Panelists: Jason Ridgeway, Brandon Baggett, Bruce Daugherty, Forest Antemesaris
To how it with the forum, like if anybody wants, like, we’re just going to, the speakers are just going to do the answering, you know? So if you spoke today at all, like Brandon, Kevin, Jason, Bruce forest, those will be the guys answering the questions. And, but we’ll come up here to this mic so that we can have the camera.
Cause we got the video going for the online and all that. And so we won’t have the PA passing the Mike around today that started with the guy on Monday. Cause he had bad knees, I think, or something. I don’t know. It didn’t want to walk up and down here, but anyway, we have a lot of questions. Well actually just a handful of questions.
A lot of them overlap with civil government stuff. But before we get into that, I just want to mention, as we have, and we usually do every time we have the session is that we are here just to answer questions and to look at things that were related to the lessons of this afternoon. And even this morning, we are not here to say,
you have to believe it like this. We’re not, you know, a church of Christ, you know, a clearing house where this was how the doctor is going to be believed or whatever. But we are here just to study the Bible. And as I said before, when Jackie steersman first set it up this way, the plan was that, or the idea was,
you know, here, here are some men who have prepared lessons, they study for them. They’ve written the chapters in the book on them. And so if a question should come up on those lessons, what better people than to ask than those that are, have had just done a lot of studying in that. And you know how it is, especially as preachers,
if we spent a whole week on a lesson, you know, I’m thinking of just in the regular congregation on Sunday, or maybe even more than a week preparing that sermon, you know, we can probably get away with coming up with a little three by five card with all the, just the main points and the passages that we have because that’s fresh on our mind.
But if we were to, if that’s all we had on that lesson, then we filed that away in five or 10 years later, we want to pull that out and, you know, Polish that sermon up for another occasion. We’re I don’t know how well we’re going to remember the three main points that we had on this card all those years, you know,
away. But these guys had done a lot more than the three by five card. But what I’m saying is these studies are real fresh on their mind. And so what better people to ask? And so that’s kind of the, the idea of the forum here, but we do appreciate those that are here. And of course, Brandon, as we introduced him this morning,
he does have a background in law enforcement. So he might have some good insight on some of these civil government questions here. All right. But I’m going to, you know, the, let me just start out with a few of these. I’ll just say here’s a couple of them that go together. Yes. Okay. The first one, I’m going to leave these two questions right up here.
If you look at them, but the first one says, is it sinful for a Christian to participate in politics or to be in the military? Okay. And then the other one here can a, how can a person vote and encourage others to vote without discussing political philosophies and or candidate candidates who represent biblical values? Well, I don’t know if those two relate a whole lot,
but I guess I kind of do, but I’ll go ahead and leave those up there, both of those. And so if the brother wanted to come and start on, I’ll go ahead and start. Cause I might have opened a can of worms and I didn’t mean to, and I want to, you know, make clear that in my lesson done with magnifying,
I was, you know, I’m trying to show the idea that we don’t magnify the worldly things or world things, even though they might good, be good and right in, and of themselves above Christ. But the first this it says, is it sinful for a Christian to participate in politics? Of course not. No, I don’t believe it is.
I know of good brethren that, that have rent run for office and have been involved in government. I am her name just escaped Sheila, but has been in politics. And I think she is very faithful to the word, John Dewberry also someone that I would believe that is faithful to God. And, and he has been involved in politics. We just gotta be,
remember that we cannot lift that. Anything above God, anything that anything, even if it, if it’s good, you know, going bowling is, is fun. But if you lift that above God, it becomes sinful. The other thing is, or be in the military, is that simple for a Christian Christian to be in the military. And again,
I would say, no, it is not sinful for a Christian to be in the military. I think we can look at examples in the book in the Bible acts chapter 10, we see Cornelius. It says in verse one, there was a certain man in Cicerchia called Cornelius a Centurion of what was called the Italian regimen. And it seems to be that he was in the military.
And I don’t find anything after that, that says that he had to get out of that after he obeyed the gospel. I don’t, I find nothing revealed or even hinted to also, I think in Romans chapter 13, it says that, you know, that government is appointed by God verse one. And I think that people can be involved in government.
And I think also in that same, he goes on, he says for there, verse three for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil, do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do you do what is good? And you will have praise from the same for you as God’s minister for you to you for good. But if you do evil,
be afraid for, he does not bear the sword in vain for he is God’s minister and an Avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Think military is part of that. You know, we, the military can be those that that can execute wrath on those that practice evil. And I think that since it is ordained of God, I don’t think that there’s a problem.
