Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Civil Authority and God

"[T]here is no authority except from God" (Rom. 13:1) 

When we look at the subject of politics it is important that we remember that the authority that civil government has is fundamentally from God. The government is God's government and God appoints it to administer His Law. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He rules the nations with a rod of iron and all the nations are accountable to His standard of justice (Amos 1, Deut. 4:6-8, 9:4, Psalm 2, Jer. 46, 47, 48, 49, etc...). Authority comes from God. If it is thought to comes from anywhere else it is from a false god. Authority is a attribute of divinity. To say that authority fundamentally comes from some thing, is to say that that thing is god.

Governments throughout history have realized the need for divine authority for the authority for their governments. In ancient nations that had abandoned God, often the ruler was proclaimed as god. The story of the founding of the government was always tied into the actions of the gods. In our modern day our god and sovereign authority is often man, and thus government is said to receive its power fundamentally either from the sovereign individual or the sovereign mass of people (depending on which form of humanism you side with). Either we fall into the anarchy of the individual or the tyranny of the mass or in some cases the tyranny of the elites (scientists, corporations, college professors, etc). All of this leads to injustice and sin. When we abandon God as our judge and ruler, he will judge us. He can do this through many ways, but a direct way is simply through the the injustice of men and the unjust law system that we are driven to when we forget God.

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
(Psalm 2:10-12)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Knox's Lament in Geneva

Here is a poem that I wrote from the perspective of John Knox during his time in Geneva in the 1550s, before his eventual return to Scotland where he led the reformation of the Scottish church from 1559-1572.

Knox's Lament in Geneva

How I remember those days of youth 
When I stood with Wishart, that man of truth 
How that brave man followed Hamilton's fall, 
By dying in fire, gave Scotland the call 
To rise in repentance with faith in God 
To worship Him only, and Him to laud 

But then, alas, in St. Andrew's walls 
Serving God's people, rich, common, an' all 
The Papist French, with their galleys strong 
Took us captive and used us wrong 
And while a poor galley slave, I sent out this cry 
"O Lord, give me Scotland before I do die!" 

After eighteen months, at last I's set free 
But Scotland was still forbidden to me 
To England I went, to preach God's Word loud 
To bring down God's Spirit on that Saxon crowd 
But after success for a blessed time 
We were all chased out by Queen Mary's crime 

And now 'tis Geneva, the light on the hill 
I now look upon from my widow sill 
Learning from Calvin, that reformer great 
And others whose wise words I now contemplate 
Sitting midst riches of God's gifts to men 
Where truth is unhindered, and near all say "amen!" 

But still how I lang for my dear native soil,
Among mine ain people to sweat, bleed, and toil 
From the poor plooman laddie, in his humble cot 
To the laird of mine fathers in his station and lot 
"O humble yourselves in the moss and the dew 
And pray that Jehovah would Scotland renew!"