On to Defending the Academy

Well, much has occurred since a past post, “We Can’t, No We Won’t”, was published as an outdoor educator in the California redwoods. Late April, after much prayer and contemplation, it was decided that I would resign at the end of the program year in June. In May this was made known to the whole team. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “Thereby,” I told them, “I can no longer serve in a ‘ministry’ that is unable to speak this foundational truth.” For the next month no one questioned or argued with me about it.

A peace was over me. Where was I going next after the summer? No clue. All that was set was a seasonal return to a small conference center in the Sierra Nevada. The last two weeks of the program, I affirmed that wherever God placed me next, Christ (the Logos) is my life’s foundation. I would be thankful, even if it meant long term manual labor at a more genuinely Logos centered establishment.

June comes. My car is loaded with all my possessions. I am ready to serve with my hands for the summer. Teaching applications up to this point have either been rejected or some administrators set up interviews only to not follow through. One particular gentleman from a little school in central Arizona shows the most interest, likewise, equal courtesy when declining my offer. Thank God, he was right about me soon acquiring a position. Before the end of the month, following three somewhat awkward interviews, a slightly larger classical Christian academy in Arizona recruited me for upper high school (some middle school). Apparently, choosing me was made significantly easier after receiving torrents of praise from my grateful recent employers. Certainly, these past few assignments were a part of His plan for this occasion.

Now, an unprecedented task. Indeed, something more intimidating than the last within these three years of persistent preparation. For a whole academic year, the souls/minds of youths are under my direct influence. Their intellectual and spiritual faculties will be impacted, a rippling effect on the succeeding generation. May Christ grant me the wisdom & strength to meet the daily needs of this responsibility. As I fulfill the role of teacher-mentor, may my own soul/mind be further refined in holiness and knowledge. Becoming an increasingly edifying educator is key to my secondary duty – defending the academy.

What does a school need to be vigilant of? Why so serious? I watched my own excellent private high school decline over a summer break from worldly changes in education philosophy. I have encountered countless students weighed down by “neutral” pluralistic curriculum. Aye, and the few ministries trying to get along with institutions teaching according to the policies of the State, not universal truth. When a program has more sociologists, psychologists, and education degree recipients managing operations than those experienced in teaching/researching across academic fields, you have a government-corporate enterprise instead of an academy. Yes, Lord, help me guard this house of learning from any encroachment that will remove Logos from the classroom. Let the younger generation know their God and His creation, so they may not fear the pride and wrath of man.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-11

Independence from monarch and Mob

A fair number of people today are aware a large fraction of the American colonists decided they no longer tolerated being under the reign of the British royal family and Parliament. What fewer may also keep in mind is that the founders of American independence equally desired to avoid the normality of mob rule. To be self-governing, free from the excesses of monarchy and democracy, Americans needed to be a virtuous people for the well-being of the republic.

Yes, political independence begins with families & communities, whom can prepare the younger generations to inherit a civilization that unceasingly dialogues truth and justice. Such is a well rooted drive to form interconnecting associations that discuss and debate the essentials as well as particulars of socio-economic realms, from the neighborhood to the nation. The Enlightenment elements agreed that God imparts rights to those in His image. The Christian heritage was the blueprint for universal principle. Greco-Roman tradition bestowed a set of mental tools to ponder the nature of things.

The inversion, turning upside down/inside out, of this pursuit of Logos (divine order; Christ Jesus) is defied by mortal hubris, a satanic pride that seeks unwarranted glory or at least temporal gratification, which possesses a vampire’s insatiable hunger. It is pseudo-liberty that forsakes personal, familial, and/or communal responsibility. It is the social-Darwinian hustle for material wealth. It is the lustful objectification of persons and their image, reflecting their Creator, for the sake of personal pleasure. It is the creature arrogantly exercising power as if they are Lord.

This is a historically consistent reality, mobs directly or indirectly invite the rule of tyrants. A monarch faces a fair amount of social/moral restraint. Dictators and Oligarchs redefine as they will. A mob reacts passionately to situations; they do not act in strategic unity. Hence, while attacking those who may be in the wrong, much destruction is committed against others, crimes of passion and opportunism. Acute or chronic social chaos can be the probable chance for shrewd souls to assert vice grip means of control.

