From the March 2009 Idaho Observer:
Does the Bible command Christians to "give unto evil?" Should Christians turn in their firearms if the government tells them to?
Does the Bible command Christians to "give unto evil?"
Should Christians turn in their firearms if the government tells them to?
We have arrived at a time in history where our most closely-held beliefs about God, family and country are being severely tested. While our beliefs may be shaken, our faith—in God, in ourselves and in our fellow man—is being challenged to grow. Once we determine that Romans 13 does not command us to obey an evil state, we can infer that entities allegient to evil states—either as dupes or in full knowledge—are twisting our beliefs to be of service to evil. Upon this "test" we can really begin to grow. Suddenly, we can plainly see how our beliefs on so many fronts critical to our individual and collective health, happiness and prosperity have been molded to facilitate the relentless pursuit of power by evil state actors. Taken one step further, as our legitimate faith in God, ourselves and each other replaces our illegitimate faith in evil government, the true enemies of life, liberty and happiness—the inalienable rights bestowed upon us by our Creator—begin to show themselves for what they really are. Regardless of their jobs, offices, skin colors, manners of dress, social status, professed beliefs or stated intentions, agents of the evil state are revealed when they promote lawless state authority, poison the public and the environment, stunt the minds and bodies of children or other policies that weaken us. Upon this foundation we can quickly make accurate determinations of right (for God, family and country) and wrong. This month we will take a look at how "Christians" and other compassionate and reverent people might respond when someone cites Romans 13 to justify leaving ourselves defenseless against a well-armed and relentlessly-evil state.
By Anne Wilder Chamberlain
Last February, the elders of an Idaho Baptist church engaged the congregation in a debate as to whether they would hand over their firearms if the Obama government ordered them to, based on Romans 13:1, from the 1982 The New King James Bible, which reads, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities."
Are these Baptists basing their debate on an accurate translation of the Bible? Translated by whom? Is their belief in an obligation to hand over their right to keep and bear arms based on God’s word, or on propaganda fed to them by a Church that has been working with an elite for hundreds of years to control the world? Does Romans 13 tell Christians to follow the word of the "governing authorities" even if it supersedes the Constitution of the United States—the "law of the land?"
If the proponents of One World Government are to succeed, they must control the religions of the earth, including Evangelical Christians. They have manipulated scripture for centuries to accomplish this goal. This "governing authority" does not follow the Ten Commandments or the Bible but it knows them in detail and has employed "scholars," the Church and the crucible of persecution to ensure devout obedience of the Christian masses while it systematically undermines individual and state sovereignty to usher in the age of global governance.
Some early history
Christian believers have been subdued by their religious leaders for over 1700 years. Beginning with the "First Council of Nicaea," religious leaders have enforced their "unified standard of beliefs" onto Christians, discarding all else as "heresy." In 325 AD the "canon of Truth" was created by this ecumenical (unified) council of 300 bishops chosen by Roman Emperor Constantine I from among several Christian churches, including the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, the Old Catholics and other Western Christian groups.
The council reviewed the writings of the small churches following the teaching of Jesus Christ from the first three centuries AD and all but two of them agreed on which ones qualified to be part of the official, Church legitimized, "Bible." The rest, as many as 52 "Gnostic" (knowing) texts continued to be read, copied and revered until they were ordered to be burned in 367 AD by a zealous bishop, Athanasius of Alexandria.
Athanasius was an admirer of Iranaeus, Bishop of Lyons who, in 180 AD, denounced these writings as madness and blasphemy. Curiously, these "blasphemous" texts include statements of Jesus reportedly compiled by the apostle Thomas, and additional writings of Paul and Peter, who are presented in the canonical book of Acts as the primary apostles sent out to deliver Jesus’ message to the world. It became a crime to possess any texts the Roman empire-empowered Church hierarchy had not approved; offenders were severely punished by the government.
Someone, likely the Egyptian monks at the monastery of St. Pachomius near Nag Hammadi, gathered these "heretical" books, sealed their copies in a six-foot jar and buried them. In 1945 these leather-bound papyrus codices were found by a local peasant named Mohammed Ali Samman.