Again, putting it with acts chapter 10, with corneas that you can serve in the military. They, it is something that, I mean, just like being a, I don’t want to step on, you know, a police officer or anything else to execute a judgment, say worried about the other question that’s up here. How can a person vote and encourage others to vote without discussing political philosophies and or candidates who represent biblical values?
I think there’s a two different there’s maybe there’s a misunderstanding and there’s two different thoughts. There there’s the political philosophies. Then there’s biblical values. Political Voss fees may not always be ballistic, biblical values, paying taxes and raising taxes or lowering taxes is not a biblical value. Jesus says that you want you render under Caesar. What is Caesar? I don’t think that’s,
you know, whether the government raises taxes or lowers taxes is, you know, if I want to support a candidate that raises taxes, that’s my choice. That’s not sinful. And, but biblical value would be abortion or transgenderism or homosexuality. Those are not political philosophies. In my CA in my understanding, there are biblical values and that we must stand up for the against those things and teach on those things continually.
And some people want to try to end the reason they want to try to say that these things like transgenderism, homosexuality, abortion. They want to put that into this idea of political philosophies, because they don’t want the church to be political. That, you know, you see what I’m saying? They try to equate these things and say that these are political and the church can’t be involved in politics.
Therefore the church should not be teaching against abortion or speaking against it, transgenderism and homosexuality. And there might be something else that Wouldn’t, you agree that we need more Christians in politics. We need a lot more Christians in law enforcement, a lot more Christians serving in our military that the principles of the gospel can permeate these areas that Christ can be seen and displayed and all of these very difficult and at times very dark environments.
But just to piggyback off of what was already noted, look in Luke chapter three for a moment, Luke chapter three, and we have the context here being John. The baptizer is very effective ministry of preaching and preparing the way for Jesus. And we have some of the response to that beginning in Luke, chapter three, verse 10. I want you to know is here three groups that are responding to John.
The baptizer is preaching ministry in verse 10 crowds come to John and they respond by asking what then shall we do? And he begins to talk about some principles of Matthew chapter three, verse eight, bearing fruit of repentance. Notice the next group in verse 12, tax collectors also came to him to be baptized of him. And they asked the same question,
teacher, what shall we do now? The new Testament oftentimes speaks of tax collectors who were the social outcast. And one of the reasons why they were such social outcast is because they were viewed as traders. They worked for the Roman government collecting, taking funds, oftentimes taking more funds than what should be taken to make themselves rich. But I want you to notice what John did not say in responding to these individuals who were,
as it were working in the realm of politics, he does not say quit your job. He does not say stop being a tax collector. That’s an immoral business for someone following God, but not what he does say. He says, collect no more than you are authorized to do. It is not a sin inherently to be a part of politics or any realm of civil government.
Otherwise John would have said to change and lead the occupation. Notice the very next verse soldiers also came and responded to John’s preaching. They asked the same question. What shall we do? And again, note what John did not say. He did not say to leave your occupation, stop being a soldier. You can’t follow God and be a soldier. Instead.
He said, these words do not exhort money from anyone by threats or false accusations and be content with your wages. No, it’s not sinful to be a part of sinful civil government or to be in the military or serving law enforcement. We need more Christians doing these things, living out the principles of the gospel, permeating this darkness and letting Christ be seen in these realms.
Great question. First of all, let me say, I agree with everything. Jason said everything Brandon said, but I want to add a few things here from a church history restoration history perspective so that we can maybe think on these things a little bit more David Lipscomb did not believe Christians should be involved in government. Lipscomb believed it so much. He didn’t want to Christians even running for dog catcher in the county.
You just, you weren’t to vote. You weren’t to be a candidate. You weren’t to be a government official. And a lot of that is because he had defined government in a very different way than way. We looked at government. He looked at all governments as being opposed to the rule and the kingdom of Christ. And because of that, he saw that if Christians are involved in earthly governments,
kind of like Brandon said, we just had it. We need to have more Christians in, in, in politics in government. David Lipscomb would say no, because this government is corrupt. This government is evil. This government is at war with the, the kingdom of Christ. And so he said, you pay your taxes, Romans 13, pray for your rulers and obey the laws,
but have nothing to do with, with civil government. And he believed in the pacifist position regarding military, he also believed that a Christian should not be involved in military or law enforcement. And we have some brethren who have done that. I think I saw one time Terry Hightower had a master’s thesis yes. On that idea. And so a lot of brethren have carried through and argued for this.
