Written by Chuck Baldwin
This column dated November 21, 2013, created a firestorm of outrage and venom from hundreds of pastors and Christians. It was a rude awakening for me, for sure. I have long maintained that the vast majority of today’s pastors and church members are smugly content in abject apathy and indifference. However, after the vehement reaction to the above-mentioned column, I can now state dogmatically that the problem is actually much, much worse than I realized. Today’s churchmen are not merely content to not being involved; they are absolutely committed to not being involved. It goes much deeper than apathy; it is apostasy.
See my November 21 column here:
My email inbox and mailbox filled with vitriolic rebukes from pastors and Christians. I was called just about every dirty name in the book and relegated to the depths of the damned--and those were the mild ones. At the heart of these feelings of contempt is the rejection of Natural Law. It’s not only that today’s pastors and Christians have not been taught the Biblical principles of Natural Law and, therefore, don’t understand it; today’s churchmen have developed a willful and stubborn conviction against Natural Law.
I will even go so far as to say that the majority of our pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. The lack of instruction and understanding of the Biblical principles of Natural Law have created a generation of churchmen who are more than willing to submit to the unnatural laws of tyranny and oppression. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t truly comprehend the depth of this volitional slavery.
The statements being made by today’s pastors and Christians are so nonsensical and asinine that it is extremely difficult to believe that any person, much less pastors and Christians, could even utter them. Here are just a few examples of what pastors have said:
“If federal agents or troops came to my house and put my wife on the kitchen table and raped her, Romans 13 tells me I could not interfere.”
“If government forces came to my home intent on harming my wife and children, I would not resist; I would simply tell my family to run.”
“America’s Founding Fathers were rebels against God. They had no right to fight a war for independence. Subjection to a king, even a tyrannical one, is God’s Will.”
“Anyone who resists civil government is going to hell.”
“There is no such thing as natural law, and anyone who promotes it is of the devil.”
Dear reader, trust me: the comments above are reflective of the majority of pastors and Christians I have heard from over the past couple of weeks. Truly did Jesus say, “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39 KJV) That is exactly what is happening in America today: the blind are leading the blind into the ditch of tyranny and oppression.
Last Sunday, I delivered a message entitled, “Biblical Evidence For Natural Law.” I invite readers to watch the archived video of that message here:
Listen to the Scripture: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” (Romans 2:14, 15 KJV)
The great theologians and Bible scholars of yesteryear all understood the Biblical teaching of Natural Law. Here are a few samples of some of church history’s greatest Bible commentators on this passage in Romans 2.
Albert Barnes: “The expression means clearly by the light of conscience and reason, and whatever other helps they may have without revelation. It denotes simply, in that state which is without the revealed will of God. In that condition they had many helps of tradition, conscience, reason, and the observation of the dealings of divine Providence, so that to a considerable extent they knew what was right and what was wrong.”
John Wesley: “The Ten Commandments being only the substance of the law of nature.”
Adam Clarke: “Do, without this Divine revelation, through that light which God imparts to every man, the things contained in the law--act according to justice, mercy, temperance and truth, the practice of which the revealed law so powerfully enjoins; these are a law unto themselves.”
John Gill: “The matter and substance of the moral law of Moses agrees with the law and light of nature…which they have by nature and use, and which natural reason dictates to them.”
Matthew Henry: “They had that which directed them what to do by the light of nature: by the force and tendency of their natural notions and dictates they apprehended a clear and vast difference between good and evil. They did by nature the things contained in the law. They had a sense of justice and equity, honour and purity, love and charity; the light of nature taught obedience to parents, pity to the miserable, conservation of public peace and order, forbade murder, stealing, lying, perjury, etc. Thus they were a law unto themselves.”
Think about it: man did not have the written, revealed laws of God for some 2,500 years of recorded history. Yet, they did have the Law of God “written in their hearts,” or Natural Law.
Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England were, without a doubt, among the most influential writings upon America’s founders. In his commentaries (second section),
Blackstone said, “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker's will.
“This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”
In that same second section of his commentaries, Blackstone further said, “This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other--It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not kill,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not steal,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not steal.” How is it, and since when is it, that pastors and Christians do not understand this?
Natural Law, by its very definition, demands procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition. From the very act of Creation, Adam and Eve were given in their hearts (by God) the desire to procreate. Does anyone deny that those who produce children have a right and duty to protect and provide for their children? Does not all of nature have an innate desire to produce young then protect and provide for the young that they produced? The bird and the beast build a nest or den for its young; it catches or hunts food for its young; and it uses every means in its power to drive away predators from its young.
How, in the name of God, can today’s pastors and church leaders say they would not protect their own families from harm? How can they treat so flippantly the duty and responsibility to provide safety and security for home and community? Does a badge give a person the right to act like a predator? You mean to tell me that God would have us bring our children up in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” only then to sit back and do nothing while human beasts with badges devour and enslave them? What nonsense! What rubbish!
Beyond that, prohibition is as intrinsic to Natural Law as is procreation, protection, and provision. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given great authority over the entire natural kingdom--yet, they were also given jurisdictional prohibition: they were not allowed to eat of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Even in that state of perfect innocence, when Adam was the absolute master of all that God had created on earth, he had limited jurisdiction. And when Adam violated that jurisdictional prohibition, there were consequences that had to be paid. And that was the pattern for all human authority.
