Obedience to government authority


#1

In Romans 13:1-2, Paul talks about how we, as believers also have to be subjected to governing authorities, and whoever resists being obedient to them will have God’s punishment. But what about certain governments such as communist governments? Do we still have to be obedient to them? And would it be sinful if one participates in strikes against the communist government eg to restore Catholic Churches?


#2

It is moral to resist despotic governments, but peaceful resistance should always be attempted first and foremost.

From the Catechism:

1897 "Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all."15

By “authority” one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.

1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it.16 The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.

1899 The authority required by the moral order derives from God: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."17

1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.

Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church's most ancient prayer for political authorities:18 "Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you."19 

1901 If authority belongs to the order established by God, "the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens."20

The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.

1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:21

A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.22 

1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."23

1904 "It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the ‘rule of law,’ in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men."24


#3

1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."23

This has definitely been abused by the authority we have today.

Unfortunately the catch is, if enough people do not recognize it for what it is, it is just tolerated and accepted.

Think about it, what would happen if a group of people tried to shut this type of Govt down in the world today, they would be quickly labelled domestic terrorists and demonized by the majority of people, most people would actually take the side of the authority over their fellow citizen!!!

Tyranny has found a new route in modern times, thoroughly condition and brainwash most of the citizens into believing everything is being done in their best interest or for national security…If England had used this tactic, the american revolution would have never happened.


#4

Unfortunately there are times when an authoritarian regime is better than the alternative. Take Iraq before the us invaded it. Sadam was by no means as lovely person, but by totally decapitating the Iraqi government we’ve left chaos and an impotent government that has a lot of trouble controlling this much outside of Baghdad. There was certainly human rights abuses by Sadam, but roving thug insurgents like ISIS have been able to operate in this power vacuum and cause many more human rights abuses. The practical best we can do sometimes it to leave these regimes alone until there is likely to be a more benign option coming from within these counties.

I am I being relativist here? I will own that. But we as a country can do the best moral good by minimizing how we support regimes like Sadam. Remember Sadam was our friend because he was willing to fight Iran. A certain Osama bin Laden was our friend also when he raised a militia to opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.


#5

Hi!

…when pressed to pay the taxes, Jesus paid His and Cephas’; when sought to be put to death, Jesus pointed Himself out; when Crucified, Jesus asked the Father to Forgive all those who had taken part on His Apprehension, Passion, and Death…

…but, right before all of this happened, Jesus Prayed for Cephas that He Remained Faithful and Strong so that he would bring the rest of the Apostles to the Task: they remained in Prayer, they continued to gather together, in spite of the fear of apprehension and death, in Prayer and the Breaking of the Bread, Jesus Left them with the Great Commission, and, at Pentecost Day, two hundred of them were gathered…

The world’s authority has never forgiven Christ’s Coming!

Evil still sips into world’s “justice.”

Christians are Commanded to uphold God’s Authority above man’s–but the trick is in how we do so: “if your righteousness/justice is not greater than that of the masters of the law, you cannot be My Disciples.”

So while the world’s government may decree acts that are fully against God’s Will, Christians are not to strap bombs on their persons in order to undermine the world’s injustice: “do not repay evil with evil…”

We must use the civil means to reject/fight injustice… and when that’s not enough we must be ready to Stand for Christ no matter what may come.

Maran atha!

Angel


#6

Hi, Mike!

…but the answer lies not in the skill, tech, or number… it lies inside of the Christian… regardless of the governing body, is the Christian willing to die for Christ? Is he/she willing to be Faithful to God’s Commandment or to man’s?

…just because the law says that it is legal to commit adultery, to murder a child in his/her mom’s womb, to murder an elderly or sick person does not mean that Christians should commit fornication, adultery, get divorced, abort their unwanted children or murder those who society has deem as problematic or useless.

…in China, the “one child per couple” rule forced the extinction of millions of babies… the state machine was fully culpable of the death of these innocents… but human greed and rationale made the parents complicit as they aborted or abandoned the female children in favor of the advantages of having male children… this complicity is present everywhere else in the world where Christians trade in God’s Commandments for the world’s enticements.

Maran atha!

Angel


#7

Hi!

…but isn’t all of this due to greed and shortsightedness?

…we see the US’s hands involved in many of the world’s issues… time and again “friends” turn to foes… and the US continue to build on shortsightedness and greed.

…pushing the abortion agenda will not end the world’s problems…

…neither is the decapitation of heads of states and leaving the factions to fight it out!

