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Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the US-Mexico Border

“We are Republicans, and don’t propose to leave our party and identify ourselves with the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism, and rebellion.  We are loyal to our flag.”

  • Dr. Samuel D. Burchard, Presbyterian Minister and Union Civil War Veteran

It had been my plan to continue my series on Critical Race Theory (CRT) this week, but events, as they say, conspired against me.  Not that I had a bad week last week.  But it was a busy week, so not one conducive to research, which is a most necessary thing if one wants to write intelligently on CRT.  Lord willing, I will take up that subject again next week.  But for now, I thought I’d return to one of my favorite yet recently neglected topics:  immigration.  More to the point, the role of the Roman Church-State in fostering immigration treason against the American people.

For a number of years now, I have argued in this space that one of the leading unindicted co-conspirators in America’s ongoing immigration disaster is the Roman Church-State.  Rome has been using immigration since at least the first half of the 19th century to subvert the republican government of the United States.  But for all Rome’s obvious efforts to this end, it is a very rare immigration writer who points this out.  

One of the best places for seeing just how aggressive Rome is in pushing costly and aggressive immigration, migration and refugee resettlement policies is United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website under its “News” section.  I’ve been following this news feed for years, but never once have I seen a single immigration press release that did not promote immigration policies destructive to American. 

The past few months, the USCCB has been oddly silent on the immigration front.  I’m not sure why this is.  One possible explanation is related to an important rule among salesmen:  When you make the sale, stop talking. 

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Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

  • Acts 10:34

“My favorite book is the Bible, because it provides the blackprint for man’s salvation.” 

The year was either 1989 or 1990, I don’t recall for certain which.  After a year away from college, I had returned to the University of Cincinnati (UC) to finish my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts in the fall of 1989 and would go on to finish the next year. 

One day during the school year, my eye happened to catch a display in the lobby of Langsam Library, the university’s main library, with the title “My Favorite Book.”  The display was in a glass enclosed case built into the wall.  Every quarter – UC was on a quarter system in those days rather than the more common semester system – the display was changed.  As it turned out, the “My Favorite Book” display for that quarter was collection of submissions by UC faculty members stating the title of their favorite book and the reason why. 

Having a few minutes to spare, I walked over to the display to look it over.  Somewhat surprised to see the Bible listed as a favorite, I read the card with the faculty member’s write up, which began with the quote at the top of this page.  But it didn’t end there.  After so many years, I do not recall the name or position of the faculty member or the exact wording of the rest of his write up on why the Bible was his favorite book.  What I do recall, though, was the militant and angry tone he used.  There was nothing in his paragraph on the Bible that sounded remotely Christian.  Rather, the author ranted on as if he were some left over radical still stuck in the 1960’s.  The author, who was apparently black, made it very clear that he did not like white people and used the Bible to justify his position. 

Even though I wasn’t a Christian the time, I had grown up in church and knew something about the Bible, enough that I found the author’s use of the Scriptures to promote his clearly hard-core racial agenda deeply disturbing. 

At about the same time, there was controversy on the UC campus concerning a few paragraphs in, if I recall correctly, the student handbook.  It had been reported that there was language in the new version of the handbook that addressed race issues.  The controversy, as I heard it, was over an alleged claim made in the handbook that blacks cannot be racist because they have no power.  This claim bothered me as it conflicted with what I had learned growing up.  I had always been taught that a “racist” was someone who hated another person based solely on his skin color.  Under that definition, anyone, regardless of his background, could be racist.  But here was a claim stating that blacks cannot be racist.  Somewhat skeptical that any official publication of the University would make such a claim – given how rampant “woke” ideology is on today’s college campuses, I know my skepticism sounds naïve to readers in 2021 – I went and asked for a copy of said offending handbook to see what it said for myself.  Sure enough, the report I’d heard was true.  It was right there is black and white:  blacks cannot be racist, because they have no power.

As had the “My Favorite Book” write up, the language in the handbook disturbed and perplexed me.  Not only did the claim fly in the face of everything I had been taught and believed, but it seemed to imply that black people were special class of individuals who were eternally victims incapable of doing wrong, whereas white people, as it were, bore the mark of Cain, eternal victimizers who could do no right.

