"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VII No.I Pg.8-16
Septermber 1944

The David Lipscomb Book

O. C. Lambert

Several months ago I put a number of copious quotations from David Lipscomb's book, CIVIL GOVERNMENT, in the Bible Banner. Though our papers have been full of efforts to shout them down, they are still in the book and I disbelieve them as much as ever. No effort has been made by anybody to do more than become hysterical, or whimperingly sentimental. No one has challenged a single quotation, though I have been accused of everything from garbling to "digging up David Lipscomb's bones"! And still I do not believe the book. In my former article I did no more than present the quotations; I will now give a more detailed analysis of the book.

Alexander Campbell once argued as stoutly as any sectarian preacher today against the name Christian and was just as much in error as they, but I believe that in spite of this, and other errors he was a great and good man. I believe, likewise that David Lipscomb was a great and good man, though I do not accept a great many things he taught. The whole issue is, must their books which are still printed and sold enjoy an immunity they certainly did not have while they lived? Paul felt complimented and the Bereans were commended by the divine writer for measuring the teachings of Paul by the sacred scriptures (At. 17:10, 11). Should Lipscomb and Campbell be treated with more reverence than Paul?

1. Government Issue Same in Old Testament and New

There is a very important point in Lipscomb's book with which I agree. He says:

"The human governments of the New Testament dispensation were but a continuation of those of the Old Testament, and of precisely the same nature." (p. 76)

Let us not lose sight of this point. I differ from him as to the origin of them. He says they were from the devil; I say they were ordained of God.

2. Some Inconsistencies

All those; as far as I have observed, who have gotten most excited over these matters, and have rushed into print glorifying the "conscientious objector," as though no one else in the church was doing as the Lord would have him do, if they have children of military age, or have sons in the army and navy. Not a one of them has a son in the "conscientious objector's camp." Lipscomb said all affiliation with the government was treason, rebellion, fornication and adultery. These brethren say Lipscomb taught the truth on these matters. Have any of them instituted proceedings to exclude their sons and others from the congregation? If Lipscomb is right and they do not do so, they have violated the law of God which says "withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly." (2 Thes. 3:6). They have not now and they are not dreaming of doing such after the boys come home. That casts grave suspicion over their contentions.

They all are laboring with congregations which have members who are working in war plants, making guns, bombs and planes or some other essential of war effort. Are these members just as loyal to God as the ones in the "conscientious objector's camp"? Are they not aiding and affiliating?

When the Nashville Bible School was established it was chartered by the state. That is an act of "affiliation" with government. The document executed at the time, setting for the purposes of the school, said that it was intended to give "training for citizenship." Why train for citizenship in the devil's government? I was informed by one who was a teacher in the Nashville Bible School in its early days, that the school petitioned the authorities (the devil according to this theory) to remove a sign at a street corner where they boarded the street car. They thought it was suggestive. But David Lipscomb said that you should not appeal to the devil's government. This is treason and adultery!

Since Lipscomb said all affiliation with the "powers that be" was treason and adultery and therefore he specifically stated that we could not "appeal to" them nor "depend upon" them for aid or help and since Christians themselves cannot use "force." I am wondering if they would not have both resorted to force and called upon the "law" if some one had started' a gambling den or distillery on the grounds of the Nashville Bible School, or if some human beast had broken into the girls dormitory. But the "devils government" was doing' such a good job of providing public security, fortunately none of these things happened. I am wondering if the parents of these girls would have trusted them in their charge if they had thought they would neither protect them themselves nor call for the police, in case their safety was threatened. Should a man sit quietly by and see his wife and children mistreated, unable to protect them, or to call the police?

These inconsistencies should weigh heavily in this discussion.

3. All Governments Alike Are Entirely of the Devil

"Christ recognized the kingdoms of the earth as the kingdoms of the devil, and that they should all be rooted up, that all the institutions of the earth, save the kingdom of heaven, should be prevailed against by the gates of hell." (p. 86).

Since the Nashville Bible School is not the Kingdom of Christ, and is an "institution" will it not be rooted up? Notice, he did not say that a part should be rooted up. Lipscomb recognizes no differences in the kingdoms. The United States government is just as bad as the rest. The government that gives so much freedom to Christians is no better than one that persecutes them! On page 152 he says that the devil is the head of all governments. The devil is then the head of the United States government.

