Has the American church “abdicated” it’s authority granted it by God? The Definition of abdicated: “means to formally and/or publicly give up a position of power or a responsibility, usually by choice”.
This question came to me as i was noticing a comment on Facebook specific to voting in elections. And it started me thinking about how the pilgrims came here to America so they could NOT live under the rule of a “unrighteous” King, but they brought their King James Bible with them to practice their beliefs, and live in a new land as Christians to serve the King of Kings of the bible “under God”, for the good of all. See the “Mayflower Compact” (see reference linked below), as signed by almost all the Pilgrim men of the Mayflower.
I also see as our nation became the Republic of the Untied States it was mostly a nation united in it’s view, and the bible was relied upon as the ultimate guide for authority over man in this country. (See at bottom for references to read )
I also noticed almost every signer of the declaration of Independence, was also quoted as referencing, or using directly, verses from the Bible; We have even had a president of the Untied Sates, James A. Garfield who was considered an ordained minister of the gospel.
I also see clearly that ALL those men were, “voted” into office and “allowed” by the people to govern them, that is, the “voters” allowed them the privilege to hold all these positions of government, “by the people for the people,” as Abe Lincoln said, and back then the majority vote of the population of the USA, held those same values of the bible, as these men that “they had voted for” which they all publicly expressed.
Thus the people were using “their” God given right “authority” to vote, to express not their own opinion, but “God’s opinion” as to who should be allowed to rule over them as a “government” which these men together also formed…Prayerfully! (Read references below and what Ben Franklin told them about needing prayer)
I see these “American’s” who voted for those running for office, did not just pray, and say God please do something for us…they prayed, and read their bible and asked God for wisdom to use their “authority” to vote, and then voted, participated as God wanted them to vote for “their” nation. And I notice they originally started by meeting in a church…” The first representative assembly in English America convened in Jamestown’s church July 30, 1619, with two burgesses from each of Virginia’s twenty-one plantations and corporations. ” (see the references below) Interesting that many polling places today are still churches.
But most importantly we must recognize, that it is God Himself who declared every person to be in “subjection” (submission) to governing authorities, and that by God’s authority He granted “us” the right to govern the earth ourselves for Him! As stated in ( Gen1:28 )And that now seems misunderstood by the last generation which has resulted in a church “today” that acts like they think God does it all, and are “only” reading the words that say God establishes those in governing positions, not thinking about it….. But are you right? Or have you been overlooking the context ? Because we must remember what side of the cross we stand on. On this side God works through His people! (2Cor 6:16 )
Uummm …Well only God promotes and takes down…. right? Psalm 75:7-“But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.” But what does God actually say regarding governing? Lets look at a specific verse in Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome, a city where 10-13 years after this letter was believed to be written, began a time of many martyrs, when it became very tough to be a true Christian, especially when the head of the government “Caesar’ began lighting Christians as torches for his garden! (See Martyrs reference below) And still the church grew, even though God had already said this to them and now “us” through the same words God spoke through Paul… And His word did not then, and does not now change. (You can hover cursor over scripture reference to see it yourself.)
Rom 13:1-3Nasb-” ‘Every person’ is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever… ‘resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God’..; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; “…..
But what is not lost on me, but seems often forgotten by many, is that “we” must always FIRST realize, this was said in “the context” of “our” standing on “this side” of the cross AFTER the resurrection! And “absolute authority” is now given to “us” to rule here “on earth” on behalf of God.. Luke 10:19-” Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ‘all’ the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.”…
“ALL” power over the enemy is given to “us” here “now” because the devil is the ruler, or “god” of this world “the earth”…2Cor 4:4Nasb- “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” ….
And so “if” we are in submission to God and His word, then “we” are to rule over and subdue “the earth” to keep satan under OUR feet, for God… through “His authority given us now to use for Him”…. As God commanded “all” man kind before the fall of Adam… Gen 1:28 Nasb-” God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the ‘earth’, and ‘subdue it’; and ‘rule over’ the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves ‘on the earth’ .” ….
