“By virtue of being King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ’s reign over man and government is universal and total. “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Dan. 2:21) and “increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them” (Job 12:23) because the government is on His shoulders: He is the governor among the nations (Isa. 9:7, Ps. 22:28). The need today is for the church to press the crown-rights of Christ the King, confident that His government over all will increase without end: “the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”

This powerful volume sets forth a Biblical theology of the state, tracing in detail the history and consequences of both statist domination and Christian dereliction of duty. By firmly establishing the Biblical alternative to modern Christianity’s polytheism, the author alerts us to the pitfalls of the past, and provides Godly counsel for both the present and future. The crystallization of decades of research, Christianity and the State is a landmark volume of 20th century Christendom.”

Dit is duidelik dat die ‘moderne staat’ nie verantwoord aan die bybelse eise van God se Woord nie, om dienaars van God volgens sy Woord te wees nie.

Is die antwoord dan ‘geen staat’ of burgerlike owerheid nie, of die reformasie terug na wat ‘n ‘burgerlike owerheid’ behoort te wees in die lig van die Skrif?

Sommige meen die staat of burgerlike owerheid is bloot ‘n instelling wat deur God se voorsienigheid daar in die geskiedenis is, dit hoef nie ook, soos ander instellings (bv. gesin en gemeente) die Here doelbewus te dien in hul eie terrein en take nie, dit is ‘n ‘necessary evil’ wat die gelowige en kerk bloot moet verdra, en dus nie moet ‘verchristelik’ nie, sommige sal meen dit is inherent ‘boos en verkeerd’.

Die klassiek-gereformeerde siening – soos verwoord in die outentieke reformatoriese belydenisskrifte op grond van die Skrif, bv. die Nederlandse Geloofsbelydenis artikel 36 en die Westminster Confession of Faith 23 – bely wat die burgerlike owerheid moet en behoort te wees volgens die Skrif, nie net dat hul daar bestaan en in en deur God se Voorsienigheid gebruik word nie.

Romeine 13:1-7 se verklaring is daarom sentraal in hierdie hele debat, is dit bloot ‘n ‘beskrywende’ teks, of is dit (ook?) ‘n ‘voorskrywende’ teks wat geld nie net vir die gelowiges en mense as burgers se optredes in ‘n land nie, maar ook vir alle burgerlike owerhede, owerheidspersone, owerheidstake, ens., wat hul ook behoort te doen in diens van God?

Sien hierdie webblad wat reeds verskillende verklarings gee van hoe Romeine 13 verstaan behoort te word, asook ander artikels wat met die burgerlike owerheid in verband staan:

Burgerlike owerheid

Ek verwys u hier onder na twee artikels of hoofstukke waar dr. RJ Rushdoony skryf oor hierdie onderwerp, met verwysing na Romeine 13.  Dit kom uit sy boek, Christianity and the State, wat ook hier gelees kan word. Sien ook die inhoudsopgawe vir al die relevante onderwerpe wat aangespreek word in hierdie boek.

Alle gelowiges (behoort) saam te stem dat die moderne staat  inderdaad ‘n valse messiaanse monsterstaat geword het, wat definitief radikaal verander en gereformeer moet word, deur Gees en Woord. Mag hierdie twee artikels help in daardie verdere besinning, sodat die eer van God en heil van mense gesoek sal word in hierdie verdere bybelse reformasie wat ook nodig is vir ons tye en toekoms op elke terrein van lewe en denke, ook op die burgerlike owerheidstaak en terrein.

(Nota: beklemtonings bygevoeg in die aanhalings hier onder)

ARTIKEL 1: Messiahship (and Romans 13)

“… it is clear what the ministry of rulers is to be, i.e., to be aterror to evil works (Rom. 13:3). Thus, just as God through Paul lays down the duty of obedience for the subject, he also lays down the duty of obedience for the ruler, to be a terror to evil doers. The state has a duty to maintain order, and the name of that order is justice. Obedience is thus required from both the state and the peoples thereof, obedience to God.

