Ron Paul 2008

with 21 Comments

Ron Paul is on a roll! Today, he’s raised more than $1,348,377. And it’s only 11:15am EST…

It’s part of a grass-roots movement — This November 5th

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http://RonPaul2008.com

Here are some charts and graphs… He’s getting about $57/second right now.

http://www.ronpaulgraphs.com

ron-paul.jpg

Update: Ron Paul ended up raising close to $4.0M on Monday. Absolutely amazing. We can only hope it’s put to good use!

21 Responses

  1. Dave Feucht
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    Wow, um, that’s crazy…

    and after reading his stuff on his website… I completely agree with one thing, that abortion is murder. Other than that, his foreign policy seems completely ridiculous to me – I’m sorry, but in the world we live in right now, you cannot just remove yourself and separate yourself, we have responsibility to be a part of this world and to interact and compromise with the other countries in the world, because what we do directly effects them, and they us. I mean, he’s starting to sound like Putin, removing the U.S. from the United Nations, NAFTA, ICC? Sure, it’d be great for America if our troops could do whatever they wanted and not be held responsible outside of the U.S., where our politicians can tweak laws so that they can basically rationalize anything (which already happens). Wow.

    And immigration laws… ok, look. I agree, nobody wants their hard earned money to be going to illegal immigrants. But think about this – the people who are really upset about illegal immigrants in the U.S. are mostly those who have more wealth than just about anyone else in the world. We’re swimming in it. Seriously, is it that big of a deal if people who have almost nothing get a little bit of that? Seriously, we all have heaps and loads more than we need. I think it’s probably more important that we look into what is happening to immigrants who are enticed into the U.S. with promise of a job and then sold into slavery.

    Ok, enough ranting 🙂

  2. Andrew Flanagan
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    I disagree completely that we have a responsibility to pander to international alliance organizations… It seems nearly universal that the world hates our involvement and meddling in their countries. Removing occupying troops from foreign nations seems the truly the responsible action in my opinion. Regarding international organizations, the reasoning is that entangling alliances cause more trouble than they’re worth. What benefits have we seen from the League of Nations? From the United Nations? Has it bettered the world really? Has it bettered the US?

    I don’t understand the second part — “Sure, it’d be great for America if our troops could do whatever they wanted and not be held responsible outside of the U.S., where our politicians can tweak laws so that they can basically rationalize anything (which already happens).”

    The second paragraph is confusing too… Ron Paul is not anti-immigrant, he’s anti-illegal immigrant. If I break the law, I’m held accountable to it. Shouldn’t the same rule apply to illegal immigrants? Overall, I’m not as anti-immigration as Ron Paul, but I do feel strongly that law breakers are law breakers.

    Who are you supporting for President?

  3. Dave Feucht
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    Oh, the second part was related to removing ourselves from all international organizations, particularly not being accountable for our actions in terms of things like the Iraq war and what we do there, in terms of trade with other countries, etc – because it is already the case that we are getting away with things we would be tried for if we were a part of the ICC as war crimes, torture, etc – but because those involved are only accountable to U.S. law, those who are in charge here in the U.S. are able to tweak U.S. laws so that we can, for instance, torture a prisoner further without breaking human rights laws. If we were accountable to the ICC, we would not be able to do this kind of thing. I don’t know, I do feel that a good amount of autonomy is healthy, certainly, but because we live in such a small world and because the actions of one country influence another even if we are not physically close to one another, I think having some international accountability is a good thing.

    Regarding illegal immigrants, yeah, they are illegal, and that’s not a good thing… however, I feel like way more attention is given to this than probably needs to be – that is, I don’t think it’s nearly as big of a problem as a lot of people make it out to be.

  4. Dave Feucht
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    Also, the attitude in wanting to remove the U.S. from international organizations just seems like more of the “We’re America and we should be able to do whatever we want” attitude, which I find really frustrating.

    The world hates our involvement in other countries because we stand alone and do what we want, with utter disregard to the opinion, advice and discretion of the rest of the world. I agree that removing troops from foreign countries seems like a responsible idea. If you remember, the UN originally didn’t want troops in Iraq, but we kind of persuaded/bullied certain nations into helping us in our war (for instance). I don’t think that we have to subject ourselves entirely to the will of the rest of the world, but a little regard for the rest of the world would be a good thing for everyone, I think.

  5. Godith
    |

    Non-interventionism is a great idea. Commerce and trade and diplomacy with all, however!! Re-read the Constitution. Read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. Paul is saying something old, not something new. I agree with him 100%. America calls the shots for America. The government doesn’t need to be funding this, that and everything. I know a lot of HIV babies in Africa that are being helped by the average American citizen with his own money (what’s left over after the IRS takes its cut).

