Day 152: Tyranny and the Fear of God

Jeremiah 36:19-26

Then the princes said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah go hide. Don’t let anyone know where you are.”

They went in to the king into the court, but they had laid up the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe. Then they told all the words in the hearing of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it out of the room of Elishama the scribe. Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king, and in the hearing of all the princes who stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, and there was a fire in the brazier burning before him. When Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. The king and his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, and didn’t tear their garments. Moreover Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them. The king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet; but Yahweh hid them.

There’s a lot about these verses that are troubling because of how similar they are to things that I see happening in the United States and in the world today. Here we see that the king and his men took written words of God and attempted to destroy them, while the people and their princes respected God’s word and were afraid. It appears that evil men had taken hold of the highest positions of government, leaving the vast majority under their wicked domination. There were even princes of the people who feared God, yet the top levels of the government boldly opposed Him. It’s pretty obvious that these evil leaders had come to the conclusion that God didn’t have any real power to do anything against them. What I see is that evil usually has to force its will by taking over human governments. It appears that the common man and most leaders are able to fear God after hearing His word, but the most wicked are not moved. When those most wicked men take over the government at the highest level, the righteous men often have to hide, and that’s what Baruch and Jeremiah did.

There are some good things here. The fact that God gave Jeremiah and Baruch a chance to hide is one of them. Another good thing is that there were princes who did fear God. They must have known, however, that the king and his men didn’t because they told Baruch and Jeremiah to hide before they even went to the king. Could it be that the princes were aware of evil but were too afraid to oppose the king all this time? It’s interesting to me that so many common men and even leaders were able to fear God even during this time of God’s judgment. The Bible is clear that even in the very last days, this same kind of thing will happen. Even though the anti-christ will take power, he will kill huge numbers of believers during the great tribulation and many Israelis will go into hiding. Some will be protected by God in such a way that they won’t even have to hide. It would appear that the majority of the people were willing to fear God at this point. That causes me to think that a democratic form of government would have worked better in this situation. Even so, leaders would have to respect that form of government in order for it to work and when a tyrant takes over, they may claim to be democratic but actually work against it.

Time to Wake Up and Face Tyranny

If the building you are in appears to be burning down, the only moral thing to do is to warn others and to get out. Now is the time for us all to face the truth.

Much of our government and many of our institutions are attacking innocent people as if they were criminals. It’s important that we all do one important thing: we must recognize that it is wrong and oppose everyone who is involved.

If you are not sensing the problem, please make sure and watch this video clip by Alex Jones (full video is at: https://www.banned.video/watch?id=60f20e91e7ef8467b1c69f22):

It’s time for all of us to wake up and oppose tyranny. Evil is never OK, and evil coming from the government is especially wicked. There really is only one good thing to do and that is to oppose it and pray that God will allow us to bring justice to those who are doing this evil using the few brave leaders that are still obedient to the conscience that God has given them.

You might be wondering how we got here. Our once great nation is being threatened by our own government in a way that is almost identical to what England did to America in the 1700’s. How is it that wicked men found their way into the most powerful positions in the United States government? I suggest that is is because good men, those who were following the God of the Bible, did not involve themselves in the affairs of the government. God’s law applies to the government, just as it does to the individual, but when God’s people refuse to apply God’s law to the government, it allows wicked men to take over (full interview at: https://rumble.com/ve58k1-christians-must-resist-tyranny-pastor-says.html).

It really is past time to wake up, apply God’s law to our government and defy the tyranny that already has found its way into our lives. May God strengthen us to do what we should have been doing all along.

Christianity and the Separation of Church and State

This document addresses a popular but irrational interpretation of “the separation of church and state.” It’s a fairly common belief today that the separation of church means that the government is required to operate in a completely neutral way when it comes to religion. I would like to explain why this view is both irrational and dangerous to liberty. As I’ve said before, philosophical neutrality is fallacious and when an interpretation of the constitution is irrational, it could easily lead to tyranny.

The Founders’ Thoughts

It is possible that some of the founders believed they were neutral to all religions, but it is clear that they didn’t design a system of government that would actually work that way. The constitution merely disallowed the federal government to govern what they considered to be the exercise of religion. It is well known that the founders didn’t want the federal government specifying certain matters for the states or for the individual. The problem is that they also made claims based on the existence of God, that did apply to everyone. Unfortunately for us, the range of practices considered to be personal choices and the ones considered to be moral and virtuous for all, are not really self-evident to everyone today. As Christians, we must realize that no matter what the constitution’s problems are, our God is real, what He demands of government is not optional for anyone.

