Monday, April 18, 2011

WHEN SHOULD WE COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE?

Note:  One of our readers here had some great questions and opinions we should all consider together, and I posted this reply.  I think it warrants a general discussion, and I'd like to hear what others of you have to say on these matters.  Please refer to Scripture for your main arguments, as the truth of the Word of God is what we're after here.
A. Brother



Sister in Christ:


Your argument bears much thought.  Let me ask you and others reading this to comment on the following.


You say we should pay taxes, yet those taxes, as in the US, may go to fund abortions, give condoms to children as young as 11 years old, and fund a military presence in several wars.  Do we refuse to pay taxes because some of the money is used for things that violate your conscience?


I just filed my taxes here in the US.  I know many things will be done with them which I don't necessarily agree with.  Yet I believe that is up to a Sovereign God to deal with.  He is able, and He will handle that.  I will use my vote, and my personal influence as He gives it to me to stand for the right uses of government money. However, part of my discipline and obedience in Christ is to faithfully "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" as Christ commanded us.  Do we really think Jesus Christ was in agreement with how Caesar spent the tax money He gave him?


The forced abortion issue in China brings up many hard thoughts.  Our Christian brethren there must prayerfully make that decision.  If they disobey their government, there are consequences, and I'm not sure what those are.  Are we willing to go to prison for our stand?  Are we willing to have our son or daughter taken away from us for our stand?  Are we willing to lose government benefits because we've disobeyed?  These are questions of conscience they must answer.  Like the "meat offered to idols" issue in Paul's day, we must do what the strength of our faith dictates.


To your final point.  I want you to think about something.  No government can take charge of your heart and soul if we belong to Christ.  This body is Christ's, and God may do with it as He pleases.  It is not ultimately ours to decide over it.  As Jesus said, "Don't fear those who can kill the body, but fear Him who can throw your soul into hell..."


We must take fear out of the equation here.  We are controlled too much by our fears.  We have a Sovereign God who will keep us safe, no matter what a government or evil individuals do to this body, and what they require of us.


Please remember, everyone, that Daniel was respectful of his governing rulers, and went to them with an alternative proposal, asking their permission to eat his own way.  When that permission was granted, he then instituted his own eating plan.  His eating was not an act of civil disobedience, but an approved thing.


We must remember some of the most well-known examples we have of civil disobedience, and let's use Daniel and his friends.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo were commanded to worship the King as God.  They properly refused, and were thrown into the fiery furnace, and of course, unlike many who've faced that furnace since, were saved without dying.


Daniel hit the same problem, when the edict went out to worship only the King, and Daniel continued to have prayers in his room to the One God he worshiped.  Then came his lion's den experience, again, with God saving him.


We must trust God completely for our dealings with our governments, and remember that ultimately, we must disobey carefully and for the right reasons, with faith in our Sovereign God, not fear in our hearts.


A. Brother

3 comments:

  1. I agree with what you are saying and believe that the Word of God agrees also, that we are to obey the Lord and obey the governments up until the point when they are requiring you to break God's word. But there are things you can do to extridite your life out of the beast system. Get out of debt. Grow your own food. Get some chickens. Use cash only for your transactions, get rid of all your loyalty cards that track your purchases, buy a prepaid phone, don't go on facebook, homeschool your childen, etc. None of these things are breaking the law, yet you are slowly becoming sanctified out from under the governmental control.

    Blessings in Christ!
    Linda

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  2. continuing in sister Linda's suggestion... many people have already pulled back from the system; untangling themselves from voluntary State obligations; found exemption from "Social Security" and other State programs, no longer depending upon a wicked & perverse generation to care for them today, or for tomorrow. The social chains to a self-destructive society were largely introduced within the past 100 years. There's truly no real need to be a pawn or wage slave in the Adversary's perverse scheme for this world.

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  3. Jesus said 'pay ceaser', Knowing that the cash was going towards the Roman Empire, and what they would use it for, yet he still said 'pay ceaser'.

    I used to listen to Pastor David Meyer, who is now with the Lord. He had a quote 'the kingdom of satan is buying and selling, the kingdom of God is giving and recieving'. As God is indeed the person who puts these wicked people over us, mostly because we deserve it, then I believe that it is right just to trust him and to pay our taxes and let him work out the details.

    In the payment of taxes I often think that God tests the hearts of man as his attidude towards money. God hates those that will not give a labourer the fruit of his labour, and he will recompense those that steal from his children and the oppressed.

    I agree that we should be totally respectful, and that we should also pray for our leaders.

    When it comes to the oppression of innocents I believe that God requires us to protect them if we are found involved at a personal level. Rahab, or the work done by Corrie Ten Boom and her family.

    Prayer not demonstation is our weapon. Peace not violence. Love for enemies and not hate. Always directed by the Spirit of God in that situation.

    Where we have laws that allow us to 'op out' then we can. Where we have freedoms to do things Gods way, even though society thinks its wrong, we should always take it. If we don't use these freedoms then they will be taken. If we find that our laws oppose and infringe on our lives then we must pick our fights carefully and prayfully.

    For example in Germany it is illegal to homeschool. (one of Hitlers laws). If a family believe they are called to homeschool and do so the parents face prison and the children taken away. Is it better to allow your children to school, but have them remain with you and be taught was it right by you, or, if you feel the call so strongly will you sacrifice all and leave that country to follow the call of God for you family. Its all about how much you are willing to follow that leading, to loss, maybe even to death.

    For many who live in countries with one child policies to consent to the murder of your child would surely mean apostacy and eternal consequences. God will always provide a way to do his commands. Its often that we don't like the idea of the cost.

    Rather than rant against the 'powers that be' I rather see them as the 'tool' of God as the refining fire to purge his church and also to punish the wicked. God used the King of Babylon to see if what was in Daniels heart was made of the right stuff, the test was not just for the King, it was also to increase faith in Daniel.

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Please give me your honest response.

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