From Jim McGuiggan... JESUS' WAY OF SEEING


We’re watching at a safe distance the walk between Pilate’s judgment hall and Golgotha, the jeering or weeping people that lined the road, the grim religious leaders who are doing their duty, the Roman soldiers who prod and mock the sufferer on his way to further humiliation and pain as one of them carries the piece of wood with Latin, Greek and Hebrews words written on it; words of sarcasm and final insult to the sufferer and his nation alike.
Hmmm. Let’s paint what is taking place; let’s paint a picture so that people down the years will remember. So we produce this great canvas of the entire scene. The weeping and helpless women, the frightened eyes, the jeering and sneering faces, the skulking friends in the distance, the powerful church leaders with their scriptures tied to their foreheads and hands, the insolent Roman soldiers, the representatives of irresistible might, the hurting sufferer, the humiliation, the lowered head and face streaked with blood and sweat and spittle and the gash in the side. Above the dead victim the ruthless words filled with deliberate insult and warning for a hated nation the piece of wood saying: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. We call the painting: The Triumph of the World!And we’re filled with something like pity at what they did to the young man. “Why doesn’t someone do something to prevent this?” we say to ourselves.
Jesus would look at our portrait and tell us it is great work. Almost true! At least it has so much in it that is true but if Jesus had painted a picture of it, it would have in it all our painting had but he would have called it: Sentence Being Passed On the World!
He had his own way of seeing things.
Didn’t he in the middle of the chaos say the power belonged to him and that this was the way to true power? Click here.
If he had painted the meaning of it rather than just the events of those awful hours he might have had a piece of wood with words written on it by his Holy Father: THIS IS THE KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS.
If he had painted the meaning of it rather than just the events of those awful hours he might have painted cheering, ecstatic women with joy-filled faces, Roman and Jewish faces filled with astonishment and horror and the satanic world-spirit cast out instead of Jesus. He might have painted a vicious, corrupt and corrupting prisoner in the dock being sentenced by the Creator and the young glorious Prince crowned Lord of All.
John 12:31
And how is he painting your suffering-filled but faith-filled life?
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

Sam Harris, Christ’s Resurrection, and the Nature of Belief by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Sam Harris, Christ’s Resurrection, and the Nature of Belief

