Are Christians Commanded to Surrender to Evil?

surrenderBy now, you should know about the heroic clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky who is one of the few elected officials in our nation who is actually obeying the rule of law…and was thrown in jail for adhering to the law. In case you’re confused about why I just said what I did about her (because people don’t go to jail for obeying the law in a just nation, right?), allow me to explain.

In the United States, we are, to paraphrase John Adams, a nation governed by the rule of law and not a nation governed by the opinion of men in power…at least, we used to not be.

According to the way the United States was designed to operate (and the rule of law has not changed this design), the U.S. Constitution is the supreme  civil authority of our nation.  The president is not the supreme authority, the congress is not the supreme authority, and the judiciary is not the supreme authority. Recall that ALL elected officials take an oath, not to themselves, but to the U.S. Constitution, to support and defend it.  Why? Because the U.S. Constitution is the supreme civil authority in our nation (and as the Declaration of Independence points out, even the Constitution is subject to a higher legal authority: Natural Law).

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Among other things, the Constitution establishes the powers delegated to the federal government, and these are enumerated in Article I Section 8. Nowhere in Article I Section 8 (or anywhere else in the Constitution) is the federal government empowered to redefine marriage from how it has been understood by every civilization throughout history (that it takes a man and a woman to form a marriage).

There is also a separation of powers between the federal government and the state governments. The U.S. Constitution and the federal government was, after all, a creation of the states, and not the other way around.  The states gave the federal government a few specific powers in Article I Section 8, and kept the rest for themselves. This was made clear in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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If there was any remaining doubt, “Father of the Constitution” James Madison eliminated it, stating in Federalist No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The Constitution also establishes clear lines of authority and responsibility among the three branches of government.  The legislative branch is the ONLY branch of government that has the authority to create laws; Article I makes this clear.  The executive branch is empowered to carry out the laws created by the legislative branch, and Article II makes this clear; it cannot create laws, and it cannot legally ignore duly established laws.  The judicial branch is empowered to adjudicate according to those duly created laws, and Article III makes this clear; it cannot create laws or ignore laws, it can only judge whether someone or some thing has acted in contradiction to those laws, including the highest law, the U.S. Constitution.

Additionally, it should be noted that when the court exercises its authority to judge according to established law, it is not allowed to “interpret” things in law that do not exist.

James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, one of the architects of the U.S. Constitution, and one of the original Supreme Court justices appointed by President George Washington, observed:

The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.

As one of this nation’s first and most accomplished Supreme Court justices, Joseph Story, noted concerning the meaning of law:

The first and fundamental rule in the interpretation of all documents is to construe them according to the sense of the terms and the intentions of the parties.

And

The constitution of the United States is to receive a reasonable interpretation of its language, and its powers, keeping in view the objects and purposes, for which those powers were conferred.

Or as Thomas Jefferson put it:

Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything or nothing, at pleasure.

In other words, if someone is truly interested in adhering to the law as it was written and intended, they will read it with its straightforward meaning and intent in mind, and not seek wild “interpretation” by which they can substitute their opinion for actual law.  Such “interpretation” is nothing more than lawless contempt for the law, as I’m sure Samuel Adams would concur:

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!

In almost all states, including Kentucky, the only existing law concerning the definition of marriage affirms what every civilization throughout human history has instinctively understood: that marriage can only be formed by a man and a woman. The law is extremely clear on this.

Understanding these fundamental truths, if the Supreme Court rules in any manner contrary to existing law, or assumes authority not granted to it by the U.S Constitution (and if you check Article I Section 8 which lists the enumerated powers of the federal government, there is no authority there for the federal government to attempt to redefine marriage, nor does Article III grant the Supreme Court or any other court the authority to make law), then any opinion it renders is just that: an opinion. It has no legal authority. It is not binding on anyone. In fact, it is unconstitutional and illegal and warrants, at a minimum, the impeachment of any judge or other government official who participates in such illegal acts.

And this is without even getting into the truth that attempting to normalize sodomy and the counterfeiting of marriage is contrary to the Natural Law upon which this nation was founded.

So it should be clear that, in refusing to go along with the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional and illegal edict promoting counterfeit marriage, Kim Davis is one of the few elected officials in this entire nation who is actually doing her job.  Unlike the five lawless justices who comprised a majority in the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, and unlike every other official that has bowed down to this illegal edict and collaborated with it, Kim Davis is actually keeping her oath to obey the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Kentucky.

While there are some people across America who understand this, I have been completely appalled in the past few days to have witnessed not just Godless Leftists spouting dangerous error, but people who call themselves conservatives, people who call themselves Christians–PEOPLE WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

There is a video below that deals factually and insightfully with this topic, and I hope you’ll take the 13 minutes necessary to watch. For the sake of America, I beseech you to watch.

