Proper Resistance to Tyrants

(The correct approach to handling tyrants)
"At what point will you rise to defend what you believe? Is there anything worth putting your reputation or your life in jeopardy? Will you object if your children are routinely indoctrinated in homosexual ideology in the government schools? Will you object if imperfect babies are killed in our hospitals? Will you object if involuntary euthanasia becomes widespread in nursing homes? Will you object if the state tells your pastor or priest what he can say from the pulpit? (In Sweden, an evangelical pastor who preached a sermon on Sodom and Gomorrah was convicted of "verbal violence" against homosexuals and sentenced to a four-week prison term.) Will you object if the church loses its non-profit status and is heavily taxed? Will you object if the state assumes "ownership" of children and tells parents how they must raise them - under penalty of losing custody? Will you object if every teenager in America is given immoral advice and a supply of condoms to implement it? Will you object if each family is permitted only one baby, as is the official policy today in China?

"Will you object if Christian business people are required to satisfy a quota of homosexual and lesbian employees? Will you object if churches are not exempt from that quota obligation? Will you object if universities refuse to grant degrees to outspoken Christian students? Will you object if daughters or sisters or wives are drafted into the military and required to fight in combat? Will you object if obscenity laws are repealed and child pornography is ignored by the government? Will you object if the schools teach 'death education' to students beginning in elementary schools? Will you rise to speak if every tenet of your faith is legislated against in Congress and in your home state?...Is there any freedom or principle you would defend with your life?" (James Dobson's Focus on the Family Newsletter, March, 1993).

As the severe tyranny spreads out its tentacles around this nation, the question of "resistance" become a salient issue. The Christian is one who can stand persecution and holds to the hope that one day he will stand in glory with Christ. But on the other hand, the Bible is plain that while we are on earth, we are committed to fulfill certain responsibilities. We are responsible to provide for our families in order not to be found "worse than infidels." We are responsible to do all in our power to protect our own lives without disobeying God's laws.

The following is the Bible's approach to resistance to tyrannies: (This is based on Samuel Rutherford's classic Lex Rex and the more modern book by Pastor John Weaver, The Christian and Civil Government.)

1. Verbal Resistance. Our primary channels of verbal resistance is the voting booth, the media (as we have access to it), and written/spoken communication. Dr. Dobson encourages resistance at this level in his above statement from his recent newsletter. Some would argue that this form of resistance would extend to forcibly blocking people from entering abortion clinics to kill their babies. Regardless of the outcome of that debate, we ought to resist evil in verbal resistance even if our message or methods are illegal as was the case with Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus.

2. Flight (Heb. 11:37,38, Jer. 26:20-23, Mt. 10:23, 23:34, Mt. 2:13,14, I Kings 19, Acts 9:23-25). If we cannot resolve our disagreements and the civil magistrate seeks to arrest us, then we find that fleeing can often be an effective means of resistance. Fleeing or escaping is certainly a reasonable option that needs to be considered by Christians. We are not much good to the kingdom of God on earth sitting in a prison cell or dead. So this option needs to always be retained in the back of our minds. The "when and where" concerning flight will be considered in the next chapter.

3. Violent Self-Defense (Neh. 4:7-17, Luke 22:36). If we have escaped the tyranny and the government yet pursues us into a separate state or country, we may now defend our new country by fighting the invading force. This can only be done under the auspices of an established government. A Christian may never participate in armed insurrections, revolutions, coups, and mobs organized to overthrow governments. This is why it is critical that Christians must build their own government somewhere in the world. Revolutions will only promote chaos. We must structure a government on godly principles and then we will have something to defend.


Plain and simple, we should resist when the government forces us to do something that is against our consciences. This assumes that our consciences are well-tuned to God's demands of us in the Bible.


I think for most Christians, the following reasons to resist are sensible:

God's Command

Deuteronomy 6:7 "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Example 1. The government forces you to enter your child into a government school where they are not "brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" and where they can be taught how to perform homosexual acts, how to wear a condom, etc.

Example 2. The government forbids you to home school your child or teach your child anything at home which is in direct opposition to the command concerning home schooling in Deuteronomy 6.

Example 3. The government requires family or church schools to teach curriculum that will not help but will hinder the bringing children "up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Example 4. The government forces both mother and father to work, in such a way as to disable the parents from performing their own duties of education as they consider it necessary.

God's Command

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Example 1. The government does not grant passports or freedom to travel for Christians who endeavor to obey this command.

Example 2. The government outlaws any vocal witnessing or signs in public places, such as in front of abortion clinics, where sinners tend to congregate.

Example 3. The government outlaws certain Christian programming on radio, television, or published media.

Example 4. The government outlaws any teaching or any book in the church which explicitly condemns homosexuality. (This would disallow teaching from the book of Leviticus and Romans.)

Example 5. The government begins to dictate which parts of the Bible may be taught and which may not be taught.

Example 6. The government attempts to prevent the church from disciplining members on the basis of homosexuality, incest, adultery, etc. (I Cor. 5:1-5).

God's Command

Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

Example 1. The government legislates laws against spanking children as it has already done. But in addition to this, it steps up enforcement of these laws on Christians.

Example 2. The government bureaucrats conduct mandatory searches of homes in order to find evidence of spanking.


1. Some would feel that the use of tax money for killing babies, elderly people, or the handicapped may be reasons enough to resist. The methods of resistance may be different here. It may not cause us to flee and defend ourselves violently, but we may indeed protest loudly as Elijah did before King Ahab (I Kings 18:17,18).

2. Some would feel that the destruction of our inheritance by taxation is cause enough to protest and indeed to flee the government. Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children."

3. Government taxation can become very oppressive, particularly as the government spends 50%, 60%, or 70% of the Gross National Income. This is one of the reasons that increasing numbers of parents are forced to work while remanding their children to government schools. This can also be a reason to resist.

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