"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."Benjamin Franklin
Here’s kudos to the French government for going all-out to protect its citizens from suffering further attacks from Muslim terrorists. It is sad that the Obama administration does not have the same sort of commitment to protect American citizens, but seems willing to roll the dice with American lives in order to further its own socialist-political agenda.
God’s Purpose for Civil Government
Romans 13:1-5 makes it clear that human government was instituted by God and that government leaders have a moral and divine responsibility to protect their citizens from evil. Human government became necessary because of the fall and the entry of sin and evil into the world (Genesis 3). James Madison, the chief architect of the American Constitution, understood this and wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
Men, however, are not angels and Scripture is clear that in a fallen world God places kings, prime ministers and presidents in positions of authority for the primary purpose of protecting the good and punishing the evil. Roman 13:4 goes so far as to call the government official, God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
A Biblical View of the World is Needed
The problem with the present administration is that it holds a post-modern world-view in which evil does not exist. In this fantasy world of left-wing philosophy, there is no absolute right and wrong, no absolute good and evil and no absolute truth and falsehood. In this delusional way of thinking, modern Marxist or Islamic revolutionaries are no different than George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the other American Founders.
This post-modern way of thinking clouds a person’s vision, rendering them incapable of making important distinctions in life. This is why the president could make the ridiculous statement that vetting the thousands of Muslim, Syrian refugees is no different than processing the many tourists who visit this country every year. This is why he and his cohorts cannot bring themselves to utter the words "Islamic extremists."
Power Brings Responsibility
Governmental power is not about privilege, but responsibility. Sadly, this president sees the presidency in terms of personal privilege, not civil responsibility. When asked what he liked most about being president, he immediately replied, “Air Force One.”
Seeing the presidency in terms of privilege, he has used the power of the office to push his own personal agendas and neglected his responsibility to protect the American people and lead the free world. Robert Gates, his first Secretary of Defense, said the only time he saw the president passionate was when he discussed dispensing with “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and opening the military to practicing homosexuals.
Under this presidency, religious liberty and freedom of conscience have been sacrificed for political correctness and promotion of the homosexual lifestyle. Christian business owners—such as florists and bakers--have been prosecuted because they politely refused to provide services for same-sex weddings. Kim Davis, a county clerk, was jailed because she politely declined to sign a same-sex marriage license.
While this president has been preoccupied with pushing his socialist vision for America, he has turned a blind eye to the thousands of Christians in the Middle East who are being slaughtered and their churches and communities destroyed by ISIS. I can't help but believe that this nation has blood on its hands for not coming to their rescue.
God expects those with power to use it responsibly to rescue those who are suffering under evil. Proverbs 24:11-12 makes clear that God will hold accountable those who have the power to rescue those being slaughtered but do nothing to help.
Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
The indifference of this president toward suffering Christians of the Middle East casts a shadow of doubt on his claim of compassion toward the Syrian refugees and makes one wonder what his true motive is for wanting to bring thousands of Muslims into this country? Interestingly, 27 Iraqi Christians who escaped the terror in their homeland and crossed the southern border into the U.S. have been refused refugee status by this administration and are being deported.
Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God
This president is using the power granted to him by God and the American people in a way that is inconsistent with God’s purpose for civil government. Not only is he not protecting American citizens or rescuing those being led away to slaughter, he is using his presidential power in an oppressive manner, especially toward Christians and political opponents. This is known as “tyranny” and rulers who act in this way are known as “tyrants.”
“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” was a phrase coined by Benjamin Franklin that became very popular during the American Revolution and was even considered for use on the Great Seal of the nation. King George was a tyrant who sought to forcefully control the lives of the Colonists without any input on their part. Tyrants are not so concerned with protecting lives as they are controlling lives and having it their way. Tyrants are not to be obeyed; they are to be confronted!
What We Can We Do
Yes, we are to be respectful toward government leaders and pray for them. That is a given and a priority. But called by our Lord to be salt and light, we are also to confront them when they are wrong. Moses confronted Pharaoh. Samuel confronted King Saul. Nathan confronted King David when he sinned. An unnamed prophet confronted King Jeroboam for his idolatry. Elijah confronted Ahab, etc., etc.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist confronted Herod for his adultery. Jesus confronted the religious-civil authorities of His day, calling them hypocrites and white-washed tombs full of dead men's bones. When Peter and John confronted the Jewish authorities for their unbelief and were ordered to stop teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus, they replied, We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
It is time for the American Christian to stand up and speak the truth in love. Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Pray for the president and all governmental leaders, but stand against the idiocy and ungodliness that is coming out of Washington D.C.
Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and ordained minister. His latest book, The Faith & Vision of Benjamin Franklin, demonstrates how even this "nonreligious" American Founder held a Christian world-view and believed Christian morality absolutely necessary for a stable and prosperous nation. For more information on Eddie's ministry and his vision for America, go to his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.