Christians in Caesar’s Household
Christians in Caesar’s Household
Does the Bible mention believers who are in service of a pagan, executive state, and does the Bible give specific commands to those believers?
Assigned reading: Joseph Goulden, The Best Years, 1945-1950
Welcome to Episode 64 of Axe to the Root Podcast, part of the War Room Productions, I am Bo Marinov, and for the next 30 minutes I will try to cover a topic about which I have received multiple questions given some of the previous episodes of Axe to the Root, and certain teaching I have done on the nature of Biblical government and justice: namely, the issue of the executive state, as opposed to the judiciary state.
For those listeners who are not familiar in detail with those teachings, I want to give a short summary of them:
To get to the point, the civil government the Bible prescribes is strictly judiciary, that is, it is entirely devoted to issues of justice and nothing else. In the Bible, civil government is only the courts, which means, it is largely passive and inactive, and is only triggered to action where there is a dispute between private parties (which cannot, for one reason or another, be resolved through private arbitrage) or where there is a crime and the victim of the crime or his representatives cry out for justice. Thus, in the Law of God, the only function of magistrates is to be judges, nothing else. The so famous passage in Romans 13, which modern statist churchmen use to justify any obedience to the state and any action of state bureaucrats, also supports this limited view of government: it specifically says that civil rulers are to have authority (fear, in the Biblical term) only over evildoers, not over those who do good – thus, Romans 13 doesn’t describe our modern governments. (Our modern governments are rather described in Revelation 13, not Romans 13.) Lawful government servants, therefore, are only those who serve the courts in their functions, nothing more (as were the sheriffs in colonial America and the early American republic). All the other functions of safety, protection, and maintaining order outside disputes and crimes are left to individuals and the community, not to specialized government thugs. The Law also charges the government with the responsibility or waging war, but under the Law, wars are not part of executive policies, they are part of the judiciary, that is, restoring justice and punishing foreign criminals in the same way domestic criminals are judged. That’s why in Israel, it was judges who declared war and led the troops into battle. And when Israel became a monarchy, the kings were supposed to declare war only in their capacity as judges – that is, to restore justice, not to enlarge their dominions or their treasury. Such view of the government as strictly judiciary is the only view that truly maintains a limited government; any other view will by necessity lead to an expanding government, until the state controls every aspect of life.
We have today in America and in the Western world a different concept and practice of government: the concept of the executive state. Under that concept, the state is a corporation with its own vision, ambitions, goals, objectives for the society and its future, and of course, its own policy and its own business. Unlike private corporations, however, the state has no customers or clients (or, rather, has ‘clients,’ but in the old Roman sense, as in legally dependent subjects), because it doesn’t sell any real commodities or services; it has only subjects. Its only commodity or service is raw power – power which, under the Law of God, is supposed to stay dormant until there is a need for it, and then only awaken for the specific case it is needed, and then go to its dormant state again. In the Bible, power is given to not be used except as a last resort. But in the political religion of the modern state (and in the political religion of many modern Christian groups), unused power is wasted power; it must be used to achieve purposes other than justice in order to justify its existence. Thus, we have the state as a corporation with its own goals and purposes, we have the commodity it produces – power, and we have its subjects who are the only available source of resources for the purposes of the state; the logical conclusion can be only one, namely, that the state must use its power to force its subjects to work for or contribute their resources for the goals and the purposes of the state. This is what the executive state is. It has, by default, to control and regulate every single activity its subjects are engaged in, to make sure that every single activity in the society serves the purposes of the state. The modern state, therefore, is described not in Romans 13 but in Revelation 13: “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (vv. 16-17). No matter what your eschatological interpretation of Revelation 13 is, this passage clearly describes the nature of the beastly state, and looking at out world today, we can clearly see that every single state in the world today is a beast, including the United States.
