Conscious vs. Conformity

Adolph Hitler’s systematic march towards the death count of 20.9 million. {*1*} Czechs, homosexuals, handicapped, Italians, Jews, jobless, Poles, Serbs, Ukrainians, and many other innocent noncombatants is so inconceivable that a principal reaction to the horror of Hitler’s Holocaust is ‘How could the working class German people standby or worse yet participate?’

The silence and lack of resistance was vividly captured here:

“They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
– Reverend Martin Niemoller, Lutheran Pastor arrested by the Gestapo in 1937

Notice the poem’s author was a Christian Pastor, a man employed by his devotion to God to champion God’s law – the Ten Commandments, Love Thy Neighbor – and even he didn’t protest, at least not initially {*2*}, the human slaughterhouses.  Why the indifference?

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you
commit atrocities/injustices.”
– Voltaire, defender of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, 1694-1778

Hitler, the democratically elected ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945, commanded both Catholic and Protestant Christian leaders to preach ‘unconditional subjugation’ to Hitler under the pretense of the Holy Bible – specifically, the Book of Romans, Chapter 13.  When Hitler’s aim was to disarm Germany’s citizenry, Christian leadership obediently mollified their congregations with Romans 13.  When Hitler’s aim was to abduct dissidents in the dark quite of the night without due process – Romans 13.  When the burning flesh of her lawful neighbors manufactured the air unbreathable – Romans 13.  Etc. {*3*}

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
– William Shakespeare, poet and playwright, 1564-1616

So, the weapon of mass pacification, an accomplice to one of the most ruthless psychopathic killers of the twentieth century was the Holy Bible?  Unbelievable, but here is ‘Hitler’s favorite’ passage from the Bible:

Romans 13:1-7 {*4*} (emphasis added)
1. 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. 2. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

As a Christian, I am alarmed by the historical perversion of the Bible by evil men for evil ends and I am further disturbed by the sudden prevalence of Romans 13 being ministered by American Clergy to stifle their worshippers from questioning their government.  Chuck Baldwin, the founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church and the 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate recently made this statement:

“It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, “What about Romans Chapter 13?  We Christians must submit to government.  Any government.  Read your Bible, and leave me alone,” or words to that effect.” {*5*}

Romans 13 is not only being used defensively, shutting down debate, it is also being used proactively, subduing potential opposition.  Examples are found nationally, but one clear instance was a handout announcement from the Church of New Hope, located in Stow Ohio, which on the Sunday following Barack Obama’s presidential election victory declared this:

“Now is certainly the time for the people of God to lead, and lead well!  As church leaders, those who follow your example will be looking for healthy ways to process the news that Barack Obama will assume the presidency on January 20.  Thankfully, God’s Word has guiding principles for us to apply when we think of our president-elect (scriptures paraphrased):

“Romans 13:1-4
Barack Obama’s presidency is appointed by God (v1)
Christians should lead the way in supporting Barack Obama’s presidency. (v2)
Barack Obama’s presidency can be a force for good and a deterrent against evil. (v3)
As president, Barack Obama is God’s minister to you for good. (v4)”
(A copy of the entire Church announcement is included as ‘Exhibit A’)

On face, this and other similar Church announcements appear genuinely harmless – wishing the best and offering support to the next president shouldn’t generally be cause for distress, but the handout in the greater context of our post 9/11 police state exposes an agenda in motion.  For instance, in March, 2006 a Christian Pastor blew the whistle on …

“… a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to ‘obey the government’ in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation… The Pastor [whistleblower] was told that over 1,300 counties were already on board… Pastors [at the meeting the whistleblower attended] were asked to make a pledge or an affirmation during the meeting to fulfill the roles ascribed to them by FEMA. They were given assurances that they would be covered by full compensation in the event of resisters injuring them during property seizures and round-ups.” {*6*}

Additionally, and subsequent to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, KSLA News 12 of the Louisiana-Texas-Arkansas areas reported this:

“If Martial Law were enacted here at home [in the United States], like depicted in the movie, ‘The Siege’, easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical and that’s exactly what the Clergy Response Team, as its called, helped accomplish in New Orleans [during the State of Emergency following Hurricane Katrina] … Such Clergy Response Teams would walk a tight rope between the needs of the government verses the wishes of the public… For the Clergy, one of the biggest tools that they will have in helping calm the public down or obey the law is the Bible itself, specifically Romans 13… [During the State of Emergency following Hurricane Katrina] the Clergy Response Teams provided thirty-eight chaplains a day, around the clock, at eight different camps.” {*7*}