But I think having said all that David Lipscomb had some blind spots in his understanding of the study of the Bible. One of the things that I like to point out is God’s men in high places in government look at the old Testament, whereas Joseph placed next to Pharaoh, right? And it for the benevolence that could come through the administration of Joseph and his foresight in,
and it saves the children of Israel when they go there. All right. You think also of Daniel and my dad’s written a commentary on Daniel and you know, Daniel is not just some little slave guy who’s there and he can’t do anything about it. Yes. He’s been forcibly removed to Babylon. Yes. He has been placed here, but it is also where God is putting Daniel so that he can be a wise person advising these foreign Kings.
When they’ll listen to him, Nebuchadnezzar, doesn’t always do it. But when they’ll listen to him, he will make their rule better. And for God’s people that are in that same situation. And I think the same is true with Nehemiah. And if you read David Lipscomb was a little book, silver government, he never addresses Joseph Nehemiah or Daniel. And they were God’s men in high places.
But you need to understand in the restoration history, our history from about 1875 till world war one, and then especially world war II, the pacifist view of David Lipscomb really dominated the churches of Christ. The non-involvement in government dominated in churches of Christ. And it’s only through a world war one and forcible draft that this changed and brother ban, name’s not coming to me right at the moment.
But w the brother who collaborated a lot in brother lips comes notes in the gospel have at con commentaries. No, anyway, it’ll come to me after a while. But he went with the government with a delegation to the government in Washington to try to get exemption for guys in world war II, who were claiming the pacifist position and a general Crowder in DC,
granted that, but the, they didn’t have a way of nationally putting this into effect. And what it turned out to is each local board draft board, whatever county you were in, they’re the ones who determined whether you could get an exemption from the draft or whether you would go to the serve. And if you didn’t go and serve, when they say,
go and serve, you went to Leavenworth, candida, Kansas, to pound rocks. And I mean, really pound rocks. And, and so it, you had a lot of people who wrestled with this. One of the great cases in Tennessee east Tennessee was Alvin York in world war one. And his, his battle of should I, you know,
take up arms to defend my country, but the pacifist position and not involvement was pretty much the standard way before world war one, before world war two. And those things kind of really changed things the way we look at this today, but going back even further in Christian history, there’s a story from the second or third century. Vince knows that the 40 Christian martyrs of these men who are serving in Roman Legion,
and they’re all Christians 40 of these men, and they, because of their religious convictions are then put in a place of execution because of that. And so if, if their understanding was that they couldn’t serve in the military, they wouldn’t have been in the position they were in. And the martyrdom that they faced also going just a little bit further, and then I’ll be quiet Constantine.
When he is fighting for the domination of the Roman empire, he’s got his army here. He’s got the bonus army over here at the battle of a bridge there in Rome. He knows there’s a lot of Christians in his own army, and there’s a lot of Christians in his enemies army. So what does he do? He dreams up. I saw this sign last night.
God told me to in this sign conquer what’s what do they paint on their shields? They paint the Chi and the RO the first two letters for Christ and the next day Constantine wins. But I think a lot of it was just Constantine was politically savvy enough to know these Christians won’t fight one another and they’ll come to my side. And so that, that’s just another proof that Christians,
if they saw this as a prohibition, then why were they still there? All right. I’m just going to add two things from my own experience as somebody who didn’t. I grew up in the church and actually grew up extremely politically liberal two things, really. I think sometimes we put the cart before the horse, and we think that we can argue godless people into agreeing with us on politics before we share the gospel with them and allow that to change their worldview,
to the point where they can come around to where we don’t have to argue about abortion or homosexuality or anything, because they’re submitting to the Lordship of Jesus and they already believe those things. And those kinds of things kind of fall in order my own case when I was baptized, I still thought there was nothing wrong with abortion, but there was still some things okay out there.
Now, some people might say, my baptism is not valid because of that. You know, there’s that debate. How much do you have to know? But I think we should be really careful just to pick our battles wisely. And I think wisdom is involved here. When you talk about, you know, trying to convince other people to vote a certain way.
I don’t think that’s inherently sinful. Obviously. I think we would all agree with that, but how we go about that and how we express our priorities to other people, I think is important. And also when I was an atheist, I think we have to be very careful as Christians conflating the kingdom of God with America and conflating the power of the gospel with political power.
And what I mean by that is Christians have been in a unique state or period in American history where we have the ability to freely share the gospel and freely spread that to others. And we do have the ability to do those things without persecution. And that’s a great blessing, but I think we should have the confidence that even if that went away, God forbid the gospel is still powerful enough that we would still preach it and people would still convert,
and God could still be glorified in this country, even if our worst case scenario where it’s completely flushed down, the toilet becomes true. Now, I believe we all believe that, but I think we have to make that known to other people because when I wasn’t a Christian, one of the things that kind of rubbed me the wrong way sometimes is I conflated the Republican party with Christianity.