As I said earlier, at that time I was not a Christian, neither had I ever studied philosophy.  Although I was bothered by the assertions I had come across in the two publications,  the “My Favorite Book” write up on the Bible and the student handbook, I lacked the needed intellectual tools to analyze and refute them. 

Although I didn’t know it at the time and wouldn’t come to realize it until twenty-five years or so later, the radical claims I had stumbled across were part of a new intellectual movement, so new that it had not even received a name until 1989, called Critical Race Theory.

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Jeroboam sacrificing to his idol, Claes Corneliszoon Moeyaert, 1641.

And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.

  • 1 Kings 13:34

So just how is the Federal Reserve like the sin of the house of Jeroboam?  For that matter, what is the Federal Reserve and who on earth is Jeroboam and the sin of his house of which I write? 

Well, you won’t have to wait long.  Those questions, Lord willing, I aim to answer in this post.

Jeroboam and the Sin of His House

Jeroboam was the first king of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, which split from the House of David after the accession of King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon.   The proximate cause of the split was a tax revolt of the norther tribes due to their unhappiness at Solomon’s policy of heavy taxation and the arrogant response of Rehoboam, Solomon’s successor, when Jeroboam and other representatives from the north asked him for relief.  The split of the United Kingdom into warring Northern and Southern Kingdoms is recorded for us in 1 Kings 12.

The ultimate cause of the split was the will of God.  Solomon had rebelled against God, having his heart drawn aside into idolatry by his many foreign wives, and the splitting of the kingdom was God’s punishment for Solomon’s unfaithfulness.

In 1 Kings 11, the prophet Ahijah had prophesied to Jeroboam that God he would tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give him ten tribes, leaving one for David’s successor.  The Lord even promised Jeroboam that he would build him an enduring house provided he did what was right in the Lord’s eyes.

But disbelieving God, Jeroboam quickly fell into the sin of idolatry, as had Solomon. 

In Jeroboam’s case, he was concerned that if residents of the Northern Kingdom kept going to Jerusalem to worship, their hearts would be turned from following him and return to the house of David.  To prevent this, Jeroboam invented a whole new religion.  He made two golden calves, putting one in Bethel and the other in Dan, “made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi,” and made sacrifices at a time, “which he devised in his own heart.” 

Jeroboam was confronted by a prophet of the Lord, who in dramatic fashion denounced the king while he was in the act of sacrificing.  When Jeroboam stretched forth his hand and called for the prophet’s arrest – this was the Old Testament version of cancel culture – his hand withered, “so that he could not pull it back to himself” and the altar split in two and the ashes poured out of it. Jeroboam then asked the prophet to restore hi hand, which the prophet did. 

Now one would think that such a powerful demonstration of God’s power and anger would have moved Jeroboam to repentance.  But this did not happen.  In 1 Kings 13:33, 34 we  read, “After these event [the withering of Jeroboam’s hand and the altar splitting in two] Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priest from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.  And this thin was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.”   

The Sin Didn’t Stop with Jeroboam

Jeroboam reigned as king of Israel for twenty-two years.  Scholars differ on the dates of his reign, one putting it at 922-901 BC, while another gives the dates 931-910 BC.  Samaria , later the capital of the Northern Kingdom, fell to Assyria om 722 BC, so in either case the Northern Kingdom would continue for another 179 – 188 years after Jeroboam.  But although Jeroboam was succeeded by many other kings of Israel, none of them departed from his sin of establishing a false religion in the kingdom right at the outset.  One could even say that the sin of Jeroboam was endemic to the Northern Kingdom.

You can see this from reading through the remainder of the books of 1 and 2 Kings.  A search using the term “sin of Jeroboam” on BibleGateway yielded 24 occurrences in these two books. 

  • And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and made Israel to sin (1 Kings 14:16)
  • He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin (1 Kings 15:34)
  • For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin (1 Kings 16:26)
  • But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin (2 Kings 10:31)

“Walked in the way (or ways) of Jeroboam” also returned several results.  For example, King Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, “did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked…in the way of  Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.” 

At no time did any of the kings who reigned in the Northern Kingdom break the pattern of the sin of the house of Jeroboam.  They all walked in his “original sin,” and the whole nation went into captivity because of it.

