Certain “political” issues aren’t really political, as much as they are moral. Slavery was a huge issue in its day, with proponents defending their cause behind concepts such as economic need, property rights and State’s rights. But essentially, slavery is a moral issue. Does one human being have the right to “own” another, or deny another’s human rights? Even though this issue was settled a long time ago, slavery still persists, in one form or another. In Africa and Asia, household slaves are commonplace. And here in America the sexual slavery of minors, euphemistically called “human trafficking”, is a booming business. This is not generally considered a political issue, but a crime issue, because almost everyone agrees that it is morally wrong.
Political issues, by definition, are debatable. Moral issues are not. But in our lifetimes we have seen a definite change in moral attitudes. The persistent and aggressive political “gay agenda” of a very small minority (the most reliable studies show that homosexuals make up perhaps as much as 3% of the population) has influenced moral attitudes through legislation, law suits and school curricula by presenting homosexuality not as a moral aberration, as the Bible has taught for millennia, but as a legitimate, “alternate” lifestyle.
Supporters of the homosexual agenda have persuaded many, including lawmakers, that homosexuality is not a moral issue, but a political issue. Their hypocrisy of course, is that unlike other political issues, they do not consider the morality of homosexuality debatable. Whenever they hear an argument against homosexuality, based on Biblical morality, they call it hatred, bigotry, intolerance or ignorance. It is simply POLITICALLY incorrect to make a moral judgement against homosexuality, despite the fact that it is labeled an abomination in the Bible.
Another issue we have been forced to think of in terms of politics is abortion. Abortion is another euphemism. It means the murdering of pre-born human beings, and even new-born babies. The political issue is that some people demand the “choice” of not having a baby, by killing the baby they already have. But this essentially isn’t a political issue. It’s a moral issue. Does anyone have the right to kill an unwanted child?
Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Today in America, not too many seem to understand what freedom really is. As increasing numbers come to believe that freedom is being able to do whatever you want, our laws increasingly reflect a licentious attitude, and those of us who hold to traditional morals are becoming increasingly enslaved by the dictates of a powerful central government. Americans cannot be a virtuous people as long as something as basic as morals cannot be agreed upon.
The political structure of our nation was derived from and developed by Biblical moral values. And the mainstay of our moral character has always been freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The first amendment to the Constitution codifies that freedom as the “free exercise” of religion. The free exercise of religion does not simply mean the right to attend the church of your choice. It means we have the freedom to live out our lives as an expression of our faith, not just privately, but in the pubic square. Just as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association are designed for the purpose of social behavior, freedom of religion is a public right, not merely a private right.
Now, at a point where the very moral structure of our society is falling apart, the church needs to stand for God’s moral standards, so we can avert the disaster of total moral decay. Now is the time to be BIBLICALLY correct, not politically correct. Religious freedom will only restore the morals of our nation if it motivates us to speak out. Silence in the face of moral depravity is sin. This is particularly true in the church today, as many professing Christians are tacitly accepting the idea of same-sex marriage in contravention of the word of God.
Look at the example we have in Ezekiel 3:18
If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
Because God is just, he most definitely will punish the wicked, and they will surely die. In the Ezekiel passage above, he’s already told the wicked, “You shall surely die.” The wages of sin is a done deal. Fooling yourself into thinking a sin isn’t a sin doesn’t “unearn” your wages. Everyone will be paid. Licentiousness is not freedom, nor does it lead to freedom. It is the “way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).
However, that’s not the end of it. Because God is loving, he also loves those wicked people. So, to those of us who are watching and see these things happening, he gives us the job of warning them, of speaking the truth of their peril so that they might be snatched from the fire (Jude 1:23). It’s our job to tell them that if they stop sinning and turn to him (something called repentance), they will live. Our job isn’t so much to point out their sin. God’s already done that. John 16:8-11 confirms,
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
God’s done his job. But what about us? That job is to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and to stand for what is right (Ephesians 6:11). But our silence is a witness against us. In order for professing Christians to go along with immoral politics we have to deny the authority of Scripture, and that is exactly what is happening in the religion of Christianity today. We are denying the moral clarity of Scripture, while showing deference and respect to those who champion indecency.
