Courage is a rare human trait. All other righteous wonderful traits depend on courage. Honesty, kindness, loyalty / commitment, integrity, selflessness all depend on courage. Without courage other traits will not prevail.
All societies throughout history have had a few brave people who died standing against evil.
- 300 Greeks stood against 100,000 Persian invaders.
- A thousand Jewish refugees were killed by Romans at Masada.
- Hundreds of Christians refused to bow to Roman Emperors and were fed to the lions.
- William Tell refused to salute Judge Geissler, who immediately sentenced him to death. We would not have a Switzerland if he obeyed the judge.
- Scotland has their own Parliament because Braveheart William Wallace chose to be executed rather than pledge allegiance to the King of England.
- In 1536 William Tyndayle was executed for the crime of translating the Bible into English.
- In the 1550s Catholic Queen Mary executed six mothers for teaching the Lord’s Prayer to their children.
- Hundreds of Amish stood against the Catholics who burned them at the stake.
- American Quakers were executed in Massachusetts up to the 1850s.
- 180+ Americans defended the Alamo against 2,400 Mexicans for about 20 minutes.
And the U.S. Supreme Court tells us that we have a Fifth Amendment because in 1637 John Lilburn risked being torn apart by teams of horses rather than swear an oath to King Charles.
Those who seek to save their lives will lose them. Luke 17:33. Just like all the apostles who were executed. They stood firm.
“Throughout the ages men have suffered death rather than subordinate their allegiance to God to the authority of the State.” — The U.S Supreme Court in Girouard v. U.S., 328 U.S. 61 (1946)
Forced allegiance has taken many forms throughout history. Emperior Decius required incense burning as a form of worship.
The Catholics made it punishable by death to worship on the Jewish Sabbath (obey the Fourth Commandment).
The Anabaptists were hunted down and killed for believing that church membership must be voluntary. Quakers had the same problem because they believed that all forced liturgy was an abomination.
Starting in 1563 Catholics required weddings to be solemnized (otherwise their bastards belonged to the state).
Thomas Jefferson was against tyranny over the mind of man. And today this same authority, once thought of as dead, requires oaths in court and perjury oaths on government forms. The whole world was astonished and followed the Beast.
And in 2017 when ISIS controlled Syria, they had a kneel or starve policy to kill Christians. We have the same policy buy nobody calls it genocide.
But you surrendered immediately without even questioning that you were being tricked out of your God-given rights.
America The Beautiful, verse 3:
3. Oh, beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.
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You consented to be governed.
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Stand, because when you stand, others will stand with you. And God can’t stand with you if you don’t stand. Once you stand you can expect the hand of providence to be over you. No matter how it ends, it matters how you stand.”
— Levoy Finicum
“But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.”
— Christ, Matthew 24:13
You may be interested in my essay When must Christians obey government?
And don’t miss my discussion of failing to stand firm in my article What is Liberty?