What About Christian Activism?

Q. What are the bible’s thoughts on Christians who try to change our society through government or “Christian activism”. They say Christians who don’t participate, are just being lazy, apathetic, etc. That we must “get out there” on the street and change our world for Christ by “getting involved”. I used to be one of these but I have lost faith in this method. What does The bible have to say about this, not based on feelings etc. but pure biblical truth.

A. In general the Bible advises us to submit to governing authorities, reminding us that they’ve been ordained by God. (Romans 13:1-7) Jesus admonished His followers to pay their taxes to Rome as well as their tithes to God (Matt. 22:15-22).

However, there is Biblical precedent for civil disobedience when a government institutes laws or regulations that directly oppose God’s law. Daniel’s three friends refused to obey the King’s order to worship a statue of him and received God’s protection (Daniel 3). Because of their courage, the king issued a decree forbidding anyone from speaking against God.

Daniel himself openly prayed to God in violation of an ordinance passed specifically to trap him, and also received God’s protection (Daniel 6). As a result, King Darius sent a personal letter to everyone in the Persian Kingdom ordering them to fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

Peter and John twice refused to obey the Sanhedrin’s order to stop preaching the gospel (Acts 4:17 & 5:29) and continued to spread the word of God.

It should be noted that none of these cases involved criticizing or condemning non-believers for disobeying God’s laws. Each one simply stood up for their rights as believers to practice their faith, and to preach the gospel as the Lord led them to do.

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