4 thoughts on “Christians Not Always Required to Obey Civil Government

  1. That indeed is a sticky wicket.

    This may be off subject but it underscores the issue:

    “What is the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine?

    The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine teaches that when the superior or higher ranking civil authority makes unjust/immoral law, policy, or court opinion – the lower or lesser ranking civil authority has both the God-given right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority; and if necessary, actively resist the superior authority.

    The doctrine was first formalized by Christian men in Magdeburg, Germany in 1550.

    The lesser magistrate doctrine is rooted in the historic Christian doctrine of interposition. Interposition is where one steps into the gap – placing themselves in between the oppressor and his intended victim. Interposition can take place verbally or physically.

    The law of God is the objective standard to which all men and all governments of men are accountable. If civil authorities make law, policy, or court opinion that is contrary to His law – the lesser magistrates are to interpose and stop the evil.

    America’s founders established this nation as a true federalism. In a true federalism there are multiple levels of government and multiple branches on each level. They did this because they held to a Christian view of man – that he is wicked and in need of a Savior.

    They did not want power to rest in one man or a small group of men.

    The intent, therefore, of federalism is: if any one branch begins to play the tyrant, it is the duty of the other branches to interpose and resist that branch – and stop the evil. The duty of the people is to rally with the interposing magistrates.

    All public authorities (magistrates) possess lawful authority. If federal authorities do wrong, it is the duty of state, county, and local authorities to step in and stop the evil. If state authorities do wrong, it is the duty of county and local officials to step in and stop the evil.

    State, county, and local magistrates take an oath to uphold both their State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. They do not take an oath of subservience to the federal government, nor do they take an oath to blindly obey the authority above them.

    Rather, they take an oath to uphold the constitutions. If therefore, another authority makes law, policy, or court opinion repugnant to the state or federal constitutions – they should not obey them.

    God has established four realms of government to which He delegates authority. They are: (1) self-government; (2) family government; (3) church government; and (4) civil government. Each has its own role, function, and limits.

    The authority an individual possesses in any one of these four realms of government is delegated authority. In other words, they derive their authority from God. Their authority is not autonomous or unconditional. Their authority is God-given, and thus, they have a duty to govern in accordance with His rule.

    When someone in authority makes laws or decrees contrary to God’s law, they are in rebellion to God’s rule. Those under their authority are NOT to obey them when they do this. They may even have to actively resist them. “

    1. This rings true, Fred. And it reveals the major source of the problem we had with the response to Covid. When the executive branch abused its authority and its discretion, the legislative and judicial branches played dead.

      When the federal government abused its discretion and authority, the states played dead for the most part, with only a couple of exceptions.

      That is why this became such a huge problem.

      But the churches and the denominations dropped the ball also, again, with few exceptions.

  2. Random thoughts, again and maybe not on point but an inspiring story nevertheless

    “This Michigan community refuses to let the Left bulldoze its values

    By Mike Gonzalez April 28, 2023 08:37 AM

    Ever hear of Ottawa County, Michigan ? It’s the epicenter of the “War on Woke,” the great battle of ideas on which the future of the American republic might hinge.

    Ottawa is, of course, one of many, many epicenters. They are dispersed throughout America, for this is a grassroots revolt. 

    But the media have decided to home in on Ottawa in an effort to discredit a movement led by parents and frustrated citizens to push back on the Left’s noxious ideologies. This week, the Washington Post published a long (over 4,000-word) piece on Ottawa’s new Republican-controlled Board of Commissioners. The piece, which appeared on the front page on Sunday and spilled inside to two entire pages, describes what has transpired since the commissioners took over on Jan. 3 as a battle between staid civil servants and obnoxious insurgents.

    This is not an isolated case. In an op-ed that ran on Saturday in the New York Times, Brown University President Christina Paxson argued that the many states and localities passing anti-DEI measures represented a grave threat to society.

