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A Manifesto of Christian Government

 

Introduction

It is the God-given right of Christian men and women everywhere to live in the liberty of true Christian government, according to the moral law of God, and to be free from the tyranny of men who seek to perfect the sin of their father Adam and establish their own law contrary to God's. To the attainment of such ends, it is the Christian's right and duty to be rid of such tyrants and to bring into existence a civil government that will establish and preserve God's law.

To this end, we publish this manifesto to make our views and intentions known. We pledge our lives, liberty and property to the establishment of God's true Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven and invite all servants of Christ everywhere to join us.

I. God's Law

A. God's Law is His definition of good and evil.
God's law, as laid out in the scripture of both the Old and New Testaments, is His perfect definition of sin, His definition of right and wrong. None can determine what is right and wrong apart from God's law. It is the very standard of what is good and what is evil. Christ Himself was counted worthy to stand before God because He was without sin. "Without sin" means that He did not break God's law.

B. God never gave man the liberty to determine what is right and wrong, but man, in defiance of God, took that liberty upon himself.
 God was, is, and always shall be the one who determines what is right and wrong. As Creator and King of the universe, He has that right. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam only a few rules of a dietary nature. Adam and Eve, however, defied God and did what He forbade.

The entire history of mankind ever since has been one of man defying God, and God reconciling some back to Himself. Man has steadfastly sought to define right and wrong for himself, and force others to accept his definitions of right and wrong instead of God's. In so doing, man has steadfastly sought to take God's throne by taking His kingly, lawmaking prerogative. So pervasive is this desire that man's history - from start to finish - cannot be understood apart from it.

While God has given man the ability to act contrary to His law and His word, He has never blessed, condoned, or encouraged such actions. Quite to the contrary, He has called such defiance "sin" and promised punishment for it, allowing man to reap the deadly consequences of his disobedience in time and eternity.

God has never rescinded His absolute prerogative to determine right and wrong. He has never given way to man's desire to determine what is good and evil for himself, and He has never given man license to act according to his own determinations. [1]

C. Man may not add to or take away from God's law.
Man's determinations of what is good and evil always involve changing God's law. Men annul the law and declare their evil acts to be good. Likewise, they outlaw things which scripture does not condemn and call them evil.

Yet God strictly forbids adding to or taking away from His law. This injunction can be found again and again throughout scriptures. [2] As such, men and nations have no excuse for reasoning away the simple statement of scripture: "You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." [3]

Neither did Jesus Christ abolish God's law. Rather, He declared that He had come to fulfill it (both by obeying the law, and by acting as a sacrifice for sin). He made it plain that not one jot or tittle would pass from God's law. [4]

Therefore, it is not given to man to change God's law or to make a law of his own.

D. God's law does not evolve to accommodate man.
The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments make God's law fully known to man. In particular, the law does not evolve, develop or change with time. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He changes not.

The idea that as man progresses, law must progress with him is ungodly and anti-biblical.

For example, when man invents automobiles, it is not a justification to expand government with traffic regulations, insurance companies, licenses and hordes of police. Biblical laws of restitution for a neighbor's property or person are sufficient whether automobiles have been invented or not.

Likewise, the fact that biblical law does not change will inhibit certain kinds of false "progress" from taking place. For example, fiat money is impossible under a biblical government because the Bible has no restrictions on "counterfeiting." As such, any private individual can print "money" just as well as the government, thereby immediately unmasking fiat money for the fraud it is, and preventing the state from controlling the economy.

E. Civil law is limited to the prohibitions of scripture which specify punishments to be administered by men.
God's law is a tutor, the object of which is to teach righteousness, and lead men to Christ. The ultimate object of the law is not just to externally restrain evil, but also to teach the righteous self-government, so that the law may be written on their hearts, that they might do naturally what is right by their own will.

As such, not all biblical law is civil law. In other words, not all biblical law is administered and enforced by a civil government. Quite to the contrary, the great majority of God's laws are not enforced by men at all. God has not delegated this authority to man or his civil government.

