Saturday, May 23, 2009

To Rebel or Not To Rebel?

Not only does The Church debate whether the Scriptures authorize rebellion against corrupt governments, but secularists have an opinion as well. The debated chapter in the Bible about righteous rebellion is found in Romans 13 by the Apostle Paul. The definitive statement on the matter is v. 4:

"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." [bold face mine]

The verse is clear; only Kings, or governments that are ministers for good are ordained by God. However, I believe the United States was formed under the laws of God, and the ideal government ordained by God, is a Republic. Certain calvinists use v. 2 to say governmental authority can be "resisted" but not overthrown. Verse 4 is the context for chapter 13.

Calvinists, Dr. Gregg Frazer, Professor of History & Political Studies at The Master's College in Santa Clarita, CA, along with Master's President John MacArthur, promote the "Unlimited Submission" doctrine our Founding Fathers rejected. Some of Dr. Frazer's statements on American Creation are striking. Dr. Frazer gives a Calvinist position for a defense of "unlimited submission" on American Creation:

"Hitler had authority from God, as do all in authority. He sometimes used it for good (lowest crime rate in the world in 1930s) and often used it for great evil (massacring Jews and other well-known examples). ALL GOVERNMENTS DO THIS BECAUSE ALL ARE RUN BY FALLEN HUMAN BEINGS. The level of evil to which they rise varies, of course. The U.S. government today, for example, supports the murder of millions of unborn children and numerous other violations of God’s law. None of this makes the government illegitimate, removes its authority, or negates what Romans 13 clearly says."

Hitler had authority from God? Most certainly, no modern government is legitimate. All governments violate God's laws in some part. The point is not that every government is evil, but does the government persecute the Church, its people, and violate Romans 13. Scripture tells us a righteous government made of sinners is possible and valid:

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

-Proverbs 29:2

I Corinthians 9:7-10, is another place in scripture where God allows at the minimum, defensive rebellion. The Apostle Paul repeats commands from the Law of Moses that is pertinent for the Church, such as taking fruit from your own vine:

"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope."

Our most decorated Founding Father, John Jay, did not believe someone had to be specifically called to rebel, or that rebellion by the people against their government was prohibited. Jay used Jesus' own words to defend rebellion:

"To the advancement and support of his spiritual sovereignty over his spiritual kingdom, soldiers and swords and corporeal exertions were inapplicable and useless. But, on the other hand, soldiers and swords and corporeal exertions are necessary to enable the several temporal rulers of the states and kingdoms of this world to maintain their authority and protect themselves and their people; and our Savior expressly declared that if his kingdom had been of this world, then would his servants fight to protect him; or, in other words, that then, and in that case, he would not have restrained them from fighting. The lawfulness of such fighting, therefore, instead of being denied, is admitted and confirmed by that declaration...Had the gospel regarded war as being in every case sinful, it seems strange that the apostle Paul should have been so unguarded as, in teaching the importance of faith, to use an argument which clearly proves the lawfulness of war, viz.: “That it was through faith that Gideon, David, and others waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of aliens”; thereby confirming the declaration of David, that it was God who had “girded him with strength to battle; and had taught his hands to war, and his fingers to fight.” The gospel appears to me to consider the servants of Christ as having two capacities or characters, with correspondent duties to sustain and fulfill. Being subjects of his spiritual kingdom, they are bound in that capacity to fight, pursuant to his orders, with spiritual weapons, against his and their spiritual enemies. Being also subjects and partakers in the rights and interests of a temporal or worldly state or kingdom, they are in that capacity bound, whenever lawfully required, to fight with weapons in just and necessary war, against the worldly enemies of that state or kingdom. " [bold face mine]
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=64

The Founding Fathers and Christian Philosophers: Montesquieu, Blackstone, Locke, Rutherford, Hooker, and Grotius, etc., understood the theory of "Unlimited Submission," was not what the Bible teaches. They believed the Bible teaches that governmental authority is limited. Does a Prophet have to be called by God to determine the validity of the biblical principle of righteous rebellion? The text doesn't say, whereas, we should be concerned with exegesis (taking out of the text), not eisegesis (reading into the text).