    Ron made $4.2 million yesterday. Wow. And the guy is a Christian. He said,
    “I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator.”

  6. Uncle Steve
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    We strongly support Ron Paul. He’s not an isolationist nor an empire builder. He’s honest and FOR THE PEOPLE, not big government. Also, he’s not a lackey for the corporate establishment.

    Dave, I hope your not voting for Hillary and her establishment minions!! If she wins, we are moving to Belize.

  7. Dave Feucht
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    I would say it’s highly unlikely that I would vote either for Hillary or Ron 🙂

  8. Dennis de la Jungle
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    Another relative put me onto this discussion, Andrew, or I probably would be working on motor-drive design instead.

    A few comments regarding Ron Paul and Ron Paul comments, the latter first.

    David Feucht seems to have fallen completely for the “who is we” game that the psyche manipulators succeed in playing on most Americans. Instead of thinking like a Christian, a person for whom “my people” are the people of God, he makes the common mistake of thinking that when They in Washington say “we” in talking to the American people, that this should include himself. They talk like that because there are only about 5000 Anglo-American Power Elite and a quarter-billion Americans. By talking inclusively to the sheeple, before long the sheeple start talking that way themselves, about what “we” are doing in Iraq or elsewhere in the world, when in fact, nobody outside the circles of power are doing anything of geopolitical significance anywhere. It is simply a con-game of getting the sheeple to go along with a small minority of hell’s best at the top.

    This is a good example of what I mean when I continue to disturb the sleeping American church about its lack of being set apart to God as a distinct (holy) people. It isn’t. It’s the world with a plastic Jesus overlay, your choice of color. The church then argues over the colors.

    About Ron Paul – sure, he’s about the only person left in Washington politics without a thick veneer of green slime covering his spiritual body. Yet he too is playing the Washington game, the game the scriptures tell us not to play but Christians (David again, another example) play in the name of “relating to society”. If you want to really learn what relating to society as a Christian is, quit using your SSN. Never use it again and you will begin to awaken from the stupor that pervades Christian America. This is not rhetoric unless most of the Old Testament – Jeremiah, for example – is merely an example of dissident Israelite rhetoric in the 500s BC. Get the point?

    How is Ron Paul, for whom I have some respect, nevertheless offtrack, hacking like most “good Americans” at the perceived roots of evil yet hitting only the branches instead? He participates in and approves of the humanistic base of U.S. govt. The U.S. Constitution is a rather explicitly humanistic document. How? Who is the highest authority in the Constitution? God? Jesus Christ? Hardly. If the U.S.founders, the key ones being high-level Freemasons, wanted a godly govt, they already had them in the Colonies. Ever read the constitutions of Connecticut or Rhode Island? (CT is in my book, TGD.) They acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ over the colonies. Who does the U.S. Constitution acknowledge as lord over the U.S.? Yahweh? Wake up, people! The highest constitutional authority is “we the people”. That is who was the highest authority among Israel when Moses was on the mountain. It became the highest authority among the people in the Garden of Eden too. Human law-making is the root of all evil and is the essence of rebellion against God and his law.

    Until we come to realize that becoming a Christian is a political commitment of 100 % loyalty to the lordship, the governance, of Jesus Christ and his commands – a govt that to most American Christians is some abstraction, some future pie-in-the-sky – and disentangle ourselves spiritually, which is institutionally, from allegiance to a humanistic govt opposed to God’s rule, then we will continue to stunble in the present darkness.

    Ron Paul cannot succeed in his quest for the Presidency because he is an overt Outsider to power. He is a radical and a true alternative to the ruling banking dynasties. No President since maybe Andrew Jackson was such an Outsider. Both political parties were subverted long ago by the Power Elite, who are largely not in Washington. It matters not whether a Republicrat or Democlican sits on the throne. The people who put them there call the shots. In the outside chance that Paul were elected by a vast uprising of Joe Sixpacks from their TV couches, he would not be able to accomplish anything that he would like to do. One man – even the President – cannot unless the powers behind the Oval Office approve. One man cannot operate the machinery alone. And the Rulers will only approve of an assassination. The Money Power will not tolerante disturbance of its interests. The widely accepted yet unconstitutional Fed Note fiat dollar is a keystone in that edifice.

