The Liberal Left currently controls both houses of Congress and the White House. Although these people campaigned on a platform of tolerance, they have shown relatively little tolerance for opposition. The Liberal Left has become notorious for its effort to tar members of the Tea Party movement, Social Conservatives, and Conservative Christian as extremists; and its news media allies have had great fun playing up this story, for example.
The anti-government Hutaree group, which described itself as a ‘Christian warrior’ group, allegedly planned to kill a police officer, then attack others during the funeral. (continued here)
What is curious is that the same people doing this become very pious when the subject of Muslim terrorists comes up. Even though the majority of terrorist incidents in recent years have been committed by Muslims, we are not suppose to infer that all Muslims are terrorists. Since guilt by association is not logical, that is reasonable position, but it is odd the Liberal Left feels the same logic does not apply to its American opponents.
Perhaps the problem is that the Liberal Left no longer understands the traditional American attitude towards rebellion. This attitude is based our nation’s Christian heritage, and the Liberal Left tends to either disregard or fear Christianity. So let’s take this opportunity for a short review.
Jesus Christ had relatively little to say about government, but most People do know what He said.
Luke 20:20-26 (Today’s New International Version)
Paying Taxes to Caesar
20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
Jesus was not anti-Rome. So He told his listeners to give to Rome what was due to Rome. His apostles latter elaborated on that theme. Here are some examples.
Romans 13:1-7 (Today’s New International Version)
Submission to Governing Authorities
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
In spite of severe persecution, Paul told his disciples to honor Romans authorities. Peter did the same.
1 Peter 2:13-17 (Today’s New International Version)
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Unfortunately, Roman leaders wanted Christians to honor their gods; in latter years they even wanted Christians to honor them as gods. Yet because of Jesus’ injunction to give back to God what is God’s, Christians refused these demands. Therefore, Christians maintained an uneasy relationship with the Roman government, often suffering deadly persecution.
For similar reasons, Christians have an uneasy relationship with government by the Liberal Left. The Liberal Left demands behavior abhorrent to Bible believing Christians. So a question arises. Should Christians rebel?
There is no easy answer to such a question, but I believe the answer comes down to the legitimacy of the government. Do the People accept its right to rule? Because the People accepted his right to rule, Paul and Peter saw nothing to gain by rebelling against the Roman emperor. Since our current leaders won a fair election, our People similarly accept the legitimacy of their rule.
On the other hand, over two hundred years ago our nation’s Founding Fathers led a revolt. To explain their rebellion, they penned the Declaration of Independence. To understand when a government rightfully looses legitimacy, that is a document worth reading. What it teaches is that rebellion is something not undertaken lightly, but we do have an obligation to defend the rights God has given us.
Hopefully, it will not come down to rebellion. Hopefully, when the time comes, we will once again celebrate one of our nation’s grandest traditions, a peaceful transition of power. But only time will tell.