‘The big question is will we refuse to follow government regulations that contravene God’s laws?’ asks author Jason Carter.
When government goes against the Word of God we MUST NOT follow them.
There is no Biblical precedent for following dictatorial government when it constrains men and women of faith to sin against God. Time and again we read about the heroes of faith who stood in the face of the elite leaders of their day and refused to bow the knee in surrender to their godless whims.
Romans 13 – the passage written by the Apostle Paul about submission to the authorities – is often regarded as the proof text amongst church pastors and leaders for submitting to government no matter what. It is important to note that Paul does not state that God approves of corrupt government, godless leaders, or unjust legislation, and neither does he mean for Christians to blindly submit to these over the law of God. Indeed Paul often found himself arrested, beaten and imprisoned by the authorities.
Obedience to earthly authority must be the general rule but it is clear from the Bible as a whole that we need not obey government if it involves sinning against God.
Romans chapter 13 has often been taken out of context. Unsurprisingly it has been used to further the aims of tyrannical power and to quell Christian protest. Indeed Adolf Hitler and many German churches used such Scriptures as the Biblical reason not to oppose the Nazi regime.
It should be noted that a church in America employed the same stance on the appointment of president Obama in 2009. The church in Ohio distributed a troubling flyer to its congregation based around the Romans 13 text. The flyer encouraged them to lead the way in supporting Obama because his election was a deterrent against evil! An excerpt from the flyer read:
- Barack Obama’s presidency is appointed by God.
- Christians should lead the way in supporting Barack Obama’s presidency.
- Barack Obama’s presidency can be a force for good and a deterrent against evil.
- As president, Barack Obama is God’s minister to you for good.
Scripture must always be interpreted against the backdrop of all Scripture, and we can see from the Bible that men and women of God fearlessly opposed tyrannical governmental rule and unrighteous political leaders without question and broke the law when necessary.
Courage not Cowardice
It’s time to be bold.
Consider the following examples.
The Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah feared God so they refused to obey the command of the king of Egypt to kill the sons born to Hebrew women (Exodus 1:15-7).
Moses was hidden for three months by his parents in defiance of the king’s command (Hebrews 11:23).
In protest Moses confronted Pharaoh to his face on numerous occasions (Exodus 5-13).
Esther illegally approached the King (Esther 4:16).
Shadrach, Mischach and Abednego did not heed the decree of King Nebuchadnezzar and refused to worship the graven image (Daniel 3:12-15).
Daniel ignored a thirty day government ban on prayer (Daniel 6:10-17).
God warned the wise men against returning to King Herod despite his clear instructions to do so (Matthew 2:12).
John the Baptist directly challenged King Herod, publicly accusing him of an immoral lifestyle despite knowing that this action would lead to certain imprisonment or death (Matthew 14).
Jesus caused a civil disturbance by overturning the tables of the money-changers. He even fashioned a whip to drive them out and continued to guard the area to prohibit them from returning (Mark 11:1-16).
On being told by the high priestly authorities not to preach about Jesus Christ, Peter and the apostles answered that they should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)
Jesus warned us that as the end draws nearer lawlessness will abound (Matthew 24:12). This will amongst other areas manifest itself in anti-Christian legislation. Laws have already been passed that restrict the Christian to act in line with the Bible. This trend will only continue until the Christian is forced to break unrighteous laws.
The day is coming when we will all be faced with this choice.
The question is will we be found obeying the government or will we be found fearlessly obeying God?
From Trumpet Blast Warning by Jason Carter.
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