A Manifesto for Christian Resistance in 2022

16 Theses

Out of a love for Christ and His Word and a desire to see the liberating light of the gospel triumph over the darkness in our lands, I submit the following statements, convicted of their truth and prepared to defend them in more detail. The first eight provide a foundation for Christian resistance followed by eight key areas of resistance in this historical moment. It is crucial that men and women of the truth know how to live boldly according to the truth in such a time as this.

  1. Jesus is Lord

The baby born in Bethlehem is now seated at the right of God (Eph. 1:20-21) and He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet (1 Cor. 15:25). All authority in the universe has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18), He is the sovereign over the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5), and every person on the planet owes allegiance to Him (Phil 2:9-10). This is foundational to all that follows. It was because of this public declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord that the early Church was persecuted since it clearly implied that Caesar (the state) was not the supreme lord over everything. 

  1. The modern state is in rebellion to Christ

Any ruler or government that dismisses the Lordship of Christ as irrelevant to their governing responsibilities stands in opposition to the Lord’s anointed King (Psalm 2:1-3; Acts 12:21-23). The separation of Church and State is biblical in the sense that the Church and the State are two separate spheres established by God for two separate purposes, but that must never be confused with the separation of God and State. Both the elders of the church and the civil magistrates of the state are accountable to the one true God. All people including those in the civil sphere are called to submit to Christ in all areas of life (Psalm 2:10-11; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). 

  1. The statist and globalist agenda is anti-Christian and anti-Christ 

Like ancient Rome, the modern State exalts itself to the place of deity. Organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization, not only refuse to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ but directly oppose His word, deifying the State and its experts as our benevolent overlords. The UN, for example, has made it clear that it seeks to promote abortion and the LGBT+ agenda, and that these rights trump religious freedom. They have also labeled the very language of Scripture offensive and discriminatory.1

  1. The Gospel is Political

Many Christians have been duped into thinking that being gospel-centered means to focus solely on the core message of the cross, but being truly gospel-centered is to understand and apply the implications of Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension––from all of Scripture––to every sphere of life and society. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” cannot mean that Paul never talked about other things such as marriage and civil government, but rather that when He talked about those things, Christ was always at the center. Transformation of the heart through the preaching of the cross is foundational but that transformation cannot remain there. The message of the lordship of Christ must extend beyond the safety of our private lives (Daniel 6:10; Acts 4:19-20). The early church was persecuted precisely because their public witness was political: Jesus is Lord. And as noted above, by implication, this means that Caesar (the state) is not. This gospel message must not be severed from our present reality, while we look forward to the perfection that will come with Christ’s second coming, we must remember that His victory has implications in this world today––and those implications will inevitably come into conflict with the political agendas of statism and humanist governments (John 15:18-21). On the other hand, some Christians have made the mistake of politically engaging the moral issues without keeping the core message of the cross central and the lordship of Christ foundational to their efforts. All such efforts will fall short for they are detached from the Root that alone brings true life, freedom, and peace (Psalm 127:1).

  1. Earthly governments have God-ordained limitations––Civil authority is not absolute

God has established the governments of the family, the church, and the state. Each of these is subject to God the supreme ruler and each has specific jurisdictions set by Him. We can no more justify an abusive husband by appealing to Ephesians 5:22-24 than we can a tyrannical government by appealing to Romans 13:1-7. These are both authorities established by God but there is a point at which their evil conduct goes too far. When this happens Christians choose to obey God rather than man, knowing that their defiance of human authority is entirely appropriate (Exodus 1:17; Acts 5:29). 

  1. Christians are called to demolish strongholds with the weapons of the Spirit 

Jesus said that His Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). This does not mean that His Kingdom has nothing to do with the here and now, but rather that it proceeds from a different place and operates in a radically different way. This is clear from the context. His servants would not engage in physical fighting to deliver Him from the Jews, but they are called to fight nonetheless: “…we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NVI). We are called to overthrow every pretension and lofty opinion that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. Because Christ’s lordship is universal, this includes the political agendas of modern rulers who seek to stand in the place of God. 