There is only one Sovereign: the Creator-God. All human authority, be it vocational, familial, ecclesiastical, or political, is limited and jurisdictional. Anytime human authority oversteps its jurisdictional borders, Natural Law (God’s Law “written in our hearts”) demands resistance. And the amount and type of resistance is commensurate to the amount and type of usurpation.
When the “kings of the nations” seized property not belonging to them and kidnapped some of Abram’s family, he did not quote Romans 13 and sit complacent. He gathered his armed servants (who were already trained in the art of war) and pursued the oppressors. He put together a military strategy and attacked the predators and destroyed them. Not only that, when he returned, he was blessed by Melchizedek, who was “the priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14)
Hebrews 7 says Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. Many Bible scholars believe that Melchizedek was actually a Christophany, meaning a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Christ. Think of it: Christ Himself (or a priest who is clearly a type of Christ) blessed Abram after he attacked and destroyed the usurpers who had transgressed their jurisdictional authority. And exactly where was it written that Abram should do this thing? It was written in his heart. Again, the resistance was commensurate to the transgression.
And those who say that violent resistance to tyrannical government is unbiblical and sinful should tear the entire Book of Judges out of their Bibles. Where in the Mosaic Law were the laws of insurrection recorded? They weren’t. Yet, for a period of over 300 years, champion after champion felt the call of God in his heart to resist with violence the tyrants who were subjugating his country. Furthermore, Hebrews 11 places men such as Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah in the great “Hall of Faith.” And, remember, Romans 15:4 says that the Old Testament was written “for our learning.”
Western Civilization is rooted in Natural Law. Scholars in and out of the Church have historically accepted the Natural Law principles of the rights and duties of procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition as being “self-evident.” In his book, “Political Obligations,” University of Virginia political science professor George Klosko wrote, “[I]t is generally held that obedience to government is not unconditional. Though we have significant moral requirements to obey, these can be overridden by countervailing factors. For instance, a government that becomes tyrannical can lose its right to be obeyed, while obligations to obey specific laws that are unjust can also be not binding.” (George Klosko, Political Obligations, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 2005, 11)
Klosko’s philosophy matches the philosophy of the vast majority of Christian and non-Christian scholars including Sir Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, Emerich de Vattel, Samuel Rutherford, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas (to name a few).
Compare the Natural Law teaching of history’s great scholars (many, if not most, of whom were Christians) to the teaching of so many of today’s pastors and church leaders. The differences are stark. The great preachers, theologians, and scholars of history produced a thirst for both God and freedom and gave birth to the greatest free land the world has ever known. And what are today’s pacifist preachers producing? An apathy and indifference that has brought our country to the brink of a modern-day Dark Ages. Everything that America’s colonial pastors such as John Leland, John Witherspoon, John Peter Muhlenberg, James Caldwell, and Jonas Clark fought so bravely to bequeath to us is being surrendered by the cowardice and apostasy of the modern pulpit.
As I said, after reading the voluminous pieces of correspondence touting absolute submission to the state, I am convinced that a majority of pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. Accordingly, so many of America’s pastors today are not shepherds; they are slaves. They have repudiated the faith of our fathers; they have repudiated the inspiration and sacrifice of thousands of years of history; they have repudiated sound scholarship and reason; they have repudiated the values and virtues that protect everything that is sacred; and they have repudiated the Biblical Natural Law principles of liberty and justice.
I am further convinced that the only way liberty and justice can be restored to America is for Christians to get out of these idolatrous government churches and form tens of thousands of independent, non-affiliated, non-establishment churches and home-churches. It must happen; it’s going to happen!
I pray that God will use whatever time I have left on this earth to be part of the prophecy that famed Bible teacher A. W. Tozer uttered before his death in 1963. Tozer said:
“I hear Jesus saying…Matthew 23:37, 38, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate.’
“As the Church now stands, the man who sees this condition of worldly evangelicalism is written off as somewhat fanatical. But the day is coming when the house will be left desolate and there will not be a man of God among them. I would like to live long enough to watch this develop and see how things turn out. I would like to live to see the time when the man and women of God--holy, separated and spiritually enlightened--walk out of the evangelical church and form a group of their own; when they get off the sinking ship and let her go down in the brackish and worldliness and form a new ark to ride out the storm.”
I agree with Tozer. Get off the sinking ship, folks. Form a new ark to ride out the storm. Pastors and churches that have repudiated Biblical Natural Law principles--including the duty of self-defense--should themselves be repudiated.
P.S. For the month of December, we are offering both “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission,” and “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns” at a significant discount. These books, written by my constitutional attorney son and me, normally sell for $14.95 each. But to help folks purchase these books as Christmas gifts, the cost is only $17.95 (plus shipping and handling) for BOTH BOOKS. These two books cut to the heart of much of what I’m talking about in this column. To be assured you receive them before Christmas, order now!
To order “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission,” go here:
Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission
To order “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” go here:
(c) Chuck Baldwin