Most of us are taught from childhood to respect and obey the law. On the whole, Americans are law-abiding people. This is only fitting for a nation that was built on the principles of law. Remember, at our core, this is supposed to be a “nation of laws, not men.” This is one reason that our Founding Fathers bequeathed us a republic and not a democracy.
Unfortunately, it has been over one hundred years since America’s teachers (both secular and sacred) have taught the principles of Natural Law. This has created a vast ignorance that has blinded people (especially Christian people it seems) from being able to properly understand, evaluate, and judge the law.
Our Lord plainly said, “The Sabbath (law) was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath (law).” (Mark 2:27 KJV) This was stated in response to the criticism and judgmentalism of the Pharisees against Jesus and His disciples, who had picked and eaten corn on the Sabbath Day.
During that same discussion, Jesus reminded the Pharisees that David and his men ate bread from the Table of Shewbread in the Temple, which was a violation of the Mosaic Law. (Others had been slain by Jehovah for a careless, cavalier attitude toward the Sabbath and the Temple.) He reminded them of the priests who sacrificed animals on the Sabbath Day, which was considered by many to be a violation of Sabbath law. Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, which the Pharisees and legalists of the time judged to be unlawful.
After a blistering condemnation of the Pharisees, Jesus asked them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life or destroy it?” (Luke 6:9 KJV) In other words, which was more important: doing good and saving life on the Sabbath, or strictly obeying the Law of the Sabbath and letting a man be harmed or even die?
Jesus made it clear that there are greater laws and lesser laws, that the Natural Law of saving life was a superior law to even the Law of the Sabbath. This law of nature can be called “The Law of Necessity.”
In the pursuit of liberty, and in the defense of life, David and his men sustained themselves with the bread from the Table of Shewbread. And not only did Jehovah not slay David and his men for doing this, the Lord Jesus praised them as an example of the greater law principle.
Here’s a question for you: as you walk along a lake, you notice a sign announcing a public statute that says, “No Swimming.” About that same time, you hear the screams of a little boy who had wandered in the lake and is now drowning. Do you obey the State statute that said, “No Swimming,” or do you violate the public law and swim out into the lake to save the little boy?
The Pharisees would say that you must obey the public law even if it means the little boy will drown. Jesus said the natural greater law principle prevails and you ignore the lesser law and go save the drowning lad. The greater law always defers to the provision and protection of human life. The lesser law ignores the divine principle of protecting life and demands unconditional compliance to human law–even if that law results in the death of innocent life.
Now, here is another question: would any of us condemn a man who ignored the law that said “No Swimming,” and swam into the lake to save the little boy? Think very carefully before you answer, because all over America, many people (including pastors and Christians) have developed a legalistic, Pharisaical philosophy regarding law that would indeed condemn the man who ignored the law that said “No Swimming,” and swam into the lake to save the little boy.
For example, all over America, certain states and local communities have enacted strict gun-control laws that would condemn a man for using a firearm in the defense of his home and family. There is more than one person sitting in jail today who was deemed a lawbreaker for doing just that. And now, there are legislators, senators, and a President and Vice President in Washington, D.C, who want to further deny everyone in America the right to self-defense by banning semi-automatic rifles.
Make no mistake about it: the semi-automatic rifle is the premier self-defense tool in the modern world. It is effective against the would-be felon, and even more effective against the would-be tyrant. To enact laws against the ownership and possession of semi-automatic rifles (yes, with large capacity magazines) is tantamount to condemning a man for ignoring the “No Swimming” ordinance in order to save the drowning boy. Plainly put: SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES SAVE LIVES–INCLUDING SAVING THE LIFE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.
It is at this point that we must point out the jaded philosophy and understanding that so many Americans (especially Christians) have regarding law. So many people seem to be completely ignorant of the natural principle of the greater law, or The Law of Necessity.
When governments pass laws that infringe upon people’s natural right to self-defense, they have become tyrannical; and no one who understands the divine principle of The Law of Necessity is morally obligated to submit to such laws–no more than a man would submit to the “No Swimming” law that would let the little boy drown.
