Government Is a Christian's Worst Friend

By Bill Flax

Christians have grown inured, supportive even of government's relentless expansion. This may partly reflect biblical teaching that Believers submit to worldly authorities; we yield to Caesar what is Caesar's. Perhaps it represents misguided patriotism, a longing to support our nation manifested as trusting government.

But godliness emulates Christ, who remained pure despite being surrounded by impurity. Obedience reveals our walk, not sanction that Washington's actions are necessarily right. True patriotism and biblical justice argues against much of the Federal Government's domestic activity.

Receive news alerts

Godly governments defend the innocent and punish wrongdoers. Theologian R.C. Sproul clarifies, "The function of government is to restrain evil and to maintain, uphold, and protect the sanctity of life and property." Recently, President Obama relished abortion for allowing "our daughters...to fulfill their dreams."

He must have missed the memo.

God instituted governance around family, church and community each bearing specific responsibilities, sovereign within its sphere. As these go askew, the moral firmament slips leaving man's base instincts unchecked. Cultural chaos ensues.

Yet Washington's primary purpose has become redistributing property to reward non-work. It's interference in matters moral decidedly immoral. It's meddling in faith and family unconscionable attacks on Christianity.

Collisions between church and state become inevitable when government oversteps its bounds. Forcing free birth control is just the latest slap. The Left's antagonism extends beyond radical abortion rights, taxpayers funding Planned Parenthood and foisting same-sex marriage over the objection of voters.

Where is the Christian outrage at the Left's agenda? Without a godly vision, the people will perish. If Believers don't stand athwart this tide with truth and righteousness who will?

Justice connotes conformity to known standards. Biblically, justice (or righteousness) requires fidelity to God's statutes. Legally, justice entails abiding the Constitution. Washington ought to adhere to the precepts of its founding charter. It doesn't.

Saint Augustine offered, "Remove justice and what is a kingdom but a gang of criminals on a vast scale."

Caesar doesn't define American law. Nor do the fleeting fashions of intellectuals disdaining Christ and disparaging America's heritage. When Paul wrote Romans 13 regarding submission to authority, rules were whatever Caesar deigned. Not so in America where laws supersede lawgivers, something substantiated whenever newly elected Caesars swear subservience to the Constitution.

Legal equality is a biblical injunction imparted to Western jurisprudence. Man's equality before God informed the rule of law over the rule of men; the signature achievement of the West's ascendency. Without His impartial omniscience as judge, lawgiver and king (Isaiah 33:22) mortals had best divide this fearsome clout through checks and balances.

Christians must never conflate Caesar's realm with Christ's, but a biblical perspective of human character counsels that state authority be constrained. Government became necessary because man's heart is as Jeremiah admonished, "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Those governing are prone to depravity too, their power must be curtailed.

Our God-given rights are inalienable; not subject to the arbitrary whims of popularly elected despots. To retain Scripture's imprimatur, Washington must not violate constitutional parameters. Our only guard against tyranny is the double-yellow lines of the Constitution. When these lines breach, justice bends to the will of the powerful.

Believers beware, powerful rulers rarely tolerate faith. Despite abiding Roman laws, paying taxes, offering charity and even fighting as legionnaires, Christians were frequently persecuted for not worshipping the emperor.

When the Jacobins seized Revolutionary France they instituted "de-Christianization." During the Reign of Terror more clergy were butchered at le guillotine than nobility. We can't worship Christ and a secular state simultaneously.

Modern tyrants behaved similarly. Hitler, Stalin and the rest sought to diminish Christianity's influence. Hitler essentially secluded the Church within its sanctuaries seeing faith as competition. Stalin relegated the Church to a sloganeering mouthpiece for Moscow's ambitions.

It's vital that Christians remain vigilant defending our cherished freedoms. The first liberty to be chipped away as federal hegemony hardens could be expressing our faith publicly, the foremost freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court recently upheld in the Hosanna-Tabor case that churches can restrict employment to those confirming their core beliefs. Still, it's telling that Obama's Justice Department took direct aim at religious freedom.

The secular socialist bunch in Washington endeavors to evade the Bill of Rights. The Obama administration supports UN resolution 16/18 infringing speech which incites "imminent violence." If Christians make factually correct statements spurring violence by Muslims, no matter how irrational, it can be considered hate speech.

Per the National Defense Authorization Act, if Washington deems you a terrorist, or even associated with terrorists, you can be detained indefinitely without charges, rights to trial or counsel. Will these sweeping provisions soon target Christians defending biblical principles?

What of Christians decrying homosexuality or refuting that Islam is peaceful? Will these be criminalized as has already materialized elsewhere in the English speaking world?

The pendulum swings against Biblical Christianity.

While lecturing Christians about America's pluralistic heritage, Obama transformed NASA into an outreach to Islam. Washington ventures so far not to offend Muslims the Fort Hood massacre was demurred as "workplace violence." Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security training portrays white Christians as potential threats.

Official government policy is strictly secular, yet Oklahoma cannot ban Sharia law. Atheists gleefully denigrate Scripture in classrooms even as the Ten Commandments are purged from school lawns. Foreign aid now even considers the recipient nation's recognition of "gay" rights.

Neither can Christians expect sympathy from an increasingly hostile culture. Biblicism is politically incorrect. As Pat Buchanan notes, comments and actions ridiculing Christians at Christmas would be considered discriminatory if directed at religious or ethnic minorities.

The Southern Poverty Law Center blurted a sentiment now prevalent in civil rights groups esteeming homosexuality as a linchpin of diversity when it labeled the Family Research Council and American Family Association "Hate Groups." In 2006, Barack Obama mocked orthodox Christianity; jeering James Dobson for espousing scriptural views concerning homosexuality.

Would he dare ridicule the Koran regarding homosexuality?

Slander Christ, His followers or the Good Book with impunity just don't cast an errant glance at Muslims, "gays" or groups favored by America's civic religion of political correctness. Mere slights today, but as government grows, the pendulum gains momentum. These trends could carry tumultuous consequences for Christians tomorrow.

Believers must remain steadfast even if enduring persecution. If such horrors occur here we don't stop being Christians. But why sit feebly while America ebbs into big government quicksand? It's said you can vote yourself into socialism, but not back out. If the state grows too strong it may prove too late.

Edmund Burke warned, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Believers have given God lip service while being placated by comfort and safety. This abjuring confidence in Washington rests our worldly fate in the arbitrary grip of politicians; a precarious proposition.

Christians must awaken to the urgency of defending justice and cease yielding to Caesar what is God's.

Bill Flax is a Baptist, banker and weekly contributor for Forbes.com Opinions. Bill is the author of The Courage to do Nothing: A Moral Defense of Markets and Freedom and a contributing writer for The Cornwall Alliance.

Sponsored Links