The laws which God has delegated authority to man to enforce clearly state the penalty for violating them in the Bible. For example, the law specifies that a thief should make restitution, or that a murderer should be put to death. Such laws are meant to be enforced by men. They demand action from men. As such, these laws are the civil law of a godly society.

However, many laws specify no penalty. For example, even the law against a man wearing a woman's clothes, and vice versa, carries no penalty. [5] Those that do so are an abomination, but the civil government has no business jailing or otherwise punishing such transgressors. (That does not mean a storekeeper cannot refuse to sell something to a cross-dressing man, etc., or even kick him out of his store. That is not against the law either.)

Such "details" are not oversights on God's part. They are part of His total and wise plan to draw men to Himself while restraining evil. An important part of that restraint falls upon civil government, for the specific purpose of restraining the original sin. Civil governments which over step their bounds can be a greater evil than an individually indulged sin because they inevitably re-define right and wrong and lead all men away from God.

F. Civil law adheres to scriptural specifications for punishment.
God's prohibition against changing His law includes changing the punishments for civil offenses. The state which sends men to jail for theft instead of enforcing restitution is usurping God's law just as much as the state which legalizes various forms of theft. By changing the punishments prescribed in scripture, the state is substituting human ideas about justice and righteousness for true godly justice. For example, the state which punishes theft with jail time first allows the theft to stand, since the victim is not compensated for the loss. Next, it teaches the thief that he has no responsibility to the victim. Finally, such a state forces the victim to support the thief through taxes.

This does not, of course, preclude forgiveness, or the lessening of a penalty with the consent of both victim and transgressor, because mercy and forgiveness are part of God's law.

G. Any civil law contrary to these principles is null and void.
Any law that adds to or takes away from the eternal law of God is explicitly contrary to the law of God as detailed in the scriptures. Any law that prescribes a punishment other than what the law of God prescribes is likewise explicitly contrary to the law of God. Such laws teach men evil, and are therefore themselves evil. They are made as acts of defiance and rebellion in the spirit of Psalms 2:2. In any such conflict, God's law, the higher law, prevails, and the baser law is null and void.

II. The Defiant Nations

A. The most destructive expression of man's will to determine good and evil is the renegade state.
The state, being the most powerful human institution, is often the focal point of human defiance of God. The institution of the state, even if formed with good intentions, naturally and normally deteriorates into rebellion against God. Central to this rebellion is a redefinition of good and evil through the laws of that state.

It is through law that the state indoctrinates its citizens in unrighteousness because every body of law is a tutor. The people of any nation normally equate "right" or "good" with that which is legal, and "wrong" or "evil" with that which is illegal. They will furthermore vigorously defend the institutions by which their laws are made. Thus, the laws of any state stand in defiance to God exactly to the degree that they do not coincide with God's law. Furthermore, the mechanism by which law is created in the state defies God regardless of whether the actual laws are contrary to God's law, or not, because such mechanisms amount to a claim to the right to make law.

God's prohibition against determining good and evil for oneself did not end when Adam and Eve defied Him. It did not end with the coming of Christ. It did not end when the writing of the Bible was completed. It is an eternal prohibition that applies to all men and nations from the beginning to the end.

The state which does not heed God's definition of good and evil defies God and teaches all its citizens to do likewise. Such teaching may be very innocuous and subtle to begin with, but like leaven, it will soon leaven the whole of life. It will lead men to abandon sound doctrine for the lies of men, and entice them away from a pure faith and true righteousness. It will cause them to waste their lives defending ungodliness and defiant human ideals.

Such has been the case time and again throughout history. Ancient kings - whose word was law - made gods of themselves and caused themselves to be worshipped instead of the true God. Others, like Nebuchadnezzar, created their own gods and caused them to be worshipped on pain of death. The rulers of the late Roman empire threw Christians to the lions and burned them alive in the name of the law, which commanded Caesar's worship. Then popes and kings claimed to rule in the name of Christ, but they perverted the truth in order to claim the power to make law, inventing doctrines like the divine right of kings, and promoting heresies that bolstered their defiance of God.