For this reason my argument has been that a major part of the Christian resistance and the Christian view of righteous civil government is that the executive state must go. Executive authority in the Bible – that is, the authority to manage resources, establish and achieve objectives for the future, and set up policies and purposes for those resources – is given to the families and the individuals, not to the state. There is no power in the Bible given to the state to declare illegal or regulate or permit or ban any activity of individuals that the Bible has not declared a crime – from consuming substances, through selling and buying, through starting companies, hiring workers and being hired as a worker, through decisions for saving or spending, through crossing national borders in search of better life, through decisions of voluntary co-operation with other people on any kind of economic or non-economic projects, etc., etc., etc. There is no power given to the government in the Bible to control non-criminal individuals under the pretext of ‘safety.’ There is no power given to the government to create special classes of uniformed thugs granted executive privilege to steal other people’s life, liberty, or property for the purpose of ‘maintaining order.’ Order, safety, prosperity, investments, employment, immigration, education, the future, etc., are prerogatives of the community of free individuals. The only authority the Bible allows the civil government is the area of justice. Nothing else. Thus, police, standing armies, government bureaucracies, immigration restrictions, regulatory agencies, educational agencies, taxing agencies (including school districts), game wardens, are all immoral and unlawful, as far as the Bible is concerned; they are clearly part of the realm of the Beast of Revelation 13, not part of the godly civil government in Romans 13, because they are given power not just over criminals but over non-criminal members of the society as well.
No need to dig deeper here, y’all can find those lectures I have done, at the Freedom Conference earlier this year, and previous episodes of Axe to the Root. My goal today is not talk about the evil of the executive state and the Biblical view of the civil government as a limited judiciary. I want to cover a question that I have been asked many times, especially when I talk about the evil of the standing army of police, which is nothing more than an enforcer for the executive state, and specifically a revenue collector – or you can call it a racketeer or a bagman – for the executive state. The question is: What do we tell those people who work for the police but are not in their personal hearts and conduct, or in their conscience even, corrupt? Police is an evil, anti-Biblical institution, that much can be derived from the Bible, given that there is no mandate in the Law of God for an institution of special executive privilege charged with controlling the general population for the purposes of the elite. Contrary to what most people believe, cops do not spend most of their time fighting crime – only less than 10% of the work of the cops is devoted to that; the rest of their work is revenue collection in one form or another. As one author noted, “if two people start fighting with knives, cops will probably never show up to stop the fight, but dare drive down the road without a registration plate or sell burritos on the street without a license, you bet within less than an hour you will be besieged by several police cars and dozens of cops, threatening you with all kinds of consequences and writing you tickets for hundreds of dollars in fines.” But in that evil institution there are still people who have gotten in because they were misled about the nature of that institution; some of them professing Christians, and some of them still believing that the institution is OK, it just needs to be reformed or even redeemed. What do we tell these people to do? And cops are not the only ones. We have government school workers and teachers who are good people caught in the middle of decisions made out of ignorance, we have good people working for regulatory or taxing agencies, we even have good people working for corrupt politicians or judges, or public attorneys, and should we mention the standing army of the military, something that both the Law of God and our American historical tradition clearly forbid – and we have hundreds of thousands of Christian men and women misled by all the militarist propaganda so cherished by the conservative part of the socialist population of the US – what do we do we tell all these people once we open our eyes and their eyes to the massive idolatry of the executive state we have in out midst, to the political machine of the Beast in Revelation 13? Do we tell them to quit? Do we tell them that it’s OK to stay where they are and just obey orders? How can we teach the Romans 13 view of government – a limited judiciary – and yet approach the issue of Christians working for the current Revelation 13 pagan state in all its different manifestations?
I call this the problem of Christians in Caesar’s household, from the phrase used in Philippians 4:22: “All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” Paul writes this letter from Rome, and he uses the Greek word oikia, meaning not immediate family but ‘household’ in the economic sense of the word, including everyone who is in one way or another dependent on the personal household or business ventures of the ruling emperor. This included the immediate family of the emperor, but also his slaves and servants, his ‘freemen’ (that is, freed slaves), and his clients. Now, clients in Rome meant not the same word it means today; to get a better idea of the meaning of that word, search for ‘patron-client relationship’ in ancient Rome. In general, the phrase ‘Caesar’s household’ meant everyone who in one way or another was economically and judicially dependent on the emperor’s family. The question now is, however, why am I using this phrase in relation to modern executive government agencies, if there isn’t today any Caesar, nor is there any ruling family?
