HYPOTHETICAL CASES WITH REAL WORLD APPLICATION UNDER CONSIDERATION

 

The Council of Officers is considering the following cases as it relates to how the Reformation Party should proceed in advancing the Partyís political objectives.It is soliciting the advice of its Board of Theological Advisors on these cases as well.What should we think of each of these cases?What is the correct response to them?

 

Five cases relating to the Establishment Principle [EP]:

 

1. Steve, who does not currently possess any civil authority, decides to run for town mayor.Currently, one of the requirements by the federal and state governments for attaining office even at the local level is to swear an oath that one agrees with and promises to support a particular national constitution, and that national constitution contains a statement that forbids establishment of religion (contrary to the Biblical doctrine of the Establishment Principle [EP]), including in his town. Steve believes all civil magistrates have a moral duty to uphold both tables of the Ten Commandments and to nurse Christís Church, and therefore cannot in good conscience swear the oath to the national constitution.He states he is willing to take an oath to follow all morally lawful provisions in the constitution, but he is unwilling to take an oath of support to the whole national constitution given its current morally unlawful provision relating to EP. He runs for office making that clear.He attains a great deal of popular support, and ends up winning the election.He assumes his office while refusing to take the oath to the national constitution.Afterwards, higher government officials order him to step down from office for his refusal to swear the oath.Steve refuses to withdraw his claim as rightful town mayor; however, he does not use force to maintain his position and so is replaced by means of another election in which he is excluded from consideration and all votes for him are discounted.

 

2. Steve, who does not currently possess any civil authority, decides to run for mayor.Currently, one of the requirements by the federal and state governments for attaining office even at the local level is to swear an oath that one agrees with and promises to support a particular national constitution, and that national constitution contains a statement that forbids establishment of religion (contrary to the Biblical doctrine of the Establishment Principle [EP]), including in his town.Steve believes all civil magistrates have a moral duty to uphold both tables of the Ten Commandments and to nurse Christís Church. In addition, the very same national constitution says that no religious test is to be required for public office.Steve holds that this clause is in contradiction to the clause affirming opposition to EP (perhaps they are even the very same clause!), because opposition to EP excludes from public office those, like Steve, whose religious views require them to uphold EP.So Steve runs for office and ends up attaining a great deal of popular support and wins the election.He assumes his office while refusing to take the oath to the national constitution.Afterwards, higher government officials order him to step down from office for his refusal to swear the oath; but Steve takes the issue to court, insisting that he is legally entitled to take office without swearing the oath, seeing that the constitution requires no religious test for public office.

 

3. The current mayor and other officials in the city in which Steve lives come to be convinced (by means of an effective campaign by the members of the Reformation Party, of course : )) that civil magistrates are ministers of God and ought to endorse and support the true religion.In other words, they become convinced of the EP.They attained their current offices by means of swearing an oath to agree with and uphold the national and state constitutions, which opposes the EP.However, they reason that because they are already legal officers of the state with legitimate authority, and because civil magistrates are ultimately accountable to God to rule by his standards, it is appropriate for them to continue to function in their current offices while overthrowing all the requirements against the EP and embracing biblical standards for civil government under their jurisdiction.They seek to do this by means that are legally recognized within the state and by complying, whenever possible, to legal requirements from higher government bodies.They also attain popular support for what they are doing.Higher governmental authorities, however, tell them that they are in violation of the US Constitution and that they must cease to be in violation or step down from office.The mayor and his associates refuse to do so, however, citing God's Word as a higher authority.

 

4. Steve lives in a nation that has embraced the EP and biblical Christianity.However, the highest government of the nation has a change of heart and decides to become secular.They do so by means of following the legal procedures involved in amending the constitution of the nation.Steve's town protests, along with Steve the mayor, and refuses to submit to secularism, despite the orders of the higher government.

 

5. Steve lives in a nation that has embraced the EP and biblical Christianity.However, the highest government of the nation has a change of heart and decides to become secular.They do so by illegal means, however, refusing to follow the procedures outlined in the constitution of the nation.Steve's town, along with Steve the mayor, protests and refuses to submit to secularism, despite the orders of the higher government.

 

Five cases relating to the abortion issue:

 

1. Steve, who does not currently possess any civil authority, decides to run for town mayor. Currently, one of the requirements by the federal and state governments for attaining office even at the local level is to swear an oath that one agrees with and promises to support a particular national constitution, and that national constitution contains a statement that requires abortion to be universally legal, including in his town. Steve opposes abortion and therefore cannot in good conscience swear the oath to the national constitution.He states he is willing to take an oath to follow all morally lawful provisions in the constitution, but he is unwilling to take an oath of support to the wholenational constitution given its current morally unlawful provision relating to abortion. He runs for office making that clear. He attains a great deal of popular support, and ends up winning the election in his town. He assumes his office while refusing to take the oath to the national constitution. Afterwards, higher (federal and state) government officials order him to step down from office for his refusal to swear the oath. Steve refuses to withdraw his claim as rightful mayor; however, he does not use force to maintain his position and so is replaced by means of another election in which he is excluded from consideration and all votes for him are discounted.

 

2. Steve, who does not currently possess any civil authority, decides to run for mayor. Currently, one of the requirements for attaining that office is to swear an oath that one agrees with and promises to support a particular national constitution, and that national constitution contains a statement that requires abortion to be universally legal, including in his town. Steve opposes abortion and therefore cannot in good conscience swear the required oath. However, the very same constitution says that no human life should be taken without due process of law. Steve holds that this clause is in contradiction to the clause affirming abortion, because abortion is the taking of human life. So Steve runs for office and ends up attaining a great deal of popular support and wins the election. He assumes his office while refusing to take the legally required oath. Afterwards, higher government officials order him to step down from office for his refusal to swear the oath; but Steve takes the issue to court, insisting that he is legally entitled to take office without swearing the oath, seeing that the constitution mandates his own position on the protection of human life.

 

3. The current mayor and other officials in the city in which Steve lives come to be convinced that abortion is wrong. They attained their current offices by means of swearing an oath to agree with and uphold the national and state constitutions, which mandates legalized abortions throughout the nation and state. However, they reason that because they are already legal officers of the state with legitimate authority, and because civil magistrates are ultimately accountable to God to rule by his standards, it is appropriate for them to continue to function in their current offices while making abortion illegal in their town. They seek to do this by means that are legally recognized within the state and by complying, whenever possible, to legal requirements from higher government bodies. They also attain popular support for what they are doing. Higher governmental authorities, however, tell them that they are in violation of the national and state constitutions and that they must cease to be in violation or step down from office. The mayor and his associates refuse to do so, however, citing God's Word as a higher authority.

 

4. Steve lives in a nation that opposes abortion. However, the highest government of the nation has a change of heart and decides to legalize abortion. They do so by means of following the legal procedures involved in amending the constitution of the nation. Steve's town protests, including Steve as mayor of the town, and refuses to accept the legalization of abortion in their town, despite the orders of the higher government.

 

5. Steve lives in a nation that opposes abortion. However, the highest government of the nation has a change of heart and decides to legalize abortion. They do so by illegal means, however, refusing to follow the procedures outlined in the constitution of the nation. Steve's town protests, including Steve as mayor of the town, and refuses to legalize abortion in their town, despite the orders of the higher government.