"How dare the nations plan a rebellion.
Their foolish plots are futile!
Look at how the power brokers of the world
rise up to hold their summit
as the rulers scheme and confer together
against Yahweh and his Anointed King, saying:
“Let’s come together and break away from the Creator.
Once and for all let’s cast off these controlling chains
of God and his Christ!”
Psalm 2:1-3 (The Passion Translation)
Well, there you have it.
David and other prophets warned us a time was coming when the “power brokers” of the world would scheme together to set up a new world order. The purpose? To overthrow the True and Sovereign leader of the universe. We shouldn’t be surprised when tyrannical governments world-wide want to strip us of our God-given freedoms to meet, speak up, and worship. We were told this would happen.
The question becomes, what do we do—as believers in Jesus—when government officials plot to depose God? Is it ever acceptable to rebel against rules and authorities we deem as tyrannical? Do we always and under every circumstance need to submit to government?
I recently heard a story about a pastor who assured his congregation that if Jesus were here today, He would obey the government mandate and wear a mask. Respectfully, I disagree. In contrast, I see nothing in the gospel accounts which tell me Jesus would blindly submit to every rule and regulation.
Consider the following: Jesus, during his public ministry on earth…
…ignored the wishes of local officials who wanted him and his group to “follow the rules” (Matthew 12:1)
…blasted politicians for deliberately making rules for everyone else that they themselves had no intention of keeping (Matthew 23:2-4)
…even physically assaulted and vandalized property of criminals posing as priests and officials (Matthew 21:12). But—unless you are God—don’t try this trick at home, people.
Jesus was not an appeaser. In fact, he repeatedly pushed back on “what he was supposed to do” at the synagogue, on the road with his disciples, and even at home with his family.
Elsewhere in scripture we see instances where brave, God-fearing individuals refused to submit to tyrannical governments: Daniel openly defied a mandate when it violated his conscience, Rahab hid visitors from the police because she believed it was God’s will, and the Magi tricked the local governor and failed to report the location of the toddler because they suspected the governor’s intentions were evil. And they were right.
Many throughout history have taken a stand against evil, oppressive regimes. Adolfo Kaminsky, for example, joined the French resistance movement during World War II as a teenager. He risked his life to create fake identity documents which were used to smuggle 14,000 Jewish children across the border to safety into Switzerland.[i]
And where would we be without the brave individuals who stood against the Church of England during the Protestant Reformation or the repressive British Government during the Revolutionary War?
The next time that evil comes masked as government authority, I pray that we will have the courage to be like Jesus and other brave people who took their direction from the Creator.