Over the last two days in A Short Prepper Civics Lesson and in The Future of America. I have detailed that the founders stated what our God given rights are. I have also given some possible scenarios where those rights may be restricted, if not completely taken away. How then should a Christian respond?
A few years back I decided to read one chapter of the Bible every morning. There were some things I didn’t understand. I spent some time researching them. One of them was Romans 13:1. This verse differs greatly depending on the version of the Bible you have. I’ll post two.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
Many other versions are similar to this NIV version:
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
The reason this was difficult for me is that there have been some truly awful governing authorities throughout history. I questioned whether a loving God would want us to subject ourselves to their authority. Like I said, this didn’t make sense. On a side note, there have been bad governments that have used this verse to keep Christians in line, claiming your God tells you to submit.
I did a bit of digging and thinking and found an article called Spiritual Authority and Romans 13. I don’t agree with everything the author says but he does make it clear that Paul was not telling us to be subject to the worlds authority, that we were to be subjected to our spiritual authorities. That made this verse more clear for me, as some of man’s laws absolutely contradict Gods law.
But let’s say that the verse actually means that we should submit to government. Does that mean even when it goes against God’s law?
God’s law vs. Man’s Law
As a general rule, Christians make excellent citizens. By living as Christ did and loving our neighbor as ourselves, we tend to stay out of trouble. There are many times when man’s laws and God’s laws are the same. For example, many of our current laws are based off of the Ten Commandments. Until recently, they were displayed in many court rooms across the country. In some places they still are.
There are times when there is a law that man uses to infringe upon our Christian liberties, such as taking a cross down from a national park or a city stopping a church from ringing a bell. At times like these I am reminded of Mathew 5:41:
“If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”When a Roman soldier would ask a Jew for directions, Jews would often give them the wrong ones. To stop this, a law was created that said when a Roman soldier asked for directions, the Jew had to walk with him for the first mile.
When our Christian Liberties are infringed upon, I think we should still make a stand, do battle in courts, protest or by other means voice opposition. But in the end, I think, since it does not go against Gods law, we must accept it and “walk the second mile”.
But then there are times when man’s law absolutely goes against God’s law. What should we do then? Following are a few examples of when God’s people rebelled against man’s law and followed Gods.
King Nebuchadnezzar has requested among others that, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah be put in his service. They are given wine and fancy foods to eat. Daniel and company refused to defile themselves with the royal foods and asked to be allowed to eat just fruit and vegetables for ten days.
This is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar building a 90 foot tall statue of gold and demanding that everyone bow and worship it. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused, they were thrown into the furnace.
There is a law passed that anyone who prays to any god or man for the next 30 days would be thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel prays to God and is thrown into the den.
Esther 4:11- 7:3
It is forbidden to enter the kings chambers without invitation. Violation of this is punishable by death. Esther enters and is welcomed by the king. She later asks for her people to be spared and the king grants her request.
King Herod orders the murder of all male children, aged two and younger. Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt.
Jesus tells Pontius Pilate he has no authority over Him, essentially saying God is permitting Christ’s death.
The book of Acts
There are many examples of the Sanhedrin telling the 12 apostles to stop preaching about Christ.
These are just some examples I was able to find. Thank you to Mike for the assistance. God’s law should trump man’s law every time. There is almost always a cost; loss of reputation, financial penalty and, for some, even to this day, martyrdom.
When man’s law contradicts Gods law, how you respond is between you and God. I am just here to point out that there is biblical precedence for going against man’s law and government to keep the laws of God.
This article is from a series of three, they are: