I’ve been studying the Constitution for about 15 years (college, law school, then practicing law as a prosecutor before becoming a stay-at-home mom). One of the main reasons our nation’s forefathers established the Constitution was to secure the blessings of liberty. It wasn’t written to create power for the government. It was written to protect us from the powers of the government. Then just a little over a decade after the Constitution was written, the States united and proposed to Congress the Bill of Rights.
The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to ensure public confidence in the government by further preventing misconstruction or abuse of the government’s powers. Americans were never intended to be ruled by the government. According to our Declaration of Independence, government is only to get its power from the consent of the people, and the people have a duty to overthrow the government when it becomes destructive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the last decade or so, I’ve seen our nation deteriorate from the inside out. I’ve watched as our government has gotten bigger and more powerful, while the Bill of Rights increasingly gets violated and eroded to nothing more than bureaucratic nonsense. Having lived in Washington State most of my life, I find myself infuriated with the train of government abuses and usurpations of the rights of the people that we have to deal with.
Am I surprised? Of course not. I know how the story ends. I’ve read the Book of Revelations, and I know a unified, powerful, and god-less government is in our future (Revelation 13), then Jesus will return, destroy this world, and restore His Kingdom (Revelation 19). But it still makes me angry. How can we, the American people, so easily relinquish authority to the government?
Americans once went to war against the most powerful nation in the world because we would rather die than give up our rights to defend our life, liberty, and property. But now we sit and watch as the government closes our businesses, enacts laws without vote of the people that restricts the use of our own property, and regulates our manner of worship.
As my flesh enrages over the government, particularly here in Washington State, I continually hear the Lord ask me, “are you a Christian, or are you an American?” “What is your citizenship?” As an American I am angry, but then am I truly living like a believe this world is not my home (1 Peter 2:11, Philippians 3:20)? As an American, I want us to honor the Declaration of Independence and abolish the government in Olympia and institute a new government. But as a Christian, I am to honor God and live according to God’s Word.
When the Roman Empire was the world’s superpower and Christians suffered horrible and torturous persecution by Emperor Nero, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.” Yes, every soul. And he did NOT include a caveat – “you only have to submit if the government is honorable”. Instead, God calls us to submit to governing authorities out of submission to the One True King.
While the Bible allows us to defy the government when the government forces us to go against God (Daniel 3:8-18), and although our laws in America give us permission to defy the government when the government goes against the constitution (Bill of Rights), we still have to examine our heart condition and ensure our intentions and desires glorify God (Psalm 44:21).
As the end days near, there will be more tribulation and suffering, and our faith as Christians will be tested like never before. (Matthew 24:7-14). More than ever, we must cling to God’s Word and trust that Jesus is our true shepherd, and He will lead us on the path of righteousness (Psalm 23).
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from who you have learned them.” 2 Timothy 3:12-14
– Tiffany Gustafson