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If everyone did this

If every single person laid down their arms and followed the law of Jesus Christ, He would be king, and we would obviously have no need of governments. There would be no evil to punish. There would be no evildoers to defend against. Every single person could submit to the rule of Christ, placing themselves in His kingdom, the Church, under the guiding authority of Godly shepherds (also called bishops, overseers, pastors, or elders) to watch for their souls and warn them if they began to go wrong.

It's obvious that what I say in this blog could work, if only everyone would follow it.

But it's also obvious that not everyone will. This world will always contain evil people, probably always predominantly evil people.

So in the meantime, should Christians lay down their arms and stop using government force? Or do they have an obligation to use government as a tool to try to make this fallen world as livable as possible?

Remember that God is in control. If God has commanded that we not govern non-Christians, then we must submit even if it looks like this does not work, just as Abraham submitted to God when required to kill his son, the only possible ancestor of the great multitudes of descendants God had promised him. Faith means trusting God even when it seems obvious that God's wisdom is flawed, because we know the truth, that God's wisdom may appear foolishness (I Corinthians 2), but God is trustworthy.

As long as sin exists in this world, God can and does use governments as His agent to punish evil (Romans 13). "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1) God will still use evil rulers to bring about His perfect will, just as He used evil Nebuchadnezzar of wicked Babylon to punish His rebellious people in the Old Testament. (And tried desperately to save Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel, I might add, before finally executing vengeance on Babylon for their sins.) He certainly does not need our participation in the evil deeds that governments inherently commit!

In fact, the Bible explicitly teaches us to leave all of these things in the hand of the Lord: "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." (Romans 12:19) Strangely enough, God goes on to talk about government in the next chapter. So God has specifically told us to trust Him to protect us from evil, and not to attempt to punish evil ourselves. What could be more clear? Stop governing. Leave room for the wrath of God.

1 comment:

Jason said...

What is your view on taking up arms against a government gone bad? Is it permissable for a Christian to do or, in light of Romans and 2 Peter, should Christians only use non-violence against governments?