    So get real. Rejoin Jesus’s govt. It is a real and present govt to his real followers. Do not concern yourself with what the wicked in power should do in regard to foreign policy, etc. It is their problem. Let the dead bury the dead. The solution is for them to repent and place themselves under the government of God and his laws – and quit making their own! Buit they are in rebellion against God and will not. So do not join in with the rebels unless you intend to change your allegiance to the dark side. All that Washngton does is foreign to our govt, which is a monarchy, not a “tyranny of the 51 %”, as Francis Schaeffer (a man who was on his way to waking up about who to serve before he died). We are not pro-democracy. Lenin, Stalin, and Gorbachev were (or are) for democracy, the humanistic rule of man over man. We are not. Let’s start thinking like Christians. The Bible is full of this talk but it is filtered out by the effective filters the world has given us over a century of filter-fitting. Tear off those filters and start taking scripture for what it says!

  9. Andrew Flanagan
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    I think I agree with nearly everything but not the conclusions.
    1. Washington/Jefferson are not the godly paradigms often presented today.
    2. The Constitution does not establish a “Christian” government
    3. Ron Paul may not understanding or believe the above
    4. Ron Paul, even if somehow elected would be largely thwarted by the power elite
    5. Democracies stink

    However — The thing I don’t get — the thing that I’ve never quite got about your conclusion is why do I need to run from this? It’s tainted with evil like everything else in the world. It’s definitely not perfect. I don’t even like the idea of democracies let alone the particularly unhelpful form that the U.S. has. But it’s what we have. If I lived in China or India or Germany or Morocco right now I would attempt to influence whatever powers that be to move in a direction that brings glory to God. This doesn’t seem out-of-life with New Testament teaching.

    All humans are always going to be self-seeking, power-hungry, “wannabe”-Gods. This is true for Christians as well just not all the time. If this is the case then any action, action government, any thing at all that is founded, or maintained, or enacted by humans will be tainted with this. When I give to the poor I’m often motivated by pride, when I seek to witness, I often think of the glory that it would bring to ME. Etc.

    So I think that no matter where we turn in this world we’ll end up with the same problems. Too many people have become obsessed with purity only to form a church that contains only themselves. They’ve finally found a church that they can agree with 100%! But they seem to not get that it’s still far from a pure church. If it contains humans, it’s going to be a problem.

    Why not attempt to fix the problems that we face in our incredibly screwed up “culture” in the U.S.? We’ve been given power from the Almighty to transform the world in this way. I have a hard time believing it will ever work through our pitiful efforts but how will ignoring the problem possibly be any better? If we’re not allowed to rise in violent revolution against the powers that be and we can’t influence them for good, it seems that our hands are rather tied. I feel as if God expected us to DO more than run.

  10. Darrell
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    Raising a ton of money online is how Howard Dean managed to win the nomination.

    Oh…wait.

  11. Andrew Flanagan
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    Darrell, I’m just happy to see a Christian with his conservative beliefs getting that sort of support. Why be a naysayer!

  12. Dennis de la Jungle
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    Andrew, my most important statement was about the American church and that it is not set apart (or holy) from the world to God and consequently does not think of itself like the apostle Peter did, as God’s set-apart nation, his people who are not entangled in the world-system. Washington politics is nowadays at the heart of the Beast. Consequently, when you write:

    “It’s tainted with evil like everything else in the world. It’s definitely not perfect. I don’t even like the idea of democracies let alone the particularly unhelpful form that the U.S. has. But it’s what we have.”

    But who, again, is “we”? If you think the way the world has taught us all to think, that “we” is us cooperating with the Power Elite in Washington, then how can such a person rationally consider himself to be set apart from the world-system? Such a person is thinking like he has a stake in the apostate social structure. Christians instead have distanced themselves from it and have joined together as God’s people to promote a different political system under Jesus. Again, most Christians do not consider this real any more than the Easter bunny and consequently they do not put their time and effort into supporting it. Instead, they participate in the world, and play the world’s game by the world’s rules.

    Ron Paul is doing that, it appears. I suspect Paul is smart enough (and he’s smart) and clear-headed enough to be doing this, not because he thinks he has any chance to become President in Washington but to rally the remnant of Constitutionalists to roll back the present pervading evil. But on what basis is he doing this? On the humanistic basis that you agree we must reject as Christians. Then if that is the case, why not reject it in deed as well as word? You know what James writes about the connection between the two.

    I see God’s judgement upon America, not because it is cold toward God but lukewarm. The church wants God and the things of God on the world’s terms. It wants to straddle the fence. This does not bring glory to God.