And “us” who are “reconciled” to the Father are in same relationship as Adam enjoyed “before the fall”… God has now appointed “us” as His Ambassadors to express His opinion, and even given in America, the right to vote on his behalf according to His will and word here. … And God said the government shall rest upon His shoulders( Isaiah 9:6 )
2Cor5:20Nasb-“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” …
Because as one who is reconciled to God… we are to act that way, and act or “mimic” Him, as “ambassadors” only speaking what their King says to declare, and “only vote” on His behalf according to “His desire” as He communicates to His ambassadors! …His communication is written to us in the Bible. And he also said “imitate” Him as His children. ( Ephesians 5:1 ).
And God gave us the wisdom to use the authority given us wisely…1Cor 1:30Nasb-” But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to ‘us’ wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,” …
And we are to do “act” as directed by His Spirit “in us” empowering us… Gal 4:6Nasb-“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” … So we are known to be led by the Spirit as children of God. Rom 8:14Nasb- “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (His word is also Spirit too…See John 6:63)
Thus “we” are equipped to do everything stated in his word…2TIm 3:17-“so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” ….
Unfortunately many have said for way to long in the United States… “God will do it”….It is His job we must “only” pray that he moves and he will hear from heaven. …And in doing so have buried their authority given to them, like a talent in a hole in the ground, and thus they have actually “resisted the authority” given them, and by their disobedience themselves “oppose the ordinance of God” (Rom 13:2 above), and by non participation, abdicated their authority, and allowed the ungodly to rule over “us” in the USA, to create unrighteous laws. Which God allows! Why?
Because all authority in heaven and earth was already given “us” the church, the bride of Christ…too rule with here now, to overcome the devil! To live as overcomers through Christ who is “in us” giving us strength to do all things. (Philippians 4:13) I noticed Daniel, Nehemiah, Joseph, and King David did not have problem participating in government for God.
This is not the Old Testament we live in, we live on “this side of the cross”, and now God works “through His people” in this current “era of grace”, before the judgement comes…when He will allow His wrath to be known.
And one should read what happens to those who bury their talent=authority given them “to use on His behalf”. (Mat 25:28-30).
Mat 25:28-30Nasb-“Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Now in the church, it is true… yes only God appoints the office holder in the church, of course in book of Acts, we can also see that they exercised their authority and voted on deacons. But outside the 5 church offices,( Eph 4:11 ) ALL Christians are appointed as “ambassadors for Christ”. To use our authority granted us, for God’s rule to be seen here and now through us, and for us to live submitted to the governing authority over us, but the one that “God” would desire established here. Remember Judges were appointed in Israel to help “govern” them for God too. Read the 7th book of bible it’s the book of Judges.
And do not forget the word to the church in Rev 3:14 to the Laodicea “church” …It is presented like the church is on trial for a lack of faithfulness to carry out “their” responsibilities to Jesus, and here Christ is the faithful witness against them. They are called “luke warm” for being so worldly, for being spiritually useless instead of standing as they should have and could have… but instead were called only worthy of being vomited out.
The word Laodicea means “judgment of the people,” We must therefore evaluate ourselves now, and see how God may look at us while we can (2Cor 13:5), and then make our goal His word, given us as an example to live out, for others to see as our forefathers did, and be found faithful. (Not perfect but seeking) And lets not compare ourselves to the unbelieving whose example is only by thier father the devil, the temporary ruler of this world.