Those Gentiles who, while not having received the law from God given through Moses, do still, because God’s law is the law of life, keep that law to some degree, do thereby manifest that law which God has written in the being of all men (Rom.2:14-15). Thus, unbelief on the part of rulers is not a ground in itself for civil disobedience, as long as the state is a terror to evil doers and the protector of the just. 

When it is hostile to Christ’s work and seeks to 
hamper or destroy it, “We ought to obey God rather than men”(Acts 5:29). Also, when the state becomes a terror to good works, it has ceased to merit our obedience. As a minister of God, the state must be “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Rom.13:4) …

Our Lord both recognized the existence of the state, and also its demonic lust for power apart from Him (Luke 22:25-30). Christ called His disciples and appointed unto them a Kingdom, the Messianic Kingdom of God (Luke 22:29-30). This was not a realm to surrender to Caesar. Indeed, He called the realm of the ungodly state “the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53). Paul calls attention to the ungodliness of civil government outside of Christ (I Cor. 2:8;6:1). This realm is to be converted and placed under Christ, not Christ under anything of man. For the Messiah to be under any human power was for the apostolic age unthinkable. Conflict between Christ’s church and the Caesars was thus inescapable.” 

Lees die volledige artikel hier, bl. 66-69.

ARTIKEL 2: Authority to Rule (Romans 13)

“As we have seen, Paul does not give us an abstract theological premise for the state. He was answering a very pressing problem for Christians: Two lords claimed dominion over them, Christ and Caesar. With Christ as their Lord, what was their relationship to Caesar?

Paul reduces the state and Caesar from lordship to servitude to God, to a diaconate. The state’s calling and duty is to be a terror to evil-doers and to be God’s minister. The Christian’s calling is not to revolution but to work out the implications of regeneration and to make all things new in Christ.

Too often, however, the church has seen Romans 13 as a blank check for the state. This has been especially true of Protestants since the rise of Pietism, and at times true also of Catholics as well. Too often, the modern mind sees a stripping of freedom and power from the church as the same as reformation. At the time of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the princes of Europe all claimed sovereignty and were resentful of the church’s freedom and power. …

“The Anabaptists despaired of any hope in civil government. They sought a radical separation from the world which, while stressing a voluntary church and a “spiritual” reformation, was marked by a surrender of civil order as evil and beyond redemption.

Extremists in Anabaptism sought to establish their own civil order of the saints by revolution, but most withdrew and regarded both the state and the church which worked within the framework of civil order as false and even evil. To most princes and churchmen, it was the Anabaptist solution which was evil.

It was imperative thus for Calvin to avoid any association of his movement with Anabaptism, with which he emphatically disagreed. As a result, Calvin strongly stressed civil obedience while allowing for ordered change through civil magistrates. The Renaissance was an era of statism, tyranny, and corruption. Revolt made sense to many and was very much in the air. For Calvinism to have fanned the fires of civil revolt would have been fatal. …

This leads us to a fact which modern man is unwilling to face. If dominion, authority, and rule come from God, by His ordination, and can only be truly exercised in terms of His law-word and in His grace, then any departure from God’s word and the doctrines thereof is dangerous to man and society. Accordingly, for centuries Christians viewed, to use Kieckhefer’s term, “heresy as civil disorder.”

At times this civil disorder was met by peaceful and missionary, evangelizing methods, at other times by brutal repression. That question is not our concern here. The fact which cannot be avoided is this, that anyone who uses Romans 13 in any sense is establishing civil government in God and God’s authority. The necessary consequence of this is to require civil government to be faithful to the foundation of its authority. To separate delegated authority from the Delegater, God, is impossible. Every delegated authority goes with conditions, and the conditions govern the tenure of authority. …

The prophets are clear that all kings and nations are bound by God the Lord. Isaiah gives us the roll call of judgment over the nations, and Hebrews 12:25-29 give us the declaration of the great like shaking in the Gospel era. Revelation also gives us the judgment of the Lord upon the nations, and the great feast of vultures is the counterpart to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Paul in Romans 13 is not giving us a different doctrine. He does not separate the state from God and give to it neutral and undelegated, absolute powers. In every age, God the Lord speaks with contempt about the arrogance of the nations and promises and delivers judgment.”

Lees die volledige artike hier, bl. 100-104.


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