  1. Resistance to the globalist agenda of the state is a gospel issue

For those who think that fighting against the agenda of the state and global elites is a departure from gospel-centeredness, notice from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 to whom it is we are to bring these rebellious philosophies into submission: Christ Himself. We accomplish this through Spirit-empowered praying, living, preaching, and discipleship. Furthermore, Scripture teaches us that these strongholds are not merely human contrivances but rather demonic in origin (2 Cor. 4:4). Perhaps the same demon behind Moloch and child sacrifice in the Old Testament is behind the abortion industry today. Ultimately, we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12), but that certainly doesn’t mean that these philosophies never take form or cause physical damage in our world today. 

  1. Resistance to the globalist agenda of the state is a justice issue 

Love and justice are rightly defined by Scripture (Romans 12:19-21; 13:3-4, 8-10). But when Scripture is not submitted to as the ultimate authority, we are left with nothing but man’s subjective and selfish “feelings” to guide us (Judges 21:25, Proverbs 14:12). The collectivist principles behind much of the current globalist agenda have cost an estimated 60–100 million lives over the past century. 2 Furthermore, egalitarianism which also plays a central role in this agenda is largely responsible for the abortion holocaust. Those who truly care about the poor and the oppressed should resist man-made solutions rooted in greed and godless philosophies which only confound the problems and perpetuate poverty (Proverbs 15:27; 28:5, 25), and instead turn to God’s word for direction on how to best help those in need (Deut. 15:7-8; Prov. 19:17; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Eph. 4:28; 1 Thes. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:6).

  1. Self-government is a key area of resistance

Self-government, or self-control, is the foundation for healthy families, communities, and institutions (Prov. 16:32). Without it, the governments of Family, Church, and State, either descend into chaos or exalt themselves beyond their God-given jurisdictions. Since self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, it is not possible apart from the preaching of the gospel and Christian discipleship (Galatians 5:22). This emphasis on self-government promotes personal responsibility before God and therefore guards against the culture of victimhood. Also, when we are tempted to view the enemy primarily as “out there in the world,” this emphasis reminds us that our greatest enemy lies within our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Without removing the plank from our own eye first, we will never successfully help our neighbor remove the speck from his (Mat. 7:5).

  1. Biblical Marriage is a key area of resistance

One man and one woman united for life in covenant marriage in submission to the Scriptures is the clearest picture of the gospel on earth (Mat. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:22-32), and being the first institution established by God it is the bedrock of society (Genesis 2:18-25). Without disparaging the exceptional gift of singleness, marriage should be promoted and honored as normative (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

  1. Gender roles are a key area of resistance

When men act like men and women act like women and those differences are honored and celebrated in the family, the Church, and society at large, the Satanic forces behind the globalist and statist agenda are put to shame, and unbelievers can begin to see God’s truth and good design put on display (Eph. 3:10). Christians must not be ashamed of the roles God has established. A wife that openly submits to her husband shows the beauty of the Church’s obedience, both as an example to Christians as well as a testimony to the world. The same is true of a husband who sacrificially leads his family and is humbly unashamed of the position of headship God has given him (1 Cor. 11:3; Col. 3:18-19; Titus 2:1-8). Feminism is bankrupt and Christians need not be tempted to cater to it in any way whatsoever. The world desperately needs to see Christian men and women living according to their design and displaying the gospel through it.

  1. Education is a key area of resistance 

There is no such thing as neutrality in education. Facts and ideas are always taught within the framework of a worldview. Therefore education is inseparably a part of discipleship. Christians cannot afford to allow the godless public education system to disciple their children (Isaiah 9:16; Rom. 12:2), neither should they tolerate a moralistic nominally Christian education that is devoid of the gospel (Matt. 15:14). The equipping of children through Christians schools and homeschooling must be promoted and encouraged by the local church (Deut. 6:4-7; Eph. 6:1-2).  Healthy Christians and therefore healthy communities cannot endure and flourish apart from truly Christ-centered education (Psalm 1:1-5).

  1. Hospitality and generosity are key areas of resistance

Over the past nearly two years, it has become increasingly clear that the modern state seeks to gain ultimate control over people’s lives and exalt itself as their great protector and provider. In essence, it seeks to take the place of God. Christians can resist this by living in accordance with who they are––the Body of Christ, and therefore, by doing what they have always been called to do––living sacrificially and generously in dependence upon God (Mat. 6:25-33; Rom. 12:13). This means: loving one another as family, bearing one another’s burdens, investing our time and resources in the well being of others, opening our homes and our lives especially to those who cannot pay us back (Luke 14:13-14; 1 Peter 4:9) and even to those who we may never see again (Heb. 13:2). Christians who understand their individual responsibility before God while also belonging to a community grounded in the truth and serving one another within that community are a threat to the totalitarian State, which is why biblical Christianity is opposed in places like China. Groups formed around subjective causes as well as isolated individuals, especially those enslaved to sexual lusts, are much easier to control or suppress. 3 

