Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Please Register Your Bible Study with the Government

May 26, 2009

I was saddened to see that there is religious persecution taking place in San Diego, CA (link to article). The local authorities are threatening to force regular home Bible studies to get government permits or shut down. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see copycat persecution in other jurisdictions within the next few years as radical anti-theists attempt to attack the freedoms of speech, religion, and assembly in every way they can.

-TurretinFan

H.T. to The Pilgrim for pointing this out to me (link).

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Chinese Government Distributing Bibles

August 7, 2008

I ran across this interesting blog post at the Theologica blog(link). The post explains that the Chinese government (!) will be distributing 10,000 bilingual Chinese/English Bibles in the Olympic village. I hope that many of those Bibles will not make back home, but will be redistributed to the billion or so Chinese folks who have not read it. I know 10,000 is an insignificant number among so many people, but it is a start.

Praise be to God for this concession from the government of the world’s largest nation,

-TurretinFan

Thoughts on the Gospel and Government

July 12, 2008

One of my friends in an Internet chat room I visit, recently challenged me to consider what form of government is most conducive to the spread of the gospel. I believe this brother wanted to suggest that a pluralistic, liberal (original sense of the word) republican democracy is the best form.

There are ways in which this is true. Freedom of speech gives us freedom to preach. Freedom of assembly gives us freedom to engage in communion with our fellow-saints. Freedom of religion prevents currently prevailing religions from stomping us out using the force of government under color of law. Those are all valid points.

Let me give the reader a counter-point, though. Historically the gospel seems to have spread well at times/places where Christianity was persecuted and at times when there was a hierarchical government. The latter may simply be circumstantial, as the concept of a pluralistic, liberal republican democracy is a modern phenomenon.

With respect to the former issue, persecution provides an intrinsically stronger witness for Christians. It is obvious to everyone that it takes more sincerity to advocate the resurrection of Christ when doing so risks your life, than when doing so may make you a millionaire televangelist. When it is – to all appearances – easy to be a Christian, our faith in Christ is less clearly seen to be genuine.

Consider how Scripture even demonstrates the principle. Recall Job. Satan made exactly this argument: of course Job worships God, he has an easy life; take away his happiness and he’ll curse God.

When Job did not curse God, but rather praised him saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” That’s a testimony that the world and the devil are shaken by. That answer leaves little doubt for any but the most hardened skeptic to doubt that Job’s faith in God was genuine.

Thus, a country where Christianity is persecuted provides a way for Christians to demonstrate that they are genuine believers, which combats the widespread current view among non-Christians in liberal democracies that Christians are hypocrites.

Persecution has another advantage as well: it helps us test the genuineness of our own faith. That’s why James, the servant of God, can tell us:

James 1:2-3
2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James (to quote John Gill) is speaking of temptations,

not the temptations of Satan, or temptations to sin; for these cannot be matter of joy, but grief; these are fiery darts, and give a great deal of uneasiness and trouble; but afflictions and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel, which are so called here and elsewhere, because they are trials of the faith of God’s people, and of other graces of the Spirit of God. God by these tempts his people, as he did Abraham, when he called him to sacrifice his son; he thereby tried his faith, fear, love, and obedience; so by afflictions, God tries the graces of his people; not that he might know them, for he is not ignorant of them, but that they might be made manifest to others; and these are “divers”: many are the afflictions of the righteous; through much tribulation they must enter the kingdom; it is a great fight of afflictions which they endure, as these believers did; their trials came from different quarters; they were persecuted by their countrymen the Jews, and were distressed by the Gentiles, among whom they lived; and their indignities and reproaches were many; and their sufferings of different sorts, as confiscation of goods, imprisonment of body, banishment, scourgings, and death in various shapes: and these they “fall” into; not by chance, nor altogether at an unawares, or unexpectedly; but they fell into them through the wickedness and malice of their enemies, and did not bring them upon themselves through any crime or enormity they were guilty of: and when this was their case, the apostle exhorts them to count it all joy, or matter of joy, of exceeding great joy, even of the greatest joy; not that these afflictions were joyous in themselves, but in their circumstances, effects, and consequences; as they tried, and exercised, and improved the graces of the Spirit, and worked for their good, spiritual and eternal, and produced in them the peaceable fruit of righteousness; and as they were attended with the presence and Spirit of God, and of glory; and as they made for, and issued in the glory of God; and because of that great reward in heaven which would follow them; see Matthew 5:11. The Jews have a saying, “whoever rejoices in afflictions that come upon him, brings salvation to the world.” (T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 8. 1.)

With all those things in mind, we must continually call to remembrance the fact that we are to honor whatever form of government that we find ourselves under, as having divine authority. As it is written:

Romans 13:1-7
1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4For 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. 5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Blessed be God who has given us ministers of justice as well as minister of the gospel,

-TurretinFan

Thoughts on Abortion

January 29, 2008

By abortion I mean intentional unjustified termination of the life of an unborn child.

Abortion is wrong. It is a sin, and a violation of the 6th commandment. It is a particularly heinous sin when committed by a child’s father or mother. It ought to be crime, and governments who refuse to treat it as a crime risk God’s judgment for failing to act justly.

Abortion is properly classifed as murder, because an unborn child is a person. An unborn child is a human being. An unborn child has a separate physical existence from its parents, even though it is totally reliant on its mother for nutrition, support, protection, and so forth.

That the child’s father committed rape or incest is not ordinarily a justification for termination of the life of the child, whether or not the child was conceived as a result of that sinful action by the child’s father.

That a child’s mother committed a capital offense (and rape or incest might qualify as such an offense) may justify the termination of the life of the child, as collateral to the just judgment of death on the mother.

That a child is going to kill its mother may be a justification for terminating the life of the child, under a self-defense principle. That is to say, a mother (or a father acting as head of the family) may be justified in killing her child if the child is going to kill her, and if killing the child is the only way (back to the wall limitation) to stop the child from killing her.

Criminal law is not the sphere of authority of every government. Some politcal structures, like America or the European Union, have many spheres of authority. While it is the duty of the magistrate generally to protect life, it may not be, for example, for either the highest or lowest spheres of government to be enacing criminalization of abortion laws, if such laws do not fall within the proper scope of their authority.

Likewise, it is not the Christian’s duty to become abortion vigilantes, hunting down and executing justice on those who commit unjustified abortions.

That a child is very small is not a justification for killing a child.
That a child is not likely to have an enjoyable life is not justification for killing a child.
That a child is very ill is not a justification for killing a child.
That a child might endanger the life of its mother is not a justification for killing a child.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The point of this post is not to judge sinners. Judgment is the responsibility of God and the kings of the earth. Nor is the point of this post to judge kings who are sinners.

Instead, the point of this post is to entreat the kings and rulers of this world to enact just laws that protect the lives of innocent children, and justly punish those who take their lives.

May God bless this world with more nations that protect the lives of the unborn,

-Turretinfan


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