Our nation is set on a dangerous course. Our freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion, freedom of the press (fairness doctrine), and a host of other freedoms hang in the balance, even as I write. We are therefore duty bound to restrain our passions in order to think biblically, principally, governmentally, and jurisdictionally as we approach this sobering topic.
The situation we face as Americans is not trivial. It is extremely weighty. What we are facing as a nation dwarfs our individual concerns. Civil government has become the chief robber and the greatest threat to our liberty. As we suffer economically, it is estimated that 2/3rds of the government's budget is spent on social programs that have no Constitutional basis.
The centralization of power has brought us to tyranny. Government creates many of our problems by violating their jurisdictions, and then clamors for more power to "fix" their abuses.
We have for years suffered from communist indoctrination, with cultural Marxism flourishing in our public schools and colleges. This infiltration is responsible for destroying the faith of eight-five percent of our Christian young, who now walk in goose step with the enemies of the cross.
Our government is systematically censoring and expunging Biblical Christianity from any place of influence in our beleaguered land. Left unchallenged, our nation stands on the verge of making true Christianity an enemy of the state.
With the election of Obama, government by emergency is in full swing. Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, rejoiced over the "opportunities" the present crisis offered. He stated, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity."
The opportunity Emanuel spoke of is exploiting our nation's woes to implement the Marxist, socialistic agenda of Barack Obama. With the election of Obama, it appears the time has come for cultural Marxism to move from our classrooms to change our system of government. Remember, Obama's goal of "spreading the wealth," as expressed to "Joe the Plumber?”
For years, Barack Obama sat in a "church" that preached black liberation theology. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of the church, considered James Cone, the founder of this Marxist religion of racial hatred, as his mentor. The following statement by Cone defines black liberation theology and its core premise:
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God, which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.For twenty years, this racist theology has framed Barack Obama's religious and political worldviews. The election of Barack Obama, in many ways, is the culmination of Marxist efforts. Historically, Marxism has always viewed Christianity as its main competitor for men's souls, loyalties, and allegiances. Therefore, the influence of Christianity must be eradicated from the public life of our nation to further their Communistic agenda. It is this sad reality, which forces us to deal with the question of force in defense of what we hold near and dear to us as Christians in America.
Let us look at the proper roles of government through the lens of God's Word. Governments have proper jurisdictions. Jurisdiction is authority or the range of legal authority. In addition, there are different forms of government. The four basic governments are self-government, family government, church government, and civil government.
As men, it is vital for us to think governmentally in order to act principally. For instance, the basis of self-government, which leads to true liberty, is the Word of God. As individuals, the only way to place the proper restraints upon our sinful lusts, proud passions, and evil desires, and become truly free is by being transformed by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul taught, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).” Without the Word of God, men and nations take the path of least resistance. This inevitably reinforces our inherent corruption, which leads to anarchy and ultimately to tyranny.
The basis for God's authority in the family is the rod. The father, in particular, has the awesome responsibility to equate his children with the notion that disobedience and rebellion leads to pains in this life and the life to come. Proverbs, God's book of wisdom, repeats this admonishment throughout its narrative.
God's Word states, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24). "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" (Proverbs 22:15). Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell" (Proverbs 23:13-14). "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Proverbs 29:15).
The symbol for God's authority in His church is the keys to the Kingdom. Jesus stated, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).” Many in the church mistake this passage of Scripture as a teaching on prayer. This is not a call to pray or to some special prayer formula, but a teaching on church discipline. The keys granted by Christ are the authority of church leaders to excommunicate church members who are engage in known sin and refuse to repent.
Keys lock and unlock doors. The binding and loosing Jesus speaks of is permitting people into God's church based upon repentance and true saving faith, or banning them if they seek to corrupt God's church through refusing to repent of known sin. In fact, the Apostle Paul went so far as to command church leaders to turn over a rebellious member in unspeakable sin to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, to the end that his soul might be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5).
The symbol of God's authority in civil government is the sword. Romans 13:1-4 establishes this truth. God's Word states:
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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Truly, it is this jurisdictional understanding that gave birth to the Lower Magistrate Doctrine. Notice that only civil authorities are ordained with a sword. Individuals and the church are not. This is why violence can never spring from these sources. The sword is an instrument of death, a lawful coercive force to exercise wrath against evil doers. Its divine purpose is to establish justice, safety, and order in society.
As Christians, we are to obey lawful civil authority as an ordinance of God. But what happens when lawful authority moves from being a "minister of God" to a willing dupe of Satan that terrorizes the people they are sworn to protect and serve?