    What would? The unimaginable: 2000 Christians tearing up their membership cards in the System and living set apart from it. I detail this in TGD. Who is doing it? Few if any “good Christians” within organized religion. Do you know any PCAs or OPCs or RPCs who have discontinued use of their SSN? Who no longer feed the Beast, or go to it for permission to marry, or to be a church? 501(c)3 “churches” make my case. They are neither churches in a biblical or U.S. legal sense. They are fence-walkers. If Faith Presby. Church were to revoke and rescind what it gave the humanistic powers their word that they would do – obey any future laws the legislature makes up regulating them – then I will begin to really believe that FPC Christians recognize the lordship of Christ over the lordship of Olympia and Washington. But will they do that? It is most likely that their comfort zone is too wide to follow Christ where the rubber meets the road. They would likely instead fabricate some theological rationalization for how the kingdom of Christ is not in the same category as Rome and therefore honoring Caesar in this way is not denying the lordship of Christ. It’s so easy to do this in America where the god of comfort is worshipped. The early Christians died for it instead.

    Your argument appears to be one such rationalization and it contradicts the facts of history. The argument goes: all humans are fallen, therefore all govts are fallen, therefore it is okay for Christians to put their efforts into fallen govts. The fallacy in this argument is that there has been historically, and is presently, a distinction between govts who are apostate and those who seek to do the will of God and recognize the lordship of Christ, albeit imperfectly. Imperfection is NOT the same as apostasy! This is a critical error. The govt of early colonial CT was a government under Christ. The U.S. is clearly not. The distinction is critical, fundamental, and unavoidable.

    Israel under Yahweh was such a govt. What were its laws? The laws that only God has the authority to give man to live by. These were the laws of Israel, a set-apart people of God. What are the laws of democracies? What those who participate in the democracy want them to be. They, not God, ultimately determine what is right and wrong. The laws simply express these determinations.

    In working to support the U.S. Constitutional govt, what are you doing in light of the above? See my point? Christians of today have been deceived into fence-walkng, which satisfies the Apostates in Power, and they do not persecute such people. Such “people of God” are effectively within their control. These kind of Christians even vote them into office as some Silent Majority.

    To get real about being a Christian means making a clean break with this fence-sitting and being willing to go to prison or leave Their jurisdiction for it, if it comes to that. The way you know you are really willing to accept these consequences is when you you start getting out of Their System. That’s the acid test for who is a real Christian and who fence-walks instead, like all those deeply religious people of Malachi’s time.

    I agree that it IS hard to believe that Christians of the kind we are discussing will ever change the world. They cannot because they are part of the world. The Amish are about the closest to people who have made a real break with the world. They are more careful about allowing wickedness to infuence them. And they have a substantial identity as a set-apart people of God. The mainline evangelicals laugh at them for their quaintness, but what is more important is that they are not as entangled in the world-system. They don’t use SSNs. They don’t watch TV. They don’t go to the govt for marriage licenses and their churches so not seek the approval of the govt by becoming 26USC501(c)3 religious organizations, willingly under the authority of the apoStates. Neither did the early or wilderness Christians of the past. Only the apostate church approves these entanglements, and the 14th-century Reformers sadly did not (except for the Anabaptists) break from the world. Luther’s hide was being protected by Fred 3 of Germany, who had the largest army in Europe at the time and could challenge the Pope. Luther was caught in the middle of worldly geopolitics and could not (or did not) make the break that the Anabaptists did and the Wilderness church (the Vaudois) had been doing all along.

    How could people who decide to become total Christians do it in America? I answer this in TGD. That’s why I wrote it. Did you read it? The answers (not all details, but some) are there. The Amish set ONE kind of example of how to do this, to an extent. Very few – a remnant – are doing it in other ways in America today.

  13. Andrew Flanagan
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    I’ve read much of TGD (but skipped some larger sections because I think I mostly or entirely agree with them). The thing what’s difficult for me to understand is that you state the following:

    “Human authority established by God is under the fall, an no legitimate human authority is completely consistent. However, clear bounds exist in that unambiguous disobedience by an earthly power of God’s law discredits it as an authority to be obeyed.”

    You come to this conclusion from some rather difficult to follow interpretations of scripture. This part is not clear. After quoting some scripture you say

    “The first issue that arises is one of identifying the authorities the Christian is to submit to.”

    But isn’t that explained already? They, like Caesar are our human rulers. God is sovereign and sets every ruler in place. He has given him authority just he has given the evil rulers of this world power. Rome was not a wonderful government but yet, nowhere are there calls to throw off the yoke of Roman rule in order to bring in a more perfect Christian government. The kingdom of God is bigger than Rome or any human government.

    You would say that Rome was not a legitimate authority but then what was Titus reminding his readers of when he said, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient…”. If there were no authorities that qualified, then why did he need to remind them?

    I don’t follow the reasoning here at all.

