The signs of Adam’s rebellion against God are evident all around me and inside me.
The presence of disease and death is certainly one evidence.
ALS is the acronym for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Basically, it is a condition where the body works against itself. Inside me a protein that normally works to clean cells has become an agent that clogs cells and blocks messages from the brain to muscles in the body.
Thus my muscles are in the process of atrophy. The decline is not steady. I have good days and weeks, and other times when the rate of muscle atrophy is alarming. The past week since my last post has been difficult. The lack of movement has impacted my digestion system. I was confined to bed for three days to allow medicine do its work.
The struggles I have in my inner being to allow God to reign over me—my thoughts, desires, perspectives, attitudes, fears—are also continuing evidences of how Adam’s sin of rebellion continues in its attempts to rob me of fellowship with God. But through meditating on God’s promises in Scripture peace, stability, and rest stream into my heart and mind.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. (Psalm 23)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11)
The evidences of Adam’s rebellion against God are also certainly on display in American politics, especially as we prepare to inaugurate our 45th president this Friday.
The White House Historical Association notes, “The peaceful transfer of presidential power from one administration to the next is a hallmark of American democracy. This transition, both peaceful and symbolic of continuity and change, continues to amaze the world and represents the best of American democracy.”
Think of it! John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams to Andrew Jackson, Herbert Hoover to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower to John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. These were transitions involving radically different political and economic policies.
The principle behind peaceful transition
Democrats and Republicans alike have honored the provisions of the Constitution and united behind each new president. The underlying principle which all embraced was that it is the office we revere if not the person occupying that office.
Not all transitions were without protests.
There were inaugurations held amidst large-scale protests. Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 eleven states ultimately seceded from the Union. They refused to receive Lincoln as their president. In 1969 Anti-War protestors threw rocks, bottles, and smoke bombs at the Nixon cavalcade on Inauguration Day.
The principle behind peaceful transition violated in 2017
Think of the lunacy of their behavior! Twenty Democrat members of the House, in violation of the principle behind peaceful transition, will boycott the Inauguration because they do not consider Trump a “legitimate president.” How childish! What a feeble action! (But no more childish or feeble than my fits of rebelling against God’s authority.)
The irony is that none of these Congressmen would have supported the South’s refusal to live under Lincoln’s presidency. And yet unwittingly they have chosen to wear the same cloak of secession. How can any member of Congress be trusted to enter the House chambers after November 20th if they openly refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the new president? Who can trust them on any House committee after their public disdain for the Constitution’s principal of peaceful transition?
For a moment, imagine, if you will, a society in which its citizens are permitted to pick and choose who they will and who they will not personally accept to exercise authority over them. Imagine the following.
- “I did not vote for the current mayor and city council so I will not accept or heed decisions they make, for example: parking spaces reserved for handicapped motorists, banning pets from the town’s central park, or prohibiting parking in fire zones.”
- “I did not vote for the current sheriff, therefore I will not pay the fine issued to me by one of his deputies for driving over the speed limit.”
- “I did not vote for the current property appraiser and thus will not pay the property tax assigned to my property.”
- “I did not vote for the public utilities director and thus will not pay the fees for garbage pick up or for water and sewage usage.”
- “I personally did not choose my classroom teacher and therefore I will not abide by her expectations for classroom behavior.”
As a Christian I am to submit to those who govern over me, whether I voted for them or not. After elections are completed and a new President-Elect is selected, I do not get to personally choose whether or not that new president will be “my” president.
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Ch. 13).
What is God’s way?
7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Photo above, “Inauguration 2013,” from website of Congressman Dan Issa at https://issa.house.gov/news-room/in-the-news/get-tickets-trumps-inauguration