Give an Inch and lose a mile
With the COVID pandemic reaching the United States, we are seeing people’s reactions go from one extreme to the other. While some initially did not take it seriously at all and flaunted their careless behavior, on the opposite end of the spectrum, others turned their fear toward into anger, and even as we understand more and the threat diminishes appear unable to let go of it. Even to the point of making demands on others that they were not willing to adhere to themselves. This entire scenario is a microcosim of our spiritual walk as individuals and our natural human bent.
But if you zoom out and take a broader view, we can see many spiritual truths playing out before us. One of the most stark illustrations is the way in which government reacts. While some Governors put limited restrictions in place, others went to the extreme. And still others opted to not intervein with formal restrictions on the population at all. And we can see the effects.
Thomas Paine said, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” As a political activist, philosopher, and ispiration behind the Declaration of Independents, he had a keen sense of the full capabilities of government. But why does he call it a “necessary evil”? Probably because he too lived and saw the way in which governments, being made up of fallen man, needed to be restrained in the same way as evil.
Government does, in one particular way, operate the same way as Satan. You give him a small foothold, and he takes far more than you ever thought possible. Think back to the Boston Tea Party. Rather than pay ill-gotten taxes on their tea, patriots dumped the tea into the harbor. They refused to give even one small foothold to unfair taxation because they knew that would grow into bondage. Over the years, however, Americans have slowly loosed that restraint and here we sit in the new millenium heavily burdened by taxes imposed by multi-millionaire legislators.
Likewise, we are seeing this same pattern in this COVID pandemic. Interestingly, government officials initially sat back and waited to see what Americans were willing to do in order to help their fellow countrymen. Citizens began en mass self-distancing, working from home, going out much less, wearing masks and taking precautions. But as we willingly took these measures, legislatures from all parties quickly put pen to paper making it the law of the land. Knowing full well, since we were already doing these things of our own volition, very few would even think to be concerened by such legislation, let alone begin to resist. But now that we have willingly begun these measures, government has made it unlawful for us to ever cease without their approval.
But our Constitutional rights do not just go out the window because there is now a pandemic. (Which btw has a 99% survival rate). Rather, our Constitutional rights are what allows us to live and thrive beyond any pandemic, and it is our obligation as Christians to uphold it. Expecting Government to take care of your needs is the great deception. Government is not ever going to be able to do that. It is simply not designed to do so. It’s like expecting a fish to bark! But here is what government WILL do. Like Satan, if you allow it to get a foothold, even a small one, it will swallow you up entirely.
Fortunately, like Satan, government can ONLY take hold of what we allow it to. You have a choice here in the United States. You can still say no. Like God promises to make a way out of our temptation to sin, will He not also make a way for us when we are threatened with tyranny? The answer is yes! But our first step is always the same. We must resist. Usually when we hear that term, imagry of muskets and bloodshed fill out minds, but resisting is often much easier than we think. Sometimes, to get a schoolyard bully to stop, all it takes is one person to stand up to them and we soon see how weak that bully really is. Satan is the same, when we resist as God commands, Satan MUST flee. And on the larger scale, going into the political schoolyard, we are to resist. And often when we do, we see how quickly that “necessary evil” will fold.
But it is also important to note that evil does not fold on it’s own. It does not see it’s loosing score and just go home. One of two things will happen. Either they must be excluded from the game entirely for it’s cheating ways, or it will become an “intolerable” opponent, that obliterates the entire reason that we all gathered in schoolyard to begin with.
So make no mistake during the “re-open process” in America. Our Government is going to try to take more than was ever intended for them to have. That is its very nature.
But if we are wise, we will look back to our Constitution. Understand the God-given restraint we have on them and refuse to give them even a small foodhold. For by its very nature, if we give even one inch, we will lose more than we could possibly imagine.