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Church Policy Concerning Christian Obedience to Civil Government 
 
1. When the apostles wrote the epistles in the New Testament, an audience of biblically ordered church bodies led by Scriptural leaders is assumed.  All that these Scriptures say are said in this context, and are also to be obeyed in this context.  The Scriptures cannot cover every detail of life; but lay down a ground-work of principles so that church leaders can make judgment calls consistent with God’s will and ways. 
  • The church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth; but this rests on the collective testimony of the members.  Church leaders are responsible before God to keep this collective testimony in line with the truth of God’s Word. 
  • 2. The Scripture commands Christians to submit to every civil ordinance that does not violate higher laws and principles given to us by God’s Word. 
    3. When a law comes in question as to whether Christians should obey it or not, it becomes a matter of church policy and not individual conscience whether we obey that law or not.   
  • If it is wrong for one church member to obey said law, it is usually wrong for all the church members to obey it; and the opposite is usually true.   
  • This must be decided by the church leaders, not the individual; as it affects every household in the church and the corporate testimony. 
  • 4. The wickedness of governmental rulers does not necessarily disqualify them from being our God ordained authority, nor does it change the mandates of Romans 13; but our obedience or disobedience is determined by what is commanded by them–whether or not it violates our faith and obedience to God. 
  • What the state does with tax dollars does not necessarily relieve Christians from paying their taxes according to Romans 13. 
  • Extreme conditions may mandate civil disobedience, going “underground”, or fleeing the country; but this must be a corporate decision and not left to individual member’s conscience so as to divide the congregation. 
  • 5. Matters of eating, drinking, observance of dates, days, etc. which are not prescribed or proscribed by the Scriptures; but are in the realm of Christian liberty can be left to the individual conscience of each member.  If this causes division in the body, then church leaders may have to decide on the relevance or indifference of such matters to bring harmony in the body as we see exemplified in the Scriptures.  However, when there is a direct command to obey every ordinance of man which does not violate our obedience to God it is not in the realm of personal conscience which laws are obeyed, but a matter of corporate concern and testimony. 
    6. Every case and situation brought before the church must be dealt with individually considering present circumstances and pertinent principles rather than trying to have one rule to cover every situation without consideration of complexities.  
    7. Due to the very nature of the Faith of Christ taught in the Word of God, every convert baptized into the body of Christ must commit themselves to operating in the above described orderly corporate manner.  As part of their faith in Christ, true disciples strive to preserve the church order and unity that Christ established through the apostles.