Dan Atkinson, a graduate student in history and a self proclaimed "Christian Nationalist," is the fellow who called me, Dr. Frazer, and American Creation co-blogger Brad Hart "Secular Nationalists." He also tried to argue -- the title of his note -- The Bible Supports Righteous Rebellion. He wrote:
Proverbs 14:34 states that "Righteousness exalts a nation." Well, righteousness comes from national politics that are enacted. And as Proverbs 29:2 states, "When the righteous rule, the people rejoice...when the wicked rule, the people groan."
For those who have a proper perspective of the Bible, you will easily take note of how David, Joshua, Moses and many others rebelled against their leaders in an effort to secure liberty for their people. Yet, those like Rowe, Hart and Frazer still rely on one single chapter in the Bible to prove their theory. Do the math people. Is one chapter or SEVERAL books provide the conclusive evidence?
If you will note, Paul talks in the earlier chapter (Romans 12) that the followers of Christ were to purify themselves from all evil. Paul exhorts them to become "living sacrifices." Romans 13 is simply an extension of this. Paul is not saying that we should NEVER rebel against a wicked ruler, but to submit ourselves as "living sacrifices." In other words, submitting to the Lord's will. There is a time and a place for rebellion. For Paul and the other followers of Christ, this was not one of those times.
And we should also not forget that Paul could see the impending danger of the time. Christianity was but a small (but fast growing) group. To rebel at that moment would have spelled suicide. There would be other fights to wage.
Jesus himself demonstrated a rebellion to wicked leaders. His ability to put the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin in their place demonstrates that even Jesus refused to heed to a wicked government. As he stated, "My kingdom is not of this earth."
I strongly urge the readers of this blog to do your own homework and not simply heed to those of little to no Bible knowledge.
And Dr. Frazer responds:
First, Moses did not rebel against anyone. Read Exodus 12:31-32. Moses obeyed the command of Pharaoh.
Second, David did not rebel against anyone. God removed His blessing from Saul, Saul was jealous of David, and Saul set out to kill David. David evade Saul until he was dead -- then he assumed the throne for which he was anointed. David had two opportunities to kill Saul and take the throne and refused. Read I Samuel 24:11 (in which David specifically denied being part of a rebellion). And I Samuel 26:9-11.
Joshua did not rebel against anyone. He led national forces in warfare, not rebellion.
Regular readers will also note that I have not appealed simply to Romans 13. I have noted that the Bible mentions some form of the words "rebel" or "revolt" more than 100 times -- all in the negative. The focus was on Romans 13 during the recent discussion because that was determined to be the focus at the beginning of the discussion.
Finally, the Proverbs passages have nothing to do with rebellion. To suggest that one could establish righteousness via means condemned by God is more than a bit strange.
I do not appreciate Mr. Atkinson's dismissive implication that I have little or no Bible knowledge. He knows absolutely nothing about my "credentials" and ad hominem attacks are not intellectually honest.
For the record, I have a degree in Bible, I teach college courses in the application of Scripture to politics and political theory, I have led numerous Bible Studies, and I am a deacon in my church.