Archive for the tag “bible”

Biblical Response To Evil Government

evilgovernmentHow should we respond to evil governments? We know that the Bible often tells us to Fear the Lord and follow him. We need to be on God’s side of a response. Many Christians have disagreed on these matters over time. Let’s start by looking at various situations and scriptures.
First off, in America as Christians we are on the side of the constitution and the governing documents. Those founding documents give us religious freedom and right to life. Both slavery and abortion are in violation of the constitution. Those forces wishing to overthrow and destroy our constitution and government have taken control of almost every area of American life. We are now in a struggle to preserve our government and freedom. It’s possible that the country is past a tipping point of being preserved and something like a secession would be a proper option.
The reasons why it could be right for a Christian to civilly disobey, separate, flee, resist, or secede from an evil government.
A few key starting notes
1. God’s law is above man’s law. If a government commands or forces us to violate God’s law we cannot follow. Some examples could be demands to stop preaching against homosexuality, commands for pastors to have to perform such marriages (in the US has happened), commands that would force doctors to encourage or perform abortions, commands to stop preaching the gospel, etc. Scriptural examples of these are many. Peter, Paul, and the apostles continued to preach when told not to. Daniel continued to pray and worship God when the government told him it was against the law. These verses come after the apostles had been arrested for refusing to stop preaching the gospel.
 
Acts 5:28-29  saying, e“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you fintend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, g“We must obey God rather than men. 
2. Secondly, God instituted government for our good. The institution of government is always good-while those in power of government are often evil. It’s always right to operate within the laws to try to make the government more godly. Where things get tricky is how people have and should understand this second point. I believe we should consider that God has given Christians options that can all be glorifying to Him in many situations. I draw this conclusion by numerous accounts in scripture of conflict with government and the many different responses that God ordained or allowed. Additionally to this end, Ecclesiastes 3 states.

For everything there is a season, and la time for every matter under heaven:
2  a time to be born, and a time to mdie;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3  a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  a time to nweep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to odance;
5  a time to pcast away stones, and a time to qgather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to rrefrain from embracing;
6  a time to seek, and a time to slose;
a time to keep, and a time to tcast away;
7  a time to utear, and a time to sew;
a time to vkeep silence, and a time to speak;
8  a time to love, and a time to whate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Those verses indicate that God allows for a time and a season for nearly everything. Let’s look at a few points relating to our current dilemma and God’s wisdom in areas that apply.
We should seek to put Godly people in power or people who will uphold justice. God is against lawlessness. Government is to bring wrath on those who practice evil.

Exodus 18:21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. (Additionally Deut 1:15-16)

Romans 13:4 …But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, tan avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer

We are generally to obey rulers (Titus 3:1, Remind them to be subject to rulers….additionally Romans 13 among others), but God is ultimately opposed to evil rulers. (Isaiah 1:23-26, Isaiah 10:1-3)

Protection of an innocent life in defiance of the government is described as faith and this was done by defying and hiding from the government. Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings edict. 

God appears to want people to intercede in times of injustice and oppression. We are to defend the oppressed, poor, needy, weak, and vulnerable. 

Isaiah 59:15b-16a The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

Psalm 82:3-4 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Self defense has many Biblical examples. This includes defense of homes, families, cities, and peoples. This goes hand in hand with the right to bear arms. The Jews weren’t the ruling class but they were allowed to fight to protect themselves from genocide. I think we would also be allowed and responsible to fight to protect our families from genocide.

Esther 8: 11 …the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included,

Esther 9:16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder.

Additionally, Isaiah 1:23, Isaiah 28:6 speak to these ideas. Abram had no problem rescuing Lot and his people with force (Genesis 14:13-16). In Luke 22:36, Jesus advised His disciples to take swords along with their other provisions. Exodus 22:2, also indicates it is okay to use self-defense.

The examples of Esther and Nehemiah I believe is most applicable to America today. Nehemiah had the permission from the king-just as American’s are on the side of the constitution. Nehemiah had local authorities conspiring and perverting justice and had to resist. They took up arms to defend their work and even migrated into one area together. They weren’t overthrowing the entire kingdom-they were preserving their people. This example could be the best Biblical example and closest to America. In Esther they were given permission to rise up and defend against a Jewish genocide. What would it look like today? Secession? Migration to one area? Seperation? 

Neh 4:13-14 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears,and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, x“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, ywho is great and awesome, zand fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

They attempted to scare Nehemiah but he did not flee. In Chapter 7 the people return to the city and basically migrate or immigrate to the same region. The moved to the same region for reasons of strength and protection. They continue to rebuild and they begin returning to God’s law by reading the law in the public gathering.
Was the American Revolution a violation of Romans 13:1-7?
It’s important to understand that many of those supporting the Revolutionary War were deeply religious and felt biblically justified. Some today say they were wrong in this belief, but they knew their scriptures better than almost all American church leaders today and they may have been right: The colonists supported God’s institution of government. They believed that actions against a specific oppressive government were not a violation of the general principle of Romans 13The colonists saw the war as a defensive action. Peaceful resolution was attempted before the British fired upon unarmed citizens in the Boston Massacre. The colonists, therefore, saw themselves as defending themselves after the conflict had been initiated by the British.
In scripture we see different responses to evil government. Paul fled. Jesus instructed his disciples in Matt 10 to flee from persecution from one city to the next. So from fleeing, defying, resisting, and even overthrowing. It depended on what God’s purpose was. Sometimes he ordained war, defense, etc. Other times such as in Ezekiel’s time he told Israel to not fight back because he was against them and judging them and if they resisted they would fall to the sword. If they went into captivity God would spare their life.
Where are we now in America? How should we apply Biblical principles to our situation? Ultimately God will not allow any action to succeed if it doesn’t fall within his greater plan and purpose. Consider the following current issues.
1. Abortion. The mass murder of children. If laws aren’t changed Christians should talk about how to withdraw from this evil. This is at odds with our constitution (right to life) and being forced upon America by those attempting to overthrow the government and it’s founding documents. By opposing abortion we are on God’s side.
2. Homosexuality/Transgender/Secular indoctrination-demands on educators, medical professionals, businesses, and now churches to accept, quit preaching against, or embrace these deviant lifestyles are being mandated at an accelerating pace. Are we past or at a tipping point where separation needs to occur due to these issues as well?
3. Restrictions on religious gatherings and on worship. Are restrictions going against God’s command? You can easily argue they are unconstitutional at best. Should it be short lived and truly for health reasons we should comply. But I would argue that our assembling together is God’s law and restrictions against it are man’s. Government shouldn’t give us instructions on how to worship. We should operate in faith.
4. Riots-lawlessness is always against God’s plan. If the government descends into anarchy Christians may have a true responsibility to secede and institute governments where they are located. God is a God of justice and he instituted government. We should not seek to operate in anarchy and lawlessness.
5. Forced vaccinations. For reasons ranging from protecting your family, to potentially not worshipping the government (beast), to moral issues with how vaccines are developed (fetal tissue)…it would be fair to say no to this. Vaccines aren’t bad, but we should not have to choose vaccines that have been developed using aborted babies or be mandated to take such medicines that have regilious implications.
Whatever actions we take in good conscience-we don’t know the outcome of any of those actions, but we can act in faith.

Phil Robertson

Last Words of John Huss-Reformer-Martyr

 

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