The Limits of Civil Obedience, Part 4 (A Christian Manifesto Today #44)

Welcome to A Christian Manifesto Today episode #44. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Torch Leadership Foundation.

Pastor and Christian philosopher, Francis A. Schaeffer, warned us and created the war plan that we as Christians need today to deal with a society that is increasingly moving away from God, the Bible, and moral principles. He wrote “A Christian Manifesto” over 33 years ago and its words are just as relevant today as they were back then.

Our Christian Manifesto Today Passage from the Word of God today is Romans 13:1 which reads: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Our Christian Manifesto Today quote today is from R.C. Sproul. He said: “From sacred Scripture, we see representatives of the church not trying to become the state but offering prophetic criticism to the state – despite the potential consequences. The church is not the state, but it is the conscience of the state, and it is a conscience that cannot afford to become seared and silent.”

In this podcast, we are using as our text: “A Christian Manifesto” by Francis A. Schaeffer.

Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer writes in “The Limits of Civil Obedience” (Part 4):

Geneva: This area became Protestant by vote of the Common Council in 1533-1534. Calvin came to Geneva in 1536. There was no open war, but the Reformation was established despite the constant threat of war by the House of Savoy.

Because John Knox of Scotland is such a clear example I will give more detail concerning him. Knox was ordained to the priesthood in 1536 (the year William Tyndale was executed) after studying at St. Andrews University near Edinburgh where Samuel Rutherford later was Rector. Knox was also a lawyer and a bodyguard to the fiery evangelist George Wishart.

Shortly thereafter, Knox accepted a call to the ministry and began attacking the Roman Catholic Church. This was extremely dangerous since the Roman Catholic Church exerted a dominant influence over the Scottish State. Knox was prevented from preaching on Sundays (the dates were conveniently filled by priests). Knox held services on weekdays during which he refuted what was said by others on Sundays. So successful were his efforts that a majority of those in Edinburgh made an open profession of the Protestant faith by participating in the Lord’s Supper as administered by Knox.

On June 30, 1547, Knox, along with others, was captured by French forces in the war with England. Disaster that this was, it was better than what would have happened if the Scottish government had apprehended him. Most likely, he would have been burned at the stake.

After almost two years as a galley slave, Knox gained his liberty. He landed as a refugee in England in 1549 and resumed preaching. He was so effective that Protestant families in Scotland, hearing of his ministry, crossed the border illegally and resettled in Berwick, England, so as to be near him.

Knox is rightly thought of as a radical reformer. There is, however, an important distinction to keep in mind concerning him. Throughout his ministry, Knox appealed for moderation and compromise whenever truly fundamental issues were not at stake.

Attempts to keep the English crown in Protestant hands failed and in August of 1553 the Roman Catholic Mary Tudor entered London. Many of the outspoken Protestants were taken captive and imprisoned. Knox was able to escape from the country to Geneva, Switzerland.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s Pray.

* * * * * * * *

Dear friend, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, my friend, continue to stand for the Lord and his Word. God bless you!

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