“A Genuine Patriot Is Not An Anarchist”

Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-14

Dr. Gary M. Barker

Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org

I feel strongly compelled to write an article on the biblical responsibility we have as Christians to be orderly, law-abiding citizens in our great nation. I have been very upset at the rioting and destruction of public and private property in our nation’s cities prior to the presidential election. These were not PEACEFUL protests that we constitutionally have a right to make. This kind of activity was unlawful, riotous, and done by people who hated President Trump and everything we stand for as patriotic Americans. I’m 75 years old, and I have never seen such political hatred and intolerance in my lifetime.

From a preacher’s point of view, I consider this kind of behavior as SINFUL. As a conservative Christian and Republican, I’m ashamed and disgusted with the unlawful and riotous behavior of my fellow Republicans who broke into federal buildings and treated police officers with total disrespect. As I watched this activity on TV, I was stunned with disbelief. How could any law-abiding, patriotic American act like this? In my opinion, I can’t think of a worse way to end a presidential election. This is not the behavior that an American should ever display and then falsely call it a manifestation of freedom. I personally believe that such criminal activity should be punished. I was so thankful that my President, Donald Trump, publicly condemned the activity of those rioters. I honestly believe that it is totally unjustifiable to condone and attempt to justify such deplorable actions with any excuse. I believe that a patriotic American who loves our country is first and foremost a LAW ABIDING Citizen.

The Bible is very clear concerning how a citizen of any country should behave. Jesus taught that we are to render to Caesar (government) the things due from a good citizen and unto God the things that are due Him (Matthew 22:21). From the time of the Reformation, Baptists have believed in the separation of church and State. A Christian has responsibilities to fulfill to both God and government.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

The apostle Paul clearly taught that Christians are to submit to the authority of government officials who are responsible to maintain law and order and punish evil doers (Romans 13:1-7). The apostle Peter also taught Christian to respect and obey governmental laws and those in authority (1 Peter 2:13-14). It is abundantly obvious from these various scriptures that a Christian who is a citizen of any country is to be a law-abiding citizen. Disobedience to these scriptures is sinful. The biblical grounds for any civil disobedience are only justifiable when governmental laws attempt to make a Christian disobey God’s holy Word. (Acts, 4:1-20).

However, according to the Bible, civil disobedience never justifies disorderly, rebellious, riotous activities.

My prayer to God for every citizen of America is to always be a Law Abiding person who only protests according to his constitutional right as a freedom-loving and peaceful citizen.