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Thursday, February 11, 2010
Missionaries Freed In Haiti
News on the internet today says that the 10 missionaries who had been arrested on kidnapping charges for trying to take 30 plus children out of the country illegally are now free to leave that island nation. Thank God for the ability of the judge to see the true hearts of those well-meaning persons.
It just goes to show though, that good intentions alone can land a person in a heap 'o trouble! I remember hearing a saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Hopefully this type incident will never, ever happen again. This brings up the question of whether a Christian with the mandate of Jesus to "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" has the right to violate the law in order to "obey God". We are faced with the same dilemna when illegal aliens look to the church for refuge from the Border Patrol. In my view WE MUST OBEY THE LAW! If a law is un-just, there are ways to work to have that law changed - but until then, even tho I risk being redundant, WE MUST OBEY THE LAW.
I'm sure there are many who will disagree with me. However, I strongly believe that Romans 13 gives clear instructions that Christians are to obey the laws of the land of their citizenry.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: 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 damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."
In discussing this passage of scripture there are always those who will ask me if I always obey the law of the land. My response is, "I am subject to the law of the land." Inevitably someone will point out that I break the speed law from time to time. Still, I am subject to the law. When/if I speed, and an officer pulls alongside me and asks me to pull over - I do not hesitate to pull over. I do not "run" or try to escape. I stop. I obey the officer's every command. If he writes me a ticket, I simply appear before the proper authorities and pay the fine. I have had to pay three speeding tickets in my life and that is because I am subject to the law of the land. I'm going to be 72 years old in July and got my first license when I was 16.
I am also strongly opposed to paying bribes...but that should be the subject of a separate blog lest I bore everyone with posts that are too lengthy.
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.