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Government and the First Commandment

Commandment One

As our society increasingly rejects God and His Laws what are we, as Christians, to do? Are we to “sit it out” as best we can whilst waiting for a future manifestation of God’s Kingdom, or is more required of us?

Australia’s Christian Foundation

Australian society is built on a Christian foundation. However, as secularism tightens its grip this foundation is being undermined. Ultimately, compromised foundations lead to collapse.

The Christian foundation of Australian society is still evident today, a few examples include:

  • The Preamble to the Australian Constitution states that “the people… humbly rely upon the blessings of Almighty God”.
    • Blessings from God do not come automatically. He is not some genie in a bottle that we can make appear at will. Blessings are dependent upon being in a state of obedience to the Law of God (Deuteronomy 28).
  • The Australian Parliament opens each session in prayer. In that prayer guidance from God is requested to guide the deliberations in Parliament to the advancement of God’s glory and the true welfare of the Australian people
    • Advancing God’s glory can only be done when we act in accordance to His Will, and as the point above explained, this is also the condition required for blessings to be obtained. 
  • A Bill (a proposal for a law, or legislation) does not become law until it is given Royal Assent by the Queen.
    • During her coronation the Queen swore an oath to do all in her power to maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel.

When the people see God as their authority, Parliament, as a representative of the people, will propose laws congruent with God’s Law. As a check and balance, the Queen provides Royal Assent when assured that the proposed law is congruent with God’s Law, thereby upholding her oath.

As God’s Law is advanced His Kingdom is manifested.

Today people generally ignore God in their lives, parliament therefore passes legislation which does not consider the Laws of God, and our Queen fails in her duty by not upholding her oath.

The Rejection of God and the Enthronement of Caesar

Instead of having a society that builds upon the foundations of a Christian faith and that looks to God for provision we now have one that rejects this foundation and believes that it can advance itself by its own power, without God.

A nation is blessed when it acts in conformity to God’s Law, and is cursed when it acts against His Law. A survey of Deuteronomy 28 will attest to the truth of this statement. Our society is currently enduring many of the curses listed as a result of our collective disobedience to the Law of God and our rejection of Him.

Instead of humbly turning back to God (2 Chronicles 7:14), in order to be relieved of the effects of our disobedience, we believe we can overcome the negative effects through our communal strength and power.

Placing trust in our communal strength and power results in the enlargement of governmental authority. Governmental authority is enlarged beyond the jurisdictional limits placed upon it by God. This enlargement encroaches upon the jurisdiction of God Himself, thereby furthering our rejection of Him.

The expanded authority of government is validated through the payment of taxes – through which it is able to provide the “progress and security” that is sought from it.

Through this process of validation one “renders to Caesar” that which belongs to God – since “Caesar” has encroached upon the jurisdiction of God. Caesar is placed on God’s throne, thereby the First Commandment is violated (Exodus 20:3).

What then is the duty of a Christian? 

In Matthew 22:21 Yahshua commands to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” 

Peter says in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men”.

It therefore requires that we cease rendering to Caesar that which belongs to God.

God, as the creator, holds complete, sovereign, authoritative ownership over His created realm. All are therefore subject to Him, including those placed in governmental authority. Government has been instituted by God to administer His Law. It is subject to Him and can not therefore act independently from Him as it derives its authority from Him.

Governmental authority is not unlimited, it is limited. We, as the people being governed, must submit to our governing authorities in so far as that these authorities are acting according to the Laws of God and within the jurisdiction that has been afforded them. When government acts outside of the limitations placed upon them by God they are opposing the authority of God. It then becomes the duty of those being governed to “obey God rather than men”. Doing otherwise would be a violation of the First Commandment.

To illustrate:

If a soldier is ordered by his superior officer to commit a war crime the soldier is not able to use the defence of “I was merely following orders” to absolve himself of his crime. The soldier and officer are both bound by the laws of war which surpass the officer in authority. The correct course of action for the soldier would be to move up the chain of command. Now this may cause his superior officer to make his life difficult, but in the fullness to time the soldier will be vindicated.

This situation also applies to us today. When our authority (in this case government) seeks our validation of something that goes against the higher authority (God) it is our duty to the higher authority that takes precedence. 

When government administers the Laws of God, and thereby acts within its jurisdiction, the Kingdom of God will be manifested in the earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Unfortunately, this is not the case today. The validity of God’s authority is rejected. Government seeks to act independently from God, thereby declaring its own competing authority. It effectively sets itself up as a god as it considers itself to be the highest authority.

The enlarged authority of government is validated through the payment of taxes. Payment of taxes is done out of fear – a fear of the loss of possessions and liberty that may result from non compliance.

By yielding to this fear one is effectively placing his trust in that which can be taken from him – that his possessions and liberty are the source of his “security and progress”. If our security is based upon something that we fear can be taken from us then we will constantly be living within a false sense of security.

True security is found in the faithfulness of the Word and Promises of God.

In order to manifest God’s Kingdom we need to recognise Yashua as King. If we do not do so we are manifesting another’s kingdom.

The laws one observes defines the God one worships.

Where do we place our trust? Which gospel are we faithful to? Which must we maintain and defend?

As Christians we aim to follow God fully. God doesn’t demand perfection from us, but we do need to be moving in the right direction.

Let us believe in the promises of God – that if we turn back to Him, individually as well as collectively, He will provide for our “progress and security”. This is not something that we can do on our own strength and terms. Only by His grace can we stand. All that God requires from us is that we stand and declare where our allegiance lies.

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