Sunday, May 3, 2015

Obeying the Government (Rom 13; 1 Pet 2)

The theme of the 4th Men's Conference was Paradigm Change For Men. The first speaker was our President and he explained well the difference between paradigm change and paradigm shift. The second speaker was on first the next morning and my turn came on at 10.30am, the 3rd session of the conference. I also spoke at the second and final night before rounding off the conference with my third session which ended just past 12 noon yesterday. I was given the task of addressing current issues in national politics, economy, social and education.
It was tough going for the first two sessions seeing that Malaysia had gone through and is going through some tumultuous events in the past couple of years. I started with the Sabah incursion by terrorists in Tanduo, Lahad Datu in February 2013 and gave a brief survey of the political landscape and its significance and meaning for Malaysian Christians especially for Sabahans. I called for a patient and measured response in whatever that confronts the church like the use of the name of God, and other heated and controversial issues beside. I used texts from Isaiah 53,11; Psalm 37,7-11; Isaiah 42,2 concerning the silent Messiah, "he shall not cause his voice to be heard in the streets." I spoke about being still and letting God exalt himself over the nations (Psalm 46). I called upon the church to obey Paul's and Peter's injunctions to obey the government and those in authorities in Romans 13 and 1 Pet 2. I explained under what circumstances we could allow civil disobedience and prepare to pay the price to obey God rather than men when there is clear breach of human authority over divine commands. But I do not think the country has reached that stage and we should remember to honour and pray for those in authority and obey the government of the day to maintain peace and harmony in the nation.

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