Tag Archives: where have all the Christians gone

What Is Law?: A Case for Christian Civil Disobedience

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

By Heather Walton

We need to follow the law! We shouldn’t disobey the authorities! How can you call yourself a Christian, yet choose not to follow the law?

I don’t disagree with these statements, but I think that often they demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of law.

According to William Blackstone, who authored Commentaries on the Laws of England, an inspiration for American philosophy, explained the differences in Natural Law, Revealed Law, and Municipal Law: Natural Law is that which is apparent to everyone, everywhere, for all times, according to conscience. Revealed Law is uniquely available in the Scriptures. Municipal or civil law is man-made and enforced by government.

“Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator … it is necessary that he should, in all points, conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature … This law of nature, dictated by God himself, is … superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of england: Book the first.

Simply put, if civil law contradicts natural or revealed law, it is not a valid law and we are not bound to follow it. Blackstone posited that there were three absolute rights: life, liberty, and property. Our founding fathers used this phrase, yet altered the last to be the “pursuit of happiness.”

Likewise, John Locke, believed civil laws were not to contradict God’s laws:

“Human laws are measures in respect of men whose actions they must direct, howbeit such measures they are as have also their higher rules to be measured by, which rules are two — the laws of God and the laws of Nature; so that laws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.”

John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government (An essay concerning the True Extent and End of Civil Government), XI: 136, FN2; quoting Richard Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, 1, iii, 9, cf. Locke, Second Treatise, II: 6: XI: 142.

We have laws today that go against God’s laws. For example, allowances for abortion and infanticide, as well as laws allowing for polygamy and same-sex marriage violate both natural and revealed law, and therefore are unjust laws. Christians are justified in not following these laws. If a baker refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple or a minister declines to officiate their wedding, they are justified before God. If a medical professional goes against state law and performs heroic measures on a baby not considered fit to live, or if a bank refuses to open an account for an abortion clinic, they are justified. If a country mandates that families have only one baby, and a couple hides a subsequent pregnancy, they are justified. Many, though not all, Christians would see these as obvious conclusions; however, there are mandates, emergency orders, and laws that do not seem so clear to Christ-followers.

Consider the case of churches being told to shut down or to limit services or sacraments, or not to sing, in order to preserve the public health, even though these practices are mandated in Scripture. What about restaurants and other businesses that are told they must shut down or greatly limit capacity, yet Scripture tells us that if we are to provide for our families? What about the fact that Scripture tells us to avoid favoritism, yet rulers are favoring big businesses and certain industries while disfavoring small businesses and comparable industries? How about the requirements to wear a mask or, eventually, to take a vaccine, for the good of the populace? These issues have sharply divided the country, including the church.

If the German Christians would have discerned the path that Hitler was taking them down. I certainly hope they would have resisted, that they would have engaged in civil disobedience.

We may not be dealing with things that seem so serious as they did when Naziism gained power, but we need to examine whether seemingly innocuous measures could give way to tyranny, totalitarianism, and full-scale depravity. One thing Hitler did was to get control of the press in order to restrict information and direct the narrative. He also controlled education, which is imperative when trying to usher in totalitarianism. Today we are witnessing a complete takeover of mainstream media and public education, one which is intended to drive public thought and to shame divergent thinking into private corners of society. Even in the church, we are seeing an ideological takeover by Marxist proponents who advocate social justice over biblical justice.

Wholesale gaslighting is creating cowardice and shame, as those who stand for truth are painted as bigoted, uncaring, unintelligent, and combative. Whether one questions the narrative of social justice, coronavirus policies, governmental authority, gender identity, or socialism itself, he is assumed to have ill motives and to reject science. It’s enough to make one question his sanity at times! And what’s more, the progressive ideology by nature evolves, so that what was once acceptable no longer is.

“You can never be sure when those in power will come after you as a villain for having said or done something that was perfectly fine the day before. And the consequences for violating the new taboos are extreme, including losing your livelihood and having your reputation ruined forever.

People are becoming instant pariahs for having expressed a politically incorrect opinion, or in some other way provoking a progressive mob, which amplifies its scapegoating through social and conventional media. Under the guise of “diversity,” “inclusivity,” “equity,” and other egalitarian jargon, the Left creates powerful mechanisms for controlling thought and discourse and marginalizes dissenters as evil.”

Rod Dreher, Live Not By Lies

We must remember that most people whom history regards as heroic were not esteemed by the majority at the time. Isn’t the essence of heroism the willingness to do that which the majority refuses? In a culture that praises mediocrity, in which “everyone gets a trophy,” we laud many as heroes who are simply doing what is expected; doing what’s right and noble and difficult is no longer the norm, but the exception, making ordinary people appear heroic. However, when we ponder those whom history holds as heroes, we must consider a higher standard:

HE’ROnoun [Latin heros; Gr. a demigod.]

