Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Department of Un-Subjection

People criticize pacifists like me for being "utopian." They say following Jesus the Pacifist is "impractical" and "unrealistic" in a world of terrorists and would-be invaders.

People also criticize anarchists like me for not being in "subjection" to government. They quote Bible passages like these:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
1 Peter 2:13-14 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.

They don't usually quote this verse, though it fits perfectly:

Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Israel, you may recall, had been invaded by the barbaric, pagan, unclean Roman Empire, who put Israel under tribute, and stationed soldiers throughout the country. These soldiers were authorized to conscript Israeli citizens and compel them to carry the soldier's provisions for up to one mile. This infuriated many Israelites, who longed for the Messiah to liberate them from the Roman occupation. Many were making plans to be a part of a violent revolution against Caesar.

Jesus repudiated violent revolution. "Render unto Caesar." Pay your taxes.

This surely means that the American Revolution was not Biblically justified.

The Apostle Paul echoed Jesus in Romans 12 and 13. Jesus said "Resist not evil." Paul adds, not even the government, the greatest evil-doer of all.

And if we are not allowed to resist the powers that be, how can we justify resisting the powers that wanna be -- imperialists who are not yet "the powers that be," but are invading our country with the intention to set themselves up as "the powers that be."

Was it Jesus' position that Israel should have/could have resisted the Roman invasion, but once the invasion was successful, Israelites could no longer resist the occupation?

Those who patriotically support the government and the traditional interpretation of Romans 13 usually also "support the troops."

But isn't the Defense Department actually a Department of Un-Subjection? Isn't the Defense Department an unwillingness to obey Biblical commands to be in subjection, and not to resist the powers that be (or the powers that wanna be)? Isn't the U.S. Department of Un-Subjection not only fomenting resistance on our part, but actively engaged in resisting "the powers that be" in many foreign nations? If the people of Iraq were commanded by Jesus to "render unto Saddam," how is the U.S. Defense Department justified in violently overthrowing this foreign government, and exempt from these commands to be in "subjection?"

The same Greek word in Romans 13 is found in 1 Peter 2, where slaves are commanded to be "subject" to their masters. Were Christians like William Wilberforce violating the Biblical worldview by attempting to abolish the institution of slavery? What argument can be made that we should not abolish the institution of "the State" that would not prohibit us from abolishing slavery? Without slavery, slaves would not work, but would riot in the streets. Without "the State," those who are commanded to be "subject" to it will break out into crime waves and labor strikes.

Romans 13 does not command patriotic allegiance and flag-waving loyalty to Caesar, but only a pacifistic non-resistance to evil. "The powers that be" are evil. We eventually will overcome evil with good, as imperialists see our good works, and repent of the evil of being occupation troops and collectors of tribute.

Washington D.C. is an occupation government, just as Rome was in Israel.

In order to save America the Christian nation, we must abolish Washington D.C., the atheistic empire. We will overcome this evil regime with good, not with the Second Amendment.

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