You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. - Matthew 5:14
He that is not with me is against me. - Matthew 12:30
Qui non improbat, approbat [He who does not disapprove, approves]
Causae ecclesiae publicus causis aequiparantur [The cause of the church is a public cause]
-Maxims of Law
When Obama started his latest war in Libya, I wasn’t surprised – but I did start looking for some reaction from those in official senior positions of Christian leadership...
Then a few days ago I gained another insight into the true nature of things – the sorry state of what passes today for ethics and morality in modern Christianity. I was having a discussion with a conservative Presbyterian pastor, a graduate of a long established conservative west coast Presbyterian seminary, as to why church officers were silent everywhere. Essentially, his response was that I just did not understand theology – the church was about spiritual concerns and had no business addressing “politics”. Pastors were silent, I was told, not out of cowardice, but out of deep theological convictions.
"But," I said, “it's not about politics – it’s about moral issues, ethics, and gross public sin when the President rebels against the Constitution and uses his office to commit open crimes”. These did not qualify as “spiritual” issues in his mind and he affirmed that the church leaders should remain officially silent. All my arguments from church history to the contrary were brushed aside. I protested (in vain) that an official silence from any church was then an official consent and approval by that official church government for those public criminal actions committed by public officials according to the very principles of law. He dismissed the argument. So finally I put the question squarely to him: “So even if the President is committing open murder and tearing down the lawful government, assaulting the safety, rights, and freedom of the Christian people, and putting the next generation of Christian children in grave future physical danger, then you believe that church officers should remain officially silent”? “Yes”, he responded without hesitation, “that’s correct – they are to only address spiritual matters”.
Here we have a spirituality radically disconnected from morality – an ethereal religion not connected to historic Christianity and its application of ethics to the real world. What kind of “spirituality” or theology is this that can disregard morals, ethics, and God’s Law and even silently abide open murder? When wolves attack sheep and shepherds are too spiritual to insert themselves between the wolves and the sheep, and plead neutrality instead of shouldering responsibility and giving leadership, then we must ask: “Is that “spirituality” admirable – or offensive”?
So although I am no church Officer, just a mere foot soldier, my conscience became increasingly disturbed by this silence, and I felt compelled by conscience to speak out about this, to say something very brief and to the point. Surely, I thought, at least some of those who held esteemed or “big name” positions within the conservative Christian establishment, or those who are senior pastors of local churches, would react publicly and seriously to this latest public criminal action of our President. I searched many websites, but no, nothing of the slightest consequence – if anything at all.
Surely the official governing bodies of various conservative denominations would speak out and oppose open public sin at the highest levels of that vast criminal enterprise Christians have been taught to accept as “our government” – especially since historic Christian theology affirms that tolerance of these great public sins will bring God’s own discipline on our heads – not to mention the heads of our children.
So I searched many websites. If a king’s own officers are not motivated to jealously defend his honor, crown rights, law, and kingdom on his own soil, why should anyone anywhere have anything but the very slightest of regard for that king? The Muslims clearly understood this principle and showed their regard for the “honor” of their god in their recent international reaction to just one Koran burning – at least they took Allah’s right to rule seriously.
Certainly, I thought, Officers of the church with true allegiance to the King of kings would take great affront to His law being publicly overthrown in a world that Scripture tells us is His world where only He has all authority in heaven and on earth to make law. Certainly, I thought, faithful church leaders would example leadership and respond publicly and sharply.
No – nothing at all. Dead silence. Not an official word. No protest anywhere.
We live in an astonishing time in America where the President is making open war domestically on the Constitution, and openly making unlawful wars internationally – such wars outlawed by the Constitution and long vested by the Rule of Law as war crimes and open murder – and formally recognized as such by the Nuremberg trials. When a President publicly usurps the Constitution, making an open show of violating its limits on exercising power, whether it be by his making illegal war, giving secret orders, punishing American soldiers for exposing truth, building secret prisons, operating torture chambers, running kidnapping operations (rendition), publicly asserting his right to kill American citizens with no trial or process, openly publicly stealing money via “bailouts”, taxing in violation of the Constitution, openly violating the Bill of Rights, creating illegal Federal agencies and programs, etc., ad nausem, then what does that mean according to the Principles of Law? It means, without question, that he has invoked the Law of Belligerents against the American people by acting as a belligerent upon the American people themselves, because publicly assaulting their Constitution is, in fact, an assault upon them. In other words, the President is openly making war upon the American people by these belligerent actions – actions which are open, public, and undeniable. If you don’t understand this, you are not paying attention. Our Constitution formally defines this as treason. Also, under the Principles of Law, Congress is profoundly guilty of the same by its refusal to impeach and indict the President. And yes, according to the Principles of Law, all who remain silent are guilty of the President’s actions – silence is long vested as consent in Law: Qui non improbat, approbat
But the most astonishing thing about this total collapse of Lawful Order is the silence of those who are supposed to be the “light of the world”. Why are the Christian men silent? I believe the answer is that they are following their church leaders. It is long vested in Law that the church is a public government and a public cause – historically it speaks via its Officers in the public square. In other words, the church Officers are public officers and must speak publicly and officially – not just as private citizens. This is long vested in Law, custom, and usage as a solemn duty. When they are silent, it sets an example.
So what happens when the President makes open war on the American people in general, and the Christian people in particular, and church Officers do not speak publicly and officially concerning his arrogant public sin, crimes & rebellion against God and the established Lawful Order – sins which if not corrected will bring God’s judgment down on all of us? Well, what really happens is that silent church Officers then ratify and approve those actions. There is no neutrality in God’s sight – or in the long vested Principles of Law. And another thing happens: Church leaders as moral authorities, who refuse to speak publicly and officially, then undermine every man’s voice who speaks out individually.
It is long past time for church Officers to convene formal and official church councils and synods all across this land to address the open lawlessness and public sin and crimes of what passes for “our government”- and to address the way forward. Nevertheless, it is probable that they can be expected to refuse to do this – and likely that they will always have a long list of lofty “spiritual reasons” as to why they cannot accept responsibility. But if church Officers, who are the official voices of moral authority, refuse to do this then there is a deafening silence and they cannot expect to be found faithful – and the rest of us will suffer the continuing consequences of their dereliction of duty – praying that God will raise up some “Thomas Beckets” who are jealous for the church, the Law of God, and who will have the courage to say “No” to our present political “king”.
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NOTE: This post was corrected; the author is not an attorney.