Much has been written on this topic by men much wiser than me. But as I watch the world appear to unravel around me I canít help but return to some of these fundamental questions in search of new insight:

For those of us raised on Christian doctrine we are taught that God has established the civil magistrate and given him authority (although limited/constrained). When has that civil magistrate so exceeded the constraints established by God as to no longer be legitimate and therefore no longer worthy to be obeyed?

All governments in existence today were established by conquest and armed conflict (this is without exception to the best of my knowledge - some may argue that the democratic process is a peaceful alternative but I think itís safe to say that, at its best, democracy is simply the tyranny of the majority and at its worst is a complete illusion and tool of despots and tyrants). At what point is it morally justified for Godís people to engage in conquest and armed conflict for the purpose of restoring or establishing just government in place of a tyrannical one?

I know these are dangerous questions and they have been largely philosophical and abstract in the past. However, they seem to be becoming increasingly relevant as the leaders who claim legitimacy use their offices to destroy human liberty and erode natural rights. Therefore, I believe it to be worth the risk to ponder these questions more openly in the hope that the answers may yet provide a foundation for peaceful restraint of authoritarian rule and help to avoid both slavery and violence.