Beyond that, pastors who teach that Christians must submit to these lesser laws in order to please God are no better than the Pharisees of old. Jesus detested the Pharisees’ asinine interpretation of Biblical law and plainly told them so. Likewise, no Christian should tolerate for one minute any pastor or religious teacher who would demand that they submit to any lesser law that infringed upon the greater law of the protection and preservation of life. Not for one minute!
The “higher powers” of Romans 13 do not constitute the “highest” power. All the laws of men are subject to the greater laws of God: the natural laws that were innately given to man at creation. Think about it: if the Law of the Sabbath, a law that was instituted by God, Himself, was inferior to the greater Law of Necessity–the natural law protecting and preserving life–how much more inferior is any law made by man?! To suggest that the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13, was demanding that Christians submit to every man-made law, no matter how contrary it ran to the divine Law of Necessity borders on blasphemy. And the pastors who teach such an absurdity are nothing more than modern-day Pharisees.
As the Pharisees would rather see a man crippled, or even die, than be healed on the Sabbath, so these modern-day Pharisees demand that people submit to laws that infringe on their natural right of self-defense, even if that means that people die as a result.
And remember, according to experts, firearms (including semi-automatic rifles) protect life and avert a crime (including murder) more than 2.5 million times a year. That’s over 6,800 times A DAY. Take away the right to keep and bear arms (including semi-automatic rifles) and those are lives that will be seriously injured or killed.
See this report:
Guns Saves Lives
It’s time pastors and Christians understand that breaking a lesser law in order to keep a greater law is no crime–and no sin! Benjamin Franklin may not have been a Biblical scholar, but he demonstrated a greater knowledge and appreciation for The Law of Necessity than most pastors in America today. He said, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” And he was exactly right.
Abram obeyed the greater law when he pursued and “slaughtered” (Hebrews 7:1) the kings who had attacked his family and took his nephew Lot prisoner. That is found in Genesis 14. It is no coincidence that he received the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15. Moses obeyed the greater law when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew. The New Testament says, “For he [Moses] supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.” (Acts 7:24, 25)
Moses’ fellow Hebrews were so steeped in bondage, they “understood not” Moses’ actions and actually joined with the Egyptians in condemning him as a lawbreaker. As a result, they spent an additional forty years in slavery. And ladies and gentlemen, if America’s pastors and Christians do not snap out of their spirit of legalism and bondage, this country is also headed for slavery.
Unfortunately, many pastors and churches would condemn those of us who refuse to submit to these unjust, tyrannical laws that would require us to surrender our semi-automatic rifles. They would call us lawbreakers. So what? As Jesus accepted not the condemnation of the Pharisees, you and I should not accept the condemnation of these modern-day legalists.
It is never wrong to obey the greater law; and it is never right to obey the lesser law that contradicts the greater law! And it doesn’t matter to a tinker’s dam what the legalists and Pharisees think about it! Simon Peter and the apostles employed the same understanding when they said, “We must obey God rather than men.”
When it comes to disobeying a State law that says “No Swimming” in order to preserve the life of a drowning boy, or when it comes to disobeying a federal law that says “surrender your semi-automatic rifles” in order to preserve the lives of our loved ones, not to mention our communities and our freedoms, we, too, must obey God rather than men.
Of course, we Americans respect the laws of men, but only when these lesser laws do not contradict or infringe upon the greater law. This was commonly understood from Abraham and Moses to Christ and the apostles. It was certainly understood by America’s Founding Fathers. And it had better be understood by each of us now!
P.S. This column is based on a section of the new book that my attorney son and I are in the process of publishing: “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.” Of course, the book contains a much more thorough exegesis of the subject than this column.
The book is due to be published very soon. It is possible that the first printing could be sold out before it is even printed. Orders are coming in fast! To pre-order this blockbuster new book, go to:
Keep Your Arms
(c) Chuck Baldwin
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