The deadly, dangerous, and defective juggernaut known as ObamaCare (ObamaScare!) is rushing through the streets of a once-great nation and is about to crush hundreds of Christian ministries. A principled religious leader, Dr. James Dobson, vows that he will never capitulate to the requirement to provide abortion coverage to his employees. His ministry Family Talk is suing the Feds and Dobson said of the command to cover abortions, “We’ll close down before I’ll do it.” In a recent letter, Dobson declared, “the killing of babies is something we absolutely cannot do.” Of course, no real Christian would do that. But professing Christians will do it. Just wait and watch, then weep. Only a few Christians will refuse to obey what is purported to be a lawful order.
The Big Question: How much loyalty do Christians owe to local, state, and federal governments when their laws conflict with biblical teaching? Few people understand that all Christians are to be totally submissive to Christ in all matters (Col. 1:18). Even all governments are subject to Him! (That won’t play well in Washington and all places of power.) Consequently, what kind of loyalty do we owe any human ruler?
Rome had changed rulers frequently and often violently. Caligula had been assassinated; Claudius had been put to death by poison; and Nero was, at that time, reigning as a bloodthirsty tyrant. Jews were known to be as difficult to control as a roomful of angry cats. Jerusalem was always known as a rebellious city (Ez. 4:15, 16) and to compound the problem, Jews, who were to be ruled only by a Jewish king according to Deut. 17:15, now were ruled by a Roman tyrant. All that made them ripe for rebellion.
The early Christians were Jewish converts who had been under Roman rule for hundreds of years, often rebelling without success, resulting in much bloodshed. The Roman system was founded upon paganism so Jews and Christian Jews even wondered if they owed any obedience to pagan rulers, especially since Nero was killing Christians by the thousands. Pagan religion had been woven into the Roman civil government; hence, early Christians refused to serve in any capacity as judges, soldiers, civil workers, etc. It would be insane to serve in a government that is determined to destroy you; moreover, they could not swear supreme allegiance to Caesar.
In spite of the above, there was no question what Christians should do: God commanded them to submit to pagan rulers! In fact, Paul told those early Christians that they must obey those in authority even if the rulers were ungodly and sinful. That command was given so that there might be a calm, correct, civil society–even if it were pagan. However, it was clearly understood that no Christian should obey an immoral order.
But to resume the subject, and conclude the argument: while I have had disagreement with some of Dr. Dobson’s past positions, I respect his courage, commitment, and convictions in this matter. However, he did not go far enough. He should add: “We will not comply with your order and you will have to come close us down!” I hope he doesn’t’ think that is too militant. It takes courage to challenge the government but it takes super courage to tell them, “Come and get me.”
Christian militancy is missing in most churches even those who identify with fundamentalism! Some have stood such as Dr. Greg Dixon and his son Pastor Greg A. Dixon who were pastors of the 8,000 member Indianapolis Baptist Temple, one of America’s largest and most influential churches. The Dixons refused to withhold FICA taxes from their school and church workers who paid their own taxes. Some misinformed or uninformed people have accused the church leaders of refusing to pay taxes. The problem was not in paying the taxes due but how the money was collected and paid. The Dixons did not believe the government had the authority to force church leaders to be tax collectors and their stand is supported by the First Amendment and the New Testament!
The Bush administration disagreed, and after a 93-day siege in 2001, sent 100 heavily armed federal marshals (after all, these were dangerous Christians) to take their property, valued over six million dollars. While the church leaders, along with scores of other leaders from around the nation were praying, the Feds carried them out of their building. The government then sold their Christian school building (that had enrolled 700 students) to a Charter School and bulldozed the other buildings and the large auditorium down to the dirt–a first in American History. The church leaders told the government, in essence, “Come and get us.” They did and the church folk lost everything except their faith and character.
The Dixons have been friends of mine since 1960 and I have preached for them many times. After the Federal Government stole their buildings and 22 acres of land, the church moved to a better location near Interstate 65 on the south side of Indianapolis and still has a thriving ministry.
While there is no legitimate comparison of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple to the Branch Dravidian cult in Waco where 55 adults and 28 children were slaughtered by their government, there are some parallels. While the Waco cult was weird, warped, and wacko, there is no law against being such. After all, many names, mostly Democrats, come to mind. Even though the cult was weird, they did not deserve to be burned and shot by their government. For sure, the Feds came after them, but the world watched the unprovoked, unlawful, and unnecessary brutal suppression of a religious cult who refused to bow to the government. Charges of child abuse and illegal gun possession were used by the Feds to justify the brutal killings but such charges were discovered to be untrue–after 83 innocent, helpless Americans were slaughtered!
Dr. Dobson, Catholic Hospitals, Liberty University, and other universities and religious groups should live up to their convictions or turn off the lights, lock the doors, and everyone go home. Those ministries (and there will be many) that cave under government pressure do not deserve to be mentioned in the same context as the faithful Christians who have died and are dying today for their convictions. Some things (like unborn babies) are worth fighting for, even worth losing everything.
CEOs of the ministries that cave will hold news conferences to explain (rationalize) their surrender to federal pressure: “Well, we fought a good fight, but lost the battle; however, everyone knows where we stand. We will obey the government in order to continue our valuable ministry.” Others will declare: “Well, we tried and made it clear where we stand; however, as we look at the issue again, we believe we can live with the decision. After all, the feds have a point.” Still others will say: “Our board of directors has prayed about this and while it is unpleasant, we have looked at the scriptures again and believe we can live with the order. After all, we are commanded to obey every law of man.” Others will declare: “We fought, even sued the government but we lost so we will obey the law under duress.” Those are many words that justify nothing.
Unsolicited advice for Dr. Dobson and other ministries: Don’t close down your ministries; force the feds in jackboots to close you down. They won’t use tanks and guns–probably.
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!” And pass it on!
Copyright 2014, Don Boys, Ph.D.
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.