“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” -1 Peter 2: 13-16
These verses are a beautiful picture of how we as Christians should live above the law, being moral, doing good, being free servants of God. I’ve always been in full agreement with these verses, but lately, they are being twisted into being applied to mask mandates, social distancing, closing down small businesses, and all of the rest of the craziness that is going on these days. To me, these verses do not apply at all, and I will explain why I stand on this.
I just want to point out a few phrases in these verses to begin with: “as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” This is a qualification. Every time the Bible commands us to submit to government authority, this qualifier is in place. If you have to ignore this part of the verses to preach your creed…well, you have to ignore a part of the command.
I also want to point out that the word “obey” is always omitted. I’ve never been able to find a single Bible verse that commands us to OBEY government authority. Submission is an attitude of respect and subjection. It is recognizing that their authority is given to them by God and walking under that. But one can submit while choosing to disobey a certain command that goes against a deeply held conviction. We do that by humbly disobeying and then meekly submitting to whatever consequences they deem necessary to meet out. That’s how persecution has always always occurred in the past. It’s so funny to me that people say this isn’t persecution because churches are not targeted. Even if that were true, why is that even a factor? It’s impossible to be persecuted UNTIL you choose to stand against the mandate of the land. Whether we feel persecuted or not shouldn’t have the least bit of impact on our decisions. Our choices should be based on what we feel is right and wrong before God.
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” People are literally advocating for ignorance right now, and while I can understand that stance, I do find it a little ironic that the “ignorance of foolish men” is what will be put to silence by our doing the will of God, and that sentence is found here. Right splat in the middle of these pet verses.
An example of how damaging ignorance can be in times like this just recently happened in our church when our governor passed a mandate a few weeks ago that we are no longer allowed to meet in groups larger than 25. The men in our church were trying to figure out how that would effect us gathering on Sunday, but then one of them had already been following the actual letter of how the law was written out, and it doesn’t apply to religious gatherings. If everyone would have clung to ignorance, or taken the media at face value, our church would have gone through even more conflict and divisiveness as we tried to figure out whether we should ignore that mandate or obey and start meeting in homes or something.
Do you know why the new mandates don’t apply to religious gatherings? Because 4 pastors in our state took a stand and sued our governor for our religious right to gather, and the governor backed right down. Is it right for us to benefit from these brave souls when they’re obviously disobedient to the Bible and making grave errors in judgment?
Another example I saw just last week was this statement: “23 years ago, Faith meant we took a round of vaccines that would allow us to move to an unreached people group in west Africa. Faith meant overcoming my fear for my kids and vaccinating as responsibly as we could – not to protect our own kids, but because our US diseases would have been unknown and deadly to the villages we were working among.”
This person is no doubt very well meaning, and I’m sure they made these choices with the best possible heart, but it’s based on lies. What US disease do we vaccinate against that would be deadly to children in Africa? And what disease do we carry in our back pocket that shows no symptoms and will make its appearance out of the blue to contaminate those around us? That’s simply not how disease works. It has to come from somewhere. So you may not be ruled by fear, but ignorance will push you into illogical decisions just as quickly. Also, there is no way to “vaccinate responsibly” if you do not know that no vaccine effectively achieves herd immunity. You are not protecting others when you vaccinate yourself. This is a basic lie propagated by the media and it is of course your decision to make, but it is not responsible to base your decisions on propaganda instead of the actual science. (feel free to check out my multiple blogs on the topic of herd immunity for a deeper look into this. Start here.)
Discernment is important. The Truth is important. At least if you don’t want to base your decisions on lies, they are.
I think most of us would agree that there is a line where we are to deny man’s law and obey God’s instead. I have often wondered where that line is for people who advocate blind obedience. Some of the people I have talked to say we don’t have the right to not wear masks, but that we would have the right to deny the vaccine, especially if it comes with a tracking chip. (These people like reducing this conversation to “rights” and us being selfish and sinful for choosing any path but complete compliance. It has never been about rights for me. This is about a moral duty, but we’ll get into that later.) This doesn’t make sense to me though. Where is the logical difference between masks and a vaccine with a chip? If we don’t have rights, how are we allowed to say no to anything they want to do to us? If it’s about rights and we have none, the truth must then be that we must submit to everything. There is no point where taking a stand against this would be the right thing to do.
Some would say you need a Biblical reference for choosing to disobey something. But that doesn’t stand up either. Daniel could have prayed 3 times a day in private (or not at all; is there a Bible verse that says you have to pray 3 times a day?), but he kept right on doing as he had always done, opening his window and praying to His God. His 3 compadres could have bowed to the statue and prayed to God in their hearts, God knew who they would have been bowing to, after all. Rahab could have turned those men away and not lied to the authorities when they came looking for them. There is more scripture to support her being honest and submitting to authority than to lie to protect them, but she was commended and rewarded for her faith. The midwives in Egypt were also commended for lying and disobeying the laws of the land when they saved Moses and other male children. Jesus himself disregarded Levitical law when he touched lepers to heal them. I personally want that fearless perspective on disease, just saying.
