The idea of submission isn't particularly popular in our day and age, but the Bible teaches a lot about obedience. If one believes that one is justified in doing whatever one can "get away with", then the only reason to submit to anyone else is if you're afraid of resisting. That, and stupidity, is the connotation of being called a sheep for questioning an open invitation to civil disobedience, but as I wrote originally, I think there's a lot of value to a general policy of obeying the rules.

Sure, Patterico and the rest will probably get away with whatever they end up doing (not much, most likely), but to what end? They may succeed at resisting the expansion of stupid campaign finance speech restrictions, and if that's their most important consideration then they'll end up winners in their own eyes. My decision was made with a different calculus, however, because my highest ambition is to affect the world for Christ. That may ocassionally require opposing the forces that dominate the order of our world -- through legal or extra-legal means -- but the Bible is pretty clear in admonishing us that the governments of the world are established by God and should be obeyed.

Romans 13:1-7

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

And Paul, there, was writing about the Roman Empire, which was far more oppressive than McCain-Feingold.

Now, I love free speech, and I think campaign finance reform is a stupid joke. Will I vote for candidates who oppose speech restrictions? Yes. Will I write letters to my representatives and urge them to protect my right to free speech? Yes, I already do that. Could speech restrictions eventually impede the cause of Christ? Yes, of course. I never said I was inconvincible. Perhaps Patterico is right and this battle is the one to fight, but if so it's not clear to me. Until it is, I'm going to err on the side of obedience, not because I adore the American government, but because of my love for God.

(HT: Doc Rampage for the pointer to Patterico calling me a sheep.)

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Submit to Authority.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

» On obedience, and the lack thereof from Ubique Patriam Reminisci

Michael Williams is not budging on the obedience issue. And that's fine, I really don't expect him to. But I'm still sticking by my pledge. And I'm just as much of a Christian as he is. I've accepted Christ as my saviour, I'm active in my local c... Read More



Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info