May 28, 2020 | Jamie Rohrbaugh, IFA Contributing Writer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a man who wrestled with the dichotomy between church and government. As an evangelical German pastor and theologian before World War II, he noticed the atrocities the Nazis were committing as they rose to power. When he was offered the opportunity to defy the Nazis and join the resistance, he again wrestled with the question of whether or not he should defy the government.
After agonizing over this question, Bonhoeffer came to the conclusion that, when the government commands people to sin, they ought to resist—and to obey God, rather than man. He became an active participant in the German resistance.
As the Scriptures tell us in Ecclesiastes 1:9, there is nothing new under the sun.
The decision Bonhoeffer made has come back again—but it has come to us who live in these United States of America, and indeed in every free nation around the world. At this crucial point in history, we must now decide:
- Will we believe the narrative we are fed by unrighteous politicians and media? Or, will we stand up and think for ourselves?
- Will we choose to discern the difference between righteous laws versus unrighteous laws? Or, will we falsely assume that God wants us to obey everything we are told to do, no matter what we are told to do and by whom we are told to do it?
- When our choice comes down to obeying God versus obeying man, will we choose to stand up and obey God? Like Martin Luther, will we bravely and courageously stand before the councils of men and media, saying, “Here I stand, I can do no other”?
Every Christian faces this choice RIGHT NOW, and we must be prepared to make this choice wisely and well. We must also be prepared to defend our actions scripturally, for the Word of God is the only compass that can show us what righteous choices are.
Many people in this season will take Romans 13:1-3 out of context, using it as an excuse to actually disobey God. This passage says:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same” (emphasis mine).
However, the context of this Scripture addresses rulers who are ruling for the sake of righteousness. When rulers are NOT ruling for the cause of what is right and holy, however, a different scriptural mandate applies. When rulers go against their God-given assignment to enforce good and terrorize evil, then we must resist those rulers instead of submitting to them.
As the Lord teaches us in Acts 5:26-29, using Peter and the apostles as an example:
Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
These are perilous times—and perilous times call for a level of discernment from the Lord that we who have lived freely and easily have never had to tap into before.
Therefore, in this season, we must ask the Lord for the same anointing that Dietrich Bonhoeffer had. Bonhoeffer had the ability and willingness to discern good from evil and holy from profane. Like him, we must also be courageous enough to stand up and resist unholy and unrighteous laws.
When we are told to murder babies, euthanize elderly people, cease assembling to worship, and otherwise disobey God, it is going to require courage:
- To search the Scriptures in order to discern the truth of what we are being told;
- To think for ourselves;
- To stand against the mainstream narrative—even the politically correct narrative purported by many Christians;
- To speak out and be loud about our dissension; and
- To obey God rather than man.
Although every one of these choices will be difficult, we cannot claim to be disciples of Christ without being willing to stand in His name and obey His commands.
If you desire to stand with Christ no matter how dire the hour, pray this with me:
“Abba Father, in Jesus’ name, I thank You for the many years we have lived freely and easily. But now, Father, in the midst of perilous times, we need Your help to take on the challenge of standing for You even if everything in culture and government seems to go against us.
Father, I ask You first and foremost for courage. Please pour out Your supernatural anointing of courage upon me and upon all Christians in these United States. Let Your church rise up, Lord. Let us not be intimidated; but rather, let us be vocal about Your Word and Your name. Fill us with a holy boldness, that we may preach as we ought to preach.
Father God, please give each of us who love You the same anointing that Dietrich Bonhoeffer had to stand against unrighteousness.
Let Your truth thunder from our pulpits. Fill Your apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers with a Godly fear and determination to honor and obey You no matter what. Let every Christian everywhere decide to stand against unrighteousness, defend Your principles and Your truth, and defend our Constitutional rights.
Father, let us refuse to back down. Let us refuse to be herded into oblivion and silence. We claim Your promise that we will not lose even one inch of the territory we have taken for You, for Your Word says that of the increase of Your government and of peace there shall be no end.
Let Your church triumphant rise up, Lord, and be LOUD in this hour. Let us take more territory for You than we have ever taken before. Increase our influence for You. Increase Your Kingdom, even in this hour. And wake us up, Lord; open our eyes. Give us discernment, understanding, and wisdom to see as we ought to see and hear as we ought to hear in these times.
Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name, amen.”
Jamie Rohrbaugh is an author and speaker who equips people to walk in the manifest presence and power of God. Jamie blogs for a global readership at FromHisPresence.com, where she writes about radical prayer, the prophetic word, the supernatural lifestyle, inner healing, and Kingdom wealth. She is a frequent contributor to Charisma Magazine, The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and various other ministry outlets. You can contact her here or download her free ebook containing 555 names of God for prayer and worship here.
If you prayed that prayer, or have made a conscious commitment to act as Dietrich Bonhoeffer did
(and so many other followers of Christ have) by obeying God rather than man, share with us your thoughts below.
We would love to know how you are praying about this.