•A Message from Mat Staver, our Founder and Chairman•
»What is the proper response when the laws of a governing authority collide with the laws of God? What must a believer do when the revealed or Natural Law commands a clear response and one’s governing authority commands the opposite? There is only one choice:
The believer must remain obedient to God and to His higher law!
|New England pastor Nathaniel Whitaker preached a stirring message before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. In it he said, “We sin against God and nature, when we tamely resign our rights to tyrants, or quietly submit to public oppressors, if it be in our power to defend ourselves.”|
Jailed for violating a law used to stop him from protesting injustice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote his famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail to seven clergymen and one rabbi. In answer to the question of why he obeyed some laws and disobeyed others, Dr. King wrote that there are just and unjust laws. He then said: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
He went on to say: “I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”
Judeo-Christian history and the Western legal tradition agree with Dr. King. Sir William Blackstone, a British law professor, judge, and Member of Parliament, wrote the definitive legal source used by British and American lawyers alike through the nineteenth century. In his four-volume work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published from 1765-1769, Blackstone wrote that “divine Providence” revealed His will through the “holy scriptures” and the “moral precepts” of revealed law. “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation depend all human laws; that is to say, no human law should be suffered [permitted] to contradict these.” This natural law “is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this.”
The Declaration of Independence refers to this same principle when it uses the words “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and declares that we are “endowed” by our “Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The original proposed Great Seal the United States bore the words “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” Judeo-Christian history is replete with examples of revealed or Natural Law colliding with governing authorities. The Book of Hebrews says Moses was hidden for three months because his parents “were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Heb. 11:23). The three Hebrews refused to bow down and worship the King of Babylon, and they were thrown into the fiery furnace from which God rescued them (Dan. 3:16-30). Ditto for Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel could have prayed silently in his closet, but he openly disobeyed an unjust law and prayed so he could be heard (Dan. 6).
Dr. King set forth four steps to resist injustice, which are also grounded in Judeo-Christian doctrine. These include: (1) gathering of facts, (2) negotiation, (3) self-purification, and (4) direct action. We must learn more so we can see more! We have a duty to be informed. We must use all civil means to resolve the conflict. And, we must humbly seek the Lord before taking direct action.
When Mordecai asked Esther to plead with the King of Persia for the Jewish people, she knew approaching the King without being summoned was illegal. She asked for her uncle, Mordecai, and the Jewish people to fast and pray for three days while she would do the same with others in the palace. Only then did she engage in direct action.
Before beginning His ministry, Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days. And before entering the ultimate battle at Calvary, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Bible declares, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
Today we, too, face unjust laws. Forced participation in genocide through abortion funding violates both the revealed and Natural Law. Laws that deconstruct God’s natural created order of marriage as being between male and female, and laws that force affirmation or promotion of sexual immorality, are unjust laws.
Just because a legislature or a judge passes a law or issues an opinion does not make a law valid. Thomas Jefferson said, “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” If you lived under the Nazi regime and the law required you to not hide or aid a Jew in any way, would you comply with Hitler or obey God? To obey Hitler, you would have to disobey God.
Believers must gather facts, get involved, repent and pray, and be prepared for nonviolent direct action or resistance when faced with unjust laws. Laws that contradict revealed or Natural Law are unjust. These include laws that force people to participate in genocide and laws that force people to affirm or promote sexual immorality.
The Supreme Court was wrong when it denied Dred Scott his rights and said, “blacks are inferior human beings.” And the Supreme Court was wrong when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” thus upholding Virginia’s eugenics law that permitted forced sterilization. Sadly, that case, Buck v. Bell, was cited in the Nuremburg trials in support of Hitler’s eugenics program!
At Liberty Counsel, we just completed a 21-day fast, asking for God’s mercy and intervention in our nation’s crisis of lawlessness. We urge you to fast and pray, as well. You do not have to give up all food, but fast from some foods. A fast is only effective if you pray and seek God – otherwise, a fast is no different than a diet.
God intervened for Esther and the Jewish people. He did the impossible. With God, nothing is impossible. Indeed, with God all things are possible! There is hope for America!
Join with Liberty Counsel in prayer and action. This is a new season – it is a new year with a newly constituted Congress and a renewed hope for the restoration of American culture. We invite you to stand with Liberty Counsel and see the salvation of God (Exodus 14)!