4. Entire Work Against Church

"Here the human governments are placed among the powers of the wicked one, and their entire work was against the church, and the Christian must needs clothe himself with the whole armor of God, that he might withstand them and fight against them as the enemies of God." (p. 79). If "their entire work was against the church" they were working against the church when they removed the sign at the request of Nashville Bible School! They were against the church when they delivered the mail for Nashville Bible School and the Gospel Advocate! The government does a lot of public health work, but that is against the church, for "their entire work was against the church"! They build good roads, but that is against the church! They educate our children, but that is against the church! They protect us while we worship, but that, according to this theory, is against the church! They restrain the vicious to prevent them from preying upon society, but that is against the church! Lipscomb does not deviate from his general thesis that the government-any government -is fighting against God and "their entire work" is against the church, when he tackles the question of the government championing the moral side of such things as liquor, gambling, racing etc. That is he maintains that "their entire work" is against the church when they restrict and prohibit sin and thereby the church (P. 144)! That is, they are still wrong when they are right!

"Every act of affiliation, partnership, friendship or treaty with them was regarded and punished as treason against God." (p. 89).

"All affiliation of the government of God, or of the subjects of the government with human government, or its subjects was declared of God, from the beginning, to be adultery." (p. 102).

"God always forbade that his subjects should join affinity or affiliate with the human government, or that they should make any alliance with, enter into, support, maintain and defend, or appeal to, or depend upon, these human governments for aid or help." (p. 41).

He not only said we could not have any "affiliation" with the devil's government but with the subjects as well. So hereafter beware of the soldier, the school teacher and the postman!

4. Christ Against the Government

"Christ thus was recognized from before his birth as coming as the enemy of and to make war upon human government, and rulers sought from his birth to kill him." (46).

This is another of Lipscomb's assumptions. It is either true or false, so let us examine the scriptures. In Mat. 8:12, Jesus uses the expression "children of the kingdom" of those who are rightfully under it. He uses the same expression in Mt. 17:26 when he classes himself and Peter as children of the Roman government, which I am sure he would not have done had he not recognized its authority. "And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take and give unto them for me and thee." (See. P. 64).

Again Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Mt. 22:21). If this were done the rule of God and Caesar could exist in the world together without conflict.

In John 18:36 Jesus convinced Pilate that there was no conflict between the government of Caesar and his own, and contrary to the statement of Lipscomb that the Roman government of Caesar was trying to kill him, Pilate was trying to turn him loose and asks, "What evil hath he done?" and describes him as "that just person," and also said, "I find in him no fault at all." Lipscomb's assumption contradicts the Bible. (See P. 61-62.)

5. Paul Claimed Roman Citizenship

Paul acknowledged the authority of the Roman government and enjoyed blessings he could not otherwise have had. He had been falsely accused, as any person might have been, and had been thrust into prison. It certainly was not part of a concerted plan by the government to persecute Christians. The authorities there knew nothing of Christianity. Paul was the first Christian in those parts. After the local authorities learned that they were Roman citizens they asked them to leave privately but Paul proudly demands that they be treated with becoming courtesy as Roman citizens. "But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out." (Acts. 16:37).

When David Lipscomb says that the government was the enemy of God, that "their entire work was against the church" he strangely assumes that every time Christians were arrested it was simply a part of a universal plan on the part of the devil, through the government, to persecute Christians. Just a casual reading of the Acts the Apostles will show that that is not true. In the latter part of the twenty-first chapter of the Acts Paul was being assaulted by a mob, (not the government,) and the captain with soldiers rescued Paul. In the latter part of the twenty-second chapter we learn that the officer was about to treat him as was customary for criminals, thinking that he was a very desperate person, to have aroused the mob, but Paul again claims Roman citizenship' in the following language: "And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? Ye said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him." (Acts 22:25-29) How did anybody ever get the idea from such readings as this, that the government was wholly of the devil, that the devil was its head, that this was a case of persecution of Christianity by the government, and that Paul was refusing to have any affiliation with it?

In the twenty-third chapter of the Acts forty men banded themselves together who "had bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul" (verse 12). This is not a case of persecution by the government, but as we read on, we learn that Paul appealed to the authorities for protection and claiming his Roman citizenship again and was rescued by the army. How did David Lipscomb get the idea from this, that the "entire work" of the government "was against the church"?