And I didn’t like the Republican party vis-a-vis I did not like Christianity, but when somebody sat me down and said, well, are there some overlaps in the worldview? And some, yeah. Okay, sure. But Christianity will last, the Republican party Christianity was here before the Republican party. There’s Christians around the world where there is no Republican party. Right.
So I think we just have to be very careful where our evangelism doesn’t turn into something that is political. Right. And just make sure that we have all of our ducks in a row with stuff like that. And I just say that as something to think about when you’re thinking about preserving your influence with those who you’re trying to win, ultimately, hopefully not just politically,
but also spiritually as well. Okay. Alright. Appreciate those answers. And I just want to point out something that Jason said as well as Bruce, is that in 2019, our lectureship was on. Do you understand the civil state? No, Bruce, Bruce had an article in there about Lipscomb and his pacifism and the influence it had and all that.
They’re really good, really good article with that. And then, then when Jason had mentioned Sheila, but I remember she was also on that lecture ship speaking to the ladies. And of course I get to, of course you can too, the book is there, but I get to edit the harder articles and read them beforehand and all that. And she had a really good statement in there about what Jason was talking about that,
you know, and of course, let’s see, that was in 2019. So I guess the 2020 elections were coming up or something like that. I don’t know anyway, but, and usually it’s around, around voting, voting for a president time when all this stuff usually comes up. So that’s why, I’m glad we’re dealing with this now, since there’s no presidential vote going on and you know,
maybe we can be more objective to it or whatever. But she had mentioned in, in her, in her article, you know, that, that people try to say like abortion and stuff, those are political issues. You can’t talk about political issues from the pulpit. Well, and she made the point. Don’t let anybody to see view that those are political issues.
Those aren’t political issues, those are biblical issues. And I thought that always stood out with me with that, with that, with her article and the things that she stands for. And well, if you’re on social media, which I guess it does that whole, when they call that and that, you know, when you see certain people, certain amount of time,
that logarithm or whatever, I don’t know, but there’s, there are certain times of the year when I’ll get a lot of her posts. You know, I used to be able to comment on them, but I’m not allowed to anymore. And you just share them or whatever, but she still puts post on there. There are, you know, I mean,
you know, I wouldn’t, I don’t know that I’d say they’re political, but they’re definitely make you think about Christianity and such. And so, so those are all good. But anyway, notice, and then of course he did mention the brother in Memphis, John Barry, and I’ve heard him preach several times. All right. Here’s two that do go together.
And this one has, and this may overlap with some of the answers that we already gave, but this has Ridgeway and forest on it. And you think, why did they get one guy’s last name and one guy’s forest first name. Well, have you ever tried to spell Anthemis Sarah? So anyway, okay. But this one says Paul used his Roman citizenship to advantage,
even though he was a Christian, should we not use the same as an American? And then we have, this is kind of long and somewhat limp. Let me see here, is it quote civil disobedience in quote, when Christians who are American citizens uphold the constitution of the United States, in other words, does not the constitution contained within it rights. And I think there’s a word missing here,
rights to counter tyranny and other threats to our democratic Republic so that the Christian is obeying civil government by quote, disobeying end quote, unconstitutional laws. And of course, as I was sitting there like yesterday with these two questions together, looking at them another way to say that perhaps these two questions was Paul disobeying, civil government, when he brought to their attention that they were unjustly beating him because he was a Roman citizen,
was that disobeying civil government, that type of thing. But anyway, I’ll leave these up here. And so since Ridgeway and Forester on the top, we’ll let those two guys, if they have anything else to add to that, you know, Say a word about the, the civil disobedience and just what you mentioned about, you know, pointing out when something is wrong.
You know, according to the laws, I made a statement in, in my lesson that I didn’t develop, and maybe this has come from this and what, what I was trying to, what I hit. And then I just left wide open for was, you know, if, what if laws change? You know, what if the constitution changed,
you know, the, we can, we can change the constitution by adding an amendment to the constitution. The constitution is not absolute that it has to stay. Even we can change the second amendment. There can be a constitutional amendment to change the second amendment. I mean, there’s a lot of people that want to do that right now. I don’t like that.
I don’t agree with that personally. But if the government changed and had a constitutional amendment change the constitution to say that we could not bear arms anymore, then as a Christian, I couldn’t bear arms anymore. All right, you understand what I’m saying there? You know, that’s not in our constitution. Our constitution says that we can bear arms. I have,
you know, a, a gun and I have, I will inherit some for my father when he passes, but if they changed the laws, then whether I agree with it or not, or think it’s just, or unjust, I still have to obey the law. I have to, as long as that law does not violate God’s law, if the laws came out and said,
we have, we could not worship on Sunday. Of course I would violate that if they said that we couldn’t preach on abortion. And they’ve been trying to do that, I of course would violate that I’ve would have vial if they would’ve had that law in place right now, I would have violated that a few months ago because I had a series of lessons on morals.