Members of a republic ought to act in accordance with law and principle, because they are of families and communities. These close ties allow them to voice their thoughts, take economic and political counter measures; and engage in defensive force. It is much more difficult to deceive a likeminded people who reason in the things of God, practicing a division of power for the liberty of their fellow members. Democracy more readily fosters mobs, since public decision making rests on mass persuasion of what is popular, not necessarily what is right. All a charismatic promiser of grand schemes need do is at least convince a minority to react, for they depend on granting power to strangers rather than sharing it in their more immediate circles.

The modern shift to an educated, instead of a virtuous people will be any nation’s downfall. Educate them in what? Oh, yes, how to be a productive employee for the technocrat economy and to empower the government bureaucracy in being the. Indeed, it is desired by wicked beings we abandon intimacy with the Logos, our families, and neighbors, so we are not active citizens of a republic independent from mortal monarchs (presidents?) and pretenders of God. For a global order, run by demonic disciples, subjects that react with wants, although passive in comfort, make ideal chattel.

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11

 

 

History, more than a Study

History has another dimension to it besides learning of the past. Just as important is an active role in the present. What happens now becomes then almost seamlessly. Then and now persists into later. There is a highly consequential misconception that it is the past that determines the present. Now, this is true to an extent, except a great multitude do not acknowledge being a part of the recent past, as in living history. The combination of the belief that history by nature is of random events invites a vicious cycle. History is neither random events nor sole human activity; it is the grace of God over His creation.

When people recognize that they too share in the past, there is usually more reflection about the impact made on others. On the other hand, when we observe ourselves more as products of the past, there is less attention to the influence of our character and state in life. For the former, the first priority tends to be addressing one’s own sins, no less potential evils. The latter more expect others to atone for theirs, neglecting heart and mind. In other words, those who connect in history through the present are more ready to repent (change their mind to virtue) of vice, so they can exercise the truth. Those who act in history according to the past, demand right living, while being the very oppression they supposedly hate, lies justified for their truth.

The world view of history as apparent orderly chaos is the endgame of both humanistic skepticism and optimism. Earthly utopia keeps running into speed bumps, history is random. Man and the environment are simply natural processes, things just happen in grand scheme of things. It was odd in graduate school to hear the timeline as anything goes, except we should be concerned about injustice. This was more bizarre from a self admittedly Marxist professor, whom posited that the institution of slavery did not end because of public moral shift but because industrial capitalism made it less economically feasible. Which can be argued, only she soon after expressed that capitalism helped maintain slavery before its formal abolition in the 1800s. The view of history being random allowed her to hold these confusing ideas as complementary.

I digress regarding the poor higher education. What is of important note is that hating sinners of the past more than your own sin (that is if you acknowledge it) maintains a strong lack of self awareness of being a villain. While maliciously handling the ‘issues’ of the present, one fails to recognize they are a bad guy of history, also contributing to the misery of the future. The French and Russian Revolutions, along with the succeeding tyrannies, are voluminous examples. The mainstream campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights and push for military interventions are more subtle, current measures for pseudo-liberty.

In this desperate cycle for wealth and/or pleasure, we can wholeheartedly believe history can be rewritten, at least in the present, to suit our ideal future. Such is the generational ambition to end the chaos of our heritage or figure out how to navigate the indifferent ebbs and flows of time. Well, no need to fear. The cliché of it is “His Story” rings true. God, the resurrected Christ, is in control of history. Oh, the objections to His authority! So many would rather have reality absent of Him, our destinies dependent on our best foot forward. No, thank you, I rely on the Lord’s will, not our centuries of ongoing folly. My concluding question is this: “Are you a Cain or Abel in the Story?”

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent [the body], is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation [resurrection] which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked [only dead]. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”

2 Corinthians 5:1-11

Memorial Day: Shadows of War

The last breath, the last drop of blood. What was on your mind before the light dimmed?

The final pulse comes in the mystery of silence or the violent orchestra of battle.

Fear, valor, anxiety, excitement, confusion – the final moment comes like a master thief.

Death is swift for some, ever sluggish for many others. Would any of us take their place?

 

To those who were conscripted – may God redeem us from your patriotic execution.

To those who volunteered – may the Lord make good of your sacrifice, not purely in vain.

We do not know all the evils that shroud the shadows of war. Still, let us honor the fallen.