And that doesn’t even get into all of the people we consider heroes from history who chose not to follow evil agendas. There’s no Bible verse that says we should risk our lives and families and disobey government laws to keep strangers in our homes. Did Corrie ten Boom miss these verses or misinterpret them? There’s no Bible verse that says the Bible must be translated into different languages, yet we hold William Tyndale as a saint and example of great faith. Every person martyred for their faith has disobeyed some governmental law. And don’t get me started on Anabaptist history and their complete disregard for man’s rules and edicts.
So how can we revere these heroes from the past when they chose to disobey governing authorities in their time and still claim that compliance is the only virtue worth pursuing? One of these is wrong because they cannot both be right.
Is compliance in itself a virtue? Or does it matter who we’re complying to? What our compliance results in? Who we’re aligning ourselves with as we comply?
So where is the logical line? Do we even still have responsibility for our actions? If compliance is the only virtue, can we honestly say our actions don’t matter as long as we’re obeying the edicts from these government agencies? Is that not idolatry? If we truly believe that what we do, what we live out, the agendas and lies we support are not our responsibility to decipher with careful discernment, are we not handing over our responsibility to someone we think is going to answer for us to God?
This experiment really drove it home for me. A scientist in the 60’s wanted to see if America would have responded better under the Nazi’s regime than the average German’s response was. He wanted to see if people would go against their conscience when told to do so by someone in authority. In this instance, it was “someone wearing a white lab coat”. Go watch the video. It’s only 2 minutes long. I’ll wait.
Did you catch how the man turned to the person in authority and said, “I can’t kill this man! If something happens to this gentleman, who will take responsibility?” The man in the white lab coat assures him he will be taking responsibility, so he goes on to “kill” him. 2/3 of America made the same choice. But did you notice how his rationale for continuing to disregard his conscience was that someone else would take responsibility for his actions? When God is your highest authority, this will not be the choice you make. When we hand over our response ability to someone else, anyone else, we lose our morality, and we commit idolatry.
For a while, I thought that pointing out that these mandates are not laws was the most worthwhile truth to focus on. I have shared story after story where these mandates have not held up in a court of law. Did you know there’s a restaurant in California that does not accept masks? They will stop you at the entrance and request you remove your mask, or they will not serve you. They are getting threats from the health department, bad yelp reviews, and the governor is threatening to shut them down, but the owner calmly said, “Give me your best shot,” and nothing is happening.  There are multiple small businesses that have refused to shut down and continue to refuse to obey these “mandates” and “orders” (there’s a reason they’re not called laws) when threats start raining down and every single time, they win in court when it goes that far. So if the law is on their side, who is really out of line? Is it not the bullying governors blustering empty threats that when ignored end up having no basis in any real authority? Yes, it is they who are out of line. Not those who continue to do well, providing for their families. With their actions, these brave men and women are simply pointing out that the emperor is naked. The illusion shatters as they stand on the law, and it’s truly beautiful.
But you know what? It wouldn’t matter if these mandates were law. We would still have grounds to stand against them even if they were passed through legislation and propped up by the constitution.
I’ve been praying to find the logical line, the line that I can confidently take a stand on, and last week, God gave me that. The line is the lie. Where the lie is, my support stops. This isn’t “resisting evil”. It’s simply refusing to support a lie with my actions, with my life. I suffer no delusion that we are to defeat evil. I don’t expect to win on a material plain. This is spiritual, after all. But that doesn’t mean I have to support evil. Evil may march on, “but not with any help from me.” 
This story inspired the epiphany for me:
“Consider the case of the greengrocer who posts a sign in his shop bearing the well-known slogan from the communist manifesto, “workers of the world, unite!” He doesn’t believe in it. He hangs it in his shop as a signal of his own conformity. He just wants to be left alone. His action is not meaningless though: the greengrocer’s act not only confirms that this is what is expected of one in a communist society but also perpetuates the belief that this is what it means to be a good citizen.
Let us now imagine that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up slogans to merely ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.
This costs him. He loses his shop, his salary is cut, and he won’t be able to travel abroad. Maybe his children won’t be able to get into college. People persecute him and those around him—not necessarily because they oppose his stance but because they know that this is what they have to do to keep the authorities off their backs.
The poor little greengrocer, who testifies to the truth by refusing to mouth a lie, suffers. But there is a deeper meaning to his gesture. By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such. He has exposed it as a mere game. He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted façade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power. He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world. He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain. He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth. Living within a lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can co-exist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.” -Vaclav Havel, The Power of the Powerless
I’ve done my research. I have my own experience. I have not once closed my eyes in all of this. I believe that corunka is the biggest lie our generation has ever seen. It is propped up with almost zero truth and the bits and pieces that are true are twisted almost past recognition.