And I talked about transgenderism, homosexuality, and abortion in those. But the idea is that, you know, the other thing here about Paul using his Roman citizenship as an advantage, I’m not real sure what, you know, it says, should we not use the same as an American? I’m not sure if that, I’m not really sure what the background of the question is only to say that,
you know, Paul did use his, his ability to get into places where Peter and maybe the rest of the parcels couldn’t Paul was able to get into Rome and talk to the leadership there. We see that he even got into Caesar’s household, Philippians chapter four, there might be, there are opportunities I can have. I do have in this world as an American citizen,
that other citizens from other countries don’t have, I can go to Costa Rica and easily get in there and go down there. And I’ve been there 11 times on 11 mission trips, and I can go down there and I pay for a visa. When I get there, I have a passport, if all the laws so easy for me to go in and out of Costa Rica,
but it’s harder for Costa Rican’s to come up here. I have a translator that would love to come up here and it’s taken a lot of opera, a lot of time for him to get through a lot of the red tape down there for him to actually get on a plane. And today, if I had my passport, I can get on a plane and fly to Costa Rica without any extra paperwork.
And so yes, if there are, there are times that I can use and should use. But my, you know, my point in my lesson was that I don’t magnify that I’m American over being a Christian. So Yeah, I think those are great thoughts. And I would say, you know, if you read the last seven or eight chapters of the book of acts,
it’s just time and time again, of Paul using his Roman citizenship, not just for his advantage, but for the advantage of the gospel. I think that’s what we have to keep in mind as well. And may God have mercy on us for the rights we are afforded as Americans, we don’t take advantage of for the sake of the gospel, right?
We can talk to our next door neighbor about God without being arrested, but how often do we not? We do have this passport that allows us to get into it. At one time, you could get into more countries with an American passport than any other. I think that’s changed, but still, I think there’s only one country you can get into more countries with,
if you have their passport, God have mercy on us. If we’re not sending people, if we’re not going, if we can. Right. And I think Paul used that very effectively to be transferred to the Roman barracks when the Jews wanted to assassinate him to stop being beaten, because he was a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar when he knew that the Jews were going to assassinate him.
And if you think about Paul and the book of Romans, he had the desire to go to Rome little, did he know it would be on Caesar’s dime, right? Caesar’s Caesar paid for Paul’s trip to go to Rome to preach the gospel. Now, of course that’s Providence, but Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar, to be able to do that.
And we should certainly use our rights as well. But I think first Peter chapter two verse 16 in the context of submitting to the government, applies to us, especially as Americans live, as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. So we should take advantage of those rights to, you know,
for the sake of the gospel. And then this question I think is really interesting about this civil disobedience. And I was thinking about this when I was watching the inauguration this past inauguration, you know, cause the Bible tells us to be subject to the civil authorities. And the question is, and obviously there’s a gap of context between the Roman empire and America,
who are the civil authorities or what is the civil authorities. And it definitely seems, and I’m no politician or legal scholar, but it does seem like our founders vested a certain amount of political power and authority into a document rather than the people. And I think that’s evidenced by the fact that ed and the Naga ration, a president puts his hand on the Bible and he swears to uphold the constitution.
Whereas it’s not the other way around. And I think that just shows too. Who’s submitting to what, and I think that’s an example there with the president in the constitution, with the constitution being the overarching authority and that situation. Now, I think that’s unique throughout human history and we should take advantage of that blessing if we can. But I think too,
also, and maybe Bruce can speak to this. I think it would be advantageous for Christians to study some of the medieval writings on like natural law and stuff like that. And kind of the ideas behind where our founding documents came from and this idea that there are things that God has created us with that are unalienable, whether or not the government says, so now does that mean our end might be martyrdom if we follow that through maybe,
but as Christians, you know, I think the, obviously the line has to be somewhere, you know, it’s better to obey God rather than men. What does that look like in every circumstance? I think that’s what takes a lot of wisdom and a lot of study and hopefully a lot of prayer, but that is definitely a good question. I think that’s all I’ve got.
Thanks. Just a couple of things to add. Americans can only go to India for mission work on a 90 day visa and as much as we want to go and convert, and it’s a very fertile field for conversion right now, you can only stay 90 days with, with an American passport brother. JC Bailey was from Canada and he’s one of the pioneers that had went to India,
stayed for years and established the church in India when Americans couldn’t go for more than three months. And so there’s sometimes where brethren in other countries can do things that are American passports and things like that won’t allow us to do. And so that was to brother Bailey’s great, great credit that he used, what he could as Canadian citizen to take the gospel into India.
