Posted by: sean | April 24, 2007

Jesus’ Teachings do not Apply to Government

by Adin Ballou (1803-1890)

Another pleads that Jesus was inculcating the duty of referring all punishments to magistracy and the government; that he prohibited a resort to private revenges; and only meant to teach his disciples to seek redress for the injuries done them in courts of law. This is a still lamer shift than the other. The connection gives no intimation whatever that this was his design. On the contrary, he enjoins non-resistance alike in respect to personal assault and legal wrong. If a man smite thee on thy right cheek, offer the other. If he sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. If he make thee a prisoner, and force thee to go with him, resist not. This does not look like teaching them to go to law for redress of grievances, or encouraging them to make magistrates the revengers of their wrongs. He does not say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, let every man take vengeance on his own offenders, and redress his own grievances; but I say unto you look to the government, complain to the magistrates, carry all your causes into the courts for adjudication.” Not a word of this. And not a word of it is to be found in any part of the New Testament. Jesus Christ never sued, or taught his followers to sue men at the law. It would have sunk his divine dignity to contempt, had he exhibited such folly.

original site here



  1. On top of which there is the command not to sue others…

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