I need YOUR help! Romans 13 and persecution


#1

Hi everybody.

Upon browsing my page, a friend of mine posted an intriguing article about a family being sentenced to 15 years in prison for converting to Christianity from Islam (long story)

Another poster, who I am not friends with, and was QUITE RUDE to me, posted something about how it's not in the US.

Well duh, it was in egypt. I posted about a type of 'persecution' we as a church face with the HHS mandate. Here is my post

"Also here in the U.S., christian business who are fighting the HHS mandate which I remember Biden saying they can "opt out of", those people are not being exempt as promised. Hobby Lobby is the current famous example. They are being forced to provide abortive drugs and abortions when it goes against their beliefs. So if they lose when they take it up in court, It's either following mans law and going against their beliefs, or following Gods law and risk who knows what"

here is his RUDE post directed towards me. He even tried to use scripture. lol.

"Oh you poor poor persecuted Christians! How horrible and terrible it must be to be a Christian nowadays. How on earth do you survive? rolls eyes By the way, man's laws are god's laws. See Romans 13."

What would be a good response to this, as Romans 13 DOES say about the authorities and God.

Please help me, and thank you!


#2

also, what do you think of this, from Aquinas?
" laws may be unjust through being opposed to the Divine good: such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry, or to anything else contrary to the Divine law: and laws of this kind must nowise be observed, because, as stated in Acts 5:29, "we ought to obey God rather than man.""

"Matthew 22:17-21 instructs us to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God's. Romans 13 tells us that all authority comes from God, therefore it is safe to assume that God is above Governments. Knowing and understanding this, it would seem only logical that if Government crashes with the will of God, one should side with God."


#3

Romans 13
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Submission to the Authorities

13 Everyone must submit himself to** the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.** 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 ]For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong

. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love, for the Day Is Near

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”[a] and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”** 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.**


#4

Here is what is in the Aquinas Study Bible

13:1-2 By higher powers are meant person vested with political power for governing and ruling others, whether kings, princes, magistrates, etc. (Bishop John McEvilly) They have no power in spiritual matters, so that they do not receive the key of the heavenly kingdom. Their power is confined to temporal matters, and this too can only come to them from God, (Sum Theo 3.19.3.r2) But their laws may be unjust in two ways: first, by being contrary to human good---either in respect of the end, as when an authority imposes on his subjects burdensome laws, conducive, not to the common good, but rather to his own cupidity or vainglory---or in respect of the author, as when a man makes a law that goes beyond the power committed to him---or in respect of the form, as when burdens are imposed unequally on the community, although with a view to the common good. The like are acts of violence rather than laws; because, as Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5), "a law that is not just, seems to be no law at all." Wherefore such laws do not bind in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoid scandal or disturbance, for which cause a man should even yield his right, according to Mat. 5:40,41: "If a man . . . take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him; and whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two." Secondly, laws may be unjust through being opposed to the Divine good: such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry, or to anything else contrary to the Divine law: and laws of this kind must nowise be observed, because, as stated in Acts 5:29, "we ought to obey God rather than man." (St. Thomas Aquinas Sum Theo 2.96.4.a)

**13:4 sword: **It is clear that, for the purposes of punishment to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and the state ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent. (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 56) While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia. (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Prior to his election as pope,Worthiness to Receive Communion – General Principles," July 2004)

13:6-7 pay all of them their dues: From this it is clear that justice requires subjects to render rulers their due: "To the king was brought one who owed him ten thousand talents" (Mt 18:24); "Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s" (Mt 22:21). Secondly, he specifies debts that are paid publicly, saying: taxes to whom taxes are due: for these are paid to the ruler that he might govern the country in peace and quiet: "He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant" (Gen 49:15). Revenue to whom revenue is due:This is paid to the ruler in certain places as tolls, for the repair of roads and for safe travel. (St. Thomas Aquinas)


#5

…sadly, many atheist read Scriptures and they retain almost an askewed understanding as the Jehovah Witnesses…

True God has revealed that all Law procedes from Him… we are commanded to obey the Law… however not all governments or people in places of authority accept God’s Law and they simply subscribe to man’s law…

Here’s St. Peter’s take on following man’s law:

18 So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. 20 We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’ 21 The court repeated the threats and then released them; they could not think of any way to punish them, since all the people were giving glory to God for what had happened. (Acts 4:18-21)

…so here are Peter and John facing incarceration and torture… all they need do is pretend to listen to the unjust law man was enforcing… did they?

Jesus spoke of future persecution of His Disciples… some would even be put to death and, as Obama, would claim that it is being done for the good of the people/God… but only those who stand till the end will be Judged to be Christ’s sheep!

…so when you have someone who engages you… take advantage to set the record straight… yes, God Gives the Law… but no, man does not always uphold God’s Law–at times he dilutes it to the point of inefficaciousness (the better to trample you, dear…); an excellent example of this are the health mandates where the US president, congress and the senate are using tax moneys to eradicate “Freedom of Religion.”

…what is truly interesting is how far these same entities go to secure religious freedom of Muslims while denying it to Catholics and other Christians!

Maran atha!

Angel


#6

personally, i would politely walk away from the conversation bc he is not going to listen to whatever you say anyway. The bible talks about not having anything to do with foolish arguments. This is where you need to pray for him as that will help you to forgive and forget. God bless you!


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.