Opposition to Human Governments (or Why Government Ticks People Off)
There are three categories of people who find themselves in opposition to human governments. Their opposition may be to the local city or state government, or they may oppose the national government, as the Southern Confederacy did in the American Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, if you prefer). Regardless of what level of government is opposed there are only three basic categories.
One group opposing government are the lawbreakers. Hopefully, you are not in this category. These are the people Paul refers to in Romans 13:4, whom he calls the “wrongdoer.” Human government stands in the way of the criminal from carrying out his evil deeds.
The second group is a much bigger category, and it is the one to which we all have probably belonged at one time or another. These are the people who oppose government because they feel that government infringes on their freedom. Undoubtedly, this is sometimes true. The role of government involves the making and the enforcing of laws. Some of those laws are ridiculous, frivolous, unfair, and unjust. More laws are written every year by cities, states, and the federal government. They often do make our life more difficult and frustrating. Probably you have come up against some city ordinance, or State law that caused you to want to “give them a piece of your mind.” This opposition to government, which in extreme instances can even lead to violence, as we have seen in our nation’s history is a result of “personal offense.” That personal offense may not be directed at you, it could be you taking up the offense of another. It may in some cases be justifiable. Human governments have been oppressive, and rebellion by the oppressed, has many times resulted in overthrowing such regimes. The American Revolution was fought on this basis. King George was viewed by many of the colonists as a tyrant that needed to be overthrown. This group is not made up of anarchists, who oppose all human government. They are more likely to be described as “libertarians.” They want the role of human government to be limited and providing the individual with freedom to the greatest possible extent.
But there is a third group. This group does not oppose all human governments. It affirms the place of human government. But it does oppose all human governments that reject the authority of the Creator, and the One, He has placed upon the throne. Their opposition is not based on a “personal offense” – it is based on something of greater importance. This group objects to the government that rebels against God. They are offended at the government that “thumbs it’s nose at God.” This group’s opposition is reflected in Psalm 2 toward those “rulers who take counsel together against the LORD and His anointed.” This group stands on the side of righteousness. This group affirms the crown rights of Jesus over the nations. This group speaks truth to those in power with the words of the psalmist: "Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled” (Psalm 2:10-12). This group is “ticked off” because God is “ticked off.”
The question is what motivates my opposition? Is my sole motivation one of preserving my freedom and liberty? Or am I motivated like the prophets of the Old Testament, who opposed the wicked kings out of their loyalty to God and His lawful decrees? Think about it.