With the recent activity by Catholics and Evangelicals (Christians) across the nation joining in opposition to the HHS ("contraceptive") mandate and the U.S. government deciding it is prudent to "poke the bear", so to speak, by treading on our rights to freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience, I thought it would be educational to cover the subject from a spiritual standpoint and in the context of Romans 13 in the bible. From here on I will be referring to this group of Evangelicals and Catholics as "Christians" for ease of discussion.
We'll start by quoting The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, Chapter 13, Verses 1-7 which states:
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the Ordinance of God: and they who resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him who does evil. Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to who custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."
Let me begin by stating that God has ordained the institution of "government" as the power Paul is speaking of here, not any particular human being. Government was ordained of God in order to afford protection of the God given rights of every individual. The absence of government would bring anarchy (which is not of God) and a de-regulation of human affairs which cannot be tolerated in society.
Governments institute laws and constitutions in order to regulate the activities of their citizens as well as the activities of the authority. Whenever these laws and constitutions are followed by both parties, society functions as it was "ordained" to function.
As Christians, we are to obey the laws of the land we live in or "receive damnation". The damnation spoken of here is not "eternal damnation from God", but damnation from the society we live in. The Apostle is also making an assumption that the laws will be fair and just, and that since they are ordained by God, they will be laws that Christians won't have a problem obeying.
What are "Christian" laws? The Old Testament Decalogue (the ten commandments) was just a starting point and was the basic foundation for Judeo-Christian regulation. Israel was eventually under the regulation of over 600 laws, the breaking of any one law resulting in the death of some poor animal as a blood sacrifice for sin. It was immediately apparent that the "law" could only be followed by supernatural means, hence the coming of Christ, who fulfilled the law by being the perfect human example.
The laws of Christ are still based on the ten commandments (with the exception of the sabbath - which I will not get into in this post) but are actually tougher because Christ looks at the heart, and not merely at the obedience of a law. For example instead of a commandment that says "thou shalt not murder", Christ says that if you think of killing someone, you have committed murder in your heart. If you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery in your heart. Its a HEART thing, and that begins with CONSCIENCE.
When you are "born again", you are regenerated (read re-gene'd), and your heart is not the same as it was before. Your conscience won't let you get away with thinking about doing something wrong without bringing a "conviction" which forces you to ask God for forgiveness and help. So when you think about it, a Christian believer is held to a much higher standard of thought and action than others are. Because of this, the thought of abortion, homosexuality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, deceit, malignity, hate, pride, evil, etc.. is abhorrent to a Christian. The thought of being forced to obey a law that supports or propagates any of these things is even more abhorrent to the Christian conscience.
So what happens when a Government issues laws that conflict with Christian conscience? Do we still have to obey that law or that government? The same "conviction" that tells me when I am doing or thinking something wrong also tells me that when having to make a choice to disobey God or to disobey man, the choice is always to disobey man if what he wants is contrary to God..
As Christians, we are to obey our government in all things which are not CONTRARY to God's laws. Acts 5:28-29 gives us an example of how to react when being told to do something against our Christian conscience; In response to the High Priests order to not preach in the name of Christ, the Apostles replied "We ought to obey God rather than men". They were consistently taken to prison and beaten for their choice, but they were "counted worthy to suffer shame for his Name".
The issue we face today is quite similar and we have the added dimension of a government that has been overtly trying to subvert a constitution that they have (ironically) sworn to God to protect and defend! What more do we need? If that does not justify disobedience, then I don't know what does.
Now, The Epistle to the Romans was written during the times of some pretty tyrannical rulers like Claudius, Caligula, and Nero, who spent a fair amount of time mercilessly persecuting Christians and the Apostle Paul still held to the dictate that their laws should be obeyed. But we need to understand that Paul used to be one of those persecutors, and he was giving advise to a flock he was trying to protect from torture and death, his answer was to remove the flock from the situation and keep out of the politics of the day.
If Nero was actually our President today, my advice would be pretty much the same as Paul's; "shut up and do what your told, and pray that God will fix it". The Constitution of America was formed specifically to make sure we never see a "Nero" or a "Caesar", therefore, we have a process that was not available to the early Christian church, and that process is undermined, underutilized, and under attack.
