A common objection to the idea that the state is founded in rebellion against God is the language of the Bible describing various kings and leaders as “God’s servants” or “ministers”. Romans 13 can be included as one of these texts. But do such verses justify their actions?
Lipscomb approaches the issue with a new tact this time around, and brings up Romans 13 in the process. He suggests that if Romans 13 is the justifying scripture for allowing Christians to participate in bloodshed, then “Nimrod and Abraham, Pharaoh and Moses, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, Paul and Nero, stand precisely upon the same footing as approved and accepted subjects [of God].” Of course, he says this is illogical, and we must reject the former premise.
Notable in this piece is the way in which Lipscomb and his co-authors argue for their firm non-violent stance. They are to “submit quietly” to the government save where submission would require violation of God’s law. Their view, of course, is that joining an army to kill would be a violation of God’s law. Would only Christians today see the wisdom in such a firm belief?
We wish to call attention to the biblical use of the term Babylon. It is given in Scripture as the name of the first, and in many respects, the head of the world-governments. It is derived from Babel, and means confusion. In the early days of the human family, and even to the present time, among the ruder nations of the world, all names are significant. This is especially so of the Bible names. Adam, means of earth, hence, he that was made of earth was called Adam. So of Babylon, it means confusion, strife; therefore, that which especially introduced confusion and strife into the world, was termed Babylon.
Lipscomb now addresses the symbols in Revelation in greater detail, ultimately to level a scathing indictment of the 19th-century church. Some protestants interpret the “mother of harlots” as the medieval era Roman Catholic Church (Constantine and beyond). Fine, Lipscomb says, but who are the daughters of this harlot? Are they not the protestant churches?
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