To begin, lets look at what God says about the law of the land and governments in general. The preacher speaking in the book of Ecclesiastes said,
"Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment." (Ecclesiastes 8: 1-5)
We in the United States do not have a king, and the king of that time was called of God, so it would be very easy to dismiss this scripture from the Old Testament. However, Christ submitted to the will of a pagan government.
Paul expands more on the subject,
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour . . ." (Timothy 2: 1-3)
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 13-24)
In other words, it is the duty of Christians to be like Christ, and to allow the government to do its job. Christ did not come to fight the world, but to fight sin. He did not wage war against the Romans, but against the apostasy of His people. In fact, Peter goes on later to further chastise those who would use rebellion to hide their own lust for power and greed for worldly possessions.
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." (2 Peter 2: 9-10).
There is a point to be made here that not everyone that speaks out against the government is really evil. After all, were our forefathers going against the will of God to establish this country? One would think not. After all, there were faithful Christians among those that helped form this nation. So the real question becomes why. Why is a person or group speaking out? It is because they are being oppressed or because they are wishing to oppress? In the context of this health care bill, some feel they are being forced to help the poor and needy, an interesting point of view from those in a Christian nation. There are also those that feel that helping the poor and needy goes against the will of the Lord, as it might encourage some to become lazy. What does the Bible say about these?
Unfortunately, one issue that the Bible is silent on is the U.S. government. There is not mention or prophesy we are aware of in the texts that makes clear the U.S. Constitution or even that this nation would one day exist.
Thankfully, Latter-day Christians have the word of the Lord on this matter. Some of it is revelation from Jesus Christ, or in other words the Lord speaking to men as we read he did in the Holy Bible. In others, righteous men are speaking the will of the Lord, as Peter and Paul do in the New Testament, for example. In speaking on the subject of governments for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following is from "A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835." (Doctrine and Covenants section 134, header)
"We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society. We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life. We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign...
We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience. We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker." (Doctrine and Covenants section 134: 1-3, 5-6)
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