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  • Writer's pictureDean Dwyer

God is Sovereign - the State is not.

Although Christianity has faced many threats over time, the current and perhaps most surprising threat in democratic nations is statism.

When we speak about Christian freedom, at its core it is the freedom to worship and serve God without interference by authorities. After all, godly men and women are generally peaceful and therefore are able to self-govern according to their own convictions through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the ways declared in God’s Word. But, to the extent that the state limits the liberty of people governed by God’s law, it is an obstacle to serving God and furthering the Kingdom of God.

The early church went through a succession of persecutions because it did not represent a religion which was legally permissible (such as is currently happening in China). Such a legal status would have been available to the church, but they refused it. All the early Christians had to do was proclaim that “Caesar is Lord”. Yet, to the believer, it was unthinkable that they (or us) would declare allegiance to an earthly ruler over and above our Lord Jesus Christ.

Although society no longer enforces such an oath as “Caesar is Lord”, the pressure being brought to bear on believers to submit to the State is growing. After all, if God is sovereign, the State is not. If God’s law is supreme, none by man can be. And this is often what enrages atheistic politicians.

What has become a ridiculous turn of events is that the State should be fighting against evil, but it has now positioned itself against the good works and fruit of Christian service. Throughout the so-called “national emergency” of the coronavirus pandemic, centralisation of power and the increasing role of the State in removal of individual liberties is becoming a real concern to Christian leaders.

Friedrich Hayek (who fled Hitler’s maniacal conquest in Austria) wrote a book in 1944 titled: The Road to Serfdom. In it, he describes the tragic path to national poverty as a result of the unchecked State. His premise has been historically and undeniably proven: the abdication of one’s liberty to the State in exchange for supposed security is a regrettable reoccurrence in the story of human history. In reality, it is a bad deal for the individual. The State and the elite who run it are rewarded at the expense of an imprisoned population. Whenever the State tries to create man in its own image, it must destroy the man whom God created in His own image.

David Forte, a law professor, asked his students, “Do you have rights?” They all answer, “Yes, of course we do.” “Well, where do you get your rights?” To that question, he is greeted with silence. “If you receive your rights from God,” he explains, “then you have them by faith. If you receive your rights because of your humanity, then you are a follower of natural law. If you receive your rights from the State, then you have no rights at all.”

The problem which has been revealed throughout this “pandemic” is that people look in different places for solutions to their problems. Where should we be looking? Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” He made me also and my allegiance is to Him alone, not a fallible State leader.

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