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Open Letter to the NZ Government

As Ministers of the Gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ, the Lord, we present you, the God ordained Government in our land, the following appeal, not with a rebellious or contentious spirit but with a spirit of humility, as those who have the highest regard for you and your God-given role. The Scripture instructs us to honour all established rulers and we do that joyfully not under compulsion.

The Bible teaches us that God has instituted Government and has placed each of you in authority for the good and protection of our country, as His servant, for which we are very grateful.

The Christian community in our nation prays regularly for you and we pray that God would  uphold you and give you much wisdom in the many decisions you make on behalf of the citizens of our beautiful country.

We in turn are called to obey the authorities that God has placed over us and to make your job easier, not harder. We desire to lead a quiet life, attending to our own business, and to work with our own hands to the betterment of all.

Our Christian faith should make us the best of citizens and neighbours, as the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”, “zealous for good works”, seeking the welfare of all people of New Zealand.

It is for this reason that we make this humble and respectful appeal to you, the Government, in the Courts.

Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also the King of kings, the Sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

While civil government is invested with divine authority to rule the state, God Himself has established institutions within human society and each institution has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected.

The Church does not have the right to intervene in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority. Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials. And similarly, government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.

The honour that we rightly owe our earthly governors and magistrates (Romans 13:7) does not include compliance when such officials attempt to subvert sound doctrine, corrupt biblical morality, exercise ecclesiastical authority, or supplant Jesus Christ as head of the Church in any other way. These are our religious beliefs and any infringement upon them prohibits the practicing of our faith. 1

With all respect and honour,

Free To Be Church

1 Drawn and adapted, in part, from Letter to Prime Minister Ardern in 2020 and a public statement from Grace Community Church.

Expert Witness Statement: The biblical importance of the church meeting together in corporate worship

Written by Dr. Martin David Parsons. Edited for the NZ context by Pastors Matthew Johnston, Phil Henderson, Nick Clevely, and Bruwer Vroon.