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Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Steve Gregg on Unconstitutional Coronavirus Restrictions and Romans 13

From Steve Gregg/The Narrow Path Facebook Group:

Christine wrote:
“Hi Steve - I agree with much of what you're saying. I know that Peter said we are to obey God and not man. It seems that Christians have differing ideas about whether a temporary suspension of gatherings violates the scriptural direction to "not forsake the assembling of ourselves." And how does Romans 13:6-10 fit into our Christian paradigm right now?”

Steve Gregg’s reply:
“Hi Christine,
Many Christians who have become concerned about government overreach are asking themselves, "How much toleration of such governmental abuse does Paul require me to endure patiently, according to Romans 13?" Paul does not say that governments have all authority (only Jesus has that—Matthew 28:18). Paul, in fact, says that governments have only such authority as God has ordained for them—which is limited to criminal law enforcement, national defense and taxation.
Apart from that, each nation places its own restrictions, or lack thereof, upon legitimate governmental power, by either a written or assumed charter. In this country, the very founding documents place the people above governmental officials in most respects. The officials are public servants who are to serve at the pleasure of the governed. The officials are not the bosses. Those who elect them are the bosses, whom the officials are elected to serve. This is, of course, entirely different from the way most nations understood government five-hundred years ago, but it is the understanding of modern constitutional republics, like ours.
Remember, the supreme authority of this country (under God, I mean) is the U.S. Constitution. This is not true of every country, but in this country the Constitution defines the rights of citizens which the government cannot legitimately curtail. For several years, specific government entities have been gratuitously violating more and more of these rights and having gotten away with it. They are pushing the envelope, to see how far they can go.
If our memories need to be refreshed, remember when it was possible to express your opinion about the definition of marriage without losing your job? Or when it was possible to exercise your religious freedom to abstain from certain professional activities which violate your conscience, without being threaten with jail? Or when a person could defend his home and family with a gun without being treated as if he is the criminal? Or could attend a free and peaceful assembly to worship God according to his conscience at whatever risk to himself he might choose?
An American citizen must submit to all Constitutional authority—unless it violates biblical morality. Behavior on the part of government agents (whether elected or police), which violates the Constitution, is rogue activity—even if it become standard and widespread. I cannot think of any Constitutional authority that I would be required to violate for conscience sake. The Constitution defends everyone's legitimate rights, and no command of God would ever require me to violate anyone's legitimate rights. If governments do what they are authorized to do, they will hear no complaints from me.
I do not think that civil disobedience against mandates that violate my rights is a Christian obligation, per se. For me to have my rights violated is something that, as a Christian, I am prepared to suffer on behalf of Christ or my brother. On the other hand, when unconstitutional authorities are illegitimately violating everyone's rights, my concern for my fellowman may require my speaking up for justice. If there is a trend of unjust governmental activity that has no Constitutional warrant, then speaking and standing against it may become a Christian duty, simply out of love for my neighbor.
Again, I have personally suffered nothing from the shelter-in-place policies. I have plenty of toilet paper. My concern is for people whose lives are ruined, who lose their jobs and their homes, and, in some cases, their lives, due to inept and callous government response to a virus that has turned out to be less deadly than anyone anticipated—less deadly, in fact, than the annual seasonal flu, for which no one has every found reason to shut-down the world's economies, or to restrict Americans' Constitutional freedoms.
I do not believe (and a constitutional scholar is welcome to prove me mistaken) that any elected official has the right, by a unilateral pronouncement or the stroke of a pen, to open-endedly cancel the Constitutional rights of an entire non-criminal population. Laws are to be made by legislatures, not executives, both at the federal and state levels.
Short-term restrictions for the general safety of the public probably fall under the purview of executive orders, but can anyone pretend that the public good or safety is served by tyrannical restrictions such as the following:
1) A California surfer being fined for being alone on the ocean with his surf board?
2) A Pennsylvania woman being fined $200 for going out for a drive alone at night?
3) Glendale, California placing a $1,000 fine upon those who walk their dogs without wearing a mask?
4) The Michigan governor making it punishable to drive from one's city home to one's own second home on the lake? Or to go on the lake in a motorized boat—even though it is permitted to go on the lake in a non-motorized (green-agenda-friendly) boat?
5) Locking down people in states where there is almost no occurrence of the virus?
6) While allowing people to congregate at food markets, Costco, Walmart, liquor stores, and government offices, nonetheless forbidding more than ten Christians to be in one place?
Would anyone wish to embarrass himself trying to logically defend these nonsensical rules?
When we see the meaningless restrictions being dictated to a supposedly free people, it is clear that something far more than public safety is on their minds. They are pushing the envelope ever so gradually to see where the tipping point is for a formerly free people's tolerance for the violation of their Constitutional rights. No awake person can call this a conspiracy theory. There is absolutely no rationale for these restrictions based upon any legitimate health threat. It is simply government exercising its muscle. Nothing but a love of power and addiction to overreach can explain these dysfunctional behaviors on the part of certain elected officials.
I am very alarmed at the way many lives are being destroyed by these governmental actions. The long-term disruption of many families' lives for the sake of a virus that has proved to be far less deadly than any of the alarmists anticipated, seems completely disproportionate. Numerous experts say the statistics on the rise in alcoholism, drug addition, domestic violence and suicide are traceable to the lock-down. It is credibly possible that more people may die, or have their lives ruined by the governmental response than will be impacted long-term by the virus.
The government did not cause the pandemic, but a certain kind of politician will never let a good crisis go to waste in pressing for more power over the people. A precedent is being sought. If the population simply rolls over and lets Unconstitutional governmental actions strip them of their legitimate rights, such intrusion will become the trend, and will be pressed ever-further each time it recurs. If the American people respond by holding their elected officials responsible for criminal overreach (particularly by un-electing them), or by taking even stronger measures of protest (itself a Constitutional right), perhaps the criminal interlopers will think twice before trying it again.”