  1. Active and committed participation in the local church is a key area of resistance

While we reject any philosophy that would seek to swallow up individuals into the collective, we also must reject radical individualism. In the Church, we remain as individuals with unique roles and gifts but we are also members of one body. Community matters. Radical independence is not a biblical option. The lockdowns and closed church buildings have certainly not helped, for healthy Christian communities cannot exist apart from physical attendance at a local gathering of believers (Heb. 10:24-25). But not only does physicality matter, so do commitment and accountability (Rom. 12:10, James 5:16). The passages that speak about church leaders, noting both their responsibility to their flock and their flock’s responsibility to them, make it clear that just hanging out with Christians when it’s convenient to you is not the local church, it is not what God intended, and it will not be enough to withstand the satanic powers behind statism (Heb. 13:7,17; Acts 20:28). In corporate worship we hear the Word preached and are reminded afresh of our need for the gospel, which empowers us to fight the enemy within our hearts and strengthens us for engaging the world around us. Making a clear commitment to service and accountability in a local church needs to be a priority for all who claim the name of Christ, it is not peripheral, the commands to be like-minded and of one spirit are all over the New Testament (Rom. 12:16; 15:5-6; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 1:27; 2:2; 1 Pet. 3:8). This is a battle we must fight together (Eph. 6:10-18)

  1. The Christian household is a key area of resistance

In Ephesians, Paul begins by describing the incredible position that believers have in Christ. Christ is seated “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Eph. 1:21) and Christians are seated with Him (Eph 2:6). One might expect that we would live out this identity solely, or at least chiefly, by seeking positions of power in society or by engaging in intense exorcist encounters with the demonic forces, but Paul emphasizes something else: ordinary family life. In Ephesians, spiritual warfare looks like husbands loving their wives, wives submitting to their husbands, and fathers bringing up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This is in the immediate context of the famous armor of God passage (Eph. 6:10-20). The family has a central role in God’s purposes for bringing the nations to Himself, and the household is to be a model for the church (Gal. 6:10; 1 Tim. 3:4-5). Healthy families are essential to healthy churches and healthy churches are essential to thriving communities and nations (Acts 16:34; 18:8; 1 Cor. 16:15). Do you want to reach the nations? Do you want to resist the encroachment of evil and transform society? You can start by getting married, having children, and being a faithful father or mother (Psalm 127:3-5; Eph. 6:4).

  1. Freedom of conscience is a key area of resistance

Regardless of one’s opinion on various particulars regarding COVID, one thing should be clear to any critical observer: the pandemic has served to increase the grip of the State. Regardless of one’s opinion on the efficacy or safety of the v*, it should be apparent that the v* mandates are about control. Therefore, Christians who love their neighbors as themselves should vehemently oppose v* requirements. As thinking Christians, we certainly value the scientific method and understand that God often uses unbelievers to achieve beneficial discoveries and developments, but we must also understand the satanic scheme behind the globalist and statist agenda, and not be afraid to question the intentions of their institutions and experts––especially in light of the mass censorship that is taking place (Prov. 18:13, 17). After all, these organizations and many of these experts are the very ones promoting abortion, euthanasia, and mass population reduction, do you really think they care that much about saving lives? 4 If an individual Christian decides to get the v* that is a matter of conscience and personal liberty, but to support a v* mandate for all is to violate the consciences of those who are convicted otherwise. Even to guilt other Christians into getting the v* by accusing them of being unloving is a sinful attempt to shame them and cause them to violate their conscience (Rom. 14:22-23​​). To whatever extent is possible and in a manner not inconsistent with the Word of God, Christians should support laws that promote liberty of conscience (Numbers 15:14). Historically, such laws have been instrumental in leading to flourishing societies. Unless we stand up in opposition to issues like this one, we will no longer have the ability to freely do many of the other things mentioned above. Do we really think the State will leave families, churches, and Christian schools alone? Because the modern State views itself as supreme, it will not be satisfied until every area of society is brought under its dominion. But Christ is the true King and the only real hope for this world. So let us stand in opposition by proclaiming His gospel as a free gift to all,  and living as free men and women, unintimated by the fear that currently pervades our society.

