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Monday, January 04 2021

God has given power and authority for Christians to act as free people. "For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God" (1 Peter 2:15–16 ESV). For this freedom, Christians obey the governing authorities but obey God over government (Titus 3:1–2; Acts 4:19; 5:29).

          While Christians live as free, how can Christians stand against oppression and tyranny (cf. Isaiah 1:23; Micah 7:3)? As has been said many times, if the righteous, God-fearing, pro-family, pro-life, hardworking, and freedom-loving people stay out of politics, then who does that leave to make policies under which we live and struggle to survive? The whole of the Christian life is freedom in full action against the oppression of evil. The Scriptures do not depict the church forming armies or ministers acting as informants to assassinate government officials (Ephesians 6:12; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4). What can the faithful do especially when the "authorities" are illegitimate and act contrary to their laws and promises?


The church has a number of ways to stand against oppression and tyranny:

  • Be willing to suffer for the truth even unto death (Acts 7:54–60; 12:1–5; 1 Peter 2:13–16; 3:13–18; Revelation 13:5–10).
  • Obey the government but obey God first over government (Acts 4:19; 5:29).
  • Organize civil representation to elect officials, secure freedom, and set laws (cf. Deuteronomy 1:13–18; Exodus 18:19–23).
  • Serve in civil government as an official, officer, or soldier (Acts 10:1–2; 16:25–36; Romans 16:23; Philippians 4:22).
  • Claim citizen’s rights to secure freedom even by enduring authoritarian abuses (Acts 16:16–24, 35–40; 22:22–29).
  • Use protection from authority including police, guards, and soldiers (Acts 23:12–14).
  • Respect, obey, and pay taxes to the authorities (Mark 12:13–17; Romans 13:1–7; Titus 3:1–2; 1 Peter 2:13–17).
  • Never avenge selves but leave wrath to God and overcome evil with good to bring justice upon the wicked via the authorities (Romans 12:18–13:7).
  • Pray for the oppressed and pray for the authorities to be saved (Acts 12:4–5, 12; 1 Timothy 2:1–4).
  • Respectfully correct the actions of authorities that are immoral and instruct them of how God is the foundation of rights and the source of morality (Matthew 14:1–5; Acts 4:5–12; 5:27–32).
  • Seek first the kingdom of God proclaiming the gospel and making disciples (Matt 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 2:9).
  • Meet with religious groups when you can share the gospel (Acts 18:4, 19; 19:8; cf. 18:27–28; Hebrews 10:24–25).
  • Give relief to the needy including victims of oppression (Luke 4:18–19; 6:27–36; Acts 20:34–35; Galatians 2:10).
  • Live a peaceful, quiet, and independent life working with your hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11–12; 1 Timothy 2:2).
  • Live a life of freedom especially freedom from sin (John 8:31–32; 1 Peter 2:16).

God brings justice to evil rulers (2 Thessalonians 1:6–9; cf. Psalm 2:10–12; 125:3). Throughout the Old Testament, God demonstrated His providential wrath on evil rulers and evil nations. The Israelite prophet Daniel declared, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21). God has not changed. He will judge all. Thank God for His justice and mercy!

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email