God Desires Good Government

{Excerpt from article by Derek Prince}

In his First Epistle to Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy in the proper order and administration of the local church, which he calls “God’s house” (See 1 Timothy 3:14-15). In chapter two he gives directions for the church’s ministry of prayer:

1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2for kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

“First of all,” Paul calls for “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks….” If we were to choose one term to cover all four activities, it would be prayer. The first duty of Christians meeting in fellowship is prayer. It is also their primary outreach.

In verse two Paul says that prayer is to be offered “for all men.” This agrees with the prophecy of Isaiah 56:7 where God says, “…Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” God is concerned with all men and all people,” and He expects His people to share His concern.

After “all men,” the first specific topic for prayer is “kings, and all that are in authority.” This may be summed up in the single word, the government. When praying for the government, what specific petition are we exhorted to make? Paul’s answer is: “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Does the kind of government we live under affect the way we live? Obviously it does. Therefore, if we desire a good way of life, logic and self-interest alike indicate that we should pray for our government.

Continuing in 1 Timothy 2, Paul says in verse three, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour….” The pronoun this refers back to the topic of verse 2, which we have summarized as “good government.” If we replace the pronoun this by the phrase to which it refers, we arrive at the following statement: “Good government is good and acceptable in the sight of God.” More simply still, “Good government is the will of God.”

Here is a statement with the most far-reaching consequences. Do we really believe it? To judge by the words and actions of many Christians, they have little or no expectations of good government. They are more or less resigned to the fact that the government will be inefficient, wasteful, arbitrary, corrupt, unjust. For my part I have studied this question long and carefully in the light of logic and of Scripture, and I have come to a deep conviction concerning God’s will in this area: The will of God is good government.

Why God Desires Good Government

Moving on to verse four, we find that Paul states the reason why good government is the will of God: God desires “…all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God desires the salvation of all men so intensely that He made it possible by the supreme sacrifice of history, the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ’s atonement, salvation has been made available to all men. However, for men “to be saved,” they must first “come to the knowledge of the truth” concerning Christ’s atonement. This is possible only if they have the Gospel preached to them.

Paul presents this issue very plainly in Romans 10:13-14: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Unless the Gospel is preached to them, men cannot avail themselves of the salvation purchased for them by Christ’s atonement.

We may sum up the logic of this very simply. God desires “all men to be saved.” For this it is necessary for them to “come to the knowledge of the truth.” “Knowledge of the truth” comes only through the preaching of the Gospel. Therefore God desires the Gospel to be preached to all men.

What kind of government makes it easier to preach the Gospel? Good government or bad government? To obtain an answer to this question, we may briefly contrast the effects of good and bad government, in so far as they relate to the preaching of the Gospel.

On the one hand, good government maintains law and order, it keeps communications open, it preserves civil liberty, it protects freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Good government, without becoming involved in religious controversy, provides a climate in which the Gospel can be preached effectively.

On the other hand, bad government allows the breakdown of law and order, permits unsafe travel conditions and poor communications, and imposes unjust and arbitrary restrictions. In all these ways, although in varying degrees, bad government hinders the effective preaching of the truth. At its worst, bad government either restricts or totally suppresses the universal right of all men to believe in God and to express their faith by public worship and proclamation. In one degree or another, we see these conditions in countries today.

Our conclusion therefore is that good government facilitates the preaching of the gospel, while bad government hinders it. For this reason, good government is the will of God.

Read full article at Herald of His Coming web page–Praying for our government.

Eritrean evangelical Christians are criminals.

Along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bahai, some Moslem groups and the Orthodox Patriarch; Eritrea’s evangelicals are criminals. Let me list some of the crimes routinely committed by you — “Christian”:

By deciding  to practice your faith and attend outlawed congregations you routinely break the ‘law’–that explains why every-time you congregate you look over your shoulders and hide from the ‘law’ like a criminal. But you are a criminal!

Every time you accept money from your family abroad, you commit a crime by accepting smuggled money; for the government has outlawed foreign currency exchange.

If you decide Eritrean law is not for you and decide to leave the country, you are a criminal trying to abscond your national duty of indefinite conscription. Even worst you are a criminal crossing Eritrea’s national borders in hiding like a criminal (and you are a criminal!).