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Sam Harris has helped lead the new brigade of militant atheists in their charge against God. His bestseller, The End of Faith, attempts to persuade the reader that all religions, including Christianity, are not only useless, but often quite harmful. In truth, he does an outstanding job showing some of the problems with false religions like Islam, and he also effectively repudiates perversions of Christian doctrine that attempt to pass themselves off as authentic. What he fails to do, however, is accurately assess true, New Testament Christianity, a fault that lies at the heart of much modern, atheistic writing.
As a case in point, Harris asked the question: “What should we believe?” He answered:
We believe most of what we believe about the world because others have told us to.... In fact, the more educated we become, the more our beliefs come to us second hand. A person who believes only those propositions for which he can provide full sensory or theoretical justification will know almost nothing about the world (2004).
Harris then proceeded to discuss how to assess the validity of what we should or should not believe that other people tell us. He gave three sources of information and analyzed the validity of each. First, he proposed the scenario of an anchorman on the evening news claiming that a fire in Colorado had burned 100,000 acres. Second, he listed as a source of information numerous biologists who claim that DNA is the “molecular basis for sexual reproduction.” And the third source of information he listed was the Pope, who claims that Jesus is the Son of God, was born of a virgin, and was resurrected bodily after death.
After some discussion, Harris concluded that the first and second sources of information are reliable and should be trusted, but the third, the Pope, is not. What is interesting about Harris’ discussion is why he concluded that the story about the fire on the evening news is trustworthy. He elaborated:
Given our beliefs about the human mind, the success of our widespread collaboration with other human beings, and the degree to which we all rely on the news, it is scarcely conceivable that a respected television network and a highly paid anchorman are perpetrating a hoax, or that thousands of firefighters, newsmen, and terrified homeowners have mistaken Texas for Colorado. Implicit in such commonsense judgments lurks an understanding of the causal connections between various processes in the world, the likelihood of different outcomes, and the vested interests or lack thereof, of those whose testimony we are considering. What would a professional news anchor stand to gain from lying about a fire in Colorado? We need not go into the details here, if the anchor on the evening news says that there is a fire in Colorado and then shows us images of burning trees, we can be reasonably sure that there really is a fire in Colorado (2004).
It is not surprising that Harris follows this explanation with his statement about mistrusting the words of the Pope pertaining to the resurrection of Christ. In this regard, he is right: the Pope’s “word” on the resurrection is no more authoritative than the word of Sam Harris. But notice the straw man Harris has built. He rightly attacks the false belief of the Pope’s infallibility, but he does not address the real evidence that validates Jesus’ resurrection. Were we to put the evidence for the resurrection beside that of the news story, the resurrection would have unquestionably more “commonsense judgments” to commend it, making it much more “reasonably sure” than a modern news story.
Analyzing the resurrection of Christ in light of Harris’ filter of evidence, it is “scarcely conceivable” that several hundred eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6) of the resurrected Christ simply concocted the story to further their agenda. What would ordinary fishermen, farmers, or businessmen and women stand to gain from perpetuating such a hoax? The reward for their testimony was that many of them were stoned, killed with the sword, tortured, or imprisoned for nothing more than saying that they knew Jesus came back to life. Thousands of their peers listened with interest to their evidence, assessed the value of the witnesses and other information, such as the empty tomb of Christ, and were forced to conclude that the resurrection had, indeed, occurred (Acts 2:41). Many among the most educated classes, including the priests, who would have had numerous reasons to deny the validity of the evidence, were convinced of the truth of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 6:7). The many “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) offered for the resurrection are recorded in the most reliable documents ever to come down to modern man from any historical repository (see Butt, 2004). In fact, so powerful are the various evidences for the resurrection (see Butt, 2002), that, knowing what we know “about the casual connections between various processes” and humanity’s “success of our widespread collaboration with other human beings,” it is inconceivable that the resurrection of Christ is a hoax. The Pope is an easy target. The real evidence for the resurrection is not.


Butt, Kyle (2002), “Jesus Christ—Dead or Alive?” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/121.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Archaeology and the New Testament,” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2591.
Harris, Sam (2004), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton).

From Mark Copeland... "CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE CHURCH" Secularism




1. In previous lessons, we examined the challenges of...
   a. Denominationalism
   b. Sectarianism
   c. Factionalism
   d. Traditionalism

2. Each contribute toward changing the church...
   a. Into something very different than Jesus intended
   b. Churches that are carnal, fleshly, more of the world than of 

[A similar challenge confronting churches is the trend toward secularism...]


   A. SECULAR...
      1. Worldly rather than spiritual - American Heritage Dictionary
      2. Of or relating to worldly things as distinguished from things
         relating to church and religion; not sacred or religious;
         temporal; worldly - YourDictionary.com

      1. Indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and
         religious considerations - Merriam-Webster
      2. Worldly spirit, views, or the like; esp., a system of doctrines
         and practices that disregards or rejects any form of religious
         faith and worship - YourDictionary.com

[One would think that by definition churches would be religious,
spiritual, sacred, in nature.  Yet many have noted that in too many churches, there are...]


      1. In the Bible, the church is a spiritual institution
         a. The body of Christ, the kingdom of God - 1Co 12:27; Col 1:13
         b. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit - 2Co 11:2; 1Co 3:16
         c. With elders served as shepherds, feeding and guiding the flock of God - Ac 20:28
         d. Deacons met physical needs, but so others could focus on spiritual needs - Ac 6:1-7
         e. Preachers were devoted to the Word, serving as evangelists - 1Ti 4:16; 2Ti 4:5
      2. Today, many churches function more like a business
         a. Elders are more like board members, directors, corporate managers
         b. Preachers have become staff managers, counselors, figure heads
         c. Members divided into committees, departments, with chairpersons, superintendents
         d. Evangelism has turned into marketing, public relations