B. The modern democratic republics excel in such defiance.
The constitutions of modern republics are covenants among men to stand together in rebellion to God, denying His law, substituting in its place man-made law. The framers of such constitutions have often refused to acknowledge God in so much as the mere mention of His name, and they universally refuse to recognize His authority to determine good and evil. Rather, they have created purely human means for establishing the laws of nations, without any absolute reference to what is right, true or good. The guiding principle behind such constitutions is that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Typically, such constitutions place no limits on what kinds of laws can be made, given that the "will of the people" demands it. While certain ideals enshrined in such constitutions might require constitutional amendments in order to change them, the constitutions generally contain provisions for amendment and even suspension.

Examples of unrighteousness enacted into law abound among the modern republics. In various nations at various times, laws have been passed to permit and even encourage the murder of the unborn, the elderly, the infirm and the deformed. Laws have been passed whereby various peoples or religious groups have been exterminated. Then there are laws which bestow the state's blessing upon abominations like homosexuality, beastiality, pedophelia, and so forth. Neither let us forget the almost universal laws providing for progressive, confiscatory taxation, and the legalization of usury, whereby whole nations are reduced to groveling slavery generation after generation. When such means are not sufficient, the outright theft of property under the guise of law is often employed.

Such is the legacy of the modern democratic republic. This legacy is a natural outgrowth of the principles upon which such nations are founded. Nothing is too base or abominable for the voice of the people to frame as a law. Even the communists of the 20th century have realized that the quickest and surest way to throw down God and establish man's kingdom is a democratic republic, and have adopted that form, both calling themselves republics and using the principles of a democratic republic in their statecraft.

C. This national defiance reaps the just fruit of sin, slavery, and death.
By establishing man's lawmaking authority, a nation declares that man is good in himself, and not a sinner. It declares that man can think clearly, and know right and wrong himself. Such premises are outright contradictions of scripture. When established as foundations for a nation, they bring sin into the very lifeblood of that nation. As a result, envy, strife, murder, sexual immorality, idolatry and satanism become part of the laws and the life of a people.

All who sin are slaves to sin. Their sins grow without bounds. While national sins may start out innocuous in appearance, they will grow to enslave the people of a nation and bring about the eventual death of the nation and often many of its citizens.

Slavery results because, when men make laws, laws abound. Men who defy God and seek to make gods of themselves will always try to regulate everything - just like God - and put themselves in control of everything that is done under the sun. Each successive generation must add to what previous generations have built, adding more laws and more controls, and going a step further in defiance of what has been written. An abundance of laws leads to an abundance of police, all of whom must be supported with ever increasing taxes.

Yet men, being sinners, are not made righteous by an abundance of laws. The result, rather, is merely an abundance of lawbreakers. Such "lawlessness" only justifies the state in adding more laws again, with harsher and harsher penalties.

Sooner or later, every nation that claims it is man's right to make his own laws will add law upon law, penalty upon penalty, until it becomes a slave state. Men become servants of the law and servants of government minions. Every activity - even private affairs, like marriage, child rearing and providing for one's family - are licensed and carefully regulated. Ultimately, the state in rebellion to God claims to totally own every man. Such a state will regulate what a man can ingest, what he can own, and what he can think. It will physically take his life for its purposes, be that war, to cut welfare expenses, or to provide a scapegoat for some failed government program.

Under the tutelage of such a system, which wrongly justifies the authority of man to make law, men become powerless to even understand their slavery. They believe the lie that such systems propagate. They believe the king is the instrument of God, or that the voice of the people is the voice of God or that their constitution is holy writ. Even the best of men willingly submit to their bondage and defend ideas that turn their hearts away from God and lead them into sin. Rather than seeking truth in the scriptures and reforming their lives to conform to God's standards, they seek to live by the words of men and defend the words of men. They worship their constitutions and fly the state flag in their churches, even when the state is in the process of enslaving them and making a mockery of their faith.

As sin grows strong, a nation will be dominated by envy, strife and the lust for power. Various factions will seek to gain control of the lawmaking apparatus to advance their own agendas, and ruthless men will come to power by manipulating the envious masses. In the end, such a nation will be torn apart by strife and intrigue, or subdued by its enemies.

