Many Christians are obviously concerned, confused, and contorted about what to do when a law is passed that is offensive to them or, more specifically, one that is contrary to the Bible. Last week a Texas county clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual “couples” because it was contrary to what she believes the Bible teaches. Then, she had second thoughts and said, “Personally, same-sex marriage is in contradiction to my faith and belief that marriage is between one man and one woman; however, first and foremost, I took an oath on my family Bible to uphold the law and as an elected public official my personal belief cannot prevent me from issuing the licenses as required.” She caved because she didn’t know what was supposed to be “foremost.”
The lady is confused. There is never any justification for doing wrong even though everyone does! That sincere lady thinks her “oath on my family Bible” supersedes the clear teaching of Scripture! First and foremost is the Bible, not her oath. It’s a matter of priorities. Bible teaching is to prevail in everything. It is our standard. If not, then anything goes. No oath ever supersedes the Bible.
She used her Bible to swear allegiance to the state but her first allegiance should be to the Christ of the Bible. If her reason for keeping her oath can be justified then Christians who foolishly join secret societies can justify remaining in an ungodly organization. They don’t have to repent of their wicked, bloody vows they took without question. Mafia members who want out of the crime life can justify keeping their oaths to their illegal group. Young gang members swear loyalty to brutal gangs and often kill any who “snitch” on a fellow member. No, one does not have to keep a stupid vow.
Mordecai took an oath to the King of the Medes and Persians but he refused to pay homage to the king’s flunky Haman who planned to kill all the Jews in the Empire that stretched from Ethiopia to India. Daniel took an oath to the King of Babylon and was destined for a high political position yet he refused to eat forbidden food that was offered to pagan idols. Later, he pledged loyalty to King Darius and was the number two official in the land, yet he refused to obey the federal ban on prayers. He went to the den of lions as punishment (becoming a charter member of the Lion’s Club) but God protected him. Three young Jews were high officials in the realm of Nebuchadnezzar yet they refused to bow to a pagan idol.
In obedience to Christ, the Disciples taught that early Christians should pay legitimate taxes to the hated, oppressive Roman Empire; however, they refused to obey laws that conflicted with the Bible. City officials commanded them to stop preaching and they replied in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” So should county clerks and judges.
In the mid-1600s, Church of England preachers, many of them Puritans, had pledged loyalty to the church and nation at their ordination; however, the church became corrupt and the nation became despotic. They were told that they must obey every teaching in the Book of Common Prayer and agree not try to change the church in any way. They were to give higher allegiance to the Book of Common Prayer than to the Bible. Many refused to obey the government.
Internationally famous theologians broke their oaths since the church and nation no longer were what they were when the oaths were made. So, between 1800 to 2000 preachers (about 20 per cent of the whole clergy) were forced from the Church in 1662. They were forbidden to teach or preach and could not work for the government. Many went to jail while others were exiled to work on plantations at hard labor in Virginia. Such principled resistance is not seen much anymore.
Some guidelines for Christian officials and everyone to follow:
*Realize that government is of God but it never has priority over God. The Bible must be our standard or chaos will ensue. If there is no standard then anything can be right and nothing can be wrong.
*Make it clear to the voters that we are committed to Christ first, then to government service.
*Make every decision after asking, “Is this biblical?” As a member of the Indiana House of Representatives I asked that question before every vote. I was hated by most Democrats and grudgingly tolerated by Republicans.
*Determine to stand for truth if we must stand alone after all, it is better to stand alone than walk with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
*Never resign but force the “powers that be” to fire us in front of the world’s eyes. A good example of this was in N.C. where some local judges resigned rather than perform same-sex “weddings.” I respect their convictions but they should have told their superiors, the voters, and the media that they would not comply–period. No negotiation and no resignation. They would be removed from office but then they could decide to sue the county or state putting additional pressure on the bad guys not the good ones. Christians must remember that the courts are there for us as they are for everyone else.
When a legislature or court decides against clear Bible teaching then Christians are obligated to disobey that law whatever the consequences. The leftist bullies can only take everything we own and put us in jail! We should live as if the Court had not given their opinion. They can threaten to retaliate as all tyrants do but their power is limited (although don’t tell them that).
Albert Einstein once said, “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.” That would be doubly true of Bible commands. The Bible trumps your personal oaths, public opinion, or police orders.
Do right if the stars fall from Heaven!
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!”
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.