The Christ in Prophecy Journal

How COVID-19 Has Become a Constitutional Crisis

Constitution We the People

(Editor’s note: This article’s author, Dr. Patrick Oliver, is a part-time volunteer evangelist for Lamb & Lion Ministries. In his full-time capacity, he serves as a professor at Cedarville University in Ohio where he is Director of the Criminal Justice Program. Cedarville is a Baptist institution of higher learning. Prior to coming to Cedarville in 2005, he served for 27 years in law enforcement, including the position of Chief of Police in three Ohio cities, including Cleveland. Dr. Oliver is available to speak at churches and conferences on any aspect of Bible prophecy.)

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. – Ronald Reagan

The battle for freedom comes in many forms. Our current battle consists of a horrible health crisis, not just in America, but worldwide. It has resulted in us being told by federal and state political executives, some national and state medical experts, along with the mass media, that the coronavirus threat is so huge that the state governments must be allowed to mandate that we shut down much of life as we know it.

Therefore, some of our current mandates consist of no more school, no more dining in restaurants, no more going to movie theaters, no more church services, no non-emergency medical care, no group gatherings of any significant size, and only “essential” workers operating at their places of business.

The two crucial questions that emerge are whether these draconian restrictions on our freedoms are really necessary for our safety, and are they consistent with both state and federal constitutions?

Before I address these questions, I think it would be helpful to provide an historical perspective to give some context.

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution of the United States is based on the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is a non-binding document that expresses the Judeo-Christian principles our constitutional republic is based upon.

The Declaration was signed by 56 men, 29 of whom had seminary degrees. Many of them had graduated from Harvard, Princeton or Yale — all of which were founded as Christ-centered institutions of higher education.

In the Declaration, the colonists indicated their resolve to dissolve their political bands with Great Britain. They stated that their decision was based upon the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” The Laws of Nature are laws that are intuitively and instinctively known to people through their God-created conscience. The Laws of Nature’s God are the moral laws contained in the Ten Commandments.

There are five principles that are affirmed in the Declaration of Independence:

  • There is a Creator God.
  • God gives certain unalienable rights.
  • Government exists to protect those rights.
  • There is a Higher Law — the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Nature’s God.
  • Below the moral law (things not addressed by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God), government may make decisions based on the consent of the governed.

The Declaration of Independence, like the Bible (Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17), indicates that the purpose of government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of all individuals by punishing evildoers and encouraging the righteous. When government officials fail to do this, they themselves are resisting the ordinances of God and are illegitimate authorities. It is then the right of the people to challenge this destructive form of government by altering it or replacing it.

The Response to the COVID-19 by State Governments

In states across our nation, governors and mayors — or their health directors — have issued “stay-at-home” orders and “cease business” orders that represent a degree of authority that has not been given to them by anyone.

Just as at the federal level, each state government in our nation has a constitution that mandates a separation of power among the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial). And in each case, the power to create law is vested in the legislative branch alone. This separation of powers exists precisely to prevent the temptation of tyranny due to excessive power being located in one branch of government.

The creation of executive orders that become mandated directives is contrary to the separation of powers. Keep in mind that such mandates are not laws since they have not gone through the legislative process. A governor cannot create laws. He can only enforce laws passed by his state’s legislative body.

Yet, governors, mayors, and bureaucrats are mandating many forms of quarantine as “law.” All these mandates are designed to “lockdown” both healthy and unhealthy community members. Normally, quarantine directives are aimed only at the unhealthy population.

In many cases, these executive orders have resulted in stopping people from working, attending church, going to school, and visiting their loved ones in nursing homes. Do they have the “constitutional authority” to issue such mandates? The answer is simply, no.

These state and local officials can suggest guidelines, but they cannot mandate the loss of your God-given freedoms. Under the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your unalienable rights to freedom do not cease to exist during a health or any other kind of crisis. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution declares some of these God-given rights for every person. Read it carefully:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The Fifth amendment addresses the unlawful taking of property, which is what happens when you forbid someone to operate their private business. All these actions are not only unconstitutional, but they are also manifestations of totalitarianism or tyranny, which is defined as, “An arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over others with a rigor not authorized by law” (Webster’s Dictionary).

This perspective of our constitutional freedoms is articulated by a quote from Michael Peroutka, attorney, and co-founder of the Institute on the Constitution (

In point of fact, no governor, in any state, has the authority to suspend the Constitution. And no pretended “Emergency Powers” legislation can give it to him because the legislature cannot give the Governor an authority that they themselves do not have. And any attempt for a Governor to suspend Constitutional rights is an act of lawlessness and a violation of his/her oath of office.