That time when your loved-one told you he is planning to flee the country and you prayed he would make it safely: you are a criminal for not reporting  him to the authorities but in fact aiding a criminal.

When your loved-one was imprisoned for attending prayer meeting and you begged your Lt. Colonel uncle to help free her. You are a disgusting criminal employing corruption to break the nations laws.

Once out of Eritrea you routinely bribe Sudanese or Kenyan officials to get papers and avoid being deported back. Unashamed to carry-on your criminal activities in foreign nations.

Eventually you seek asylum abroad due to political and religious persecution, but this is perjury and treason according to Eritrean government. A crime!

Many Christians (especially Evangelical Christians) are confused as to how to participate in Eritrean affairs. Many are not sure if they can reconcile dissidence with their faith. As a result many of the devout have decided to stay clear of Eritrean ‘politics’.

For instance; in-order to address the unbearable assaults from the regime many choose politically ‘neutral’ solutions. But any activity we do to help ourselves or our loved-ones can’t be politically neutral. Not in the current Eritrea anyway.

Eritrea without “Western” electric power

Asmara’s electric outage goes from bad to worst. The last few weeks residents of the city are getting only 0-2 hours of electricity per day. God knows how our mothers are going to cook local bread Injera. But above all perhaps, one thing notable in the city is how people are struggling to keep their mobiles alive. Mobiles are a life line in Eritrea. Most Eritreans have a mobile based economy where they have to call family abroad for food money. The worst thing about this outage is the fact that the few hours electricity they get can come at any time; the residents have given up hope trying to figure out the pattern.

One can imagine what President Isaias’ generic response would be had his government cared to comment on this city wide (most likely also nation wide) power outage: “Where are the evidences?”

"ሓደጋ ወዝቢ'ዩ: መቐነት ተዓጠቕ!" ዝብል ዝነበረ ሎሚ: "ሞባይል ቻርጀር ተዓጠቕ" እንተበልናዮ ንህዝብና ዝያዳ ትርጉም ይህልዎ::

“ሓደጋ ወዝቢ’ዩ: መቐነት ተዓጠቕ!” ዝብል ዝነበረ ሎሚ: “ሞባይል ቻርጀር ተዓጠቕ” እንተበልናዮ ንህዝብና ዝያዳ ትርጉም ይህልዎ::

Life in Asmara today

It has been almost two weeks since there has been any electricity supply in Asmara and those who have no access to generators are in the dark.

Their mobile phones are dead too… [read Martin Plaut’s blog, click the link below]

Eritrea: back to the dark ages.

Noteworthy Eritrean Web Sites

Awate.com

“Fearless News, Opinion, Analysis On Eritrea and Beyond”

Awate is an Online news, opinion, debate and politics site about Eritrea. First launched in the year 2000, Awate Foundation, as it is known, is a non-profit administered by Saleh “Gadi” Johar (Founder and Publisher) and Saleh AA Younis (Editor-In-Chief). It is run with private donations and volunteers. Awate is based in the United States: Elk Grove, California.

awate stat

This table shows location of people who access awate.com (estimate by alexa.com)

ΞInteresting: Awate publish contents in English, Arabic and Tigrinya languages. It is credited as the first opposition website to produce original materials. Awate.com contains mainly political commentary and opinion articles.

Among other items, Awate.com publishes 10 to 20 English articles (>1200 words) every month attracting 80,000 to 200,000 visits. Approximately 10,000 to 40,000 of these monthly visits are from unique visitors (i.e. from different IP addresses).

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Asmarino.com

“The revolution of the human spirit!”

Asmarino Independent is an Online community for Eritreans and friends of Eritrea, with history, news, chat, bulletin boards, poetry, and more. Asmarino Independent website was first launched 1997. Asmarino Independent is based in the United States: Cerritos, California.

asmarino.com visitors

This table shows location of people who access asmarino.com (estimate by alexa.com).