Because the underlying ideology and the principle of existence and operation of the modern executive state is the same as that of the pagan states in ancient times and in the antiquity. The ancient monarchies пїЅ and not only the ancient, but most monarchies in history – as should be well known to any student of history, ruled their domains in a way a homeowner rules his house. Fustel de Coulanges, in his amazingly good study of the Classical Civilization, The Ancient City, points to the fact that the Greek polis as a political entity, and later the Roman Empire, emerged not as a new form of government but only as an extension, or rather, an imitation of the ancient family household. Just as the father in the family ruled over his children and his slaves, the monarch ruled over his subjects. But since every political entity needs not only a ruler, but also a system of bureaucracy to control and manage the resources at the disposal of the state, the ancient monarchs were in need of loyal bureaucrats to do the control and the management. There is only one way to have loyal bureaucrats, and that is, to make them all economically dependent on the ruler, just as servants in the household. Under the Republic, government positions were voted to members of the patrician class. The voting process eventually became corrupt, there is no doubt about it, but it was still a process that at least assumed some manner of separation between private business and public duties, and it at least placed some restrictions and threatened prosecution for abuse of power. (Julius Caesar started the civil war because he was asked to give up his military command and appear in Rome for prosecution.) Once the Empire was practically proclaimed in 45 BC with the proclamation of Caesar for dictator for life, he immediately started replacing the elected patricians in positions of government with appointed bureaucrats – and all of them members of his own household, including his freed slaves. The Empire – which was in its very essence an executive state – continued replacing elected statesmen with household servants, and by the time of Constantine, it was all a gigantic bureaucracy, with no true public servants anymore. When Paul was writing his letter, the process was under way, and even at that early time (he was writing under the reign of Nero), much of the government of the empire was given over to low-level members of the household of the Caesars. When Paul was speaking of ‘those of Caesar’s household,’ he was speaking of what today would be described as ‘public servants’: bureaucrats, low-level administrators, police, regulatory and taxing agencies, etc. These were people who owed their economic survival to their loyalty to the person in power. They had no other means to make a living or prosper; they relied on the power of their master to rob the rest of the population of their hard-earned money, and then distribute part of it among his own household. And that is exactly the way the executive state operates today. It has its own household, its own army of people who are economically dependent on it; a bureaucracy which survives and thrives on the power of the executive state to rob the working population of a portion of their income, gainings, or profit, and the power to distribute part of it among its own house servants. Caesar doesn’t exist today, but the principle of making the state into a giant household ruling over the families of the land is still here with us.
Now, much can be said about why today, after 2,000 years of Christianity, we still have such a pagan state ruling over us, instead of the Biblical model of civil government of a strictly judiciary state. The blame, of course, is on the church and its leaders, but analyzing their guilt is not the focus of this episode. The question today is this: what do we say to these members of the household of the modern Caesar? Do we tell them to quit, or stay where they are?
Over the last several years, while speaking on the concept of the Biblical judiciary state and the evil of the modern executive state, I have been confronted with the logical challenge: If we know that the modern executive state is evil, that it is only a modern version of the ancient pagan states, we should be telling those Christians – and not only Christians – who serve it and are part of its household to quit their jobs. Face it, Bo, there can be no such thing as good cops or good tax collectors or good public school teachers or public government employees. Or good public military servicemen, for that matter, given that the Bible doesn’t allow standing armies, and besides, the US military is involved in so many unrighteous and unjust wars around the globe. Why would we tell those people – especially if they are Christians – to stay where they are, instead of telling them to leave and not serve the Beast? Seeing that I never made that call, some of my friends who insist that a Christian must be consistent and not work for any executive government agencies were rather exasperated and baffled by my position: How is it that you, who of all people are the most vehement critic of the executive state, don’t see it logical and necessary to call for an exodus out of it? In fact, I have also said several times that it may be expedient for Christians who are in these agencies to stay there for as long as they can. Why is that?