In the 25th chapter of Acts, standing before Caesars judgment seat, Paul declared that he was before the right tribunal where he should be judged, and appealed unto Caesar for guarantee of that right. Read "the passage:" "Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix; about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews informed me desiring to have judgment against him. To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. Therefore; when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and that one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar. Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear this man myself. Tomorrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. And on the morrow when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth. And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. Of whom I have no certain, thing to write unto my Lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and especially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not with all to signify the crimes laid against him." (Acts 25:10-27).

If Paul and Jesus had been urging the things that Lipscomb has in his book, the destruction of the government, they would have had what they thought was ample ground to put them to death. The government, as we see in these examples, was not the persecutor but the rescuer. I have been living sometime and the United States government has never persecuted me for my religion. If that is the way the devil resists the church it seems to me he is wonderful. I think also he was right nice to David Lipscomb, too! What if a representative of civil government does something sometimes against a Christian, do not church members sometimes do the same? If that is just reason for concluding that the government is therefore of the devil, would it not be equal reason for deciding that the church was of the devil also?

6. Godly Men In Old Testament Affiliated With Government

Lipscomb, while stating that governments are the same in the Old Testament and the New, dismisses the cases of "affiliation" in the Old Testament, such as Joseph, Daniel and others as being beside the point, because, he said, they only affiliated as "servants." If that would excuse Daniel of any odium for being "President" in the greatest government on earth, why did he hesitate to do some things he was commanded? If simple affiliation with the government was treason against God, and also adultery and fornication, as Lipscomb says, I ask, was eating certain kinds of food worse than those sins. You remember he refused to eat them. If affiliation in government is adultery or fornication and Joseph was excused because he was a servant, would he not have also excused if he had committed adultery with his mistress? Did God expect him to obey his master but not his mistress? I suppose if we were slaves we could "affiliate" with impurity. If Germany, and Japan win in the present conflict these brethren, will have their opportunity to affiliate!

They might carry the mail, or black Hitler's boots! With me that is not reason enough for dismissing the Old Testament cases.

7. Christians in the N. T. Affiliated in Government

Not only did Paul avail himself of the blessings of Roman citizenship but ethers did also. In Acts 8:27-40, we are informed that the Eunuch was treasurer of a great country when he became a Christian, and if such a connection is fornication and treason surely he would have been given a slight admonition? Since this is evidently in the Bible as a model for us, is it not strange that there is not a shadow of hint that he gave up his office?

Lipscomb challenges for a case of a person who exercised some function of government after becoming a Christian and suggests that one case would prove his theory wrong. (PP. 108, 109). Well here it is! You remember that the Jailer of Acts 16 was baptized "the same hour of the night" that he heard the preaching which was shortly after "midnight." I suppose Lipscomb would agree that the Jailer became a Christian when he was baptized. But some time thereafter--after he became a Christian-- we read: "And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let these men go. And the keeper of the prison (notice he was still in office!) told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: new therefore depart and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now they thrust us out privily? Nay verily; let them come themselves and fetch us out."

But listen to Lipscomb :

"Then neither, Matthew, nor Paul, nor Cornelius, nor the Jailor (emphasis mine, O. C. L.), nor Erastus held office after being Christians. They could not have retained office." (p. 115).

What could you want for a clearer contradiction of the Bible? The Methodist preacher "overlooks" the fact that the jailer "brought them out" of the prison before the baptism, which fact makes a great difference in the meaning of the passage. It is net less blameworthy that Lipscomb "overlooks" the fact that the Jailer was still exercising his office the last time we hear anything about him--after he became a Christian. Is that a mistake of the Bible or a mistake of Lipscomb? This one fact, by itself, overthrows the whole contention of Lipscomb's book! Brother Boles says he wants a debate--at least he once did. Will he deny, as Lipscomb did, that the Jailer continued in office? Or, maybe the brother from Birmingham who "sat at the feet of David Lipscomb" too long (I wonder if that accounts for his choleric disposition?) will do it and then the advocate can copy it on its editorial page!

Lipscomb said he did not continue in office because he "could not." Why could he not? For him to do so would violate the main contention, the corner stone of Lipscomb's theory! But the fact that Lipscomb says he "certainly did not" and "could not", while the New Testament says he did not have shows that the writer of the New Testament did not have the same theory as Lipscomb!

Lipscomb argues at length on the evil results of Christians holding office, but again the Lord evidently did not see things as he did! The Methodist preacher sometimes pictures to his audience or his readers the evil effects of immersion!

