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Is There a Time to Disobey the Government? Part 2

Vanessa Luu

Contributing Writer
Updated Apr 11, 2023
Is There a Time to Disobey the Government? Part 2

Man is not better, smarter, wiser, or more powerful than God. The only outcome is our collective demise when we convince ourselves that man can be more or just as wise, intelligent, reasonable, and powerful as God.

"Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:21, NASB. 

Virtually everyone knows this verse, whether they consider themselves Christians or not. It was even used as a line from Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie. My point is that it's a well-known statement. Sadly, Matthew 22:21 is usually misused as an excuse to blindly obey our government and act as if it is the will of God. And let's remember the other verse frequently used in connection with this one: "Obey the laws of the land" (Romans 13:1). 

Before we dig in, let's ask ourselves some questions. Why did Jesus say? Was He preaching to obey your government? When He walked on this earth, was it part of His mission to ensure the people obeyed the law?

In the Gospels, when Jesus said, "render unto Caesar," He said it in response to ridiculous, hypocritical questions from the Pharisees and the Herodians. These words were not part of a sermon. He carefully chose these words to answer a question that should have never been asked. It was a question asked for the purpose of trapping Jesus, just like all the questions from the Pharisees during His ministry. (See Matthew 22:15-22 for the complete story.)

In Luke 20:25 (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17), the other half of that verse says, "and to God the things that are God." What followed that famous statement outweighs the statement itself. Everything is God's, and I believe that was Jesus' point. Nothing trumps God. Nothing has the higher authority or deserves more loyalty and praise. Even if we misplace our loyalty and praise, God is still worthy of all the glory, and nothing we do will change that. 

To Whom Do You Render?

To whom do you want to render your praise, gifts, tithes, and taxes? To Caesar (man) or God? Christians have given this Caesar verse (and others like it) way too much weight, and we do it because it makes our disobedience easier to swallow. It's easier to go with the flow than to stand up for what's right. It's easier to applaud sin and call it the love of Christ, but God is not fooled.

I always want to stand firm with Christ whenever a difficult choice arises. That's what Jesus wants from us; it's what He modeled--complete loyalty and obedience to God, no matter the cost. 

Christians, we can't stop at "render to Caesar." We must continue to "and to God the things that are God's" because God rules everything. No money truly belongs to Ceasar, just like nothing truly belongs to us. Everything we have is because of God. He holds it all together.

Somewhere along the line, Christians started believing that staying out of things was what Jesus would have done. I'm unsure where we got that from, but I've heard it my whole life and even believed it myself. It's only gotten worse. Now, not only do we not stand with God for fear of persecution (in our case, being unpopular) or death, but we've started siding with the world, adopting its practices, and saying that it's what Jesus would do.

The only way anyone could believe that Jesus would side with sin and adopt its practices (and call it love) is because they don't know (or care to know) God's Word. They believe what they hear on their tv, and now, even the church calls it the truth. 

The Lies of the World

The problem is that the world, especially the media, lies to us. Lies are of the devil, not of God. Our government and media have done nothing but lie to us since 2020 (and before too, but I only got wise to it around this time). When I know someone is lying to me and makes a habit of lying to me daily, I cannot trust that the Holy Spirit lives inside them. I cannot comply with their demands if the Holy Spirit does not dwell within them, just like the Old Testament Daniel wouldn't.

I've had a problem with the masks since 2020, and it's not because they're inconvenient or because I'm selfish. It's because they represent not just one lie but many. Any time I wear a mask, I feel like a liar. Masks aren't synonymous with love and didn't stop the spread. The truth is the only thing everyone needs is Jesus; beyond that, we don't know what each person requires, so it's foolish to believe government mandates are best for this country's people.

The government told us many things about masks and vaccines, but one of the lines is that doing so is an act of compassion for our neighbor. This tugs on the heartstrings of those who call themselves Christians. The tagline, "compassion for our neighbor," pings in their church knowledge, and they respond (without thinking) that masks are good and that wearing them is an act of compassion. But Christians have been manipulated because this is false.