Of course, the most obvious – although, not the strongest – reason is the impracticality of such an advice. Or, rather, the impossibility of consistently applying it across the board. OK, we can apply it somewhat in a mixed economy where, while the government controls a certain share of the market and the economy, other parts are left to some form of private initiative. Like the US. Anyone can decide to leave his government job and go into the private business; and in fact, in most cases, his economic position will improve by doing that. So it’s really not that much of a sacrifice; well, perhaps, the only thing that one sacrifices when leaving their government job is the relative security of the job. But what do we do with Christians in totalitarian states where everything, the whole economy and the market, are not simply controlled but owned by the state and used for its purposes? In Eastern Europe before 1989, there simply wasn’t any market nor economy nor entrepreneurship outside the state. Any job a person could take had to be working for the state in one form or another, and therefore producing value for the state. (Now, how much of value that was is a different issue.) Whatever one wanted to be or was born to be – an engineer, an agricultural worker, a teacher, an accountant – he had to work for the state. The only alternative was to completely abandon the society and find a remote place where one could survive without the society. That’s what the Russian Lykov family did in 1936: Old believers being persecuted by the Communist authorities, they retreated with their two younger kids deep into the Siberian taiga and settled in a place never before visited by any human being, including the local tribes. Two more children were born while they lived in isolation, and the family survived year after year with great difficulties, until they were discovered by geologists 42 years later. But is this the way for a Christian family, and specifically for a Reformed family living under a totalitarian regime? Can we consistently demand that Christians fulfill the Great Commission expand the Kingdom of God in any circumstances, and yet, demand of them life choices that, in certain institutional settings, will make them powerless, or even doom them to starvation? Having lived under Communism, and knowing what it is, I can’t consistently tell anyone that they need to leave their job for the government and try to find another means of survival. If I can’t do it to a Cuban or North Korean or Venezuelan Christian, I can’t do it to an American Christian.
But this is a practical consideration, and, admittedly, it can be a weak argument. Consistency perhaps can sometimes be trumped by extraordinary circumstances. Perhaps. The ultimate strong argument, however, would be a Biblical command or example. Does the Bible mention believers who are in service of a pagan, executive state, and does the Bible give specific commands to those believers?
It turns out that it does, and the passage where it does it is pretty clear, and applies quite well to our modern situation. That passage is Luke 3:12-14, where tax collectors and soldiers were asking John the Baptist what they should do now, as repentant and baptized people:
[QUOTE]And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”[END OF QUOTE]
Tax collectors and soldiers. I don’t know how much worse it can go. The racketeers of the Empire; those who sucked the blood of the Empire’s population in order to feed the Beast. It was these two categories – the tax collectors and the soldiers – who made sure that no one who didn’t have the sign of the Beast (a permit, a certificate of paid taxes) could buy or sell. And these guys – these guys – came to be baptized! Imagine the nerve! And, even worse, John the Baptist didn’t reject them, he actually baptized them, and then, when they asked him what to do, he failed to tell them, ‘quit your jobs.’ Amazingly enough, even though it is only logical for him to tell them to quit their jobs in service of the Beast, he not only didn’t do it, he gave them ethical rules for how to do their job. It’s not like the Roman Empire was a totalitarian state where everything was owned by the state and therefore every job was working for the state. People were allowed to be free workers, they were allowed to have their own business. Peter was a fisherman, Paul made tents, etc. No one had to work for the government. Then why didn’t John tell these people to quit their jobs?
It is also interesting to see what ethical instructions he gave them. To the tax collectors, he said, “Collect no more than you are ordered to.” Now, before some statists decide to use this as a ‘proof’ that the Bible justifies any taxes and any rate of taxation, it doesn’t. These were instructions to people in a lower position, whose only power was to decide how much they will collect. They were not the ones who ordered what taxes must be collected. They were the ones fulfilling the orders. That is, if an order was given that a family must pay a specific sum, the tax collector’s job was to count the families in his district and take the money from them. Using the power of the state, that is, the soldiers, if necessary. Now, at the time, tax collectors apparently had the same drive as tax collectors today: they were always tempted to use their power to extort more from the defenseless population than what was ordered – of course, with the purpose of lining up their own pockets. Except that at that time, the practice was rather illegal, at least on the books. But since there was no regulatory organ to control tax collectors, they were pretty left alone to extort as much as they could, and pocket the difference. In today’s US, tax collectors are encouraged to collect more, and receive bonuses for it.
John’s instructions to these tax collectors are that they shouldn’t collect more than they are ordered to. That is, they are not supposed to enrich themselves while they carry out the orders of their sovereign, the pagan state. But these are people who just got baptized and are believers! How can we interpret John’s words? What is the worldview and what is the
; that is, they were a standing army charged with the task of suppressing the population in favor of the ruling elite in Rome. Naturally, as any standing army of the interior, they were also charged with the task of assisting the tax collectors in their work. No different than modern police: modern cops spend more than 90% of their time collecting revenue, and only 5% fighting crime. Just like the modern cops, the cops of the time were subject to the same temptations and committed the same sins and crimes. Because of this, John warned them against those sins and crimes: Do not take money from anyone by force (asset forfeiture, fines, etc), do not accuse anyone falsely (planting evidence, cops posing as instigators of crime, lying in court, etc.), and be content with your wages (corruption, bribery, using their power to run criminal enterprises, etc.) Obviously, the cops at the time were exactly like the cops of our time. And yet, all John told them was to refrain from abuse of power, leading to these specific sinful and criminal practices, but he never told them to quit their jobs. Why?
