Making Mischief by a Law by Jack Kettler
“Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?” (Psalm 94:20)
The civil or government rulers passed laws which permitted them to sin, or laws which actively promoted sin. The true power of government is to punish evil-doers, but instead the Psalmist says it was used to advance wickedness.
“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed.” (Isaiah 10:1)
Justice was corrupted, and man’s law, instead of being in accord with God’s Law, had become diametrically opposed. Man’s law was working towards injustice and unrighteousness. This corruption seemed unbearable because the rulers of the day claimed to be acting according to law, seeking to hide their unrighteousness under the cover of law.
While both passages deal with the corruption of law in the Psalmist’s and Isaiah’s day, the problem is just as pronounced in the present time. Wicked leaders use the machinery of the law to crush and ruin their opponents and advance their own interests.
Examples of modern day American governmental mischief by a law:
1. Favored status for Sodomites
3. Putting debt upon future generations
4. Favored status for the pagan religion of Mohammedism
5. Failure to follow its own laws
6. Banning biblical truth from the public square
7. Intrusion into the marketplace, creating financial bubbles (housing, stock market) that burst
8. Pagan indoctrination of children in government schools
9. Political public lying
10. Anti-Christian foreign policy
11. Confiscatory levels of taxation, or theft by government
12. Onerous levels of regulatory abuse
13. Debasing the currency
What should Christians do when civil authorities make unjust laws? Like the Psalmist we should pray:
“Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, For they have rebelled against You.” (Psalms 5:1)
“When he is judged, let him be found guilty, And let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, And let another take his office.” (Psalms 109:7-8)
“His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.” (Psalms 7:16)
“Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.” (Psalms 10:15)
“O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted. Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.” (Psalms 58:6-8)
“Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!” (Psalms 104:35)
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)
The prophet Isaiah pronounces woe upon wicked rulers:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
Calvin’s comments are right to the point:
20. Wo to them that call evil good. Though some limit this statement to judges, yet if it be carefully examined, we shall easily learn from the whole context that it is general; for, having a little before reproved those who cannot listen to any warnings, he now proceeds with the same reproof. It is evident that men of this sort have always some excuse to plead, and some way of imposing on themselves; and, therefore, there is no end to their reproachful language, when their crimes are brought to light. But here he particularly reproves the insolence of those who endeavor to overthrow all distinction between good and evil
The preposition l (lamed), prefixed to the words good and evil, is equivalent to Of; and therefore the meaning is, They who say of evil, It is good, and of good, It is evil; that is, they who by vain hypocrisy conceal, excuse, and disguise wicked actions, as if they would change the nature of everything by their sophistical arguments, but who, on the contrary deface good actions by their calumnies. These things are almost always joined together, for every one in whom the fear of God dwells is restrained both by conscience and by modesty from venturing to apologize for his sins, or to condemn what is good and right; but they who have not this fear do not hesitate with the same impudence to commend what is bad and to condemn what is good; which is a proof of desperate wickedness.
This statement may be applied to various cases; for if a wo is here pronounced even on private individuals, when they say of evil that it is good, and of good that it is evil, how much more on those who have been raised to any elevated rank, and discharge a public office, whose duty it is to defend what is right and honorable! But he addresses a general reproof to all who flatter themselves in what is evil, and who, through the hatred which they bear to virtue, condemn what is done aright; and not only so, but who, by the subterfuges which they employ for the sake of concealing their own enormities, harden themselves in wickedness. Such persons, the Prophet tells us, act as if they would change light into darkness, and sweet into bitter; by which he means that their folly is monstrous, for it would tend to confound and destroy all the principles of nature.1 (under-line emphasis mine)
1. John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Isaiah, Volume VII, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p 186.
Some pertinent human observations:
“When government engages in the involuntary transfer of wealth, that’s nothing more than legalized plunder. There is nothing noble or laudatory about it. It is contemptible, evil and profoundly wrong.” – Frederic Bastiat
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“To make no decision in regard to the growth of authoritarian government is already a decision for it.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“When the Christian is treated as an enemy of the State, his course is very much harder, but it is simpler. I am concerned with the dangers to the tolerated minority; and in the modern world, it may turn out that most intolerable thing for Christians is to be tolerated.” – T.S. Eliot
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956
“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto
“True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us to do as absolutes which are sinful- which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these things the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto
Beyond prayer, we must take positive action by standing against public manifestations of evil. Personal sanctification is a given. Christians are called to do more than live in our personal circle of influence.
Research links providing biblical ammunition for the cultural war we are in:
The Bible and Government; Biblical Principles: Basis for America’s Laws
Noah Webster, God’s Law, and the United States Constitution:The Influence of the Bible on the Development of American Constitutionalism
American Government and Christianity
Biblical origins of American Political Philosophy
Bible in American Law
The Christian foundations of the rule of law in the West: a legacy of liberty and resistance against tyranny
Not Yours To Give by Col. David Crockett
Vindiciae contra Tyrannos: A Defence of Liberty against Tyrants, Or of the lawful power of the prince over the people and of the people over the prince.
