Is Bible Smuggling "Breaking the Law"?
By Richard Wurmbrand, founder "Voice of the Martyrs", Bartlesville, Oklahoma
("Application to America" follows Wurmbrand's short article)
2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound [chained]. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
When our salvation was at stake, God did not stop at the human level of morals. It is not praiseworthy for a Father to send His innocent Son to death. It is even less commendable for Him to stand by and see Him betrayed, flogged, and crucified when He has the power to save Him. But our heavenly Father not only allowed His Son to die, "it pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10). What is highly immoral according to common standards becomes an act of love if it results in the salvation of men.
If God gave His Son to die for this purpose, we also feet justified in sidestepping some of the norms of ordinary Christian behavior. We smuggle the Word of God to those who hunger for it, in order that God's creatures in other lands might enter heaven. Some say that to do so is immoral We consider it immoral to leave souls without the Word of God. Would you consider it immoral to help starving children, because a government forbids foreign aid? Is not food for the soul as important as food for the body?
But is it right to smuggle and not say the plain truth? Jews answer questions with another question. This I will do, too. Is it right to apply some yardstick of morality to the means of spreading the Word of God? If we apply a yardstick, with what yardstick will we measure the yardstick according to which we consider some actions right and some wrong?
I wonder why the ethical problem of one's obligation to tell the truth is restricted to the field of providing other countries with Bibles.
Can a Christian in a free country belong to the police or the intelligence service? If so, can he accept an assignment as an undercover agent in a group of terrorists, or in an organization of drug dealers? If so, must he tell the organization the whole truth when he infiltrates it? Must he introduce himself as a police agent sent among them in order to spy?
Jesus said that He is both the truth and the life. Truth goes deeper than legalism. You are not demanding absolute truthfulness when by practicing legalism you jeopardize the eternal destiny of hundreds of millions of men held captive by satanic communism and other false ideologies.
In Moscow, Sister Sitch's child Slava was taken from her by court sentence, because she taught him that atheists are sons of the devil and instructed him to close his eyes when motion pictures mocking religion were shown in school Sister Sitch "stole" her own child from the atheistic boarding school and sent him to brethren in Vitebsk, where he was hidden. (The neighbors were told that he was an orphan.) The authorities discovered "the delinquent" and took him back.
Her second child was also taken away from her, after he had violently torn down the Soviet emblem and told the teacher that he pitied her because she is godless and will burn in hell.
Did Sister Sitch do wrong to steal her own child? Is it theft to take back your child who has been kidnapped by the communists? Perhaps it is rather communists who are the thieves.
I wonder who are the liars. Is it the Bible smugglers or those who deceive people with atheism or other beliefs and ban the Word of God? Or, are the Liars our critics who are sticklers for morals in matters they do not comprehend?
In I Corinthians 9:22, Paul expresses his determination to save some men "by all means." If he says "by all means," who has the right to correct him, stating that salvation should be propagated only through legal or "moral" means? For me the important thing is that our Bibles arrive. We love people with the ultimate love, that for their souls. The Word of God can save souls for eternity. Without it, souls are lost, so every risk must be taken in the fight to snatch souls from the fires of hell.
Adapted from Where Christ Still Suffers (out of print).
Application to America
While the Iowa Department of Human Services investigated whether Don Burgmaier abused his two daughters for taking pictures of them unclothed when they were infants (when a court ordered the DHS to return the photos to Don, they showed them fully clothed) they got a court order demanding that Don never "discuss religion" with them! Was Don a "lawbreaker" for secretly telling them about Jesus? Or were the "lawbreakers" the DHS attorney and the judge who enacted such an unconstitutional order?
Roe v. Wade struck down the laws of 49 states protecting unborn babies from being tortured to death by abortion, even though the authors of the decision confessed they lacked the competence to know whether in fact the babies they ordered killed were human beings, which would make abortion Murder. I sat in front of an abortion door in 1990, was arrested, tried, and served 20 days in jail. Was I the lawbreaker? Or was I offering myself to restore law to its legitimate purpose: to save, not to destroy?
I am working to amend Iowa's Necessity Defense, Iowa 704.10, so that judges will have to obey it. The law literally says any action which prevents a serious injury is not against the law. Being tortured to death by abortion qualifies as "serious injury". So my action to prevent "serious injury" should never have been called a crime. But the abortion-loving judge, Glen Pille, prevented the jury from hearing the Necessity Defense, even though case law says the weighing of "serious injury" is a fact issue and juries are supposed to be "the judges of the facts".
The Necessity Defense presents an intellectual problem for ultra-legalists who talk as if obeying the rigid, mindless letter of the law, even a corrupt law, even a Hate Law, even a law requiring murder, is more important than life itself! More spiritual than saving lives!
The Necessity Defense challenges such thinking because it is not just some Law of God, but it is far greater in the hearts of ultra-legalists: it is The Law Of The Land! And according to the LETTER of this law, ANY LAW WHICH CAUSES SERIOUS INJURY IS UNENFORCEABLE, AND ANYONE WHO ENFORCES SUCH A LAW VIOLATES THIS LAW! Sorry, ultra-legalists, but these are the facts.
