Civil Government is Required by God to Submit to God and Has No Authority to Command It’s Citizens to Do Things Contrary to God’s Law
“Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.” (Daniel 3:1) Representatives from every nation under Neb’s rule were called to bow down and worship the golden image Neb set up. At the sound of the music they were to bow down and worship. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego refused to obey the civil authorities’ unlawful law.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”” (Daniel 3:16-18) These three men were then cast into the furnace because they would not submit to the unlawful law. Jesus Christ, the One like the Son of God, saved them from the fire.
The Bible teaches that we Christians should submit to civil government, but not always. God requires civil government to be subject to his law. When civil government is not, it is in rebellion to God, and subject to his judgments. Furthermore, when civil government requires its citizens to do things contrary to the commands of God, with Peter and John, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
In ancient Rome, Caesar counted himself a god who could command what he pleased. He commanded Christians to burn incense to his image to demonstrate loyalty. Christians who refused to acknowledge him as the highest authority were sent to die in the coliseum. What sorts of things might civil government require Christians to do in this our day?
There may come a day when all people, including Christians will be required to bow before state education (the United Nations has made much headway in our country in this dierction). Civil law may one day, as it does in Germany today, mandate that all children attend state sponsored education (aka public school). For 85% of Evangelical Christians, this will not be a problem, for they already give their children to that system that teaches against God and Christ. But for the 15% of those whose hearts and consciences are captive to the Word of God where it speaks concerning the raising and training of children, it will indeed be a problem. What will we do? Will we resist, or submit? Bow or be cast into the fiery furnace?
And what will we do when egalitarian-feministic folly reaches for our daughters by military draft? Will we allow our daughters to be drafted into the military where they will share dorm space with their male counterparts? Will we defend our daughters as the Word of God shows fathers must do, or will we stand by and allow it? Will we resist or submit? Bow or be cast into the fiery furnace?
Civil government is required by God to submit itself to God and his law. When it does not, it is in rebellion to God, and when civil government requires it’s citizens to do things contrary to God’s law, it is lawful for them to refuse and resist even as the Peter and John and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.
May God give us grace!
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God’s grace to you,
Dr. Eugene Clingman