May we be vigilant of defense, as well as lies from those who treat mortals as mammon.

“Whoever observes a command knows no harm, and the wise heart knows times and judgments.” Yes, there is a time and a judgment for everything. But it is a great evil for mortals that they are ignorant of what is to come; for who will make known to them how it will be? No one is master of the breath of life so as to retain it, and none has mastery of the day of death. There is no exemption in wartime, nor does wickedness deliver those who practice it. All these things I saw and I applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun, while one person tyrannizes over another for harm.

10 Meanwhile I saw the wicked buried. They would come and go from the holy place. But those were forgotten in the city who had acted justly. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not promptly executed, the human heart is filled with the desire to commit evil— 12because the sinner does evil a hundred times and survives. Though indeed I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, for their reverence toward him; 13 and that it shall not be well with the wicked, who shall not prolong their shadowy days, for their lack of reverence toward God.

Ecclesiastes 8:5-13

And God said: Language and Nature

The study of the natural world has been in decline, like many areas of intellectual activity. A contemporary response is the advocacy of “scientific literacy,” the ability to apply scientific methods. Among the strategies is the inculcation of terminology and basic facts. This would be more fruitful if the targeted students are personal cultivators of their language – reading, writing, and speech. Most of the time the efforts of ‘scientific literacy’ is like pouring new wine into old wine skins, as in the students possess not the mental/emotional substance (maybe even spiritual) to engraft the information. Language is a primary way we interact with everything under the sun. It is how we understand.

Simply memorizing facts and figures does not shape one’s internal use of language. In the long run, it is what someone values, practices each day. If a student does not actively try to expand their vocabulary to better understand the world around them, any terms someone embarks to teach them will not take root. If the general focus is trending not structural, words do not grow into fields of thinking. They are more as consumer goods to be used then disposed of when obsolete. The minimization or replacement of grammar and phonics during elementary education attests to a culture lacking a foundational stone of language.

No building blocks, no development. Even during the 1100s of the Middle Ages, scholars & clergy belittle language instruction, since words could supposedly mean anything in the grand scheme of things. A church leader reminded his peers of its necessity:

“Reason would remain utterly barren, or at least would fail to yield a plenteous harvest, if the faculty of speech did not bring to light its feeble conceptions, and communicate the perceptions of the prudent exercise of the human mind. . . . Deprived of their gift of speech, men would degenerate to the condition of brute animals, and cities would seem like corrals for livestock, rather than communities composed of human beings united by a common bond for the purpose of living in society, serving one another, and cooperating as friends.”

from: Book 1 – chapter 1 of The Metalogicon by John of Salisbury (1159)

It is quite something to have encountered numerous educators who softly scoff at prioritizing language and arithmetic over ‘science literacy.’ Apparently, it is foolish to focus on the building blocks of thought and calculation before delving into rigorous scientific activity. This is like failing to practice diet and conditioning prior competitive sports. Sure, one could still learn something, except they grow a sapling instead of a forest of understanding over time. Who is to say they even are able to maintain the young tree after the official activity is done? Going back to John of Salisbury, the students’ neglect of language will not promote any social/intellectual endeavor. They go about their days more as animals, concerned with what they currently desire.

Indeed, speech in the mainstream is more for knowing information to meet the whims of politics and economics. The political games of left/right, Democrat/Republican has a major part in forming language. Heck, the main purpose of obtaining a college education is to be of higher value in the job market! Our culture’s speech essentially hinges on a simulated “Game of Thrones” and Monopoly. This has been an ongoing battle for generations, the struggle to speak according to Godly rather than mortal things.

“The heralds of the truth, it is written, “have proclaimed the works of God, and have understood His doing.” Scientific knowledge, by the nature of things, must precede the practice and cultivation of virtue, which does not “run without knowing where it is going,” and does not merely “beat the air” in its battle against vice. Rather “it sees its goal, and the target at which it aims.” It does not haphazardly chase ravens with a piece of pottery and a bit of mud. But scientific knowledge is the product of reading, learning, and meditation. It is accordingly evident that grammar, which is the basis and root of scientific knowledge, implants, as it were, the seed of virtue in nature’s furrow after grace has readied the ground.”

from: Book 1 – chapter 23

The general culture neither teaches speech/grammar nor the pursuit of virtue. We therefore are of no mind or heart for genuine understanding. Our sinful ambitions are seen to be more real than the natural world itself. Learning ones language requires discipline, a self motivation that is truly beyond what we feel is a need/want. Only when we deny our selves to seek after the things of God do we address the truth, good, and beauty in nature. In doing so, vice is not our master, with lustful ignorance not dictating how we learn to speak, as social beings that need to interact with our natural world. Christ’s natural law in our hearts and minds lifts us beyond the cravings of beasts, as well as the warped passions of demons. After all, He is the Word before the beginning.