"It is certainly true that neither Cornelius nor the Jailor continued in office." (p. 110).

"Then Erastus was certainly not the treasurer of the city." (p. 112).

Lipscomb says that chamberlain meant treasurer. Substituting treasurer for chamberlain the passage in Romans 16:23 reads: "Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you." The Bible says he was; Lipscomb says he certainly was not!

1. Erastus was the chamberlain of the city-Bible. 2. Erastus was certainly not-Lipscomb.

But you may be wondering what evidence he had that is not in the Bible to justify him in making such a statement. Hear him:

"It is morally impossible, the government seeking to annihilate the church, should in so prominent and influential a city as Corinth, having constant communication with all parts of the empire, tolerate a Christian in so high and important an office as treasurer of the city. It is impossible that it should have tolerated so active, well known, and earnest a Christian as was Erastus." (p. 110).

What have we now? It was morally impossible for what the Bible says to be true, it must mean something else! It seems to me I have met with this sort of treatment of scripture before! I am told by others that it would have been impossible for three thousand to be immersed on the Day of Pentecost, and therefore they were sprinkled! -

In the discussion of the case of Erastus, Lipscomb uses these expressions: "may have been," "indicates the probability," "doubtless," or most likely," "it is doubtful," "But I think it simply means," "must have been." That is the way the Methodist preacher gets Lydia's babies sprinkled! After this sort of thing for a page or two, he concludes the discussion of Erastus thus:

"Thus vanishes the last vestige of an example of a Christian holding office in New Testament times." (p.p. 110-112)

8. Can A Soldier Be Moral?

Another erroneous assumption of Lipscomb's book is that a man cannot be moral and be a soldier. Remember he said there was no difference on this question in the Old Testament and the New, and I agree with him on that point. John the Baptist certainly was moral and taught morality. In the third chapter of Luke, soldiers came to John and asked, "And what shall we do?" If it was immoral to be a soldier, I ask, Why did not John warn them to desert the army and take the consequences? They had armies, wars and soldiers then, why do we not read something about a Conscientious Objectors' Camp"?

I have always regarded Joshua, Caleb, Gideon and Cornelius as high examples of morality, and they were all soldiers. Will those in the conscientious objectors' camp claim to be more moral than Joshua or Cornelius? One of the highest compliments ever paid to human beings, was given by God to Joshua and Caleb: They "wholly followed the Lord God of Israel." (Joshua 14:14) They were soldiers.

Lipscomb says that God never ordained good men as avengers.

"Now God never ordained one of his true, obedient and spiritual children as an avenger to execute wrath, either in this world or the world to come. In the world to come the devil is appointed to execute wrath on the evil doers." "But that he always ordained the wicked to do the work here assigned (Rom. 13:1-7) these Minister's of God'." (p. 148).

On page 137 Lipscomb argues the fact that the civil government uses force as one of the reasons why a Christian can have no part in it.

The following cannot be misunderstood:

"A bloody, cruel work demands a bloody, cruel character to perform it. A bloody, cruel destiny is God's reward." (p. 151).

Saul was "commanded" to go down to the land of the Amalekites and kill every living thing. Lipscomb says God uses one wicked people to punish another. That may look all right as a theory, but in this story Saul was rejected as a bad man not because he carried out this command, but because he did not do so! According to that reasoning Saul would have been more moral than God!

Since some one wants (?) a debate on these issues. Here is another proposition: I affirm that Samuel was moral when he "hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal." (1 Sam. 15:33), and that Saul was immoral when he did not do so. Remember it is Lipscomb who says the principle is the same in the Old Testament and New Testament.

According to Lipscomb, (and these brethren say he taught the truth on these matters) Samuel was not one of God's true, obedient children, for he executed vengeance for the Lord. You know, it must take a "bigger mind" than I have to believe that Samuel was "a bloody, cruel man" and "that a bloody, cruel reward" will be his!

Elijah killed four hundred and fifty false prophets. According to Lipscomb's theory he was a "bloody, cruel man," but I do not begin to believe it. Lipscomb says there is no difference in Old and New Testaments on this government issue!

In Numbers the twenty-fifth chapter we have the story of the death of "twenty and four thousand." They had sinned and God said to Moses in the fourth verse, "Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the Judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor."

