Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Speaking of God's Resulting Judgment

Mike Licona wrote:
While the U.S. becomes more secular, let's not speak of God's resulting judgment as some will be inclined. There is nothing in the Bible that speaks of God responding in such a manner. Moreover, the U.S. is not ancient Israel, which was a theocracy. It was never designed to be.
What Bible is Licona reading? Does his Bible have Romans 1, where God describes the judgments brought on the nations? Does his Bible at least have the book of Jonah? Does Mike Licona think that Ninevah was part of an ancient theocracy? Surely neither the Roman empire nor Ninevah was a theocracy in the sense that the Moses regime was. Nevertheless, God sends judgment on ungodly nations.

Psalm 82:8
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

May God have mercy on a nation that is drifting from Him.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Bad Election Day Hermeneutics

Yes, the successor of Judas was picked by lots (Acts 1) and so was Saul (1 Samuel 10) (as was the recently elected Coptic patriarch, unlike the supposed successors of Peter in Rome).  Bad it would be bad Biblical hermeneutics to  suggest that you should flip a coin to decide whom to vote for (or roll a die or some other lot-casting technique).

Likewise, bad Biblical hermeneutics treats the Biblical descriptions of good leaders as though they all or mostly must be met before a Christian can vote for that leader (see the discussion here, for example).

Let me be clear, Christians really should prefer men who are described in the following passages:
Deuteronomy 1:13-17Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
Deuteronomy 17:15-20When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
Exodus 18:21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
And actually those men describe good elders in the church and good husbands for your daughters.

But it would be illogical to read those passages above as a commandment forbidding people from making decisions that favor a potential leader who doesn't meet those qualifications over another potential leader who also does not.