Double Feature: The Lochness Monster vs. Tarzan/Shared control of my computer?
Sutton Bank, England (photos from trekearth.com)
Shared control of my computer?
I had to call Microsoft on two different occasions in regard to an issue on my Mom's computer and it took me several hours to work out the problem. I found something out which is quite interesting which I am certain some of you are already aware of.
The Microsoft technician with the owner's permission and with the use of downloaded software can take over shared control of a computer that has a Microsoft operating system. The technicians in India did so on my Mom's computer and fixed the problem twice.
I reason a government technician could take shared control of a personal computer too...likely without permission. The shared control was done through the operating system by the Microsoft technician but I reason this could be done by government technicians to spy on terror and criminal suspects, but could also be done to any citizen I suppose that has a Microsoft operating system on a computer. Business computers could also be examined without permission.
I have mixed views on the idea of shared control. For technical support, I admit that it is a very helpful concept for a customer. I am pretty knowledgeable with computers, but I am not a technician and the shared control allowed me to have this problem dealt with quicker than it would be if I was to do my own research and to ask my various software engineer friends for assistance.
On the negative side, it would be quite easy I reason for Microsoft to work with various Western government agencies to spy on persons through entering the operating system. I suppose this would not be too difficult to do as all official copies of Microsoft operating system are to be registered to a name.
I personally have nothing to hide from Western governments, and I do not store sensitive information of my hard drive. As well, as I am a theological blogger I am making my views public and I risk one day possibly being at odds with the powers that be. But, this is a stance I take for the gospel and the theological, philosophical and Biblical research I have done for almost twenty years is what I reason the Lord wishes me to share with others in love and respect.
But even if such tactics as the government without authorization taking shared control of my computer did take place, I am to obey the state as long as I obey the Bible and God at the same time.
The state however, should obey its own laws.
Concerning Romans 13, F.F. Bruce writes that human government is a divine ordinance and has the powers of coercion and commendation which it has been given by God. By Christians obeying the state, they are serving God. Bruce (1987: 221).
Bruce reasons that Paul does not deal with the issue of unrighteous government here, but as with Acts 5: 29, Christians must obey God and Christ and not the state when the state claims divine honours. Bruce (1987: 221).
Cranfield explains that in Romans 13, Paul is not asking for an uncritical obedience to the state, but rather that God has placed the state in authority over persons. Cranfield (1992: 321).
Mounce states that in Romans 13, that there is a divinely sanctioned role of government and that Christians are responsible to that government. It did not make any difference that the governing authorities were secular. God is the sole source of authority and established the authority for the state.
If the government oversteps its rightful domain, then according to Mounce the Christian should not obey the ruler and he notes this was done in Acts 4: 9 and 5: 29.
Concerning 1 Peter 2 13-15, Barclay explains that the concept of anarchy by the Christian is far from New Testament thought. Barclay reasons what belongs to Caesar (the state) should be given to it, and what belongs to God should be given to God (Matthew 22: 21). Barclay (1976: 205).
Both Cranfield and Barclay mention that Paul is discussing the concept of submitting to an authoritarian state, as in the Roman Empire of the New Testament era. Barclay (1976: 206) Cranfield (1992: 321). Barclay correctly point out in my view that in our modern West the need for Christians to participate in democratic government as it is for and by the people, at least idealistically. Barclay (1976: 206).
Voting, letter writing, public meetings and even blogging would be ways for a Christian to voice a view.
I reason this concept of submission to the state could becomes tricky for the typical Western Christian mind. My natural reaction and that of many Christians in Western society in the Church I reason, if we were to face heavy serious persecution perhaps leading to death, would be to physically fight back. However, in a democratic Western setting we are allowed to forcibly remove the government through the vote and in some cases referendum or an act of a legislature. If the government broke the law by spying on me through unauthorized sharing of my computer, I would have the right to challenge the government based on the existing laws.
It certainly was immoral and unjust for the Roman state to execute Christians because they were Christians and would not obey the state and worship other gods, and yet the Christians were often martyrs and not soldiers.
I am not stating that because Christian did not revolt against Rome that this means we as Christians should not oppose tyranny. Germany from my understanding had a type of democracy prior to Nazis Germany and Christians should have opposed within legal means the rise of this totalitarian state. Also in the West today, Christians should oppose abortion on demand by legal means.
In conclusion, in seems to me that the Romans and Peter passages seem to rule out revolution by force against an authoritarian state. Christ died for sin, the apostles and the disciples for the most part became martyrs if need be and did not attempt to revolt against the state in the context of revolution.
Romans 13 (New American Standard Bible)
Be Subject to Government
1Every (A)person is to be in (B)subjection to the governing authorities For (C)there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
3For (D)rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an (E)avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also (F)for conscience' sake.
6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
7(G)Render to all what is due them: (H)tax to whom tax is due; (I)custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for (J)he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
1 Peter 2:12-15 (New American Standard Bible)
12(A)Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they (B)slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, (C)glorify God (D)in the day of [a]visitation.
13(E)Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14or to governors as sent by him (F)for the punishment of evildoers and the (G)praise of those who do right.
15For (H)such is the will of God that by doing right you may (I)silence the ignorance of foolish men.
BARCLAY, WILLIAM (1976) The Letters of James and Peter, Philadelphia, The Westminster Press.
BRUCE, F.F. (1987) Romans, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
CRANFIELD, C.E.B. (1992) Romans: A Shorter Commentary, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
MOUNCE, ROBERT H. (1995) The New American Commentary: Romans, Nashville, Broadman & Holman Publishers.
The Lochness Monster versus Tarzan
My Lochness Monster article in archives has been bringing in the most traffic so far to this blog. I need to relax from PhD revisions and so here is the ending of a 'match' between Giant Haystacks (The Lochness Monster) and a wrestler calling himself Tarzan.
Please watch from 3:25 on...LOL.
Tarzan probably feels like a lot British PhD students after the verbal defence/viva.;)
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