What Should We Do?

Stand up and speak out in defense of our constitutional rights! We must not let fear motivate us into being willing to dutifully follow any order given to us, regardless of its constitutionality. Specifically:

  • We need to insist that any rules laid down as law are either legislated by a state legislature or enacted by a city council or a county commissioner’s court — and not simply imposed by executive fiat.
  • We need to insist that any rules that are legislated do not violate our fundamental freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
  • We need to insist, in particular, that there be no infringement of the Constitution’s guarantee of the “free exercise of religion.”
  • We need to pray for our elected officials that they will be guided by God to be responsible and legal in their responses to crises.

I want to live free; I imagine you do as well. To do so, we must all get acquainted with our Constitution so we can stand on the rule of law, not our opinions, fears, or feelings. In our constitutional republic, all laws should be based on God’s higher fixed law, and not majorities.

Common sense and, for Christians, biblical wisdom and responsibility, should be our guidelines in responding to this pandemic — and not the surrender of our rights.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Patrick Oliver: Common sense and, for Christians, biblical wisdom and responsibility, should be our guidelines in responding to this #pandemic — and not the surrender of our rights. Click To Tweet
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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

30 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • I stumbled on your magazine just this morning. I found the article about the way the state and federal governments are circumventing our rights and freedoms managing COVID-19 to be intelligently written. It puts forth actions that we may easily implement to ensure freedom during this disease outbreak. Great job.

  • I couldn’t agree with Dr. Oliver more. Just more proof that God is lifting his hand of righteousness in our country. My biggest problem is how to convince my congregation and those I attend Church with that this message should be taken seriously. It appears that no matter how hard I try, I can’t convince my Church leaders to go along with this. It’s like I’m being led by cowards and sheeple. And there are no other Churches in my community that will stand out against this foolishness.

    • Hey Larry,
      Try Second Baptist Church in Houston Texas. We stand out against the foolishness.

      Larry Hord

  • I sure wish our governor (MN) would go by these rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Besides prayer what can be done to get him to see reason? NOW he is thinking of making masks mandatory! AND we have to go outside to sing at church!!

  • I disagree. It’s become less a constitutional crisis, and more a spiritual/mental one. The fact that people are too amoral and selfish to simply stay at home and cooperate (or in the government’s case, one side in particular is too stingy and inhumane to financially back such) for the 1-2 months of actual shutdown it would take to get this under control is disturbing. After all, it’s not as if the “shutdown” we did was an actual, nationwide shutdown, which is why we’re in this predicament to begin with, and the fact that people are making this into a constitutional issue instead of a health and common sense one shows, with brisk clarity, just how easily people will slide into being a part of the falling away, following the AC, and accepting mark of the beast.

    That something so simple confounds the wise is a 1 Cor 1:27 Biblical given, but it’s still terrifying to behold in real time. If people think Jesus is going to use kiddie gloves and partisanship (“wearing a mask means you hate me” silliness) like our government has during this pandemic, they’re in for a rod of iron and a rude awakening, because God’s not a respecter of persons, and He’l neither green light the selfishness we’re seeing, nor abide by pharisees trying to claim He’s in violation of a Bible (or constitution) He’ll prove, as He did before, that they’re misapplying.

    We are going to have to realize that there’s a reason why the whole of the law can be summed up in two commandments. COVID-19 is a test to see if we’re abiding by the second one, and so far, this country, in particular, is failing terribly.

    • As I was reading the different replies, I was thinking – “Am I the only one that sees it differently?” I agree with Christy’s reply above. I may have rights by the constitution, but the two commandments our Lord gave are the important ones to live and abide by.
      My heart goes out to those having to shut down businesses and loss of jobs and hopefully our government will find a way to help them over this hurdle—-after all, they seem to find money for all kinds of non-life threatening studies, etc etc. As a whole, we are such a blessed nation that I hope we can find it in our hearts to help and sacrifice if necessary to help those hurting. You can’t go wrong abiding by God’s commands.
      Let’s obey God and leave the consequences to Him. I don’t need a government’s LAW to know what is right to do.