Israel wanted a monarchy, to be like the other nations. This was a bad decision. Nations that submit to God's Word are Blessed with just and righteous rulers. However, nations that rebel against God's Word are visited with oppressive governments for the purpose of bringing them into submission. Hosea gives us the principle:

"[T]he Assyrian shall be his king, because they [Israel] refused to return [to God]."

-Hosea 11:5

Frazer again:

"As for the Judges 3 example, GOD may raise up a deliverer to accomplish His purposes – but the reason that the passage specifies that God raised him up and that the Spirit of the Lord was given to him is BECAUSE WITHOUT SPECIFIC REVELATION FROM GOD, what he did was wrong. It would be wrong for any person not specifically and specially “raised up by God.”

This appears to be an eisegetical statement, maybe he can elaborate on where the text says this.
Among the 18th century preachers calling for rebellion against King George, were Unitarians Samuel West, and Jonathan Mayhew. They both attacked this "unlimited submission" doctrine using the Bible:

"Unlimited submission and obedience is due to none but God alone."

-Samuel West, "A Sermon Preached before the Honorable Council , and Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, in New England, May 29, 1776."

What West and the framers were getting at, was the people, as well as rulers, are subject to God's laws. All legitimate authority is based on God's laws, illegitimate authority is not ordained. West understood a government could abide by some of God's laws, and still be illegitimate, which did not pertain to the United States:

"Can we conceive of a more perfect, equitable, and generous plan of government than this which the apostle has laid down, viz., to have rulers appointed over us to encourage us to every good and virtuous action, to defend and protect us in our just rights and privileges, and to grant us everything that can tend to promote our true interest and happiness; to restrain every licentious action, and to punish everyone that would injure or harm us; to become a terror of evil-doers; to make and execute such just and righteous laws as shall effectually deter and hinder men from the commission of evil, and to attend continually upon this very thing; to make it their constant care and study, day and night, to promote the good and welfare of the community, and to oppose all evil practices?"

-West, On the Right to Rebel against Governors, Boston 1776

Anyone who submits to the ungodly decrees of men becomes a slave of ungodly men.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/13781328/Christian-Duty-Under-Corrupt-Government

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blog Shows Its Ignorance

What a relief it is not to see the repetitive attack upon Christianity and the Bible than at http://www.americancreation.blogspot.com/. Although, I was, for the most part, the only blogger to withstand the onslaught upon the true beliefs of our Founding Fathers, Christian Philosophers, and our Christian Heritage, a part of me is embarrassed to have been a part of that scheme. I quit their rabble, while a disallusioned female, if that is a proper word to describe her, had the nerve to inform me of the award on this blog; amid the other bigotted verbal attacks, her, and her cohorts, common among foam at the mouth liberals, cried I'm a bigot, and was no longer welcome. What a telling evidence it is when you are called a bigot, and only by liberals, and skeptics of Christianity, who, not understanding, fulfill Biblical Prophecy everyday. That liberals are tolerant, but only tolerant of their own views, is forever true. Beware, standing up for truth will always bring persecution; this persecution is true when it comes to Mormonism.

American Creation isn't the only outlet for cult propaganda, where typical liberals that despise truth, attack with the same venom as the Blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany. Make no mistake, the first verbal attack is usually made by a liberal. One of the managing females, more of a bomb-throwing liberal than a person searching for the truth, along with a Mormon blogger, who has many times showed his hate trying to hi-jack my own blog, showed their ignorance by defending Mormonism as a viable religion, and ignoring the historical record.

Does the historical record support Mormonism was an idea brought forth by Joseph Smith, known as "Joe Smith" by those who knew him in Palmyra, New York, or did he tap into occultic practices to start a cult? The answer is obvious; mormonism was exposed in a United States Court.

Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, December 23, 1805, to Lucy and Joseph Smith Sr. Smith grew up with a superstitious mother in an area where several occult practices were deemed illegal in the 1820's. Joseph Sr. was a mystic, who spent most of his time digging for imaginary buried treasure. Former Mormon historian Dr. D. Michael Quinn has thoroughly documented the fact that father and son were avid treasure-seekers; his book entitled, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1987), actually includes photographs of seer stones owned by Joseph Smith Jr. It's no surprise Dr. Quinn was excommunicated from the LDS Church, in 1993, for refusing to keep quiet about his research. Other mormon historians, J.B. Allen, and G.M. Leonard also document Smith's youthful experiments with treasure-seeking.

Joseph Smith was tried in court for "glass looking" an occult practice used to find buried treasure on March 20, 1826. New York vs. Joseph Smith revealed that Joseph Smith "had a certain stone which he had occasionally looked at to detemine where hidden treasures in bowels of the earth were...and looked for Mr. Stoal several times."

-Frazers Magazine (New Series, February 1873): 7:229.

Walter Martin, in The Kingdom of the Cults, 1997 edition, says Smith was fined two dollars and sixty-eight cents, which was apparently paid. That Smith's case was a misdemeanor is irrelevant to the fact Joseph Smith was involved, and admitted paying the fine given by Justice of the Peace, Albert Neely. The description of the case by Neely, says Smith was a "glass looker." The only defense for the charges against Smith is claiming hearsay, insufficient proof, or corruption of the court bill, ignoring the much more abundant evidence against Joseph Smith.

Smith's troubles are of his own doing, reflecting Smith's immorality, arrogance, and deceit, not the 19th century schemes of anti-mormons with a grudge. The reason Smith left New York for Kirtland, Ohio, then Missouri, and Illinois, is evidence the people were not ignorant of his scam. It was at Kirtland, where Smith instituted polygamy and was later confirmed by "divine revelation."

Polygamy, along with the army the "General" was compiling, was the beginning of the crackdown by the United States Government. Smith and his cronies could not refute the evidence against him, so he silenced them by force, starting with an anti-Mormon publication entitled The Nauvoo Expositor. Our government was not unaware of Smith's activities:

--"The charge of "[t]reason [a]gainst [t]he United States [leveled against Smith in 1841] [b]y . . . U.S. President John Tyler [who]had finally had enough of Smith's private army, arrogance and outlaw behavior.

"On March 31st, he issued a proclamation charging Joseph Smith with treason . . . [as follows]:

"'Sir: You stand accused of high treason. You will deliver yourself up to governor at Springfield, Illinois, in order to be tried before the Supreme Court of [t]he United States next term. The governor of Illinois will be directed to tak you in custody, if you will not deliver yourself up. The President will deliver a proclamation against you, if you obey not this order by May 1, 1843."

- Respectfully yours, Hugh L. Legare, Attorney-General, [b]y Order of J. Tyler, President of the United States[.]'

"This federal arrest warrant for treason was still outstanding when Smith was killed at Carthage, Illinois[,] in June of 1844. . .

The evidence condemning Joseph Smith is massive, not only from his own mother, but other people who knew him, including sixty-two residents of Palmyra, New York, that signed a statement as to his character.

In an affidavit signed by Issac Hale and published in the Susquehanna Register, May 1, 1834, Joseph’s father-in-law said:

"'I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called ‘money diggers’; and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by what means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure."

"'Smith and his father, with several other money-diggers boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards. Young Smith made several visits at my house, and at length asked my consent to his marrying my daughter Emma. This I refused . . . [H]e was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve. . . . Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living . . ."

"'Soon after this, I was informed that they had brought a wonderful book of plates down with them . . . The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods.'"
http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_joesephsmith_section3.html#pub_102636714

No wonder Mr. Hale didn't like Smith. Of course Mormons claim all the evidence against Mormonism is from anti-mormons, however, the amazing fact is "there exists no contemporary pro-Mormon statements from reliable and informed sources who knew the Smith family and Joseph intimately."

