By Dr. Jim Garrow
Whether we believe in cycles or inevitable change, we can all agree that given time things have a tendency to change. Science has its “law,” which is the Second Law of Thermodynamics; this states that all things are going from an organized state toward chaos. It is also referred to as the Law of Entropy. Over the course of history, things have gone from one state of organization to another state of disorganization.
I have pointed this out to illustrate that America had a great beginning with its roots in the Judeo-Christian ethos and systems. Our courts are based in the Law of Moses, and the application of Justice evolved over time to include precedent as cases were adjudicated based on the law, and often times the interpretation of the law changed the law itself.
It was in the overreach of the King of England and his notion of The Divine Right of Kings that he came up against the religious and political beliefs of his colonists – and the results speak for themselves. The nation of The United States of America came into being, and its first laws were formed over a period of seven years as the Constitution was developed. Wise men poured their hearts into creating that “More Perfect Union” and argued and debated what should or should not be included in the foundational document that followed the Declaration of Independence.
We have long since abandoned any notion that there is a “divine right” of leadership, although one could make the argument that the current “rulers” in Washington act as if that divine right were theirs. Their “pontifical” actions are no longer subject to public scrutiny and objection. The right of religious liberty seems to have been replaced by the right to agree with what is in vogue today.
Which brings me to an example that we have from the Scriptures of a man who would not violate the ordinances of his God in spite of the fact that it would cost him greatly through false accusation and false imprisonment. Joseph and his story are recounted in Bible for a good reason. When the powerful have an expectation that includes the violation of God’s Laws, then it is up to us to be like Joseph and “just say ‘no.'”
There is currently a case in which the religious conscience of a government employee came into direct conflict with a desire of some citizens’ desire to violate God’s law; this individual said that she could not and would not be party to it. Good for her. A modern day Joseph.
Let us not forget that God is in charge, and His ends are served ultimately in the lives of those who call Him Master and Ruler. When the law expects Christians to violate God’s Law, then God’s law must be obeyed. If imprisonment or death is the judgment against the Law of God and the lawful exercise of conscience, then God is the only witness that counts.
Let us be in prayerful support of those who stand firm, and when we can let us be counted faithful in meeting their needs and living lives that proclaim who it is that we serve.