      • I respect and agree with Dr Oliver”s basic premise but I’m with the other two in the “Disagree Column”. The pandemic is a completely different animal than normal laws and freedoms. In Texas, where Dr. Reagan’s ministry is based they exercised their freedoms without masks, opening bars, restaurants early the last couple of months and they now have a full blown outbreak on their hands with Houston’s hospital’s looking like they moved to New York City. For the churches, do you want your church to become the next Covid hot spot just so you can meet in a building? My church in California went online when we were shut down by the governor and is reaching more people for Christ than we ever could defying a “stay closed” order. We averaged 10,000 on a Sunday and now 1 million people worldwide watch the online broadcast of the service. So I guess the bottom line is, let’s give the governors a break as they try and protect us the best they know how and act for the greater good.

  • We know this virus kills people. It will never kill our faith. We can worship God anywhere. When we know someone has a contagious disease, we try to protect ourselves from them. Our healthcare experts know that people are spreading it this virus to others and not even know they have it since they show no signs. That is why we should wear mask in public. That is to protect each other. That is little to ask of one another. Now if churches feel they have enough faith to remain open and have worship services, not fearful of spreading the virus, then do it. I still think they should wear their mask though. But if you feel your faith will keep everyone virus free, then don’t listen to the health care experts. I would ask you though, do you listen to your own doctor when you are sick and go see them? If you trust them then, why not now? This virus is real and we know it kills people, even the doctors and nurses. So I say, respect each other and wear those mask in public. I think Christ would approve of this.

    • The problem with masks, Hilda, is that some doctors say they work and others say they only have a 2-3% effectiveness rating when it comes to microscopic viruses. Even the N95s only have a 50% effectiveness rating. Which medical experts are we to believe? And, is there a bigger agenda when it comes to masks?

      • And I would like to add, that many people not just a few, have health issues (respiratory) that cause them even greater issues with the masks. They simply are suffocating and prohibit oxygen. I’m one of these people. I can wear a mask for a very short time and then begin to feel suffocation. When you don’t wear a mask, you are judged by people as being selfish and uncaring.

      • I agree Nathan, Drs opinions vary, many say if someone has the virus and they are wearing the mask, they keep breathing their own carbon dioxide and the germs go back down into the lungs and reinfect, instead of getting rid of them. They should stay home and get well as with any virus. Again, some doctors say this virus is no worse than other viruses, but Covid is being used to shut down businesses, schools, churches, and deprive people of their rights, its a tool to derail the economy, and oppress people from living their lives,.

        Amazing how some churches have totally let down their parish, we are to be a light to the world and worship, the doors have been shut…. basically online services, or outside services in heat and sun is available, which is too hot for older people.

      • Masks are a help, but not the solution. Common sense preventative measures I think are more effective. Avoid crowds. Avoid close contact with others. Keep clean.

    • This article was excellent in summarizing the illegal enforcement of nonlegislated ‘laws.’
      The comments by Christy, Billie, and Hilda, actually reflect the response that the UN/WHO, and those who ascribe to a one-world government, have been strategizing for decades. Accepting their agenda by ‘religious’ people is seen as a progressive advance in their favor.

      As Christians, we have a responsibility to discern right from wrong practices by governments at all levels. Just a few hours of research would show that the fatality rate of covid GLOBALLY, is currently equal to the fatality rate of the seasonal flu rate. Furthermore, there is ample evidence to show that this is being ‘orchestrated’ by the one-world manipulators when they realized it was going to be much more effective for their agenda than the global warming scare tactics were.

      In order to document these statements, I would have to submit a full orb dissertation which is not possible on this forum. Thank you Dr. Oliver for a great summary of the challenges to free assembly, free speech, and the liberty provided by the U.S. Constitution.

  • […] Notes:1 Cor 1:27 = using the simple things to confound the wise is the equivalent of using “criminals” to display righteous anger, along with using the simplicity of striving for equitable and fair treatment for all, being a dividing line between symbolic Pharisees (those in gov’t, religious supporters) and the symbolic Gentiles (described below).Matt 15:25-28 = as with Jesus’ spending time with sinners others disapproved of, He mentions more than once that it wasn’t the group assumed to be the most faithful who had the most faith, but the “dogs” – the Gentiles, who showed the most. Likewise is the case in America. The religious should be making a fuss about the fact that idols should be torn down, if for no other reason than because they’re of traitors, if not the fact that they’re idols, but because they worship something other than God (mammon, guns, power, white supremacy, take your pick), they are more upset about statues than they are about the mistreatment and persecution of others (the legitimate sort that leads to death… not the pseudo-persecution of keeping churches closed in the middle of a pandemic).Considering they considered Jesus a criminal, as well, little has changed since then. If one doesn’t understand the understandable righteous anger that fuels the desire to tear down the statues of confederate traitors who owned human beings, and fought to continue to do so, or statues that were strategically setup to represent the idea of some groups being a position of submission to others (or furthermore, now complain about the violence and vandalism going on toward statues, having also thought kneeling silently was unacceptable, too), there’s a good chance one wouldn’t have seen the clearing of the temples as justified, either.Links: George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper –“How COVID-19 Has Become a Constitutional Crisis” –… […]

