From the Benefits of the "world"
Lynne inquired concerning Romans
13 and "Clergy Response Teams":
“I've spent a couple of days reading your material.
I have a question I'm hoping someone can answer. As far as I can
tell, you're saying a Christian should disengage from any political
system other than God's kingdom and dwell instead in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Disengagement includes taking no benefit from the political
system one has left. I don't think that is possible... I can't help
but benefit. So how do you avoid benefiting in any way from a
government? Thanks for freely sharing your faith on a great website!”
Dear Lynne et al,
We have no authority to compel anyone to
engage or disengage in anything unless they are engaged in a crime.
Our intent is to share information,
understanding, and knowledge with the people, because the truth is
what sets people free. That was the business of Christ, Moses, and
Abraham, and should be the business of those who say they serve God.
People must choose how they shall act upon that knowledge we share.
Romans 13 is clearly about the
individual “right to choose” and how any one or any thing
that opposes liberty opposes God. Going under the rule or
dominion of others diminishes our access to our God-given rights, and
eventually punishes us for rejecting God as foretold in 1st Samuel 8:7.
How do we go under the authority of
The problem concerning accepting
benefits does not lie in the fact that we incidentally might benefit
from our neighbor's presence. My neighbor's home might be safer from
prowlers because he has a big dog that barks at strangers. My
home might be safer because I live next door, but that does not mean
I'm obligated to feed his dog.
The problem concerning benefits is the
means and source that is used to provide those benefits, and our
unrestricted appetite in participating in social schemes that limits
the choices and the liberty granted by God. If we take away the
individual's liberties and choices of neighbors, then our own liberty
shall be equally diminished. The Bible, as a guide to free government
under God, states this precept over and over.
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be
judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
again.” Matthew 7:2
If we apply to benefactors who
exercise authority so that they may provide our individual
welfare by compelling our neighbor's contributions, then we are
coveting our neighbor's goods through the agency of governments we
create by our application and participation.
We must not forget that application is a
form of prayer, and to pray to governments of the world for benefits
that are extracted at the expense of our neighbor is to disregard the
foundational Laws given to men by God, including the right of
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s
house... nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.” Exodus
While it is a God-given right and
responsibility to provide for the welfare of our neighbor with
genuine needs, it also a right and responsibility to exercise the
freedom of choice as to how and when to contribute. All governments
acting as the benefactor of the people and “exercise(ing)
authority upon them,” to provide benefits for the welfare of
the people, are doing contrary to the ways of God and the directives
“And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles
exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon
them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so:”
To apply for and make agreements with
the authoritarian institutions, in exchange for personal welfare, is
a form of making an agreement or covenant that subjects us to the
will of those ruling benefactors.
To eat from those civic table shall and
has produced the divine consequences spoken of in both Old and New
Testaments. “Let their table become a snare before them: and
[that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a
trap.” Psalms 69:22
Paul repeats the same warning of David
"And David saith, Let their table be made a snare,
and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:"
Peter corroborates Paul statement in his
warning found in 2 Peter:
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned
words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time
lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." 2 Peter 2:3
People in almost every nation have been
reduced to little more than human resources, or, as Peter's words are
translated, they are little more than merchandise. This has come
about in our present day because we have been snared into systems of
surety and debt.
We have become snared in the modern
bondage of Egypt. In Egypt, the gold and silver was kept in a central
treasury, the people were compelled to contribute 20% of everything
they produced to the government, and were said to be in bondage. The people were the
human resources of the government of Egypt.
This political pattern has repeated
itself over and over again throughout man's history. Abraham, Moses,
and Jesus taught about a Godly government that would free men from
such bondage, but modern Churches, taking the name of God and the
prophets in vain, have delivered people back into that same bondage
by preaching a gospel that falls short of the truth given us by the
liberators of mankind, Jesus the Christ.
The modern interpretations and versions
of what Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were teaching and doing are
misleading to say the least, but the avarice of the ministers and
apathy of the people keep the world in bondage.
"The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the
slothful shall be under tribute." Proverbs 12:24.
The Church should not only be teaching
the truth that sets men free, but it should be providing a government
that operates by faith, hope, and charity under the perfect law of
liberty, so that the people can learn to survive and even prosper without the “benefactors” who “exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise
authority upon them.” Such systems are what Christ called the
unrighteous mammon, which will fail. As we see that failure coming,
we should not adopt the unrighteous ways of those benefactors of the
world governments that exercise authority and make slaves of men.
We should be seeking the kingdom of God
and His righteousness. If we do that with our whole heart, mind, and
soul, we “can't help but benefit.”
The purpose of the books published by the Church are those of Christ. They are to share with you a witness of the Kingdom of God and how His righteousness can work for you today. It also shows how the early Christians were able to provide for themselves as the unrighteous mammon of Rome declined and fell.