I attracted the ire of a few atheists last month when I wrote about the small, vocal minority who protest any public display of the Christmas story. In the comments I received, some folks assumed that all believers were bent on shoving Christianity down the throats of everybody else. The truth is that not all Christians feel they have to “take back the country for Christ.”
So, what are Christians supposed to do? Jesus said in Matthew 28: 19 and 20, “Go then, and make disciples of all the nations, giving them baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to keep all the rules which I have given you: and see, I am ever with you, even to the end of the world.” He made no mention of bringing back inconsequential regulations such as school prayer or keeping the Ten Commandments prominently displayed in court houses. The Christian’s responsibility is to proclaim Christ as the risen saviour and Lord, not to start a theocracy.
Some people might ask, “What about opposing abortion?” Many passages in Scripture tell us that children are precious to God. He foreknew the prophets before they were even born. The Bible also admonishes believers to defend the poor and orphans. Justice is an attribute of God and he won’t let any injustice go unpunished forever.
“But what should we do about the government?” many might ask. Romans 12:1 to 7 states, “Let everyone put himself under the authority of the higher powers, because there is no power which is not of God, and all powers are ordered by God. For which reason everyone who puts himself against the authority puts himself against the order of God: and those who are against it will get punishment for themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to the good work but to the evil. If you would have no fear of the authority, do good and you will have praise; For he is the servant of God to you for good. But if you do evil, have fear; for the sword is not in his hand for nothing: he is God’s servant, making God’s punishment come on the evil-doer. So put yourselves under the authority, not for fear of wrath, but because you have the knowledge of what is right. For the same reason, make payment of taxes; because the authority is God’s servant, to take care of such things at all times. Give to all what is their right: taxes to him whose they are, payment to him whose right it is, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour is to be given.”
The only time civil disobedience is required of Christians is when the government tells them to do something contrary to the scriptures or prevents them from obeying God. As in Acts 4:19 and 20 when Peter and John answered the temple rulers after they warned them not to preach about Jesus’ resurrection, “But Peter and John in answer said to them, ‘It is for you to say if it is right in the eyes of God to give attention to you more than to God: For it is not possible for us to keep from saying what we have seen and have knowledge of.'”
I could write much more about this subject but the post would turn into a book. If Christians love the Lord with all their hearts, strength, and mind as well as loving their neighbours as they do themselves, they won’t need to worry about secondary issues. Most believers try their best to follow Christ’s example. Only a few ruin it for the many by shrilly protesting against legislation that has no eternal value.
In How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, I became involved with many movements that I regret being part of now. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute this inspiring testimony of God’s patience while Virtual Bookworm stocks the paperback version. My previous books are available at the Bruce Atchison’s books link.