During the same KSLA news report, Dr. Durell Tuberville, SFD & CSO Chaplain, added this comment, which reiterated the relevance of Romans 13 in the Christian community, “The government is established by the Lord.  That’s what we believe in the Christian faith.  That’s what’s stated in scripture.” {*7*}

Proverbs 18:17
17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

Preaching universal acceptance to any and all rulers not only resonates as a roaring applause to Hitler’s massacre – “Bring back the ovens!  Bring back the tainted air!” – but even more astounding is this absolute doctrine runs entirely contrary to America’s beginnings… beginnings deeply rooted in Christianity:

“On July 4, 1776, the same day independence from Great Britain was declared by the thirteen states, the Continental Congress named the first committee, consigning three of the five authors of the Declaration of Independence – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams – to design a Great Seal, or national emblem, for the country…   Franklin’s proposal for the reverse side of the seal was described as “Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity,” with the Motto, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” {*8*}

The proposed motto for America’s Great Seal, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” echoed the American Founder’s philosophy and commitment to a higher authority.

Examples of this commitment include:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
– Declaration of Independence, 1776, Primary Author Thomas Jefferson

“No king, but King Jesus.”
– American Revolutionary War Slogan

“I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
– Thomas Jefferson, President of United States 1801-1809

Did the Founding Fathers pray to a separate God or adhere to a different Bible than the modern American Christian leadership?  If not, why the extreme divergence in views on when to obey government? – ‘Always to Any’ vs. ‘Never to Tyranny’.

Jonathan Mayhew, a clergyman of the American colonies during the eighteenth century faced the Romans 13 dilemma head on with his well recognized and influential 1750 sermon.  In fact, John Adams, who played a leading role in persuading Congress to adopt the United States Declaration of Independence, said Mayhew’s sermon was, “read by everybody.” {*9*}

Mayhew’s sermon unquestionably described universal obedience and unconditional obligation to civil rulers as a heinous offense to the balance of the Bible. Here is an excerpt from his speech:

“What unprejudiced man can think that God made all to be thus subservient to the lawless pleasure and frenzy of one [civilian ruler] 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… there is not the least syllable in Scripture which gives any countenance to it.” {*10*}

Proverbs 17:15
15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD

Mayhew then points to Romans 13:3 – “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil” – as clear guidance from apostle St. Paul, the author of Romans 13, on how one defines a genuine, lawful, God appointed and God approved ruler. It is they who “are not a terror to good works.” Mayhew’s sermon continues:

“The apostle [St. Paul] here [Romans 13:3] enforces the duty of the submission to the higher powers, we shall find it to be such a one as concludes not in favor of submission to all who bear the title of rulers in common but only to those who actually perform the duty of rulers by exercising a reasonable and just authority for the good of human society.” {*10*}

Apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 2:13-14, repeats the definition of legitimate, God approved rulers as those who “[arrange] for the punishment of evildoers and [arrange] for the praise of those who do good.”  If, and only if legitimate, would you “submit yourselves to every ordinance.”  And the next passage illustrates God’s reaction to rulers who reject God’s law:

Hosea 8:1-4 (emphasis added)
1 “Set the trumpet to your mouth!
He [Assyrians] shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD [ Israel],
Because they [Israelis] have transgressed My [God’s] covenant
And rebelled against My [God’s] law.
2 Israel will cry to Me,
‘My God, we know You!’
3 Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him.
4 “They [Israelis] set up kings, but not by Me;
They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.
From their silver and gold
They made idols for themselves—
That they might be cut off.

Mayhew, concludes that any and all ‘authority’ incompatible with serving well the ‘public welfare’ and ‘God’s law’ are invalid and thereby resistance to them is not a sin, but a duty, by stating:

“If it be our duty, for example, to obey our king merely for this reason, that he rules for the public welfare (which is the only argument the apostle makes use of), it follows, by a parity of reason, that when he turns tyrant and makes his subjects his prey to devour and to destroy instead of his charge to defend and cherish, we are bound to throw off our allegiance to him and to resist, and that according to the tenor of the apostle’s argument in this passage.  Not to discontinue our allegiance, in this case, would be to join with the sovereign in promoting the slavery and misery of that society, the welfare of which we ourselves, as well as our sovereign, are indispensably obliged to secure and promote as far as in us lies.” {*10*}

Mayhew’s argument for resistance against oppressive authorities is not only judiciously reasoned from the controversial text itself – Romans 13 – but is substantiated over and over again in the Bible itself, so much so in fact that the Bible could be renamed the ‘Holy Resistance Manifesto’ without much objection.

