to seek political office. All he would have to do is to learn the elementary principles of 2 Timothy 2:15.
He, like the vast majority of Christian teachers and pastors, do not know the basics to Bible understanding. According to Dr. E. W. Bullinger’s “Golden Rule for Bible Study,” the Bible student must ask the four following questions:
1. WHO is speaking?
2. TO WHOM is the speaker speaking?
3. ABOUT WHAT is he speaking?
4. WHEN WAS it spoken?
When this is applied to Romans 13:1-7, we learn: (1) Paul was speaking, (2) He was speaking to Acts Period believers in Rome, not to members of the Church, which is His Body [Eph. 1:22-23], (3) Paul was speaking about the Divinely appointed men who were the “rulers” over the members of the Acts Period “Church of God;” namely, the apostles, and, (4) Romans 13 was spoken (written) about 60 A.D. before the Dispensational change occurred at the close of “The Acts of the Apostles.”
The “higher powers” Paul spoke about were not in any way, shape, form, or fashion, a reference to civil (worldly) authorities. He was not speaking about kings, or emperors, or czars, or governors, or potentates, or legislatures, or senates, or mayors. Neither was the Apostle Paul speaking about some man-inspired document, such as the U.S. Constitution. He was speaking about men who were God-chosen-anointed-ordained-installed as rulers over the Acts Period Church. The believers were to be submissive to them.
Beloved, THIS IS NOT TRUTH FOR TODAY!
Notice what Paul wrote in I Thess. 5:12; “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;” Those who were “over” the believers were the apostles and elders of the churches. This is not Truth for Today. We also read, “Remember them which have the rule over you …” (Hebrews 13:7). Acts Period members of the churches were told; “Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves …” (Hebrews 13:17). And, finally, it is written in Hebrews 13:24 to “Salute all them that have rule over you, …”
Those who had rule over the believers during “The Acts of the Apostles” were men chosen especially by God. They were anointed by Him and exercised awesome power and authority—these men were the “higher powers” mentioned in Roman 13:1. Read Acts 5:1-12. You will witness the awesome power the ruler, the Apostle Peter, wielded. He pronounced the death-sentence upon Ananias, with Sapphira. Because “they lied,” they fell down dead and were carried outside and buried, “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things” (Acts 5:11). This death-sentence upon the husband and wife showed that Peter did not bear the “sword” in vain (Romans 5:4).
In Romans Chapter 13, the “powers that be,” the “higher powers,” the “rulers,” and the “ministers of God” all have reference to the select men of God who were chosen to be rulers over the Church of God (to wit, the Acts Period Church). The Church of the Mystery has no flesh-and-blood rulers. We, as members of the “high calling,” are to be submissive only to the Head of the Church, which is His Body—the Lord Jesus Christ. To Him, alone, do we owe our allegiance. There are no intermediaries between you and I and Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15), the higher authorities, mentioned in Romans 13, referred to authorities (rulers) who were higher than civil authorities—AUTHORITIES WHO WERE ORDAINED BY GOD.
“And by the hands of the apostles [rulers] were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch” (Acts 5:12).
These signs and wonders wrought, “by the hands of the apostles,” ceased at Acts 28:28.
Chuck Baldwin erred, greatly, by diminishing the Divine authority and power of the apostles during the Book of Acts. By his interpretation, he replaces the Acts Period apostles with the U.S. Constitution. As great as the Constitution is, it was inspired by man, written by man, approved by man, and now, rejected by man (most civil authorities).
In the Biblical sense of the word, ever since Acts 28:28 (the Dispensation Boundary Line), the “powers that be” were withdrawn. The “higher powers” ceased to exist at Acts 28:28. The Divine Church “rulers” faded away after Acts 28:28. The “ministers of God” were no longer on the scene after Acts 28:28.
When “The Golden Rule for Bible Study” is practiced, we get Truth and Light. Otherwise, we get confusion, darkness, and error.
I applaud Chuck Baldwin’s political stand. I support his political endeavors. He unmistakably sees that that there is a clear and present danger. The destruction of the American system of freedom and liberty is at hand. The remaking of America into a socialist (or communist) state is well underway. Our leaders have no love for the America you and I inherited. Wake up America!!!
From Plainer Words
ANOTHER WRONG INTERPRETATION OF ROMANS 13
Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 24, 2009 - 11:21:26 AM
Jul 24, 2009 - 11:21:26 AM
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