Leaders in our state and nation, including presidential candidates and sitting legislators in my state, have been claiming that one of the few elected officials who is obeying the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law in the United States (Kim Davis of Kentucky) should stop keeping her oath to support the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Kentucky, and either surrender to unconstitutional evil edicts or step aside and allow others to collaborate with that unconstitutional and evil edict.

They do this under the fundamentally flawed proposition that Romans chapter 13 somehow instructs Christians to bow down and surrender to evil.

This is what Romans chapter 13 says about government authority:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

First, it is interesting to consider that Kim Davis, as an elected county clerk, is herself a government authority.  For those who believe people should be subject to authority, why are they not calling for those under Kim Davis’ jurisdiction be subject to her authority?  Why are they not insisting that those who are demanding a license to counterfeit a marriage shut up and respect her authority?  After all, she is being obedient to her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Kentucky, and those laws are in turn faithful to Natural Law.  Why is there no call among these conservatives and Christians for marriage counterfeiters to be subject to governing authorities?  Interesting, isn’t it?  It would seem that in the modern culture of insanity, only good people are supposed to surrender to the authority of government (when government is imposing evil), not bad people (when government is enforcing what is good).

It should be noted that in historical context, at the time this was written, the Roman Empire was governed by an all-powerful emperor through the governors and magistrates who answered to him as the source of authority.  Most of the people living in the Roman Empire were not even citizens (indeed, most were slaves), and even citizens had limited legal protection and recourse when dealing with an autocratic government like this.  Contrast this to the form of government God has given us in the United States: a constitutional republic, where our elected representatives craft our laws, which are in turn required to be in compliance with the supreme civil authority in the United States: the U.S. Constitution. To put it simply, unlike the autocratic Roman Empire, here in the United States, we have government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”–government with the “consent of the governed,” and the supreme authority of that government is not a person or group of persons, but the U.S. Constitution.

While these are important distinctions to note, there are even more compelling considerations concerning Romans 13.

Did you notice in the text that the assumption is that the rulers we are to obey “are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad”, that the purpose of government is to “carr[y] out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer”?  We used to have leaders like that in America.  But when our leaders promote bad conduct, and have become a terror to good conduct, and bring wrath on not the wrongdoer but the right-doer, are we still bound to obey evil leaders and do what they tell us to do–even when it contradicts established law?

First, in order to accept the proposition that Romans 13 instructs Christians and people of good character to surrender to evil, one must also manage to “forget” Acts 5:29:

We must obey God rather than men.

Peter and his fellow Christians didn’t meekly knuckle under when their leaders told them to stop doing what was right.  Peter was far from the only Christian who resisted tyranny.

When the Egyptian pharaoh commanded Hebrew midwives to kill all male Hebrew children, the midwives did not obey “the law of the land.”  Christians who believe Kim Davis should “submit to authority”: should the midwives have “submitted to government authority”?

When the king of Jericho told Rahab to turn over the Israeli spies, she did not “submit to government authority,” but instead disobeyed and did the right thing.  Christians who think Kim Davis should surrender to perpetuate the evil that the Supreme Court dictates: should Rahab have obediently turned over the Israelis?

Elijah didn’t obey the evil king Ahab.  Elijah confronted evil leaders, and was actually quite snarky about it sometimes.

When Queen Jezebel was executing God’s prophets, Obadiah disobeyed “the law of the land” and hid 100 of them from government authorities.  Christians who think Kim Davis should bow before the altar of sodomy: did Obadiah displease God by disobeying government authorities?

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to “obey the law of the land” when their ruler told them to bow down to evil edicts. Were their actions displeasing to God?

Neither did Daniel when his ruler told him not to do what is right.  Was God angry with Daniel’s civil disobedience?

Stephen didn’t meekly comply when his rulers hammered him for standing up for what is right. Was Jesus upset that Stephen didn’t obey the rulers?  (Somehow, I don’t think so.)

The Apostle Paul didn’t slink away in shame and shut up when evil rulers told him to. He was whipped, beaten and stoned by the authorities because he refused to obey them. In fact, Paul was known for having asserted the full legal rights he was entitled to under Roman law (should Christians do less than assert the protections afforded to us as citizens under the U.S. Constitution–especially when the assertion is not merely for personal privilege, but in defense of the rule of law itself?).

Indeed, many Christians of the New Testament era when the book of Romans was written, while the Roman Empire was trying to stamp out Christianity, refused to “obey the law of the land” and instead kept reading the Scriptures and meeting for church and worshiping God.

The Bible tells us that someday, a world leader will come onto the scene of history and demand that everyone worship him, but followers of Christ will disobey and refuse to worship him.  Christians who think Kim Davis should bow before the throne of the Supreme Court and counterfeit marriage: will these Christians who will someday disobey “the law of the land” displease God by disobeying government authority?