The following passage occurred during ‘the Acts period,’ which is approximately the thirty-three years the apostles spread the teachings of Jesus Christ after His resurrection.  This is also the same period of time in which apostle St. Paul authored Romans 13:

Acts 5:27-32 (emphasis added)
27 … they [officers] set them [apostles] before the council [of chief priests and captain of the temple]. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name [Jesus Christ]? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Clearly, the apostles were on trial again for disobeying man’s rule, and instead observed a higher law, God’s law, otherwise the council of chief priests and other rulers would have no issue with the apostles.  And Jesus, Himself, specifically called for these ‘Acts’ of resistance against the will of the ruling class:

Matthew 10:16-20 (emphasis added)
16 “Behold, I [Jesus] send you [apostles] out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

So if “it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks” the defiant response, “we ought to obey God rather than men” then it is God Himself not only supporting resistance, but actually the resister Himself.  Resistance to oppression is not just God’s mouthpiece, but the megaphone of His will.  And His Son, His absolute voice, Jesus, also responded to the inquiry of ‘hypocritical’ and ‘immoral’ Pharisees with clear objection to these oppressors:

Matthew 23:33-35 (emphasis added)
33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you [the Pharisees] escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I [Jesus] send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth…

And where would Jesus Himself be if it were not for the civil disobedience of His parents:

Matthew 2:12-16 (emphasis added)
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they [the three wise men from the East] should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child [Jesus] and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” 16 Then [King] Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Would any Christian presuppose that the wise men or Joseph or Mary should have been ‘universally obedient’ to King Herod and allowed baby Jesus to be chopped up for glory of government? – I think not.  Jesus, like His earthly parents, His student apostles and His cousin John the Baptist (illustrated next), demonstrated disobedience with grinding teeth, fierce passion and unconditional adherence to the principles of and by God’s law:

Luke 3:19-20 (emphasis added)
19 But [King] Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him [John the Baptist] concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which [King] Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

Matthew 14:10 (emphasis added)
10 So he [King Herod] sent and had John [the Baptist] beheaded in prison.

John the Baptist, inspired by God’s word, and law, protested “all the evils King Herod had done.”  America’s founding fathers, being directly impacted by Mayhew’s enlightenment of God’s word protested ‘repeated injuries and usurpations’ of God’s law (sometimes called Natural Law or Common Law by founding fathers).

Take a moment and consider how many of the 20.9 million lives would have been saved if the Christian leadership in Germany preached John the Baptist’s or Mayhew’s message of rebellion to counter all of Hitler’s hate propaganda, or more specifically if they preached the following as Christian ‘guidance for the young’:

Proverbs 3:29-35 (emphasis added)
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30 Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34 Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

The Bible’s message to resist oppression is overwhelming and important, but should not overshadow the method of resistance prescribed:

Timothy 2:3-5 (emphasis added)
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

The rules, or God’s law, are best described by the book ends of Romans 13:1-7:

Romans 12:19-21 (Immediately preceding Romans 13:1, emphasis added)
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13 (Immediately following Romans 13:7, emphasis added)
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

So resist, yes, but according to the rules – the Ten Commandments, Love Thy Neighbor – thus resist nonviolently, resist honestly, resist in God’s name for God’s glory, and by all means resist passionately.

Revelation 3:15-16 (emphasis added)
15 “I [God] know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Getting back to the original question… Romans 13 was a significant reason for ‘why’ Christians submitted absolutely to Hitler’s wicked rule, but why have clergy historically accepted (and currently accepting) the preferred interpretation of Romans 13 by ruthless rulers like Hitler.

One of the all time greatest novelists, whose nonviolent resistance belief he attributed to Jesus Christ’s teachings, and who directly influenced Mahatma Gandhi with his book, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU, {*11*} explains below why scandals of the most outrageous nature have plagued all positions of power, including Christian leadership:

“In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, and cruelty.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Author of WAR AND PEACE, 1828-1910

Jesus also warns of corruption in Christian leadership:

Matthew 7:15-20 (emphasis added)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Yes, corruption exists in leadership, but not all are corrupt.

