Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 8 Page 5 August 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Breaking the Law

By Kevin Rhodes

No matter where you go, there is always one phrase that brings fear to our eyes--"breaking the law." When we hear these words we usually think of murderers, rapists, extortioners, gangs, organized crime and many others. The problem we sometimes have, however, is not understanding that breaking the law covers many other areas than just these. It is not enough to understand this in light of the law of the country, but we should also comprehend the magnitude of the unlawful offence in the eyes of God.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" (Rom. 13:1-2).
This includes all of the laws of the land, with the only exception being laws that would cause us to disobey God (Acts 5:29).

Misdemeanors are just as much against the law as felonies. Traffic violations probably constitute the most frequently broken laws. It seems easy for us to gently apply pressure to the accelerator when we are in a hurry, but speeding is still breaking the law and thereby resisting the ordinance of God. Seatbelt laws, child car seat laws, age limits, handicapped parking, etc. may seem like an imposition at times, but they still are the law, even if everyone else is doing it and even if law enforcement chooses to look the other way. Admittedly, the nature of our government with its checks and balances sometimes makes it hard to determine what is actually unlawful, but Christians should be concerned with presenting the best example possible instead of trying to walk the tightrope of the law. Cheating on taxes is wrong. It violates law, besides demonstrating basic dishonesty. It may be easy to overestimate deductions or to fake expenses, but this amounts to lying to the government and withholding what they have a right to by law--no matter how much we may dislike the current tax system. God did not ask if we liked to be taxed, but he did tell us to pay our taxes. Government excess and mismanagement never excuses breaking the law.

We should avoid ALL law breaking, even when the laws themselves seem "insignificant" to us. Christians are to live to the highest standards, obeying the laws of the land dutifully. We do not have to like the laws to obey them, but if we are to be truly pleasing to God, we will obey them. They are for our benefit and protection. Sometimes they may pass what seems reasonable, but in this country, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to change them. But that does not mean we have the freedom to break them. Keeping the laws of the land--all of the laws--should not be a strain for Christians. It should be part of the Christian life--a life spent in service to our Creator, seeking to please Him in ALL things. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's" (Luke 20:25).

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