We do know that many of the founders favored Christian principles and those principles were reflected in the things they said and wrote. Here’s what some of the prominent founders of the United States said:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” – George Washington, First President of the United States, Farewell Address

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams, Second President of the United States

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their ruler, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” – John Jay, First Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Second Governor of New York

The Absurd Results of Religious Neutrality

No matter what a person believes about it, complete religious neutrality isn’t possible. It isn’t achievable because religions frequently define opposing sets of requirements. At best, a government can only pretend to be religiously neutral. Consider the religious practices of human sacrifice and cannibalism. If the United States government were really neutral, it would be required to allow these things to take place. It’s obvious to most of us that the government should not allow this, but by not allowing it, the government isn’t really being neutral.

This pretended neutrality also makes it easier for a government to destroy itself. We have seen this appear in the United States as some have suggested that the system of government itself is not neutral and must be dismantled. This is a crafty method of revolution because even if the government is torn down, a new non-neutral government will fill the void.

Over 100 years ago, a well respected pastor in England named J. C. Ryle, gave us this warning:

“To tell us that a Government must leave religion alone, because it cannot promote it without favouring one Church more than another, is simply absurd. It is equivalent to saying that, as we cannot do good to everybody, we are to sit still and do no good at all.”

J. C. Ryle (J.C. Ryle on the Government’s Role)

Opening a Door to Tyranny

When a government pretends to be religiously neutral, it damages the rule of law. It enables a tyranny to be empowered by a well known philosophical error. In logic, it’s well established that if you allow a single inconsistency in your worldview, it can be used to prove anything you want it to. This is sometimes called The Principle of Explosion. If a person can convince you to believe in a contradiction, it paves the way for them to manipulate you. If an inconsistency is used as a means of government, it can be used as a manipulation technique to make all of its behavior seem reasonable when it really isn’t.

If a government doesn’t admit its bias, it actually opens the door to tyranny. By choosing when it will pretend to be neutral and when it will not, it can make its subjective philosophy dominant over the objective philosophy of others. Since the founders intended our country to be governed by law not people, the only workable interpretation of the separation of church and state must be one that allows the government to continue to operate by law. The only way for a society to be governed by the rule of law instead of man is for that law to ultimately be in subordination to God’s law. This is a Christian principle and it was a common belief in the west at the time our government was being formed.

What Christians Believe about Government

Christians firmly believe that each person’s decision to become a Christian is personal and autonomous. If a person were to be forced to become a Christian, they would not really be a Christian. Christians also believe that whether or not you choose to be a Christian, all mankind must obey certain civil laws. These civil laws are clear and obvious in the Bible. They include things like fornication, theft, murder and lying in court. The Bible teaches that Christian morality is to be upheld, even among non-Christians. Because Christian principles are based on God’s law in the Bible, no man or government can avoid or change them. This standard exposes human tyranny and promotes liberty because every individual knows that they are free to think and speak as long as they live within the clear and simple civil laws of God provided in the Bible.

Conscience

Some might wonder how Christians would expect non-Christians to abide by their Bible’s civil laws? The answer is that God has placed a conscience into each person, whether they choose to become a Christian or not. For instance, even in places where the Bible isn’t known, people know that murder is wrong. They also know that cheating, theft and taking someone else’s wife is wrong. The problem is that mankind tends to purposefully corrupt his conscience in order do things that give him pleasure. A person’s inner compass can be suppressed. God’s written civil laws go along with a person’s conscience and a good government merely enforces that conscience so that people can live together in freedom and harmony. This may be distasteful to those who are accustomed to living for their own passions in spite of their conscience, but it is the best thing for them and for their community. More importantly, it is what God, or Creator requires.

Further Reading

J.C. Ryle on the Government’s Role
Read more about what a honorable pastor and follower of the Bible said about the the Church and state.

Rebuilding America’s Foundation
This is something I wrote as I lamented the moral deterioration of the United States. It contains some more quotes that you may want to see by American leaders regarding the Christian worldview that forms the foundation of the American republic.

The Fallacy of Neutrality
I develop the Pretended Neutrality Fallacy a little bit more in this article demonstrating that it is immediately self-refuting.

Exploring the Limits of Civil Government
This document does a better job of explaining the true role of government. The reason that there is a separation of church and state is because God is the only one who gives authority to men and He made the distinction between the two. This is an exploration of the doctrine of governmental authority.

The Christian foundations of the rule of law in the West: a legacy of liberty and resistance against tyranny
This is a very detailed document that discusses issues regarding the history and application of the rule of law in western governments.

220 Days in Luke – Day 103: The Separation of Church and State
I also commented on this subject in my devotional commentary in the book of Luke. You can find that here.