    Another point is that you refer above to the United States being “apostate”. Apostasy has nothing to do with governments. To say that a worldly institution is beyond reform seems to indicate that some tasks are too big for God. If it’s a simple practical statement that you don’t think the United States can be salvaged, then maybe you’re right. But it’s not a cut-and-dry truth, it’s an opinion of what you think will happen.

    My issue with the “run and hide” mentality of the Amish/Anabaptists/etc. is that they are not furthering the kingdom. They’re keeping it under a basket and desperately trying to maintain their purity and righteousness. A candidate like Ron Paul (who I’m obviously excited about) is such a breath of fresh air because he honestly wants reform. He wants to see a return to Christian ideals for everyone — not just an isolated community.

    I can totally understand if you think it’s a waste of time to bother with the United States government system but I find it unsupported scripturally to condemn those who choose to try.

    If it’s true that a Christian is right in submitting himself to a worldly government (as Titus for example certainly seems to be saying) then many of the arguments later in TGD about enumeration, etc. don’t have as much validity. The rulers are sinning (just as the Roman Caesars did) but that’s no reason to not comply. Jesus was struck and mocked but although he possessed the power to stop it from happening, he didn’t. The Judean Zealot movement at the time of Christ was not supported by Christ himself or by his followers. It seems a perfect description of the “remnant” group that you describe in the United States. They chose to disobey rather than comply and ended up being crucified for their trouble. What glory did that bring to God? Was the current church that exists today due to their efforts? Were hearts won for Christ?

    Paul chose to comply with Roman law (even “playing their game” by demanding a Roman trial). This doesn’t seem to be in line with the actions he should have taken in accordance with TGD.

  14. Godith
    |

    O Belizian One:
    The US is not nor ever can be a theocracy. The church Christ set up is a theocracy. Augustine–The City of God and The City of Man, etc.

    We are to pray to have peace so that the gospel can go out in an orderly way, as well as that we can live lives of peace–so kids can be taught, etc. Only God can bring that peace, but like just about everything else, he uses means. He even used means for the Incarnation!

    The liberties that you would like to have are the ones we are quickly losing in the US. This is what RP would like to work toward again. The Founders weren’t Christians–no doubt about (though we can look to some like Sam Adams and Jonathan Witherspoon). Ron Paul says that the “natural rights” we have were God-given. In that sense and that sense only are the “natural”. People who do not give God the thanks and glory for those rights will be rightly and justly judged by Him.

    Time flies or I’d write more. For once in US history a candidate seems to have all his ducks in a row. His humility is amazing. He gives God the glory.

    As we seek to honor God, we will seek to promote the RP candidacy.
    –Godith

  15. David Feucht
    |

    I would just say, be careful that you’re not hoping for the U.S. to BECOME a theocracy under Ron Paul, or become too optimistic about him – even if he does support many of the things you value, he’s guarranteed not to have all his ducks in a row (he is human). This is true of any candidate ever. So, certainly, be excited if you think he’s a great guy, which he may very well be, but remember, essentially he’s just like you and me. And remember that supporting Ron Paul (or anyone else) isn’t the same thing as honoring God (it may be honoring to God, but the two are not equivalent). With that in mind, vote away! 🙂

  16. Godith
    |

    What do you think of Pat Robertson endorsing Giuliani?
    Pretty incredible. Pretty horrible.
    –Godith

  17. David Feucht
    |

    I’m thinking you probably don’t want to get me going about Pat Robertson 🙂

    Also, I think it’s pretty horrible how a lot of Christians involve themselves in politics, especially when they wrap their identity in it – we have to remember that Christ didn’t identify with a political party or a social class, an ethnic group or a group of people who at least didn’t sin THAT way (THAT being whatever is the socially taboo sin) – he identified with broken humans who needed help. Individual people.

    I suppose this is probably also something you don’t want to get me going on, it could take a while 🙂

  18. Dennis de la Jungle
    |

    Andrew,

    You’re getting quickly to the heart of the matter for evangelical Christians: how to take Romans 13 & 1 Peter 2. TGD ia quoted:

    “The first issue that arises is one of identifying the authorities the Christian is to submit to.”

    Your response:

    “But isn’t that explained already? They, like Caesar are our human rulers. God is sovereign and sets every ruler in place. He has given him authority just he has given the evil rulers of this world power. Rome was not a wonderful government but yet, nowhere are there calls to throw off the yoke of Roman rule in order to bring in a more perfect Christian government. The kingdom of God is bigger than Rome or any human government.”

    “You would say that Rome was not a legitimate authority but then what was Titus reminding his readers of when he said, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient…”. If there were no authorities that qualified, then why did he need to remind them?”

