Editorial by John Mackay
In 1611 Good King James was sure one verse in the Bible did not apply to him. Oh he loved Romans 13:1-3 about the God given authority of rulers, but his life showed his feeling that verse 4 held little application to him when it said “For he (King, Authority and Government etc) is the minster of God to thee for good.” The King was sure that he too was Authorised to be God’s divine appointee, so he could rule accordingly and the old battle over the divine right of kings was never far from the surface in his realm. Similar attitudes still plague us even though government by democracies have largely replaced the Monarchy.
So don’t make the mistake of reading Foxes Book of Martyrs (1563), or the lives of William Tyndale (killed 1536), Bonhoffer (killed 1945) or Richard Wurmbrandt (imprisoned by communists 14 years), then holding those persecuted saints as heroes of the faith, unless you also admit they were in trouble and many put to death for disobeying the ungodly government and all church institutions that supported the government.
What the governments of the day had demanded that those martyrs do was ‘not good’, and as such the persecuted had every authority to disobey such demands, given by the highest authority – the Creator Lord God! I say this because Romans 13 is bandied about by way too many people as giving government ‘all’ authority – something the Lord Jesus never gives to any human institution, secular or church!
Just as Thomas Jefferson said in 1786 ‘… the Freedom of the Press cannot be limited without being lost.’
Then as Australian Judge Sir John Grieg Latham (1877- 1964) stated so bluntly: “A pretended law made in excess of power is not and never has been a law at all. Anybody is entitled to disobey it.”
Now I must update this to read; ‘If human authority is NOT limited, then mankind’s freedom is already lost and history shows it is rarely regained without bloodshed and death.’
The good news from Romans chapter 13 is that the government – any government – King, presidency, democracy or whatever, is only authorised to do good. That ‘good’ is defined by God alone through His Word alone and not by Clergy of Government. When any authority ceases to do good it can be opposed. When it does evil, it must be opposed no matter what the price.
For the same reason the apostle Paul writes in Romans 15:4 that “all these things were written for our learning”, so if you want to understand how to react to any ungodly government that is exceeding its authority, then read the records from Genesis to Malachi and ask why so many of the saints were in trouble – a large majority were punished for disobeying the governments of the day. Whether it was Daniel in the lion’s den or even Moses, their doing what was good in the Lord God’s eyes is your example for refusing to do what may be currently mandated as compulsory in man’s view but is repulsive to God in all matters of faith and conduct.
Now can you see why we are instructed to pray for “kings and all in authority” (I Tim 2:1-2). We all benefit when His will is done and His kingdom come. Again, a reminder that the real problem here is sin, and the only solution is the Gospel from Genesis to Revelation as you share the whole counsel of God.
Editorial by John Mackay
Creation Research News 15 December 2021
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