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Freddie Gray and the Price of Rebellion against God

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Published on: December 24, 2015

The whole city of Baltimore was on edge last week as the judge declared a mistrial of the first officer tried in the death of Freddie Gray. “The police department canceled leave for all officers this week while [the mayor] opened an emergency operations center and pleaded for calm.”

The jury for Officer Porter’s trial had a tough job determining who might share responsibility in the death of Gray. You can be fined for failing to wear your seatbelt, but Freddie Gray was not buckled in when transported in a police van. You may recall, “Gray’s highly emotional funeral on April 27 drew thousands of mourners and protesters. The demonstrations turned violent, and dozens of people were injured while businesses were looted and burned.” Since then, “The city struggled with an uptick in violent crime.”

Last Wednesday, the mayor proclaimed, “We will not — and cannot — be defined by the unrest of last spring …As a community, as a city, we are stronger, and we are united to be better than what some displayed to the world last spring.” What we saw last spring in Baltimore, of course, was an illustration of Anarchy. Now I wonder why should anyone listen to the mayor? What basis is there for anyone to obey the police? What we find clearly stated in the Word of God is that …

Anarchy is the result of individuals rebelling against God and violating His Law, and anarchy has terrible results as we know to be true of all sin.

  • “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23. We have a whole book of the Bible that you might call a case study in Anarchy: the book of Judges. At its close, it encapsulates that time period.
  • Anarchy is “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25. I find this statement a measure of our time, as well. So on what basis does the mayor call for calm, for peace, for respecting the life, liberty, and property of one’s neighbor? She proclaims, “we are stronger, and we are united to be better than [we were] last spring.” Really? What has changed in Baltimore? Was there widespread repentance of the sins that predominant in the city? Were there revivals in the churches, people crying out to for God to have mercy upon them for their manifold sins? Did so many convert to true faith in Jesus Christ that the drug trade completely dried up for lack of customers? Did the bars and brothels close because there was no one entering them? Did the abortuaries shut their doors because there were no babies to murder? Did the leaders of that city, including the mayor, fall on their faces and repent before Almighty God for their wickedness, and did they call upon the city for days of fasting, prayer, and humiliation before God for all the evils of that city?

If all of that would have had happened, I might agree with the mayor, that Baltimore is now a better city, a stronger city, united in repentance, united by a true revival and a return to Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A city that was devoted to walking in obedience to the Law of God, which alone is True Law. We know what it looks like when individuals rebel against the Law of God – it results in a condition where neither your property, nor your liberty, and not even your life, is secure from robbery, kidnapping, and murder. And one of the contributing factors to a society where God’s Law is rejected by the people is when the leaders themselves reject God’s Law. While anarchy results when individuals reject obedience to God’s Law…

Tyranny is when civil government rebels against God and violates God’s Law. The mayor of Baltimore certainly is not alone among the political leaders of the United States in leading a rebellion against the law of God. When they say as the mayor did, that God’s Law regarding marriage is wrong and they will not abide by it at all, what should they expect?

  • “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.” See Romans 13:3
  • There is a high price to pay when Civil government rebels against God
  • King Herod illustrates the nature of such tyranny –
    • Onerous taxation – Though Herod did not initiate the tax, he was clearly involved in implementing it in Israel. See Luke 2:1
    • The government’s policies leave everyone troubled. See Matthew 2:3
    • Secrecy is crucially important to maintain the tyranny. See Matthew 2:7
    • Deception and spying are everyday practices. See Matthew 2:8

This Christmas, commit to follow the Wise Men and Worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus Christ.


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