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Oracio

 2020/4/18 13:28Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Steve Gregg on Unconstitutional Coronavirus Restrictions and Romans 13

Brother Oracio,

Thank you for sharing this !

It is very much in line with my understanding and it’s encouraging to hear, others whom have a broader platform and greater public credibility, speak up and speak out honesty and soberly helping to elucidate what has become a difficult situation to navigate for allot of people. With so much misinformation and disinformation muddying the waters it’s refreshing to hear such a clear and earnest plea for sanity and accountability not simply from our government and healthcare officials but most importantly from us!!


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Fletcher

 2020/4/18 14:44Profile
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Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1510


 Re:

Hi Oracio,
This is simple for me ,washing hands ,distancing and shuting down events saves lives .I think the reaction by the federal government seems about right .I think the reaction by people protesting about constitutional rights is over the top to early on .
If this was the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic nobody would be complaining about closing down for a couple of months .Why because it killed healthy people in their prime really quickly within 4 or 5 days or less.
This is only really an issue because these communities protesting havent been hit hard enough by the virus.Go to Italy or Spain and people wont be so selfish.The USA has a pro Christian,Pro Israel and pro constitution government in place and they are doing their best and if it were your grand mother or father or sick relative that was in danger of dying you wouldnt be protesting,staff

 2020/4/18 17:15Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Staff

Not sure if you didn’t read the transcript from Steve Gregg that Oracio posted but it doesn’t sound as if you did from your response...

No where did it mention “the federal government” as a whole but carefully singled out individual examples of state governors whom clearly overreached their authority, people responded with peaceful (albeit passionate) protests which is the lawful response.

Also you cite Italy and Spain as examples of being “not selfish” tho you do so without making the distinction, that as beautiful as these countries are, they have socialist governments and simply aren’t afforded the same rights guaranteed by our Bill of Rights or the civil liberties guaranteed by our Constitution.... so the comparison doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny for a host of reasons with the obvious one being economics. Under a socialist system the state has a far greater response for the financial well being of the citizenry where as in a representative republic We the People share the burden not the government, which was one of the main points of the OP- namely that those whose small businesses and or livelihoods have been destroyed by the overreacting to a condition that is not much worse than the seasonal flu (death toll numbers) then the fallout from the response will ultimately have a greater negative affect than the virus itself. So perhaps the people who aren’t protesting haven’t seen enough of those around them lose their jobs, businesses, homes etc. to realize that punishing people for walking their dogs without wearing a mask by fining them $1000 is heartlessly discompassionate and ultimately doesn’t serve to protect anyone?

Having said this I do agree with your assessment that the Federal Government has done everything possible (within their powers) to serve the people as effectively as possible and should be commended for their efforts as they have surely saved countless lives 🙏🏻

There are many positives to this situation and Lord willing many people who wouldn’t normally, will seek and find Him 😇


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Fletcher

 2020/4/18 19:01Profile
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Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1510


 Re:

Hi JFW,
No I read it and what I am saying is the federal government are on top of the situation no matter what happens locally.
Im all for the bill of rights ,its a great thing but it looks like these people have jumped the gun protesting.
The EU are socialist but that doesnt always play out for individual countries within the EU sometimes you have right of centre governments.
The Coronavirus is not just the winter flu and the EU in total have passed 80,000 dead so the US has got off lightly,Europe in Total is past 100,000.The reason they are not protesting in Europe is nothing to do with different systems,its because Europe has been hit harder(because it wouldnt stubbornly close borders) and realize that if you dont isolate, older people,sick people and vulnerable people die if we dont.
Across Europe evictions have been suspended so no one can lose their homes in the next 3 months but everybody like in the US they are not working and businesses are suffering too.This seems more like to me an Economic complaint dressed in guize of a Bill of rights complaint.I dont believe we can stay on Lockdown indefinitely but equally we cant put our own jobs and businesses ahead of the weak and infirm.
The Federal government have given an estimate of up to 2.2 million deaths if their were no lock down and I heard a woman protesting saying she want to get her hair done!How crazy is that.Equally as crazy and heartless as a 1000 dollar fine.
My other point is that if the people with businesses and jobs etc were at risk of losing their own lives to Covid 19 rather the people in nursing homes and with underlying health issues they wont be complaining about their Bill of Rights ,that compares to their own lives would appear to be a luxury at that stage,
The US as you know is always on election footing in some form or other ,if someone has stood on your rights Kick them out of power next time!
Also playing into this whole topic is the very complex "fear" Americans have about losing democracy either by stealth or quickly by force.The whole political system in the US is brilliant in a way because it is set up so no one can have too much power at anyone time.The real genius about the US system is that it designed delibrately not to function fluently.
I am a firm believer that socialism is not a Godly system and that the best system we have is a caring capitalistic system.However regardless of the system if the federal government puts in place a lockdown then they have to have to the best of their ability away of sustaining everyone during the lockdown.Also long after US jobs and businesses have recovered most other countries will still be suffering,the US will be benefiting from the lockdown they are now enduring ,urs staff

