When the Nazi leaders appeared at Nuremberg after the Nazi atrocities of World War 11 one of the major defences offered was that they were obeying orders.

That defence was not accepted – and rightly so.

Because, there are times when obedience is criminal and immoral.

So, these obedient agents of Hitler were sentenced to death or very long prison sentences.

Many totalitarian systems throughout history have insisted on the total obedience of their followers. And much evil has come from that obedience.

The Roman Catholic Church is a 1700 year old totalitarian system that has insisted on total obedience and much evil has resulted – The Crusades, the Inquisition and the Counter Reformation, to name three.

Hitler killed 6 million plus in 6 years.

I wonder how many millions have been killed in Roman Catholicism in 2000 years? And all in the name of obedience!

In 1943 in the Poor Clare Orphanage in Cavan a fire broke out during the might.

The nuns refused to allow the fire fighters to rescue the girls in case they saw them in their night attire.

35 children and 1 adult burned to death as a result of the nuns crazy obedience to Catholic teaching on modesty and chastity.

The Irish author Flan O’Brien wrote a verse about the tragedy:

In Cavan there was a great fire.

Judge McCarthy was sent to inquire.

It would be a shame,

If the nuns were to blame.

So it had to be caused by a fire.

The Four Cardinal Virtues are – Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.

The Seven Virtues are – Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and Humility.

So there are at least ELEVEN virtues mentioned in Christian history before you get anywhere near obedience. So, obedience, is not WAY UP THERE as a virtue at all.

The classic study of obedience was made by Stanley Milgram of Yale university between 1961 and 1963.

He was trying to understand and explain the German’s obedience to Hitler.

They measured the willingness of volunteers to perform acts against their conscience by inflicting painful electric shocks on people – the strongest of which would have caused death.

The vast majority of the volunteers obeyed the orders.

As humans, but especially as Christian’s we need to carefully consider where we stand on obedience.

In Acts 5:29 we are told: “Obedience to God comes before obedience to men”.

And that I instruction is backed up in the Bible in the books of Ephesians, Samuel, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, James, Genesis, and many others.

So we should view every order we are given, and every decision we make, in the context of our primary obligation to Hod and God’s will.

In the Book of Daniel we see King Nebuchadnezzar ordering Shadrac, Meschac and Abednego to worship him instead of God.

They refused and are thrown into a great fire. But the King sees God walking in the fire with the three and immediately pulls them out of the fire and promotes them to high office.

The moral of the story is:

Obey God and thrive.

Obey voices opposed to God and perish!

One of my all time political heroes is Tony Benn. His favourite hymn was Dare to be a Daniel.

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known

Standing by a purpose true
Heeding God’s command
Honor them, the faithful few
All hail to Daniel’s band

Many mighty men are lost

Daring not to stand
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s bandD

Many giants, great and tall

Stalking through the land
Headlong to the earth would fall
If met by Daniel’s bandD

Hold the Gospel banner high
On to vict’ry grand
Satan and his hosts defy
And shout for Daniel’s band

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known
Dare to make it known

My Friends

Obey men with caution!

Obey men at your peril!

I love The bishopbuckleyspodcast | Aug 2, 2020 13:38 OBEDIENCE AS AN WVIL, let’s play it!