Wednesday, April 28, 2010
SALT Challenge - Honor and Respect
It's time for another SALT challenge! This week it was Stacy's turn to pick the challenge and she picked a verse from Romans, “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." She also has a great write up on honor and respect on the SALT blog. I chose to work with a portion of Romans 13:1, "let every soul be subject..." This section of Romans (vs. 1-7) focuses on Christians and civil government. Although this might seem like a difficult challenge, we know that all Scripture is given for our benefit so what can we glean from this portion? I'm going to take the easy way out and share some notes from my study Bible: Civil government is a means ordained by God for ruling and maintaining order in communities. It is one of a number of such means, including ministers in the church and parents in the home. Each such means has its own sphere of authority under Christ and the limits of each sphere are set by reference to the others. In our fallen world these authorities are institutions of God's kindly providence, standing as a bulwark against anarchy and the dissolution of ordered society. Because civil government exists for the welfare of the whole society, God gives it the "power of the sword," the lawful use of force to administer just laws. Christians must acknowledge this as part of God's order. However, if it forbids what God requires or requires what God forbids, Christians cannot submit, and some form of civil disobedience becomes inescapable. (For example, if government forbids the worship of God. As a Christian, we would be compelled to "disobey" this government imposed law, since this would be an overstepping of their God-given role in society). Christians should urge governments to fulfill their proper role. They are to pray for, obey, and yet watch over civil governments reminding them that God ordained them to rule, protect, and keep order. The verse I used is a reminder that every soul is subject to God, no matter how powerful their position. The second part of vs. 1 states that "there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." If anyone in authority abuses their power or those under them they risk judgement from the same God that appointed them to their position. That judgement may not come in this lifetime but it will most certainly come in the next. "...for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." This is a serious warning and should give everyone with authority over others a reason to soberly consider their own actions. God will hold that person accountable, not just for how they ruled, but also for how they treated those under them. Likewise, we may not always be happy about certain ruling authorities, however, we are still required to pray for them, and to show them respect, trusting that God is in control. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." -Proverbs 15:3 For my ATC, I decided to channel Tim Holtz because...well....I love Tim Holtz...*smile* The idea for today's art was taken from his new book. I used a number of his new sets, along with a grunge paper swirl, cut using one of his new dies. (Yes, I've been doing just a bit of shopping at Wholly Scrap!!) The sweet little butterfly is from a Gina K stamp set, A Beautiful Life. Be sure to stop by the SALT blog to check out the amazing work posted by our design team...they outdid themselves this week!! And don't forget that if you're inspired to create something based on this week's theme, that you can leave us a comment with a link back to your blog or gallery. We'd love to see what you come up with! Enjoy!