 2020/4/18 20:27Profile
staff
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Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1510


 Re:

Hi
Just one footnote Corona is not like the winter flu death wise because if you let the winter flu run its course over the season it wont kill 2.2 million people,staff

 2020/4/18 20:39Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Staff

We categorically disagree on allot of what’s being discussed and will most likely not agree on the points of contention, as such there is no reason to continue going back and forth- having said that, the reason (I believe) thar we have such incompatible perspectives is primarily due to the source of our information regarding said situation. This is why I had initially pointed out the problem of misinformation and disinformation, depending on a persons source (narrative) they come to very predictable conclusions, which more often than not puts them at odds with their neighbors who drink from a different trough. That’s not to say that we can’t have the same source and come to different conclusions tho usually they are somewhat compatible whereas in this case the facts don’t line up.
Nothing new under the sun,..

Personally I believe it’s way bigger and more important than our personal liberties... this is a battle between light and darkness, a spiritual battle and as I’ve said before, we would do well to put on the full armor and steady ourselves in the Lord 🙏🏻

In any case I do appreciate your amicable disposition and since you balk at the woman who wants her haircut... I’m a barber in Alabama with a GED- with a wife and 6 children to feed and shelter and have had no legal means of making an income of any sorts, not for any of the “stimulus” roll outs really help me keep my business or home, so if you would please remember us in your prayers 😇🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2020/4/18 21:14Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Fletcher and Staff, I appreciate the feedback!

Fletcher, I am sorry to hear about your employment situation, I will be praying for the Lord's provision for you and your family brother.

I understand that Sweden has not locked down the country as all others have, and there seems to be good reason to believe that they have not been worse off for their decision in terms of the COVID-19 death toll. I thought this article made a good case for that:

https://reason.com/2020/04/17/in-sweden-will-voluntary-self-isolation-work-better-than-state-enforced-lockdowns-in-the-long-run/

From what I understand, when the 1918 Spanish Flu hit in the US, they implemented a similar social distancing shutdown strategy as we're seeing today. However, there were two waves of the virus. The second wave caused many more deaths than the first, and it is argued that the reason for that was due to not having a herd immunity to it due to the strictness of the lock-down during the first wave. It is argued that it would have been better to let the virus run its course more freely to create herd immunity.

I think another thing to consider is that many within the medical and scientific communities have decried the strict shutdowns as being unnecessary and even cruel. Many doctors and scientists have been trying to reason about the importance of strengthening our immune systems with healthy diets and vitamin intake. Yet, when do we hear about that from the mainstream media? Instead, all we keep hearing is that we need to be afraid of one another and keep good hygiene.

Anyway, just my two cents I guess.


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Oracio

 2020/4/18 21:54Profile
staff
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Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1510


 Re:

Hi JFW,
This a haircut nobody wanted lol and I pray for that the Lord will roll out a personal stimulas for you and your family .I cut my own hair the other day as it became annoyingly long and it came out 50 percent good lol.
On a serious note I have no doubt if that if the outcome of the 2016 election were different this would have been a terrible time for the great US constitution and peoples rights at a national level.
They used to say that when America sneezes ,the world gets a cold but we might have to change that to When China sneezes the world gets a flu !
Its Ironic in that the EU were ready to spend trillions on fighting a makey uppey crisis in the form of global warming and when a real crisis comes along they are paralyzed to do anything!Also if you notice we are not hearing anything from the Green agenda or from Atheists during this pandemic. One is trying to pretend they doesnt exist and other has nothing to offer because they believe God doesnt exist!
I do think that this crisis will bring about a humbling and it is ultimately as you said a spiritual battle going on at the moment and God will want to hear his people sing together again soon,God bless

 2020/4/18 22:04Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Another thought came to mind. Wouldn't it be just like the devil to try to cause Christians to be afraid of gathering together as we are instructed to do in God's Word? I'm sure the devil knows full well about the power of believers gathering together as a body and of fulfilling the many one-another admonitions in Scripture.


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Oracio

 2020/4/18 22:06Profile





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