So here’s just one truth: the global death rate of this virus is 0.13% according to the latest numbers from the head of the world health organization.  0.13% is the average death rate of influenza. Here’s another truth: the average age of death for Rona is older than the average life expectancy. [4, 5] And another: lockdowns kill 10 times more people than this virus does.  Last one: A positive PCR test means nothing. It actually means less than nothing.  This expert’s speech makes things even more clear.
I’ve looked at a lot of the details. I’ve gone over a lot of them in past blog posts. To some, details, facts, the truth does not matter. Those people I cannot help. I’m not convinced that God wants me to help them. I speak only to those who want to hear me and there’s peace in that. You can take it or leave it.
So here is my conclusion: if you don’t see the lies; if you think corunka is a deadly virus that will kill us all and that the best way to protect yourself and others is to hunker down, stay home, isolate yourself, wear a mask, social distance, lock up small businesses, not gather with your family for Thanksgiving, then by all means, you should do all of the above. Settle in for the long dark winter.
I see the lies. I refuse to prop them up with my actions. Masks are nothing more than a symbol of fear. They don’t work, and even if they did, we shouldn’t want to “stop this virus.” The natural progression of viruses is less virulence as they spread. It’s already mutating hundreds of times and that’s good news. It also means the vaccine will be completely ineffective regardless of pharma press releases of trials done on less than 100 people.  Even if this virus were extremely dangerous and there was a lot of risk involved, would it not still be valid to choose human interaction, to love and spread joy and hope with our faces, and simply refuse to view everyone around us as potential vectors of disease? Because that’s what masks do. They make everyone around you including yourself a potential danger. Even if you’ve already had it and fully recovered. It makes no difference. Because there’s a chance you could get it again. There’s never a way out of this, I’m saying it now. Not even the vaccine will save you. They’re already admitting we’ll still have to wear masks and social distance.
Masks isolate us from each other. They steal the joy of human connection and facial expression and most of the time, I try not to imagine the damage it’s doing to our children to see everyone around them operating from a place of such illogical fear.
A woman in Canada just chose to commit suicide by doctor rather than spend two more weeks of isolation and the loneliness of another lockdown. Do our elderly get a choice in this? I know many who would rather be surrounded by their grandchildren and risk getting the virus than to be isolated for the rest of their lives. And it is the rest of their lives. We’ve set the bar so low with a virus that has such a low death rate that now, any virus will fit the category of needing to lockdown. This is our world now, for better or worse, and nothing about this is temporary. They might give us a reprieve for a few months…until the next “pandemic” comes along. If you think they’ll return the kind of power we’ve so willingly handed them…*gently pats shoulder*
I’ve decided to step back from all of all of the demoralization and live life. I plan to party all day on Thanksgiving, in multiple family groups because my entire family on all sides is awesome like that. Christmas will be no different regardless of what new mandates they try to put in place to stifle our interaction. I plan to celebrate and live in full empowerment and do whatever is the opposite of demoralizing. That is the full life God calls us to, and I intend to live it as powerfully as I can. I want to go caroling to step out of my way to spread joy in this holiday season. My winter is going to be the opposite of long and dark. It’s going to be full of light and joy and celebration and love. I’m going to live out and enjoy the freedoms we still have for as long as I can, and I don’t accept any twisting of the Bible to try and take any of that away.
God calls us to be set apart and I will boldly live that out by removing my daily life from investing in lies and by choosing love and freedom over bondage and fear. I am completely confident in this and wholly free before my God. I answer to him and him alone. I pray for everyone to find this same peace and freedom! It is truly such a delight to be so clear before God that I don’t have to have anyone around me change their behaviors to make me feel safe or comfortable.
One of the reasons this is such a relieving stance to take is that this is individually tailored and will not look the same for everyone. I share where I stand but put no guilt or control on anyone. The level to which you seek out lies and choose to live opposite them is between you and God. Just as not all the Christians chose to take Jews into their homes (I assume it was over 99% that did not, and I don’t pretend I wouldn’t be in this group. God would have to do a massive work in me before I would risk my children for strangers), so we will all choose different paths on this and we will live out the consequences of our choices. The responsibility is on us as individuals. The sooner we get to living that out, and heave off the load of forcing our brothers to see things our way, the brighter our lights will shine.
Grace and peace to all! ❤
3 thoughts on “Live Not by Lies”
Many Bible scholars believe that Nero was the emperor during the time when Peter wrote those incredible verses. If you would study who Nero was, I’m sure you would agree that he did not “praise them that do well” or punish the evildoers. Also, I wish not wearing a mask was as noble as Corie Ten Boom. 🙃
Christians obviously didn’t bow to Nero, otherwise he wouldn’t have been using them as torches at his parties, would he? The Scripture stands. Qualifications intact. 😉 I don’t wish that. Those two acts are far separate in levels of valor and self sacrifice. The only similarity I gave them was that they can both be acts of obedience to God.