The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate
At https://lessermagistrate.com/, there are examples of how the Lesser Magistrate’s are beginning to exercise their authority, protecting state citizens from the tyrannical overreach if the fed gov and its promotion of evil.
The “Lesser Magistrate” and the jury system if utilized properly, can be a powerful bulwark against the perverted evil laws of men:
“If the jury have no right to judge of the justice of a law of the government, they plainly can do nothing to protect the people against the oppressions of the government; for there are no oppressions which the government may not authorize by law.” – Lysander Spooner
“For more than six hundred years — that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 — there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or resisting the execution of such laws.” – Lysander Spooner
Today, judges never inform a jury of their right to nullify unjust laws. This is a perversion of the law by judges. In fact, if a judge suspects a juror has knowledge of this historic right, the juror will be thrown off the jury.
See Lysander Spooner’s powerful: No Treason The Constitution of No Authority
Nullification and Tenth Amendment:
The states come first! The states created the Union. Therefore, under the doctrine of nullification, and since the states are the foundation of the Union, they have the power to renounce unconstitutional laws. It is clear that ultimate authority resides in the states, not an entity formed by the states.
Nullification maintains that the states have the right to overrule any unconstitutional laws. Nullification is the ultimate check on the balance of power and removes power from the Supreme Court and federal government and its agencies in extreme cases.
In essence, some states before ratifying the constitution, maintained that they had the right to leave the Union. For example, Virginia, made the right to secede from the Union unambiguous in their agreement to sign the Constitution.
Here is an selection from Virginia’s delegation:
We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination can be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by the Congress by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any Capacity by the President or any Department or Officer of the United States except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes
The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798-99 was a series of resolutions passed by the state legislature protesting the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Kentucky Resolutions were drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Virginia passed similar resolutions, drafted by James Madison. These resolutions were a protest against what Jefferson, Madison wisely considered to be a dangerous usurpation of power by the federal government.
The Kentucky Resolution of 1799 was the most radical of the resolutions and asserted that states had the power to nullify the laws of the federal government:
The representatives of the good people of this commonwealth [of Kentucky], in General Assembly convened, have maturely considered the answers of sundry states in the Union, to [the ongoing debate and discussion of]… certain unconstitutional laws of Congress, commonly called the Alien and Sedition Laws, would be faithless, indeed, to themselves and to those they represent, were they silently to acquiesce in the principles and doctrines attempted to be maintained…. Our opinions of these alarming measures of the general government, together with our reasons for those opinions, were detailed with decency, and with temper and submitted to the discussion and judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union…. Faithful to the true principles of the federal Union, unconscious of any designs to disturb the harmony of that Union, and anxious only to escape the fangs of despotism, the good people of this commonwealth are regardless of censure or calumniation. Lest, however, the silence of this commonwealth should be construed into an acquiescence in the doctrines and principles advanced… therefore,
Resolved, That this commonwealth considers the federal Union, upon the terms and for the purposes specified in… [the Constitution], conducive to the liberty and happiness of the several states: That it does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union, and to that compact… and will be among the last to seek its dissolution: That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact [the Constitution], by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, an annihilation of the state governments… will be the inevitable consequence: [That the construction of the Constitution argued for by many] state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extant of the powers delegated to it, stop not short of despotism – since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument [the Constitution] being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of the infraction; and, That a nullification of those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under the color of that instrument is the rightful remedy: That this commonwealth does, under the most deliberate reconsideration, declare, that the said Alien and Sedition Laws are, in their opinion, palpable violations of the said Constitution…. although this commonwealth, as a party to the federal compact, will bow to the laws of the Union, yet, it does at the same time declare, that it will not now, or ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitutional manner, every attempt at what quarter soever offered, to violate that compact…. This commonwealth does now enter against [the Alien and Sedition Acts] in solemn PROTEST.
Tenth Amendment strongly supports Jefferson’s and Madison’s view of nullification:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
See Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century by Thomas E. Woods at Amazon.
Learn more at: The Tenth Amendment Center
What are the costs of no action?
“If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready-made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.” – T. S. Eliot
There is reason for hope that our efforts can bear fruit because of what is noted by Calvin:
“Men of sound judgment will always be sure that a sense of divinity which can never be effaced is engraved upon men’s minds. Indeed, the perversity of the impious, who though they struggle furiously are unable to extricate themselves from the fear of God, is abundant testimony that this conviction, namely, that there is some God, is naturally inborn in all, and is fixed deep within, as it were in the very marrow.” – John Calvin in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1
Mr. Kettler is the owner of http://www.Undergroundnotes.com where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read.