Pastors Must Lead in Pandemic Response by Asking Most Basic Questions about Authority and Law, Separation of Powers, Says American Pastors Network
As states experiencing increases in the number of patients testing positive for coronavirus, reprisals of mandates arising out of limited duration and questionable executive branch ‘emergency powers’ threaten to become the new normal. Although pockets of Americans continue to dispute the sweeping regulatory powers that non-legislative bodies are wielding, many are blindly yielding to these unlawful demands. Others are asking if resistance is possible or how it should be done.
Pastor and statesman Sam Rohrer says that’s because they’re asking the wrong question.
“The question each human being should start with precedes questions about the efficacy, consistency with medical science and basic truth regarding face masks, church and business closures or social distancing — although asking substantive questions about these policies will certainly illuminate whether mandating those measures is even justifiable.” Rohrer said.
Rohrer, a 9-term former Pennsylvania state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network, says Christians must find the courage to ask — out loud — the most basic questions about the source of civil authority in our American Constitutional Republic and about the foundational moral authority outlined in the Bible which undergirds the duties, extent and limitations of all civil authorities and the basic structure of our civil law.
“Any individual — man, woman or child — who wants to emerge from this pandemic with their health and freedoms intact must start by asking, Who or what is the source of authority behind civil orders or directives coming from civil authorities? Where does authority come from in this matter? What is the actual law? Christians know from the Bible that all authority is not merely ordained, (established, ranked and ordered) by God but subject to God — obligated to obey God, and will give account to God including acting in accordance with Natural Law.”
Consequently, America’s federal and state governments were founded and designed specifically to ensure that elected and appointed officials recognize the existence of Revealed law, and the reality of sinful hearts which lead civil authority to become tyrannical and deceive themselves into believing they are the law.
“Separation of powers is one of the obvious and essential principles in recognizing the Rule of Law and preventing tyranny (exceeding lawful restraints),” Rohrer continued. “According to our Constitution, only lawmakers- the Legislative Branch – possesses the authority to make laws. The executive branch is intentionally restricted and therefore lacks this authority. Judges lack this authority. The power belongs exclusively to the legislative branch in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.
“So-called ‘laws’ not passed through the constitutionally prescribed legislative system are therefore unlawful and illegitimate , regardless of what the executive or judicial branches say. . Most middle schoolers know this — but do their parents? Do their pastors? Do our government officials?”
Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.
“The law is the law. Just law starts of necessity with Truth. When Truth is ignored or redefined and the proper lawmaking process is usurped or violated, it is our duty to morally and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law,” Rohrer said. “We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’ ”
Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash
A good article. I forwarded it to my priest and a friend in another city. I just hope they and others read this and prayerful consider how their stance of pacifism is rejected by them
Ditto on Paul’s actions. VIP.
Covid restrictions are a testing ground and measure of group think and passivity.