BY CONOR MACCORMACK
“For I [Paul] have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27, NKJV)
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
As the last remnants of the Old American Republic (and the liberty it was designed to safeguard) are slowly swept away into the dustbin of history and the call for more unjust wars of naked aggression echoes throughout the land, hard questions must be asked: Why do so many of America’s pews and pulpits remain silent? Where is the righteous indignation and call to action from those who are supposed to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) and who are commanded to “stand fast… in the liberty by which Christ has made us free” (Galatians 5:1)? When will the watchmen on the walls valiantly stand in the gap for truth and justice?
It grieves me to say, dear readers, that a significant number of professing Christians in our nation today have in fact become “good for nothing” by remaining silent toward or by complying with the wicked acts being perpetrated by those in positions of power. The Christian Church (of all denominations) has failed to stand for the Gospel principles of peace, individual liberty and brotherly love and has been effectively “trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). Rather than speaking truth to power and rebuking the gaggle of conniving reprobates that constitute the military/bankster/political cabal in Washington, Christians of all stripes are busying gossiping over coffee and donuts during the after church hospitality hour. And how do many of these same folks react when a true Christian man and patriot, such as Congressman Ron Paul, advocates that the United States follow the Golden Rule, as articulated by the Prince of Peace, in its dealings with other nations? They BOO him!
Whenever these fair weather disciples are taken to task over their indifference or eager endorsement of the destructive policies enacted by the aforementioned group of criminals, they incredulously cite the Bible to justify themselves! “Someone obviously hasn’t read Romans 13,” they will self righteously proclaim. “It says that we must obey everything the government says, no matter what! Some Christian you are!”
In reality, a thorough reading of the entire Bible turns this downright inane idea on its head. I have addressed this claim regarding Romans 13 (and a similar passage found in 1 Peter 2) in previous columns but for clarity’s sake let’s take another close look at the passage in question from Romans 13:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”
First things first: do those Christians who either misinterpret or manipulate the teaching of Romans Chapter 13 truly believe in “submitting to the governing authorities” no matter what? If that were the case, then why do so many of these same pastors, bishops, priests and deacons rail (and rightfully so) against the heinous decision of Roe v. Wade and encourage their congregants to speak out and demonstrate against pro choice laws enacted by Congress? If they truly believe in submitting to government edicts “no matter what”, why do they passionately denounce any and all legislative attempts to codify homosexual marriage into law? If Christians are not to submit to these government dictates, why must they sheepishly accept such utter abominations to the rule of law as the USA PATRIOT Act, the recently passed NDAA indefinite detention bill and the scores of undeclared, unjust and financially draining foreign conflicts that our military has participated in over the last century?
Secondly, the apostle Paul (who wrote many of his epistles from government prisons) notes that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.” Human government, which “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed”, is only authorized to be a “terror” to those who commit evil acts; i.e. murder, rape, theft, etc. They are to punish those who infringe upon the God-given liberties of life, liberty and property of others. As “God’s minister… for good” all duly elected magistrates and representatives are to uphold their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the rule of law (and the liberties of the people which are codified in and protected by the law). They are not to take the place of clergymen in guiding the personal lives of the citizenry, the place of parents in raising their children nor the place of the economic laws of the free market to ensure an “equal distribution of wealth.”
Paul also stipulates that citizens must submit to government ordinances not merely for fear of “wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” When any citizen cannot in good conscience obey an unjust edict issued by the State, he or she is under no obligation to obey it. Being coerced into obeying an immoral and unconscionable law through the threat of government force and violence has no place in any just or Godly society. As Saint Augustine once said, “An unjust law is no law at all.”
Lastly, Paul says that citizens are to “render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” Here in the United States, under our constitutional form of government, We the People that reside in the several States are only to render to the federal government those specific, enumerated powers that it is granted under the constitutional compact. We are NOT to grant the federal government anything that is due or reserved to the state governments, the people or more intimately, God Himself. As Jesus so succinctly said we are to”Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
Indeed, if we are to examine “the whole counsel of God” found in both the Old and New Testaments, it is clear that God blesses those who resist against unlawful, wicked and tyrannical government. Both Testaments are rife with the stories of heroes who stood fast for the Lord’s principles against such demonic oppression. As Dr. Chuck Baldwin, 2008 Constitution Party Presidential Candidate and Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana, stated pointedly in a 2007 column:
“Did Moses violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew? Did Elijah violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he openly challenged Ahab and Jezebel? Did David violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to surrender to Saul’s troops? Did Daniel violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he disobeyed the king’s law to not pray audibly to God? Did the three Hebrew children violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to bow to the image of the state? Did John the Baptist violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity? Did Simon Peter and the other Apostles violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to stop preaching on the streets of Jerusalem? Did Paul violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those authorities who demanded that he abandon his missionary work? In fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail.”
Whether it be due to apathy or compliance, Christians across the nation are rooted in the inherently unconstitutional and unbiblical doctrine of total submission to human government and its agents. If we are to regain our God-given liberties, we must wholeheartedly seek wisdom, strength and fellowship by heeding “the whole counsel of God.”
(This column first appeared on February 8th, 2012 in the A Young Man Speaks blog.)
God, Family, and Country Editor at The Moral Liberal, Conor MacCormack, is the proprietor of Providential Publications, which provides a wide range of writing, editing and proofreading services. His blog, A Young Man Speaks, addresses the current political and spiritual turmoil gripping our nation and how a return to America’s biblically based founding principles will lead to lasting liberty and prosperity. He has served as a congressional intern for Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. in Washington, D.C. You can also visit his website: www.ayoungmanspeaks.weebly.com
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