We know from the Bible that God quite often uses "ungodly" men for his aims. He has a plan, and that plan quite often includes a despotic ruler or system being used by Satan to limit the spread and influence of Christianity in the world. God gives leeway to Satan in order to make his final plan come to pass, but he always protects his true and faithful believer unless its time to bring that believer home. I believe God's plan includes the weakening of America's power and influence around the globe and He has allowed the current president the task of doing this under Satan's guidance. However, we don't have to help him!
For some strange reason, the Christian church as a whole has removed itself from the political process and unfortunately the government (and liberals/progressives in particular) continues to use the process to guide us all into an America that is ungodly and tyrannical. The powers that be are constantly attacking the faith of Christians from all sides and we cannot afford to run away from it.
They get plenty of help from the mainstream news media that constantly pushes the message that Christians are uneducated dolts who don't understand the "real world" and just want to force everyone to accept their morals and faith; they hate the thought of Christians becoming politically active, and wish that we would all just disappear.
You want to know why? Lets crunch some numbers: In the 2008 general election there was a total of around 129.5 million votes split between the top two candidates, Obama got roughly 69.5 million and McCain got roughly 60 million. According to statistics, there are supposedly around 90 million evangelical believers in the United States today. If we were to get just 77% of all those evangelicals on the same page, there is no way we would have to put up with just the two establishment idiots they put up for election every four years, we could have our own candidate and they would not be able to "rig it" like they do now.
They know it too! Why do you think they scare pastors into thinking that they can't speak the truth from the pulpit? They know we have the single biggest voting block in the world! The problem here is a lack of unity, true unity. I'm not talking about holding hands and singing Kum-ba-ya, I'm talking about the same gospel message being spoken from every Christian pulpit in the nation and every pastor having the courage to "tell it like it is", the 501c3 be damned!
If you need Caesars "tax exemption" to keep the church running then you're not preaching a gospel that Christ is willing to protect. Our people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and its the pastor's job to make sure his flock understands the issues and that they know how to vote like a Christian. If that responsibility had been taken seriously in the past, we would not be facing the issues we face today.
Instead, we have denominations that openly accept "gay"pastors and bishops, willingly perform "same-sex marriage" ceremonies, preach "feel good" "I'm OK, your OK" messages from the pulpit, and think that cleaning windshields and handing out bottled water at intersections is witnessing for Christ. I want to be as far away from these churches as I can get when the Lord returns, cause it ain't gonna be pretty.
How about some more math - In 2008 Obama got 24% of evangelical voters, that is at least 21.6 million votes over a 9.5 million vote difference for the candidates. Evangelical voters gave Obama the election! The truth is, every one of those voters could have looked at his public voting record, researched his past, and came to the same conclusion I did. The Christian decision was... DO NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA.
Wanna hear something truly ironic? This HHS mandate has stirred up the Catholic church something fierce, and 54% of Catholics who voted in 2008, voted for...you guessed it, Obama. A little tip folks, when someone supports abortion, supports the homosexual agenda, lies, takes part in "dirty politics" at every level, hangs with unrepentant terrorists and Black Liberation Theologists, and finally maintains that he is a Christian, don't buy it, he's blowing sunshine up your breeches.
To summarize, the powers that run this nation and their media minions want you to believe that anyone who thinks that Christianity is being marginalized, attacked, or restricted is some kind of wing nut. It is so obvious to any awake observer that its ridiculous. As Christians, we would not be in this position if our people would vote their conscience in obedience to God, its that simple.
You have some choices to make very soon. Will you obey God or man? Will you vote for the man that claims to be a Christian and shows absolutely no Christian fruit and is really most likely a Muslim? Will you vote for the other man who believes that when he dies he'll become the god of his own planet? If 90 million unified Christians were to vote for one third man the system would have to recognize him.
I realize that it won't happen, but dreaming is not illegal, yet. All I can ask is that every Christian in the country would educate themselves, get registered to vote, and vote with Christian conscience. Go to God and get guidance, and when faced with the opportunity to choose God's word over mans laws, make the choice to glorify God, not man.
Myself, I see this election as a choice of ice-cream with poop on top or poop with ice-cream on top....It may look different, but its all the same.
God Bless and good luck