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>Draconian policies

>I would say that one of the most obscene, morally repugnant things a person can do is force persons to act against their will. It originates from the pits of Hades. A government state that forces a man to behave contrary to his beliefs is draconian.

Our morality is what we consider right and wrong. Wrong behaviour is what we consider should not be done. For a believer in God this often means that we think God disapproves of it. In behaving in a way we think is immoral we believe we are offending God.

Understanding this helps in reading some of Paul’s writings. This concept of not forcing people to behave in a way contrary to their beliefs stretches even so far as to us curbing legitimate behaviour (in some circumstances) in case we offend others (Rom 14).

It is interesting that 3 times Paul speaks about his lowliness because of his prior behaviour.

For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15:9 ESV)

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given,… (Ephesians 3:7-8 ESV)

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16 ESV)

All people prior to conversion were sinners. In what way is Paul the most wicked. He may be saying this because he actively persecuted the church, but there is something in the way he did this which may have added to the assessment. Paul in his testimony to Agrippa said:

“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” (Acts 26:9-11 ESV)

What is particularly abhorrent in this is Paul trying to force Christians to blaspheme. He is trying to get Christians to speak or act in a way that will offend God. Even when compared to being to the mistreatment of being followed to other cities, being persecuted, being imprisoned or even execution it still comes out bad. I think it is the worst of what Paul mentions he has done.

There may be consequences to our beliefs and I am not suggesting that tolerating my beliefs should impinge on yours. If a Muslim thinks that driving with a dog is offensive to God then it is fine to refuse him employment with “Taxis for the Blind.” (Though using minor occurrences as a reason to discriminate may be taking it too far—a generic taxi driver picking up blind passengers with guide dogs at a rate of once a year would seem a little too infrequent to impose this policy.)

Further, not all things I disagree with and are forced to do are blasphemous. I think that excessive taxation by government can be sinful. But in being forced to pay these taxes does not cause me to sin against God. And if people choose to sin in response to my right choices I am not responsible for this.

All this is not to say we are not to try and convince others that their underlying beliefs are incorrect. This is an acceptable practice. We are all encouraged to convince others of the truth of Christianity and the emptiness of worldly practices. (If we are to teach specifics however we should exercise more caution as James (Jam 3:1) and Paul (1Ti 1:7) warn. Best we only teach those things we know.) But until someone’s belief has changed we should not be forcing them to behave in that way. I think Jehovah’s witnesses are incorrect about blood transfusions. But to force them to receive a blood transfusion, while they think that doing so is a sin, is a wicked practice.

It is not surprising that world being under the influence of Satan reverses these actions. Proselytising (challenging others to change their mind about their belief system) is called wrong and even evil. Yet they seem to have no qualms about expecting or even forcing us to behave in the ways that the powers currently define as right or moral.

To disallow persons to challenge opinion but force them to behave in ways that are contrary to what they currently believe are draconian policies!

…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 ESV)

Categories: ethics
  1. Anonymous
    2007 April 30 at 16:48

    >OVER 450 JEHOVAH’S WITNESS LAWSUITS, COURT CASES, ETC SUMMARIZED This website summarizes 300 United States court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including dozens of cases where the Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions: DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/ This website summarizes 160 United States court cases and lawsuits filed by Jehovah’s Witnesses against Employers: EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESS EMPLOYEES http://jwemployees.bravehost.com

  2. 2009 January 16 at 06:48

    If I believe paying taxes is a form of idolatory, then taxes are abhorrent. See Paying Taxes.

  3. 2009 January 18 at 07:35

    Hi RonMcK, I had a read of your article and have left a comment there. Basically I think we can pay taxes to an evil government. If they misuse them they are responsible to God for this, not us.

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