I was challenged today to defend my assertion that Christians should not feel obliged to obey the state. Firstly, I rightly corrected myself and said this was context specific. I dont think they should feel obliged to obey the state when the government is not from or of God but sets itself up in active opposition to God.
We must be mindful that sometimes this can be the case – Paul’s optimistic view of the state – which I have already discussed here – is a window on a question which does not always have the same answer. Discernment is called for and part of that discernment can be an objective judgement on the conduct of the state, for example, how does it treat God’s people, does it fulfil its basic functions such as the defence and care of its own people, etc.
Western politys currently fail on that score. It is my contention that they are guilty of political adultery against there own people – their fundamental duty to protect their people is compromised by their relationship with Islamic governments who demonstrably fund terrorist organisations which target Western civilians.
A secular state can obviously not be judged against Covenant law nor should it be urged to adopt Covenant law but it can be held to account on grounds like the one cited above. The Church is an entirely different matter – Covenant law does apply in this regard.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29
This passage clearly tells us that unquestioning obedience to the state is not something that is commanded of Christians but that they must use discernment and that is called for now more than ever……