So, we are told to pray for and submit to our government. That helps it do what it is called to do, keep the peace and punish offenders, so Christians can do what they are called to do–represent the invisible God on earth. And what if government does not do its job?
Government is ordained by God to be a terror to bad conduct. When it is slack in its execution of lawbreakers, lawlessness increases. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). When protesters are not punished for damaging people and property, other protesters get courageous and do their violent thing. Before too long you have anarchy, literally no government, mob rule. Think Venezuela! Very sad!
Where was the government earlier this month when violent protesters were not apprehended? Call in the national guard. Do not let people break the law without paying. Otherwise, they will break the law in other ways and other places. “If you do wrong, be afraid, for he [government] does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).
Good government enables us to “lead a peaceful and quiet life” (I Timothy 2:2). Bad government invites crime. If people can do wrong without fear, wrong just got popular. I watched riots in LA streets on TV as a young person. People were breaking windows and running off with stereos and televisions. Where were the marines or the army? When breaking the law becomes entertainment, the government is not doing its job.
Nazi Germany killed the innocent and protected the guilty. Dietrich Bonhoeffer attempted an overthrow of the government. Was he right? Absolutely. Lutherans and Catholics were keeping their mouths shut. By their silence they supported an illegitimate government. They should have risen up, spoken up, and formed an anti-government coalition. Thank God for those who defied the government and provided asylum for Jews, doing what the government was assigned to do but violated, like Corrie ten boom and her Dutch family who provided a hiding place. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that coaches can’t pray or make religious gestures on the field after a game. They went too far. Coaches across the nation should defy the law and exercise their constitutional freedom–to keep our freedoms.
The North Korean government supports one person–the insane president. He has an illegitimate autocracy, “the rule of one.” When government either does wrong according to the law of God or protects those who do wrong, it must be resisted. At that point “we must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). The three men who chose not to bow down to the image of the king said, “Be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). Pretty bold. God stood behind their disobedience. The king reversed his decision and gave the un-torched men a promotion.
Daniel interpreted the vision of the oriental despot, then boldly urged the king: “Break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed” (Daniel 4:27). Not your normal communication to a dictator. He gave an even stronger word to Balshazzar, reading the script on the wall and telling him that days are numbered and his kingdom was about ended (Daniel 5). We thank God for stable government in America and pray it stays this way.