Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Today, whenever someone says he is an independent, he is usually talking about being unaffiliated with the Republicans and the Democrats.  The name of the church I attend is Charlestown Independent Church, and in our case, we are stating that we are not affiliated with any denomination.  We are, of course, totally dependent upon Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. 

Since this is the Fourth of July, I think it would be a good idea to take the time to read the Declaration of Independence.  Once you have read it, ask yourselves, "How does it line up with God's Word?"  Here is what the Apostle Paul had to say about the believer and government:

"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.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.  Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?  Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." (Rom. 13:1-8)

Now please!  Do not shoot the messenger.  I wrote neither the Declaration nor Romans (although my name is Paul).  I would just like to point out that Romans does provide a basis for the colonies to unite and resist the English King.  God's Word indicates a government is to praise good works, and to punish the works deemed evil by law.  As long as it is fulfilling God's will for all governments, we are to pay our tribute (taxes), show proper custom (respect), fear the consequences of breaking the law (reverence), and esteem the leaders to be honorable (faithful).  When a government ceases to function according to God's will, those governed have a right to express their grievances. 

I like to think of one's relationship to his government as being like one between two individuals.  In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus tells us how we are to deal with those who offend us.  First, we privately make our grievance known, in this case, to the government officials responsible.  Second, we are to include two or three others witnesses to the offense.  If changes are not made, we have the right to severe the relationship.  I believe, in this light, the colonies followed those steps perfectly.

Declaring one's independence should always be the last resort; God prefers unity!  

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