PART 1 of 2
Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
January 28, 2010
I find it quite amazing that a person who claims to believe in the Bible and who actually studies it would ever hold the position that Christians should (or must!) submit to government’s laws contrary to the Natural and Revealed Laws of God relevant to justice, judgment and equity. What is their main support for this position? It is Romans 13. Let us consider these verses and the Bible’s confirmation that our duties to God and man necessarily mean that we not submit to laws contrary to God’s laws. For purposes of this discussion, this article is limited to “What Is ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’,” in context of Romans 13.
Romans 13:1-6 says:
“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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
First, let us recognize that the Old Testament likewise declares government’s purpose to be identical to Romans 13’s description.
“A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.” Proverbs 16:10
just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are
his work. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the
throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.” Proverbs 16:11-13
“Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.” Proverbs 20:28
There is nothing new about Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. It is as old as the oldest written book in the Bible--the book of Job. As will be seen here, it is as old as God’s immutable laws formed at creation. Thus, one cannot refer to Romans 13 as a justification for their pacifist and slavish position, because Romans 13 does not contradict the Old Testament explanation of our relationship to government, but rather confirms it.
Notice how God instructs every Christian to submit himself to “higher powers.” Some would have us believe that this instruction is an absolute command, without regard to legitimacy, authority and purpose of government. But the Bible commands otherwise. God conditions our submission to “higher powers” to the following. Government must:
ordained of God (the authority of God),
2) punish evil and not good (the laws of God),
3) be a minister to the citizens, not the other way around (the purpose of God),
4) not be arbitrary, but must be based upon God’s notions of good and evil (the direction of God),
5) be a minister to God, according to God’s laws (the responsibility to God),
6) be accomplish the ordained purposes of God (the accomplishment of God).
These are God’s expressed qualifications, determinations and conditions upon the subject matter, “higher powers” (i.e. authority of civil government) and “every soul” (i.e. citizens in the jurisdiction of civil government). Nothing in these verses even suggests that our duty to submit is without reference to God’s laws first and foremost. Thus, the questions arise from these verses, since these verses do not define the words themselves: what is (1) ordained of God, (2) evil, (3) good and (4) minister of God to the citizens?
These definitions are found in no other place than in the laws of God. It cannot be denied without insulting and contradicting the Scriptures itself (and America’s founding history) that God in fact created immutable laws at His creation of the universe and mankind. They are called the Natural Laws of God. The Declaration of Independence refers to them as “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”
Man’s Laws Are Not God’s Laws
We know that man’s laws do not equate to God’s laws, for the Bible tells us that “we are to obey God rather than man.” Acts 5:29. And even if you insisted on the blasphemy that man’s laws equated to God’s laws, 1 Peter 2:13-14 states the same thing as Romans 13:1-6:
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (emphasis added).
Here we see that an “ordinance of man” has the same qualifications and determinations of God as do the “higher powers”: to punish evil and praise them that do well. So, you cannot get away from God’s requirements for de jure, God-ordained civil government, and thus, the inquiries remain as raised above.
God-Ordained Government: Punish “Evil” and Praise “Good”
For brevity’s sake, I feel at liberty to combine the question of “what government is ordained of God?” into the question of “what is good and evil?” for how can one reasonably argue that God ordains evil actions by government? If you in fact hold that position, then there really is no talking truth to you. Thus, when we ask, “What government is ordained of God?” we necessarily conclude that it is government that fulfills the God-ordained qualification that government punish evil and praise good.
Amazingly, there are many Christians that believe that government can do virtually anything it wants, without right of the citizen to resist, as long as it does not interfere with the “preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” meaning the message that Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth; lived a sinless life, was crucified on the cross for man’s sins; was buried in a tomb; rose from the dead on the third day; and ascended to heaven thereafter. To these Christians, this is the only thing government has no authority to regulate. Oh, they might throw into the mix that government cannot legalize abortion or homosexuality. But it stops around that point.
It saddens me that there are sincere Christians who think that God’s created laws, relevant to our duty to each other, our family, our community and God, are limited to those matters, which really have little to do with the operation of government. Indeed, to admit that government has limits at all necessarily requires one to inquire about all the limits of government and what they are.
Does such a one believe that government may, under ordination of God, take your property? Do you even believe that God gives man the right to private property? Does such a person believe that government may violate, under ordination of God, the compact (constitution) that the citizens created to control government action? Do you even believe that God requires government to honor such a compact? Do you even believe that man has the God-given right to enter into contracts with other persons? Would any right-minded person deny these rights and responsibilities given and imposed by God?
When you get down to it, most who hold this philosophy simply do not want to get involved personally and think that God is somehow going to save them from oppression simply because they are a Christian and God is somehow obligated to shield their ignorance and indifference from tyrants. This is such a distortion of reality and truth as revealed in nature and scriptures that it is almost unconscionable, for God clearly states that for peace to be achieved, God’s laws must be followed. And of course, laws do not follow themselves, but are made for people to follow.
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Thus, when government’s purpose is to punish evil and praise good, those who facilitate the contrary result contradict God’s laws, purpose, ordination, direction and limitations on government. For part two click below.
Click here for part -----> 2,
Go to www.libertydefenseleague.com for articles, speeches and interviews of Timothy Baldwin.
© 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL, who received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida and who graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. After having received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law, Baldwin became a Felony Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute writer of cutting-edge political articles, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com. Baldwin is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book entitled, Freedom For A Change, in which Baldwin expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to our current political and cultural standing.
Baldwin is involved in important state sovereignty movement issues, including being co-counsel in the federal litigation in Montana involving the Firearms Freedom Act, the likes of which is undoubtedly a pivotal and essential ingredient to restoring freedom and federalism in the states of America. Baldwin is also a member of freedom organizations, such as The Oath-Keepers, and believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the States of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague