Answers to Objections #9

Post date: Dec 07, 2016 7:20:55 PM

Dec 15, 2011 by Buddy Hanson

Answers to Common Objections are a regular column on Explicitly Christian Politics. These answers were written by Buddy Hanson and published in the appendix of his book, The Christian Civil Ruler’s Handbook. Buddy has written a number of books on applying God’s Word to culture, civil-government and politics and we are grateful for the answers he gives to common objections we hear all the time. Check out his website here.

Objection #9: “What you are advocating amounts to ‘blind obedience’ to Civil Rulers; couldn’t this lead to the State promoting a false religion?”

It should be clear by now that Christianity does not promote “blind obedience” to any of its doctrines. However, this objection does describe the situation that happens under any form of civil government. Civil rulers govern according to their worldview, and if that view happens to be non-Christian, their policies and legal decisions will promote a false religion. There is no mention in Scripture about a civil government being pluralistic in its religion. Indeed, in the first commandment God says we are to have “no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

Therefore in submitting to civil rulers who are enforcing God’s rules, we should also resist those who are enforcing man’s rules. As long, then, as civil rulers enforce God’s rules, instead of making up rules (laws) of their own, citizens have no option but to obey them. In order to properly function as God’s ministers, civil rulers should be familiar with and study God’s Word so they can carry out His will for their citizenry (promoting peace and keeping their community safe). In the words of Samuel, “He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Samuel 23:3).

Tyranny exists when the civil governor replaces God’s laws with his own. Since tyranny is Satanic, not to resist it is to resist God; or expressing this in positive terms, to resist tyranny is to honor God.

Moreover, since the obligation of self-defense is given by God, to give up that right is sin!

Since the king is granted power conditionally, it follows that the people have the power to withdraw their sanction if the conditions are not fulfilled. The king―or political authority or civil magistrate―is a fiduciary figure; that is, he holds his authority in trust.