As the passage proceeds Phinehas, the grand-son of Aaron is said to have made an "atonement for the children of Israel" because he killed a man and a woman at one stroke. A person is hard-pressed by a theory to conclude the Phinehas and the judges who killed twenty-four thousand wicked people here, at God's command, were "bloody, cruel men "and they would be rewarded with a "bloody, cruel reward." I do not believe it.

9. The Command To Kill And Not To Kill

Both commands are in the same Bible; both are commands of the same Lord. They were parts of the same law. Every person under the law of Moses was commanded not to kill and every person under that law was commanded to kill! Only the infidel would be so unfair to the Bible as to think that these are contradictions. A person would be an unbeliever who would believe only one of these statements. The truth was that they were not allowed to kill as individuals without a special command to do so, but as an organized society they were strictly commanded to do so for certain violations of law. In this way, through organized society, God executed vengeance just as he does today.

1. Deut. 5:17 says: "Thou shalt not kill."

2. Deut. 13:11 says: Thou shalt surely kill him."

The latter passage reads: "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other Gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; namely of the Gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shalt thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: but thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this among you." Every man was to have a part in all such executions. Lipscomb's theory is that the Lord never ordained that his true, obedient children execute vengeance, but all Israel was commanded to have a part in it.

I gave you the quotation from page 148 that the "devil is appointed to execute wrath on evil doers"--"in the world to come." My Bible says that "the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone . . . and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Rev. 20:10). The devil is not the ruler there, but is there to be punished. I am afraid David Lipscomb had been reading the fables of the Catholic Church. Hear him again: "Satan rules in hell" (p. 73). He says in the same connection that Christ rules in heaven. 1 Cor. 15:23, 24 tells us that at coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead that Christ will deliver up the kingdom. If Christ gives up the kingdom before the dead go to their final reward in heaven what will Christ rule over in heaven? But he says in his commentary on Eph. 4:810 that the coming of Christ will "usher in the glorious millennial morn," and since a millennium is a thousand years, does he think that Christ will reign a thousand years after he delivers up the kingdom?

Lipscomb envisions some future day that the civil governments will all be removed. Because he says all men will be Christians. He further teaches that this will all have to be accomplished before Jesus comes again. But Jesus asks, "When the son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?" (Lk. 18:8). If these brethren who are championing Lipscomb's Civil Government had been there they could have said. Oh yes, Lord. David Lipscomb said all people will be believers then. I guess that would have relieved the Lord's anxiety on that point.

If they had gotten the letter from Paul that Timothy got, which said, "Evil men and seducers, shall worse and worse deceiving and being deceived." (2 Tim. 3:13), they could have comforted Paul exceedingly and saved him from such pessimism, by assuring him that David Lipscomb's theory is that they will get better and better)

Furthermore on the kingdom question Lipscomb said, "Human government bears the same relation to hell that the church bears to heaven." (P. 73).

I take it that Lipscomb believed with the rest of us that the only way to heaven for the responsible being was through the church. Since he says the human government bears the same relation to hell. I take it, he believed it would be impossible for a responsible being to go to hell except through the human government. But further, many in the church will not go to heaven, but a bad church member might at the same time have nothing to do with human government. When he dies where will he go? He cannot go heaven, he was not good enough; he cannot go to hell because he is not in a human government!

David Lipscomb certainly had strange ideas with reference to the kingdom. Hear him.

Nine-tenths of the rulers and officers of all the civilized governments of the world, are citizens or children of citizens of the divine government." (p. &8):

Did ever a writer in the Church of Christ make a stranger statement? Before that could be true, every Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Mohammedan, Buddhist etc., would have to be in the "Divine Kingdom." No wonder he was wrong on sectarian Baptism! Will the brethren who want a debate, and who say he taught the truth on these things, affirm that Lipscomb was right about this? I will deny it.

But he was so blinded by his theory that he made another statement which flatly contradicts the New Testament.

"God could not choose Christ to minister wrath in hell. Recognizing fully the righteousness and justice of punishment of the rebellious in hell, it would yet have been inflicting the torments of hell upon Jesus to require him to stir up the fires of wrath, and execute vengeance in hell on the wicked. God chose the devil, one fitted in character for this work," (p. 74).

If it would torture Jesus so to punish the wicked, why would it not torture his Father? I wonder if David Lipscomb never read 2 Thes. 1:7-8? "And to you are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." Lipscomb asserts that Jesus could not take vengeance; the New Testament says that is what he is coming again to do.