“Reverend Martin Niemoller, who initially supported Hitler’s rise to power, eventually became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler.  In time, the clergy opposition gave in to the Nazis’ threats.  However, Niemoller didn’t conform and was arrested in 1937 by the Hitler’s secret police, the Gestapo, and confined in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps.  The Allied forces fighting Hitler freed Niemoller in 1945 and he continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II.” {*2*}

Niemoller’s poem, THEY CAME, has become a popular model used to describe the dangers of political apathy, as tyranny often begins with specific, targeted and even reasonable fear of, say communists or terrorists, but absolute hatred of any, historically, escalates to hatred and blame of all.  The initial act of absurdity, the precedent, can’t be accepted or the atrocities that the unlawful oppressors do to the least of us, they will eventually do to all of us.

“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
– Thomas Paine, Author of COMMON SENSE, 1737-1809

So in Niemoller, we have a clear example of what resistance to a blood lusting tyrannical government looks like.  Resistance required humbling oneself and admitting the wrong – it’s not OK to exterminate any group of people because of religion, creed, political affiliation or color – and admitting there is a higher law to be obeyed, God’s Law.  Then resistance required the inflexible recommitment to his neighbors and loved ones at any cost – joining and leading opposition groups, ignoring threats of torture and imprisonment.  Finally, resistance required the determination to sustain – even as friends and allies disjoined and threats of imprisonment/death are realized.

In essence, a lack of resistance, or great resistance to Hitler was a lack of courage among German’s people – The lack of moral courage to admit and acknowledge the sin and a lack of spiritual courage to labor towards remedy.

“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.”
– Andrew Jackson, President of United States 1829-1837

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
– Mark Twain, American author and humorist, 1835-1910

“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”
– Ambrose Redmoon, American beatnik writer, 1933-1996

Subsequent to Germany’s defeat in World War II, a lack of resistance, a lack of courage was punished.  The International Court’s secular conclusion affirmed a higher law must be obeyed:

“In 1946, political law was exposed for the barbaric system it is.  At the Nuremburg trials the Nazi defendants claimed they were innocent of wrongdoing because they had been following orders.  They were within their nation’s law, this is true.  But the prosecution argued that “there is a higher duty” than anything our governments impose on us.  The judges agreed: “The fact that the defendant acted pursuant to an order of his government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility.”  The defendants were executed.  This was a bold decision, and I believe it was the most important legal decision of the 20th century.  It was a barefaced admission that (1) there is a Higher Law than any government’s law, (2) we are all obliged to obey this law and (3) courts seek out and enforce this Higher Law.”
– Richard J. Maybury, Whatever Happened to Justice?

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
–  Nuremberg Principle IV, 1950  {*12*}

There are many obstacles why Americans are not engaged in resistance to present day ‘repeated injuries and usurpations’ of our rights and laws ‘endowed by our Creator,’ but ‘Hitler’s favorite passage’ – Romans 13 – should not be a deterrent to courage, especially for Christian leaders.

Hosea 4:6 (emphasis added)
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (emphasis added)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

In fact, the Bible itself, including the misrepresented Romans 13 passage, should be a great source of inspiration.  God’s unreasonable forgiveness of humanity, by sacrificing His only Son Jesus, converted and catapulted many a heart with courage to resist evil throughout time and certainly did so during America’s first revolution.  Among the many founding fathers finding courage from God’s word to ‘speak boldly’ and proclaim, ‘appeasement is never peace’ was Patrick Henry:

“For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings…

“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it…

“Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other…

“Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

“I know not what course others may take but as for me: give me liberty or give
me death.”
– Patrick Henry, The War Inevitable (excerpts), March 23, 1775 {*13*}

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THANKS
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Thanks to my parents, they raised me with integrity and direction.

