What follows is eldercraft — my best answers to moral questions. This is what you’ll get if you defer to me as elder. This pertains to issues with governments and laws versus Biblical Law. You are the only one who knows what God requires of you. If we disagree, the worst I can do is withdraw fellowship and pray for you. You still have to calculate what government will do to you when you make some of those hard choices.
What follows assumes that you are familiar with my teaching, particularly recent posts about the big picture of our mission for God’s glory in this fallen world. One of the hardest issues you’ll face is how much support you can give to any government. The first thing we have to do is strip away the bad mythology to which the government officials and society around us cling. This is particularly tough in the US, where the government regards itself as holy and righteous. Therefore, everything it wants to do is by definition the proper true moral course, and any dissent is suspect at best.
This is true despite all the rhetoric about rights and such. That blather about rights is meant to put you in a bind, not the government officials. So while most issues are a matter of government convincing us to go along, quite a lot those decisions are simply made and executed in secret.
But that’s not the problem. The real issue is that the US government is fundamentally wrong for rejecting God’s Law. The US is a creature of the Enlightenment, a mixture of pagan mythologies that together deny the supremacy of the heart. This presumption of righteousness through reason stands everything on its head. It doesn’t matter what the issue is or how it is addressed, the US government is inherently wrong from the foundation up. Some stuff we tolerate because God says so in general principles, and some we tolerate because it’s our individual calling to do so. Some we ignore because it doesn’t effect our mission. Some we resist in varying ways and degrees because it’s simply demanding too much. A whole lot of it is a matter of dodging the issue. God says we cannot fix this government, so we have to live with it as it is, even as it comes apart.
Your heart knows; your mind may be able to explain it. Sometimes you just have to act on burning conviction regardless of what you know or don’t know. When it comes to that, we already know that it’s a case of win-some and lose-some. There are times when His glory shines brightest in how we face the consequences. Best of all is when we are ready to explain ourselves to anyone who asks, never mind whether they accept the answer. Finally, a few of us are called to warn the government (or any other audience) when God is not happy with government actions.
It doesn’t help that mainstream Christians read back into the Bible all of that alien cultural mythology. It comes in all flavors, but it’s all of a type, derived from a common pool of moral deception. God still holds forth the Covenant of Noah for all human government; without at least some officials embracing that Law, they cannot claim God’s moral covering. Government can’t presume to hold the moral high ground. I don’t intend to write a whole book about it, but there are a few issues I wanted to cover that elicit the strongest emotional reactions.
The Bible sees no problem with assassination as a tool of political change. It’s always a “crime” as far as government is concerned, but it’s not necessarily a sin. Nor is violent rebellion a sin when there is no covenant. None of this is meant to encourage you to use violence, but to help you understand how God works in the face of overwhelming lies against His Word. These things are a matter of context, tactics and calling, not holiness. There’s a big difference between saying “people are God’s treasure” versus the common mythical “life is precious” nonsense. We have to discern the truth based on revelation.
Government surely doesn’t care about human life. Scripture says torture as a means of extracting information is a sin, but a brutal public execution is not. There is no significant difference between prison and slavery. And while neither is inherently immoral, they can be done wrong. In case you haven’t figured it out, the US has never done it right. Indeed, not a single one of our law enforcement agencies is right, because the idea of farming out the task to third parties is inherently evil. The people are the only just police force, and they must consciously embrace a law covenant even for that. The US does jurisdiction totally wrong at all levels. God’s Law says no one has any business poking around in your daily life unless they are related by blood or covenant.
There can be no public or corporate property; all physical possessions and all land must be owned by an individual or extended family household. Some individual person has to be accountable on a personal level for everything. Recompense can never be worse than the crime; punishment should always aim at making whole, or removing a threat to shalom. Mercy is not “coddling criminals;” it’s paying attention to the bigger picture. Vengeance is Mine, says God, so the American attitude about punitive vindictive enforcement is pure evil.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Until we dump the false moral mythology of our world, we cannot even know what God requires of us. It’s exceedingly difficult to evaluate what government does if you buy government lies.