Conclusion: The Church is to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world

Opposing Statism is a Christian duty in light of the lordship of Christ and His command to love one’s neighbor as oneself, and therefore teaching Christians how to resist the encroachment of the State is a part of discipleship. The Church is not the State, nor should it be. But the Church is to be a prophetic voice to society and its public institutions, including the realm of civil government. The state has a jurisdiction set by God in His Word, and who else but Christians can remind her of that jurisdiction? We are called to be salt and light. As salt, our presence should help preserve what is good within a culture, and as light, we are called to expose what is evil (Matt. 5:13-16; Eph. 5:8-16). This is our calling from Christ Himself the true Light of the world that we are called to reflect. He laid down His life for us and He calls us to lay down our lives in the service of others, not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but to have our minds transformed so that we might have a transforming effect on the world around us (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:17-21). Prayer should undergird every one of these areas mentioned above (1 Timothy 2:1-4). However, faithful praying leads to faithful living. Discipleship requires action. Christ has commissioned us to disciple the nations. This means proclaiming His gospel to them and teaching them to obey all of His commands; leading them to bring every area of their lives into submission to His lordship until the day when the glory of the Lord fills the earth as the waters cover the sea (Mat. 28:18-20; Hab. 2:14). May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ renew and strengthen us for this task through His Eternal Spirit! Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1058411, https://sdgs.un.org/#goal_section & https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml. See also 1 Corinthians 16:13, Isaiah 19:16 & Nahum 3:13
  2. Rosefielde, Steven (2010), Red Holocaust, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-77757-5 & https://www.wsj.com/articles/100-years-of-communismand-100-million-dead-1510011810
  3. Why is the Left now undermining the achievements of Feminism with Transgenderism? Because it was never really about women but about control. Why do those behind BLM disregard the many African Americans who were significantly harmed by the protests? Because it was not truly about justice but about control. And by the way, those on the right who claim to support conservative values yet are enslaved to pornography and other sexual lusts, or who worship their independence and just want to be left alone are as much a part of the problem as anyone on the Left.
  4. In line with footnote #3, we can see that when the Left supported abortion by claiming individual freedom over one’s own body, it was really never about that. What happened to that deep conviction of “my body, my choice” in regards to the v*? It has vanished into thin air. Again, this is about control. Even a basic study of History should tell us that anytime the “experts” censor the voices of other scientists, the motivation is not scientific excellence or public safety but power and control.

Published by Nathan Cedarland

Child of God. Servant of Messiah. Husband of Julissa. Father of seven. Preacher and teacher. Lover of reading and writing. Amateur filmmaker. Blogs in Spanish at teologiapublica.com

7 thoughts on “A Manifesto for Christian Resistance in 2022

  1. Thank you for bringing Biblical clarity to a topic that we all have struggled with during these times and for using the clarity of scripture to bring us to a place of conviction. Our Savior Jesus and his Word need to be at the center of every decision and viewpoint that we make or have.

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  2. Your manifesto sounds like a call to theocracy. That is a dangerous game. How do you balance Mark 12:17 or
    Matthew 5:38-40?

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    1. Hey Jason, thanks for your engagement with the article and for the question. A call to theocracy? Hmm… I suppose that depends on what you mean by the word. I have found there to be a number of different ways that people use it. I don’t see any difficulties with the verses you mentioned in regards to what I’ve laid out in the Manifesto, but I think I know where you’re coming from. I’ll do a short follow-up post that more specifically addresses those verses and the concept of theocracy. Interestingly enough, I actually believe that Mark 12:17 supports the theses.
      Grace and peace!

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      1. Jason… additionally, and in reference to your assertion about this being “a dangerous game,” I would point out that in this Manifesto, I am advocating for gospel preaching through and through as the means by which we bring transformation in society. For example: “Transformation of the heart through the preaching of the cross is foundational,” “Since self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, it is not possible apart from the preaching of the gospel and Christian discipleship,” “We accomplish this through Spirit-empowered praying, living, preaching, and discipleship,” and “neither should they tolerate a moralistic nominally Christian education that is devoid of the gospel.” Furthermore, I specifically argued against physical violence (Theses 6) and argued in favor of liberty of conscience (Theses 16). Would you mind fleshing out how you see any of this as dangerous to Christians?

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