D. The defiant state prepares a harvest of souls for hell.
The defiant state drives men into hell by the millions by teaching men to defy the true God and reason out what is right and wrong, what is good and evil for themselves. The state founded on the principle of determining good and evil for itself can only propagate that principle. It invites its citizens to make law themselves by participating in the political process, e.g., by running for office, by voting, by commenting on current events, etc. It invites citizens to criticize the law in a free press. It declares all religions to be equal and free, and invites citizens to pick and choose what they want to believe, while teaching school children to be tolerant of every kind of belief. In so doing, the state teaches men to make gods of themselves, and to live out the original sin to the fullest. It establishes itself as the most high God when it must place limits on discordant religions by means of civil law. [6] The end result is whole nations of people who refuse to believe the scriptures, who care nothing for Truth, and watered-down churches which are forced to cater to spectators who are coming to be entertained.

III. Christian Duty and the State

A. The righteous are citizens of heaven.
The righteous [7] are citizens of God's kingdom. Christ said that to enter the kingdom of heaven, one must be born again. There are no naturalization laws for this kingdom: to be a citizen, one must be born as one.

B. For the righteous, there is no law but God's law.
The first duty of loyalty to any earthly authority is to obey their laws, and hold those laws sacrosanct. A citizen of England does not obey the laws of France, or vice versa. As long as England and France are friends, the Englishman may obey the laws of France while he is in France as a matter of courtesy, at the request of his own sovereign, but he is not obliged to obey them for France's sake. If England and France went to war, or if France was secretly plotting against England, the Englishman would act in his own country's interests, quite possibly violating the laws of France.

As a citizen of God's kingdom, the righteous man's first duty of loyalty to God as his King is to obey God's law. That law is God's expression of how He would have man to live. Of course, as a sinner, man can keep God's law but imperfectly. Thus he must seek grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, God's only son. The two must go together. Those who attempt to keep the law without Christ shall always be proven hypocrites, like the Pharisees who crucified Him, and those who name Christ without respect for God's law are wolves in sheep's clothing.

No law created by any earthly sovereign has any validity in and of itself to the citizen of God's kingdom. All such laws, which add to or take away from God's law are null and void. To the Christian, there is no law but God's law. As a pilgrim and a visitor in an earthly country, however, the citizen of God's kingdom may obey the laws of that country as a courtesy, and at the direction of his own Sovereign, God. His obligation to obey such laws does not, however, stem from any duty or allegiance to that foreign nation.

C. God requires limited obedience to the powers of this world.
It is not God's intention to make war on mankind or to immediately destroy those who rebel against Him, though He may have a perfect right to do so. Rather, He is patient and kind, seeking to win men and nations to Himself. In view of this God asks citizens of His kingdom, His children, to give a limited obedience to the powers of this world.

Yet it should be manifestly clear that such obedience cannot possibly be absolute. Absolute obedience to any authority is an act of worship. It elevates that authority to the throne of God, conferring upon it the absolute right to determine good and evil.

Even the strongest statements in scripture concerning obedience to worldly authorities require only limited obedience. Romans 13:1-6 speaks of rulers who "are not a terror to good works, but evil" and who are "the minister [s] of God to thee for good." So Paul says "do that which is good." To say that Paul was commanding unqualified obedience to ministers of evil or to those who hate God, and to those who know the truth and war against it, is patently absurd. Paul Himself did not render such obedience. He was given 39 stripes five times, beaten with rods three times, stoned, frequently in prison, and finally executed for his own disobedience - a crime against the state. [8] To say he demanded an obedience which he did not render himself would make him a hypocrite.

Likewise, Peter wrote "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." Yet he was plainly speaking of "them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of them that do well." [9] This is the same Peter who told his own rulers "We ought to obey God rather than men," [10] and who was crucified upside down by the state for crimes against Caesar. Was Peter also a hypocrite, commanding one thing and doing another? Certainly not!

These, and numerous examples set by the heroes of the Bible - Old Testament and New - make it completely plain that God does not require unqualified obedience to the powers of this world from His children.

As such, a citizen of heaven does not owe obedience to any earthly government, but may render obedience to such governments for the sake of his King. That obedience is strictly limited, and exists only in the context of faithfulness to the King of Kings.