There’s a lot of different ideas that come out of the, you know, through the centuries of men, reflecting on and thinking, and some are good ideas where again, God is the one who gives law. And again, we’re thankful for those things that we find in our new Testament of God, ordaining government. We may dislike the government, the particular government we have God’s people have lived,
have had to live under various tyrants through the centuries, but there’s always been kind of a, a strong restraint to God’s people about crossing the line in disobeying a law, even when some of these governments aren’t tyrannical. And, and so we need to make sure again, that we’re not fighting for just very selfish interests, but we’re trying to be God’s people upholding his kingdom.
One of the things you might study sometime is think about revolutions that have occurred. Our own American revolution was proceeded by a revolution in England in the years before that, by Puritan leaders who believed they were God’s people and they were going to overthrow James. No, the yeah, James, the first of Scotland and who was ruler over all of England at the time.
And there’s a lot of reading in those Puritan writings of, are we doing right? Because one of the other concepts they believed when was that God made the king, and if you were opposing the king, then you were opposing God, all right. And so they wrestled with that. And, and, and so when you see these revolutions, whether it was the English revolution,
the American revolution, the French revolution, the Russian revolution, we unleash chaotic bloodshed filled times in those revolutions. And what have we really gained by that is the question to ask. And, and so lots of different concepts to work through that Christians have to wrestle through. Cause these are not things that are just, we’re in an ivory tower, just exchanging these ideas here,
but we’re wrestling with these for how we live and go and be God’s people every single day. I don’t like to hear myself speak, so I apologize, but I just had a thought about voting and I think it kind of goes with it. I don’t know if it was one of the questions or not, is it okay? But you know about whether a Christian could vote or not,
or should vote. I think it had to do with, you know, can we teach those issues in a congregation? It would, you know, maybe it had to do with voting and teaching. Well, anyway, yeah. Voting. Yeah. How can you have you be informed to vote unless you know, what the issues are, they affect how they relate to by biblical morality or something.
What I wanted to say a word about voting itself? Do I, I mean, I believe that a Christian we should vote. I don’t think you know, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s a sin. If you don’t vote. I think that sometimes we’ve gotten a little bit too strong on that. And I mean, that’s not a,
you know, oh, you didn’t vote, oh, you, we, and we kind of treat the person as they’ve, if they’ve sinned because they didn’t vote. If someone doesn’t want to vote, that’s up to them. That’s not a, it’s not a matter of faith issue. If I voted or if I didn’t vote, there was a primary in Florida up in our area for a council person.
I didn’t vote in that now did I sin? Of course not. If I didn’t make it, you know, when I first was able to vote in, and it was the presidential election of George W. Bush and bill Clinton, I was on a campaign and a door knocking campaign in Ohio. And my voter registration was back in Tennessee and I forgot to get an absentee vote and I didn’t get to vote in that presidential election.
Did I sin? No, of course not. So we gotta be careful also on some of the things that we try to make as matters of faith, that art matters of faith. And that’s one of the things that one You might’ve said that last voting in that election, you might have actually said. Let’s see, I did a study on a what’s that guy’s name,
some church history guy, John Smith or Smith, whatever. And king James, the first to Scotland is king James, something else of England, same guy. And he’s the guy that did the authorize, the king James version of the Bible. And he was running out books, running out those guys that were going against the church of England. And that’s where John Smith came to Smith or Smith.
I don’t know anyway, but yeah, what have we gained from that? Someone might say, well, we gained a free country with all of that. You know, all the, you know, revolutions and stuff in England and all that. And then even over here and stuff, and this is something who I would really like to explore more, not,
not obviously in this setting here, cause you know, like in America, if I understand it cry, is we, the people, you know, we, the people and our civil ruler, you know, like the, like in Romans 13, you know, like we don’t have a king as per Romans 13, you know, but we still,
the principles there still apply to us. So Romans 13 says, you know, let every soul be subject to the governing authorities for, there is no authority from God, except from God. And the authorities there exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God. And those who resist will bring judgment on themselves for rulers do not have terror to good works,
but to evil. Do you want to be a afraid, do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good? And you will have praise from the same for he is God’s minister to you for good. If you do evil, be afraid. He does not bear the sword in vain for his God’s minister and Avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
And actually hasn’t read that there that’s full of all kinds of principles, the ruler and all that. But I guess what I’m, what I’m thinking is, is, you know, during Bible times there was one guy in charge, I guess. I don’t know if that’s true. The Rome Rome had a kind of unique government, I guess, but you had to obey the king.
