Putting Governmental Overreach in its Place
Men derive their power from God and there are indeed times when resisting the authorities may be lawful and even biblically required. Written in 1579 by an anonymous Huguenot, Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants), makes the case for why Christians can, and must, lawfully resist and fight against tyrants and persecutors of the faith.
It is thoroughly biblical and a great testament to the courage and convictions of our fathers in the faith.
"Despite its brevity, the Vindiciae’s sharp defense of the right of subjects to resist unjust or ungodly rulers even to the point of armed rebellion helped shape the political theories of John Locke in England and the American Founding Fathers. Its arguments on the rights and responsibilities of rulers and subjects continue to be relevant today as we consider the limits of the power of the government and the rights of citizens to oppose governmental overreach." ~from Glenn Sunshine's Introduction
In 1572, Roman Catholic soldiers slaughtered thousands of French Huguenots for their Protestant faith. This calamity forced many Protestants to ask whether taking up arms against a king was even lawful. Many Christians thought that even in the case of persecution, kings had absolute power and lesser magistrates had no right to resist them. Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos: A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants, written by an anonymous Huguenot, is a powerful tract that makes a case for why Christians can sometimes lawfully resist and fight against tyrants and persecutors of the faith. The apostles told the Jews that they needed to obey God rather than man when it came to the Gospel, and to this day many Christians need to be reminded that men only derive their power from God and there are indeed times when resisting the authorities may be lawful and even biblically required. This tract is thoroughly biblical and a great testament to the courage and convictions of our fathers in the faith.
"Kings must be obeyed for God’s cause, and not against God, and then, when they serve and obey God, and not otherwise.... That sentence of God Almighty must always remain irrevocably true: ‘I will not give My glory to any other,’ (Is. 42:8), that is, no man shall have such absolute authority."~From the Vindiciae
The authors in the Christian Heritage Series paid a high price for the words you see before you. Not all paid with blood, but each spent his life fighting for the truth. This faithful sacrifice has become a rich inheritance for the Church in our day, even though it is often neglected. The Christian Heritage Series aims to put these important theological classics on every Christian’s bookshelf in colorful, well-crafted, and affordable volumes, with introductions written by those that love the books and their heritage.