    The Left’s new strategy in its campaign to transmute society is to present the public resisting it as obnoxiously polarizing. The woke would prefer it, of course, if we all just lay low and meekly allowed their cultural bulldozer to flatten everything we hold dear. 

    All this is playing out in Ottawa, a placid county between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan, where pious Seceders from the Dutch National Church came over from Holland in 1847 and established a colony. 

    From its opening lines, the Washington Post’s piece drips with condescension: 

    The eight new members of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners had run for office promising to “thwart tyranny” in their lakeside Michigan community of 300,000 people. In this case the oppressive force they aimed to thwart was the county government they now ran. 

    The new commissioners — all Republicans — elected to the 11-member board were cast as zealots. They (gasp!) “swore their oaths of office on family Bibles. And then the firings began. Gone was the lawyer who had represented Ottawa County for 40 years. Gone was the county administrator who oversaw a staff of 1,800.”

    Changes like this, according to the article’s two writers, unsettle tranquility: “Across America, county governments provided services so essential that they were often an afterthought. Their employees paved roads, built parks, collected taxes and maintained property records. In an era when Americans had never seemed more divided and distrustful, county governments, at their best, helped define what remains of the common good.” 

    The old board that the voters threw out? Why, it was a bastion of Calvinistic probity. 

    Under it, “Ottawa County prospered. It had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Michigan and, since 2010, has been the fastest growing county in the state. Board meetings were civil, orderly and, until recently, sparsely attended.” One former commissioner actually boasted that “no one came to our meetings before COVID.” 

    By contrast, Sylvia Rhodea, the board’s new vice chairwoman, was singled out as the opposite of decorum. She wrote a motion that railed against people who “divide people by race” and spoke up for “personal agency.” Rhodea’s motion
    also opposed teaching children to “hate America and doubt the goodness of her people,” which, as Washington Post readers will tell you, just ain’t happening. 

    Leaving aside the question of why the Washington Post is bizarrely pining for a disengaged citizenry who bovinely assent to their betters, if the old commissioners were so good, why did Ottowans bounce them out and elect such philistines? 

    I asked Rhodea and Joe Moss, the commission’s new chairman. Their tale parallels what I hear across America.

    What mobilized Ottawans was the old commission’s failure to listen to the people and protect the rights of citizens to make decisions for their families, children, and businesses. The old board allowed draconian COVID responses. It also contracted with national groups such as the Government Alliance on Race and Equity , GARE, a very leftist vast network of local bodies, and started using its “Racial Equity Toolkit.” 

    “They threatened the parents at my daughter’s Christian school with fines and jail time for not complying with certain COVID-19 mandates, like forced masking of little kids. Eventually, they closed the school by force,” said Moss, who, along with Rhodea, ducked out of a conference in Lansing to speak to me. 

    When the previous county health director instituted a mask mandate for elementary school students in late 2021, the people finally had enough. “Over 1,000 parents showed up at the next county board meeting,” said Moss. “I saw everyday Americans getting involved to defend against progressive government overreach.”

    Moss, Rhodea, and others organized and eventually decided to run for the board. 

    The ground had been paved by the old board’s curious decision to make Ottawa County a “Midwest core member” of GARE as early as 2015, in a county that twice voted for Donald Trump by more than 60%. The county also opened its own diversity, equity, and inclusion office, requiring many seeking employment with the county to align with those values and the ideas of critical race theory. 

    Moss told me the new board is looking into whether the contract with GARE has lapsed “or if we need to terminate it, which we will.” 

    “These very progressive ideas were just permeating our county, so when we were knocking on doors, we were not just knocking on COVID, but also on CRT,” said Rhodea. “They started this fight. We are just defending our piece of America.” 

    The resisters, in other words, get a vote on whether the Left’s strategy works.

    But don’t sell the Left short.  The insurgents will have to make noise, as the Left has obviously entrenched itself even in places such as Ottawa. The media, its handmaidens, will then make mawkish appeals for comity. It is part of human nature not to want to be the skunk at the garden party, or described as the lout at the board meeting. 

    Resist that, too. Own the skunk

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