President Obama signs the executive order on Monday.
Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin
President Obama signs the executive order on Monday.

Executive orders and civil disobedience


President Barack Obama signed an executive order Monday that bars federal contractors from considering an employee’s sexual proclivities or gender identity when hiring. He granted no exemption for Christians or people of other faiths whose beliefs and teachings run counter to these behaviors. It seems the more such rights are granted, the fewer Christians have.

Faith-based organizations have a choice, though it might not be ideal. They can stop taking federal contracts if they don’t want to hire a man pretending to be a woman or if they hold any objections to other aspects of the LGBT agenda. As bad as it is, the policy isn’t the same as ordering a Christian to bake a wedding cake for two homosexuals or a Christian photographer to pay a fine for refusing to photograph a homosexual wedding. But prepare yourselves for the day when churches and faith-based non-profit groups lose tax-exempt status because they hold and dare to utter biblical views on sexuality. One day the government could order pastors to marry two men or else pay up.

We know that God has appointed rulers over us. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities,” the apostle Paul wrote in Romans. “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. …” (See also 1 Peter 2:13–17.)

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The command to submit to the government isn’t absolute. If Congress ordered us to kill all firstborn females, for example, the obvious response is to disobey. The Bible contains instances where people disobeyed rulers’ commands. The common denominator was the nature of the laws: immoral and evil. Abortion is an example of one immoral and evil law we don’t have to follow, but neither can we break laws to stop others from doing it. We can refrain from killing our own children and peacefully petition the government to change the law.

A government run by sinners for sinners isn’t ideal. We can ask why all day. Why appoint such a man to rule over us? Why does a tiny percent of the population seem to be winning the culture war? Here’s where trusting and believing God is important: The Bible teaches that He’s already won. Satan, the defeated foe, is allowed to wreak havoc in this fallen world. That is the consequence of sin. Our sin. I trust God.

Keep your heads up with hope and be on your knees in prayer. Although things will get worse, one thing stays the same: God is still saving sinners. Among today’s unrepentant people petitioning the government for more rights to kill unborn babies and to undermined marriage are tomorrow’s brothers and sisters in Christ.

La Shawn Barber
La Shawn Barber

La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications


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