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Should believers participate in the Real ID Act?

Submitted: 3/4/2007
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Question: As the end-time unfolds before all of us, do you think true believers should consider seeking protected status (something like the Amish have) to avoid mandatory participation in the National ID program that states must 'sign on to' by October 2007 and which will go into effect in 2009 (instead of the protested original date of May, 2008)? Many consider this Real ID a giant step toward, if not actually, the Mark of the Beast? Do you think the Church, collectively and individually, should refuse to participate in a National ID program and accept the limitations caused by that refusal (i.e., not being able to drive a car, enter any federal building, board an airplane, open a bank account, receive Social Security payments, etc.) and, thereby, avoid allegiance to a one-world governmental/religious system? Do you think we, as the people of the Name, should organize a bartering network and/or have all things in common as the early Church did? Could it be that we might understand the Scripture regarding 'all things in common' better as the end-time days progress? Nero (wicked human government) might have factored into 'all things in common.' Of course, Jesus protects His people and will never fail us, but He does ask that we do what we can and participate *with* Him (i.e., unwrapping Lazarus from his grave clothes after Jesus raised him from the dead, Joseph storing up for famine to save a people, etc). Thanks!

Answer: From a political perspective, we stand in firm opposition to all attempts to move society toward any form of Big Brotherism. We are very disappointed in the politicians who claim to believe in individual liberty yet voted to enact the Real ID legislation. We do not believe, however, that this is the mark of the beast. The way we see it, the Bible makes it clear that the 'mark' is in some way embedded into the body and that no one will be able to buy or sell without it. We therefore do not believe it would be prudent to forsake driving and flying at this point. We say this with the recognition that the day is coming when we may have to forsake these things. But until that day arrives, we believe we should continue to take advantage of all that is available to assist in spreading the good news.

We also believe that the idea of 'all things in common' is not synonymous with no one owning any personal property. We see it more as an attitude of generosity and mutuality, which ought to pervade the church at all times. We say this because 1 Timothy 6 acknowledges that some Christians may be rich, but are cautioned 'not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life' (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

We would like to add that these are our general views on this suject at the present time. But the times are changing rapidly, and we fully intend to stay alert and to modify our views in whatever ways we believe the circumstances warrant.