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Did Rosa Parks sin by refusing to go to the back of the bus?

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  • Did Rosa Parks sin by refusing to go to the back of the bus?

    A stupid facebook meme has been floating around, with an image of Rosa Parks and a caption that says "How about instead of saying "Censored the police" and sitting in front of the bus... You stop breaking the law?"

    A lot of libertarians are angry about people who think you shouldn't start a fight with cops when they arrest you for breaking the law. What I actually want to talk about is whether Rosa Parks did the right thing by breaking the law? Romans 13 indicates she didn't. Jesus's method of protesting laws involved going out of your way to fulfill them such as to embarass the individual making the request (IE: walk two miles.) Rosa Parks, otoh, just broke the law outright. Seems like an outright sin to me, and thus not something that should be praised, so I find the proliferation of this meme by Christians amusing, but I would like to hear more opinions on the matter.
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

  • #2
    The instances of noncompliance to Romans 13 by Christians throughout history has been overkill. That's why it's pretty absurd to even use it now in any kind of argument because that ship has long sailed (which might even be good indication how absurd Paul was when he stated it).
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by seanD View Post
      The instances of noncompliance to Romans 13 by Christians throughout history has been overkill. That's why it's pretty absurd to even use it now in any kind of argument because that ship has long sailed (which might even be good indication how absurd Paul was when he stated it).
      The "ship has sailed" on a lot of sins. We still happily murder, for example. That doesn't really answer the question of whether murder is a sin or not.
      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Romans 13 is talking about obeying the synagogue authorities, not the civil authorities. Paul is still talking about how we should behave within a community and doesn't change subjects.
        "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
          Romans 13 is talking about obeying the synagogue authorities, not the civil authorities.
          Which synagogue authorities in Rome had the authority to bear the sword against wrongdoers? They didn't even have that authority in their own country.
          "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

          There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bearing the sword is a metaphor for saying that the synagogue had the authority to administer discipline of their members. This was the case when Paul was sent out to persecute those who were members of the synagogue who were followers of the Way. Paul also used his Roman citizenship to get out of being whipped, but he submitted to the Jewish authority:

            2 Corinthians 11:24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.
            Last edited by Soyeong; 12-29-2014, 12:16 AM.
            "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
              Bearing the sword is a metaphor for saying that the synagogue had the authority to administer discipline of their members.
              There is nothing in "bearing the sword" that suggests it's the synagogue's authority. Also, again, in Rome? The synagogue is not "rulers" or "governing authorities" anyway. Calling the synagogue "God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer" when they were persecuting Christians for following Christ is completely nonsensical. The common interpretation that it was referring to the Roman Empire makes the most sense as Rome more closely matches the duties outlined therein and they weren't actively persecuting Christians at the time. It's also a letter directed at people who liv e in Rome.

              This was the case when Paul was sent out to persecute those who were members of the synagogue who were followers of the Way.
              Legally, in Rome?

              Paul also used his Roman citizenship to get out of being whipped, but he submitted to the Jewish authority:

              2 Corinthians 11:24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.
              It says he was whipped but it doesn't say he submitted or that it was legal or just. It doesn't even say it was synagogue authorities who whipped him. It's not like the Jews mobs abstained from breaking Roman law all that much.
              Last edited by Darth Executor; 12-29-2014, 12:55 AM.
              "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

              There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                The "ship has sailed" on a lot of sins. We still happily murder, for example. That doesn't really answer the question of whether murder is a sin or not.
                If you argue that Paul's words were inerrant then it's indeed sin. But it's a command we obviously don't follow (perhaps because we're powerless against it) as history clearly shows, much like love thy enemies. This is why Christ died and why we need mercy and grace.
                Last edited by seanD; 12-29-2014, 12:57 AM.
                "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seanD View Post
                  If you argue that Paul's words were inerrant then it's indeed sin. But it's sin we obviously have no power over as history clearly shows, much like love thy enemies. This is why Christ died and why we need mercy and grace.
                  I'm not asking whether Rosa Parks is burning in hell for her defiance though. After all we all sin and are forgiven. I take it you agree it's a sin from your posts, but you're not comfortable just saying it outright. I was hoping to get some perspectives from people who don't think it was a sin.
                  "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                  There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                    I'm not asking whether Rosa Parks is burning in hell for her defiance though. After all we all sin and are forgiven. I take it you agree it's a sin from your posts, but you're not comfortable just saying it outright. I was hoping to get some perspectives from people who don't think it was a sin.
                    I said if you believe his words were inerrant. I personally don't believe Paul, who was human, was perfect, as illustrated by the absurdity of the command (though I believe it served a specific purpose at the time he wrote it, which is why it was so absurdly impractical).
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      I said if you believe his words were inerrant. I personally don't believe Paul, who was human, was perfect, as illustrated by the absurdity of the command (though I believe it served a specific purpose at the time he wrote it, which is why it was so absurdly impractical).
                      It wasn't absurd in the context in which it was made. As I said in another thread though, I don't think it should be taken as an endorsement of every single government that ever existed, and I don't think Paul intended it that way.
                      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does anyone know what MLK Jr. said about it? I am much too you to have personal experience with the matter, but I am given to understand Luther was a Reverend who supported civil disobedience? Was he ever confronted by detractors with Scripture? How did he support his position with Scripture? I assume that the easiest way (if perhaps not the most effective) to determine if it is a sin or not is to look at someone with both the motive and opportunity to comment on the subject at hand and then determine if his arguments are flawed or not. Equally you could look toward a segregationist preacher, but I assume that there are more records of MLK than others.
                        Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                          Romans 13 is talking about obeying the synagogue authorities, not the civil authorities. Paul is still talking about how we should behave within a community and doesn't change subjects.
                          Edited by a Moderator

                          Moderated By: Bill the Cat

                          Christianity 201 is for orthodox Christians only

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                          Last edited by Bill the Cat; 12-30-2014, 09:40 AM.
                          “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                          “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                          “not all there” - you know who you are

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                            Romans 13 is talking about obeying the synagogue authorities, not the civil authorities. Paul is still talking about how we should behave within a community and doesn't change subjects.
                            I had no idea that synagogue authorities collected taxes. Or is this another metaphor?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                              I had no idea that synagogue authorities collected taxes. Or is this another metaphor?
                              Matthew 17:24
                              [ The Temple Tax ] When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?”

                              NKJV Says: "..Does your Teacher not pay the Temple Tax?"
                              Last edited by Littlejoe; 12-29-2014, 09:37 AM.
                              "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                              "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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