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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Art of Compliance

Where should you show your support for government authority? Where should you challenge it? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1559).

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:18-20).

The default position should be to respect and obey civil authority.  Yet we know as in the American Revolution for Independence there can be times when we are constrained by reason and a sense of what's right to declare operative and decisive independent judgment.  Personally, I did this in 1968 when I violated Federal law by refusing induction into the armed services (to wage the Vietnam War).  Government can have limited insight as to the full implications of a policy (in fact this is generally the case).  Therefore, it should not be surprising that some matters taken for granted in policy formulation raise resistance by various degrees as initial assumptions prove in policy promulgation to be presumptive and intrusive finally encroaching beyond narrow self-interest upon the sphere of sacred moral conscience. 

Thus, the default position of respect and deference to civil authority is not without limits set by the greater claims of conscience and the non-negotiable disciplines of love.

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