      1. Today, many churches have become social clubs
         a. Building gymnasiums, eating ("fellowship") halls
         b. Offering mental counseling, babysitting services
         c. Providing entertainment for children and even adults
      2. Whereas in the Bible the church focused on the spiritual
         a. They assembled to worship, edify one another - Ac 20:7; He 10:24-25
         b. Trends leading to make the focus social or secular were addressed - 1Co 11:17-34
         c. The assembly was their "fellowship hall", the Lord’s Supper their "fellowship dinner"
         d. Families were expected to take care of their social needs,
            lest the church become burdened and unable to fulfill its primary duties - e.g., 1Ti 5:16

[Turning the church from a spiritual institution into a secular one does
not occur overnight.  Changes that appear innocent and harmless may be
the "gateway drug" to secularism.  A few thoughts for...]


      1. Let the church fulfill its role as a spiritual institution, focused on:
         a. Teaching the Word of God, praising God
         b. Providing opportunities to fulfill spiritual duties (e.g.,Lord’s Supper, assembling)
         c. Equipping the saints for ministry, much of which will occur outside the church
      2. Let family and society fulfill their roles
         a. Parents and friends providing entertainment, physical needs
         b. Professionals providing medical and counseling needs
         c. Individuals joining together in charitable organizations to serve others

      1. The church should focus on providing spiritual needs - 1Co 11:34
         a. Many churches struggle as to when and where to draw the line
         b. Paul does so in this passage; can it not be a guide for us today?
      2. As a church, be careful not to take on unnecessary burdens - 1Ti 5:16
         a. Many churches are burdened with social concerns, neglecting spiritual ones
         b. Paul warns against this in this passage; can it not be a guide as well?
      3. Let the organization of the church be patterned after the New
         Testament, not modern day businesses with their titles and organizations - e.g., Php 1:1


1. The Lord’s church is a wonderful institution; but God has other institutions as well...
   a. Such as family, government, etc.
   b. Each uniquely designed and qualified to fulfill their respective roles

2. The Lord’s church is likewise uniquely designed and qualified to fulfill a role...
   a. One that is spiritual and sacred
   b. One that can easily be neglected or burdened

Even with the best of intentions, the Lord’s church can easily be
transformed from a spiritual institution into a secular one.  That is the danger of secularism...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 16

Bible Reading  

March 16

The World English Bible

Mar. 16
Exodus 26, 27

Exo 26:1 "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim. The work of the skillful workman you shall make them.
Exo 26:2 The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure.
Exo 26:3 Five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and the other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
Exo 26:4 You shall make loops of blue on the edge of the one curtain from the edge in the coupling; and likewise you shall make in the edge of the curtain that is outmost in the second coupling.
Exo 26:5 You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops in the edge of the curtain that is in the second coupling. The loops shall be opposite one to another.
Exo 26:6 You shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps: and the tabernacle shall be a unit.
Exo 26:7 "You shall make curtains of goats' hair for a covering over the tabernacle. You shall make them eleven curtains.
Exo 26:8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall have one measure.
Exo 26:9 You shall couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shall double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent.
Exo 26:10 You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain which is outmost in the second coupling.
Exo 26:11 You shall make fifty clasps of brass, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
Exo 26:12 The overhanging part that remains of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remains, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle.
Exo 26:13 The cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side, of that which remains in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
Exo 26:14 You shall make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of sea cow hides above.
Exo 26:15 "You shall make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up.
Exo 26:16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and one and a half cubits the breadth of each board.
Exo 26:17 There shall be two tenons in each board, joined to one another: thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
Exo 26:18 You shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side southward.
Exo 26:19 You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons.
Exo 26:20 For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, twenty boards,
Exo 26:21 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
Exo 26:22 For the far part of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards.
Exo 26:23 You shall make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the far part.
Exo 26:24 They shall be double beneath, and in like manner they shall be entire to its top to one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
Exo 26:25 There shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
Exo 26:26 "You shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
Exo 26:27 and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far part westward.
Exo 26:28 The middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end.
Exo 26:29 You shall overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and you shall overlay the bars with gold.
Exo 26:30 You shall set up the tabernacle according to the way that it was shown to you on the mountain.
Exo 26:31 "You shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cherubim. The work of the skillful workman shall it be made.
Exo 26:32 You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, on four sockets of silver.
Exo 26:33 You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil: and the veil shall separate the holy place from the most holy for you.
Exo 26:34 You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
Exo 26:35 You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and you shall put the table on the north side.
Exo 26:36 "You shall make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer.
Exo 26:37 You shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold: their hooks shall be of gold: and you shall cast five sockets of brass for them.

