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Question 140

Father, our Lord Jesus Christ taught us we must trust and defer to our rulers, but if these rulers commit horrific acts (as was the case in Nazi Germany) or can cause a nuclear war, as with now the USA and North Korea, are we meant to shut up and put up, or stand up against them? When is it right to oppose our rulers?         


Answer to Question 140


Christ didn’t teach that we must trust our civil rulers. He was referring to the spiritual rulers: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Matthew 23:3) Thus what Christ was saying the scribes and Pharisees teach the law so observe whatever they teach you, but don’t do want they do because they hypocritically teach the law but don’t observe it themselves. The only time Christ referred to the civil law was when he was asked if it was lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? Christ asked to be given a coin and said Whose [is] this image and superscription? They answered that it was Caesar’s so Christ said: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” In other words we must observe the civil laws as long as they don’t come into conflict with God’s spiritual laws. One of these laws is “You shall not kill”. Weapons of any sort definitely come into conflict with this Commandment and as in our democratic world we are supposed to have freedom of speech, then we have that right to speak up against our governments that use force against other nations and peoples. But you will find that standing up against powerful nations is not that easy unless you have a large group of people to back you up.