Should Christians protest? That’s a complicated question here in the America Church. Many pastors cite Romans 13 to say that we have to submit to our governmental leaders no matter what, unless they literally demand that we sin.
Let’s take a look at Romans 13:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
At the time that Paul wrote the book of Romans, Nero was the Emperor. He was not voted into power through a democratic process. He assumed the role without consent from Roman citizens. This was how things were done at that time. The people didn’t have a voice. They were subjects in a world where the law of the land was dictated by a single man without recourse for appeal.
Here in America, we have different circumstances. Our government is by the people and for the people. With how we have our system setup, we are the government. Each and every American citizen has a voice in the future of our country. We elect officials to do our bidding, as long as it upholds the Constitution of the United States. If we don’t like the laws that they are passing, we can vote them out. Our Founding Fathers established checks and balances, not only within the three branches of government, but between the government and the citizens.
One of those checks and balances is our ability to vote them out, as I mentioned before. Another one is to recall someone who is in office if they are doing an extremely poor job. And then, finally, another avenue of recourse is to peaceably protest to make our voices heard. This is written into the Constitution of the United States.
So the question becomes, what is Romans 13 referring to? Clearly it states that we are to submit to our governing authorities… right? Well, let’s take a look at how Jesus handled this. The local governing authorities were the Sadducees and Pharisees. Yes, they were religious leaders, but they also had authority to punish those that broke the law. They had trials and condemned those that broke their rules. One of those rules was not doing any work on the Sabbath. What did Jesus do? He intentionally broke the rules to make a point (Matthew 12): These rules were unjust, unfair and simply immoral. So Jesus, Himself, actually performed civil disobedience. If we are to imitate Christ, we should follow His lead on this.
We can and should do the same. As Americans, our primary law is the Constitution of the United States. If a politician passes a law that contradicts it, then we are to obey the Constitution, not the illegal law that was passed. There’s a reason why our government leaders and police officers swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and not the laws passed by politicians.
I reached out to a few pastors to get their thoughts on the issue.
Pastor Sam Jones stated: “Protesting the government is a vital part of resisting a government that has gone against the laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”
Protesting is our way of keeping the government in check. Our Founding Fathers recognized this & made sure that this was a protected right for all Americans. Again, in America, the government works for the people, not the other way around. Peaceably protesting is our way of informing our civil servants that they are not doing a good job and need to shape up or else we are going to vote them out of office.
You see, fighting for our rights not only is an American tradition, but it’s also the Christian thing to do. Why do I say that? Because fighting for our rights is also fighting for the rights of others that are less fortunate than us. The best way to raise the poor out of poverty is through freedom and liberty. The best way to ensure that our church family can gather together to worship God is through freedom and liberty. The best way to ensure that your children can grow up in a free nation is through freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty can only exist in a nation where the leaders know that if they take our rights away there will be consequences in the next election, if not sooner.
Dr Mike Spaulding explains that, "As Christians we often talk about faith being a verb and therefore it is most appropriately spoken of in terms of action. In the current climate of increasing hostility toward Christianity and the destruction of our God-given right to express our faith without hindrance, it is time to take up the sacred banner of protest. Law is meant to honor the just and punish the wicked. When governments at any level turn this biblical principle of law that serves to enhance the fruitfulness of human enterprise, into a restrictive and unjust usurpation of a people’s free expression of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is our duty, responsibility, and right to oppose this encroachment."
Today, as we literally see the government stripping our constitutional rights away, we must remember that we aren’t just fighting for ourselves. We are fighting for the America of our children and grandchildren. We are fighting to preserve the freedom and liberty that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world. We are fighting to be able to worship God as we see fit. We are fighting a tyrannical, progressive, Marxist, socialist, anti-God belief system that literals needs to be destroyed. We can’t destroy this ideology if we remain silent, like so many of the Evangelical leaders are begging us to do.
Pastor Greg Locke sums it up perfectly: “Our silence has become our compromise. If we’re willing to give up just one of our rights, then they are willing to take all of our rights. It’s time to stand up and speak out. We’ve already had this fight. We won! Otherwise we’d all be speaking British.”
He’s right! If our Founding Fathers had remained silent and not protested, we’d still be a part of England. We wouldn’t have the same rights and freedoms that are exclusively protected in the United States of America. I’m thankful for men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the rest of those men… they took a stand, protested, petitioned the government and did everything they could to fix the authoritarian power grab being made by England. When they could do nothing else, they declared independence from England once and for all, and we never looked back.
We are facing a similar situation. It’s now or never. Are we going to make our voices heard to protect our freedom and liberty or are we going to remain silent and become the globalist, socialistic country that the left wants to change us to? You have the choice… you have a vote… you have a voice. What kind of nation do you want to be?
I choose freedom. I choose liberty. I choose America.
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