    The first question is who these _hyperecho exousia_ are that Paul says are “ordained” of God. Both Peter and Paul give nearly identical wording. It is as though there was some conference and meeting of the minds about this in the early church, maybe even on wording. Both describe them as “ordained” (not necessarily approved) of God. This simply means that in God’s plans, these people play some role. Tamerlane wiped out the largest church that existed in the ancient world, yet God allowed that church to be taken out by him. I doubt if too many Church of the East Christians were wondering how they could better subject themselves to Tamerlane. The same is true of some of the Roman Caesars. So the first point is that ordination does not mean approval. Saul was ordained of God. He ended up rather unapproved for disobeying God.

    Both Paul and Peter also tell us who these hyperecho exousia are by describing their properties. They are rulers who promote what is good and punish what is evil. The assumption – a safe one, I think – is that good and evil to both Paul and Peter are what God, not the State, says it is. So basically these higher powers are people who rule by God’s laws. Many people who controlled the guns (or swords) in the past would not meet these qualifications. Most today would not. Where they did, or do, we are instructed to “submit” to them. Submission entails either direct obedience to their commands or else deferring our actions that their might be accomplished – but only when they are ruling by God’s laws.

    Why were the higher powers that were to be obeyed described this way? My conjecture is that it was known that these letters to the churches (especially to Rome) would almost certainly become known by those in govt. The wording is clever in that Christians (the early ones, at least) would not have any difficulty understanding the conditions placed upon who these higher powers were and draw the right conclusions. Roman govt officials would also not have any problem with them because they would understand them, in their worldly way, the way American Christians often understand them. This veiled kind of communication is not unique in scripture. John uses it much more (Revelation, for example) than Paul or Peter. For Jesus, it was business as usual, though he spoke clearly to his inner circle. This “secretiveness” is almost completely foreign to our open American way of thinking and communicating and we’re likely to miss it. (But now there’s PGP …) But my point here does not depend on this – the point being that the higher powers to be submitted to are those enforcing God’s laws.

    What might make the TGD discussion harder to understand is that in some ways, even Hitler obeyed God’s laws and when he enforced them, German Christians were to obey them. But not just any jerk who holds a gun to your head should be obeyed – unless they are upholding God’s laws. An aside: Hitler was attractive to German Christians as he would be to American evangelicals. Here was a man who had a strong moral sensibility about injustice done to Germany after WW I, who did not drink any alcohol, did not smoke, and did not allow others to smoke in his presence. Bush doesn’t come close to Hitler in the personal traits that evangelicals (but maybe not the Bentham Club) would admire!

    So what, in effect, are Peter and Paul (and maybe even Mary, if she had written more letters!) telling us? Obey God’s laws and cooperate with others who do and who enforce them. They are the rulers to submit to, when they are ruling by God’s laws. In the earlier, Christian-dominated days of America, the laws made by the people’s representatives were nearly always a reflection of biblical teaching and as such could (though they weren’t) be interpreted as _judicial_ in nature (declarative judgements) rather than _legislative_ in that they were, like the Mishna, interpretations of how to apply God’s laws in certain cases. The 2 millions laws on the books in America today can hardly be said to be that, however. Many of them are rather explicitly a denial of God’s laws, including the First Commandment. TGD discusses this with some illustrations.

    “Another point is that you refer above to the United States being “apostate”. Apostasy has nothing to do with governments. To say that a worldly institution is beyond reform seems to indicate that some tasks are too big for God. If it’s a simple practical statement that you don’t think the United States can be salvaged, then maybe you’re right. But it’s not a cut-and-dry truth, it’s an opinion of what you think will happen.”

    It is an opinion. Apostate governments are organizations of people who are apostate. Institutions reflect the character of the people who run them. (That’s why you’re PCA, not UPC, for instance.) And civilizations do run their course and come under God’s judgement. Think of this as a set of laws, like the physical laws, except that they apply socially. Human nature, both individual and collective, has some form or structure to it; it isn’t just anything and everything. Phychology and sociology in this sense are valid areas of study. Therefore, it should be possible to have some semi-accurate model of human nature that informs one about what to expect in certain situations. Historically, I know of no civilization that has slipped as far as America (or the Western world) and recovered.

    God seems to uphold this sense of validity about the evolution of civilizations. he contrasts his own as a kingdom without end, implying that the others run their course. He considered the Cities of the Plain (Sodom, etc.) to be goners. He would have saved them if just two righteous people could be found in them (other than Lot’s family), but it was a lost cause.

    My issue with the “run and hide” mentality of the Amish/Anabaptists/etc. is that they are not furthering the kingdom.