…just as another observation: pretending that evil does not exist or that only Christians will be razed/exterminated/oppressed is also a delusional pedestal from which to rule–injustice unbound will eventually knock on the most of secured doors.

Maran atha!

Angel


#8

Countries of the MIddle East can and should be looked at differently when it comes to questions of government. First, many of them, Iraq included, were artificial constructs of the British who drew arbitrary borders that cut communities in half and forced different communities to live under one ruler. Iraq consists of numerous tribes forced tolive together.
Most people in the Middle east do not consider national identity important at all. To them the question of religion is all that matters. Either they are Muslim or not. Either Sunni or Shia. No one asks your nationality when you visit there. They want to know if you are Muslim.
The concept of a secular government is simply rejected there. If the somewhat secular Turkey is reverting back to Islamism.
These countries are ruled by dictators because as soon as they are allowed to choose a government, they break into tribal warring factions, even today.


#9

Yes, greed is a HUGE problem today, but as Ive said in other threads, its not even mentioned anymore, I cannot recall the last time I heard any priest at my parish, or the church, say one word about it, its almost like greed is accepted and even encouraged for the most part.


#10

Hi, Mike!

…sadly, it’s the “gentler” and “kinder” Gospel–don’t talk about the “bad” or people will be offended; don’t talk about “hell” or people will feel persecuted; don’t talk about “personal obligations and commitment” or people will shutdown on the fear that their “liberties” are being threatened…

…I remember watching a documentary, some years back, where a multinational corporation had “bought” the rights to all of the water in a Latin-American nation–people were being arrested for taking the rain water that would slide down from their own rooftops… can you imagine the absurdity, the greed, and the abuse?

The three most powerful and visible entities in the world seem to have not have known about this because I can’t recall one time when the Church, the Press, or the US government spoke openly against such abuse! (It has/is been happening in Africa as well… not necessarily the exact thing but very similar abuses.)

Maran atha!

Angel


#11

I’m not so sure the American Revolution was morally correct. Christians are to obey the government unless it tells them to sin.


#12

The U.S. today is run behind the scenes by Satanists working to establish his kingdom on earth. This sounds like an outrageous claim, but it is in fact true. I wish more people could see this, but most people are blind to truth.

We are brainwashed, fed propaganda, poisoned, lied to, and forced to pay taxes to fund the sacrificial murder of unborn children and wars of genocidal aggression across the planet. I reject the “authority” of our government over me. They can steal money from my paycheck to fund their murder, but they will never have my heart, mind, or soul. The only true authority I recognize is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


#13

Yes, I agree with you on that, its something that majority of people cannot recognize or even accept that it may be possible.

I read something awhile back that talked about how many people are so conditioned/ brainwashed since birth, they literally cannot seriously consider that a govt authority is immoral or involved in such things, its like their mentality will not allow them to see this.They had a name for this disorder, but I cannot recall it.

It could not be any more clear imo.


#14

Hi!

…yeah, it does sound high on conspiracy (ever seen the movie–Mel Gibson); yet, there’s truth to much of what seems as conspiracy… mostly dealing with greed and power–I watched, horrified, a documentary that showed how contamination of water was rampant (kitchen faucets exploding as fires ignited from the gas leaked into the water basins); this is happening right here in the US… and what of the white supremacist that seem to have taken an eight year hiatus during the Husain’s Presidency? It seem quite abnormal to me that during a presidency of a non-white dubious religious affiliate these hate mongers just seem to have decided to strive to win the Nobel peace prize… so yeah, there are “telling signs” that “Something Wicked This Way Comes!”

Though I fully concur with your last statement–give on to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God!

…and while they may be able to tax citizens and put their hard-earned moneys into the service of Satan, the citizens can still Stand for Christ and support the Culture of Life in every peaceful and righteous way possible.

Maran atha!

Angel


#15

GOD"S Laws in every instance supersede man’s.

In our present times it would seem to be FAR more difficult to disobey our Government than to obey it:

Abortion:eek:

Gay Marriage:eek:

Transgender issues:eek:


#16

What is Caesar’s is what he loves - money. So he gets that. What is God’s is my soul and my love. Only He gets that.


#17

Many people misunderstand that verse, the key words are ‘what is’, in other words, Yes, we should give caesar WHAT HE IS DUE, WHAT IS HIS TO ASK, however it does not say give caesar EVERYTHING he asks, all of the time.


#18

Hi, Mike!

…yeah, it’s about the correct definition of the division that exists between the world (Caesar) and God–too many times we ourselves become “Caesar” and we give nothing to God–well, except for “lip” service.

Maran atha!

Angel


#19

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