It was not kind or compassionate to force our children to wear ineffective masks all day for years. It has done more damage than harm to children's speech and oxygen intake, not to mention their psychological well-being. Since when is oxygen not healthy? The masks do not benefit people with asthma and anxiety, so where is the compassion for them?

Man is not better, smarter, wiser, or more powerful than God. The only outcome is our collective demise when we convince ourselves that man can be more or just as wise, intelligent, reasonable, and powerful as God.

Since the pandemic began, the new mandates have not improved things. As far as the morality of our country is concerned, we've taken a steep nose dive off a cliff, and somehow the majority has been able to ignore the brain-rattling impact of diving off this cliff. Perhaps because we've grown accustomed to fluffy lies that somehow comfort us? 

Powerful Testimonies of Faith to God

God appoints leaders, just like the Bible says, but He doesn't ever ask us to bow down to them, especially when they are going against His truth. Think about Daniel; think about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. God protected them for their loyalty to Him!

I am shocked and disheartened when I witness how many Christians are deceived. We have let the world infiltrate the church and become dark instead of bringing the light of Christ out into the world. Anyone who struggles with sin should be welcomed into the church, but their sin should not be glorified and called good.

I often hear that Jesus ate with the sinners and ministered to the prostitutes, which is absolutely correct, but He didn't exalt their sin. He offered them something better. And our call to be salt and light in the world is to live and love in this same way (Matthew 5:13-16). Yes, we can point lifestyles like homosexuality and transgender afflictions into the loving arms of our Savior, but that love should save their soul and lead them to repentance.

I'm not attacking people with either of these afflictions; it's just that there is and has been so much buzz around them, and the topic causes a lot of division. My call to Christians is to love and respect the person without glorifying their sin because when we say it's okay, we lie to them and work against God and His saving grace.

Our government is pushing us to accept sin and call it good, corrupt our children, sexualize them at a young age, and separate us from them. None of these things align with who God is and the life He has planned for us. The argument is that not doing these things is hateful to people who live in sin. If you read the Bible, you will find this way of thinking completely inaccurate. 

For example, allowing our children to have drag queens read to them at story time does not honor or glorify God. Affirming a child's gender confusion is not loving. Affirming the truth that God created them in His image and in precisely the way He wanted expresses the love of Jesus. Jesus did not participate in lies, and neither should we.

Paul said, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1). But Daniel's story shows us that when the "rules" go against God, we must not submit.

Daniel did not submit to the king. Funnily enough, the king really liked Daniel and didn't want to punish him, but he did because he didn't want to look bad in front of his people. But we know what happened in this story. The lion did NOT eat Daniel. To the king's surprise, Daniel was alive! 

"Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?" (Daniel 6:20, NASB). Daniel replied, "My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime" (Daniel 6:22, NASB). If this story doesn't inspire us to be obedient to God, no matter the consequences, then I don't know what does (and I highly recommend reading the entire story). It's so good. 

My favorite part of Daniel's story is the fantastic ripple effect it caused. King Darius sent this message to people of every race, nation, and language worldwide: "Peace and prosperity to you. I agree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel" (Daniel 6:24-26, NASB). The king pointed his kingdom to the one true God and off of himself. Do you see the positive impact this had on the kingdom?

Is It Wrong to Disobey the Government?

Jesus frequently broke the laws, like when He healed on the Sabbath (John 5:1-18) and touched and healed the leper. He did so intentionally to challenge the Pharisees and teach them that they were doing it wrong. 

I encourage you to thoroughly read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (my favorite). Ask God to teach you what Jesus was teaching. I assure you He will. 

There is a time to disobey the government when its laws and mandates dishonor God. When you choose anyone or anything in the world over God, that does not please Him. The Old Testament will tell you all about that, and yes, the Old Testament is alive and active, just like the rest of the Bible. Please read it, precious soul, and let God be the Ruler of your life.

Click here to read Part 1. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Enterline Design Services LLC.

Vanessa Luu is a wife, mother, and faith-based writer. She speaks and writes to believers to encourage them to live authentically with God.