And, for an example of what Sorbo is talking about ….
Christians in the 1st century, non-Catholics throughout the Middle Ages, Christians in the Middle East, China, and Myanmar ….
Just examples of Christians who were/are murdered and muzzled simply because they believe that Jesus Christ exists and He is the Answer for what ails the world.
By contrast, Americans are merely mugged. We face social embarrassment and some political hurdles for our beliefs, but nobody is trying to kill us … yet. The Chinese Christians say that American Christianity would be much more vital if we actually faced persecution. Maybe if we risked death or imprisonment for our beliefs, we’d understand the difference between a compelling cause for Christ where we must make a stand and a mere inconvenience where we might want to consider our witness before we get on our high horses.
On the other hand, in a nation founded on natural rights and liberty, all citizens must be eternally vigilant to secure those rights not just for ourselves, but for our fellow citizens.
How do Christians walk that line in a society where religious liberty is threatened with suppression, but not actively persecuted? Should we?
If Hobby Lobby et al are told to tow the ObamaCare line and pay for abortifacients … should they fall in line or is it time for civil disobedience from Christians?
When we’re merely mugged and not murdered, what should our response be, Christians?
Every day, Christians are called to be citizens of heaven rather than of earth. We may live in the United States or Russia or South Africa or China, but we are in this world and not of it. The apostle Paul understood that. The gospel didn’t come just for the Jews. Jesus died for everyone who will accept God’s grace by faith. And that brought Paul and his fellow 1st century Christians into conflict with the government authorities. By their very existence as a people, they were in violation of the civil authority of the government.
So why did Paul write what we designate now as Romans 13? Because he knew, better than most, that Christians were going to be murdered, muzzled or mugged by the world around us. Our every day lives will always be in conflict with the societal standards around us. We should probably think something is wrong with our Christian walk if we are NOT in conflict with the world around us because Jesus warned us in John 4 that we will have grief for no other reason than that we believe in Him.
So if we’re already in conflict with the world simply for believing in Jesus, why not also be in conflict with the government that opposes our beliefs? Why would Paul write Romans 13 if we were already in conflict by believing what we believe?
The first human born on this planet killed the second human born on this planet because he perceived his brother’s existence was somehow defrauding him of his “due”. Many centuries later, God used the writer of Hebrews to commend the murdered brother for his faith. This ought to tell us something about ourselves. We are bent, fallen, given to having our feelings hurt by imagined slights and to inflate minor slights into major conflicts.
Paul wrote Romans 13 because he knew this about human nature. He recognized that Christianity would always be in conflict with the world because the world is in conflict with God, but he also recognized that we could spend our energy railing at injustice rather than ministering on God’s behalf. We can become known as the people who resist the government rather than the people who walk in Christ’s way and that can and will diminish the gospel of Jesus Christ. By damaging our own witness through political activity rather than through godly works, we become salt that is good for nothing but to melt ice.
Which brings us to the question …
Should Christians ever be civilly disobedient?
Rep. Young blasts regulatory sprawl during Fairbanks visit – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News Leave a comment
I’m still voting against him in the primary because I think he should retire, but it’s hard not to like Alaska Representative Don Young!