The Sin of the Federal Reserve

The sin of the Federal Reserve (and all other central banks) has at least one thing in common with the sin of the house of Jeroboam.  Once established by Jeroboam, his idolatrous religious system proved impossible to get rid of.  Even zealous King Jehu, the only king of the Northern Kingdom about whom God had anything good to say, could not bring himself to end the Jeroboam’s false religion.  In like fashion, the Federal Reserve, although manifestly a corrupt, unchristian, and unconstitutional system from its founding in 1913 right up to the present, has so far proven impossible so much as even to audit, let alone get rid of. 

The Federal Reserve was corrupt from the beginning.  Just as with Jeroboam’s false religion, there was no point at which the Federal Reserve (henceforth, the Fed) was not corrupt and dishonest and sinful.  According to Fed critic G. Edward Griffin in his book The Creature from Jekyll Island – I highly recommend this very readable critique of the Fed – the founding of the Fed was quite literally a conspiracy, with some of the most powerful bankers and politicians in America along with Paul M. Warburg of the Rothchild banking dynasty meeting under secretive circumstances on Jekyll Island in Georgia in November 1910 to hammer out the details of what would become the Fed.  Griffin describes this meeting as the, “birth of a banking cartel to protect its members from competition.”

Of course, that’s not how it was sold to the public. Taking pains not to use the term “central bank,” the conspirators sold the Fed – even the name Federal Reserve is a con, for the Fed is not owned by the federal government, it is a private bank owned by the Fed’s large member banks and it has no reserves apart from money it creates out of thin air in a sort of twisted version of creation ex nihilo – to the American people as a way of stabilizing the banking system which had been rocked by a major crisis in 1907.  In truth, the Fed was conceived as a  way of transferring the risk of a banking crisis from the bankers themselves to the American people, but of course the Jekyll Island crowd wasn’t about to let that cat out of the bag. 

Once established by the Federal Reserve Act, passed by Congress in 1913, the Fed set up shop and his been operating ever since.  During that time, the dollar has lost 98-99% of its purchasing power.  It’s important to note that this loss of purchasing power of the nation’s currency is not some unforeseen bug, but a feature, of the system.  The depreciating currency – and in a debt based fiat currency system such as we have in America the currency must be debased otherwise the system would collapse – is essentially a giant transmission belt that serves to strip mine purchasing power from the wages and saving of ordinary Americans and deposit that stolen wealth into the pockets of the wealthiest of the wealthy.

It should be said here that as Christians we do not criticize the wealthy because they are wealthy.  If a man become rich by honestly serving his fellow man, very well.  There is no sin in earning a lot of money.  But it’s quite another matter to steal a lot of money.  And this is what the Fed was set up to do from the very beginning. 

Just as Jeroboam’s false religion was corrupt and idolatrous from the very beginning and at no time had God’s sanction, so too is central banking – whether conducted by the Fed, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, or the People’s Bank of China, it matters not which one we speak of; they are all corrupt – a fraud and a curse upon the nations in which it is practiced, and this includes nearly all nations on earth. 

But there is at last another way in which the Fed is like the sin of the house of Jeroboam.  Not only was the Fed, like Jeroboam’s false religion, corrupt from the beginning, but it has persisted from presidential administration to presidential administration. 

It matters not whether the president is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, a man who promises to cut the size of government or vastly expand its powers, the Fed keeps running in the background, churning out dollars with a click of the mouse.  At the present time, the Fed is committed to buying at least $120 billion (that’s right, $120 billion) per month in federal government debt and mortgage backed securities.  To put that in some perspective, Jeff Bezos, whom Forbes Magazine named the richest man in the world for the fourth consecutive year in 2021, has a fortune listed at $177 billion.  In less than two months’ time, the Fed prints another Jeff Bezos sized fortune. 

And to say the Fed prints the money really isn’t accurate.  It would be better to say that it clicks the money into existence, because all the newly created money is brought into existence on a computer.  They don’t even bother running a printing press.

But back to the notion that the Fed is much like Jeroboam’s sin.  No presidential candidate in my lifetime – with Ron Paul being the one exception – has ever seriously talked about ending the Fed. 