This clear example has been what makes me reluctant to declare that since police and other government executive institutions are, by the nature of their function, unlawful Biblically, then the Christians who work in them must quit their jobs. If John didn’t tell the tax collectors and the soldiers of his time to quit, I have no Biblical mandate to tell modern policemen, government school teachers, IRS agents, agents of regulatory agencies, etc., to quit their jobs. That much must be clear.
Now, none of this means that the institutions they work for are lawful or necessary, from a Biblical perspective. The Roman executive state was the Beast, and the modern state is the Beast, and their executive institutions are unlawful and must be abolished, all of them, as soon as possible, preferably yesterday. For a Christian to remain working in them is lawful, Biblically, provided the individual is aware of the institutional sin prevalent in that institution, and provided he takes measures to not participate in it. But why should a Christian remain in such an institution?
The only possible answer is: because there, he fulfills an important purpose in the Kingdom of God in history. But what is that purpose? It is certainly not to rationale for his words within that worldview?
He said the same to the soldiers. Soldiers, of course, in the Roman Empire, were not just a military. They also fulfilled the role of the modern police perpetuate the institution; perpetuating a pagan institution can never be the purpose of a Christian. But what is it, and where in the Bible can we find such an answer?
The answer is found in the person and ministry of Joseph. Joseph, who was raised to the position of the highest ruler in the Kingdom of Egypt after the Pharaoh, and since that kingdom at the time was the most powerful kingdom in the world, he became the most powerful man alive. He achieved all this while serving a pagan empire. In his time, it was just as pagan as it was centuries later, when the Israelites were enslaved under it. It openly served false gods. It openly made sorcery and occultism its government policy. It was, for all practical purposes, a pagan state, if there has ever been one. And yet, Joseph served that state, and Joseph’s service to that pagan state is considered one of the highest examples of service to God in the Bible.
Now, before we jump to incorrect conclusions, let me explain something. Some modern Reformed authors have taken the example of Joseph to postulate some legitimacy to the modern socialist state – see, if Joseph was the most powerful man of a socialist state, therefore there is nothing wrong with statism and socialism in our modern days. This interpretation misses the fact that unlike the modern socialist state, Joseph did not use his power to force a nationalization of Egypt’s economy. All Joseph used was his prophetic skill and his economic genius. The people of Egypt were not forced to surrender their property; nor was the military or police apparatus of Egypt used to confiscate private property. They voluntarily surrendered all they had (Genesis 47). During the seven years of abundance, when the land had a surplus of food, Joseph gathered one fifth of the food – presumably, the surplus of those years. The people of Egypt each had the opportunity also to store food for himself and his family, learning from Joseph’s example, but none of them did. When the years of starvation came, they were forced to sell everything they had to Joseph in order to get food from him. Joseph’s power – and the power of his master, the Pharaoh, grew not through superior force but through superior economic reason. Thus, Joseph has nothing to do with the modern socialist states.
And yet, he served a pagan state. What was the purpose for the Kingdom of God of that service?
It was bringing temporary redemption to a place of evil, in history.
The Egyptian state was a pagan state. It was also the most powerful state at the time, and its power was fueled by its control of the most fertile land at the time, the valley and the delta of the Nile. The promised land was situated very close to that pagan state. The pagan state itself was not always a reliable neighbor; remember that Sarah was taken away from Abraham by the king of Egypt (Gen. 12). Later, when a Pharaoh came to the throne who remembered not Joseph, the state enslaved whole populations. All this happened in times of relative safety and prosperity and peace. Imagine what would have happened during the seven years of famine, if such a pagan state was faced with the problem of population restless because of famine, and pressure from other nations for the same reason? The result would have been devastating. In places like China or India, a simple change of dynasties or an internecine strife have led to millions slaughtered. Egypt wouldn’t have avoided a similar fate if it had entered the famine period without proper economic preparations. Joseph, in this case, was serving not the pagan state but God’s Kingdom through the medium of the pagan state. He was bringing temporary redemption in a place of evil. It was temporary: God never designed to take over Egypt through Joseph. He only designed to bring temporary redemption to Egypt, until His people were safe. Nothing more. No service to the pagan state. No legitimacy to socialism. No legitimacy to the executive state and its brutal institutions. The only purpose was bringing temporary redemption to a place that without that redemption would have turned into hell on earth.
