The reactions to the events since the November 3rd election have been mind boggling. Who could have thought that so much venom could be spewed by a major political party hell-bent on total destruction of its ideological rivals, a one-time competing political party that has lost what little courage it had to fight for ideals it claimed to have, and communication companies (one of the first areas to attack in any revolution) that wants to keep competing ideas and pushback from reaching the masses?
So, what’s the proper response? This is the question of the day. I can assure you it’s not a revolutionary spirit. Romantic revolutionaries are just that. They think a revolution will arise from the masses of the discontented. It’s not the way revolutions work or end up. Most people are willing to live under a certain amount of tyranny. They fear losing their livelihoods. Better to go along so as not to be left behind. Better to comply than put up a fight that might be viewed as “anti-democratic” and “unpatriotic,” as defined by the suppressing worldview. The temptation by the few is to attack with violence with the belief that the majority will follow. It almost never turns out well. Yes, there will always be followers who will provide fodder for the revolutionaries. The revolution will be controlled by the uncontrolled, but in the end the reaction by the establishment will lead to further suppression and attacks, especially when the means of communication are owned by supporters of suppression.
Putting up a fight is not the same as wanting to start a revolution or a civil war. How to win a war against suppression is not something that happens overnight, especially when we’ve built or accepted our own unwillingness to engage the enemies with the tools God has made available to us:
Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there were four horns. So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.” Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.” (Zechariah 1:18–21).
It is not hyperbolic to compare what’s going on today in the United States with what took place during the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Nazis. There are too many parallels to dismiss the comparisons. See Dennis Prager’s article “I Now Better Understand the ‘Good German’” and John Zmirak’s “Anti-Trump Conservatives Offer a Unifying Message: ‘We Have No King but Caesar!’”
Because Christians have mostly abandoned the culture because it’s not “the gospel,” we are now at the mercy of the destroyers. The temptation is to follow one of two bad paths. The first is to claim that “God is in control,” and He’ll work everything out while we don’t take any defensive or offensive (craftmanship) action, and second, become a revolutionary. As to the first, “It is a sad but irrefutable fact that the Russian Orthodox Church at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution was engaged in a fruitless attempt to preserve its religious treasures (chalices, vestments, paintings, icons, etc.) and was therefore unable to relate meaningfully to the tremendous social upheavals then taking place.” (Donald G. Bloesch, Crumbling Foundations: Death and Rebirth in an Age of Upheaval (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 30.)
The Establishment and Limits of Civil Government
While many Christians might have been opposed to Nazi policies, they had been conditioned to believe they could not do anything about them. Much of their thinking was shaped by a misreading of Romans 13 and a misapplication of Matthew 22:21 where Jesus says 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.' As with all authority, there are limits, including limits on civil government.Buy Now
As to the second point. Rousas J. Rushdoony wrote the following in 1965:
We should not be surprised … that Marxists and other worshipers of chaos are committed to revolution even when the peaceful take-over of a country is possible. Revolution must be created by mass liquidations and the destruction of all established law and order, including economic order. The “economics" of socialism (and welfare states) do not make sense because they are not intended to make sense: they are a defiance of the universe of God in the name of chaos. They invoke chaos as the highway to the golden age.
If they fail, the guilt is not theirs. They blame the failure on residual areas and pockets of religion, law, and order, or property and national loyalty. Their solution therefore is to increase the chaos. Since their universe is a universe of chaos: their golden age can only come through planned chaos. Hence, they deny the validity of the biblical God; they cannot accept a world of moral and economic law. Their golden age requires the triumph of man over religion, over morality, and over economics. The liberation of man requires the systematic violation and destruction of every law sphere. (The Religion of Revolution (Victoria, TX: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1965), [3-4].)
The assumption among the revolutionaries is that things will get better if America falls apart. When this happens, so the argument goes, the people will rise and throw off their oppressors, as they did during the French, Russian, and Cuban revolutions.
The murdering mobs that attacked the nearly empty Bastille in Paris, France, believed their actions were for a better France, similar to what today’s political revolutionaries have in mind. The storming of the Bastille was a catalyst for what became known as the Reign of Terror.
Internally, popular sentiments by some of the nation’s most perverse social theorists radicalized the revolutionary fervor, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and the virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety. During the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed.
Did you get that? Between 16,000 and 40,000 French citizens were killed for a better France. Consider the following:
Ordered by the king [Louis XVI] to surrender, more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses. “Women, lost to all sense of shame,” said one surviving witness, “were committing the most indecent mutilations on the dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in triumph.” Children played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every living thing in the Tuileries [royal palace in Paris] was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were raped before being hacked to death.
The Jacobin club … demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward as a warning to the people of the power of the extreme left.
This bestial attack, it was later decreed, would be celebrated every year as “the festival of the unity and indivisibility of the republic.” It would be as if families across America delighted in the annual TV special “A Manson Family Christmas.” (Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011), 107.)
In time, the supposed just cause of the revolutionary mobs got out of hand, and people noticed the road the revolution was taking them. What began to eradicate corruption among the ruling classes of civil governing officials and religious hierarchy spilled over to the general population.
During the Reign of Terror, extreme efforts of de-Christianization ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France. An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianization. (“The French Revolution”: The Reign of Terror,” Thought Crackers (Sept. 17, 2015): Online here.
It was at this point that the people became disillusioned with the revolutionary ways of the radicals, but not before more atrocities were committed for the supposed salvation of the people and the nation. As revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat wrote in 1792, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That is the only way to save the country.” Similar rhetoric is being used among supporters of the Democrat Party. And it did as Marat’s followers attacked and butchered hundreds of enemies of the revolution. Two bonfires were constructed to cremate the mutilated corpses. “The gutters ran red with blood.”
Don’t say it can’t happen here. The people in France, Russia, Cuba, China, and Venezuela probably said the same thing.
One of the first things that these revolutions do is attack the prevailing religion. We’re seeing this happen in the United States. There’s been a steady history of removing anything related to God and the Bible from our culture. The Bible was relegated to the Church on Sunday, but even that’s under attack. Some want the Bible banned for what it says about same-sex sexuality. There is no way to appease the anarchists. They want it all. “[L]eft-wing radicals burn Bibles, assault and murder policemen and civilians, set fire to courthouses, vandalize and loot all manner of businesses,” Roger Kimball writes. “The clips of the savages burning Bibles put me in mind of Heinrich Heine’s solemn observation that Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen: ‘Wherever people burn books, they also end up burning men.’” (Roger Kimball, “The Choice Before Us,” American Greatness (August 1, 2020): https://bit.ly/3k7DHGT)
There’s a lot of work to do. I don’t know the outcome but sitting back and waiting for some new directive from heaven is not the biblical way. We’ve been given the directive. That directive was given by God to Adam and Eve. It’s never been rescinded.
The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates
America has entered troubling times. The massive expansion of Federal government power with its destructive laws and policies is of grave concern to many. But what can be done to quell the abuse of power by civil authority? Are unjust or immoral actions by the government simply to be accepted and their lawless commands obeyed? How do we know when the government has acted tyrannically? Which actions constitute proper and legitimate resistance?Buy Now