Good people have been standing against evil edicts more recently, too.

Though slavery was legalized in many of the early United States, many Christians did not meekly comply with this evil edict from their government. They spoke out against it, and they worked against it, forming the abolitionist movement to rid our nation of that plague.  They went on to form and work in the Underground Railroad, in contradiction to the “law of the land”) to get slaves into free territory and freedom. They weren’t content, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott case that one man could be another man’s property, to meekly acquiesce to this tyranny as “the law of the land,” and neither did they cowardly say “The Supreme Court has spoken” and then stand by to allow slavery to continue unimpeded.

During World War II, many people helped European Jews to hide from and escape the Nazi terror.  In doing so, they disobeyed their government. They did not submit to the governing authorities, and acted in rebellion to the government authorities which demanded that Jews be turned over to the government. Should the European Jews and those who helped shield them from the Nazi government have “submitted to authority”?

Rosa Parks decided one day that she’d had her fill of tyranny and no longer bowed her knee to immoral edicts.  As Kim Davis refused to give in to immoral government edicts, so Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus. Should Rosa Parks have just shut up and done as she was told?

Rosa Parks was not alone in standing up to tyranny from government in that era, either. In his “letter from the Birmingham jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God,” he explained. “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”

An unjust law (or, in the case of a Supreme Court opinion, an edict) is, in fact, lawlessness.

In fact, if the founders of the United States had forgotten some of these fundamental truths (like so many people have today), there never would have been an American Revolution. People like Samuel Adams, John Adams, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and others recognized that good people have a duty to disobey unlawful behavior from their leaders and evil edicts from their government. Please, go back and read the Declaration of Independence; it is nothing but a declaration of opposition to and disobedience toward lawless, evil government.

Many people today do not realize that there also would not have been an American Revolution were it not for the preaching of many pastors in colonial America.  These pastors, who understood God’s law and how it gave birth to the Natural Law that should guide nations, saw the growing tyranny of the British crown and preached out against it (there were even those who preached against it…then took up arms against it). So many pastors were so pivotal in leading to the American Revolution that the revolution was often known as the “Presbyterian Rebellion” in England.

The Reverend Elisha Williams pointed out:

There are too too many arbitrary governments in the world, where the people don’t make their own laws. These are not properly speaking governments but tyrannies; and are absolutely against the law of God and nature.

Here in America, the people used to make their own laws, and they affirmed in over 40 states that marriage can only be formed by a man and a woman.  The Supreme Court majority, however, stomped and spit upon the legally enacted will of the people.

Rev. Stephen Johnson said of edicts which lack the authority of Natural Law or which are even contrary to the written constitution of a nation:

No obedience is due to them by the law of God.

What did the Reverend Jonathan Mayhew, one of American’s most influential colonial pastors, have to say about the supposition that Romans 13 dictates that good people should passively surrender to the evil of one man (or one oligarchy) in power?

What unprejudiced man can think, that God made ALL to be thus subservient to the lawless pleasure and frenzy of ONE, so that it shall always be a sin to resist him! Nothing but the most plain and express revelation from heaven could make a sober impartial man believe such a monstrous, unaccountable doctrine, and, indeed, the thing itself, appears so shocking–so out of all proportion, that it may be questioned, whether all the miracles that ever were wrought, could make it credible, that this doctrine really came from God. At present, there is not the least syllable in Scripture which gives any countenance to it.

We are on the cusp of having the federal government forcing people to pay for abortions through their taxes, through their health insurance that covers abortions, and by forcing business owners to pay for health care plans that cover abortion. While Leftists certainly agree with this, do conservatives and Christians really believe people should “obey government authority” and facilitate the slaughter of innocent children?

And since we are already–ALREADY–seeing government forcing Christian bakers and florists and preachers and photographers to participate in counterfeit weddings, can it really be that far away to see government force medical professionals to perform abortions on demand, or to mutilate the sex organs of sexually confused people on demand?  Christians who believe Kim Davis should be forced, in contradiction to Kentucky law, the U.S. Constitution and Natural Law to give her stamp of approval to counterfeit sodomy-based “marriages”: do you believe Christian doctors should be forced to perform abortions and sex change operations on demand?

I’ve even heard some of these woefully misled Christians and conservatives go so far as to grudgingly admit that Kim Davis was right on some level to refuse to obey an illegal and evil edict…”but she’s getting what you get when you disobey!”  Really?

Really?

You’re really going to defend an injustice perpetrated against someone for doing what is right, simply because “when you engage in civil disobedience, you should expect to pay a price”?  While that is true on a pragmatic level, does that make it right?  Does that make it fair?  Does the pragmatic reality of evil make it just to jail someone for their loyalty to the rule of law and what is right? Shouldn’t you instead be decrying the lawlessness of the decree in the first place, as well as the tyranny of the action taken against her–and doing everything you can as a citizen to set things right?