That king was it, he was sovereign. He was in, he was in, he was it, but we don’t have that in America. We have people that think they’re that, but are they really that? And so what I’m saying, so if, if let’s just say, if this is the constitution and in that constitution that says, you know,
I’m just going to paraphrase, you know, no one has a right to be a king to go against what, what the amendments and all that is. And so if I, so if someone is acting that way and I say, Hey, you can’t do that because the constitution, you know, is that, is that really civil disobedience? Like if this is my authority,
government wise, come on up here, Vince. Yeah. Those two bulls will stay still. I’m sure. Yeah. But if this is my governing authority here and it says, no one has to be a tyrant or whatever. And again, I’m, I’m, I’m using language or whatever, but if that’s my authority that says this person can’t do this to me.
And I say, Hey, I’m not going to do that. Am I really rebelling against him? If this gives me the authority to do that, you know, now again, I think Jesus said there, Matthew five, you know, agree with that adversary quickly while you’re on the way with him. And so, you know, I may not want to go against him for,
you know, getting the or whatever, but, and just like what the question here was Rome was Paul rebelling against Roman authority. When he said, Hey, you don’t have a right to beat me. I’m a Roman citizen. Or should he have just taken it for the sake of Christ? And it’s kind of like, you know, I realized Christians,
you know, Christianity comes first and foremost, but does a Christian necessarily, in other words, can a Christian be fully committed to God and still stand up against civil authority for the, for the, you know, the constitution or whatever, you know, another one in there we could put with be Mordecai, you know, Mordecai refused about down to Haman.
And I don’t know that that had anything to do with worshiper. Not, it doesn’t say a whole lot in, in their why, but you know, was he wrong in that? You know, I mean, obviously not, but anyway, just some thoughts come up, coming up here events, If you remember at the beginning of Bob Bowers, less than he said,
you know, there’s some federal things coming down that, you know, we need a mandate get an, a vaccine. And then like we live in Florida, there’s pushback from the state level. So there’s, there’s competing civil authority there. And, and in our country, we have to sort that out through the court system. And as far as like,
you know, what’s the government governing documents for our country, where does the power lie? And then when there’s things that conflict, the courts got to sort it out. And so then, you know, does the federal government, when in this situation, does the state have control of that? And you know, I think the hard thing is, you know,
w how much is the pushback. And I wrote the question of, you know, Paul used his citizenship as a Roman citizen to, to gain access and do those things. Like we have discourse in our country where if I think something’s wrong or, or whatever, I can, I can go to court and try to, to, to fight that thing.
Let’s say, you know, I try to go to court and I do those things and it gets shut down, shut down. I go to the highest court in the land. It gets shut down. Now I gotta go and obey the civil government. But, but you know, in, in the authoritative a dictator or a tyrant, you don’t ha you don’t.
We were in a unique situation as an American citizen, where we can have some of that power. We, the people like you were talking about, but I, I wanted to read a passage from Ecclesiastes chapter eight, because I I’ve always struggled with this. When I was in college, we had a professor at a Christian school, should a Christian have been on the side of the rebels during the,
the thing. And it showed up, should they have been a loyalist? And it’s hard thing of which side to be on in Ecclesiastes, eight verse number two, it says, keep the King’s commandment for your sake, for, for the sake of your own, the God, which is repeated again in the new Testament, we need to honor the king because we honor God and God institutes government.
He says in verse three, do not be hasty to go out from his presence, do not take your stand for an evil thing for he does what pleases him. If he’s the guy in authority, and you say, Hey, let’s go with the rebellion. You might get wiped, wiped out, but in verse number four, it says where the word of the king is there is power.
And who may say to him, what are you doing? He who keeps the commandment will experience nothing armful and a wise man’s heart discerns, both time and judgment for, I think four has talked about the wisdom of where and when to stand. I would think if it’s somebody who’s in a government who’s tyrannical or gone beyond their power, there should be enough force,
or, you know, even in these terrible places of dictatorships. So people in control eventually over time, the weight of the power that person’s influencing, something’s gonna topple that. And so you, as the Christian, try to keep your head down, be sensible, peaceable as much as possible, follow the government. But when it comes to, if there’s something clear where you got to make your stand as a martyr,
you got to obey God rather than man. Okay. Very good discussion there. And of course we heard said, yes, we take advantage of the opportunities we have as Americans. But then the up question to that is yes, take advantage. But is it also okay to defend those rights? And I’m thinking about, you know, a police officer,
for example, now police officer, a Christian police officer, he’s a Christian to people he works with knows he’s a Christian. His buddy in the patrol car knows he’s a Christian, but when there’s a crime scene going on armed robbery or something like that, he gets out there, he gets the gun out and he’s, I guess he does. I’m sure there’s policy and all that stuff.
