Around the globe, people are beginning to wake up to the rise of totalitarianism – within the West. Many have long suspected it, some have warned about it, but the Covid outbreak and government responses to it have now convinced many millions that something is not right in the free world. It just is not free anymore, and it is getting worse all the time.
The way a crisis was harnessed to give the state unprecedented powers and control over the masses was a frightening wake-up call for many. Power-drunk politicians and leaders milked this event for all its worth, taking away the most basic of civil liberties and human rights from its citizens.
Scarier still is how many of these citizens went right along with it: ‘Well, the government knows best, and they are just trying to keep us safe.’ When you get to that place then freedom is basically gone and tyrants have nothing left to do but enjoy the spoils.
That is why various declarations have been penned over the past few years, reminding us all of the vital importance of freedom and the devastating impact of statist overreach. These have included things like the 2020 Great Barrington Declaration.
A brand new Declaration has just been released, urging believers to do more to stand against oppressive statism and to champion the cause of liberty around the world. Penned by Christian leaders from Europe, America and South Africa, the Frankfurt Declaration of Christian & Civil Liberties is a short but powerful reaffirmation of some basic biblical truths.
As such it is much-needed in these ever-darkening days. Those who have signed it so far include well-known leaders such as John MacArthur, Douglas Wilson, Voddie Baucham, James White, James Coates, Joe Boot, Jeff Durbin, Tom Foord, and Justin Peters. It is hoped that many more will do the same over the coming weeks and months.
The 2000-word document, replete with scriptural references, contains an Introduction, five articles, and a conclusion. Let me share parts of it with you. The Introduction says this:
In the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary for people of good faith to speak out against the abuse of power. This should be done only after serious and prayerful deliberation, and even then, in an attitude of humility and with respect for the authorities that have been established by God. Such protest should be expressed in the hope that civil authorities who are found to be eroding rights and liberties may yet fulfill their responsibility as their rightful guardians.
A few concerned pastors from different continents, moved by an emergent totalitarianism of the State over all realms of society, and particularly the Church, and the disregard of God-given and constitutionally guaranteed rights during the Covid crisis, joined in common cause to craft a solemn declaration, which seeks to address these threats with the timeless truths of God’s Word. The following affirmations and denials, derived from biblical principles, we put forth for consideration by all Christians and relevant authorities, in the hope that this document will give light and strength for faithful witness to Jesus Christ in our day.2 Sam. 12:1-14; Acts 4:24-29; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14
The five Articles are these:
- God the Creator as Sovereign Lawgiver and Judge
- God as the Source of Truth and the Role of Science
- Mankind as the Image of God
- God-given Mandates and Limits of Authority
- Christ as the Head of the Church
Article 4 says this:
We affirm that all earthly authorities derive their authority (‘the right to be obeyed’) from God, who is over all and to whom all must give account. We believe that He has established their different spheres of responsibility (i.e., mandates) and in so doing has set limits to their authority. God has delegated authority to civil governments for the purpose of rewarding good and punishing evil, and to protect the God-given rights and freedoms granted to all people. He has also delegated authority to the Church in its various expressions, particularly to make disciples of all nations by preaching the Word of God, and to establish and administer redeemed communities of faith living under the authority of Christ. In addition, He has delegated authority to the family as the basic unit of society for the purpose of fostering societal cohesion and sexual fidelity, and to protect, provide for, raise, and educate children in the way of the Lord. We affirm our right as citizens, parents, and Christians to freely self-determine our beliefs and behaviors based on these truths.
We therefore deny totalitarian ideologies of governments which do not recognize the boundaries of their authority and usurp the authority delegated by God to the Church or the family. In particular, we reject the tendency of governments to centralize beliefs and conduct for their citizens by creating an authoritarian society in which the State is absolute. Such totalitarianism and statism is built upon beliefs that have fundamentally redefined good and evil and the nature of human beings, and are contrary to the divine order of things. The effect of such beliefs is to enslave individual and religious freedoms, and engender an ideological intolerance which seeks to silence, cancel, and re-educate those who disagree. We also oppose the view that children are the property of the State and therefore subjects to be indoctrinated, and also any encouragement or manipulation of children to undergo medical procedures without parental consent.Deut. 6:6-7; Matt. 22:20-21; 28:18-19; John 17:14; Rom. 12:1-2; 13:1-7; Eph. 5:21-6:4; Phil. 2:14-16; Col. 3:18-20; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14; 4:15; Rev. 13:7-8
It concludes as follows:
A Call for Respect, Repentance, and Resistance
We commend and express our gratitude to those civil authorities who respect the essential nature of these Christian beliefs and practices and who have a high regard for individual and religious freedoms. To those civil authorities who have disregarded these freedoms, we call on you to repent and to become again the protectors of liberty and of the rights that God has given to all men, lest in the abuse of your God-given authority, you become liable to God’s wrath. To those who desire to compel us to obey the secular State rather than God, we respectfully, but firmly say (like the three Hebrews who refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue), “We have no need to answer you in this matter. The God we serve is able to save us from you, and He will rescue us from your hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the idols you have set up.” (Dan. 3:16-18)
To our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world we say: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9) It appears that the world may well be entering a time of testing, not only for the Church, but for everyone who believes in freedom and who opposes tyranny. Let us stand with those who are hard-pressed, arrested, or forcefully isolated because they have chosen to do what is right. Let us stand in solidarity with those whose churches are forcefully closed or who are exiled from their congregations. Let us help and support in practical ways those who are fined or have to forfeit their employment for the sake of Christ. And we ask our brothers and sisters who have lived under persecution all their lives to pray for us, that God would give us the grace to bless those who persecute us and to pray for them; that God would give us the courage to stand firm in our faith as His witnesses; and that He, who is Lord over all, would give us the strength to remain faithful and persevere to the end. Amen.2 Sam. 12:1-14; Dan. 5:22-23; Matt. 24:12-13; 1 Cor. 16:13-14; Eph. 5:10-13
The site for this important document is here: frankfurtdeclaration.com
Please have a read and share it widely.