The church, for lack of knowledge, has abandoned its autonomy for the sake of becoming a beneficiary of the state (federal state). They must have the courage to recover their autonomy, exercise their immunity, and not abide a ‘civil’ law that violates both revealed and natural law. John Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison, said that a ‘civil’ law that is repugnant to the Constitution is void. John Marshall was merely reiterating a maxim earlier published by men like sirs Edward Coke and William Blackstone who said any positive law (civil statute) that violates revealed and natural law is void.
The church and institutions of religion are wrongfully applying the Romans 13 instruction when they obey an edict of men that contradicts the edict of God. Romans 13 says that we must submit to the ‘authorities’ as ministers of God for our good. The American system of government is a government of law and not men. That system has an ‘authority’ hierarchy. First revealed law found in the scriptures; then natural law – observed in natural and understood by rational regenerate minds; then acts of legislatures of which the Heavenly Father may be indifferent. To obey the ‘authorities’ cited in Romans 13, we must act contrary to any act of a legislature that is repugnant to the law which is revealed. Even more so, ecclesiastical institutions are outside the jurisdiction of the civil government. The church must not subject its operations and administration to the ‘civil’ jurisdiction or it abandons its immunity. Even should a church or institution of religion waive its ecclesiastical immunity for some benefit of civil society, there are certain rights and duties that cannot be abandoned even when it enters a relationship with society’s civil administration. If an act of that ‘civil’ administration is repugnant to the law of God, it is void. It must not be obeyed lest you sin with those who administer it. You do not request a exemption or waiver from that which is unlawful. You are immune. You must have the courage to stand against it without asking permission. Even in the face of the unlearned saying that you violate Romans 13.
The church and institutions of religion are not subject to obtaining an ‘exemption’ from that which they are lawfully immune. Rather than churches being ‘exempt’ from taxation, the law mandates the government to ‘except’ churches from the requirements. See 26 USC 508. They are ‘excepted’ from the requirements on the basis of their immunity rather than the government having the discretion to first impose a requirement upon them and then give them an exemption. In the case of the infamous Obamacare, churches and other institutions of religion ought not to request an exemption but rather ought to declare their immunity and act accordingly.
In American law, courts are not supposed to get involved in a dispute until there is an injury to which the court can provide remedy. (See Marbury v. Madison) If an act requires you to violate the law of God, it is an act in violation of the constitution. If an act is repugnant to the constitution and you have not been injured by the government trying to enforce the unlawful act that you refuse to obey, then the court has no jurisdiction over the matter since you are not being injured. Just continue to do the right thing — disobey — and let the government abstain from enforcing their unlawful act against you. That is the chivalrous precept upon which this nation’s liberty rests.
If anybody says that obedience to the health care program would cause them to sin, upon that confession they have an obligation before God to not obey it. If you don’t have the conviction of religion that raises to the level of disobedience, it is not truly a conviction. Courts have the obligation to protect your right to obey the mandates of God but they have no obligation to protect your mere religious preferences.
Delegate Marshall’s bill proposals demonstrate that he is not suffering from lack of knowledge or courage. He and we are suffering from a lack of a community of legislators and society that understand the importance of exercising due diligence to uphold the law of God and to protect the life, liberty and property of one another. It is not for one man, Bob Marshall, to maintain the quarrel of all. If we do not man the lines with him, we fail.
We sing that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. I say that this cannot be the land of the free if it is not the home of the brave. Our society’s bravery wanes in proportion to our faith. Our freedom will come in proportion to our faith.
David Alan Carmichael is a media consultant to the Virginia Christian Alliance. and the Principal Minister of Freedom Ministries, a Christian evangelism, discipleship ministry committed to conveying the truth of God’s word to every issue and situation for our day. His Faith and Freedom radio show was broadcast in Hampton Roads from July 2007 through April 2009 and now broadcasts on WOGF Frank Talk 104.3 FM in West-Central Florida, where David talks about the issues of the day from a constitutional basis, a biblical basis, and on the basis of right versus wrong. (HEAR PODCAST)