(Guest post by Jenn Slauenwhite)
The government was never meant to be our God.
I saw a meme that said, “Noah didn’t go swimming in the flood to prove his faith in God. He showed his faith by staying in the ark and waiting until it was safe to come out.” Although this seems like a lovely sentiment at the surface level for today’s pandemic situation, we need to understand a couple of things first. 1) Noah was listening TO God, directly FROM God. 2) Our current instructions and orders to stay inside to be safe and protected have come from government leaders. Some of you may argue that God put our leaders in place so we should obey them. I would partly agree with you. Those leaders are there for a reason and they aren’t a surprise or a mistake to our sovereign God. Romans 13:1 tells us this very thing. That doesn’t mean we obey their every command and whim without question or thought. We need to use discernment and a biblical worldview to filter pretty much everything around us. All the time. Till we die. 💁🏻♀️ And that includes discerning what is wise government instruction and what is not. When God gave us governing authorities, it was so that the rulers would not be a terror to good conduct but to bad. We are to be in subjection to them for THAT reason. They are to be avengers that carry out God’s wrath on the wrong doer. (Romans 13:3-4) What has happened over time (and pretty much since the beginning of time) is that man has taken it upon themselves to be ultimate authority with no care or thought to the things of God with governing authorities taking more and more liberties to gain more and more power.
So let’s compare a couple of situations. Most born again Christians would agree that abortion (at any stage) is murder and we would disapprove of the ruling that makes abortion legal, accessible, and acceptable. We do not agree with the secular world that human life can be terminated at any stage. But since the government says it’s ok should we just agree? Or should we have discernment because we know what the bible actually says about the sanctity of life?
Let’s do another comparison. Homeschooling. A lot of Christians who homeschool do so because we believe that God has assigned the task of education to the family and not to the government institutions. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand , and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”)
So why are we seeing a large number of Christians completely rolling over to the authorities while they wag their fingers at us with threats and tickets for something that is just common sense? (wash your hands, avoid the vulnerable, stay home if you’re sick) I believe that the answer is fear. Fear of an unknown virus. And that fear was heavily propagated by mainstream media for one reason or another. Now, I’m not saying this virus isn’t real or even deadly to vulnerable populations. It can be! But now that the numbers are no where near the projections, we are still being told that being good citizens means we must stay away from all other people for an indefinite amount of time. And don’t you dare disobey. (But don’t worry, the liquor store, and Tim hortons are still open!)
When we are fearful of something that is new or feels threatening, we look to someone to protect and reassure us. As Christians, that someone should be our Creator. When we look to the government to save us, we err in where our allegiance lies. The government was never established to save us, Jesus alone saves. The leaders aren’t there to save lives, they were never given that authority by God because our days are already numbered (psalm 139, psalm 39, job 14:5) and nothing we do can change or effect God’s plan for the number of each person’s days.
Should we use common sense? Of course we should! The bible is full of instruction about common sense for helping and serving others; to protect widows and care for orphans (James 1:27) And so we should!
I’m awfully long winded but my point here is that as Christians, we need not react out of fear. We need to trust God and know His Word so we can understand His plan for our governing authorities, which will help us recognize when we need to stand up against injustice. It just might be time to get off the bench and play. Most of all, we need to pray!