The Necessity Defense is not just some loophole I discovered as a way of circumventing the normal operation of law. It is the foundational principal of American law. It is what distinguishes American law from tyranny. It defines the very purpose of law in a land of free men who are governed by the Rule of Law rather than by ruthless tyrants. Without it, law becomes tyranny.
It reflects the statement of Blackstone (whose writings set the tone for the authors of our Constitution): "Any law which violates the laws of God is no law at all."
More explanation of the logic of this principle was given by George Mason, in 1771, as he argued against slavery before the General Court of Virginia: "All acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice are, in our laws, and must in the nature of things, be considered void. The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superceded by no power on earth. A legislature must not obstruct
our obedience to Him from Whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are, in conscience, bound to DISobey."
Jesus summarized this principle when He said simply, "It is lawful to do good..."
Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
Will you be like Jesus, or like the Pharisees? The Pharisees, remember, represented the Sanhedrin, which had as much legal authority to define "healing on the Sabbath" as a crime as the U.S. Supreme Court has to define "praying on the sidewalk outside a murder center" as a crime. Furthermore, by the custom of the time, Jesus was literally in court: he was being accused of a capital crime, and all the people present constituted the "jury"; had the "jury" agreed Jesus was guilty, they would have stoned Him on the spot. But when Jesus articulated the very purpose of law, that purpose was more compelling in the hearts of the jurors than obedience to the Letter of the Law as ordered by the Sanhedrin, and Jesus "walked", a free man, acquitted; while the Pharisees left, defeated -- they "lost their case".
Jesus elsewhere explained that each law has what we call today an "original intent", and true obedience to law consists of obeying that original intent. No law was ever meant to be obeyed to the letter, even in a situation in which such obedience would violate its Original Intent, or its purpose!
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. 16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
(Technical explanation: the "bottles" those days were made out of goat skins. The "wine" was fresh grape juice. Juice was preserved in the same way housewives "can" garden vegetables and fruits today: by boiling, and then while the steam is rising, putting them into a sealed jar so that when it cools there will be a slight vacuum. With these precautions to keep out the mold spores found in ordinary air, the juice could be kept a year or two; especially if it was kept in a cool well. But if an old wineskin was used, it would have mold in it, which would cause the juice to ferment, causing it to expand and break the bottle.)
Jesus' plain lesson is not that new situations call for new laws, but that each situation calls for a common sense application of old laws that understands and obeys the law's Original Intent.
Another Scripture affirming the common sense principle that "it is lawful to do good" literally says good people are never meant to be hindered by any law. This passage gives the purpose of all law, not just the Commandments of Jesus or the Laws of Moses. The purpose of law given here applies to every law ever enacted.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment [the purpose of law] is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Let me paraphrase these verses in a way that makes their application to these issues clearer, while remaining true to the original meaning:
1 Timothy 1:5 People say "the law can't make anyone good." And yet every good lawmaker, as much as possible, tries to create conditions in which pure hearts can love one another, where consciences can be clear, and where faith is genuine. 6 From this basic purpose of law, some have swerved into nerve-jangling rhetoric. 7 They tell you they are "law abiding citizens". They impose their concept of "The Rule of Law" on others. But they don't know what they are talking about, though they know they are right. 8 Everyone knows laws are, generally speaking, good. But there is a big "if": IF they are interpreted and enforced lawfully! 9 IF they are not used to oppress the righteous, but only to imprison lawbreakers, the wicked, God-defying, profane murderers of their own fathers and mothers; 10 the prostitutes, sodomites, slave traders; those who commit fraud, perjury, and every other act contrary to clear thinking common sense 11 outlining now only how we SHOULD live but -- now here's the good news which our Blessed God has trusted me to share -- how we CAN live!
Will you be like the Pharisees of Mark 3:2 and the self-proclaimed "law abiding citizens" of 1 Timothy 1:7? Will you stand up for an ultra-legalism which turns law from its purpose to save, to some tyrant's purpose to destroy? Will you condition your support for law on its being interpreted and enforced lawfully, 1 Timothy 1:8? Will you stop calling the persecuted righteous the "lawbreakers" and their law-destroying persecutors "the Law" and the ruthless System they operate "The Rule of Law"?
And here's one more thing I would like to ask of you: will you please stop electing Lawmakers who don't understand the purpose of law, and start electing Lawmakers who do?
This web site is part of Uncle Ed.'s search for truth. God didn't make any man able to find the truth by himself. Proverbs 15:22 says only in a "multitude of counsellors" are purposes established. And counsel can come from anybody: 2 Chronicles 35:20-24 says God can speak even through your generation's representative of Antichrist! (Isaiah 30 for perspective.)
So if you see errors here, and you don't warn poor Uncle Ed.,, their continued presence here will be your fault! (Ezekiel 3:18-20) (If you don't want your email address posted when we post your comments or criticism, SAY SO!)
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