Princeton Professor of Religion Elaine Pagels learned of these writings while studying at Harvard University. Her professors had file cabinets of "apocrypha" from the first centuries AD. She discovered upon reading them that the early Christian "church" was a society of believers espousing a number of diverse viewpoints which were later suppressed so effectively by "official" versions of Christian history that only recently are religious historians learning about them.
According to Pagels, Athanasius intended the canon of truth to safeguard "orthodox" interpretation of scripture, but his experience of Christians showed that these "heretics" could still read the canonical scriptures in ways he considered unorthodox. To prevent this, he insisted that anyone who read scripture have the "capacity to discern," leading to the Church declaring itself to be the only body with that capacity. Athanasius believed spiritual intuition leads only to error.
Athanasius was challenged by a sect of Christians who followed a popular Libyan priest named Arius who had a different interpretation of the gospels, believing Jesus told His followers that God is within us, not a separate entity accessible only through the Church, so Athanasius had him banished. Thus began the banishment of bishops with "heretical" beliefs.
First Millennium of Christendom – short overview
The First Council of Nicaea marked the end of an era of Judaism being the favored religion of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the period of the first seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787) during which the Church continued its attempts to establish a unified Christendom.
• In 381 AD the Church hierarchy at Constantinople gave the Bishop of Rome the "first place of honor," formalizing one central bureaucracy.
• In 1054, Pope Leo IX and the Patriarch of Constantinople incited conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains, resulting in the East-West Schism, dividing medieval Mediterranean Christendom into the Eastern Orthodox (Greek) and Roman Catholic (Latin) branches of the church.
• In 1063, Pope Alexander II gave his blessing to Iberian Christians in their "Just War" of the Crusades to take the Holy Land from the Muslims.
• "Indulgences"—remission of sins granted by the Church—were offered to anyone killed in battle. People became personally engaged in the war and strengthened by religious propaganda. The "remission of sin" was a driving factor and provided any God-fearing man who had committed sins with an irresistible way out of eternal damnation in Hell. By fighting to retake Jerusalem he would go straight to heaven after death.
By 1405, it had become illegal to translate the Bible from the Greek or Latin, or read it without a Bishop present. The Church, interpreting it as it chose, was charging money for indulgences. Claiming that the Bible was the only infallible authority and believing the only way to stop exploitation of the masses was to translate it into common language, in 1522, Martin Luther, the father of Protestantism, translated it into German. In 1525 it was translated into English by William Tynsdale, a priest and Oxford Scholar who was burned at the stake in 1536 for doing so. Those who supported Luther and Tynsdale were tortured and burned by the Church, and the peasantry, who used Luther’s attack on the Church as an attempt to establish a classless society, were massacred.
The "Authorized King James Bible"
In 1611, The "Authorized King James Version" of the Bible was translated into English, supposedly after problems with earlier translations were detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England. However, many sources claim that in 1607, Sir Francis Bacon, a Freemason from the Knights Templar, as "Chief Advisor to the Crown," presented new ideas to the government for the reformation of the Church and was instructed to start restructuring the Bible. Original documents in the British Museum reveal that he selected and paid the revisers of the "Authorized Version," which reflects his peculiar and beautiful style of English.
Now that the Bible was translated into common language, people again began to interpret it according to intuition. So, 18 years later, in 1629, Protestants began removing books from the Bible which they determined did not meet the "test of divine inspiration," according Dr. F. LaGard Smith, compiler of Guideposts’ The Daily Bible. Smith added that they were not part of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Jews don’t accept them and they reflect "notions of mysticism and Persian influence inconsistent with later Christian beliefs." Known as The Apocrypha, these fourteen to twenty books, mostly written between 425 BC and 5 BC, consisted of historical and religious documents pertaining to the Jews.
"[The Apocrypha] were part of the 1611 [Authorized] King James Bible, the Latin Vulgate, and the Septuagint—the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament," writes Leslie John Taylor, a nondenominational minister who compiled them into one volume, "but they’re not in my son’s New International Version."
What about Romans 13?
Gregory Williams from NewsWithViews.com reported January 21, 2009, that, "Pastors across the country have been called on by the Department of Homeland Security to join Clergy Response Teams in order to placate and control the people of America in the event of emergencies. One of the biggest tools that they will have is the Bible itself, specifically Romans 13."