1. A man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms.

2. A great, illustrious or extraordinary person; as a hero in learning. [Little used.]

Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

One needs to be distinguished or extraordinary in order to qualify as a hero. During the American Revolution, those who were civilly disobedient to King George were considered overly idealistic at best and sinful at worst, yet they believed that they were doing what was right in fighting tyranny. They did it for their fellow man. They did it for future generations. They did it for us. Are we willing to look back through the pages of history at those flawed but true heroes and say, “Thanks, but no thanks. We don’t want the liberty you bought us. We’d rather have safety, health, and prosperity.” I sure hope not!

Taking it a step further, are we willing to look back 2000 years and say to Jesus Christ, who bought us with His blood, “Thanks, but no thanks!”?

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1 ESV

The Apostle Paul was speaking out against legalism. He was telling them that they should not submit to rules that people said were required for salvation. Christ alone holds our salvation in His hands. Those who say that the social justice gospel will save us are heretics. Those who say that the humanist, socialist agenda will save us are apostate. Those who say we must obey a government when it mandates the giving up of fundamental freedoms misuse Scripture to validate their erroneous perspective.

There is clearly a dark agenda at play, one that has progressed for the past 200 years. The itinerary is planned by Satan himself. Let us not forget that he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The plan is to get all to submit to Satan’s humanistic agenda, which is to get us to think we must be in control, that God doesn’t have the answers, and may in fact, not even exist. When men like Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietsche, Karl Marx, and John Dewey contributed their respective godless thoughts to the socialist equation, they did so in defiance of God, and they were pawns in Satan’s chess game. Today we are seeing the outcome of the devil’s false humanistic gospel — chaos, rampant sin, and the discarding of common sense and virtue.

As Christians, are we truly to sit by and watch this take place and even participate as it does? I think not! Aren’t we called to rescue the perishing, to light up the darkness, to warn of coming destruction? If, in doing so, we have to violate civil law, then so be it.

This world is passing away. We cannot save it. But we can, by the power of Jesus Christ, share His salvation with others. May we do so until we no longer have breath. May we consider hell so offensive that we would not will even one soul to go there without first having heard the Gospel preached and having seen it lived. We cannot entirely serve Caesar and God in this time, and may we never pick the former, or it’s proposed benefits, over the latter. May we say with Queen Esther,

“I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:16b ESV (emphasis added)

Conspiracy … or Prophecy?

By Heather Walton

I’m not afraid to admit that I sound like a conspiracy theorist. Isn’t a conspiracy simply a secret plan by a group of people to do something harmful or to cover something up, or both? There seems to be a decent basis for this kind of thing going on right now.

Today there are many people inside and outside the church arguing about things like government overreach, vaccines, civil disobedience, masks, social distancing, governors, and the list goes on. But soon arguments will likely cease. The government is making arrangements to ensure that a vaccine is fast tracked and that everybody gets it. I’m not just talking about the U.S. government. There are many global players with common connections who are working on this effort. The United Nations is working on an initiative to bring about world peace by the year 2030. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a small army of organizations working on vaccines that will ironically help the world to be less populated. (Does it seem counterintuitive that those who want to bring the population down are both asking us to stay at home to protect each other AND working on a vaccine to keep us from getting something that actually could take the world population down?) We are told that such a vaccine may be available by the end of 2020 and that the military is going to help get it out. Not only that, but in the meantime, we have contact tracers to help identify those with the virus and everybody they’ve been in contact with, so that all of those people who’ve potentially been infected can be tracked down, quarantined, and tested. And those who resist may be required by additional means. Those who can’t stay at home may even be separated from their families, even though they’ve already been around their families, who also will have to quarantine until they can be proven to not be infectious. There’s a lot about this pandemic that doesn’t make sense.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be considerate of others, not by any means. I’m not saying that, if you feel you need to stay home, wear a mask, or take other precautions, that you’re living in fear and that you’re doing something wrong. If you’re in a risk group or otherwise feel you need to do this, then that is your right, and I don’t fault you for it. But I believe, if you’re in a high-risk group, you probably already were used to taking some of these kinds of precautions. And if you’re in a high-risk group and you don’t want to take those precautions, for whatever reason, I also respect your rights. I don’t say any of this to downplay how difficult this is on high-risk groups.

But given the fact that the mortality numbers do not appear to be substantially higher than other, similar infections, and that the overall death rate does not seem to have skyrocketed, and that the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths have been in people with comorbidities that would likely have been fatal when combined with other common infections, and that the majority of the population does not have significant risk of mortality or severe infection, the government’s response does not add up.

Unless, of course, it does.

If you’re trying to get a group of people to combine efforts, one of the best tactics is to identify a common enemy. If you’re trying to get all people everywhere to combine efforts, the enemy can’t be human. What better way to unite people than with a global health emergency?