When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were running for president in 2016, Clinton criticized Trump’s comments on the Fed saying, “You should not be commenting on the Fed actions when you are either running for president or you are president.”  Clinton couched her remarks as protecting markets, but one suspects there was more to it than that.  Presidents aren’t supposed to talk about the Fed, because the Fed is supposed to be independent.  But while Fed supporters like to speak of the Fed’s independence from the political process, a more honest word to use would be “secretive.” Those who run the Fed act more as if they belonged to a secret society than public servants.  And that’s not surprising given that their labors are directly damaging to the legitimate interests of the American people.  Because of this, they must keep the hoi polloi in the dark about all their money printing schemes, the real reason for rising prices [rising prices are not inflation; inflation is Fed money printing which results in rising prices, but you’re not supposed to know that], corporate bailouts and the rise in wealth disparity. 

But even populist Donald Trump did not lay the axe to the root and call for an end to the Fed.  When Trump complained about the actions of then Fed Chairman Jent Yellen, he was upset only because he believe that the Fed was acting to help Hillary Clinton, not because Trump himself had any objection to the Fed. 

The Fed engaged in massive money printing under George W. Bush, Barak Obama, Donald Trump and is engaging in massive money printing under Joe Biden.  And not only does the Fed print massive amounts of new currency under all administrations, Democrat or Republican it doesn’t matter, but it does so at a faster and faster pace.  Indeed, because of the debt-based nature of our monetary system, cash must be borrowed into existence at a faster and faster pace to pay the growing interest on the existing debt.  It’s a bit like having tiger by the tail.  Once you grab that tail, you can’t let go.  Once you begin a debt-based financial system, which America did with the creation of the Fed, you can’t stop adding debt.  Such systems are a sort of cul-de-sac, a dead-end road to financial perdition.       

To sustain the unsustainable system of debt increasing at a faster and faster pace just to service the interest on the existing debt, central banks the world over have suppressed interest rates to near zero and even below zero.  That’s right, in today’s world of central banking, you get paid to borrow and punished to save.  This is a financial version of what Isaiah warned about, calling good evil and evil good.  This cannot continue indefinitely.

End the Fed

In his recent column “The Woke Fed,” Ron Paul wrote once again about the coming economic crisis and that the crisis would, “either be precipitated by or result in the rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status.”

But more disturbing than this is that Paul noted that the inevitable collapse of our current monetary system result in it being replaced, “with a government even more authoritarian than the current one.”  Paul doesn’t say so explicitly, but he’s likely referring to the creation of a new system of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC’s) by which the monetary elites will hope to remain in power once the current system implodes. 

Just as Israel desperately needed to repent of its idolatry by removing the false religions system of Jeroboam, so too does the United States need to repent of our monetary sins, end the Fed and allow the free market to determine what monetary system we should have going forward.  Note well, I do not say the government should institute a system of sound money, but rather the government should get out of the way wan allow the free market to determine what money is best. 

The idea that the government should not be involved in the manufacture of money may stride some readers as odd.  After all, don’t all governments manufacture money.  Most all of the them do, or use money manufactured by other governments, but this does not mean they are right in so doing.  To say that all governments print money simply is a descriptor of what they do.  But this is not to say they ought to do it.  Only that they do it.   

According to the Bible, there are only two function os government, punish evildoers and reward the good. There’s nothing there thay says anything about printing money, or in the case of the United States, chartering a private bank, the Fed, to regulate the money. 

Just as idolatry is always wrong, so too is it always wrong for politicians and central bankers empowered by them to regulate a nation’s money supply.  The bankers and politicians will always abuse their position.  Just as idolatry is evil and cannot be reformed, so too is central banking both evil and irreformable.  For the health of the nation, both must be done away with entirely   

Let us, therefore, end the Fed.    

Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

“Is there any good news?” That was a text a friend sent me a few months back.  My answer to him was something like, “not really.”

As a Christian, I know full well that there is good news in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that all who believe in him are justified and accepted as righteous in the sight of God.  That promise never changes no matter what the headlines say.

But if we look strictly at the headlines concerning the events of the day, there has been very little good news at all for nearly a year and a half.  In truth, the bad news has been pouring in for a long time, but it seems to have gone next level since early 2020. 

The Covid hoax – I say hoax not in the sense that no one died of Covid-19, but in the sense that the wildly overstated danger of this disease was used to crush political, economic and religious liberty in what appears to be a world-wide orchestrated event to centralize power among the globalist elite – the BLM hoax – we’ve been lectured for what seems like forever that America is hopelessly racist and that racist police unfairly target black Americans, but there is little evidence to support these statements and much to contradict them; yes, black Americans have higher rates of incarceration than other groups but that is because of the uncomfortable fact that they commit a wildly disproportionate amount of violent crime – and the 2020 election hoax – we were told in no uncertain terms that the 2020 presidential election was the most secure in history, while at the same time anyone who pointed out glaring irregularities in the election was dismisses as a QAnon conspiracy theorist and deplatformed from social media – all worked together to make 2020 a uniquely depressing year for those of us who lover liberty and truth. 