    I do not know about this “run and hide” mentality of the Anabaptists. Historically, if they had run and hid, they wouldn’t have been available to be tortured. The true church throughout the Middle Ages was driven “into the wilderness” (Revelation’s language). Literally, they were driven into the moutain valleys of the Piedmont in northern Italy and southern France. Yet reformation was always threatening the Apostate Church to break out because these people were also evangelical. The papacy persecuted them. They were about the only people furthering the kingdom during the 1260 year rule of the Man of Sin. Similarly, most of the early Christians in Rome headed for the wilderness and converted the barbarians to Christ. The story of Ulfilas, apostle of the Goths, is an example.

    > They’re keeping it under a basket and desperately trying to maintain their purity and righteousness. A candidate like Ron Paul (who I’m obviously excited about) is such a breath of fresh air because he honestly wants reform. He wants to see a return to Christian ideals for everyone — not just an isolated community.

    I would say the ACCA would fit this description. Yes, too many Amish have become obscurantists at heart. But many are evangelical. Their very lifestyle speaks to the prevailing culture. The State of Pennsylvania built a freeway extension in Lancaster County just so that more tourists could go gawk at the Amish. Imagine that. People bothering to travel some distance at their inconvenience to find out about their different lifestyle. (Do they do that for the PCA? Maybe a few, but not as many as the Amish visitors.) Some of those tourists are likely to be impacted by the different ambience they experience among the Amish. You can see that’s true by the attention the mainstream culture gives them. See the movies “Witness” (Harrison Ford) and “For Richer or Poorer” as examples.

    “I can totally understand if you think it’s a waste of time to bother with the United States government system but I find it unsupported scripturally to condemn those who choose to try.”

    But God condemns any System that is built on the model of Babylon, as an apoState. Look at the U.S. Constitution. Who is the ultimate authority, God or man? This is not hard to figure out rationally, but we have all been conditioned our entire lives to miss the obvious.

    “If it’s true that a Christian is right in submitting himself to a worldly government (as Titus for example certainly seems to be saying) then many of the arguments later in TGD about enumeration, etc. don’t have as much validity.”

    But this just isn’t true. We are not to submit ourselves to anything that compromises Jesus as our Lord. In Rome, the pinch of incense to the genius (godhood) of Caesar was an obvious case. Today, the compromises are more subtle. Angles of Light work better that Roaring Lions until the Devil clearly has the upper hand. Then the roaring lion approach (as in Rome) is used to finish of the dissidents, if possible.

    Keep in mind the actual biblical criteria: we submit when the ruler is submitting to God – that is, is following God’s laws in ruling. If not, we follow God instead of man. Where governments are “worldly” – opposing God’s laws – we do not submit to them. This is the clear example of the early church. How else do you think Peter and Paul ended up being executed by the Roman govt? For submitting to them? And then there’s that fellow who was charged with sedition and tax evasion, but sedition was sufficient to have him crucified under Roman authority. These historic facts alone should make any thinking Christian wonder about the simplistic obey-worldly-government viewpoint that is common among American Christians today (but not always – how about the American Revolution?).

    “The rulers are sinning (just as the Roman Caesars did) but that’s no reason to not comply.”

    Again, look at the biblical criteria: is the ruler promoting righteousness and punishing evil? If so, then Hitler would qualify. If not, then we do not go along with it.

    “Jesus was struck and mocked but although he possessed the power to stop it from happening, he didn’t. The Judean Zealot movement at the time of Christ was not supported by Christ himself or by his followers.”

    This is not clearly the case at all. Jesus even picked a Zealot or two for his inner circle. And look at him! If he were a “good American Christian” he would have read Romans 13 and submitted his kingdom to Caesar. Think through the logic of it and the simplistic obey-the-govt view doesn’t hold biblically. The scriptures do not support militant revolution but they certainly support revolution. Christ was, and continues to be, the most successful revolutionary who ever lived!

    “What glory did that bring to God? Was the current church that exists today due to their efforts? Were hearts won for Christ?”

    Apply this to the early church. They werea minority group, a dissident minority group, in the Roman empire. All these questions could be asked of them. Or the Vaudois, or Christians in Communist Eastern Europe, or any Christians remaining true to Christ in a world of fence-walkers.

    > Paul chose to comply with Roman law (even “playing their game” by demanding a Roman trial). This doesn’t seem to be in line with the actions he should have taken in accordance with TGD.

