24 November 2009

Civil Disobedience

I'm praying for the unborn and the nation... soon a decision will be made that will tell us whether or not we have to pay for the abortions of neighbors and strangers. What will our choices be?

1. We can pay to participate in the national health care plan that emphasizes death.

2. We can fund death (through fines) and not receive health care through the national plan, and then pay for other care in addition.

3. We can fund death (through fines) and not receive health care through the national plan, and not participate in any other plan either, but set aside money for medical care.

4. We could refuse to pay for the plan in any way- not paying for the care or the fines.

5. We can choose apathy... merely allow ourselves to be signed up and authorize payment from automatic withdrawal from our paychecks, and never think about it or what we're participating in.

Biblical Instructions When Considering Civil Disobedience

Titus 3:1 says Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good


1 Peter 2:13-14 says Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.


Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.


HOWEVER,

see Exodus 1:15-21:

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?" The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive." So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Daniel 3:1-28 says

But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up." Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king." He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods." Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!" So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.


What about the Magi, who were ordered to return to Herod and tell him of the infant King they sought? They disobeyed his orders and instead followed the instructions of the angelic messenger. And Rahab was explicitly instructed by the King of Jericho to reveal the spies, and she disobeyed, and was saved- and begat the ancestor of Jesus!



I find it interesting that of these examples of people disobeying authorites over them, half concern saving infants.

"These and other biblical cases of justified civil disobedience seem to have the following factors in common:

(1) the state commands the believer to do something contrary to the Word of God;

(2) the command is disobeyed; and

(3) there is explicit or implicit divine approval of the refusal to obey the state."

This quote is from an interesting website that records a debate about breaking laws to physically prevent women from getting abortions at a given clinic- they seemed to end with the summary that such behavior is not beneficial to the pro-life cause, and I agree. The same website says "They [early Christians] were even to pay their taxes — taxes that were most certainly used in ways not in keeping with Christian morality."



Which is what I discuss today. You know how all this started? I received, mysteriously, a copy of Tortured for Christ in the mail yesterday. It is the autobiographical story of the 14 years spent in Communist prisons of Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs. An excellent ministry!

He was writing about how willing he was to suffer under the Communists if only one or two of his guards could come to know Jesus (many did). How willing he was to return to jail, to be starved and drugged and beaten and degraded, if that was the price of the Gospel for his fellow Romanians.

!!! And I am discussing the potential consequences of not participating in a health care plan that contributes to someone else's abortion being paid for. How fitting that in this affluent society the "cost" of standing for life because of the Gospel we know is only monetary.

I would love to start a thread on this if any of you have any thoughts.

1 comments:

Renee said...

Thankfully, right now what we need to do is sacrifice some time to write to AND call our congressmen, and pray, pray, pray.

We are currently already funding Planned Parenthood to the tune of $350 million in the 2007-2008 fiscal year....and according to their own numbers, abortions make up 95% of their busineess.
(http://www.lifenews.com/nat4978.html) I know Planned Parenthood is one of the larger lightning rod organizations, but I'm sure there are some other back door abortion funding schemes going on. We know (though I can't fathom why) Obama reversed course to open up funding for international abortions/abortion counseling as one of his first executive orders.

If the healthcare bill becomes law and increases the abortions that we pay for astronomically, what should we do? What should we be doing now about the abortions we are already helping to fund?