And the knock-on effects of those hoaxes are still with us in 2021 and likely will continue to be with us in the foreseeable future. 

At the very least, these hoaxes are examples of false witness bearing, a violation of the ninth commandment.  Which law, although not formally committed to writing at the time of the events in Genesis 1-11, was nevertheless in effect. 

The three hoaxes listed above are certainly not the only hoaxes Americans are subjected to daily.  We must not omit the transgender hoax in which we taught to accept that men really can become women and women really can become men.  And if you don’t believe it, well, very bad things are in store for you.

And we’re not yet done with hoaxes.  As if all the above weren’t enough, now the major news networks are pushing UFO’s. It’s almost as if a there’s a concerted effort to distract people.

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First Indiana Heavy Artillery in Baton Rouge, LA, the so-called “Jackass Regiment.” This was my great-great-great grandfather Hiram Bennet Matthews’ unit in the Civil War.

First Indiana Heavy Artillery at the siege of Port Hudson, LA

Picture of a C-47, the same type plane my great uncle Paul Matthews flew as a pilot on the Burma Hump

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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

Smash the patriarchy.

That’s a common turn of phrase these days.  And those who use it fell fully justified in their doing so.

After all, it’s self-evident that patriarchy is an evil social construct from the benighted past that cannot be removed from society fast enough. For those slow to embrace the revolution, opprobrium, exclusion and possibly even violence await.    

Patriarchy, in the eyes of a doctrinaire feminist, is merely a social construct.  Feminists view man – a feminist likely would prefer a less “sexist” term such as humanity – as a blank slate whose thinking can be shaped in one way just as easily as in another.  In feminist thought, a matriarchy is just as natural as a patriarchy.  Traditional sex roles – man as primary breadwinner, wife as keeper at home – could be changed to a 50/50 partnership in all things, or even flipped on its head. 

Put another way, the historic relationship between men and women is merely a convention such as deciding which side of the road to drive on.  In America, we drive on the right side of the road.  In Great Britain, Australia, and Japan, they drive on the left side of the road.  It really doesn’t matter which side of the road you drive on.  The important thing is that every agrees which side. 

But in feminist thought, it’s not enough to say that patriarchy is a convention.  In feminist thought, patriarchy is oppression, a system designed by men to unfairly keep women from achieving their full potential.  Such an unjust system must be smashed. 

According to the article “Smash The Patriarchy: 8 Ways To Do It With Love And Compassion,” smashing the patriarchy, “refers to challenging the dominant social, political, cultural, and economic thoughts that value the idea of hegemonic, toxic masculinity over everything.” 

Feminists, it seems, have made a Baal out of smashing the patriarchy together with all it supposed toxic masculinity.  While King Jehu feigned to serve Baal much, the feminists have actually done so and reaped the rewards of their choice.

It’s not unusual to find articles talking about how much more unhappy and stressed out women are today compared with their mothers and grandmothers.  Unable to account for this phenomenon, the simultaneous success of women smashing the patriarchy and their increasing unhappiness, secular writers have taken to calling it “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.”   

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RLL 57: War in the Middle East and John Kerry in Rome
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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

In an article titled “Pope Francis Calls for Giving United Nations Organization ‘Real Teeth,’” the current occupant of the seat of Antichrist says that, “The twenty-first century is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tend to prevail over the political.” 

That economic and financial sectors have throughout history have operated across national borders, and that the Bible in no way prohibits international trade, these things the Pope does not want you to think about.  These forces, the Pope tells us, in some undefined way “prevail over the political,” and this, we are to take on the Pope’s word, is a very bad thing that can be fixed only by ushering in an even bigger government, a world government run by the UN. 