Matthew 7:7
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Special Thanks to Alex Jones, a filmmaker whose documentaries include 9-11: ROAD TO TYRANNY and THE OBAMA DECEPTION.  His passionate resistance against ALL tyranny inspired my inquisitive mind and this essay.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

“When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.”
– Gary Lloyd

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“I was sent to Fallujah [Iraq] in 2004 with the Marine Corps Civil Affairs Team and I found out the hard way that the greatest enemies of the Constitution of the United States of America are not to be found in the sands of some far off land, but rather right here at home… I continue to serve my country today as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and [Ron Paul’s] Campaign for Liberty… I like to take a second to recognize the veterans of the room, if you would please stand, and any active duty service members, please stand (standing ovation, chant of U.S.A)… These are the brave men and women who swore an oath with their lives to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America [against enemies foreign and domestic] and while it is our responsibility now to resist tyranny, civilly, while we still can, there may come a time when we will say to the powers that be, ‘Be it with your blood or ours, we have come to water the tree of liberty’ (standing ovation, chant of U.S.A) … and it is those veterans, myself [included], who will stand on the front lines.  Who will stand with us? (standing ovation, chant of U.S.A)”
– Adam Kokesh, Ron Paul Rally For The Republic, 2008 {*14*}

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
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{*1*} DEATH BY GOVERNMENT, by R.J. Rummel, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 1994, page 111
{*2*}MARTIN NIEMOLLER, Wikipedia.com
{*3*} HITLER AND THE GERMANS, by Eric Voegelin, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO, 1999, Translated and edited by Detlev Clemens and Brendan Purcell
{*4*} THE HOLY BIBLE, New King James Version used throughout
{*5*} ROMANS 13 REVISITED, by Chuck Baldwin, NewsWithViews.com, February 27, 2009
{*6*} SECRET FEMA PLAN TO USE PASTORS AS PACIFIERS IN PREPARATION FOR MARTIAL LAW, by Paul Joseph Watson, PrisonPlanet.com, May 24 2006
{*7*} WILL MARTIAL LAW EVER BECOME A REALITY IN AMERICA, by Shannon Royster and Jeff Ferrell, KSLA News 12, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK2g0TGaAZA
{*8*} GREAT SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES, Wikipedia.com
{*9*} A CHANGE IN THEIR OBLIGATIONS, by John Adams, Niles’ Weekly Register, March 7, 1818
{*10*} A DISCOURSE CONCERNING UNLIMITED SUBMISSION AND NON-RESISTANCE TO THE HIGHER POWERS, By Jonathan Mayhew, Boston, January 30, 1750
{*11*} LEO TOLSTOY, Wikipedia.com
{*12*} NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES, Wikipedia.com
{*13*} THE WAR INEVITABLE, Wikipedia.com
{*14*} WHO WILL STAND WITH US SPEECH, by Adam Kokesh, Ron Paul Rally For The Republic, September 2, 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmsJe1S0z8w

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EXHIBIT A
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8 comments to Conscious vs. Conformity

  • T Ruble

    EXCELLENT! great quotes and references to scripture hopefully some of our misguided pastors in America will heed its message.

  • Paul Prichard

    The following is taken from InfoWars.com ‘Romans 13: Does it mean what the government would have us believe?’

    This first passage of Romans, taken alone, appears to give absolute authority to the government. When examined along with the following passages it becomes clear that an un-Godly, unjust, oppressive government cannot exercise God’s authority over man, because it does not merit that authority.

    13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    (4) The third argument, taken from the reason for which they were made, which is that they are to be most profitable: because God by this means preserves the good and bridles the wicked: by which words the magistrates themselves are put in mind of that duty which they owe to their subjects.

    The government is thereby put on notice by God that they must serve the best interests of those in their charge.

    13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    (6) God has armed the magistrate even with an avenging sword.
    (c) By whom God avenges the wicked.

    John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott Illustrated New Testament – 19th Century
    http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/ain/view.cgi?book=ro&chapter=013

    13:4 The minister of God; the servant, or instrument, employed by God. The duty of submission to the civil government, here urged in an absolute manner, is, of course, like all the other precepts of a similar character contained in the New Testament, to be understood with certain limitations and restrictions. The principal exceptions commonly made to the rule here laid down in general terms, are two: –first, that the civil authorities may be resisted when they require of the subject what is morally wrong; and, secondly, that, when their misgovernment and oppression become extreme and hopeless of reform, the community may depose them from their power.

    Obviously, a government which perpetrates acts of evil upon those in their charge cannot be a minister of God, therefore agents of government who are perceived to commit acts of evil against the people should not be obeyed.

