Our Readers' Opinions
March 11, 2011
Don’t be alarmed and irritated by truth


Editor: Jesus Christ said his word is truth. The Bible is God’s word and is truth, but it must be rightly divided if one is to be approved by him. I believe without a doubt that the Bible is the standard by which we ought to judge what is right and what is wrong, as far as our conduct is concerned.{{more}}

It is from this background that I would wish to briefly respond to some comments made by my one time History Master in his article captioned “The Church and Society”, printed in Searchlight of Friday, March 4.

First, let me reassure him that the article “God Commands Subjection” was indeed written by me. I, therefore, take full responsibility for it in totality and wish to reaffirm all that it said. Submission to God must of necessity include submission to the commands of God given us in his word. The question is, therefore, what is expected by God of a good citizen, which is what his disciples are called to be.

Passages like Romans 13: 1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 3:1-2; and 1 Peter 2:13-17 help to clarify the position. In this response, I would particularly wish to draw attention to the last passage mentioned above.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Christians are in effect strangers and pilgrims on earth; we are just passing through. This is why we can sing “This world is not my home.” We are told to respectfully submit to the economic and civil arrangements of the society in which we live. An orderly society is advantageous to those who live in it with pure motives. The purpose of governing officials is to maintain this order, to punish evildoers and praise those who do well.

One must agree that this is not always the case. Only when the state makes a demand of its citizens that would require them to disobey God can they legitimately refuse to comply with the civil law. This is seen in Daniel chapter six. Only when the royal statute that prohibited anyone from praying to God did Daniel disobey. He did what he had always done; pray three times a day to the God of heaven. Did he mobilize all the Hebrew captives and lead a demonstration, picket or engage himself in any civil unrest’s activities? I doubt; it is not so stated.

The principle of despising authorities is referred to as ungodly in 2 Peter 2:9-10, even though in the context the authority there is not civil.

Yes, God is a liberating Father, but his prime concern is liberation from the clutches of the devil; that is from sin. No synod or similar institution of any denomination has any right to lay down laws for Christians. The Bible has the complete instructions.

Submission to government does not mean that one is not free. He has chosen to obey God willingly. Isn’t this better than the hellish existence of unbounded freedom? Have we not seen the behavior in some North African and Persian Gulf countries? Fires easily lit can quickly get out of hand and do unexpected, regrettable damage. I believe we have the right to do right. We should all be glad that Jesus Christ never protested for his rights.

Let us thank God for giving us his word. Leaders and the entire population will be better served if we allow ourselves to be guided by it. Practice honesty, morality, justice, unity, peace, industry and love, thereby being a model for other nations.

And by the way, the church (Jesus built) is not “all of us.” It consists of all who in submission to his gospel repent and are baptized for the remission of sins. But then there are churches of men a plenty that insist in doing things their way.

I, therefore, urge that we do not allow ourselves to be irritated by the truth but to submit to the commands of God.

Joel H. Jack