According to German political science professor Eric Voegelin, among others, Romans 13 was one of Hitler’s favorite passages of the Bible. Voegelin calls Hitler’s use of it a "complete perversion in the treatment of Scripture. There isn’t a word there that one should be subject to any authorities whatsoever, let alone, that one should have to be subject to the authorities even when they do evil."
Voegelin states that two texts from the Bible were invoked by the clergy to command obedience to Hitler: The commandment, "Honor your father and your mother," interpreted to mean "Honor the state [Fuhrer], carry out its laws, obey the authorities!" and Romans 13.
Baptist minister and 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin wrote in Romans 13 Revisited (2-27-09), "There are times when civil authority must be resisted. Either governmental abuse of power or the violation of conscience (or both) could precipitate civil disobedience. A father has authority in his home, but does this give him power to abuse his wife? No man has unlimited authority. Lordship and Sovereignty is the exclusive domain of Jesus Christ.
"We in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. America’s ‘Supreme Law’ does not rest with any man or any group of men. 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; the ‘higher powers’ are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution."
Romans 13 is a treatise by the Apostle Paul on the institution of model government. John Weaver, author of The Christian and Civil Government, quoting verses 3 and 4, stated, "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But....he is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
In other words, government is there for the administration of justice—to protect those who do good—and to punish evil.
"Romans 13 does not mean, Obey the State," said GCN host John Anderson of The Voice of Reason radio show. "The harlot churches [churches with a 501(c)3 status] like to promote Romans 13 as meaning, ‘Obey Caesar.’ How else can they interpret it? They have yoked themselves with ‘Caesar’ through state incorporation. Their very life comes from the state. If they do not obey Caesar, Caesar will withdraw their corporate charter, and they will die.
"If Paul had been advocating obedience to the ‘law of the land,’ then Caesar would have had no cause against him. Why would Caesar have Paul killed if Paul was promoting ‘obedience’ to civil authorities? Even Jesus lived in direct opposition to the political and religious leaders of his day. He went to the cross for it. State incorporated churches have only one choice if they are to survive—promote obedience to the State."
"It is nothing less than idolatry," writes Weaver.
What does the
"authorized" Bible say?
The "Authorized King James Version" reads (Romans 13:1), "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God." A translation comparison chart found at romans13.embassyofheaven.com, demonstrates how newer versions support obedience to government, however unconstitutional. The New American Bible (1970) reads, "Let everyone obey the authorities that are over him, for there is no authority except from God;" The Living Bible (1971) reads "Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there;" and Good News (1976), reads "Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission."
"However, in any unabridged English dictionary the word power can have a dozen different definitions," writes Williams. "The question is which should we apply to these words of Paul? The Greek word used in Romans 13 by Paul is exousia, which is defined: ‘power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases.’ It is translated as ‘right’ in Hebrews 13:10 and Revelations 22:14 and is translated as ‘liberty’ in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (I Cor.8:9). In Plato’s notes, exousia means, ‘Freedom/power to do something.’
"The Greek word exousia is considered to be one of the strongest words in the Greek language representing the idea of liberty. Accepting the idea that Romans 13 is actually a statement by Paul in support of individual liberty, rather than a command to submit to authoritarian rulers, will be difficult for some pastors and Christians alike to admit," says Williams.
So...should Christians turn in their firearms if the government tells them to?
Nehemiah 4:13-14, during the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem, reads: "I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears and their bows...and said, ‘fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters and your houses.’"
Thomas Jefferson stated "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."
Many Christians all over the U.S. have referred to "President" Obama as "The Antichrist." Yet these same people say they will lay down their guns for him because Paul told the Romans to obey the "higher authority." They claim it will demonstrate a good example to their neighbors of what they stand for. If only they would consider who or what has convoluted Paul’s "higher powers" into "the state authorities," perhaps they would reconsider bowing to the governing elite and start defending the things they say they believe in: Peace on Earth, and Goodwill towards all men.
Note: Easily accessible history shows that the Bible has been edited pretty heavily by men for political rather than spiritual reasons. It is our contention that our entire system of beliefs has been similarly "edited" to advance the interests of the state at the expense of mankind’s growth and development as children of God. While we still have the ability to communicate in this fashion, we must endeavor to discover where the lies retarding our growth begin. From that point we can trace through time and rediscover those who were telling us the truth. (DWH)