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What if someone says I can't?

Updated: Mar 30

Our rights are given by God, not the government and not the church. [John 1:3] Every government, church, and individual answers to God for the choices each makes.

What are my Rights?

Any rights that we have as individuals are given by God who is the Creator of all things and to whom all nations must give an account. [Isaiah 17:13, Ephesians 1:15-22] God gave us as individuals the right of free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to petition the government through our government which is a Constitutional Republic (with democratic elements like a ballot initiative). The highest law in our nation is the US Constitution. When we submit to our government, we are submitting to uphold the US Constitution (just as all elected officials affirm they will do). Our US Constitution recognizes the rights of individuals and limits our government from infringing on those rights.

God did not give us the right to choose whether to take away someone else’s life. He did not give us the authority to judge if a life God gave someone else is not worth their living, or less deserving to live, or less needed in the world. He did not say it's alright if mothers kill children. God left us explicit instructions in His written Word not to kill innocent human beings and to rescue anyone being taken away to death. [Exodus 20:13, Proverbs 24:11]

Only God creates and has the authority when to take a human life. Only God gives rights and sets the standard for what is appropriate.

Nations are judged by the justness (rightness, fairness) of its laws. [Ezekiel 22, et al] The government works in tandem with God’s law to show us the standard by which we are called to live. [1 Peter 2:13-16]

What am I Responsible for?

Once we understand the responsibilities and levels of authority, it becomes clearer what our own decisions are. How we treat ‘the least of these’ the King judges in Matthew 25 as an individual’s responsibility. Scripture tells us that true religion is defined by how we treat the widow and orphan, those without protection who cannot protect themselves. [James 1:27]

As individuals, we will each stand before a Holy God and give an account of what we did and did not do for the least of these. [Matthew 25], And what we do with Christ who came as an infant in a womb and rose again from a tomb to save humanity from our depravity so that each of us who calls upon Him can live life abundantly. [John 3:18, John 10:10]

The individual answers to God for our obedience to Christ. Speaking freely, worshipping freely, petitioning the government, and voting, all fall within the individual’s authority. When we stand before a Holy God, we cannot blame anyone else for the choices we've made. [1 Peter 4:5]

What About The Church?

When we submit to authority in the church, it is out of respect, not lordship. [Ephesians 5:21] The highest authority of the church is Christ. [Colossians 1:18] Christ left instructions for His church through His written Word (The Bible), which is the standard for all church doctrine and by which any instruction by church leadership is judged. [2 Timothy 3:16]

Defending the freedoms of men, the protection of children, warning of sin, … these all fall within the church’s authority to speak. The church does not need permission from the government to speak on issues where God's Word clearly instructs. God's Word has a lot to say about child sacrifice, the shedding of innocent blood, idolatry, and repentance through Christ to God. []

Any teacher or shepherd of the flock answers to God for what he says. [James 3:1] Preachers need not worry about being politically correct (whatever politic it is), but only Biblically correct. [2 Timothy 2:15] American pastors have a longstanding legacy of standing on matters of policy upon which the Bible has much to say.

In the book of Revelation, God speaks to churches about a church’s responsibility and how they will be judged, whether they’ve kept their first love or whether they’ve become so neutral that God spews them out of His mouth!

If the authority in the church disagrees with the written commands of God, God expects us to obey God rather than man. [Acts 5:29]

It is every individual's right to carry a petition, to sign a petition, and to vote one’s conscience. No individual needs permission for that. God has already given that inalienable right through our government and His expectations of us through His Word.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

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