How many of us have heard something along the lines of, “We’re all in this together,” or “We’re going to get through this together?” Everyday our governor says, and asks everyone (at home) to say this with him: “We’re going to get through this, and we’re going to get through this together.” I thought it was his thing, until I realized that it’s all over the place. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “We are in this together – and we will get through this, together.” Not a bad sentiment,  but we really aren’t all in this together; instead we are social distancing, sequesters in our homes and getting most of our information from media, many of whom are literally reading from the same script.

But, I’m starting to believe the powers of this world mean it when they say “we’re all in this together,” as in “let’s all collaborate internationally on a solution to this pandemic, and while we’re at it, let’s just make some kind of massive worldwide collaborative organization to ensure we are prepared for whatever situation comes up next … Oh yeah, and we might as well make sure Bill Gates has a lot to say about whatever we come up with. After all, he’s obviously a medical expert.”

Why is this a problem? In Revelation, we are told that the end times will include one world government. God repeatedly told people to scatter and fill the earth. When they tried to remain united at Babel, He confused their language so that they would have to disburse. Now, because of their pride and atheism, they conspire to unite in defiance of God and what He stands for. Instead of seeking God in prayer and asking Him to deliver us from this worldwide emergency, they believe they have it under control and that they know better than God, that indeed they are god.

So now we Americans have had a compelling reason to give up the majority of our rights, our previously booming economy has been functionally destroyed, churches have been moved online, and we are preparing to start giving names of those we’ve been around in the past two weeks if we’ve tested positive. There are even apps for identifying contacts now.

On March 14, 2020, did any of us question the fact that the world seemed to change overnight? Yes, some did, but I think most of us didn’t. We believed the measures taken were necessary and would be short-term. Who among us really thought we would be looking forward to a promised “new normal” months or years from now? Who among us thought we would be wearing masks, social distancing, turning in names of our neighbors for “infractions,” doing school at home, and looking at the possibility of people being removed from their homes until there’s a vaccine and everybody gets it? Who among us expected the military to be involved in distributing this vaccine? Who among us expected churches to be blamed for spreading the virus?

Who among us thought we would ever hear a judge say, “During public health crises, new considerations come to bear, and government officials must ask whether even fundamental rights must give way to the deeper need to control the spread of infectious disease and protect the lives of society’s most vulnerable” (Judge John Mendez of California). My understanding is that fundamental rights are fundamental, and therefore non-negotiable. But it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

The world is just unpredictable enough these days that if a bunch of people were suddenly to disappear, and the government told you it was an alien abduction, you might just be tempted to believe it. Maybe it’s not aliens, but there would be some kind of semi-plausible explanation that most people wouldn’t have believed a couple months ago. If in the next few months or years a lot of people are suddenly gone, and you notice that all those people had the common denominator of an unusual degree of allegiance to Jesus Christ, please consider that perhaps the answer is in prophecy, rather than conspiracy.

The Bible tells of an event most Christians refer to as “the rapture.” Luke 17 tells of a day when two people will be together and suddenly one will be gone. We are told that the man of lawlessness will be revealed after the one who holds him back is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The one who holds him back is presumed to be the Holy Spirit, which inhabits every true follower of Christ. In order for the Holy Spirit to be withdrawn, it stands to reason that believers will be gone. The Bible tells of a time when people will have to get a certain mark in order to buy or sell. Clearly, our world is set up for such a possibility in the near future. Believers are not to take this mark, and people who take it are showing their allegiance to the antichrist, and will not be able to change their minds.

Believers are commanded to stand firm, to be steadfast, during this time, to spread the Gospel, and to disciple others (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; Matthew 28:16-20: Romans 10:9-13). Unbelievers need to repent, choose to trust Jesus as Lord, and spread the Gospel.

It’s not too late. Someday it will be, and that day will come upon us quickly, whether by natural death, rapture, or Jesus’ second coming. We don’t know the day or the hour for end times prophecy to be fulfilled, but we are told we should know the season (Matthew 24). It’s the season — be ready.

If you have never accepted Jesus as Lord, you can do that right now. This takes an honest and genuine acknowledgement that you are a sinner, that you can’t do enough good deeds to be right with God because He is holy and we are unholy, that you need Him to save you, and that you are willing to follow Him and allow Him to govern your life. Baptism is the outward expression of this inward decision and should be done publicly and by immersion, in an act of obedience, submission, and testimonial to others. You also should read the Bible, pray, gather with other believers, and obey God’s commands, not to be saved, but out of gratitude for salvation, a desire to grow in your relationship with God, and in hopes of winning others to the Lord. If you have any questions about that, reach out to a believer you know, begin fellowship with a local church, and/or reach out by filling out the contact form below.