Government is a force for good but with a “biblical catch”
The civil government is to be God’s servant for our good. Therefore the government exist for the good of the people. (Rom. 13.4) Sadly, in this fallen world, it feels like governments tends to exist for those who are in power such as a King, a Dictator or even an elected president.
The profit Samuel warned the people a national ruler (King, President, ect.) would abuse his power and take from the people, often without a choice. (Sam 8:11-17) Even today’s governments often take the very best of everything, a substantial tax of whatever is earned within its borders.
The United States Constitution was founded on Samuel’s basic premise. The more unchecked power a government holds combined with a lack of public accountability the more government leaders are willing to take or control.
However, God has created all things, including governments of all various forms for good and as an extension of His will. Romans 13:1-7 outlines the role of government in the lives of God’s people.
- God has appointed people in power to manage government institutions, regardless of scope or purpose. (John 19:11)
- Civil rulers are a “terror to bad conduct” and those who choose to do evil in this world. (Genesis 9:5-9)
- Governments approve of good conduct. (Rom 13:3)
- Government officials serve God for our good when they keep their action in His will. (Rom 13:4)
- Local and national authorities execute God’s wrath on evildoers as a form of retribution. (Rom Rom 13:4, 1 Thes 4:6, Heb 10:30)
In short, Christians have a duty to obey civil governments wherever they reside. (1 Pet 2:13-14)
Nevertheless, God commands that we must obey the civil government so long as obedience does not contradict with clearly established Scripture.
Peter explains, “We must obey God rather than men”. (5:24) This is a clear affirmation of the principle that God requires people to disobey the civil government if obedience would mean directly disobeying God.
Freedom of Speech
Christian teaching in America is often censured or viewed as hate speech. This must change!
As Christians, we are taught we live in a fallen world and there is sin in every human heart. (Rom 3:23) When rulers and authorities in this age obtain power, they are often tempted to use that power for themselves, family or friends. Our forefathers designed in the US Constitution safeguards that protect freedom of speech that forces (in many cases) political leaders to be more accountable to the people they serve. Therefore, without freedom of speech and the press local and national leaders could suppress any criticism of their actions, prohibit opposing candidates or critics from expressing their views in public.
God’s word and message to the world views human liberty valued in God’s world. (Exod. 20:2, Lev. 25:10, Deut. 30:19 and Isa. 61:1) To have liberty is to have freedom of speech and the press to express ideas and our faith without threat or harm.
God also values the freedom of choice and to decide for ourselves what path to take. (Deut. 30:19, Josh 24:15, Matt 11:28, Rev 22:17) In order to make an informed choice, we have to have information from all sides. Without freedom of speech or the press we would not have the information to make our own choices.
In recent years, campaign finance reform has been a hot topic in political circles. The push to restrict financial contributions to political campaigns is another “back door attempt” to restrict freedom of speech. If these groups are successful in restricting campaign contributions, the liberal press, labor unions, Hollywood elites and university faculty would have a major influence over the information distributed to the public.
Universities are also a major problem and reject religious views and speech that conflicts with a liberal worldview. Universities and community college alike restrict religious views by arguing Christians are hostile to minority groups. But the reality is much different than they contend. University faculty and administration often freely endorse gay rights, abortion, marriage equality and atheism while using administrative policies to silence Christians and opposing views.
Christian voices have been impacted in recent years through censorship in the media, specifically, online censorship. This takes place when media outlets like YouTube and Google restrict Christian speech and religious thought
Our church will fight and work to ensure Christian faith and values are given equal weight in secular media companies and within education.