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.

2 Peter 1:3-9

 

Public Education: Mandatory Mediocrity

How can I have even remote respect for something that as a result of rejecting the Creator/Christ, it lacks the substance to grow a person? Based on the grand assumption all just came into existence, young minds are instructed to know simply for the sake of knowing, that is whatever the government (public) wants them to value. Mix in democracy and opportunism, then you get a mutating alphabet soup of concepts that students are tested on without reason. Instead of gazing into the infinite mind of God, inspired to expand our mental abilities for His glory, most of us are taught to randomly learn for a vain and vague common good.

Fortunately, I was spared this institution very early on. It did not take my parents too long to decide that daycare itself was a poor option for their children’s well being. Now, I am well aware of the objections to homeschooling, as well as private school. The key counterpoint is why worry about the quality of these forms of education, more so the former, when the public system itself is a decrepit failure? Sure, not every child receives an edifying non-public upbringing. Whereas the public school system is a sub par factory. On top of it all, the government decides what values to interweave during the average seven hours at their institutions.

“Moreover, the society of which the child is to be a member is, in the United States, a democratic and progressive society. The child must be educated for leadership as well as for obedience. He must have power of self-direction and power of directing others, power of administration, ability to assume positions of responsibility. This necessity of educating for leadership is as great on the industrial as on the political side. . . . Apart from participation in social life, the school has no moral end nor aim. As long as we confine ourselves to the school as an isolated institution, we have no directing principles, because we have no object.”

from: chapter 2 of Moral Principles in Education by John Dewey (1909)

Public instruction is anti-God and average by nature. It is a supposedly neutral space that is intended as an education for all. How do you stay neutral teaching youth for at least thirteen years of their childhood? How do you employ a universal standard that meets the needs of every student? Why trust politicians and bureaucrats, let us not forget the random administrators and instructors, such utter strangers to have a critical impact in forming what children think and value? It is said we should not trust many perhaps most parents because they are ignorant themselves. Well, it is only fair to make sure everyone shares in the universal mediocre indoctrination.

The number of times I have encountered educators admitting the system is broken but is the best way for children is surreal. No faith in God, though there is plenty for the eventual fruition of the ideal education for all. Amid the fractured reading, writing, and arithmetic, wicked teachings on race, sex, and human life pervade. People and events of history/government are taught according to general racial profiles. Sexuality and gender are treated as casual pleasures. Humans are of primal animal origin and valued according to popular opinion. And who decides all this? State/Federal authorities, along with anyone directly involved politically and/or economically, dictate the information/ideas the youth of a nation are to master.

“In so far as the school represents, in its own spirit, a genuine community life; in so far as what are called school discipline, government, order, etc., are the expressions of this inherent social spirit; in so far as the methods used are those that appeal to the active and constructive powers, permitting the child to give out and thus to serve; in so far as the curriculum is so selected and organized as to provide the material for affording the child a consciousness of the world in which he has to play a part, and the demands he has to meet; so far as these ends are met, the school is organized on an ethical basis. So far as general principles are concerned, all the basic ethical requirements are met. The rest remains between the individual teacher and the individual child.”

from: chapter 4 of Moral Principles in Education

Advanced pupils are still vulnerable to this mortal system. It was a fair number of students that really helped me understand the deficiency. They explained their AP/honors courses, especially the former, are customized for the standardized tests. This means substantial content is absent. A number of them, along with post-secondary students, acknowledge or at least eventually discover their inability to immediately transition into higher levels after graduation. The standard is thereby not excellence.