The same was situation with Naaman, the Syrian general serving under king Ben-Hadad of Syria. He became a believer after being baptized in a way by the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5:15). Elisha, however, did not tell him to leave his position of the highest general of a pagan king. In fact, Naaman even told Elisha that he would regularly enter the temple of Rimmon, a Syrian deity, because of his obligations to his king, but that his bowing before the statue of Rimmon won’t be because of worship to Rimmon. Elisha did not see a problem with this arrangement and even sent him out with a ‘lech l’shalom,’ a greeting reserved only for those in the covenant. Why was this? While the answer is not explicitly given, we see that during the reign of Ben-Hadad, Syria, which at the time was the mightiest kingdom in the region, was friendly to Israel, and Ben-Hadad honored Hebrew prophets as ‘men of God’ (see 2 Kings 8). Apparently, the influence of Naaman the believer was felt in the Syrian court; God had a temporary mercy for Israel, before He allowed all hell to break loose. All hell indeed broke loose and we see the true nature of Syrian paganism when Hazael, a man who was anointed by Elijah (1 Kings 19:15) and prophesied about by Elisha (2 Kings 8) assassinated Ben-Hadad and became a king of Syria. Again, the influence of a believer in a pagan government was obvious: a temporary respite from the full manifestation of hell on earth. And certainly not an endorsement of pagan governments and pagan political and judicial practices.
There are other examples in the Bible and in church history as well, but these two should suffice for our purposes here. What is important for us to understand is this: God doesn’t command all the servants of pagan governments to leave their posts upon becoming Christians. He doesn’t discourage Christians from joining pagan governments as servants or even rulers. Yes, even where they join an institution that is, in its purpose and intent, an evil institution. The only caveat for a Christian joining such institution is that he must join it with the clear intention and vision to serve as a temporary redemption in a place or institution ultimately destined to be abolished, because it is nothing less than hell on earth. He must be there as Jesus who preached to the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19). Or, even better, following 1 Tim. 4:10, we know that Christ is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Now, obviously, there is some sort of salvation to those who don’t believe, although it is not the special one we get. This general salvation, or temporary redemption, is what such a servant of God is supposed to do. Not to perpetuate a pagan government; but to undermine a pagan government in its purposes and agenda, and deter the full unleashing of its potential of wickedness and injustice.
Cops and tax collectors and other government servants today are no different than what they were in the Roman Empire. They use their position to steal, rob, and destroy. Whole divisions within the police departments are specialized in false witnessing – those where cops are trained to pose as drug dealers who push drugs to people with the purpose of arresting them after that. If, of course, they just don’t plant ‘evidence’ to justify arrests. Police, contrary to the claims, doesn’t fight crime. More than 90% of the work of modern police is revenue collection for the local governments. Which is not different from collecting more money than they are told to. More than 40-50% of the budgets of many local governments and police departments and Sheriff’s offices come from fines and tickets and from the modern form of highway robbery called ‘asset forfeiture.’ Let this sink. May be we think that we as voters vote on how much our taxes should be, but in reality, unelected bureaucrats – or worse, unelected bureaucrats with weapons and badges – really decide how much they are going to extort from us, and it is more than double than what we vote for. This is exactly the modern form of what Zachaeus did before he repented, using government force to extort people for money, and this is exactly what John the Baptist warned the tax collectors and the soldiers again: ‘Do not force anyone,’ and ‘Do not take more than what ordered.’ (Ordered today would mean what was voted, given that the official sovereign are the voters.) We have seen from so many examples that cops are not even above murder of innocent people for no reason whatsoever – and the courts support them. For all practical purposes, our modern government is just as barbaric and cruel and pagan as any government in the antiquity.
What would be the reason for a Christian, then, to stay in such institutions, or to even join such institutions?