First Principle: We Must Remain Law Keepers
First, when the laws of men conflict with the laws of God, the church is duty bound to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). In the midst of tyranny, we are to trust God and continue to do good, even though this may be considered a crime in a tyrannical state. Just because the government becomes a lawbreaker, however, does not mean the church is alleviated from the responsibility to keep the law.
Having stated this, there is still a legitimate question that requires a genuine answer. Is it ever lawful for Christians or citizens of good will to take up arms to defend themselves from the destructive tyranny of magistrates? I believe the answer is yes, but certain preconditions and principles must be adhered to before any such action can be taken. Primarily, all legal remedies must be exhausted before considering armed resistance.
Second Principle: We Must Exhaust all Legal Remedies
Patrick Henry, in his famous "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech, articulated this important principle. He stated:
Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne!Our Founding Fathers exercised all lawful remedies. Their efforts were met with increased oppression. Eventually, lower magistrates in America voted to take up arms against the tyranny of the higher magistrate, the king of England. In the Declaration of Independence, they stated clearly that governments should not be changed or abolished over "light and transient causes.” But after a "long train of abuses," which is "designed to produce an oppressive authoritarian state," "it is the right, it is the duty, to throw off such government and to provide new Guards for their future security."
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending-if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained-we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
In this, the spirit of Lex Rex, the law is king, taught by Reverend Samuel Rutherford resisted the tyranny of the so-called "divine rights of kings.” Our Founding Fathers were guided by other lights as well, such as, the Christian philosopher, John Locke and the Reformers, such as, John Knox of Scotland. They therefore elected representatives from each state and by way of the Declaration of Independence announced to the world and at that time, the world's greatest power, England that America would become a free and independent nation amongst the nations of the earth.
They proceeded to list twenty-seven grievances for separation from England. What gave them the moral authority to claim such independence? Our Founding Fathers looked to the "laws of nature and nature's God." This creates a huge dilemma for us today. For if there is no existence of God, as humanistic America vainly believes today, then there is no higher law in which to appeal. Thus in the cases of civil tyranny, there is no higher authority to invoke against despots that seek to replace the sovereignty of God in the lives of its citizens. If this principle is not true, then America is a rogue nation that remains in rebellion to its lawful authority, England.
Third Principle: There must be a Lower Magistrate
Our Founding Fathers did not take up arms, however, until the lower magistrates in America resisted the tyranny enforced by England. Since only magistrates are ordained with the sword, to resist the tyranny of a higher magistrate, the lower magistrates must make a stand in defense of life, liberty, and property. Then and only then will the God of the Bible bless the efforts of Christian men joining with lawful authorities ordained with the sword to take up arms. Clearly, our Founding Fathers rested their case upon this truth. At the end of the Declaration, these words are found, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
The closest we have been to this situation, in recent times, happened in Alabama a few years back. The enemies of the cross went after Judge Roy Moore and his display of the Ten Commandments. It created quite a stir and media circus. Eventually, the Governor of Alabama stepped into the fray and warned the god-haters that if anyone dared try to remove the Ten Commandment plaque from Judge Moore's courtroom, they would do so "staring down the barrels of M-16s.”
Governor Fob James was prepared to call the Alabama State Troopers and the Alabama National Guard to protect the Ten Commandments and Judge Roy Moore's freedom to display them. Apparently, President Clinton found out and called to confront Governor James. He told him that he would federalize the Alabama Guard, if Governor James used them to defend freedom. If I remember correctly, Mr. James told President Clinton directly, "You do what you got to do and I'll do what I got to do."
At that point, if push came to shove, I believe every liberty loving Christian man in this nation could have gathered, armed, and defended freedom along side the Alabama State Troopers and the Alabama National Guard. A lower magistrate, in this case Governor Fob James, was prepared to resist the tyranny of a higher magistrate, President Clinton.
Lastly, American Christians have not exercised all lawful means against the tyrannical direction our nation has been heading for years. Most Christians do not even vote, let alone stand for righteousness in the public square. But if the time comes, when legal remedies are exhausted and flight or protest becomes impossible, keep your eyes open for a lower magistrate who determines "enough is enough" and makes a principled stand in defense of life, liberty, and property.
If God would seem fit to bless America with such courageous, godly statesmen, the taking up of arms becomes possible once again. Christian men in good conscience before God could then join in the holy cause of freedom.
Remember as well that the second Amendment was not so Americans could join the NRA or for hunters to shoot ducks. Our Founding Fathers established it as the last check and balance against governmental tyranny.
Moreover, may what was stated in the first American Revolution ring true for our future. Samuel Adams, the Father of the American Revolution, declared after the fight for liberty was won, "We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."
No king, but King Jesus and may God be pleased to deliver us from evil once again! Amen and amen!