It was used in this context. I was "duty-bound" to obey all lawful orders.
In fact, I took the following oath. It's the oath officers in every branch of the United States military and civilians elected or appointed take as well. Click here. It says:
“I, _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
Now, the enlisted soldier or sailor takes a similar oath which says "they will obey the order of":
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
That was the context. We were duty bound to obey lawful orders. But the question is, what does duty require when unlawful orders are given?
If the President, or any other elected or appointed civilian, or officer issued an unlawful order, we were duty bound to disobey that order. Why? Because our allegiance was to a higher standard. It was to the Constitution.
When we found ourselves in that situation where we had to disobey an order from a superior, we were to do it respectfully with honor. We were do handle ourselves in this manner even if the person holding the office was a jerk and or an ignorant lying (pick your most despicable adjective) moron. Why? Because we rendered honor to the higher authority when we did that. It was rendering respect for the office even if the person holding the office was not acting in a manner befitting one with that responsibility.
What Does the Bible Say About Laws, Believers & Civil Government?
The Bible teaches that we, Christians, ought to be model citizens and obey the laws they establish (Romans 13:1-7). Jeremiah 29:7 admonishes us to seek the peace of the city we've been carried away captive to. The scripture also reveals that lawlessness a work of Satan. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 says and I will underline for emphasis:
"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
So a Christian should obey the laws of the land. Right? Let me help, I'm not trying to trick you. The answer is yes.
But What If?
But what if civil servants in government create laws or policies that violate their own laws. Well my friends, that is part of the fruit of a root that connects one right back to Satan; the Devil himself! It is lawlessness. In this current pandemic there are numerous examples where state, county or city governments have overstepped their bounds and violated a higher law. In some cases, they violated the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (ie. just one of many examples DOJ Steps in to Defend Christians Fined $500 for Drive-inn Church Service.)
Basically, the Constitution says what the government can do. The Bill of Rights establishes what the government cannot do. It's because they are rights not given by civil government but rather created and given by God Himself. In another article I will address fundamental principles which some organizations peddling doctrines of demons have been seeking to change for decades when it comes to rights and healthcare. It is as insideous as the argument used regarding "women's rights" empowering a nation to legalize the murder of the unborn. But, back to the subject at hand.
What if civil government creates a law that violates God's law? Well we have a beautiful example in Daniel 3 where Nebuchadnezzer required everyone to worship his image. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego modeled the concept of "duty-bound" beautifully. Their love and honor for God required them to disobey that civil law. They answered the king in Daniel 3:16-18,... “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
They were respectful yet full of courage. In this case, civil law violated God's law.
Due to time, I will only mention that Jesus also broke the law(s). He challenged traditions and policies of the religous elite and of society. He did it by healing on the Sabbath, healing the lepers, over turning the tables of the money changers with a whip I might add.
Maturity Requires Learning to Discern Between Good and Evil
Hebrews 5:12-14 teaches us that maturity in Christ requires that we have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Discern means that you have to judge. You have to make a decision. The situation in society today provides a target rich environement.
Whenever you find lawlessness, you find a work of Satan. Whenever politicians create laws which violate higher laws and in hypocrisy exempt themselves (ie. Mayor of Chicago violates own policy), you have an example of lawlessness. It may or may not be intentional. They may just be confused. The Bible reveals in James 3:13-17 and I will underline for emphasis:
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."
Self seeking, confusion and evil are halmarks of the demonic at work. It doesn't matter if they personally realize it or not. 1 John 3:8 says:
"He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
Jesus was manifested to destroy the "works of the devil." Laws and policies that reflect lawlessness require the mature Christian to decide. Will you suffer the work of Satan (the lie) to go unchallenged or, will you arise to the occasion. Lies must be confronted and destroyed with the truth.
The stewardship of our/your nation, state, county or city is at stake. We will give an account of our stewardship before our Lord at the Great White Throne. For me, it is my intention to do my part to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). A discipled nation will have laws and policies that reflect the truth of God's word (ie. Deuteronomy 28, Leviticus 18, 20, 26, Romans 1....). This sets a nation up for blessing and not cursing.
As it stands right now, I could make a case illustrating what civil government was doing with moral laws (ie. homosexual acts and or shedding of innocent blood) and compare it to where the virus has done its worst work. I will do that at a later time.
The Pandemic & Policies
There are many examples of civil government's overeach from the state down to cities. Not every instance was done with evil intent. But there are some who are taking full advantage of this situation to advance their agenda to control.
Those who seek larger and more government control you will find have a common thread tying them back to the influence of a work created in 1848. It is a work which advocates the abolishment of religion and is based in atheism. It's root goes all the way back to John 8:44 and John 10:10. It is just one more expression of a spiritual war that spilled from heaven to earth in Revelation 12. I'll share more about that at another time.
But for now, I am duty-bound to speak the truth. I did so and communicated with my govenor, senator and representatives on the very first day of this pandemic. Why?
Because some of the laws and policies reflected a violation of fundamental principles, rights and responsibilities. They broke their own laws and violated the rights of individuals. It's characterstics reveal Satan at work to kill, steal and destroy. Now, in my nation, to my knowledge no one is dying of starvation. But in other nations where I have ministries we are responsible for (ie. India and Myanmar) they have more people dying due to starvation than the pandemic because they followed the advice of WHO and shut their economy down. It's insanity.
You'll note in the image above I shared a Facebook post image as it reflects well my thoughts.
I think God is using this situation to mature His Church. In fact, there is a remenant Church He is calling, a mature Church, one motivated and captured by the love of Christ. It's a love that abolishes fear. It's a love that will speak and act in truth. It's a love that will arise to the occasion and embrace the disciplines of our Lord and be conformed to His image that we might reflect well His character, His nature and His power to set the captives free.
So here is the question, are you duty-bound?
What does Christ require of you? What civic duty would our Lord require of a Christian (remember Jer. 29:7). Ultimately, what I think matters not one bit. The only thing that matters is God's word and what you choose to do or not. What are you duty-bound to? Will you allow bad laws and policies to go unchecked? Will you surrender more of your freedom of speech or liberty? Will you allow evil to go unchecked?
I strongly urge you to "pray and obey." Some might ask, Tim, it is possible God can tell me to do one thing and you another? Yes! Absolutely. Ecclesiasties teaches us there is a time and and season for everything under the sun. It reminds me of Esther. Mordecai tells her, if you don't act now, God will send deliverance from else where. But know this, you may have been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this. I pray you choose wisely.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
I am encouraged by:
2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,