D. God requires the righteous to disobey laws that would cause them to violate His law.
As man's Creator, God's laws are binding upon all men everywhere. No man has the authority to set aside that law for himself or for others. No man has any excuse for failure to obey that law, excepting possibly ignorance. [12] The scriptures are full of examples of those whom God strongly supported for obeying His law instead of man's, as well as those who were punished and destroyed for breaking God's law while obeying man's law. Examples include the Hebrew midwives in Egypt, Gideon breaking down the statue of Baal, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, Daniel in the lions' den, Peter, James and John preaching in the temple, and many more. The early Christians understood this principle and refused to hail Caesar as Lord when so commanded.

E. Courteous obedience does not constitute obligation.
All obedience to man's laws rendered by Christians is not a matter of obligation to those authorities, but a courtesy rendered willingly for goodness' sake. No act of obedience rendered as a courtesy may become a binding obligation upon anyone who renders it.

In contrast, the man who accepts a benefit from the state that is dependent upon its laws and contrary to God's law obligates himself, measure for measure, to the state because he is contracting and covenanting with the state. For example, the man who uses state-created fiat money obligates himself to pay taxes on it (if the state so requires it). The man who accepts social security payments sells his children into slavery to pay the taxes associated to it, etc.

F. God requires the righteous to judge man's laws by His law.
While the righteous can be courteous to the rulers of this world who are ignorant of God's Word, they must also teach them the truth in no uncertain terms. The righteous must judge man's laws and unilaterally reject that which is contrary to God's law, or face the judgement of God for having rejected Him.

A key example of this principle in scripture is 2 Samuel 24. Here, we are told the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people of Israel, so God moved King David to number the people contrary to God's law. David asked Joab to do it, and Joab resisted at first, understanding the unlawful nature of David's request, knowing that it would anger God. In the end "the king's word prevailed against Joab and against the captains of the host." The people assented to it. As punishment, God sent a plague against Israel. Although it was David who instigated the numbering, an unlawful act, the people assented to it. As a result the people of Israel, not David, were punished. Why? The people's willingness to throw aside God's law at the king's whim proved they had rebelled against God.

G. Agreements or contracts demanded by the state under threat of force are acts of war.
When the state demands that the citizens of heaven within its borders sign an agreement or contract with the state subjecting themselves to the state before the state will allow them to exercise their God-given freedoms, it is an act of war. [11]

Signing such contracts is a betrayal of one's loyalty to the kingdom of heaven and it's King, because such a contract affirms man's law. It denies God's lawmaking prerogative, and therefore His authority over man. It creates a partnership between the individual and the state in rewriting God's law, thereby directly violating God's law.

For example, God nowhere restricts the freedom to travel, or delegates to the civil government the power to restrict freedom to travel in scripture. Yet many states routinely restrict the freedom to travel by issuing Driver's Licenses, and demanding that anyone using the roadways carry one. Often a Driver's License is issued only to those who sign an agreement to obey all of the laws of the state relating to the roads, past, present and future. Such an agreement abridges a natural freedom which God gave to man. Since the agreement is made mandatory by law, and enforced through violence and police power, it is an explicit act of war against God and His servants.

The citizen of heaven who complies with the state's laws out of courtesy must not, in any event, affirm those laws by covenanting with the state to obey such laws as if they were valid. To do so is to be a friend of the world and an enemy of God, to continue in Adam's rebellion, and help the state drive millions into hell. Rather, he must condemn such man-made laws and refuse the associated covenants as forbidden oaths (Matthew 5:34).

H. God does not require the righteous to submit to those knowingly in rebellion to Him.
While God can and will sell the unrighteous into the hands of unrighteous slave-masters, and while God wants the citizens of His kingdom to live at peace with the ignorant rulers of this world, He does not require righteous men to submit to rulers who are knowingly, willfully rebelling against Him. Those who have been told the truth of scripture, but who reject it or pervert it have no right to rule the faithful. This much is implied by Paul in Romans 13. Paul's exhortation to be subject to the "higher powers" specifically cites powers that are "ordained of God," not in conscious rebellion to Him, and which are the "minister of God to thee for good," and not ministers of unrighteousness. A minister is "a person acting for another as his agent and carrying out his designs." Scripture also makes it clear that there is such a thing as a ruler not ordained of God in Hosea 8:4 and Psalms 94:20. Therefore, rulers who rebel against the truth of God's Word are not ministers of God, are not ordained of God, and are not higher powers. The righteous are not subject to them.