So what does the Pope mean by “economic and financial sectors” prevailing over the political?  Given his authoritarian dislike of economic and political liberty, he likely means that, despite the best efforts of regulators to stamp out economic and political liberty, people, ordinary people, are still free to make voluntary economic decisions in their perceived best interests.  Liberty of this sort is deeply disturbing to globalist tyrants of all sorts, whether we’re talking about religious globalists such as the Popes of Rome – all of them, Francis included, are Antichrists who hate, loathe and despise Christ and his people whom he freed spiritually, politically and economically – or secular tyrants of the sort who run the UN, the World Economic Forum or any number of other globalist busybody organizations. 

There’s an old saying, if it doesn’t fit, get a bigger hammer.  The drive for world government is all about elite globalists such as the Pope getting a bigger hammer to beat the nations and peoples of the world into their mold, imposing on them by force the choices and behaviors the elite want them to exhibit, but which if left to themselves the people would not choose. “There’s just too much liberty out there,” is ever the cry of the tyrant. 

In times past, those who warned about a plot to impose world government on the nations of the earth were viewed as kooks.  “That’s conspiracy theory!” people would cry. 

But the push for world government, while it is a conspiracy in the proper sense of the term, is certainly no unsubstantiated rumor spread by fact challenged individuals.  It’s an open secret, possibly one of the worst kept secrets ever.  The Pope’s of Rome and other Vatican officials simply cannot stop themselves from openly longing for world government and constantly take the opportunity to tell everyone how wonderful their brave new world will be.

As Christians, we cannot endorse world government.  But how can I say this?  As Christians, we must always ground our ideas about politics and economics in the Scriptures.  So where in the Bible does is the matter of world government and individual nations ever brought up?  Is it brought up at all?  In short, yes.  The Bible has a stance on world government.  God opposes it.  Further, God endorses the idea of a system of nation states of the sort that came about as a result of the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which concluded the Thirty Years War.     

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The Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” by John W. Robbins

The Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” audio version

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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

“Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”  This quote, or some variant to it, has been attributed to several prominent people.  In searching for the origin of the quote, I found it credited to such notables as John Knox, William Tyndale, and Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson used “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” on his personal seal.  Jefferson wanted to use this saying on the Seal of the United States

Whatever the origin of the quote, many Christians today are troubled by the notion that it is ever a Christian’s duty to resist tyranny.  Citing Paul’s injunction in Romans 13 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities,” they take Paul’s command to be, if not an absolute, at least something very close to it. 

The extent of the civil magistrate’s legitimate authority came to the surface in 2020 with the coming of the Covid 19 restrictions across much of the world.  These restrictions not only affected schools, universities, and businesses, but also churches.  Sincere Christians, when considering how to react to government restrictions, in particular government restrictions on church meetings, came to different conclusions.  Some believed it was the duty of Christians to obey every command of the various civil authorities that restricted, or outright prohibited, church meetings.  Others considered it a Christian duty to resist such edicts.  Because of these different views, as a follow up to last week’s post on the divine origin of civil government, it seemed good to me to say something about the relationship of civil government to the church.

To take the suspense out of things, I’ll tell you my view of the matter up front.  Christians are required to obey civil magistrates, but only in the Lord.  The civil magistrate, while a legitimate minister of God, has limited authority.  This was also John Calvin’s view.  He wrote,

The characteristic of a true sovereign is, to acknowledge that, in the administration of his kingdom, he is a minister of God. He who does not make his reign subservient to the divine glory, acts the part not of a king, but a robber. He, moreover, deceives himself who anticipates long prosperity to any kingdom which is not ruled by the sceptre of God, that is, by his divine word (Institutes, Prefatory Address).

Later in the Institutes, Calvin wrote,

We are subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord. If they command anything against Him let us not pay the least regard to it, nor be moved by all the dignity which they possess as magistrates – a dignity to which no injury is done when it is subordinated to the special and truly supreme power of God (Book IV, Chapter 20.32).

It is the view of this author that the civil authority has no jurisdiction to regulate how Christian churches conduct their worship services, and that all such regulation represents overreach on the part of the civil magistrate. This is not to say that Christian ministers and Christians themselves are not subject to the governing authorities.  If Christians commit acts that are contrary to the law of God and the just civil laws of society, then they are justly punished by the civil magistrate.  But the regulation or prohibition of singing hymns, capacity limits due to Covid, or even outright prohibition on gathering on the Lord’s Day?  All such restrictions by the civil authorities are tyrannical and ought to be resisted by Christians everywhere.        

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