    • Most people I’d imagine don’t have a problem with the removal of Confederate statues. What we do have a problem with is the lawless mob tearing them down illegally. There’s a civil, peaceful voting system set in place for removal that avoids lawlessness and violence.

      • You are right Nathan. Every time there is anything that the left can use as a distraction from what should be up front and most important, they will use it to their utmost to confuse the issue. Satan does that in our lives everyday. He is always dangling something in front of us to take our mind off of what should be most important. He also uses this tactic to pass fault to someone else. Satan is really doing a happy dance over what has been going on in the past 3 weeks.

  • The Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our country’s independence from the tyrannical , oppressive rule of England and established THIS constitutional republic where we can live free responsibly.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that TODAY we are now living under the thumb of an oppressive government because of fear… fear of a virus! And a majority of people have willingly yielded their guaranteed freedoms and have CHOSEN to be oppressed by illegal, unconstitutional executive orders in order to FEEL safe, secure and healthy.

    The governor of Michigan, the media and the health department have instilled fear into us by constant manipulation of various means. We can’t get away from the drumbeat of their repeated mantras.

    Open your eyes, friends. The governor’s “executive orders” are NOT law. EVERY EO issued without legislative approval are llegal and unconstitutional.

    A decision to willingly and obediently conform to the incremental control over EVERY aspect of life is leading to a complete take over of our state…in the form of a dictatorship. All because we allowed ourselves to be enslaved…over a virus.

  • I am Scottish, married to an American and live in Scotland. We have been in lock down since March 23rd but still able to go out for necessities. We have almost eradicated the Covid-19 virus because of this and now only have had a few new cases. Most people are happy with the restrictions which are slowly easing.
    I was astonished when I heard a lady on the CNN news, in the USA complaining that it was her constitutional right to be exposed to Covid-19, We find this attitude unbelievable.
    My son and his family live in South Carolina and it is worrying that there are so many new cases in Florida, Texas and California.

    • With all due respect, Scotland is not a Constitutional republic. Your family in South Carolina has every right to stay home and lock themselves down for the duration of this virus; that’s a right granted to them by our founding fathers. But please don’t preach to Americans what we all should do or not do, especially when many braindead governors are gleefully attempting to rule over us from their kitchen tables. That does not represent a democracy! I am just as shocked when I hear people from other nations condemn Americans for exercising rights by which they disapprove. How are things working out for the European Union or Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, and the millions of Chinese citizens whose rights are trampled upon on a daily basis? Not here, pal!

  • So many are missing the point. If you allow your government to issue you “laws” that are not laws you have already stepped on the slippery slope & now it is down hill for your rights from this point forward. It will happen at such a rapid speed you will not even realize what happened until it is too late, just like Venezuela or the Jewish during the Holocaust. Some of the current mobs are already tearing down Jesus statues and defacing churches. Many city governments are even encouraging this type of activity or have done nothing to stop it. It will only continue to get worse. Christians should not fear but use the wisdom given to us by God. The speech they use to guilt us into complying will always sound reasonable but that can change at any time. Many courts are no longer interpreting the law but making law. We’ve got to start somewhere trying to protect our God given rights!

  • Plain and simple: Hail to Dr. Patrick Oliver! We are a Constitutional republic and not a banana republic. Allowing anyone complete and ultimate authority over our rights as American citizens opens a wide door to fascism, Hitlerism, Marxism, and all other “ism’s” by those who wish to dominate and control every aspect of your lives. Enough said!

  • How do you think those who came to this country and those who fought and died for our religious freedom would react to the “orders” we’ve been given? Do you really think they would say to give in to the oppressors or once again stand up for the freedoms they passed down to us? They literally faced death for those freedoms. It’s because in the past 60+ years we didn’t stand up and be heard, that we lost the freedoms of Bible reading and prayer in our public schools. Look where that’s gotten us. Maybe, instead of trying to shame those who disagree, you should read Karl Marx. You would understand that this crossroad is much bigger than just the freedom to practice our religion.