One example of this in scripture is that of Saul and David. Saul willfully disobeyed God, thereby losing his authority and his right to the throne. David maintained an alternate government within Saul's kingdom for years. David and his men refused to submit to Saul, yet kept God's law and did not overthrow and murder him.

IV. Conclusion

Whereas the republics of this world have willfully and knowingly declared war on God and His Kingdom both in heaven and on earth,

  1. By declaring all religions equal, and subordinating the true faith to the state, licensing churches and seeking to destroy the pastors and congregations who refuse to submit to their laws,

  2. By denying God's law and establishing their own law in its place,

  3. By teaching innocent children to obey state laws and ignore God's law, to worship the documents of the state and ignore the holy scripture,

  4. By silencing the public witness of Christ, and by silencing those who would speak the truth about what is right and wrong,

  5. By honoring and protecting those who practice abominations and are worthy of death,

  6. And by the shedding of innocent blood,

The Christian must act accordingly to defend the Kingdom of God,

  1. By repenting of denying God's law while at the same time obligating the Christian to obey mere men who are in rebellion to God,

  2. By learning God's law and faithfully living by it,

  3. By teaching their children and other men to do likewise, no longer allowing the ignorance of scripture to remain a pretext for man's rebellion against God,

  4. By denying the right of the state to legislate or frame any law that adds to or takes away from God's law or changes the punishments thereof, and declaring all assertions to the contrary to be an act of war against their King,

  5. By refusing to participate in the lawmaking process,

  6. By refusing to prosecute, condemn or initiate the prosecution of any man who has not committed a crime punishable under biblical law,

  7. By refusing to punish or initiate the punishment of any man with a punishment other than that prescribed by the Bible,

  8. By refusing the benefits of the provider-state, thereby cutting off its claim to ones life, and ones children's lives,

  9. By defending themselves and their brethren who are molested by the state contrary to God's law,

  10. By cutting off the means of support of the ungodly state,

  11. By praying steadfastly for deliverance from the tyranny of the rebellious state, for its judgement, and for the establishment of righteous civil government,

  12. And, given the absence of legitimate civil authority, by establishing righteous civil governments that both assume the responsibilities and operate within the confines of the authority delegated to them by the Word of God.

Notes

  1. Hosea 13:10,11.

  2. For example, see: Deu 4:2, Deu 12:32, Pro 30:5,6, Mat 5:18,19, Gal 3:13-15, Rev 22:18,19.

  3. Deu 4:2.

  4. The Christian recognizes that the ceremonial law of the Israelites was merely a foreshadowing of Christ and has, as such, found its fulfillment in Him. Therefore one need no longer offer sacrifices, etc., and indeed to do so would be to deny Christ. However, the moral law - do not kill, do not commit adultery, etc. - still stands as God's very definition of good and evil. Likewise, the Christian understands that Christ taught we can break God's law with evil intentions of the heart just as much as with the actions of our bodies.

  5. Deu 22:5

  6. For example, the state may not permit Satanists to sacrifice children, it may not permit Hindus to burn widows, or it may not permit Christians to put adulterers to death, even though true free exercise of religion would require all such things to be legal. The truth is, any state which purports to support "freedom of religion" in fact licenses and regulates all religions just as Caesar did in ancient Rome.

  7. We do not use the language of religious pluralism here, as if there were many "truths" by which men could live. The righteous are the called, chosen and faithful who name Christ Jesus as their Lord and who love righteousness and holiness.

  8. 2Co 11:23-26

  9. 1Pe 2:13,14

  10. Acts 5:29

  11. So-called "hidden contracts" are null and void. One is only bound to what he has knowingly agreed to.

  12. However, willful ignorance is not an excuse. One who pays no attention to God's law when it is easily accessible to him is responsible to obey it. That is different from a native in some remote area of the world a thousand years ago.