    GSB 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
    (7) The conclusion: we must obey the magistrate, not only for fear of punishment, but much more because (although the magistrate has no power over the conscience of man, yet seeing he is God’s minister) he cannot be resisted by any good conscience.
    (d) So far as we lawfully may: for if unlawful things are commanded to us, we must answer as Peter teaches us, “It is better to obey God than men.”

    This is a clear example of choosing right over wrong and the commandments of God over any unlawful, unconscionable decrees of the conventions of man. Obey the lawful orders of your government, and disobey the unlawful or immoral orders of that same government. Do the right thing, whether it is adhering to the good order presented by the rules of a lawful, just society, or refusing to obey lawless authorities who tyrannize and oppress a society.

    Don’t allow an unjust, unconstitutional, lawless government to order you around in the name of God, for they are not entitled to that authority! And don’t allow such false assertions to go unchallenged when your(?) government invokes Romans 13 to compel your submission to their decrees. Speak up when you hear such false assertions, while you still may do so without threat of imminent death or injury as a result!

  • Bruce

    Excellent!
    Your work rings true.
    It is evil men who demand unquestioning obedience…whether in the government or in the Church.
    When you go to Church…bring your brains with you.

  • silverstead

    It is distressing that people lack enough sense that they require a “God” for guidance.

  • twisted titan

    when you go to church……bring your brains with you.

    now that is a serious signature line…….good one uncle brucie!

  • Thankful

    This is Excellent!

    It was also Jesus who called the teachers of his day “blind guides,…filled with all corruption” (Mtt 13 -36). We must do our homework because not all leaders work for good; not all leaders work for our betterment and because the mainstream media does not do its duty in identifying these problems in this regard we must, so those leaders should by our peaceful and non-compliant resistance be identified, and the vipers ‘routed out’ in order to maintain our peace and liberty.

    For all evil needs to thrive is for good people to do nothing. We may turn the other cheek in many ways; but we must protect the innocent and admonish the sinner as a spiritual work of mercy. As mother Angelica so eloquently said “Christians are NOT doormats”. We trust in God’s providence but also acknowledge he allows evil, and so not every leader will then work toward our good. We cannot assume just because he got there that it was by just means or that he has good intentions. The emphasis on the Cloward-Piven Strategy to deconstruct our society and how far along the communist manifesto we have traversed should be evidence enough of this, that we have been going on the wrong path for some time.

    I found a number of quotes from Edmond Burke that are a good reflection on this (found below; taken from Wikipedia);

    “There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue”. Edmund Burke

    “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny”.

    “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion”.

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

    “There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity — the law of nature, and of nations.”

    The other verse to make a review of that people have trouble with regarding the confrontation of evil is Mtt 5:38-42 “You have heard that it was said ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you and do not refuse him who would borrow from you” It would be good to get your take on that one. When pope Pius XII confronted Hitler on his treatment of the people, the people were treated even worse; so he decided it best not to publicly come out and denounce it; but privately to house and protect and provide a refuge. So even privately we can do much to defy evil. Just like the underground railroad; freeing and transporting the slaves to escape to the north.

    I also found reflection on the book of Esther; especially Ch 3:13 and Ch 7:16; the letters from Haman and from Mordecai to be very educational; regarding unjust accusations, the effects of prosperity, flattery and arrogance in the corruption of individuals; the unworthiness of some rulers to rule and the justice of the kings response.

    Thanks for a great post!

  • Fantastic; one of the best articles I’ve read in awhile. Sharing this.

    Ever read Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s “The Lucifer Effect” or his research surrounding the Stanford Prison Experiment? You may find it of interest :-)

  • wordscolliding

    I see. So Romans 13 doesn’t mean what it says, because you don’t like our current President, and because you can pluck contradictory statements from other parts of the Bible. But at the same time, the Bible is inerrant.

    Why can’t you Christians just face it? The Bible is self-refuting, often gives bad or immoral advice, and is chock full of mythological tales that a thousand separate pieces of scientific evidence prove did not happen.

    Daily I read Christian apologists contort themselves to make the Bible mean what they want it to mean. Rules are given for slavery in the Old Testament, for example, because God, knowing people were inherently evil, decided to allow it, but then put strict regulations around it. The Almighty could give in on that, but a man picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Absolutely not! Stone him to death!

    Absurd. Ridiculous. Inconsistent. Immoral. Inexcusable.

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