  • Dr. Reagan, I have the utmost respect for you and your ministry, but in this case, I have to respectfully disagree. If we lived in a perfect world, everyone would wear masks, stay their distance and heed the advice of the medical community. This virus is far, far worse and more highly contagious than the flu. God calls us to esteem others more highly than ourselves. That means, wearing masks to protect others and giving up some of our freedoms temporarily to insure the common good. A small price to pay when lives are at stake. Statistic show that since we lifted many restrictions, we have had a huge surge in cases all over the country. People threw caution to the winds and we are now paying the price. Yes, I agree that the government has taken power it doesn’t have, but as you indicated, government has a responsibility for the common safety and protection of the people. This is a very unusual circumstance. Businesses and churches are not going to thrive if everyone is dead.

    • Adolf Hitler told the German people the same things: They should give up some of their freedoms for safety and prosperity and for protection against an entire “corrupted” race. How well did the German people who blindly followed the pied pipers of their time fare? History reveal not too well. The corrupted leaders of their time led them into total destruction. It amazes me how many people surrender to the fearmongers and so easily give up their freedoms. I suppose the old saying is true. If we fail to learn from history, we will repeat those failings in the future. I believe in taking precautions; I believe in wearing masks to protect others (until the Covid-19 threat is abated). I don’t believe in totalitarian politicians who use fear to take total and absolute control of everyone’s lives. Just saying!

  • I have seen one part if our rights misquoted so many times and it is driving me nuts! The rights given to us by God are INALIENABLE, not Unalienable. Johns Adams and Thomas Jefferson even argued this point. Inalienable is defined as permanent and incapable of being taken away because they are given by God. I didn’t even find Unalienable in the dictionary.

  • There is one part of our rights which is continually misstated and that is our INALIENABLE RIGHTS. They are Inalienable because they are given to us by God and therefore cannot be taken away. Many people state it as unalienable. I didn’t even find that word in the dictionary.

  • I’m a Canadian. I am glad that our federal gov’t and provincial governments listened to our health authorities in the various levels of our gov’t. I would not wnt to be in the USA right now. We have followed, for the most part, their advice and have seen the benefits of it. There are distressing places, such as in our long term care facilities, where the virus has spread through some with devastating effects, and some people are being non-compliant with the recommendations, but on the whole, we are doing very well. Economically, we are and will suffer, but which is better??? Skyrocketing healthcare crisis because of overflowing short staffed hospitals and worn out front line workers, or, the chance to recover economically, even though slowly, but in good health?

  • I’m thankful our founding fathers were not cowards! They fought and died for the freedoms that we have enjoyed up to a few decades ago. Then the American people got lazy and self- centered and “politically correct”. History does indeed always repeat itself. When a nation turns its back on God lawlessness and evil and anarchy prevail. Do you really want to live in a country where tyranny reigns? Then by all means leave America! Once America falls under socialism there is no other refuge for those who want to live under a democracy. As far as covid goes, no one seems to want to address the elephant in the room when they talk about states who opened businesses and are now experiencing a rise in cases… have they forgotten that thousands of people rallied in our cities in anything but a peaceful demonstration. Two weeks later the cases started rising. I’m not a rocket scientist but I can still do the math. Eight members of my family contracted the virus and had no more severe symptoms than a summer cold except the loss of smell and taste. I’m sure this virus can be fatal to some with underlying health issues just like the flu. Our government’s medical advisors are saying we are always going to have covid with us from here on out. So do we resign to live as hermits with no family or friend contact? NOT ME! I’d rather die from covid then be a prisoner in my own home! I pray we all quit buying the lie.
    “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. ” -Patrick Henry

  • It is so disturbing to read the comments from Christians who are somehow not hearing or reading the truth and are living in fear. Obviously the truth is being suppressed and too many people are believing a lie about this virus. The science shows shutting down the economy for a manufactured crisis was very wrong and harmful in so many ways. The nursing home patients should never have been to die alone. If the masks work and quarantines work why aren’t nursing homes the safest place to be? If the truth will set you free, it is seems to me, a lie will put you into bondage. If you still trust the medical profession with your whole heart, mind, body and soul you might want to reevaluate who you serve. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to Christians or medical professionals, but I have too many friends who are Christian nurses and doctors that are greatly grieved by the actions of many in the medical profession. They are trying to get the truth out, the tests were inaccurate, the reporting of illness and deaths were greatly exaggerated in order to scare people. We should all be asking questions and praying for the truth.


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