10. Affiliating in Government Distrusting God

Speaking of affiliating with civil government Lipscomb said, "To do so is to distrust God." (p. 145).

After telling us over and over again that we should not "appeal to," "support," claim protection of," "seek help of ," "rely upon," "participate in," "affiliate with" the government or the subjects of civil government, he tells us that it is unnecessary in these words:

"While his servants were faithful to him in this government, he permitted no evil to befall them, fought their battles for them, delivered them from their enemies, and kept in perfect peace those whose heart was stayed on him. "(p. 42) and again, "no evil shall come to him that trusts in the Lord.' (p. 137).

He is insisting that we need not do anything to promote public security, that God will take care of us, and when we attempt to do something in that direction, we are distrusting God.

The Holiness, using this same reasoning, refuses to have a doctor for his wife or baby. The Primitive Baptist argues that we need not get in a storm pit when the cyclone comes, and to do so is to distrust God. I have noticed that God will let a Christian die when he fails to have a doctor and take medicine; he will let a Christian get wet if he does not wear a rain coat when it rains. He will let a Christian freeze to death if he does not try to help himself. Though we are taught in the Bible that the Lord gives us our daily bread (Mat. 6:11) he would let us starve to death, if we do nothing ourselves, and I am sure the man is not distrusting God who works for his daily bread.

The average sectarian preacher will tell you if you are baptized for remission of sins, that you are distrusting God, and so they say, "Only trust him"!

" When I try to do something for the betterment of the world through the government he ordained, I am not distrusting him. If Lipscomb were right then Paul distrusted God when he appealed to the authorities for protection! To use the human is to reject divine wisdom and divest ourselves of divine help." (p. 146).

11. Acts Classified-All Same In God's Sight

Another assumption fundamental to the anti-government idea is the unscriptural notion that human acts are always to be classified in the same way. If an act is ever classified as moral it is always immoral, or if it is immoral at one time it is always immoral. This fallacy is exposed by the fact already presented, that killing under certain circumstances is forbidden and under other circumstances is commanded. But let us notice some additional proof. Ordinarily to borrow with no intention of paying back would be immoral, but when God commands it, as he did to the Jews on one occasion (Ex. 3:22), it is the right thing to do. To tell something contrary to fact is usually an immoral act, but in the cases of Rahab the Harlot (Josh. 2:1-7; Josh. 7:17, Heb. 11:3) and Elisha (2 Kings 6:19), it was right. When God commands to kill it is right to kill. (Deut. 3:6-11; 1 Sam. 15:3; Num. 25:4-9)

There is only one standard of right and wrong, not what some man thinks is right or wrong, but what God commands. "For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth." (Psa. 33:4) "As for God his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried." (Psa. 18:30) "The word of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a-furnace of earth, purified seven times." (Psa. 12:6) When Abraham was commanded to kill his son, he did not say, I can't do that Lord, that's immoral! Neither is it immoral when the government which God ordains uses the sword he ordains. (Rom. 13:1-7; The Jailor had a sword (Acts 16:27) as an officer of the law is ordained to have, and he was exercising his office the last we hear of him in the New Testament, the day after he was baptized.

12. The Government Ordained of God

In spite of the plain Bible statement that the government is ordained of God, Lipscomb spent a lifetime trying to prove that it is ordained of the devil! He cites certain passages (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) which speak of the devil as the prince of the world and he assumes that this simply means the government. Are not a great many bad people spending their lives in opposition to the government? Does the devil not operate through them? Lipscombs labors to prove that man committed treason against God, set up a government at the instigation of the devil, of which the devil was head and that when this was done "God ceased to be ruler." Does the Bible say that God ever ceased to be ruler? Let us see. "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Col. 2:10) "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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." (Rom. 13:1-7).

13. A Study of Rom. 13:1-7

Since this is the most complete statement of the Christians relation to civil government found in the New Testament," let us study it carefully in connection with Lipscomb's theory. In this passage, three times representatives of civil government are called the "ministers of God," while Lipscomb says they are the servants of the devil and the enemies of God. What are we commanded to do toward the government? "Be subject to." Can we by any stretch of the imagination believe we should be subject to the devil? If the government is entirely of the devil, should we not resist? James says, "Resist the devil." (4:7) Does James contradict Paul. In Rom. 13:2 Paul says, "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Lipscomb says "their entire work" is against the church, but Paul says here (v. 3), "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same." Here Paul tells us not to be afraid of the power, that they will praise us for our good works. He labors to make this passage mean the opposite of what it says. According to this passage, the rulers will commend men for doing good and terrify them when they do evil. Can you imagine the devil doing that? I say again, if that is the way the devil does, he is not nearly such a bad fellow as most of us have always believed! Naturally, I can see why I should not resist one who is so positively for the right and against the wrong! Is that the reason why we are commanded to pray "for kings, and for all that are in authority" (1 Tim 2:1-2) "to submit "to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well...Honor the king" (1 Pet. 2:13-17; and to "obey magistrates" (Titus 3:11)?

