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Monday, March 11, 2019

The Resistance

Ever since President Trump was inaugurated in 2017, “resist,” “resisting,” and “The Resistance” have become ubiquitous. This is concerning for reasons that go beyond politics.

In one of the clearest and longest passages in the New Testament about the role of government, we can read, “whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2).

Far worse than any loss in politics is the loss of one’s soul, even if one has gained the whole world (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36). I strongly urge those who oppose the President, even if they have valid points, to change their approach and pick a new word to describe their efforts.

In the last few decades as the winds of political change have swung back and forth, we’ve seen people often merely switch sides and exchange tactics. Some might ask, did I resist the President when the shoe was on the other foot? The answer to that is no. I have prayed for our Presidents. Two years ago when President Obama was in office, I wrote him a long personal letter including much about God’s standard for evaluating national leaders. Even now I’ve paid the Affordable Care Act’s unnecessary and pointless freedom tax for not having health insurance.

We can dissent without resisting. We can speak up in the face of evil without becoming rebellious. We can respectfully disobey civil authority when it is in violation of God’s authority (Acts 5:29). We should do all of those things, as necessary and applicable, too.

When resistance is nothing more than an extension of man’s rebellion against God, that’s when it crosses a line. That’s when I fear for the souls of those men who are “treasuring up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath” (Romans 2:5). Woe to those who take others with them down that evil wicked path. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

There is a time when resistance is appropriate: when we are tempted to sin. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Jesus resisted sin, to the point of bloodshed (Luke 22:39-44). “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4).

If you are resisting God, change your mind and put your trust in Jesus. The rule of God is not like the rule of men (2 Chronicles 12:8). He “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

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