Perhaps, I am too stupid to understand the grandeur in learning according to the hopes of political/corporate powers. Indeed, forsaking the whims of Christ’s cross to be a consumer of false promises and products is not that appealing. So many of us, including the founders of communities if not nations, did not need the hand of government schooling to pursue knowledge in what God has wrought. Language, history, math, science, the arts and world view are fruit of His obeyed in accordance with holy Scripture. Christ – the Logos – is the incarnation of Creation/Order whom walked among unholy ambitions of men. Fearing God is the beginning of timeless knowledge. To fear anything or anyone else is learning to be an intellectual slave of self, men, and the Devil.

Need for Fidelity.18 Therefore, take these words of mine into your heart and soul. Bind them on your arm as a sign, and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, speaking of them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up, 20 and write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that, as long as the heavens are above the earth, you and your children may live on in the land which the Lord swore to your ancestors he would give them.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

Giving Unto God & Caesar

Last week was the deadline for filing income taxes. Less than a week ago was the observation of Christ’s death and resurrection. We are expected to give unto Caesar, our human governments. By contrast, we are to surrender unto God, giving our all. Caesar is merely another man that is meant to provide a service to the citizenry. Whereas Christ is the foundation of our very lives. What happens when we allow the mortal Caesars to have control in the areas of the eternal Lord? Disappointment then tragedy comes.

People cause suffering, no more or less than the governing powers. For some reason many call these two, one in the same, to eventually fix the evils of the world. What is even more comical is now in our modern world we are surprised when Caesar is unable to prevent or immediately restore the aftermath of natural disasters. Why do we put so much hope in mortals simply because they have some kind of authority, either through position and/or wealth? If your hope to relieve the human condition lies in human beings, there was not much hope in the first place.

This is also tied into the evils rooted in the love of money. Politicians and rich men alike, what is the outward source of their meager power? Taxes and payments. Unless we give, they cannot act. They promise the goods/services of security and comfort. Sure, they are only human like the rest of us, though with all that money we give, only they can solve what ails us. In case you are wondering, yes, I mean halls of government and even business can share the power of Caesar, in times of peace or war.

But, though the patriarchal system is the earliest form of government, and all governments have been developed or modified from it, the right of government to govern cannot be deduced from the right of the father to govern his children, for the parental right itself is not ultimate or complete. . . . Property, ownership, dominion rests on creation. The maker has the right to the thing made. He, so far as he is sole creator, is sole proprietor, and may do what he will with it. God is sovereign lord and proprietor of the universe because He is its sole creator. He hath the absolute dominion, because He is absolute maker. . . . The despot is a man attempting to be God upon earth, and to exercise a usurped power. Despotism is based on, the parental right, and the parental right is assumed to be absolute.”

from: chapter 3 of The American Republic by Orestes Brownson (1865)

Those who truly hold governance are people who create, as does our Lord. Because what we make with our hands/minds is from what God has made us, we are granted responsibility over a power, not endowed with it. Thus we can set it on the rule of Christ, being creation and children of His heavenly Father, or we may out of foolish desire for ultimate self rule, stake this power in ourselves, in the personal and/or formal halls of Caesar. Indeed, those who play God fail to create good things for the generations, demanding they be given wealth and honor due to their social-economic status.

Just to be clear, this is a warning against the depravity of the love of money, as well as power, whether it be through socialism or capitalism. These two joined are an unholy alliance, though this is for a future post. No matter how a man puts it, Caesar will receive tribute for the services that can be rendered – order and enforcement in this life. By one’s own life, via a politician, or a businessman, the parental figure of a group of people, will become a cruel master when pursuing the status of the Creator in life. Indeed, render unto Caesar a portion of your creativity. But be warned, surrender unto God your very life itself, for He is the holy master of all Caesars, whom will answer to Him in the end.

“The right of the father over his child is an imperfect right, for he is the generator, not the creator of his child. Generation is in the order of second causes, and is simply the development or explication of the race. The early Roman law, founded on the confusion of generation with creation, gave the father absolute authority over the child—the right of life and death, as over his servants or slaves; but this was restricted under the Empire, and in all Christian nations the authority of the father is treated, like all power, as a trust. . . . How, from the right of the father to govern his own child, born from his loins, conclude his right to govern one not his child? Or how, from my right to govern my child, conclude the right of society to found the state, institute government, and exercise political authority over its members?”

from: chapter 3 of the American Republic

 

Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Romans 13:1-7

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. 10 Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, 12 for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says:

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:6-14