Sam Caldwell, May 2020
The following writing and videos from Don Currin, Paul Washer, and John MacArthur best represent my current approach to COVID-19. These clips are from almost a month ago, but I believe they are still relevant because they are rooted in eternal truth.
Here is my current approach in outline:
- I will be submitting to governing authorities in all matters pertaining to our church, our street evangelism, and our abortion ministry – especially insofar as that constitutes a good witness to outsiders (1 Pet 2:11–17) and pacifies the conscience of Christians (Rom 13:5).
- I will also be submitting to my pastor, Jeff Hebert, and I will do so gladly, without grumbling (Hebrews 13:17).
- I will be continuing to practice social distancing out of respect for my parents (whom I live with), but also out of respect for the current government mandate in Maine, which I believe is on the whole sane and good. I say “on the whole sane and good” because, while one may have many disagreements with how the government is doing things, one needs to assess whether what a government does is on the whole good or evil, in order to make responsible Christian decisions about civil obedience or disobedience. It is important to consider that not all disagreements with a given government warrant disobedience, rebellion, or protesting.
- Insofar as the mandate is not targeting Christians and is only prohibiting us from meeting on the basis of the position and wisdom given to the government by God to protect human life, I believe this is not a situation in which civil disobedience is warranted (see more on this in the following posts, and on civil disobedience here:…). In a word, Christians are not being persecuted, so we should not act as if we are being persecuted.
Here is Don Currin’s Facebook post from April:
WHY I DON’T TAKE POTSHOTS AT POLITICIANS
I believe in authority. I believe that every person that occupies a position of governmental authority has been placed there by God. I believe Paul was right when He said, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained (chosen) of God.” Romans 13:1 Because my conscience is bound by God’s Word, I willingly submit.
Furthermore, I refuse to align myself with those who Jude describes as apostates in the latter days. In sketching the character of those who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, Jude says, “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise (reject) dominion (authority), and speak evil of dignities (ruling authorities). 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
If Michael the archangel refused to use a railing (evil speaking) accusation against the devil, I find no freedom to take pot shots at those that God has put in political office.
Furthermore, Paul exhorts Titus to submit to authorities when he says, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” Having concluded that the apostle is underscoring the need to submit to those in authority, and obey them, I refuse to play the fool of disregarding so fearful an admonition.
WHAT AM I SAYING?
While I have every liberty to expose a politician’s corrupt agenda by the Word of God, and refuse to submit to them if they violate God’s greater authority, I MUST NOT demean their character and stubbornly resist their directives when it is for the benefit of my family, my fellow man, and, most importantly, Christ’s kingdom.
Interestingly, in a time of great persecution when even God’s ultimate authority was being defied, the Apostle Peter tells the scattered saints outside of Rome, who are running for their lives, to “submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors,. …. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Was the Apostle Peter insane? Is he telling the beleaguered believers to honor Nero, that tyrant who blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians. As hard as it may be for some to believe, that’s exactly what Peter said. And he said it under divine inspiration.
It is my prayer that the zeal and impatience of believers in this hour will not override their discretion and integrity. For all are subjects to our Sovereign King Jesus. And we better not forget it!
Here is a clip from an interview with Paul Washer from April 2, 2020:
Here is a John MacArthur interview from April 24th, 2020:
At minute 9:40 in the following video, John MacArthur articulates a balanced approach that is in line with all I believe about the primacy of Romans 13, 1 Peter 2, why we should not protest, leading a quiet life, and the fact that Christians are not currently being singled out or persecuted in America’s response to COVID-19 on the whole.
May Christ be glorified in our every breath.