All societies throughout history have had a few brave people who died standing against those who sought to enslave them.
- 300 Greeks stood against 100,000 Persian invaders.
- A thousand Jewish refugees were killed by Romans at Masada.
- Those who refused to affirm that Caesar was lord were fed to the lions. Those who refused to worship Emperors were often executed. They had a choice to obey.
- William Tell would have saluted the judge’s authority rather than be sentenced to death unless he could shoot an apple off his son. He chose to not obey government. We would not have a Switzerland today if Mr. Tell did not know that a salute was a form of worship.
- Braveheart William Wallace refused to pledge allegiance to the King of England. He was executed.
- 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.
- British Quakers were torn apart by teams of horses.
- American Quakers were executed in Massachusetts up to the 1850s.
- 180+ Americans died defending the Alamo against 2,400 Mexicans for about 20 minutes.
But you surrendered immediately without even questioning that you were being tricked out of your rights. “Live Free or Die” is the official motto of New Hampshire. It was written by General John Stark, New Hampshire’s most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War. Those who risk death have something worth standing for. Perhaps you should pay attention.
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.
- British subjects living in British colonies would not have started the American Revolution. They had a choice to obey or risk death killing their government’s law enforcement officers.
- Patrick Henry would not have asked for liberty or death.
- Nathan Hale, who was a 21 year old Yale graduate when he was executed in 1776, would not have had one death to spend for his country.
• Rahab, a career criminal who helped overthrow her government, would not be considered righteous (James 2:25) and listed in Hebrews 11 as one of the all-time faithful.
• there would have been no anti-Baptists (who became today’s Amish, Mennonites and Baptists), who refused to register their children. They endured a painful execution burning at the stake rather than obey government. They knew that their orphans would be raised by their murderers but they still refused to register their children.
• The early Christians in Cappadocia, just east of Galatia, would not have lived in caves to evade government. They had a choice of allegiance.
• The Presbyterian covenanters of 1638 to 1688 endured great hardship, strife and civil wars to keep their religion. Scotland is free today because William Wallace chose martyrdom rather than swear allegiance to King Charles the first.
• Cromwell suspended Parliament and executed King Charles. If they had obeyed their government, the monarch would likely still be supreme over America.
• In 1637 John Lilburn risked death refusing to take a Star Chamber Oath. He chose to disobey government. The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that Miranda’s right to remain silent came from Lilburn’s refusal.
• regulation IS persecution.
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