The Supreme Court’s opinion, granting homosexuals the right to marry, created a breach in the moral ramparts that once kept our nation morally strong. That breach is allowing a flood of wickedness and injustice to inundate society and drown freedom. Christians are now being denied their right to freely exercise their religion. Courts are forcing Christians not just to accept the folly of others, but to participate in their wickedness, or go to jail and pay a fine.
There are plenty of examples in the Bible that should teach us to resist evil authorities. Bob Ellis has written an excellent article, Are Christians Commanded To Surrender To Evil? at http://www.americanclarion.com/are-christians-commanded-to-surrender-to-evil-39921 This excerpt from his article includes both Biblical and historical examples of Christians opposing government authority when those authorities stood in opposition to God:
Peter and his fellow Christians didn’t meekly knuckle under when their leaders told them to stop doing what was right. Peter was far from the only Christian who resisted tyranny.
When the Egyptian pharaoh commanded Hebrew midwives to kill all male Hebrew children, the midwives did not obey “the law of the land.” Christians who believe Kim Davis should “submit to authority”: should the midwives have “submitted to government authority”?
When the king of Jericho told Rahab to turn over the Israeli spies, she did not “submit to government authority,” but instead disobeyed and did the right thing. Christians who think Kim Davis should surrender to perpetuate the evil that the Supreme Court dictates: should Rahab have obediently turned over the Israelis?
Elijah didn’t obey the evil king Ahab. Elijah confronted evil leaders, and was actually quite snarky about it sometimes.
When Queen Jezebel was executing God’s prophets, Obadiah disobeyed “the law of the land” and hid 100 of them from government authorities. Christians who think Kim Davis should bow before the altar of sodomy: did Obadiah displease God by disobeying government authorities?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to “obey the law of the land” when their ruler told them to bow down to evil edicts. Were their actions displeasing to God?
Neither did Daniel when his ruler told him not to do what is right. Was God angry with Daniel’s civil disobedience?
Stephen didn’t meekly comply when his rulers hammered him for standing up for what is right. Was Jesus upset that Stephen didn’t obey the rulers? (Somehow, I don’t think so.)
The Apostle Paul didn’t slink away in shame and shut up when evil rulers told him to. He was whipped, beaten and stoned by the authorities because he refused to obey them. In fact, Paul was known for having asserted the full legal rights he was entitled to under Roman law (should Christians do less than assert the protections afforded to us as citizens under the U.S. Constitution–especially when the assertion is not merely for personal privilege, but in defense of the rule of law itself?).
Indeed, many Christians of the New Testament era when the book of Romans was written, while the Roman Empire was trying to stamp out Christianity, refused to “obey the law of the land” and instead kept reading the Scriptures and meeting for church and worshiping God.
The Bible tells us that someday, a world leader will come onto the scene of history and demand that everyone worship him, but followers of Christ will disobey and refuse to worship him. Christians who think Kim Davis should bow before the throne of the Supreme Court and counterfeit marriage: will these Christians who will someday disobey “the law of the land” displease God by disobeying government authority?
Good people have been standing against evil edicts more recently, too.
Though slavery was legalized in many of the early United States, many Christians did not meekly comply with this evil edict from their government. They spoke out against it, and they worked against it, forming the abolitionist movement to rid our nation of that plague. They went on to form and work in the Underground Railroad, in contradiction to the “law of the land”) to get slaves into free territory and freedom. They weren’t content, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott case that one man could be another man’s property, to meekly acquiesce to this tyranny as “the law of the land,” and neither did they cowardly say “The Supreme Court has spoken” and then stand by to allow slavery to continue unimpeded.
During World War II, many people helped European Jews to hide from and escape the Nazi terror. In doing so, they disobeyed their government. They did not submit to the governing authorities, and acted in rebellion to the government authorities which demanded that Jews be turned over to the government. Should the European Jews and those who helped shield them from the Nazi government have “submitted to authority”?
Rosa Parks decided one day that she’d had her fill of tyranny and no longer bowed her knee to immoral edicts. As Kim Davis refused to give in to immoral government edicts, so Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus. Should Rosa Parks have just shut up and done as she was told?
Rosa Parks was not alone in standing up to tyranny from government in that era, either. In his “letter from the Birmingham jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
Perhaps we Christians need to be reminded that submission to God’s authority has preeminence over our duty to submit to our various human authorities. And now that we have been reminded, can we please get up off our rear ends, stand up and “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)?
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. — Luke 9:26