"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing." (verses 4-6).

This teaches beyond the possibility of a respectable quibble that the government is God's method of taking vengeance on evil doers to the point of taking life, just as he did in the Old Testament. Lipscomb said he could not "support" (p. 28) the government, give it part of "his means" (p. 84). What does a man do when he pays his taxes, as he is commanded? It seems to me a Christian in that case would have to obey God rather than Lipscomb !

14. Christians Must Furnish Sword for Government

After telling us in verse 4 (Romans 13) that the government ordained of God to take vengeance for him would not bear the sword in vain, that is, they would use it on occasion, as he had ordained they should, he says (verse 6), "For this cause pay ye tribute also." Christians then not only may but must furnish the sword. Let us see what we have according to Lipscomb's theory. The government is wholly of the devil, everything they do is evil and against the church, but Christians are enjoined to so enter into this wicked work against themselves as to provide instrument of their own torture and death! I am glad Christians do not have to believe what Lipscomb said to be saved!

How much worse is it to furnish the sword than to use it? If a man works on the railroad that hauls munitions and soldiers, if he works in the mines or the fields he is essentially aiding in the war. It could not go on without his work. Which is worse to build the bombers and the bombs than to use them? There are only two consistent positions, logically, with reference to this question: either go to the concentration camp as a prisoner or abandon Lipscomb's Civil Government.

15. House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

Jesus shows the absurdity of thinking that the devil is foolish enough to be working against himself. He does not cast out his own. Practically all the laws of the civil government are against the very things that the devil would like for me to do, therefore, it is not of the devil, but of God, as Paul said. If because some in civil government are under the control of the devil, the government therefore, is of the devil, could we with the same logic conclude that the church is also of the devil, because there is no denying that some in the church get under the devil also!

16. Christians Must Fight Government-Lipscomb

"Here the human governments are placed among the powers of the wicked one, and their entire work was against the church, and the Christian must needs clothe himself with the whole armor of God, that he might withstand them and fight against them as the enemies." (p. 79) "There can be no hope for the conversion of the world, until these two kingdoms be recognized in their true, antagonistic spirit, mission and destiny." (92_,)

"Deliverance can come to the world only as man chooses to resist the devil and obey God." (82)

"This declares that everything that is in the world, that exercises rule, authority or power (that would include the Nashville Bible School-0. C. L.), save as that rule, authority and power come directly from God, and are used under his directions, to promote the rule and dominion of God, is an enemy of God, and his Son Jesus Christ, and must be destroyed by the rule and dominion of the Son before the kingdom and dominion of the world can be delivered up to the Father." (82)

"Christ's mission-the mission of his kingdom-is to put down and destroy all these kingdoms, and destroy everything that exercises rule, authority and power on earth (we ought therefore to start in on the Nashville Bible School --O. C. L.). How can the servants of Christ and the subjects of his kingdom, enter into, strengthen (as we certainly do when we pay taxes--O. C. L.), and build up that which Christ and his kingdom are commissioned to destroy. How can the Christian enter into and serve the human (like the Nashville Bible School), how can he divide his fealty, his love, his means (such as his taxes--O. C. L.) and his time, his talent between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the evil one." (p. 83, 84).

"But if every man converted to Christ withdrew from the support of the earthly kingdoms (refused to pay taxes--O. C. L.), these kingdoms would weaken and fall to pieces far lack of supporters; little by little' giving way before the increase and spread of the kingdom of God." (p. 90).

"War of extermination" (14).

"All of which Christ came to destroy, and which must be destroyed, consumed, before Jesus Christ the Saviour delivers the kingdom up to God, the Father, that God may be all in all." (p. 115).

He wishes human government to continue as long as man continues to sin."

Here let me pause to observe that he expects man to get better and better and while men are still on the earth to get so good they do not sin! How contrary to all human "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" Tim. 3:13)!

