It’s May 2020 and we’re still in the middle of the Covid-19 Wuhan virus pandemic. Thinking about pandemic survival, I posed a question to my church family asking how do Christians respond to authority. Seeing how many state governors are really over-reaching and imposing on our civil rights in the name of a pandemic survival, what should Christians do? How should we react?
In Romans 13:1 it says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
Well, there are too many authority figures today whom I have a difficult time believing they were appointed by God, but I guess He has His reasons for putting them there, like this little tyrant:
How Should Christians Respond to Authority?
While in pandemic survival mode, how do we do what they say to do without question, especially when the guidelines they’re imposing are completely against the Constitution and may literally be doing much more harm than good?
Besides the fact that NONE of these “guidelines” has anything to do with health and everything to do with CONTROL.
One good example, which made national headlines this month, is the incident with Shelly Luther, a salon owner in Texas, who defied the state’s shutdown order, opened her salon, then ended up arrested and in front of a tyrannical judge who tossed her in jail.
The Texas governor ordered her released, however, so that episode turned out well for Ms. Luther.
It’s a prime example, though, that when the authorities impose rules – not laws, but rules, that blatantly override the Constitution and our Rights, we should stand up and defy them, provided we’re not hurting anyone else in the process. We need to trust that God knows best and He’ll provide a just outcome.
Reaching Out to Other Christians
One of my brothers in Christ wrote a lengthy post on Facebook addressing this exact issue, especially in light of the many protests that are going on against government outreach and against the continued lockdown of businesses. With his permission, I’ve posted it below. It’s well worth reading!
The writers of the Declaration of Independence said that “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them”. Similarly, I believe that out of respect for your opinions I need to explain why my wife and I went to the “Reopen PA” protest in Harrisburg today.
First, let me say that the most important thing in my life is that I am a follower of Jesus. I follow Him because I believe we are all infected with the most deadly virus, sin, and that Jesus is the only antidote. I see the evidence of this disease in my own life and in the broken world around us, and I also see evidence of Jesus healing my disease, so I’ve entrusted Him with my complete cure one day. Let me know if you’d like to talk more about that – it would be my delight!
As a follower of Jesus, I am obligated to love God and my neighbor and to be subject to the governing authorities. He has also given me freedom of conscience to decide what that looks like in daily circumstances.
Regarding subjection to governing authorities, the Constitution gives me the right of peaceful assembly and to petition the government. That is my purpose in attending the protest today – to peacefully tell my government that I think they are wrong in what they are doing, to remind them that the Bill of Rights is not above their pay grade, and to call them back to the first principles of our country.
As for loving my neighbor, my intent is to stand up for the rights of all my neighbors in this unique country that God has given us, to do my part to make sure that our children and grandchildren receive the blessings of liberty. I believe that loving them means holding my government responsible when it usurps rights that are reserved for the people and is capricious and illogical in the ways that it attempts to enforce public orders.
I believe that loving them means standing up for the well-being of the millions of unemployed even though I have not lost my job. I believe that loving them means wearing a mask in a store that asks me to (even though the efficacy of such masks seems dubious) and to maintain social distancing even if I have no fear of the virus myself.
So during the protest I drove around in my poster-adorned car and then then held up my sign as I walked amidst the protesters, keeping the same distance from others as I had earlier this weekend in the grocery store. I also wore my mask in the store I stopped at on the way home, even though I felt ridiculous.
Most importantly, I believe that loving God includes showing respect for all humans, who are the greatest of all His creation. So if you disagree with me, I will respect your right of conscience and try to give your intentions the benefit of the doubt, and I would ask that you do the same for me. Healthy dialogue is good for our country and is fundamental to loving each other respectfully.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! Pandemic survival should never mean handing over all control to a corruptible government!