Authority: What is a Christian to do?

This is part of a series of posts on the doctrine of Authority. Click here to see the entire series.


The response of evangelicalism, fundamentalism, pietism, and all the other “isms” of Christianity in the United States today is to adopt the myth of neutrality.  The state tells us that they are spiritually/religiously neutral and that if we wish to be a part of the state we must also adopt the stance of religious neutrality.  Of course, the state is not religiously neutral.  It is incessantly advancing its own cause of secular humanism.   Christians, however, are either too ignorant or naive to realize what is going on.  They meekly lay down their arms and promise that their personal “religious” beliefs will never have any impact upon their political activities.

Christians  seem to believe that the way to reform the state is to become a part of it.  In order to do so, the first thing a Christian must do is swear a vow to uphold it!  That is a funny way to change something.   Nevertheless we are constantly bombarded with messages from the Christian community that we can’t afford to be passive, we must elect so and so to this or that office.  If only we can get Christians into all elected offices, then everything will be OK.  That belief is a utopian ideal that will never be realized.  That alone is not sufficient reason to reject it.  It needs to be rejected because it is directly opposed to the biblical doctrine of authority.

The first thing  Christians must do is cease swearing oaths to uphold statist documents that are directly in contradiction with the Bible.  Next, we must recognize that God is not honored by our abandoning biblical truths in order to obtain status in the state.  The State is inferior to the Church.  It always has been and it always will be.  That is reality.  Working to make the State superior to the Church is counter productive.  The Church is entrusted with the Word of God that describes the form and function of the State.  It is the job of the Church to inform the State of its duties.  However, this declaration of the duties of the State must be done without compromising individual consciences.  It is impossible to swear an oath to uphold the current state system and then try and “change it from the inside”.  The only hope for the change of the current state system is from the outside.

Christians have weapons of warfare that are far stronger than the vote, the ballot initiative, or the constitutional amendment referendum; the preaching of biblical truth and prayer.  Christians must withdraw from the positions in the state that require swearing an oath to an immoral document and exercise the twin pillars of biblical preaching and prayer.  The state needs to be informed of its God ordained responsibility to uphold the Law of God.  The state needs to be informed that God will not be mocked.  If the leaders of the state decide to ignore the Law of God they will find themselves under the judgment of God in very short order.  To that end, Christians need to pray that the elected leaders would submit themselves to the Law of God and enforce it in the land.  If they don’t, Christians need to pray that God will judge them and remove them from office.

The common critique of this position is that it is a “do nothing” position.  I suppose if God does not have an opinion about how the State is to be ordered, if He does not have an opinion about what law should be the law of the land, if He does not have an opinion about the contents of a sworn oath, if He does not have an opinion about how His monopoly power is exercised, if He does not respond to the prayers of His people, and if He does not care about the content of the sermons of His Church to the State, then this is truly a “do nothing” position.  But, if God is the same God that most Christians worship; whom they believe to answer the prayers of His people and who cares about the content of His message to the State, then this is far from a “do nothing” position.  In fact, it is the most powerful activity that any Christian can engage in.

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