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.
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.
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.
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.