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Monday, February 9, 2009

Should The South Secede From The Union? Part 2

This is the followup to this post, which I would encourage you to read for the value of the comments.

I am by no means an expert on the subject of secession, but here is what I think and why I think it...

First of all, and this may surprise some people, but considering our current situation, I do not believe that the South should secede from the union at this time.

Romans 13, widely accepted as the number one passage regarding the subject of submission to civil magistrates has this to say in verses 1-4:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for there is no power but of God: and the powers that be, are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves condemnation.
For magistrates are not to be feared for good works, but for evil. Wilt thou then be without fear of the power? do well: so shalt thou have praise of the same.
For he is the minister of God for thy wealth but if thou do evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword for nought: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doeth evil.


Notice especially that last phrase I highlighted.
This is the duty of the civil magistrate: to wield the sword in defense of righteousness. The Westminster Confession of Faith, a document which we Presbyterians hold to, although not written by divine inspiration, says this:
It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honor their persons, to pay them tribute or other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience' sake.
(WCF, Chapt 23, Sec. 4)

The issue is not: should we secede because we have a bad leader, but rather should we secede because the magistrate is punishing the righteous. Sure, Barack Obama is a pagan and he's said some terrible things, but his administration hasn't done anything that merits secession yet. Although many non-Christian activities are openly supported, Christians are not being physically persecuted (to the best of my knowledge).
What actions by the government merit secession? Simply when evil is rewarded and righteousness is punished.

Any further thoughts?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Bria said...

Great post Stephen! I agree with you. And I like your playlist! I think everyone agrees that Pirates are bad movies, but they have great soundtracks.

February 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Ana Smith said...

I completely agree with your view on this. I believe Romans 13 is very important. And, when we think of the horrific authorities (Roman emperors) that early Christians live under, who are we to say Obama is a reason to secede?

As you said, Obama's administration has yet to prevent Christians from living Biblical lives. There is still hope for this age of curses to change or be moved into a period of blessing. I mean, Obama didn't prevent your family from attending what would be deemed a controversial and politically incorrect conference last weekend.

There's a lot of evil in our country, but there's still enough freedom and hope, that I don't believe it's time for despair. This is a time to get on our knees and get to work. Because, it ain't gonna be easy gettin' outa this mess. But, with God's help we WILL. :-)

February 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Hello there!

I would like to take a quick moment to tell you about something that is very close to my heart. I was hoping that it might be possible for you to help me. Please read this recent post of mine:

http://drpaleophd.blogspot.com/2009/02/its-finally-go-time.html#links

If you care about America and our freedom, you will be very concerned.

Spencer

P.S. And if you find that you agree with the concerns I expressed in my blog post, please blog this yourself, and let's spread the word!

February 10, 2009 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Okay, okay. I'm convinced. I'll vote "No" next time. There is no reason for the South, nor for Christians to secede. I will continue to state, however, that we have every right to.

I've never been faced with this kind of question before. But I'm glad you brought this up Stephen, because I have learned a bit from this. Thanks Ana for your input and wisdom on this issue, you're very thorough!

It would be interesting to study exactly how our founding fathers were able to justify seceding from Britain biblically...

Bo

February 10, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger ChrisNC said...

Romans 13 doesn't apply to the question of secession. It addresses the attitude of the Christian to authority in general, an application of the Vth Commandment. Rather, in our constitutional system, the states are sovereign, the federal government is NOT. Therefore, the authority already resides in the individual states to secede for reasons sufficient unto themselves. However, I would suggest that there are additional reasons, even under Romans 13, to advocate secession. For example, our money: since the creation of paper fiat currency under FDR (in violation of Article I, section 10.1, the VIIIth Commandment, and specific laws, such as Deut. 25:15), the value of the dollar has fallen more than fortyfold. A government based on such theft should surely be considered an attack on peaceful and productive citizens.

February 10, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Spencer: I'll definitely look into it!

Bo: I really appreciate your comments, and I want say that you don't have to agree with me on this matter. The thing I'm looking for is people defending their position with scripture. If you or anyone for that matter can support why they voted yes with scripture, that's wonderful!

Chris:I may have misunderstood the passage, but I was trying to use it to show exactly what behavior we should resist in tyrannical government. Obviously, there are other ways to combat this than secession.
I absolutely understand what you are saying in regard to constitutional government, but whether we like it or not, the Constitution is irrelevant. It's a broken covenant and I think it's useless to hold our government to that standard any longer.

Please clarify if I've misunderstood you.

Thanks for stopping by!

February 10, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger ChrisNC said...

If the Constitution is a broken covenant, then the basis of union has been violated. Secession then becomes merely a legalization of what has already occurred. Compare it to a married man who has left his wife, and is now living with another woman. His wife is under no obligation to ratify the separation through divorce, but not doing so doesn't change the fact that the marriage is ended.

February 10, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

I absolutely agree with your above statement.

Using your analogy, I would say that our current situation would be a man who is living with another woman, yet forcing his wife to remain married to him.

Thanks for the comment!

February 10, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

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