What have we come to, people, when we respond with “she should have known” instead of denouncing and pushing back against the evil?  Have the posterity of this nation’s founding fathers really morphed into such cowards?  Have we really become so intellectually and morally stunted?

It’s no wonder this great nation has drifted so far from its Christian roots in approximately 60 years, going from a nation where school children prayed in school every day to a nation where children are indoctrinated to believe that homosexual behavior is somehow “normal” and a woman who keeps her oath to uphold the Constitution and the law of the land is thrown in jail for her loyalty to what is right.

We could not have sunk to this sad state of affairs, were it not for unbelievably ignorant Christians who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag with a pair of scissors and dynamite! Evil could not be in the ascendency it currently enjoys, had not the good people who once led the culture of the United States chosen to believe the lies of the Left and the Evil One, and incorporate those lies into what passes for their theology.

My fellow Christians, we are on the teetering edge of losing everything we hold dear, every unique blessing of unparalleled liberty that God has given us in the United States these past 239 years. I speak harshly not to be mean, but in the desperate, crying hope of calling the body of Christ to wake up, to get our minds right and stop believing the lies of evil, and get busy in the final moments where it may still be possible to avert complete disaster and darkness. We have allowed ourselves to be misled into believing the emasculating lies of the Enemy, and we must stop that now.

For several decades now, we have complacently stood by as our leaders have thumbed their noses at the U.S. Constitution, at the authority “we the people” gave to the federal government to do a few limited things.  Because of our inaction, these lawless leaders have developed a sense of entitlement to do whatever they wish with impunity. They feel it is their right to impose their opinions on us, in contradiction to our nation’s laws, and in contradiction to our nation’s highest law of all.

For the past several decades, we have put up with asinine opinions out of the Supreme Court that have posited completely unfounded and unlawful things like (1) growing food for your own use somehow affects interstate commerce and is therefore within the purview of federal control; (2) manufacturing the “right” to kill your own unborn child from “emanations” from “penumbras” supposedly within the Constitution somewhere; (3) the “right” for businesses to collaborate with government to entice government to take property it wants from property owners; (4) justifying unconstitutional ObamaCare through an imaginary and unconstitutional doctrine which says the federal government can do whatever it wants as long as the action is associated with a tax, which obviously carries with it an absolute power to tax for whatever it wants; (5) continuing to manufacture justification for the unconstitutional ObamaCare scheme by declaring that the law doesn’t really mean what it says because, by golly, if we followed the actual law, the law would create a mess.

And now the radical attempt by five rogue justices to redefine marriage–and force every American to render obeissance to the deception–with no constitutional authority and in contradiction to established law.

When the lawfully enacted will of millions of Americans can be overturned in an instant by five unelected people, we no longer have a constitutional republic, and we no longer have government by the consent of the governed.  We have an oligarchy. We have tyranny.

It’s high time we raised the BS flag and brought this unconstitutional pattern of usurpation by the Supreme Court to a swift and decisive end.

We are long overdue–but not too late, hopefully–to reassert self-governance. But it can only happen if “we the people” put our foot down, call these lawless leaders to account, and demand they obey the U.S. Constitution or get out of the way. We have a duty to disobey and ignore unjust laws and illegal edicts, and we have a duty to bring to account those who try to impose them on us as a free people.

Will we finally stand up and do our duty…or will we quietly and fearfully surrender to tyranny?  The former will take courage and commitment…but I guarantee that if we choose the latter, all good people will sooner or later be confronted with the decision Kim Davis had to face: will I obey God and law, or will I obey tyrants?

If you don’t want to have to face that decision, if you don’t want your children to have to face that decision, then it’s time to rise up and bring tyranny to account. NOW!

Remember the words of Rev. Mayhew as he recounts a time in the past when it became necessary for good men to rebel against the edicts of an evil leader, and remember that here in America (as we live in an age where we have an evil, lawless chief executive, a judiciary that is a little over one-half evil and lawless, and a legislative body that has completely emasculated itself), we now live in an age where evil is being FORCED upon the people:

The nation had been patient under the oppressions of the crown, even to long suffering;–for a course of many years; and there was no rational hope of redress in any other way–Resistance was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the nation from slavery, misery and ruin.


When you watch this video, pay special attention around 8:30 where the the narrator points out that we do not have a king in the United States. God, in his great mercy, gave us not a monarchy or an oligarchy, but a constitutional republic where our leaders–including the president and the Supreme Court–are UNDER the authority of the supreme civil governing authority…and that authority is the U.S. Constitution. Consider that when you think of Romans 13.

Some so-called Christians and so-called conservatives desperately need to learn from this, if this great nation that God has given us is to survive…


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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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