When Disobedience is Required   Leave a comment

The church of Jesus Christ was founded on obedience to God that was rebellion against the ruling authorities of the 1st century. Centuries of Anabaptists rebelled against the established church before the reformers rebelled successfully. Our own nation was birthed in rebellion. The German Christians who let the Jews be exterminated were guilty of grievious sin because they chose to obey their government as it carried out genocide against God’s laws.

“All powers” are not ordained by God and those that are not must be resisted. Whenever hierarchical leadership is disobeying the word of God, Christians must stand for the word of God which is sometimes going to look an awful lot like rebellion against civil or ecclesiastic authority.

Here is an incomplete list of the believers who have resisted ungodly authority throughout Biblical history.


  • Joseph – disobeyed Potifer’s wife (Genesis 39)
  • Moses’ parents  – disobeyed the civil authorities (Exodus 1)
  • Hebrew midwives  — disobeyed the Egyptian government (Exodus 1)
  • Rahab — disobeyed the king of Jericho (Joshua 2)
  • Ruth – disobeyed her mother-in-law (Ruth 1)
  • Judges of Israel – took up the sword, organized armies and overthrew the governments of Canaan (Judges)
  • Sampson – disobeyed the Philistine government officials (Judges 16)
  • David – disobeyed his older brothers and did not go home as ordered (1 Samuel 17)
  • Jonathan – disobeyed his father and did not deliver David to Saul (1 Samuel 20)
  • David – did not surrender himself to Saul who wanted to kill him (1 Samuel 19-30)
  • Naborth – refused King Ahab’s offer to purchase his property (1 Kings 21)
  • Elijah – ignored a summons from King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1)
  • Elisha – disobeyed Elijah and did not stay where he was told (2 King 2)
  • Jehoiada – resisted the de facto queen and overthrew her rule (2 Kings 11)
  • Shadrach, Meshach, Obednego – refused to kneel before the king’s statue (Daniel 3)
  • Daniel – prayed after an executive order forbad prayer to any god but the king (Daniel 6)
  • Habbakkuk and Zechariah – encouraged Israel to disobey the Persian king and revive the building of the temple after they were ordered to stop (Ezra 4 & 5)
  • Peter – continued preaching Christ after Israel’s government ordered him to stop (Acts 5)

If these Biblical examples were disobedient to ecclesiastic or civil rulers, but obedient to God. Please, if you believe Romans 13 is a text that can never be violated, please do explain how these Biblical examples got around that.

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