What the Biblical reason is: To bring temporary redemption to an institution which will eventually be abolished, but in the meantime, if not restrained, may create hell on earth. The purpose for Christians in Caesar’s household must be to sabotage Caesar’s household in its pagan nature and goals; to use their power to refuse to implement the wicked aspects of its policy. In times of disaster, Christians in Caesar’s household must be trained and taught to act like Joseph: Taking over to prevent pagans in power from acting as pagans, and bringing God’s order to situations that otherwise would disintegrate into chaos.
Christian tax collectors should use their position to sabotage the collection of taxes as much as they can. Collecting more than 10% in taxes is idolatry and an affront to God, so using one’s position to achieve any decrease in the tax burden on individuals and companies is a worthy goal for a Christian in any tax agency. Additional charges must be sabotaged, court action against taxpayers must be sabotaged; and in dire times when businesses and individuals suffer from both economic downturns and government oppression, tax collectors must fulfill their oath to God by deliberately refusing to implement policies that place even more burden on affected families and businesses. Every single rule in the book must be used to justify more money left in the hands and bank accounts of the taxpayers; and when a tax collector goes to court, he must deliberately come unprepared so that the case against the taxpayer is dismissed.
The advice to police should be similar: sabotage the unjust and wicked aspects of the work of police. First and foremost, refuse to be a revenue collector for the government. Revenue collection is not mentioned in any of the oath police officers take; thus, there is no violation of oath if a cop refuses, either overtly or covertly, to be a revenue collector. Moreover, the practice of revenue or tickets quotas is illegal, so no police officer is under any pressure or obligation to write tickets or collect fines. The principle of a Christian police officer must be this: ‘If the bureaucrats want to collect money, they are free to leave their offices and go collect it. I am not doing it for them.’ It should also go without saying that a police officer must deliberately refuse to get involved in all the immorality and false witnessing cops are taught to do: planting ‘evidence,’ murder, using force, even detaining individuals who have not committed any crime. The only Biblically legitimate function of a police officer is being an agent of the courts; that is, serving court warrants and executing court orders. Nothing else. Of course, in case a cop finds himself in a situation where crime is being committed – and such situations are notoriously rare – he is obligated to act to stop the criminal, but then again, this is a not specific police job, it is the duty and privilege of any individual. In court, a police officer must refuse to testify against individuals who have not committed a crime according to the Law of God, even if the laws of men say they have committed a crime. In everything police does these days, a Christian police officer should sabotage the work of his own agency by remaining faithful to the Biblical Law, and also, remain a servant of the only institution that is Biblically legitimate, namely, the courts.
The same applies to government school teachers, bureaucrats in regulatory agencies, employees of federal standing armies like the military, the BLM, the immigration agencies, etc. all these executive agencies were created to enforce the will of the pagan state, and thus create hell on earth. A Christian working for them must strive to bring temporary redemption to those places by (1) sabotaging the anti-Biblical aspects of their work, and (2) bringing God’s order to situations which otherwise would deteriorate into chaos. Bringing God’s order, and sabotaging Satan’s disorder, is the covenantal purpose of work of a Christian in Caesar’s household.
And if a Christian government employee can’t do these things, or feels he is not strong enough to deal with the opposition, he should leave. Living and working where the throne of Satan is not a job for everyone. It is a legitimate job in the history before the Final Judgment, but it is not an easy job. And certainly not for everyone.
The book I will recommend this week is Joseph Goulden’s The Best Years, 1945-1950. The book covers the problem of the returning WWII veterans and their proneness to violence. But it also shows the conflict between the returning GIs and the boss-ruled Democrat southern states. Including the Battle of Athens, TN in 1946. Pay attention to the role of police in these events. You will find out that police has never been on the side of justice; it has always been on the side of corrupt governments. If it wasn’t for the military superiority of the GIs over the cops, to this day, the Southern states would have remained corrupt and controlled by party bosses like third-world countries. But even today, police continues to serve corrupt party bosses. And since today we don’t have returning GIs in such numbers as after WWII, the only restraining force in our society are those Christians who have served or serve in the police, and know how to sabotage its work and bring morality and order to the wickedness and chaos of the modern state.
And remember, in your prayers and giving, Bulgarian Reformation Ministries, a mission organization committed to bringing the full and comprehensive Gospel to Eastern Europe; not only saving souls, but also redeeming the society for the Kingdom of God through preaching the Law of God and the Redemption of Jesus Christ to every area of society. Visit BulgarianReformation.com, subscribe to our newsletter, and donate. Your money won’t be wasted. And God bless you all.