You know what I’m saying? He’s not gonna give the guy a call first and, you know, teach him the God’s plan of salvation and he’s going to go, you know, if he has to force, it requires going to shoot him, you know, dead, just like that. A military guy, same thing. I mean, his buddies may know he’s a Christian and the guy in the foxhole might know he’s a Christian,
but when the enemy comes up, you know, that’s not the time to do all that. But his job in the military, whereas a police officer, that’s what his job is. And, and there’s a lot of, you know, professional, not really professional, but you know, think they’re professional politics on Facebook and stuff, you know, so,
but, but, you know, so again, it’s like, yeah, but so, you know, I mean, people, people would go fishing as recreation, they go build cabinets or whatever. Well, suppose a person is really involved in the community political situation and all that. I mean, is he wrong for doing that? If everybody knows he’s a Christian,
but he’s still going to fight for the right to vote or whatever it might be and, or the second amendment, whatever it might be. And you know, to me, it’s a tough question. It seems that he can, and, but he does not want to make that what he’s known for that he wants to be more known for Christian, but sometimes,
you know, the way the community reflects upon you, maybe that’s all he’s known for just like the police officer running in there. You know, if the guns, ablazing and stuff, he might be known for the guy that took out Jesse James or whatever, you know, so it’s a really, really interesting question. And of course, what Vince brought up and as he read that with the king,
but we don’t have a king in America, would you have a constitution? We do have, you know, the courts, the laws and all that. So that’s whatever principles they would apply to a king, we apply to, you know, our, our form of government and that, and so just very, very good stuff, definitely caused me for further reflection.
And really, I guess it was kind of like what the COVID thing. It really was really brought up my awareness of this kind of stuff, more than anything, because you know, the government mandating all this, forcing you to do this, do that. We’ll do they have a right to do that? You know, this and that. And I don’t know,
I’m not a constitutional guy myself. I just want to live the Bible and teach the Bible and all that. But I mean, you know, but it has brought that to our attention, to, they have the right to do this to, they have the right to do that. And, and the federal state thing, I mean, when all these states voted to legalize marijuana,
the federal government still says it’s illegal. And I asked one of our regular speakers here, who’s a lawyer way back in the day on that kind of stuff. And he said, well, the reason why they can get away with it. And I’m thinking, how do they get away with that? If it’s federal government says no, and these states are doing how they get,
get away with that. His answer was because the federal government has no way to enforce it because the federal government relies upon the state to enforce it. And then the feds come in for the trial and all that, but they rely upon the state to enforce it. But if the state’s not going to cooperate and enforcing it, the federal, government’s not going to do a thing for it because they,
they’re not going to waste their time on, they got other things to deal with. And so that’s just the nature of it. So if you’re living now, of course, I don’t know why anybody wanna want to smoke marijuana anyway, but you know, if you’re living in that country, just say, you want to be, I don’t know, a Christian wouldn’t do that anyway,
except for maybe medicinally, but real mistakenly recently. But anyway, so if you’re living in a state that has legalized marijuana and the federal government’s against it, well, or just like, and, and I don’t know if it’s all truly a mandate federally for the vaccine. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but if it was true in Florida says no,
and we live in Florida. Well, whose government do we obey? You know? Yeah. You go to court and figure it out. Yeah. And that’s, that’s, what’s going on. I guess I heard just before for the lectureship week or something about the, yeah, I think the Bidens or OSHA or whatever, whoever was trying to mandate businesses of a hundred or more employees to force vaccination,
I think it was or something, the Supreme court knocked it down and go, you know, so, but anyway, we haven’t heard the end of all of this stuff, but this, this really has caused me to think these questions here, like I say, 2019 or a lectureship book. And I’m really, I’m just going to tell you right now,
anything Bruce writes on restoration history in church, I’m telling you, man, you will profit greatly from that. I’m telling you. And he had some good stuff in there on that. All right, appreciate these brothers and appreciate the, the attitude that was given the, the, the disposition of all the speakers and all the people answering the questions. And that’s one thing I like about brethren who are really here to learn.
You know, we’re, we’re here to just ex just examine what this says the best we can. And we’re not battled with each other, even though we may have some different views on these things, but we’re, we’re all here just to learn what us at the Lord and how to better put that into practice. And we appreciate the insight. And we got,
you know, Forrest has some good insight coming from his background and, you know, Bruce and Jason and Brandon. And so we just appreciate all these brothers and their contribution here. All right. We’re going to have a prayer here in a moment. Now, last night we had a lot more young fellows than we thought, but that’s okay.