It seems like it's the Australian thing to have a whinge about our government...
But did you know that governments are established by God?
They were established for our good, to maintain order, to prevent anarchy, to administer justice, to govern wisely. Yes, there are bad governments, no doubt about it, but as much as I might not like Julia Gillard, I do not think things are as bad in Australia as the whingers make out. We should be grateful we don't live in Zimbabwe, Libya, or Syria. We should get down on our knees and thank God we weren't born in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia or Italy under Mussolini.
So, when Christians think they are above the law, it really gets my blood boiling!
Our ultimate allegiance is to God. If the government asks us to do something which disobeys how God wants us to live (like trying to stop Christians telling the gospel), then we need to obey God first and foremost. But I personally know too many Christians who take that as a licence to disobey the laws of the land and decide which ones they should reinterpret.
A couple of weeks ago, it was Census night here in Australia. Once in five years our government asks us to fill out a basic form. ONCE in FIVE years. That's not a massive inconvenience. You're not being asked to disobey God. How hard is it to fill in a ruddy form PROPERLY?!? I get so sick of hearing about Christians generally being idiots by writing that they speak 'Crap' in the Language section or ticking the wrong gender. I'm sick of people saying, "Oh, but the information never gets used for anything anyway." Really? I know people who have worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics. I have worked at Curtin Uni and taught students how to access and use the Census data for their assignments. You'd be surprised at the range of courses that need statistics for assignments. So the government may not use the information for what we would like, but they are asking us to do a simple thing. Do it!
Don't get me started on Christians who think it's ok to speed or drink drive. I was the designated driver once while out dancing with a group of Christian friends. I was horrified that they kept trying to pressure me to drink! They must have been completely insane! I never have more than one drink when I'm out now (going out is rare now that I live in the country). I've been in the situation before where the designated driver started drinking and fortunately I'd had nothing to drink so I could drive us home. If not, we would have been screwed!
Then there are the revhead morons who think it's their right to reinterpret the road rules. Apparently it's ok to speed because everyone else drives too slow. Hmmm. Apparently they have such brilliant driving skills, I should trust them even though they are going 20km over the speed limit. Apparently it's ok to read a book while driving on the freeway if it's the Bible you're reading (no joke). Then there are the Christian girls who think Christian guys being tools in utes on the road are like....so cool. I roll my eyes.
No, burning CDs illegally is NOT ok. You are stealing from an artist who has a right to an income. I can imagine how it would feel if my book was published and someone scanned it and put it on the net for free download. I've slaved away for years on that book! No, it is not ok to make a copy for a family member who does not live with you. A lot of copyright rules state that you can make another copy for yourself (i.e. one for your house and one for your car), but you may NOT make a copy for another person. I had one person try to justify illegally burning CDs because they reckoned they are too expensive and they have a right to cheap music. Really? I didn't know CDs were a necessity.
Our government is far from perfect, but they have been established by God. We are called to honour our government whether it be by obeying traffic laws or filling in a form. And we should not submit out of fear of the consequences for disobedience, but submit joyfully out of conscience and our love for God. For there is nothing like Christians living as though they are above the law that brings dishonour to God's name. So, yes the next time you merrily do 10km over the speed limit and Mr Speed Camera lets you know about it, remember he is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.