Exo 27:1 "You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and its height shall be three cubits.
Exo 27:2 You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it; and you shall overlay it with brass.
Exo 27:3 You shall make its pots to take away its ashes, its shovels, its basins, its flesh hooks, and its fire pans: all its vessels you shall make of brass.
Exo 27:4 You shall make a grating for it of network of brass: and on the net you shall make four bronze rings in its four corners.
Exo 27:5 You shall put it under the ledge around the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar.
Exo 27:6 You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass.
Exo 27:7 Its poles shall be put into the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar, when carrying it.
Exo 27:8 You shall make it with hollow planks. They shall make it as it has been shown you on the mountain.
Exo 27:9 "You shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen one hundred cubits long for one side:
Exo 27:10 and its pillars shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
Exo 27:11 Likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and its pillars twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver.
Exo 27:12 For the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten.
Exo 27:13 The breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
Exo 27:14 The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
Exo 27:15 For the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
Exo 27:16 For the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four.
Exo 27:17 All the pillars of the court around shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of brass.
Exo 27:18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
Exo 27:19 All the instruments of the tabernacle in all its service, and all its pins, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
Exo 27:20 "You shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.
Exo 27:21 In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Mar. 15, 16
Mark 10

Mar 10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them.
Mar 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
Mar 10:3 He answered, "What did Moses command you?"
Mar 10:4 They said, "Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her."
Mar 10:5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment.
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife,
Mar 10:8 and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Mar 10:10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter.
Mar 10:11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.
Mar 10:12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
Mar 10:13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mar 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
Mar 10:16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mar 10:17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Mar 10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one-God.
Mar 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.' "
Mar 10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."
Mar 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."
Mar 10:22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
Mar 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
Mar 10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Mar 10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."
Mar 10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News,
Mar 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.
Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
Mar 10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.
Mar 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles.
Mar 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
Mar 10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."
Mar 10:36 He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Mar 10:37 They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."
Mar 10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
Mar 10:39 They said to him, "We are able." Jesus said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;
Mar 10:40 but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."
Mar 10:41 When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
Mar 10:42 Jesus summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Mar 10:43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.
Mar 10:44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.
Mar 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mar 10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.
Mar 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:49 Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him." They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"
Mar 10:50 He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Mar 10:51 Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."
Mar 10:52 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

From Gary... Problems, politicians and priorities

The federal government is out of control. Drunk with power and the acquisition of personal wealth, they have lost touch with those who elected them. We need to remove all of them, install term limits and spending limits- and do it now.  A constitutional convention needs to be convened to make these things happen!!!!  Having said my peace about the current state of affairs in Washington, I encourage every Christian to read the following...

Romans, Chapter 13 (WEB)
  1 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are ordained by God.  2 Therefore he who resists the authority, withstands the ordinance of God; and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment.  3 For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same,  4 for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil.  5 Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.  6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for they are servants of God’s service, attending continually on this very thing.  7 Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.

If we follow God first, we will naturally be model citizens and therefore do the best we can within any system of government- even corrupt and ungodly ones.  In the meantime, I encourage you to investigate the following...