We must seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness, and not settle for less than what Christ died to obtain for us. That we might walk and act here as He does there in heaven (1John 4:17 ), as He acts with ALL authority in heaven and earth, we are to also,while living here as His ambassadors, and wielding His authority on His behalf correctly. (rightly dividing the word of Truth 2Tim 2:15) And remember Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven was at hand when He stood here on earth. ( Mark 1:15 ) And He now fills you, and completes you! ( Col 2:10 ) So you can do the work! And keep the nation from forgetting God! ( Psalm 9:17)
Therefore “we” the church should vote and participate in the governing of OUR nation, as only God gave us this freedom (called an American’s rights) as an open door to act for Him, which is a gift we are allowed that many do not enjoy in the world, and those in Rome certainly could not enjoy. …And yes debating of issues is fine,(Paul did from scriptures) God gave us wisdom, but said let all our words be seasoned with grace,( Colossions 4:6) and truth said in love, (Eph4:15) “participating” in the process, as God would desire us too, and only for God, “not self”, and that means only voting for those available, that are the closest aligned with God’s word, and His commands…our Bible! Not voting for a party, but actually “seeking” to subdue the earth with righteousness”right living and right actions” as “we” are commanded to act for God. (Mat 6:33)
And hopefully by participating as God desires and leads “us” by His Spirit ( Rom 8:14 ) eventually we can raise up politicians “again” who will walk incorruptible, “straight paths” acknowledging God in “all” their ways…. And thereby govern us “all” correctly. (God raised up Nehemiah and God raised up Daniel to places of government positions to restore His nation, and act on behalf of the people. David too!)
Also remembering that God has said “He” is our provider, so “we” do not vote by the material issues, or in regard to entitlement… For He has promised each of us everything for life and godliness. (2Pet 1:3) …And “we” are to live as though we believe His promises.
Just something to think on because true leadership leads by example, and only follows the voice of the great shepherd. …”follow” can also be interpreted “imitate” or mimic… Which we are to do as well. (Eph 5:1). “Be imitators of God as dearly loved children”… So are you? Have you used your authority, and voted in elections like your His for the last 20 years??… Or have you buried this God given gift, a “talent” that you are to be a steward of for Him… until He returns. Something to think on. …Why?
Because a “vote” cast in an election as a Christian, is the use of your “talent” a freedom to serve the Lord with, something given you also is the authority granted by God to choose to make choices for Him for His Kingdom. Which is higher than man’s law. .. Choose light and life, or dark and death? And NOT voting at all, or NOT voting as God would desire you too vote, is the same as burying it in a hole. Like that man, with a “talent” from His master had done. ( Mat 25:18-30 ) By the way that parable was repeated in Luke ( Luke 19:17 ) you can go read it now if you like, and see what the masters money was exchanged for by the servants who used it correctly .. it is more authority! ( Again just hover cursor over verse reference’s to read them)
I know some will say but God said just humble ourselves and pray for our nation! ( 2Chron7:14 ) .. but He only said 14 because He had to motivate them in ( 2Chron 7:13 ) to use their authority He gave them , and get them to repent and act like their His children! !
So I am only telling you to use what “you have now” wisely, as it may determine where you rule in God’s kingdom latter. ..If at all. Don’t be found lukewarm in anything; But be found as a man faithful (1Cor 4:2)…in everything. Governing and voting too, participating for God to imitate Him as dearly loved children!( Eph5:1 ) Because only God placed your feet in America!
So that we clearly follow the narrow road and stay in the light! By Rev. Ernie Harpster
References for Historical evidence given above :
See Mayflower compact of first Pilgrims from England, also part of the separatist Puritian church. … http://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/mayflower-and-mayflower-compact
US History Quotes regarding evidence fore Fathers were bible based …. http://www.usachristianministries.com/us-history-quotes-about-god-and-the-bible/
Quotes regarding beliefs, of almost every signer of Declaration of Independence and those of Bill of Rights who founded our nation…. http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755
Prayer was a part of early decisions seeking God’s guidance… http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=144096
Also see as extra refrence of this. http://www.wwaytv3.com/2013/09/13/mcintyre-prayers-impact-upon-our-nation
First representative assembly convened in a church…. http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/spring07/elections.cfm
Rome’s Martyrs some used as torches… http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/martyrs011.htm