ΞInteresting: Asmarino.com Publishes content in English, Arabic and Tigrinya languages. First established as an online Eritrean community focused on culture and art, it quickely evolved to become a prominent political website in early 2000’s. Asmarino.com hosts opposition radios: Voice of Delina, Radio Liberty, and Radio Erena. Asmarino.com published “መዝገብ ስውኣት 1998-2001”, leaked name list and statistics of 22,015 Eritrean martyrs’ who died during the border conflict with Ethiopia in the years 1998-2001 [available at http://wall.asmarino.com/].

Recent postings are rotated in the homepage top banner making it easy for the frequent visitor to find new updates, and the website’s search box makes it easy to search articles if you know what or who you are looking for. Otherwise, navigating the website is not easy. The long list of menu items in landscape orientation can be confusing. Oddly Asmarino.com don’t have an about page.

Every month Asmarino Independent website is visited 70,000 to 200,000 times. Roughly 15,000 to 50, 000 of these visits are from unique visitors (i.e. from different IP addresses).

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Assenna.com

“For freedom of speech”

Assenna is an Online news website focusing on politics, culture and religion. Assenna was first launched in 2009. Assenna website is run by Amanuel Eyasu Gebrekidan (founder), an exiled Eritrean journalist. Assenna is based in London, United Kingdom.

assenna stat

This table shows location of people who access assenna.com (estimate by alexa.com)

ΞInteresting: Assenna.com is the go to site for news on Eritrea. Assenna.com publishes in English and Tigrinya languages. Assenna.com also broadcast radio program “Radio Assenna” to Eritrea. Breaking news may appear a piece at a time on this website and sometimes speed comes at the expense of report quality, some breaking news have been found to contain errors in the past.

Oddly Assenna.com don’t have an about page.

Monthly Assenna website gets 150,000 to 330,000 visits making it the most visited Eritrean diaspora website. Roughly 62,000 to 140,000 of these visits are from unique visitors (i.e. different IP addresses).

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Harnnet.org

“The Official Eritrean People’s Democratic Party Web Site”

Harnnet.org is an Online news site for Eritreans and friends of Eritrea, with history, news, articles, commentary and more. First launched 2010 (soon after the formation of EPDP) Harnnet.org website is operated by EPDP. Harnnet.org website server is based in the United States, Illinois.

ΞInteresting: The Eritrean Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) is a result of the unity of three Eritrean government opposition groups. The Eritrean People’s Party (EPP), Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) and Eritrean Peoples Movement (EPM) merged in January 2010.

Harnnet.org host Radio Liberty Tigrinya and Arabic. The website publishes in English, Arabic and Tigrinya. Harnnet.org website has roughly 1,600 to 10,000 unique visitors every month.

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Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (ehrea.org)

Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (EHREA) is an Online archive documenting human rights abuses in Eritrea. It’s mission is to increase public awareness of injustices carried out in Eritrea and to serve as a platform to hasten the introduction of justice and democracy in Eritrea. First launched 2007, EHREA website is founded by Resoum Kidane. The websites server is based in the United States.

ΞInteresting: Contents are primarily in English but also contain Tigrinya and Arabic languages. It is hard to visit this site and not be heart broken by its contents. This site dares to indiscriminately document human rights abuses starting from crimes committed by Ethiopia, the ELF (Jebha), EPLF (Shaebia) and the current Eritrean government (PFDJ).

Noteworthy is a document titled “Reflections on the Eritrean People Struggle for Independence”, researched and compiled by Resoum Kidane. It is a history of Eritrean struggle with emphasis on human rights. This document contains many useful links as well.

The design and organization of the website is not easy to understand, however there is a handy “search” tool for navigation to what you are looking for. EHREA website gets from 15,000 to 25,000 visits per month from thousands of unique visitors.

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Useful References/tools

  • Dan Connell and Tom Killion (2011), Historical Dictionary of Eritrea, second edition.
  • Eritrea: Africa, South of the Sahara selected internet resources, Stanford University Libraries [http://www-sul.stanford.edu/]
  • Eritrea: Human Rights Web Archive, Columbia University Libraries [http://hrwa.cul.columbia.edu]
  • Website Traffic Estimates: Alexa.com, Traffic Estimate.com and Google Display Network Ad Planner.

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These five websites are what I think are the most prominent. Which other site do you think I should add? Leave me a comment.