    I think this is discussed in TGD. The position we’re taking is so different from the usual thinking of American Christians that many misconceptions can arise. I have a U.S. passport. Paul had Roman citizenship. He did not consider it anything just as I do not consider worldly nation-state citizenship anything relative to citizenship in Christ’s kingdom. There is nothing that says we can’t use the geopolitical circumstances to our advantage as long as we are obeying God’s laws. The early Christians certainly did. (See the TGD discussion of natural law.) The main point is that neither Paul nor I took on responsibility for the consequences of the wicked, who are not a part of our people in Christ. Too many American Christians (David, in above comments) clearly do. That’s an implicit betrayal of Christ.

    The “game” to be avoided is that which compromises the lordship of Jesus. States compete for the loyalties of people and are jealous of the loyalties of those within their jurisdictions. They do not want intermediate authorities (such as the family) to compete with them. They issue marriage licenses that require, in effect, that those who get them acknowledge the State over their families where according to God’s law, no State should be. These points are lost on Christians today because they don’t know God’s law. They don’t see the conflict. What Mark and I are saying is that Christians have been altogether too undiscerning of these compromises in 20th and 21st century America.

    Update: I fixed the spacing of this comment because it was hard to read…

  19. Dennis de la Jungle
    |

    Godith, whoever you are:

    “The US is not nor ever can be a theocracy.”

    Exactly. The U.S. Constitution rules that out, except for the “dissolve the govt” clause. By “theocracy” I would not mean the “rule of priests” – that’s a “hierarchy”: rule of the “holy”. God’s government is not a hierarchy. The priests in Israel did not rule Israel. A theocracy is simply any social organization that obeys God and his laws and submits to his rule. It is the kingdom of God.

    “The church Christ set up is a theocracy. Augustine–The City of God and The City of Man, etc.”

    Right, the church is simply citizens who give their total allegiance to a particular govt, that of Christ. I wouldn’t rely too heavily on Augustine, however, for guidance on this, though he does get some of it right. Augustine was too much influenced by the Apostate Church that he was a part of, and he didn’t see the papacy for what it was. In a time when the papacy was becoming significant in political power, this is not a mistake to make.

    “We are to pray to have peace so that the gospel can go out in an orderly way, as well as that we can live lives of peace–so kids can be taught, etc. Only God can bring that peace, but like just about everything else, he uses means. He even used means for the Incarnation!”

    Yes. Note that when Paul calls upon Christians to pray for rulers, as you noted, he does NOT say we should pray that God support them in whatever they have in mind to do, but instead that social conditions allow the advance of the gospel, the revolution that ultimately will overturn all these worldly nation-states.

    “The liberties that you would like to have are the ones we are quickly losing in the US. This is what RP would like to work toward again. The Founders weren’t Christians–no doubt about (though we can look to some like Sam Adams and Jonathan Witherspoon).”

    The true federalists (who are otherwise known as the anti-federalists; the “federalists” were actually the centrists) such as Patrick Henry, were Christians, but they were also not at all clear on this point of God and govt. The Articles of Confederation allowed for the Christ-based constitutions of the colonies. The U.S. Constitution swept them away. The early colonists were much clearer on it, but they were dead for a few generations when the Freemasons (and maybe Jesuits) took over.

    “Ron Paul says that the “natural rights” we have were God-given. In that sense and that sense only are the “natural”. People who do not give God the thanks and glory for those rights will be rightly and justly judged by Him.”

    God does not really give us much in the way of rights. The word appears only once in the Bible, in the OT, and in passing. The Bible gives us God’s law, then tells us how wonderful life can be when society submits to God and his law. (See the Psalms, for instance.) “Rights” is a largely humanistic Enlightenment concept centered in human will. It is a set of guarantees for the operation of human will. That puts the emphasis on man and man’s empowerment, not God and his grace as given through the many benefits and blessings of his law.

    “Time flies or I’d write more. For once in US history a candidate seems to have all his ducks in a row. His humility is amazing. He gives God the glory.”

    I too like Ron Paul, but don’t rely on him. I don’t think he can deliver because of his enemies. Christ is also a political leader and I admire him more. And he can deliver. Remember that Hitler had a lot of appealing qualities to German Christians (though I wouldn’t equate Paul to Hitler!), and he disappointed the hopes of many German Christians. So put not your trust in (a) man, but in The Man.

  20. Andrew
    |

    As always, Godwin’s law is proved true! 🙂

  21. Godith
    |

    D of the J:
    (I’ve met you in GC, PA-via Andrew, of course).

    Last time I checked I hadn’t confused Ron Paul with God, but I’ll keep your warnings/exhortations in mind.

    Andrew: Thx for the link about Godwin’s law! I have noted the law at work in debate rounds as well. The term “9/11” may run a close second!

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