Featured Post

Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Should Christians Defy Government and Go to Church?

I recently watched a video (here) which is essentially a "pastor" yelling at us for not "going to church." He includes in his yelling an accusation that those who don't "go to church" are "taking a break" from our Christianity. I recommend you watch it if you want to consider his argument.

The overall context is when we are to obey the powers that be.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister 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, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

-Romans 13:1-7 

The powers that be are two-fold: they are both controlled by wicked principalities and powers and ordained by God. I think scripture supports both concepts. And we do wrestle, in a spiritual sense, against these principalities and powers. When push comes to shove, we are to obey God rather than men (no disagreement there), but we need to be sure we're actually following God and not our traditions or the mandates of another age.

That said, the pastor makes a mistake using Matthew 10. He conveniently skips over the context of the Lord's instructions and jumps to verse 15 (Matt 10:15). In that chapter, the Lord sends out the 12 to preach the Kingdom to Israel alone. That's not a great place to try and find direct application to this age. Even if we wanted to use Matt 10 as a pattern, it has nothing to do with meeting in a building. In fact, the passage is specific to meeting in homes.

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

Now, is that what this pastor is preaching? The Kingdom is at hand? To Jews only? In Israel alone? Is he healing the sick and raising the dead? Is he asking for no money? Does he carry no money?

Matthew is wholly on Jewish (Israel) ground. It concerns the earthly Kingdom and the promises to Israel. The Lord sends out those who were promised to "sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes." (Matt 19:28) That is their unique calling. They are Apostles to the Circumcision.

Note when he jumps in at verse 15, he has to ignore what is said immediately before that:

And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, 15 It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

There is nowhere we can find, "you must meet in a building." I hate to say it, but these pastors are not living hand to mouth either.

"Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat"

His income is dependent on people supporting, not only him, but his building too. We are free to have buildings, but it's not mandated. In fact, the expense of the building is a hindrance. I don't need his building to meet with other believers and the passage he chose speaks of "houses." And they went out to spread a message to people who needed to hear it. He's not accomplishing that sitting in a building.

I'm not going to a building at the moment. That doesn't mean I'm "taking a break" from my Christianity. Quite the opposite. I used the time at home to start a podcast. I've joined two international Bible studies. He can take his building and its bills and sit there by himself if he wants. I don't need it to validate my Christianity.

Yes, there are MANY things about the plandemic we need to recognize, but not paying the water bill and mortgage on this guy's building is not one of them. If that's his Christianity, he has issues. If he wants to preach the message of Matthew 10... good luck

Listen to "The Church Is Not Israel and Israel Is Not the Church, Day Trip To Romans 9" on Spreaker.