In his comments on Eph. 4:6-9 he gets the kingdom which was established on the day of Pentecost "reestablished" which he asserts will be a fulfillment of Isa. 11:6 9. But Paul said in Rom. 15:12 said that prophecy had already been fulfilled! Lipscomb vs. Paul: which will you take?

Lipscomb not only expects men to get to be so good that there will be no more sin before Christ delivers up the kingdom, while men are still on the earth, but he expects a miraculous change to come over the wild animals, or at least, some of his devotees think that is what he meant.

17. Must We Be Good To The Devil?

Let us sum up. According to the Lipscomb theory we are commanded to obey the devil, be subject to the devil, honour the devil, pay tribute to the devil, fear the devil and pray for the devil, for all those things are commanded with reference to the government and rulers!

After Lipscomb said that "God ceased to be the ruler, and the devil became the God of this world" (p. 54), a way back in the days of Nimrod, and has never ruled since, but will "reestablish" his kingdom in the future sometime, when men cease to sin and lions cease to eat lambs, God said, "the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Dan. 4:25), I lose faith in the Lipscomb Lion and Lamb story! When Paul said, "there is no power but of God" (Rom 13:1, 2), I believe it. When it is said of Christ, "He is Lord of all" (Acts 10:36) I know he will never have any power that he does not now possess.

18. Christ Antagonistic to God

This would not be complete without a sample of Lipscomb's exegesis, or wresting the scriptures to make a point. Here it is:

" Be subject to,' submit to,' both translated from one word, are the terms that the Spirit of God uses to define the Christian's connection with, and prescribe the duties he owes to these governments. 'Submit' means, to yield one's person to the power of another, to give up resistance, to surrender.' It carries the idea that the person or body that submits, is entirely distinct and separate from and in antagonism to the person or body to which it submits." (p. 76).

If a person is permitted to make his own definitions to Bible words he can make it mean whatever he wishes. Let us see how his definition works when applied to the scriptures. This same word is also used as follows:

"And he (Christ) went down with them (his mother and Joseph), and came to Nazareth and was subject to (in antagonism to) them." (Luke 2:51)!!!!

"Wives submit yourselves unto (be antagonistic to) your own husbands, as unto (antagonistic to) the Lord." (Eph. 5:22).

"Therefore as the church is subject unto (antagonistic' to) Christ, so let the wives be (antagonistic to) their own husbands in everything." (Eph. 5:24)!

"Then shall the son also himself be subject unto (antagonistic to) him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:28)!!!!

I don't like Lipscomb's definition, do you? It requires children to be antagonistic to parents, wives to husbands, Christ to his mother and to God! Since it does not and cannot mean this, neither does it require us to be antagonistic to civil government. Nobody would advance such a ridiculous thing unless he was blinded by a foolish theory. "A thing that proves too much proves nothing."

19. Final Summary

Lipscomb said nine-tenths of the rulers of civilized nations today were either in the kingdom or children of those in kingdom. This is not true.

Lipscomb said Christ could not take vengeance; the Bible says he will.

He said, "Erastus was certainly not the treasurer of the city," the Bible said he was.

He said "be subject to " meant to be in antagonism to. That is not true.

He said the devil was the head of the government; .The Bible says that God rules.

He said "Devil rules in hell, world to come; the Bible says devil "cast into hell," "tormented".

He said "their entire work was against the church," but Rom. 13:3, 4 says just the opposite.

Paul said "worse and worse;" Lipscomb said, better and better.

He says affiliation with government is treason, adultery and fornication, but the Bible gives both precepts and examples for affiliation.

He said Cornelius, Jailor gave us office; the Jailor kept his, and there is no hint that Cornelius resigned his captaincy.

Lipscomb said fight against, resist and exterminate the government; the Bible said be subject to.

Lipscomb said we could not support nor give it our means, and the Bible says, "pay ye tribute."

Lipscomb said that they are the agents and servants of the devil; the Bible says they are "the ministers of God." He said Christians should not affiliate; be affiliated He said no good man ever was chosen to take vengeance for the Lord; the Bible tells of Samuel, Elijah, and hosts of others who were.

He said no one ever exercised the functions of a civil office after becoming a Christian; the Bible tells us that the Jailor did.

He said Christians must not appeal to the government; Paul did.

He said the government persecuted Christians; but he was never so persecuted.