Good Authority: The Biblical Right to Resist Tyranny

Written by Greg Hopkins on November 15, 2017

Today I’d like a recommend a book, Sovereign Duty, by former Federal prosecutor KrisAnne Hall. It is an excellent lesson on the Founders’ intent for the separation of rights and responsibilities between the federal government and the states, based on the Bill of Rights and especially the 10th Amendment. I highly recommend this well-written and researched book to every American lover of freedom and our Constitution. KrisAnne shows how the Bible supplies the basis for our God-given Natural Rights and Liberties that the Constitution affirms and protects.

Many don’t realize that Christians have a right to rebel against oppressive government. Now, I’m well-aware of Romans 13:1-7 and other passages where it says we are to obey duly-constituted authorities, and so were our founders. However, when government requires us to disobey God or denies us our freedoms and natural rights, then as Peter and John told the Sanhedrin, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29, 4:17-20.

The Book of Judges tells us of many freedom fighters against those who oppressed and enslaved Israel: Ehud, Gideon, Deborah and Barak, Samson, Samuel, and others whom God sent to free His people from tyranny. In the kingdom period, Samuel rebuked Saul for taking too much power, Nathan confronted David over his murder of Uriah, Elijah condemned Ahab for killing Naboth for his property. God requires that leaders be servants of the people, not their masters. 1 Kings 12:7. Daniel defied Kings Nebuchadnezzar over food and Darius over prayer. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow to idols.

Jesus got angry over the cheating of worshippers at the temple and whipped the moneychangers and crooked salesmen out. John 2:14-17. In doing so he forcibly defied the Jewish government.

The Declaration of Independence states that when government becomes oppressive, patriots and Christians have the right and duty to resist unlawful authority. Samuel Adams, one of the Founders who based many of his arguments for liberty on the Bible, said, “Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, the right to life [Self-defense]; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner thy can.” Sovereign Duty, p.145.

William Blackstone, whose book on England’s common law was the general guide for American lawyers up through the Civil War, stated our legal rights thus:

To vindicate those rights when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled first to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law — next to the right of petitioning the King and parliament for redress of grievances — and lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defense.

Id. p.146.

After last week’s massacre at Sutherland Springs, Texas, what do we hear from the “Old Reliables” of the Democrat Party? They propose more laws to deprive us of the very means to defend ourselves from lunatics who would harm us! The hero who stopped the killer used the very same type weapon as the killer! There is not inherent evil or good in a tool, but there is in men.

You see by their actions the basic difference between the Right and the Left. We sorrow for the victims and their families and pray to Jehovah God for guidance, wisdom and skill to stop the evil. We ask for the freedom to carry guns in church and form security teams to head off evil.

The Left makes fun of those who pray, and turns immediately to their all-powerful god, Government, for the answer. Their answer is always the same: just one more law that takes a little more of our God-given rights and freedom. Yet any sane person knows that a man who is determined to commit mass murder is not deterred by any laws that restrict him from legally owning, selecting, or carrying any type of a gun. The only ones obeying such laws and getting hurt are the law abiding! We know now that the massacre was a case of the “the government failed but the armed citizen prevailed.”

Look at our need for National Reciprocity. Under Article IV, Sec. 1, the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” of the Constitution. Under it, my Alabama Concealed Carry Permit should be immediately accepted as valid in all 50 states, just like my AL driver’s license and my Tennessee marriage. However, when travelling, I must comply with differing laws in many states. Some won’t let me take my gun in my car unless it is unloaded and separated from the ammunition. Federal law says I’m good in every state that way, but New Jersey, New York, Illinois, California and Maryland have all illegally arrested travelers that were in legal compliance anyway!

In some states, the capacity of my magazine immediately makes my gun illegal, or, in MA, mere possession of a “bump stock” can get me life in prison! If another state recognizes my permit, how can I legally carry it: loaded in the car concealed on me, carried openly, not carried but loaded and stored in a locked/unlocked compartment? If stopped for a traffic violation, must I tell the officer I’m carrying? Some states say yes, most, no. This is but a small sample of complexity I face as a lawyer when asked, “Is my permit good in state ‘X’ and the other states I have to cross to get there?” How is the common citizen supposed to keep up with it?

The problem comes into focus when we realize that all these laws are infringements upon MY PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF AN ITEM OF SPECIFICALLY CONSTITUTIONALLY-PROTECTED PROPERTY! The sole item of property that allows me to maintain my most important right; the right to life! Alan Korwin, a Constitutional lawyer who writes books about firearms law, says the people who write these insane laws should be in prison! Who are they to tell us we must choose between protecting ourselves from criminals or risk prosecution merely for exercising the right “to keep and bear arms” when we travel? Folks, imagine states in 1791 telling pioneers that they could not have guns or had to comply with all of today’s silly restrictions that make our weapons useless going into “Injun Country”? Would our Founders have put up with this garbage?

In Federalist Papers 33, Alexander Hamilton put it this way: “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense, which is paramount to all positive forms of government….” Sovereign Duty p.147. Isaiah cursed tyrannical legislators, saying, “Woe unto those who enact evil statutes and those who constantly record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights….” Is. 10:1-2. I conclude with, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good, evil! Who substitute darkness for light, and light for darkness! Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!” Is. 5:20-21. It’s time to act like the Founders and contact your Congresscritter. Demand National Reciprocity based on Article IV, Sec. 1 of the Constitution!

Excerpted from: John Trumbull – US Capitol, Public Domain,

Share if you agree there is strong authority for resisting tyranny.

Greg Hopkins
Greg Hopkins is a recovering lawyer, city prosecutor, police Use-of-Force law instructor, former city judge in two towns and criminal defense lawyer. He’s been teaching the Bible to teens and adults for 40 years. He now trains CCP holders and armed church security teams in self defense law. He also does expert witnessing in firearms and self defense cases. His book is A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, on the Bible and Self Defense.