-Kingdom of the Cults, p.190.

Although, Smith denied the label "money-digger" he admitted mining with a Josiah Stoal. His mother clarifies by prima facie evidence, Joseph's exageration of the truth, writing Stoal "came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain means by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye" (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother), 91-92.

"Joseph Smith Sr. in an interview later published in Historical Magazine, May 1870, clearly stated that the prophet had been a peep-stone enthusiast and treasure-digger in his youth, and, further, that he had also told fortunes and located lost objects by means of a peep stone and alleged supernatural powers therein."

-Martin's, Kingdom of the Cults, p. 185.

That Smith searched for buried treasure, evidenced by inumerable craters in the New York and Vermont countryside, by placing "peep stones" in a hat is evidence he was into the occult, therefore, his claim to be a prophet of God is a fraud.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hugo Grotius, and His View of Divine Law

Christian Philosopher Hugo Grotius, wrote during the Thirty Years War of the 17th Century, was of the same accord as the Founding Fathers, who, understood correctly, God, in the Scriptures, allowed, and approved of righteous warfare. Grotius, along with other influential Christian Philosophers: Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu, William Blackstone, John Locke, Samuel de Puffendorf, and Richard Hooker, affirmed Divine Law in the Scriptures was The Law and The Gospel. These men influenced the Founding Fathers in interpreting righteous rebellion commanded by God in the Scriptures and Romans 13. Grotius understood the Divine Law included The Ten Commandments, parts of The Law of Moses, and The Gospel:

"That some Sort of private War may be lawfully waged, as far as respects the Law of Nature, I think has been fully proved by what I have said above, where it was shewn, that it is not repugnant to the Law of Nature, for any one to repel Injuries by Force...What we said before, that even since Tribunals of Justice were erected, every private War is not repugnant to the Law of Nature, may be gathered from the Law given to the Jews,Ex. xxii. 2. where GOD thus speaks by Moses, If a Thief be found breaking up, (that is, by Night) and be smitten, that he dies, there shall no Blood be shed for him; but if the Sun be risen upon him, there shall be Blood shed for him. For this Law so accurately distinguishing the Cases, seems not only to import an Impunity; but also to explain the Law of Nature; and that it is not founded on any particular Divine Command, but on common Equity; whence we see that other Nations have followed the same Principle. That of the Twelve Tables is well known, which was undoubtedly taken from the old Attick Law; If a Thief commit a Robbery in the Night, and if a Man kill him, he is killed lawfully. So is he reputed innocent by the Laws of all known Nations, who by Arms defends himself against him that assaults his Life; which so manifest a Consent is a plain Testimony, that there is nothing in it contrary to the Law of Nature. There is more Difficulty concerning the Divine positive Law, more perfect than the Law of Nature, I mean the Gospel." [Bold Face Mine]

-CHAPTER III: The Division of War into Publick and Private. An Explication of the supreme Power. - Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) vol. 1 (Book I) [1625]

Grotius, along with the other above mentioned five philosophers, who our framers studied and referenced, were all consistent in their views on righteous rebellion, and the Divine Law.

Our most decorated Founding Father, John Jay, wrote about righteous warfare in Romans 13:

"On this topic the gospel is explicit. It commands us to obey the higher powers or ruler. It reminds us that “he beareth not the sword in vain”; that “he is the minister of God, and a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Now, if he is not to bear the sward in vain, it follows that he is to use it to execute wrath on evildoers, and consequently to draw blood and to kill on proper occasions. As to the second species of warfare, it certainly is as reasonable and as right that a nation be secure against injustice, disorder, and rapine from without as from within; and therefore it is the right and duty of the government or ruler to use force and the sword to protect and maintain the rights of his people against evildoers of another nation. The reason and necessity of using force and the sword being the same in both cases, the right or the law must be the same also."
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=64

As in the past, the Christian Church will always differ in the interpretation of righteous rebellion. However, the text specifically says God does not change, which would be the case if God disallowed righteous rebellion in this dispensation.