It is a well-known adage that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. The events of history testify to the truth of this saying. Yet, there are plenty of examples in history of good men accepting the authority of a tyrannical government.

The apostle Paul was a Jew living under the dominance of a conquering nation, the Romans. Despite this, he taught that it was important to be obedient and submissive to civil authority. Jesus also did not act or speak against Roman rule. In fact he encouraged compliance with Roman tax laws (‘render unto Caesar that which is his… ’) at a time when there was widespread resentment, anger and hostility towards Roman rule. This did not make him popular with those who considered Roman control to be oppressive, and yearned for the freedom and independence of their homeland.

Why did these men have this attitude? It is clear that they recognised that civil authority is instituted and ordained by God and that it is derived from God’s authority. Its purpose is to promote peace, social harmony and the well-being of its citizens. To obey the government is to obey God. The misuse of this civil authority does not negate our responsibility and duty to obey and submit to its rule. If we were only required to obey those road rules or tax laws that we agreed with, anarchy would reign.

However, civil authority has its limitations. When it moves beyond its boundaries, it acts against the well-being of its citizens. Jesus balanced his ‘render unto Caesar’ statement with the teaching that we are also to render (or surrender) to God that which is His.

I believe that my authority, responsibility and role as a father is not issued to me, or delegated to me, by civil authority. It is therefore not something that can or should be legislated or controlled by government.

My character and nature as a father has been programmed and imprinted upon me by God the Father. Its blueprint is a reflection of His own nature as a father. In that sense, I have been created in His image. The innate essence of my fatherhood became abundantly clear to me from the moment I first set eyes on the first of my children. The birth of my other children confirmed what was already obvious: that Fatherhood is a role instituted and ordained directly by God the Father. It underpins the family unit which is foundational to human society. It is the thread that holds together the fabric of our lives.

I have never been able or willing to accept the legislative and cultural environment that requires me to surrender my responsibilities and authority as a father to the anonymous bureaucrats of the Child Support Agency and Family Court who know and care nothing about me or my children.

This Friday I am ordered by the Family Court to be involved with my children in a Family Report. My knowledge of family reports is that they are an insidious device used to alienate children from their fathers. They draw children into the arena of conflict between their parents and are nothing less than emotional and mental abuse. They have a long-term detrimental impact on children’s well-being.

The choice I have is to accept and participate in the abuse of my own children, or to be in contempt of court. My contempt for the Family Court of Australia is an expression of my father’s heart. For that I may face a prison sentence. The consequences of the Family Court’s contempt for fatherhood have been more severe. One of their performance indicators is the suicide deaths of 1,000 fathers each year. Many would argue that the Family Court of Australia, together with the Child Support Agency, are serial killers of Australian fathers.

They claim to act in the best interest of children and to help parents manage their responsibilities. They don’t. It is not possible for them to do so, because they are civil authorities operating outside their legitimate domain.

The warning given 2,700 years ago by the prophet Isaiah has contemporary relevance:

‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.’

[Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash]

About the Author: Roland Foster

Roland Foster is an non-custodial father, separated since 1997, with 5 young children aged between 6 and 14 years. Roland is a passionate father and an active social reformer who believes Australia's current laws are contributing to the creation of our fatherless society.

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